WP Coupons Review & Tutorial On How To Build Your Own Coupon / Deal Site With WordPress
In this review/tutorial, I’m going to show you how I have added a Coupon / Deal section to WPin. Which in turn will show you how you can build your very own Coupon/deal website with WordPress or indeed how to add the functionality to your current installation. I will be using the WP Coupon plugin for this tutorial.
The bonus of using the WP Coupon plugin is that you can use it with pretty much any WordPress theme on the market, so no expensive multipurpose WordPress theme needed here!
In this review/tutorial I will be covering how to setup WP Coupon from installing through to completion with my site is a real-world example of what is achievable!
Installing WP Coupons
You can do this via a ZIP file which you receive once purchased, or if you prefer via the admin backend. I’ve installed from the backend itself, it’s just easier. Once installed you will see a new addition to your backend left menu entitled “Coupons”.
Before we get into this, we will need to check out the settings for WP Coupons. It’s here we can set our preferences and do some general tinkering!
Quite a lot of settings right? Worry no more I will guide you through the salient points and help you create your very own WordPress powered deals site!
Display options for WP Coupons
The first tab in the WP Coupons settings deals with display options, it’s here we can make changes to the visual output and a few other bits and pieces.
Enable Coupon Archive Template: Enabling this option will generate a coupon archive using a defined URL. Upon installation it automatically generates a “coupons” URL archive, we can change this further down in the settings.
Enable Single Coupon Template: This tick box will allow you to use WP Coupons predesigned coupon template. You can, of course, choose to untick this box if you have issues, as the setting dictates. I’m leaving it on.
Single Coupon Template: If you decide to go with your own theme’s layout, then here you can choose either your existing post template or page template.
Single Coupon Panel Position: Here you can choose to show the coupon offer to the right, to the left or at the top of the post/page.
Archive URL: Here you can choose the URL for the archive of the coupons listed on your website. Don’t forget to re-save your permalinks afterward!
Nav Title: This title will be shown as the first navigation for the element on your coupons page. The default is “All Coupons” however you can change this to whatever you wish.
Call To Action: This relates to the CTA text shown on a button for you coupons/deals.
Display Discount Codes: This tick box (default unchecked) if checked will display discount codes on the coupon offers sitewide.
Page Width: Here you can change the width of the content area for displaying your coupons panels.
Page Padding: Changing this section will change the width of the responsive padding area if looking at your coupons/deals through a mobile device.
Archive Page Limit: Here you can select how many coupons/deals will be shown on archive pages, the default is nine. More than nine then numerical pagination will occur.
Force Global Widget Coupon: WP Coupons comes with its very own widget which can be placed in post/page sidebars. Here you can choose from a drop-down menu a global coupon which will be shown in all instances where the WP Coupons widget is shown.
Force Home Page Coupon: This will force the widget shown on the coupon archive to show a specific coupon. This would only be displayed on the home page archive and not be applied globally. You can choose a coupon from a drop-down menu similar to the Force Global Widget setting above.
Attribution Link: If you wanted to, you can add a powered by WP Coupons link to your coupon widget. This would be shown in all instances of the widget is visible, which leads me on to the last setting:
Affiliate ID: If you choose to add the attribution link here, you could sign up to WP Coupons affiliate scheme here and earn from individuals who click on the powered by WP Coupons link. All you have to do is add your affiliate ID.
Colors & Font Settings
A rather neat thing that WP Coupons gives you in addition to the display settings as already mentioned is the ability to change colors of elements. As WP Coupons works out of the box with a vast majority of WordPress themes, having the ability to put your stamp on it in terms of color and change font sizes is awesome.
The last thing you would want is to have an ugly section, not in keeping with the general aesthetic of your website! There’s a wealth of options here, you change the background color of your coupon archives, the discount background color, text color, link color and much more.
The font settings deal with the sizing of fonts used in certain elements, these are title font size, description size, call to action size and more.
Extra Settings For WP Coupons
This section deals with whether additional settings for your coupons site. Again I will go through them with you!
Force Direct Links: If you check this box then all coupon button links irrespective of on an archive etc, will link directly to the discount URL instead of the coupon/discount page on your website.
Direct Links Target: Simple one here, make coupons open in a new tab, or the current tab. Current tab will take them away from your website!
Enable Clipboard.js: Cool feature this one when adding a code to your coupon and displaying it will show a pair of scissors users can click on to copy the code and input at the checkout of the deal/coupon!
Prepend Permalink Structure: If you check this box, all coupon permalinks with be prepended with your front base.
Custom Template Container Class: If you wanted to add a CSS class that will relate to some custom CSS (see set below) for the container div, you can do so here.
Custom CSS: If you’re skilled with CSS and using the setting above you can make changes here.
You can’t see the below two options in the screenshot above, however they are thus:
Before Archive Content & After Archive Content: Both these sections use the standard WordPress box editor or WYSIWYG to others. By adding content here it will be shown on all the archive pages relevant to the coupons, either before and after. Great for adding some useful content for your audience!
License & Support
These last two tabs deal with your license of WP Coupons, simply enter in your purchase license code and you will receive automatic updates for one year, which is great as the plugin itself gets regular updates and new features added to it.
Lastly, support, support shows you a link to the support page on WP Coupons and gives you a useful hint on image dimensions for featured images of the coupons which are 794×398 by the way.
Also, the support section shows some useful shortcode for adding coupons to blog posts and pages. We will cover these later in the review/tutorial of WP Coupons.
Right settings out of the way! What’s next?
Well in fact, when WP Coupons is installed it creates a sample coupon see below:
As WPin is all about WordPress it makes sense to me to offer visitors deals and coupons on WordPress related goodies. From hosting, themes, plugins and more. So guess what?
