How to Connect WordPress to PayPal Commerce: The Complete Guide

PayPal Commerce provides an easy way for WordPress sites to accept payments directly on their website. According to a 2019 survey by Merchant Maverick, over 67% of customers prefer entering credit card information directly instead of creating new accounts. With PayPal Commerce, you can tap into this preference by removing friction and allowing customers to securely pay with their cards without needing a PayPal account.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to connect PayPal Commerce to WordPress using different plugins for different site types. With over 15 years of experience running various WordPress sites, I‘ve helped countless site owners integrate payment solutions like PayPal Commerce to increase conversion rates.

Benefits of Using PayPal Commerce on WordPress

Before we get into the implementation steps, let‘s look at some of the key reasons to use PayPal Commerce:

  • Higher conversion rates – According to PayPal‘s internal data, Commerce experiences 68% higher cart conversion compared to standard PayPal. Allowing direct card payments saves steps.
  • Recurring revenue – PayPal Commerce enables you to easily accept monthly or annual subscription payments using saved cards.
  • Mobile optimizations – The interface is optimized for mobile checkout, critical for eCommerce stores.
  • Secure PCI compliance – PayPal Commerce is PCI-DSS compliant, meaning all sensitive data is secured.
  • Accept payments worldwide – PayPal allows you to accept payments from over 100 currencies and 200+ markets. Very useful for international sites.

The main takeaway is that PayPal Commerce streamlines the buying process by keeping customers on your site and offering flexible payment options. Let‘s get into how to actually integrate it.

Method 1: Connect PayPal Commerce to Any WordPress Site

For regular WordPress sites that don‘t use an eCommerce plugin, I recommend using WPForms. It‘s the most beginner-friendly form builder for WordPress with over 5 million active installs.

Here are the steps to connect PayPal Commerce using WPForms:

  1. Install and activate the latest version of the WPForms plugin. Refer to WordPress documentation if you need help with installation.
  2. In your WordPress dashboard, go to WPForms » Settings, and enter your WPForms license key to activate the Pro plan which includes PayPal Commerce support. You can find your key under My Account on
  3. Still on the WPForms Settings page, go to the Addons tab. Search for the "PayPal Commerce Addon" and click Install Addon.
    Install PayPal Commerce Addon in WPForms
  4. Go back to the Payments tab in WPForms Settings. Click "Connect with PayPal Commerce" and log into your PayPal or create a new PayPal account if needed.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete account verification and link your PayPal account to WPForms. PayPal may require additional information depending on your account status.
  6. In WPForms, create a new payment form selecting whichever fields and layout you need.Drag the PayPal Commerce field onto your form.
  7. Open the Payments tab on the left sidebar and select PayPal Commerce. Enable either One-time or Recurring Payments.
  8. Match up your form‘s fields to the corresponding PayPal Commerce fields, such as linking Name to Payer Name. Save your form.
  9. Insert your payment form into any page or post using the WPForms block in the WordPress block editor.
  10. Preview or publish your page. Customers can now checkout with credit cards via PayPal Commerce!

I recommend first testing the payment process yourself before launching to live customers. Create test payments in a sandbox environment following PayPal‘s guide.

Method 2: Connect PayPal Commerce to Digital Downloads Sites

If you have an Easy Digital Downloads store for selling digital products like ebooks, audio files, and videos, here are the steps to integrate PayPal Commerce:

  1. Install and activate the latest versions of Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) along with the EDD PayPal Commerce addon.
  2. In your WordPress dashboard, go to Downloads » Settings » Licenses. Enter your valid EDD license key and click Activate.
  3. Still in the EDD settings, go to the Payments tab. Check "PayPal" from the Active Gateways section. You can also make it the default gateway.
  4. Scroll down and open the PayPal tab. Click the blue "Connect with PayPal" button.
  5. A popup will ask you to login to your PayPal account and grant permission to connect it with EDD. Follow the prompts to authorize the connection.
  6. Once returned back to your EDD PayPal settings tab, check the box for "Enable advanced credit card payments."
  7. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen. EDD is now connected to PayPal Commerce for payments.
  8. When creating download products in EDD, customers will now see PayPal Commerce as an option during checkout. They can quickly pay by entering their credit card information without leaving your site.

Based on PayPal‘s data, EDD stores accepting credit card payments through PayPal Commerce have seen a 21% increase in sales compared to standard PayPal payments.

PayPal Commerce checkout in Easy Digital Downloads

Method 3: Connect PayPal Commerce to Membership Sites

For membership sites using MemberPress to accept paid subscriptions, you can also leverage PayPal Commerce:

  1. Download and install MemberPress, then activate it.
  2. Go to MemberPress » Settings and enter your valid MemberPress license key. Click Activate.
  3. Still in the MemberPress settings, go to the Payments tab. Click "+ Add Payment Method" and select PayPal from the modal window.
  4. Enter your PayPal email and click Update Options to add PayPal Standard.
  5. You‘ll now see a notice to upgrade to PayPal Commerce. Click the "Upgrade to new PayPal Commerce Platform" button.
  6. On the next screen, click the large blue "Connect Live" button to link your MemberPress account with your PayPal account.
  7. Log into your PayPal account in the popup and follow the prompts to connect it to MemberPress and agree to the terms.
  8. Once the process completes, MemberPress is fully integrated with PayPal Commerce for subscription payments!

With PayPal Commerce enabled, MemberPress will now display PayPal as a payment option during checkout with the credit card logos shown. This makes it easy for your members to enter their card details quickly.

Pros and Cons of PayPal Commerce on WordPress

Before enabling PayPal Commerce, it‘s good to be aware of both the benefits and limitations:


  • Higher conversion rates from smoother checkout
  • Support for one-time and recurring payments
  • Flexible integration with popular WordPress plugins
  • Improved security versus traditional PayPal

Potential Cons

  • Additional fees per transaction for credit card processing
  • Must pass PayPal‘s account review for live card processing
  • Limited customization options compared to standalone merchant processors

My recommendation is to create a spreadsheet and compare the monthly pricing and features across PayPal Commerce and other payment solutions. This allows you to determine the right fit based on your business model and revenue goals.

PayPal Commerce Alternatives Worth Considering

While PayPal Commerce has many advantages, it isn‘t the only option for accepting payments through WordPress:

  • Stripe – Provides credit card processing along with extensive APIs. Integrates with sites using the WP Simple Pay plugin.
  • Square – Offers easy payments through WooCommerce along with POS solutions.
  • Authorized Payments – Specializes in global membership recurring billing with WooCommerce compatibility.

I suggest evaluating the pricing, features, and WordPress integration of the major payments platforms. Some alternatives like Stripe offer greater customization potential for developers. Others like Square provide an end-to-end solution spanning online and offline sales.


I hope this detailed guide was helpful in explaining how to connect PayPal Commerce for your WordPress site. The key is choosing a compatible plugin like WPForms, Easy Digital Downloads, or MemberPress based on your business needs.

Integrating PayPal Commerce only takes a few clicks, allowing you to tap into the 67% of consumers who prefer entering credit card information directly. Just make sure to thoroughly test the checkout process and transactions before going live. Please feel free to reach out with any other questions!

Written by Jason Striegel

C/C++, Java, Python, Linux developer for 18 years, A-Tech enthusiast love to share some useful tech hacks.