PayPal for WooCommerce

How to Add PayPal to Your WooCommerce Store: A Step-by-Step Guide

WooCommerce is a renowned e-commerce tool used by more than five million websites. Its popularity comes from its myriad customizable integrations for online payments, shipping, and inventory management.

PayPal checkout is one of such integrations. With its 128-bit encryption, PayPal is an excellent way to process customer data while keeping it safe from online fraud. When you put that together with its frictionless checkout, it’s no wonder PayPal has become the go-to payment processor for millions of websites worldwide.

If you, too, want to enjoy the perks PayPal has to offer, keep reading. We’ll look at how you can add PayPal to your WooCommerce store, with step-by-step instructions and images to help you out.  

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a WordPress e-commerce plugin that enables you to create and manage an online store. It's a flexible tool that converts your website into an online shop where you can add products and take payments.

You can integrate other plugins with WooCommerce. For example, plugins to take online payments with credit or debit cards like Stripe and PayPal. 

Customizations such as inventory tracking, shipping, and tax management often make PayPal a preferred choice, especially for small and medium e-commerce stores.

What is PayPal?

PayPal is a global online payment system for sending and receiving money online. It operates on secure servers with high-level encryption to safely facilitate money transfers. You can also use PayPal to pay for goods and services at participating e-commerce stores.

Users link their PayPal accounts to local bank accounts and debit or credit cards to deposit or withdraw funds. 

PayPal is accessible to over 200 countries worldwide, which makes it a convenient payment method, especially in online shopping. You can use up to 25 currencies to make online transactions with PayPal.

PayPal for WooCommerce

PayPal for WooCommerce
WooCommerce PayPal integration

PayPal is no doubt one of the popular payment methods globally. It, therefore, makes sense to set up a checkout method trusted by over 400 million users, right? And this guide will help you do it right — we’ll get to it soon. 

But first, let’s explore why PayPal is one of the better payment processors for your store. 

Why use PayPal in your WooCommerce store?

PayPal combines the force of secure checkouts and reliability in your WooCommerce store. Other benefits of setting up PayPal in your e-commerce business include:

  • Accepted in over 200 countries globally  
  • Encrypted transactions for secure payments on your website
  • Easy to integrate into e-commerce using PayPal-WooCommerce website extensions
  • Fast payouts to multiple currencies via local banks
  • Multiple services in one platform like invoicing, sending and receiving payments, and processing refunds

PayPay Standard vs. PayPal Checkout

PayPal offers payment channels to businesses either with PayPal Checkout or PayPal Standard. The main difference is that PayPal Checkout doesn't redirect users to the PayPal website to complete a transaction. 

In contrast, PayPal Standard will redirect users to the official PayPal secure website to complete transactions.

Using PayPal Checkout has a host of advantages for your business. It stores credit card data and shipping information. Customers can avoid the hustle of filling out the information each time they shop with you. You can also get Venmo and PayPal Credit checkout options in the U.S., which is a plus.

How to set up PayPal in WooCommerce

  1. Enable PayPal as a payment method on WooCommerce
  2. Add your PayPal business details
  3. Allow Instant Payment Notifications (IPN)
  4. PayPal Sandbox: Test PayPal for WooCommerce

Installing PayPal in your WooCommerce store is a step to ensuring that your customers get a smooth and safe checkout experience. Let's look at the steps to WooCommerce PayPal integration.

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1. Enable PayPal as a payment method on WooCommerce

To connect PayPal to your WooCommerce store, you need to download the WooCommerce PayPal Payments plugin. 

In your WordPress Dashboard go to WooCommerce, click on Plugins > Add New and search for "PayPal" in the search box. Click on the WooCommerce plugin for PayPal payments and then click "Install Now". After successful installation you need toactivate the plugin on the same site .

PayPal for WooCommerce plugin
ALT: Adding WooCommerce PayPal Payments in WordPress.

With the PayPal for WooCommerce plugin added to your store, you can now customize the payment method.

