Are you looking for the best Amazon Associates WordPress plugin to jumpstart your Amazon affiliate income? In today's post, I'll recommend my top choice of plugins to help you narrow down your options (because there are a LOT of options). Continue below to learn about how Amazon's Product Advertising API works or jump to my #1 plugin recommendation.
⌚ A quick recap about Amazon affiliate plugins…
If you're unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, first I'll explain what they are. Many travel bloggers monetize their blogs through Amazon Associates (ie: Amazon's affiliate program). While you can certainly join the program and monetize your site WITHOUT a plugin solely using Amazon's provided text links, image links, and widgets — some travel bloggers (myself included) choose to use a WordPress plugin for added functionality. This functionality utilizes Amazon's Product Advertising API.
🤔 What is Amazon Product Advertising API?
API means “application program interface” and it's basically a set of rules that specify how softwares should interact with each other. Many companies offer APIs so that other software can communicate with theirs. For example, Amazon Product Advertising API (PA API) allows software to connect to Amazon's product catalogue and access information like product titles, descriptions, images, prices, reviews, similar products, prime eligibility, offers, etc. The information is displayed on the website dynamically, which means that changes to the Amazon listing automatically appear on the website without the author having to make manual updates. This is how the WordPress plugin works that we'll be discussing today.
Below is an example of an Amazon product being displayed through the plugin. This example uses my product The World Map Coloring Poster which I also sell on Amazon. All I did to display the product widget below was enter the Product ASIN into shortcode, and the plugin took care of the rest, displaying the image, title, bullet points, prime eligibility, etc.
- Better than the biggest and best COLORING BOOK! This GIFT MAP is the perfect present for travelers...
- Fun X-LARGE JUMBO SIZED coloring page with an intermediate to advanced coloring design for all ages...
- A RELAXING and THERAPEUTIC craft project that's more challenging than the most advanced adult...
- This FAMLILY PROJECT is the perfect mix of challenge and fun. Plus it will get kids, teens, and...
- This beautiful MANDALA WORLD MAP becomes a great piece of art on your wall that will serve as a...
👍 Why do I need to use Amazon's API?
You don't. Lots of bloggers I know make a healthy living without using Amazon's API by simply referring traffic to Amazon products via text links. However, Amazon Associates Program has certain restrictions that bloggers can bypass by leveraging their API.
For example, bloggers aren't allowed to publish hardcoded product pricing into their product reviews. (“Hardcoded” meaning you can't just type This product costs $9.99 into your blog post.) The reason for this is because Amazon says that they don't set the price. They're just a marketplace that displays the best price available by their Sellers. So it's against their terms of service as an affiliate to put the price next to a product UNLESS the price automatically refreshes to display the latest pricing — which can be accomplished through their API.
Another example is that you're not allowed to copy/paste Amazon reviews onto your own site. However through the use of Amazon's API, you can display them through product widgets. That way people can see the star rating of a product before leaving your site.
I mentioned a few other examples earlier of what their Product API can do, so hopefully you're starting to understand the dynamic features it can bring to a product review blog post.
💡 What can Amazon Associates WordPress plugins do?
Now that you understand what Amazon's Product API does, let's get back to talking about WordPress plugins. As mentioned, the plugins can access Amazon's Product API and display updated pricing, reviews, photos, Prime eligibility, etc through various widgets like Product Boxes, Best Seller lists, Comparison Tables, New Release lists, etc. Dynamic product elements like these can add a lot to your posts.
Some plugins also offer link localization – which is a feature that automatically detects the location of your visitor and redirects them to their local Amazon site using your affiliate link.
Let's say, for example, you're part of the Amazon Associates USA Program. Well, if someone from Australia visits your website and are directed to Amazon.com from your referral link, they will probably just leave and you would not earn a commission. The reason is because someone from Australia wouldn't use Amazon.com to place an order; they would use Amazon.com.au (their local version).
You can join multiple Amazon Associates Programs all over the world and have your referral links take people to their local version of Amazon so that you can earn a commission. (However don't go joining EVERY Amazon Associates Program. Typically you just want to join the programs in countries where you get traffic from.)
Keep in mind that not all plugins are created equal, which is why I wrote this post. Below I'm going to recommend an affordable plugin that works well, is regularly updated, includes link localization, and is easy for complete newbies to get started using. (ie: No degree in programming required to use these plugins.)
