Accept payments with WordPress.

In this post, you’ll find step-by-step tutorials for three different solutions for accepting payments in WordPress.

Because PayPal is such a popular payment processor, I’ll focus these guides on how to use PayPal to do this. However, you could also easily adapt some of these methods to other payment processors, such as Stripe or Square.

Here are some brief summaries of the three methods that I’ll cover:

  1. PayPal button (no plugin needed) – you can use PayPal’s tools to add pre-set buttons to your site. You can use these for both one-time and recurring payments and you’ll be able to customize their design and configuration.
  2. PayPal WordPress plugin – this lets you create a lightweight shopping cart solution and accept payments via PayPal. It can be a good option if you want a little more functionality than just a button.
  3. WooCommerce – if you want to accept payments via a full ecommerce solution, the WooCommerce method is probably your best option. In addition to PayPal, it also supports tons of other payment processors such as Stripe, Square, and more.

Let’s dig in!

How to accept payments with WordPress and PayPal

As we explained above, we’ll cover three different solutions for accepting payments on your WordPress site. You can read through all three methods or choose the one that works best for you based on the descriptions above.

We’re using PayPal as the processor for all of these methods, but you could adapt the third method to other payment processors like Stripe or Square.

Let’s go through all three methods in order…

1. Set up PayPal manually (on the PayPal website)

The most straightforward solution to accept payments with WordPress is to manually add a PayPal button to your website.

To get started, you’ll need to head to the official PayPal website and login to your account.

Then, click on the Settings icon besides the notification bell and select Seller Tools from the new tabs that appear. Now, click on PayPal buttons:

How to accept payments with WordPress using PayPal buttons

Currently, you can choose between four types of payment buttons with options to accept donations, recurring payments, and more:

Choose a PayPal button type

Select the option that meets your needs to proceed to the next step.

If you choose Smart Buttons, the process is much more complex and requires some developer/coding experience. For this reason, we recommend choosing one of the other three options.

When you choose one of them, you’re able to customize the appearance of the button. For example, you can change the size, currency, and card logos with the Donate option:

How to customize PayPal buttons

Once you complete this process, you’ll see a popup that lets you add code to your website (to add the PayPal button). Copy the code to your clipboard.

Then, open the editor for the post, page, or widget area where you want to add the button.

Add a Custom HTML block and then paste in the code that PayPal gave you. If you switch to the Preview tab in the Custom HTML block’s toolbar, you should see how your PayPal button looks on your page:

How to add PayPal button to WordPress

All you need to do is Publish/Update the content to make your PayPal button live.

2. Use a PayPal plugin (WordPress Simple Shopping Cart)

Now, if you’re looking for a simple way to sell products online, you can install the free WordPress Simple Shopping Cart plugin. This way, customers can add items to a shopping cart and then checkout and pay using PayPal.

To get started, install the free plugin from

Then, click on the new Simple Cart tab and go to Settings. Enter your PayPal email address to allow customers to make purchases. Then, configure the rest of the settings:

Configure PayPal shopping cart settings in WordPress

For example, you can disable the standard PayPal checkout if you only want to use the Smart PayPal option (or the Stripe option). Further down, you can give your shopping cart a title, change the “Add to Cart” button text, and enter a base shipping cost.

Click on Update Options at the bottom of the page. Then, you can add the button to a specific product which will be sent to PayPal with the indicated price.

To do this, you’ll need to copy the first shortcode option on the Simple CartSettings page:

How to accept payments with WordPress plugin

Then, open a new post or page and paste the shortcode in the editor (inserting the name and price of your product):

Add PayPal add to cart buttons to WordPress

You can also use the second shortcode option to add a shopping cart to the post or page. All you have to do is paste the code beneath the first shortcode to display the product name, price, quantity, and PayPal button.

You can preview this on the frontend:

Accept payments with WordPress using PayPal buttons

Then, save or publish your page.

3. Use WooCommerce (and enable PayPal via Payment Plugins for PayPal WC)

If you want to offer a full ecommerce experience for your site’s visitors, you can use the WooCommerce plugin to accept payments with WordPress.

WooCommerce supports a bunch of different payment gateways, including its own WooCommerce Payments tool, as well as other payment processors like Stripe, Square, Mollie, and more. If you want to use PayPal, you can install the Payment Plugins for PayPal WC plugin, which is officially supported by PayPal.

Better yet, even though the plugin is relatively simple to set up, you’re also able to allow customers to pay using credit cards, Pay Later, and Venmo (as well as their PayPal accounts).

First, you’ll need to set up your basic WooCommerce store. To learn how that works, we have a whole post on setting up WooCommerce.

Then, you’ll need to install and activate the Payment Plugins for PayPal WC plugin.

After doing that, you should see PayPal by Payment Plugins as an option in the WooCommerce menu:

How to accept payments with WordPress in WooCommerce

Click on the link and navigate to Settings. In the API Settings, you can click to connect to your PayPal account. Note: You’ll need a PayPal Business account for this to be successful.

Save the changes at the bottom of the page. Then, switch to the Advanced Settings. Here, you can configure the cart button location, determine whether to automatically refund on cancellations, and more.

Meanwhile, in the PayPal settings, you can enable the PayPal gateway, offer a title and description, insert a “Place Order” button, and more. Plus, you’re able to change the PayPal button design (color, shape, label, height):

Enable PayPal in WooCommerce with plugin

There is also the possibility to enable Venmo, Pay Later, and credit card options further down the page.

Make sure to save your changes. Then, you can test the process by adding a product to your cart and proceeding to the checkout page:

PayPal for WooCommerce

Here, you should see PayPal listed as a payment option.

Start accepting online payments today

If you want to accept payments with WordPress, you have a lot of options. Because PayPal is such a well-known payment processor, it’s a great place to get started, though you can also consider other payment processors if they fit your needs better.

To recap, here are three easy ways to accept payments with WordPress and PayPal:

  1. Manually add a PayPal buy button (no plugin needed).
  2. Use a PayPal plugin (like WordPress Simple Shopping Cart).
  3. Enable PayPal in WooCommerce (using Payment Plugins for PayPal WC).

If you’re interested in exploring other payment processors beyond PayPal, you can check out our roundup of the best Stripe WordPress plugins. Or, if you’re more into the cryptocurrency space, we also have a guide on how to accept Bitcoin on WordPress.

Do you still have any questions about how to accept payments with WordPress and PayPal? Let us know in the comments!

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May 31, 2018 10:05 pm

WordPress – WooCommerce here when it comes to the payment gateway I would suggest to test also g2a pay (the author does not mention about this company) especially that without obligations you can test for a month

Hannah Visser
March 20, 2018 10:35 pm

Thanks for this article. These are the exact two options I’ve been looking in to, so this was very helpful for me. We’re just getting started selling products online, so we’re looking for a simple and easy solution.

Anju Panta
November 13, 2017 3:49 pm

Thank you for nice article on payments with WordPress. I am launching a site selling service and want to offer PayPal and Stripe payment options. I will require one time payment and subscription basis as well. Apart from WooCommerce which plugin or solution would best suite me.

May 26, 2017 1:49 pm

Another method I consider an ‘easy option’: embedding Shopify’s Buy Button in your WordPress site.

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