How to Easily Accept Payments in WordPress

You don’t need a complicated ecommerce service to accept payments in WordPress!

You might not think about WordPress forms when you think about how to accept payments with WordPress. Or think forms are just too basic to handle more complex needs, like serving as the backbone for an entire athletic team. Don’t underestimate what you can do with your forms!

No matter what you want to accept payments in WordPress for, there’s a way to do it that doesn’t require a ton of technical know-how.

Getting payments set up probably sounds super complicated if you’ve never done it before. You’ll find lots of options searching through Google. You may have already discovered big names like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Square. They’re incredibly good services for big marketplaces, but they’re also incredibly complicated.

You don’t have to be a genius with the web to start accepting payments. You don’t have to be a developer. Or hire one. But you sure can look like one!

What do you need to do?

How to use a WordPress form to accept payments for a single item

Do you have just one thing you need to accept payment for? Price and quantity always going to be the same? You have it easy.

All you really need to do is communicate what you’re charging for. That’s really easy to do stylishly with a simple HTML field. Here’s a quick example:

single item season membership example form

From there it’s just connecting to the right service to collect the payment. Want to accept payments with PayPal? Credit cards? Jump here to find out how. Want this to be a recurring payment that happens every month? Year? You can do that too!

How to offer variations of an item at different prices

Offering variations (like large, medium, small for example) at different prices sounds like it could get complicated. No one could blame you for thinking that, but it really isn’t. You won’t need to code a single thing. It’s a 3 step process and everything you need is right in front of you.

1. Add a field for your customers to make their selection

Radio List and Select fields are the perfect way to offer variations of a single item. You can also use a Select Image field if you want a picture to accompany each option! Each variant can be assigned its own price:

example of a radio field used to sell a single item (season pass) using list options for variants (spring, summer, fall, winter) at different price points for each variant

You’ll need to have “Developer Mode” enabled to see the features in the image above, but don’t worry. It’s just a name; there’s still no code involved.

In the image above of a Radio List field, the Label column is what your customers will see. The Value column is what you’ll see in submissions, and the Calc Value column is the price the customer will be charged for each item.

2. Create a calculation where the “total” will live

Click on the Advanced tab of your form builder. Select Calculations. Add a new Calculation, and use the little sandwich icon to add the field you just created.

calculation with radio list field added

3. Choose how your customers can pay

If this is all you need to offer, you’re ready to connect your form to your payment service of choice and begin collecting payments. Want to accept payments with PayPal? Credit cards? Jump here to find out how!

Need to include 2 or more items with variation or pricing differences? Skip down to this section now.

Need to offer quantities of an item? It’s just 2 simple steps.

There are 2 ways you can do this. Is your item always going to be the same price? Will there be different variations & prices of the item?

My item will always be the same price

Step 1: Add a Number field to your form. This will be where your customers select the quantity they need.

Step 2: Create a calculation. Make sure Developer Mode” is enabled on your form (Don’t worry. It’s just a name; there’s still no code involved.) and click on the Advanced tab of your form builder. Select Calculations.

Add a new Calculation, and use the little sandwich icon to add your Number field. After the number field (or before it), add the price. Now place an * between them to multiply them together.

example calculation using a number field for quantity multiplied by a set price

That’s all there is to it. Your calculation can now be used as your total, and you’re ready to connect your form to your payment service of choice and begin collecting payments. Want to accept payments with PayPal? Credit cards? Jump here to find out how!

Need to include 2 or more items with variation or pricing differences? Skip down to this section now.

I have different variations/prices of my item

Step 1: This section above describes how to add a field offering different variations/prices. With that in place, add a Number field for the customer to indicate the quantity they need.

Step 2: Create a calculation. Make sure Developer Mode” is enabled on your form (Don’t worry. It’s just a name; there’s still no code involved.) and click on the Advanced tab of your form builder. Select Calculations.

Add a new Calculation, and use the little sandwich icon to add both your item and the Number field. Place an * between them to multiply them together.

example calculation that will multiply two fields to arrive at a total to accept payments in wordpress

That’s all there is to it. Your calculation can now be used as your total, and you’re ready to connect your form to your payment service of choice and begin collecting payments. Want to accept payments with PayPal? Credit cards? Jump here to find out how!

Need to include 2 or more items with variation or pricing differences? Skip down to this section now.