Go to WooCommerce > Settings and click on the Payments tab. Scroll down to PayPal and turn on the option to accept PayPal in your online store.

Accept PayPal for WooCommerce
ALT: Activating PayPal in WooCommerce.

The next screen allows you to either activate PayPal credentials automatically or manually. In this guide, we’ll use manual entry.

Scroll down on the new screen and click on Toggle to manual credential input.

Manual credential input for PayPal in WooCommerce
ALT: Toggle the manual credential input to add your PayPal credentials in WooCommerce.

We’ll save the sandbox testing for later. For now, let’s focus on adding the credentials. 

2. Add your PayPal business details

Choosing the manual credential input option leads to a page where you have to enter your PayPal business details. You can grab these details from your PayPal account.

Now, there are two types of PayPal accounts: business and individual. A business PayPal account allows your business to take payments using credit cards and direct transfers. It's a gateway to business accounts, just like a bank, only faster and paperless.

Assuming you don't have a business PayPal account, let's go ahead and open one. Sign up on PayPal's accounts page for a business PayPal account. Enter the required details like company name, website, address, and phone number. And voila, your PayPal business account is live.

PayPal Dashboard
ALT: Business PayPal account dashboard.

After opening a PayPal business account, navigate to the PayPal Settings on the dashboard and click on Account Settings. The goal is to collect the information you’ll need to continue the setup in step 1.

PayPal Account Settings
ALT: PayPal business account settings.

Scroll down, click on Business information on the left sidebar and take note of the PayPal Merchant ID on the right.

PayPal Merchant ID
ALT: PayPal business account Merchant ID.

You'll also need the client ID and password, so let's get that too. Go to and log in with your PayPal details. Click on the Dashboard under your profile in the top right corner and navigate to the My apps & credentials section. Here, hit the Live button and then Create App.

PayPal REST API Apps
ALT: Creating REST API apps on your PayPal business account.

In the new screen, fill out the name of your new app and click Create App. You'll see the Client ID and live secret key on the following screen.

PayPal for WooCommerce Client ID
ALT: PayPal business account Client ID.

Now, go back to the WordPress dashboard and fill out the PayPal credentials using the information you collected.  

PayPal for WooCommerce Dashboard
ALT: Fill in the PayPal credentials in your WooCommerce dashboard.

Carefully fill out the data, cross-check for accuracy, and hit Save changes. 

Additional settings for PayPal checkout will pop up where you fill in the title, description, and intent for adding PayPal.

Finish the PayPal checkout configuration by clicking on the checkbox next labeled Enable the PayPal Gateway.

Enable PayPal Gateway
ALT: Enable the PayPal Gateway through the WooCommerce dashboard.

3. Allow Instant Payment Notifications (IPN)

Instant Payment Notification (IPN) allows PayPal to send alerts to your backend when a transaction is completed on your website. To access this feature, you'll need to go to your business account's dashboard. In the left sidebar, scroll down to Website Payments > Instant Payment Notifications and click Refresh.

PayPal payment notifications
ALT: Click update to set up your instant payment notifications.

Click Choose IPN Settings on the next screen.

PayPal IPN Settings
ALT: Description of the IPN feature.

You'll have to fill out the URL where IPN messages will go. Use this URL format:

Remember to replace with your website's actual domain name; otherwise, this step will be incomplete. Here's an example:

PayPal IPN Messages
ALT: Allowing IPN messages on PayPal. Enable them and hit save.

After that, enable Receive IPN messages and hit Save.

One of the advantages of using PayPal Checkout is you can redirect your customers back to your website from the checkout page to the order received page. You could want them to go back to the shop, read your blog, or even offer them free resources that later upsell another product.

To turn on auto return, go to your PayPal business dashboard and navigate to Website payments as we did previously. 

Select Website Settings > Refresh.

PayPal Payment Data Transfer feature
ALT: Select the auto return URL to redirect to the order received page.

Fill out an order received URL where your website visitors go after checkout in this format: Again, remember to change to your website domain name. For example —

Hit Save.