☑️ My #1 Recommendation: AAWP (Amazon Associates WordPress Plugin)
My top recommended plugin for Amazon affiliates is called AAWP which stands for Amazon Associates WordPress Plugin. This is the plugin that I use on this site (TravelisLife.org) and a handful of my other sites. The plugin costs €39 (about $43) for 1 site license, €99 (about $109) for 3 sites, €199 (about $219) for 10 sites, and €299 (about $332) for 25 site licenses. All pricing tiers include 1 year of updates and support. Afterwards you can renew annually for a 50% discount.
🔎 Overview of AAWP Features
- Works With Any Theme – AAWP uses shortcode which works with any theme. Shortcode is basically just text inside brackets [insert shortcode here], which you can copy/paste from their documentation into your blog posts or pages and then fill in the blanks.
- Automatic API Updates – AAWP automatically refreshes your pricing, reviews, and any other data you display from Amazon products at regular intervals, which satisfies Amazon's requirements for dynamic pricing.
- Link Localization – AAWP offers link localization for USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico and India. This means you just need to input your Tracking ID for each Associates Program one time in the settings, and the plugin automatically changes your referral links to the respective local version of Amazon moving forward.
- Caching – Product information is stored locally in order to reduce the number of API requests, which as you might know, Amazon puts limits on. This also helps prevent any ill effects on your site's page load time.
- Premade Responsive Templates – The plugin comes with a variety of pre-designed templates, which look pretty good and are all mobile friendly and responsive out-of-the-box.
- Customizable CSS – Just in case you don't like their premade templates, you can customize the CSS of their widgets to match your theme or site design.
- Google AMP Support – AAWP works with Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages. If you don't use Google AMP on your website, don't worry about that feature, but if you do, you'll appreciate that a lot (like me).
- Multi Language – AAWP plugin is translated into English, German, Spanish, Italian and French.
- HTTPS/SSL – Support for delivery of data through HTTPS/SSL secured connections.
- Types of Product Displays: AAWP offers the following types of product display widgets: Product Boxes, Comparison Tables, Text Links, Bestsellers Lists, and New Releases Lists.
Rather than post screenshots to showcase their product display widgets, I'll provide a few examples of their widgets below. I also recommend that you hop over to their website GetAAWP.com and click on “Live Demo” to see them in action.
AAWP Product Box Example
You saw an example earlier of my World Map Coloring Poster in a Product Box widget. Here's another example with a different product.
- Hardcover Book
- Harrison, Scott (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 336 Pages - 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) - Currency (Publisher)
AAWP Comparison Table Example
Here's a comparison table showcasing the Campark X25 against the AKASO EK7000 action camera. You can add up to 6 products per comparison table, choose which rows are displayed, and also add your own rows and custom data–which I did for Resolution and Weight as an example.
AAWP Best Sellers List Example
Here's an example of a Best Sellers List for top selling action cameras. You can control how many items appear on the list. I chose Top 3 for the example. The New Releases List feature looks similar so I won't post a second example.
- 4K Ultra HD action camera. Professional 4K 25Fps & 2.7K 30Fps video with 12MP photos at up to 30...
- Wireless wrist remote control sports camera. With a wrist 2.4G remote, you can capture the world in...
- Longer battery life. AKASO EK7000 action camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries. Each...
- Built-in Wi-Fi & HDMI, edit & share YOUR action in minutes. Just download App(smart DV) on your...
- 100 Feet waterproof camera. AKASO EK7000 is designed to withstand extreme environments, together...
- UPGRADE SERIES OF AKASO EK7000: Featuring 4K/24fps, 2K/30fps and 1080P/60FPS video resolution and...
- OPTIONAL VIEW ANGLE AND ANTI-SHAKING: Adjust the view angle of this action camera according to your...
- SPORTS CAMERA WITH WIFI AND HDMI: Sharing & editing videos from an action camera is easier with the...
- 100FT WATERPROOF CAMERA AND 2'' IPS SCREEN: Place your action camera into the waterproof case and...
- FREE VALUABLE ACCESSORIES: This underwater camera comes with 2 rechargeable 1050mAh batteries,...
- 4K Action Camera with 4X Zoom: Professional 4K/30FPS, 2.7K/30fps, 1080P/60FPS video and 16MP photo...
- Wireless Wrist Remote Control: Put the remote control on your wrist while installing the sports...
- Wifi Action Camera with 2” Screen: Save and share your sports action camera moments on the...
- 100FT Waterproof Camera with Free Accessories: Place your camera into the waterproof case and...
- Versatile but Compact: This action camera features multiple functions including driving mode, image...
❤️ Why do I recommend AAWP?
