How to test everything is working

AffiliateWP works straight out of the box the vast majority of the time, but it is still best to test the system for yourself to ensure everything is working as expected. These simple steps will walk you through testing AffiliateWP.

Creating a test affiliate account

We recommend creating at least one new test affiliate account for testing purposes, which will allow you to keep any AffiliateWP testing separate from live user/affiliate accounts.

1. In your WordPress admin, create a new user account by going to Users → Add New.

2. In the Add New User section, give your test user account an easily recognizable username (e.g. "testaffiliate").

3. Check the Skip Confirmation Email option and two new options will appear; Add as Affiliate and Disable Affiliate Email. Check both of these options and click the Add New User button.

4. The new affiliate account will now be visible in Affiliates → Affiliates. If you have enabled the Require Approval option in AffiliateWP's Misc settings, the affiliate account will have a Pending status - simply click Accept to set the account as Active. If you do not have the Require Approval option enabled, the affiliate account will already have an Active status. You're now ready for further testing!

Important: When making test purchases or form submissions, make sure you are not logged in as the affiliate you are testing, and that you are not using the affiliate's email address at checkout (or in the form). AffiliateWP blocks affiliates from earning a commission on their own purchases/form submissions, unless you use the free Allow Own Referrals add-on.

To test a visit

1. Open up your WordPress admin in one browser (e.g. Firefox) and navigate to Affiliates → Visits. You'll see a visit here shortly.

2. Open a completely separate browser (e.g. Chrome) and append a referral variable to the end of your website address (e.g. http://yoursite.com/?ref=1). 

  • ref is the default Referral Variable from Affiliates → Settings.
  • Make sure you have an active affiliate and use their ID in place of 1 in the example above. 1 is also the default ID for the first affiliate.

3. Back in your original browser from #1, refresh the visits page and you'll see a visit recorded.

To test a referral

1. Make sure your selected integration is enabled from Affiliates → Settings → Integrations.

2. In the same browser that generated the visit (step #2 earlier), complete a purchase or submit a form on your site. Make sure that the email address you use for the test purchase/form submission is not the same as the affiliate's email address.

3. Refresh your original browser that was on the visits page earlier. The red cross under "Converted" will change to a blue tick.

4. Go to Affiliates → Referrals and you'll see a new referral.

If everything worked properly, you will see the same results as outlined above.

Note: To run a new test, make sure you clear your cookies so you can start the process from the beginning and simulate a new visit correctly. See our doc on how to delete AffiliateWP's cookies from your browser.

To test with an affiliate-tracked coupon

Certain integrations support affiliate coupon tracking. The benefit of affiliate coupon tracking is that no referral link is needed in order to generate a referral for the affiliate, and/or you can offer a discount to your customers. You can find out if your integration supports affiliate coupon tracking in the following doc article: Affiliate Coupon Tracking.

1. Make sure your selected integration is enabled from  Affiliates → Settings → Integrations. Also ensure that you have allowed discount/coupon codes to be used in your chosen integration.

2. Create a new discount code or coupon in your integration. To see how to set up an affiliate-tracked coupon and link it to an affiliate, visit the corresponding documentation for your specific integration:  Integrations that support affiliate coupon tracking. For testing purposes, you may like to give the coupon code the same name as the test affiliate's username (e.g. TESTAFFILIATE).

4. In a new browser with cleared cookies, where you are not logged in as either the site admin or the affiliate, visit a product page and add a product to your cart. When you have added a product to your cart, view the cart and go through to checkout. (Note: Cookies are cleared only to ensure no other affiliates are currently being tracked, and so you can see how affiliate coupon tracking works without a referral link.)

5. In the coupon code field, enter the affiliate tracked coupon code you created, and complete the checkout and payment process.

4. Head to  Affiliates → Referrals, and you'll see a new referral for the affiliate who was attributed to the coupon.

Note: If a referral link is not used, and just an affiliate coupon is used, a Visit will not be stored. If you wish for a visit to be stored, your affiliates will need to also use their referral link. If a referral link is used, as well as a coupon, there will still only be one referral generated (there will not be duplicate referrals).