AffiliateWP is yet another rock-solid affiliate plugin for WooCommerce store owners. What makes it unique is that it gives you much of the flexibility offered by hosted solutions like ReferralCandy and Tapfiliate, yet, as a locally installed plug, it still leaves you in complete control of your data.

This unique blend of features is why we've ranked AffiliateWP as the #3 plugin in our Best WooCommerce Affiliate Plugins list.

Let's have a look.

Table of Contents

Setting Up AfilliateWP

Similar to our two top-ranked plugins, AffiliateWP provides a setup wizard to get you started quickly:

AffiliateWP Setup Wizard

The first thing to notice about this wizard is the sheer number of available integrations:

AffiliateWP Integrations

This dwarfs the number of integrations available from the other non-hosted plugins on our list.

Next, it lets you set up your payment options:

AffiliateWP Payout Setup

Then, your commission structure:

Affiliate WP Commission Setup

In the final screen, you click the Finish Setup and Exit button, and that's it — your setup is complete!

However, there is one significant factor that helps explain why this plugin is not #1 on our list. Some of the features that just flashed by your screen are not available to all license tiers, which is a departure from the approach used by the first two plugins on our list.

Let's examine some of AffiliateWP's core features.

Recruiting Affiliates with AffiliateWP

As experienced managers will quickly tell you, the most important step in building a successful affiliate marketing program is recruiting top-quality affiliates. This is a skill of its own, so we urge you to read this excellent overview of how to acquire affiliate partners to get you started.

A key part of this effort is offering attractive commissions, which is what motivates affiliates to sell. This is true not only in terms of competitive commission rates but also the flexibility to match an affiliate's circumstances. For example, a high-performing affiliate may seek out tiered commission programs that will reward him or her for higher sales volumes.

The good news with AffiliateWP is that it offers considerable commission flexibility, as you can see in this graphic:

AffiliateWP Commission Flexibility

The bad news is that the final three options in that list on the right are only available for the Professional license option, which costs $749 per year.

Another incentive for affiliates to join your program is flexible commission payment options. This is an area where AffiliateWP definitely excels, as they offer:

  • One-click PayPal payouts
  • Manual payouts
  • Payouts by store credits
  • An Integrated Payouts Service

Of these, the Integrated Payouts Service is unique in that it allows you to pay affiliates in 37 countries directly from your bank account or credit card.

Registering and Approving Affiliates

AffiliateWP offers many ways to register a new affiliate. You can do this manually by clicking the Add New button on the Affiliates page, after which you're presented with this form:

AffiliateWP Manual Affiliate Registration

An affiliate must also be a WordPress user, so you can choose an existing WordPress user for your affiliate while filling out this form or use the create one link at the top.

You can also simply designate a new user as an affiliate in WordPress's Add New User page:

AffiliateWP Adding Users

You can even register a user as an affiliate on WordPress's Edit User page.

If you don't like the idea of creating or registering one affiliate at a time, you can convert all users from specific user roles into affiliates. This is done on the Migration Assistant tab of AffiliateWP's Tools page:

AffiliateWP Migration Assistant

Or, you can just use the Auto Register New Users option on the Misc tab of AffiliateWP's Settings page to register every new WordPress user as an affiliate.

In other words, there is no shortage of ways to register affiliates. The question is, especially if they're allowed to register themselves, how do you approve or reject them? You simply go to the Affiliates page, hover over the name of any affiliate with a status of Pending, and the option to either Approve or Reject the affiliate will appear.

AffiliateWP Approving Affiliates

Note, the need for this manual approval depends on a setting in Affiliates > Settings > Misc. It is recommended that you retain this default setting to help guard against fraud.

Supporting WooCommerce Affiliates with AffiliateWP

Once an affiliate is onboard, the next step is to give that affiliate as much motivation and support as possible. We have already mentioned commissions as the primary motivator for affiliates. Another factor is whether you can provide creative materials to help get affiliates selling as quickly as possible.

We give AffiliateWP decent marks in this area, mainly because it allows users to create their own mix of creatives:

AffiliateWP Creatives

Our one reservation is that they do not allow users to share promotional videos, which is a bit limiting in today's world.

