How to Setup an Affiliate System in WordPress

In this article:

This article explains what an Affiliate system is and how to start using one on your WordPress website. You can then begin crediting people for sales and referrals to your site, which can funnel more traffic to transactional pages and increase sales.
(This article assumes you have a live WordPress website. Not quite there yet? That’s okay! We can get you up and running with WordPress Hosting.)

What is an Affiliate System?

Do you sell products? Do you want partners, also known as Affiliates to drive traffic and sales to your website? A great way to motivate them is to pay them or give them credit for their work. An Affiliate system is a way to manage Affiliate salespeople and the traffic or sales they are generating. 

Affiliate systems typically provide a URL with a special key, specific to the Affiliate. When people follow this link, the system can track their traffic and capture any sales they complete. Based on your setup, this will then add a credit to the Affiliates “account” so they will get credit for it. Then you can pay them out as needed, based on the agreement you have with them.

Now, that you know what an affiliate system is, we’ll discuss the best methods for implementing it on your WordPress website.

Setup an Affiliate System in WordPress

Since WordPress does not include the ability to handle affiliates, you will have to add it with a Plugin or a custom-coded solution. Of the many affiliate system plugins, we will now go over the three most popular options.

Affiliates Manager

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This popular plugin is a great way to start building an Affiliate network. You can create affiliate accounts, then track traffic and commissions right from the Dashboard. Integrate PayPal and you can payout your affiliates with a couple of clicks. You even get an Affiliate homepage where your partners can sign up and log in to view their commissions.


The Affiliates plugin is the second most popular way to add an affiliate system to your WordPress site. This is a good tool for running reports on referrals, visits, and affiliate traffic Using this, you can monitor and pay affiliates per click. Create an Affiliate page for your partners to log in. The pro version of this plugin can integrate with WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, and PayPal among others.

Affiliates WooCommerce Light

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If you have an e-Commerce store built with WooCommerce there is a free plugin specifically for you. This integrates an affiliate system directly with your WordPress Website and can save time on setup compared to other plugins that are not built for WooCommerce. You can even expand the Affiliate system with free and premium add-ons.

Note: This requires you to also install WooCommerce and the Affiliates plugin.

Now, you know how to setup an Affiliate System in WordPress. Check back for more detailed guides on each of these plugins.

Become a master of WordPress plugins! Protect, optimize, secure, and expand the functionality of your website easily with the help of WordPress plugins! 

John-Paul Briones Content Writer II

John-Paul is an Electronics Engineer that spent most of his career in IT. He has been a Technical Writer for InMotion since 2013.

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