Here’s how to get a total price from several different items or selections

Need a single total price from several different items or selections your customer makes? You don’t even need to use math. Your WordPress form will do it for you. There are just 3 steps to get started accepting payments in WordPress!

1. Add fields where users can make their selections

Any of the list fields will work for this. Here are your options:

  • Single Checkbox: let customers select a single item
  • Checkbox List: let customers select one or more items
  • Select List: let customers select a single item from a dropdown
  • Multi-Select: let customers select one or more items from a dropdown
  • Radio List: let customers select a single item from a list
  • Select Image: let customers select one or more items with an image

Functionally it doesn’t matter which ones you pick, the steps to make this work are the same.

What’s important is that you set a Calc Value for each list option that’s equal to that option’s cost. Those values will be used to determine the total in the next step.

demo of a checkbox list field offering different selections at different prices. prices are represented by the calc value setting

You’ll need to have “Developer Mode” enabled to see the features in the image above, but don’t worry. It’s just a name; there’s still no code involved.

The Label column is what your customers will see. The Value column is what you’ll see in submissions, and the Calc Value column is the price the customer will be charged for each item.

2. Create a calculation where the “total” will live

Click on the Advanced tab of your form builder. Select Calculations. Add a new Calculation, and use the little sandwich icon to add the fields you just created. The below example shows 3 fields added together to determine the total:

example calculation adding the value of multiple fields

Calculations support basic math rules & respect order of operations: parentheses > exponents > multiply & divide > add & subtract.

3. Choose how your customers can pay

You’re now ready to connect your form to your payment service of choice and begin collecting payments. Want to accept payments with PayPal? Credit cards? The section immediately below is where you need to be 🙂

Accept PayPal and credit card payments with your new WordPress form

Already moved through any of the sections above? You now have a WordPress form that customers can use to make their selections.  All that’s left is actually collecting payment when the form submits. You can use your form to accept credit card payments, PayPal payments, or both! You can also set up recurring payments/subscription billing. Here’s how.

Connect your form to PayPal, Stripe, or Elavon for one-time purchases

For accepting PayPal payments with Ninja Forms, you’ll need to add the PayPal Express add-on.

To accept credit card payments with Ninja Forms, you’ll want the Stripe or Elavon add-on.

Want to do both? Do both. Ask how the user want to pay, then use Conditional Logic to control which options triggers!

Whichever you choose, be sure to follow the documentation on setting up your API key. Then you’re ready to connect your form below.

Any of these three add-ons will add a Collect Payment action to your new WordPress form. It can be found in your form builder under the Emails & Actions tab.

image of the collect payment action within the Ninja Forms builder

Add this action and open it. Choose your payment option (PayPal, Stripe, or Elavon) in the Payment Gateways field. Then check out the Get Total From setting. This is where you determine the amount that gets sent to your chosen service.

options within the collect payment action allow the selection of a payment gateway and from where in the form to take the total to be sent to the selected payment gateway

Get Total From gives you three options:

  • Fixed Amount
  • Field
  • Calculation

If the total will always be the same, select Fixed Amount and then enter the amount. When the form is submitted, this amount will be charged every time.

Field will take the total from a Number field, allowing your customer to determine their own price to be paid.

Calculation will let you select a calculation value to be used for the total. This is by far the most common option. If you’ve followed any one of the sections above, you’ve already gotten one set up.

Just select the option you need and you’re ready to start accepting payments in WordPress!

Set up recurring or subscription billing with Stripe or Recurly

You can set up recurring payments within your Stripe or Recurly accounts. You can then connect your form to that recurring payment plan using either the Stripe add-on or Recurly add-on.

With Stripe, you’ll find a Recurring Payment Plan ID setting under the Advanced section of the Collect Payment action. Just enter the plan ID from your Stripe account there. All payments from this form will be processed in that account.

With Recurly, there’s a Recurly action that you’ll add to the form. You just enter the plan code from your Recurly account there, and you’re set.

Accept payments in WordPress from any form, anywhere on your site!

If you’ve read through the sections above that are relevant to your needs, you can now build a WordPress form that will accept payments for just about anything. Unless you’re building a massive online store, there’s very little reason to invest the time it takes to learn and maintain a complicated ecommerce service!

Comments are below, and your needs drive the future of the plugin. What other payment gateways or features would you like to see for Ninja Forms?