You can further customize your PayPal integration on this page. Options include setting up mobile number requirements at checkout or allowing bank transfers and Giropay.

Settings like blocking non-encrypted web payments can come in handy when you want to beef up the security of your store.

At last, your PayPal WooCommerce integration is almost ready. The final step is to test if it works.

4. PayPal Sandbox: Test PayPal for WooCommerce

Embed: Create a PayPal Sandbox Account on WooCommerce (PayPal Payments)

PayPal Sandbox is a virtual environment where you can test your newly integrated payment system in WooCommerce. It sets up a mock transaction between a personal account and the store’s business account.

That way, you can test whether the PayPal integration works as expected without altering processes inside your live WooCommerce shop. The requirements to set up a PayPal Sandbox mode are similar to those for a regular PayPal account.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Enable PayPal sandbox

Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Payments and click Manage on the PayPal tab. At the top of site , check the "Enable PayPal Sandbox"checkbox.

Step 2. Create a new PayPal account or log in to your existing account

Create a personal PayPal sandbox account. To do that, go to and log in to the dashboard. Under sandbox accounts, navigate to Create an account.

Step 3. Get API credentials and merchant ID from your sandbox PayPal account

You must connect your sandbox account with your WooCommerce store to run a test payment successfully.  

To do this, retrieve your API credentials from your sandbox account via Paypal Developer Account > Dashboard > Sandbox > Accounts.

Select the business sandbox account, clicking View/edit account from the drop-down menu. Copy the API username, password, and API signature. Click on the Profile tab and scroll down to find the Account ID — which is the Merchant ID.

PayPal Sandbox API Credentials
ALT: Get API credentials from your sandbox PayPal account.

Paste the details from the sandbox account onto WooCommerce and save.

PayPal Sandbox API Credentials for WooCommerce Dashboard
ALT: Filling API credentials and merchant ID to the WooCommerce dashboard.

Step 4. Making a test purchase on your WooCommerce store

And the time you've been waiting for has come: testing.

Open an incognito window on your browser and access the front end of your e-commerce store. Pick a product from your store and proceed to checkout, selecting PayPal as your payment option.

Enter the email and password for your personal sandbox account via PayPal Developer Account > Dashboard > Sandbox > Accounts.

Note credentials in your PayPal Sandbox Account
ALT: Collect the PayPal email and password from your personal sandbox account.

Select a personal sandbox account and click View/edit account from the drop-down menu. Copy the Email ID and password as you'll use them at checkout in your shop.

Complete the transaction on your online store checkout by filling in your sandbox account's personal email and password. Proceed to pay, and if successful, you will be redirected to the order received page.

To finalize this step, you need to confirm whether the transaction was complete. Back to your sandbox account on PayPal, select Accounts on the PayPal dashboard, and click on the business account you used to set up WooCommerce. Click the drop-down menu and select View/edit account. 

Under the Funding tab, scroll down to check the current balance.  

Note that PayPal sandbox accounts come loaded with five grand, whether personal or business sandbox accounts. If the balance is more than $5,000, your testing has been a success. 

Congratulations on a successful WooCommerce PayPal setup. Your customers can now enjoy secure payments on your e-commerce store and checkout using Venmo, PayPal Credit, or bank transfer via PayPal — yay!

Other WooCommerce PayPal plugins to consider

Other notable plugins that also have PayPal integrations for WooCommerce include:

  • PayPal Express Checkout Plugin for WooCommerce — top features include guest checkout, recurring payment support, and local payment methods support.
  • Braintree for WooCommerce — top features include expedited checkout with PayPal buttons, detecting previous fraud, and easy integration with secure payment processing.
  • PayPal for WooCommerce — top features include smart buttons for faster checkout, no setup or monthly fees, and frequent offers on PayPal Marketing Solutions.

Final thoughts: How to set up PayPal for WooCommerce websites

PayPal for WooCommerce is a lifesaver for e-commerce stores looking to offer a secure online payment method. It's reliable, fast, and global, making it a convenient means of payment when transacting online.

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Your questions about PayPal and WooCommerce

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