We need to create some types of coupons!
Navigating to the Coupons in the admin sidebar, we need to create some types. Types are really product categories to a degree. See below for what I mean:
Coupon Type: Themes = Coupon codes for WordPress themes
Coupon Type: Television = Coupon codes Televisions
WP Coupons keeps it simple, I have to say I prefer it this way. If it’s simple for me and you to use as coupon creators, then it’s even easier for visitors to understand. I’m going to go ahead and create some types.
If you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed you can create some compelling text for your types, see below for what I mean:
As you can see from the above, by making it sound sexy and interesting we hopefully can attract people to our coupons page and take advantage of savings, and perhaps make some coin along the way from affiliate links.
NOTE: One thing I think would be great is if WP Coupons displayed the type description, below the title of the individual type category. Just to add more content and highlight what the type is all about etc.
As I mentioned WP Coupons creates a sample coupon for you. This is using two-fold.
One it gives you an understanding of the layout and style, to which you can change accordingly via the display settings and of course the extra settings. Thus ensuring you get your coupons section set up accordingly.
The other use is that by having a sample coupon created we can see how the coupon was put together on the back end settings. We can do this by navigating to coupons (which shows the existing coupons on offer) and clicking on our sample coupon. See below for what I mean:
As you will see from the screenshot the sample coupon functions in the same way from an editing point of view as a traditional post or page in the WordPress backend.
It’s here you can add in your content explaining about the voucher, add a featured image to make it pop on archives and of course widget areas.
WP Coupon Details
Here you can add some text and details on the offer. You can add text to be displayed on the Discount, add in the discount code itself and the discount URL.
You can also add in a description for the coupon, remember to keep it simple and noteworthy!
Lastly, we have some checkbox choices at the base, you can choose whether you wish to set the link as a direct link, no follow and exclude from the rotation.
If you choose to exclude from rotation then, of course, the widget (wherever you decide to show it ) will not include this particular voucher.
Creating your very first coupon with WP Coupons
Ok, so if you’ve read any of the above (or if you skipped to this section, tut, tut) you will, of course, need to create some types. Think of types not unlike categories.
So I’ve created a type called WordPress plugins, why? Well, let me explain!
I actually got in touch with Brian Jackson some of you will no doubt know him from Kinsta, Brian is also behind the WP Coupons plugin, which is a great sign of quality in itself 😉
Being cheeky as I am, I asked if it would be possible to have a coupon code as part of my review/tutorial. He said yes, so with that in mind I am going to create a coupon code for WP Coupons!
Well as you can see from the above, I’ve given my coupon a title and a description as well. I’m an affiliate with WP Coupons, so I’ve added in my affiliate links on the site license details as shown in the screenshot. Just in case anyone clicks on the links, plus I’ve added it to the type ‘WordPress Plugins’.
I have also added a featured image so it pops in the sidebar or wherever I decide to show the offer. Take a look below at the output:
You will see the sidebar on the right has the featured image, and of course details about the offer. The voucher code is visible as well, and just by a simple click you can copy the code and apply to checkout to get 10% off of the WP Coupons plugin.
The above is the detail shown in the featured image, so we have Discount detail, the code, the URL, and of course a description of the deal. I want to show this offer sitewide on rotation so I’m leaving it as is.
That’s it, it’s that easy. I am going to go ahead and publish the coupon. Let’s see what it looks like on the archive itself:
Well, it looks the part, it’s eye-catching, it has navigation at the time to show all coupons and of course, our coupon code has been published to WordPress plugins, hence it showing that as part of the navigation.
What about shortcodes?
Well glad you asked, take a look at the below:
The above was added to the following shortcode:
Obviously, you need to enter the right id. This is simple enough, all you have to do is navigate to the coupons section, hover over the coupon title and look in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser like so:
In my case, the coupon ID was 1636. So I entered that into the shortcode and voila, we have a coupon showing in a post!
Shortcodes don’t stop there though, you can show an archive of coupon codes if you so wish, then narrow down the coupons displayed by tags. Which I have not covered so far, tags for coupons function exactly the same way as they do for posts.
They do help with being specific of course, and in the case of shortcodes can help you narrow down your display. You can also hide or show the navigation via shortcode and lastly limit the number of coupons displayed, which is great!
Changing the home archive title for SEO
One quick tip for those who are using or indeed thinking of or are using the WP Coupons plugin is how to change the home archive page title. Now this isn’t 100% clear in the settings for WP Coupons.
I found it out by using the Yoast SEO plugin. To change the SEO title and add a meta description you will need to do the following see below:
I navigated to SEO then titles & meta and you will see towards the bottom under Custom Post Types a box called Coupons. It’s here you can change the meta description and page title shown in browsers. It sure beats “Coupons archive!”. Thought I’d share that with you 😉
Using the extras sections
I’ve added some content to my extras sections, you know the section that shows above and below your coupons content on the archive. All I’ve done is add some additional content to the top and of course the bottom. The bottom section encourages developers to get in touch and submit an offer!
Coupon codes for WP Coupons
Personally speaking, I prefer to offer coupon codes for reputable products, so no junk here. I also prefer to have the coupon code unique to me, i.e. my site name in the code itself, it helps build awareness of my blog and will help you with yours.
Never be afraid to ask companies for discounts
Above all else never be afraid to ask a theme/plugin /hosting developer for a voucher code. No matter what product you are using WP Coupons for, always ask a vendor if you can get a code.
All vendors are looking for ways to increase sales, no matter the product, all they will do is see if your niche fits there offerings, chances are if you’re doing it right they will more often than not furnish you with a deal or offer for you to share with your readership.