This is the plugin that I personally use on Travel is Life since September 2017, so I can personally vouch for it working well. You can see it in action on my Best Shampoo Bars article. I've also been impressed with the support I've received from Florian, the head developer. Whenever I've had a question, he's responded within 24 hours. And lastly, the plugin is regularly updated, which is essential.
Here's an example of why only using plugins that are regularly updated is essential.
Amazon just recently upgraded from API 4.0 to API 5.0 and gave a deadline for when the older 4.0 would stop working. This means that thousands (or millions?) of people who use Amazon affiliate plugins that aren't regularly updated will have to change plugins and convert their site to a using a different one (which is a huge pain), or have broken Amazon links on their site (which obviously sucks and is an income killer). However AAWP was on top of the changes and provided a plugin update compatible with API 5.0 with plenty of time to implement and test before the deadline. As a website developer, I appreciate that level of service from plugin developers.
Two important factors that determine whether or not I purchase a plugin are: 1) whether or not the plugin is regularly updated, and 2) developer support is accessible — which AAWP checks both boxes.
⛔ Why should I NOT use AAWP?
The main reason this plugin would NOT work for you is if you don't have access to Amazon Product Advertising API. In the past, every new Amazon affiliate could get Product Advertising API Keys and access the API indefinitely, but now there are minimum monthly sales requirements to join and maintain access.
If you're unsure whether you meet those requirements, you'll first want to login to your Amazon Associates Account and click Tools –> Product Advertising API to see if you're able to create credentials. AAWP also has a great tutorial on their website for getting started.
🆚 Why AAWP instead of other Amazon Associates plugins?
I've done extensive research on Amazon Associates plugins and link localization services in the past and ultimately landed on AAWP as my top pick. A lot of factors went into the decision to use and recommend AAWP, which are difficult to fully cover in a short blog post, but I'll do my best to summarize below why I chose it over other popular plugins.
Remember, you may have different needs than me and therefore prefer a different plugin. Today's article and the summaries below are only meant to be guidance, and not definitive answers as to why one plugin is better than the other.
AAWP vs EasyAzon Plugin
For a while I couldn't even tell if EasyAzon was still being updated and supported. I posted about the API 5.0 changes in a couple blogger groups I'm active in on Facebook (including our private group for the Travel is Life Creators) and no-one could find any info from the developers about whether they'd be updating their plugin to meet the new API 5.0 requirements. Eventually Sharon Gourlay spoke to them and they confirmed that they would be updating the plugin. However I prefer the communication practices of AAWP who notified users well in advance about the changes and what to expect.
AAWP vs AmaLinks Pro
AmaLinks Pro was actually my original second pick for this article, and I was going to feature both plugins, but I decided to focus instead on just one recommendation for now. The plugin was brought to my attention by the head developer Matthew Allen who e-mailed me earlier this year after reading one of my articles about link localization on my other site.
I own a lifetime license of AmaLinks Pro but so far have only used it in a test environment. I've been following their progress since launch and have been impressed with their feature releases and development schedule, however not all their features are live yet. At this point in time, AAWP offers more features for the money. I also like AAWP's support documentation better. For those reasons, I decided to hold off recommending AmaLinks Pro, but I have high hopes for their future.
AAWP vs Geni.us
Geni.us is a service that runs off-site that offers localizing, tracking, and managing smart links. They can actually work as a standalone service or in conjunction with AAWP, so it's not exactly one vs the other. They offer link localization, shortlinking, Amazon link health monitoring, retargeting, and choice pages which give your visitors the option of buying the product from their favorite retailer instead of just Amazon. It's a great service, and they actually write about how you can use AAWP alongside their services. I just wanted to offer a recommendation today of a simpler solution. You can always add-on Geni.us services down the road once you're up and running with AAWP.
AAWP vs Flovidy
I first learned about Flovidy from the developer Stan e-mailing me a couple years ago and it sounded like they were going places, but at this point the plugin hasn't been updated for over 3 major releases of WordPress, so for that reason, I'd recommend avoiding it.
If there's any other plugin you'd like me to compare against AAWP, drop me a comment at the bottom of this post or e-mail [email protected] My goal isn't to always say that AAWP wins, but just to provide an objective opinion about why I personally would or would not go with one plugin over the other.
If you've got access to Amazon's Product Advertising API and would like to experiment using Product Boxes, Comparison Tables, Best Seller Lists, and Link Localization, then I highly recommend giving Amazon Associates WordPress Plugin a try. If you have any questions about the plugin or API that I didn't address in this article, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
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Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API