How to Set Up PayPal Checkout in WooCommerce (Step-by-Step)

David Mainayar on | 8 min read

PayPal is one of the most popular payment gateways for online shopping. When you set up the PayPal payment gateway on your store, your customers are 54% more willing to buy from you. In fact, it's imperative that you use PayPal if PayPal users make up most of your target audience. But why? About 59% of PayPal users abandon their shopping transactions when they don't see the PayPal payment option at the checkout. When it comes to payment processing, PayPal is the undisputed leader, handling 50.32% of all payments (globally).

So naturally, you want to enable PayPal payments on your WooCommerce store. There are quite a few ways to go about this, the PayPal Standard WooCommerce implementation being one.

In this article, we'll show you how to implement PayPal Standard on your WooCommerce store in the easiest possible way — with the free PeachPay WooCommerce checkout plugin. We'll also look at a few other methods. But before that, let's examine what PayPal Standard is and why businesses prefer it over other PayPal checkout options.

What's PayPal Standard?

PayPal Payments Standard or PayPal Website Payments Standard — often simply referred to as "PayPal Standard" — is a PayPal implementation where your users click the PayPal checkout option (BUTTON) on your store or website and land on PayPal's website to finish their payment/checkout. In its initial versions, WooCommerce shipped with a built-in PayPal Standard integration. However, it discontinued offering PayPal Standard as a core functionality since version 5.5.

As a result, if you want to use PayPal on your store, you need to get a WooCommerce PayPal integration plugin or extension. Currently, WooCommerce recommends that users use the WooCommerce PayPal Payments plugin to bring the PayPal gateway to their stores. This plugin replaces WooCommerce PayPal Checkout Payment Gateway, previously WooCommerce's official PayPal plugin.

There are also third-party WooCommerce PayPal integration plugins like PeachPay (backed by Automattic, WooCommerce's parent company) that let you accept PayPal payments on your store.

Before we get to how you can accept payments via the PayPal gateway using these options and others, let's understand why PayPal Standard remains one of the most popular PayPal checkout options for WooCommerce merchants despite the availability of more advanced PayPal checkout options.

Why WooCommerce stores love PayPal Standard

For many WooCommerce businesses (and even simple WordPress business websites), PayPal Standard is the easiest way to collect website payments. Here are three reasons why:

  1. PayPal Standard is still the simplest way to collect PayPal payments. While PayPal Standard alternatives like PayPal checkout offer greater flexibility when handling PayPal payments — including the ability to create a branded on-site checkout window, among others — they require extensive technical expertise. You must also meet even more of PayPal's stringent requirements for unlocking the more advanced options these checkouts offer. PayPal Standard, on the other hand, most likely only requires you to have a PayPal Business account.

  2. Merchants don't need to set up a complete checkout. With PayPal Standard, all you do is add the PayPal payment option on your checkout. You don't actually need to configure the entire PayPal checkout solution on your store. If you use the PeachPay WooCommerce PayPal integration plugin for this, you won't even need to write any code to enable the PayPal Standard option for your WooCommerce store. Just enable the option using the plugin's PayPal setting checkbox — and done. Implementing a full PayPal checkout, on the other hand, can mean days grappling with the developer account (or inside your PayPal dashboard), reviewing debug logs to find/resolve issues with API credentials, API signatures, API access, invoice prefixes, data transfers, receiver emails, notification URLs, refunds, PayPal identity tokens, NVP/SOAP errors, or autoreturn. Issues with PayPal instant payment notifications (IPN email notifications/IPN messages) represent yet another challenge. Eventually, you’ll likely find yourself working with a dedicated PayPal developer to sort these out.

  3. With PayPal Standard, users make payments via the PayPal portal — one that most know and trust. PayPal Standard takes users to the PayPal website/window for payment processing, making purchasing more comfortable for most users. For businesses that don't mind redirecting their traffic to the PayPal website, this can be the best way to collect PayPal payments.

In other words, PayPal Standard has its place! With all that out of the way, here are a few ways you can accept PayPal payments on your online store, including setting up a PayPal Standard WooCommerce implementation.

Adding a PayPal Standard WooCommerce setup to WooCommerce 5.5 (or earlier versions)

If you're using WooCommerce version 5.5 (or an earlier one), implementing a PayPal standard WooCommerce checkout implementation is pretty easy for you. The earlier versions of WooCommerce simply offered the option to enable PayPal Standard straight out of the box (WooCommerce > settings):

 Enabling PayPal Standard in WooCommerce 5.5 or earlier versions

Here's a step-by-step documentation of the process.

