Common questions on affiliate tracking

How is an affiliate tracked?

When an affiliate promotes our products and services they use a referral URL which typically looks like this:

When a customer clicks this link and lands on our website, the affiliate’s ID (123 in the example above) is stored in a cookie, within the customer’s browser. If the customer makes a purchase, the affiliate that the customer is tracking is awarded commission on the sale.


Is the affiliate tracked across all pages of the site?

Absolutely! Since the affiliate’s ID is stored in a cookie, the affiliate is tracked across all pages on the site.

How long does the tracking cookie stay in the customer’s browser?

The cookie’s expiration is set to 120 days.

Note, a user may clear their browser cookies at any time, in which case the affiliate will no longer be tracked.


If a customer clicks on 2 different affiliate links from 2 different affiliates, which one is saved?

The first affiliate link that the customer clicks will store the affiliate’s ID in a cookie and it cannot be overridden from the second link unless the cookie expires, or the customer clears their browser cookies and then clicks on the second link.

Why aren’t any referrals being created when a customer purchases?

AffiliateWP uses JavaScript to store a cookie that tracks an affiliate’s ID. If there are any kind of JavaScript errors on your website, the cookie may not be stored and your affiliate will not be awarded commission when a customer purchases. JavaScript errors will also prevent other functionality on your website from working so it’s always a good idea to fix them.

JavaScript errors are commonly caused by either your theme or another plugin. The first thing you should try is switching to a standard WordPress theme (2013, 2014). If the JavaScript error/s disappear then the issue lies within your theme somewhere. If the JavaScript errors are still there the next step is to disable all other WordPress plugins and test again. See this guide on  using your browser to diagnose JavaScript errors.

If you are unable to fix your JavaScript errors, you can enable  Use Fallback Referral Tracking Method? from Affiliates → Settings → Misc. Fixing JavaScript errors should be your top priority.


Can affiliates refer themselves and earn commission on their own purchases?

In short, no.