However, they do provide lots of support in other areas, including:

  • Personalized affiliate landing pages
  • Vanity coupon codes to help affiliates incentivize their customers
  • Custom affiliate links
  • Affiliate leaderboards, which help stoke competition
  • Store credits
  • Social sharing
  • An affiliate portal

Speaking of the affiliate portal...

Affiliate Portal

After affiliates find a product or line of products they want to sell and they're satisfied with the commission program and the payment options, their next priority is having access to good information on their activities. In short, they want to be able to access an online portal that shows them simply and clearly how many referrals they've generated, what happened to them, their commissions, and the payment status of those commissions.

Affiliate WP does a decent job of this, as you can see here:

AffiliateWP Affiliate Dashboard

It also provides detailed pages on referrals:

AffiliateWP Referrals


AffiliateWP Visits

And payouts:

AffiliateWP Payouts

This isn't quite the level of polish you see with Solid Affiliate, but it's certainly serviceable, and it's not going to cause any affiliates to go elsewhere.

Managing Your WooCommerce Affiliates

Affiliates are not the only ones who want access to good information on their activities. Managing an affiliate marketing program demands this, too.

As is the case with some affiliate plugins, AffiliateWP relies on a set of reports to help affiliate program managers stay informed, starting with this Overview report:

AffiliateWP Overview Report

It also provides management reports for referrals:

AffiliateWP Referrals Report


AffiliateWP Affiliates Report


AffiliateWP Visits Report

And Payouts:

AffiliateWP Payouts Report

We're not thrilled with these reports, as they have a lot of wasted space and seem to prioritize a universal design instead of tailoring each report to its subject matter (see the reports for either Solid Affiliate or SliceWP for examples of a better approach), but, again, they're serviceable.

Fraud Detection with AffiliateWP

Fraud presents a real threat to affiliate marketing programs. It can not only cost you money but also time and damage to your reputation.

As a general rule, hosted platforms such as ReferralCandy and Tapfiliate offer more robust fraud detection than standalone WordPress or WooCommerce plugins simply due to their size and access to information from so many affiliate marketing sites. But standalone plugins have also started adding fraud detection features.

In the case of AffiliateWP, this mostly revolves around:

  • Smart referral tracking
  • Blacklisting suspicious URLs
  • The ability to deactivate affiliates who violate your terms

Is this enough? We certainly think that the smart referral tracking (especially the ability to track referrals based on domains instead of links) will go a long way toward thwarting most fraudsters, so we give AffiliateWP high marks in this area.

AffiliateWP Pricing

AffiliateWP pricing is more complicated than we prefer and more complicated than the first two plugins on our list, which factored into our rankings. In addition to the increased number of sites allowed per version, the features also differ, and we fail to see why two such completely unrelated factors should be connected when it comes to pricing. Doesn't the one-site WooCommerce store owner deserve the same kind of fraud protection offered to someone using the plugin for ten sites?

We're also not fans of the huge first-year discounts followed by the second-year sticker shock. If your software justifies the price, you shouldn't need gimmicks to sign up new users. However, that's just the author's personal view.

In any event, here are the pricing options:

AffiliateWP Pricing

Customer Reviews and Feedback on AffiliateWP

AffiliateWP is not offered on, so we don't have any reviews from that site.

We did find 17 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5. However, that average is a bit suspect due to the low review count. 14 of 17 reviews rated the plugin as either a 4 or 5.

We got what we think is a better read on Capterra with a 4.7 out of 5 rating across 110 reviews. That feels more accurate.

We also read most of the reviews in detail. In general, this seems like a quality plugin from a quality company. It doesn't evoke a lot of raves, but it also doesn't get a lot of complaints.

Final Thoughts on AffiliateWP

When reviewing many good plugins in a competitive space, it's sometimes difficult to rank them.

This is especially true when it comes to WooCommerce affiliate plugins. Solid Affiliate and SliceWP are such innovative and polished solutions that it's really difficult to rank them anything less than #1 and #2. AffiliateWP is not far behind, but it is behind, especially in the areas of interface and report design, which makes it difficult to justify its higher cost.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a solution that offers a lot of integrations and you don't want to surrender your data to a solution hosted by a 3rd-party, then AffiliateWP might well be your top choice.

As always, it comes down to finding the right fit for your business.

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