The one obvious drawback with this PayPal Standard WooCommerce implementation

In order to continue using PayPal Standard to accept PayPal payments on your store, you must stick to an outdated WooCommerce version. Now, no matter how much you love the way PayPal Standard works on your store, with whatever limited support and updates WooCommerce makes to it, your store can't live on an obsolete version forever. It won't be long before security, performance, and compatibility issues derail you.

The solution? Using a different plugin to bring PayPal to your store.

Accepting PayPal payments on your WooCommerce store with WooCommerce PayPal Payments

As noted earlier, if you're on the more recent or on the latest WooCommerce version, you won't find the PayPal Standard option at all in your WooCommerce Payments tab:

Default payment methods in WooCommerce

Depending on your country/location, however, you'll find WooCommerce's very own payments solution, WooCommerce Payments, available to you. WooCommerce Payments is WooCommerce's checkout solution that lets you collect payments via all major credit and debit cards on your store. But it doesn't work with payment gateways like the PayPal payment gateway. So you can use it if you want, but it still doesn't work with PayPal.

To actually add the PayPal payment gateway to your store, you'll have to get the platform's official WooCommerce PayPal integration solution — WooCommerce PayPal Payments. This plugin is already live on 3M+ stores, and while it has its share of fans, many reviews aren't that encouraging. Do check out some of the performance, compatibility, and UI issues WooCommerce stores have reported with this plugin before getting started.

Another thing to note about WooCommerce PayPal Payments is that it brings a fully-featured PayPal checkout to your store where users can complete their PayPal checkout right while being on your store. If you compare this with PayPal Standard, you'll realize that, unlike PayPal Standard, PayPal Payments doesn't redirect your users to the PayPal website for completing their payments.

To enable PayPal payments via WooCommerce PayPal Payments,get the plugin.

WooCommerce PayPal Payments

Once you install and activate it on your store, your WooCommerce's Payments settings page will show PayPal options as well: (Note that you can't see any PayPal Standard option even now as the plugin doesn't come with it.)

Enabling PayPal via WooCommerce PayPal Payments

You can use WooCommerce PayPal Payments to add a PayPal payment button to your product, cart, and checkout pages. When users click these buttons, the checkout you build with it pops up. The entire checkout happens on your store itself.

But what if you want the "legacy" PayPal Standard WooCommerce checkout? The one where your users click the “pay” button and get redirected to the PayPal website for the payment processing? Well, for that, you need a WooCommerce PayPal setup plugin like PeachPay.

Setting up a PayPal Standard WooCommerce implementation with PeachPay

Backed by Automattic, PeachPay is a complete WooCommerce checkout and payment solution. Besides allowing you to accept PayPal payments on your WooCommerce store, PeachPay replaces the long multi-step and multi-page default WooCommerce checkout with one that's optimized to reduce cart abandonment. Let's quickly see how you can implement a PayPal Standard WooCommmerce setup with PeachPay.

Setting up a PayPal Standard WooCommmerce implementation with PeachPay

Step #1: Install and activate the PeachPay plugin on your store

Click here to get started and enter your store's URL:

Installing the PeachPay WooCommerce checkout plugin

Step #2: Post installation, follow these substeps. With these, you'll be able to enable PayPal Standard from the list of payment methods that PeachPay supports.

#2.1: Upon installation, you'll be redirected to the following permissions page. Click Approve:

Granting permissions to PeachPay

#2.2: You'll now see the payment methods window where you can connect your PeachPay checkout with your Stripe/PayPal account. Choose Paypal, and you'll get redirected to the PayPal login page:

Setting up PayPal Standard payment method for WooCommerce via PeachPay

#2.3: Either log in with your existing PayPal account or create a new one:

Connecting PayPal Standard with WooCommerce (via PeachPay) - 1

Connecting PayPal Standard with WooCommerce (via PeachPay) - 2

Once you connect your PeachPay and PayPal accounts, you should see the following notification:

PayPal Standard and WooCommerce — now connected.

Step #3: Enable the PayPal payment option!

Finally, enable the PayPal gateway within PeachPay (under the plugin's Payment methods tab):

Enabling the PayPal gateway in PeachPay's settings

And done! Your shoppers will now be able to check out via PayPal Standard to complete their online payments. (If you do this configuration in the PayPal sandbox or test mode, you'd need to turn the test mode off before going live. Contact us for any questions/support with this.

