The Good / Beautiful styling out of the box with lots of options to display content. It is very flexible with lots of parameters and settings. Best of all, it's affordable and a great value for the money.
The Bad / It could make it easier to search for and find products within the plugin itself.
My Recommendation / Overall, Amazon Affiliate for WordPress (AAWP) is an excellent and affordable plugin that can help you insert and manage Amazon products that you're promoting.
Amazon Affiliate for WordPress (AAWP) Review
Creating an affiliate website might seem dated but they are still going strong but have matured in recent years.
There’s still one aspect about them that can be infuriating and that is the time it takes to set one up properly.
Thankfully there are a number of WordPress plugins out there that can help you easily set up and manage an affiliate site, whether it’s a niche site or more of an authority site.
One of these plugins is Amazon Affiliate for WordPress, more commonly known by its acronym AAWP.
Not all plugins for Amazon affiliates are made equal so let’s see how AAWP stands up.
Amazon Affiliate for WordPress
The first thing you need to know about AAWP is that it’s a premium plugin, and there is no free or light version available for it.
With any purely premium plugin it can be a worry as to whether it will fit your needs or not.
Luckily the price point for AAWP isn’t too expensive at €39 (approx. $46 at the time of writing). There is a demo but this only shows you the front end looks of the plugin, not how it actually functions – it’s a good thing I have you covered!
Setting up AAWP
The plugin itself is easy to install like any other WordPress plugin and has a licence section so you can get one-click updates which is great to see.
You do need to get some things straight before you start using the plugin but the settings do help guide you through.
This part of the settings is vital as the plugin needs to connect to the Amazon API so you need to do some legwork and get the appropriate information. The documentation on the AAWP site is very useful for guiding you through this.
You can also set up your tracking codes for multiple stores (US, UK, Canada, etc).
This section covers a wide spectrum of settings.
Here you can change the shortcode used (though why I don’t know), set tracking for the links, and even include support for shortcodes in text widgets if your theme doesn’t support that.
There’s also an excellent section on disclaimers which a lot of Amazon affiliate plugins seem to ignore and leave in the hands of their customers. Having the disclaimer in the settings means you’re forced to think about it which is great as no disclaimer can cause your Amazon account to be banned!
This section allows you to tweak the way each of the different shortcode types is output. For example if you want to change your star rating to sausages you can (seriously), though there are also other star images available.
You can also do more sensible things like change image sizes, button colors, and hide or show various elements.
This oddly titled settings section allows you to tweak further parts of the shortcodes, so is more specific to individual shortcode types (links, boxes, etc) rather than the more generic output section.
Out of the box Amazon Affiliate for WordPress has some very pretty designs for displaying Amazon products, each one having its own shortcode:
Basic text links that can be embedded within your content
A product box is a callout that contains (by default) an image, product title, some features, price and a call to action buy on Amazon button.
Out of the box you don’t really need to style them and they look great! These are perfect if you’re doing a review of a single or multiple products and want that snapshot of information made clearly visible to your visitors.
Using Amazon’s “nodes” (basically a category) you can automatically generate a list of the bestselling items in that category. This will auto update as the bestselling stats change thanks to the Amazon API meaning it’s virtually set and forget.
This is just like the Bestseller List, ´but it lists out the newest items to come in stock for that particular “node”/category.
This shortcode allows you to pull out very specific information. For example say you have a review and you want to show the price, well you could just type the price in but that has two problems: it’s against Amazons Terms and it could be outdated quickly.
Using the Fields shortcode you can get an automatically updated price anywhere you want. It’s also not just prices, you can show a wide variety of things including but not limited to:
- ASIN code
One feature that a lot of people want for Amazon niche sites is the ability to create a table of different products.
AAWP allows you to do this quite easily as it has a separate section devoted to tables.
You can select a wide variety of fields for each row such as price, image, title etc. which is great but the tables themselves are limited.
Any more than 3 would be too much!
The first issue is that you can only have 6 products at most in a table. I think this is because of how the table is structured – it’s more of a comparison table rather than a listing, so the products are side by side in columns rather than rows.
Even then depending on the available width of your webpage you may only be able to add2 to 4 products to keep it looking decent.
On the plus side the tables created are responsive and break down into something more akin to the product boxes when on mobile.
Things I Love About AAWP
There are a lot of things that grabbed my attention with AAWP.
One feature is the ability to track the links via analytics such as Google Analytics or Piwik.
Amazon Affiliate for WordPress doesn’t have any stats or analytics itself, but why does it need it when it can utilize leading software that a lot of people already use?
Another feature that caught my eye is very simple and may not be useful to everyone but I liked it: images after links.
You can set it so that every link type shortcode has an image after it. These images can be an Amazon icon, the Amazon Log or a cart icon.
I love it because it means your visitors can easily see that there is an Amazon link within your text.
I also really liked the fact that you can get some beautiful looking product boxes on your site with little effort. Too many plugins either provide things like this unstyled or with ugly styles. AAWP keeps it simple and elegant while remaining powerful enough to make it easy to tweak these to match your own themes styling.
Things I Dislike About AAWP
One of my biggest frustrations with AAWP compared to other plugins such as Easy Azon is the inability to search products within the plugin itself.
Instead you need to already know the product ASIN code. While this is a minor inconvenience it also means that there’s no way to build a shortcode and can increase time spent flicking between browser tabs.
The plugin looks so polished on the front end so why can’t it have that little bit of extra polish when it comes to creating shortcodes in the backend? This is especially so when the technology is already built into the plugin as the tables feature actually allows you to search for products.
The Bottom Line
Amazon Affiliate for WordPress has a few flaws and idiosyncrasies, but it more than makes up for these with an easy to use plugin that is also easy on the eye.
The price point is also attractive, at about $50 depending on exchange rates.
If you’re looking for a plugin to help manage your Amazon affiliate sites then you should definitely check this plugin out. Likewise if you came here as you’re on the fence as to whether to buy it or not, I’d definitely recommend it.
You might be wondering why you should pay out cash for this though when Amazon has its own, free plugin on WordPress.org. The answer is simple: this has been around longer, is robust and has many more features.
Maybe if Amazon listen to feedback and develop their plugin in time it will match AAWP, but for now AAWP beats Amazon’s own plugin hands down.