A real-world example of a PayPal Standard WooCommerce setup with PeachPay

You Go Pro Baseball, a leading specialty baseball gear etailer, trusts PeachPay to bring PayPal Standard to its WooCommerce store. Let's take a quick tour of You Go Pro Baseball's PayPal Standard WooCommerce checkout powered by PeachPay.

As soon as you add items to your cart and get to the cart page, you'll see that the eCommerce store offers you PeachPay's checkout option. PayPal is prominently displayed as a payment option right under the checkout button. This way, users can click the checkout button with confidence, knowing that they can pay with PayPal:

A WooCommerce store running a PeachPay checkout

When you click the checkout button, PeachPay's slick checkout window opens. PeachPay breaks up the checkout process for first-time buyers into two easy steps. Below, you have the first step asking for your billing and shipping details:

PeachPay's checkout window

The next step handles the payment part. Here, you get to choose your preferred payment gateway. When you click PeachPay's PayPal payment option, the PayPal payment button appears. At this point, You Go Pro Baseball tells users what will happen when they click the PayPal button — i.e., a new PayPal window will pop up using which they'd need to complete the payment action (so no surprises!):

A WooCommerce store implementing PayPal Standard with PeachPay

Clicking the PayPal button indeed opens up PayPal's payment window where you can either log in using your PayPal email address to make the payment using your PayPal credit or your saved credit or debit cards. Non-PayPal users, on the other hand, can opt for the card payment options:

Paying via PayPal Standard on a WooCommerce store

And that's all that's there to it!

PeachPay is much more than a PayPal WooCommerce plugin

You just saw how easy it is to add PayPal Standard to your WooCommerce store with PeachPay. You just need to enable one setting. Once you do that, users can see the PayPal payment option inside the checkout window. Clicking it takes them to PayPal to complete the transaction.

But PeachPay is much more than a WooCommerce PayPal integration plugin. Here are a few salient features.

Overhauls the standard WooCommerce process with a slick checkout window

PeachPay replaces WooCommerce's very long checkout page (with an equally tiring checkout form) with a slick conversion-optimized checkout window. You can style your checkout window to match your website/brand. PeachPay's customizer is fairly intuitive and you don't need to know any coding to be able to customize the plugin.

Streamlines the standard WooCommerce checkout process

PeachPay can eliminate the add to cart page step from your checkout process and make it shorter. In fact, PeachPay brings cart page functionalities like support for coupon codes and changes to quantities or cart items right to the checkout window. You no more have to search for "skip cart page" shortcodes or find plugins to fast-track your checkout process.

Facilitates quicker shopping sessions

With PeachPay you can add Amazon-like Buy now options to your WooCommerce product pages. So your users can choose between adding an item to their cart or simply checking out directly from the product page, a one-click-to-the-checkout flow ideal for those quick purchases.

Brings Amazon-like one-click checkout for returning users

If a user makes a purchase on your store via PeachPay, PeachPay remembers their billing, shipping, and payment information. When such shoppers return, PeachPay automagically pulls up all this information for them. All they need to do is click the "Pay' button — and done. Amazon pioneered this user-friendly one-click checkout for returning customers.

And more!

PeachPay doubles up as a WooCommerce Stripe integration plugin as well, so you can easily accept payments via credit cards over Stripe. It's also possible to let users pay via Apple Pay and Google Pay.

PeachPay even lets you show recommended products right inside your checkout window, giving you an excellent opportunity to boost your average order value with each session.

PeachPay works seamlessly with all WooCommerce plugins, including WooCommerce Subscriptions for recurring payments. In fact, PeachPay will soon be allowing recurring payments to be charged from the core plugin itself.

Wrapping it up…

As you just saw, if you use just any simple WooCommerce PayPal integration plugin (including WooCommerce PayPal Payments), the best you get to do is be able to collect PayPal payments. Also, note that you have to configure the complete PayPal checkout on your store — and that you don't get the good old simple PayPal Standard implementation.

A complete WooCommerce checkout solution like PeachPay on the other hand doesn't just let you collect PayPal payments seamlessly, it also optimizes each step of the checkout experience for both your new and returning users. From simpler, faster, and more user-friendly checkouts for new users to Amazon-like one-click checkouts for returning shoppers, PeachPay completely changes how WooCommerce stores process payments. It's also the easiest way to "restore" the PayPal standard WooCommerce checkout for your store.

That said, if you aren't ready to replace your default WooCommerce PayPal setup with PeachPay — we get it! — use PeachPay along with what you what. Give your shoppers your regular PayPal payment buttons along with PeachPay's express checkout option, and let them pick their favorite.

Get started with PeachPay now!

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