Having good WordPress price comparison plugin installed on your site is a smart choice. Especially if your site is affiliate oriented or you write product reviews.
Your visitors are always looking to find the best deal. They want to compare prices for the particular product from various stores and find the best price for them to purchase.
With countless price comparison websites, it’s never been easier for customers to find the best prices around.
Then why wouldn’t you provide your visitors same option? It increases the chances that visitors will stay on your website and purchase through your affiliate link rather than finding a better price somewhere else.
I have already written about various plugins for price comparisons like Content Egg and Datafeedr. For more info see Content Egg review and Datafeedr review. Also, I wrote about price comparison themes for WordPress like WordPress Affiliate Theme – AffiliateTheme.io.
In this post, I will write about another affiliate price comparison plugin called Price Comparison Pro. If you are promoting affiliate products, it’s no longer enough to just provide your visitors with one price source.
They need to know they’re getting the best price. The only way to assure them that they are buying at the cheapest price possible is to give them price comparison.
That’s what this plugin is all about. Price Comparison Pro lets you scrape prices live from any web store and show them as a price comparison box to your site visitors. It is excellent way to create affiliate price comparison site with WordPress.
Content Egg vs Datafeedr vs Price Comparison Pro
- FREE VERSION
- WORDPRESS INTEGRATION
- WOOCOMMERCE INTEGRATION
- AFFILIATE NETWORKS
- POWERFUL PRODUCT SEARCH
- AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE PRODUCTS
- AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE PRICES
- AUTOMATICALLY REMOVE PRODUCTS
- CHARACTER ENCODING
- CUSTOMIZABLE PRODUCT INFORMATION
- MERCHANT COUPONS
- SHOW PRICE HISTORY
- PRICE DROP ALERTS
- STOREYA INTEGRATION
- DOWNLOAD IMAGES
- SORTING FEATURES
- AFFILIATE LINK CLOAKING
- CREATE COMPARISON SETS
- PRODUCT DRIPPING
- SUPPORT FOR AMAZON AND EBAY LOCALES
- ADD VIDEOS
- SPIN REWRITER INTEGRATED
- CONTENT MODULE
- WEB SCRAPING SERVICE
- CONTENT EGG
- More than 20 affiliate networks
- $36 a year for single site license
- More than 30 popular affiliate networks
- $29/month cheapest pricing plan
- PRICE COMPARISON PRO
- You add stores you wish to use
- From £59.25 – £186.50/year ($79 - $250)
WordPress Price Comparison Plugin
Price Comparison Pro integrates (use coupon KASA20 for 20% off discount when purchasing plugin) with WooCommerce to let you add third-party URLs to scrape, provides shortcodes to add price comparisons anywhere and even add multiple price comparison boxes to each page.
It works with Woocommerce or as standalone using shortcodes. Using this plugin you can show your site visitors the cheapest store to buy a particular product or compare prices of different products.
Price Comparison Pro will fetch prices live from other websites and it works with any product on any online store which has a price.
This will stop your visitors to site from leaving to research pricing. You can even optionally scrape images from the third-party URLs to improve the images contained on your own website.
And what kind of plugin would this be if you couldn’t add your own affiliate links? It is easy to add your affiliate exit links from any network to the price comparison box.
There are two ways to make it work for a particular page. You can either do it through WooCommerce or you can add a shortcode to a page.
The shortcode style is [pricecomparisonpro urls=”url1,url2,url3, etc” affiliateurls=”affurl1, affurl2, affurl3, etc”]. Simply replace url1, url2, url3 with the URLs of the pages from which you want to scrape a price.
The second way to add price comparison box is to edit your product using WooCommerce. On the General tab, you will find a button to add a Price Comparison URL pair.
There are two URLs that appear. The first is the direct URL of the page which contains the price. The second is where you can place your money-making affiliate URL.
WordPress Price Comparison Pro plugin adds up to 10 new pairs of fields to your WooCommerce products (non-WooCommerce shortcode also included).
You need to paste in up to 10 URLs for the stores where your visitors can buy the product in question and the plugin takes care of the rest.
If you want to add more than 10 URL, the plugin will notify you to use the shortcode instead which is unlimited. Whenever users visit that product page, the price comparison plugin will check those URLs and fetch a live price.
The second URL for each of these fields you enter an affiliate URL so you will earn affiliate revenue for any purchased made through these links.
WooCommerce product data edit
If you don’t enter a URL in the Affiliate URL box, Price Comparison Pro will attempt to use Skimlinks to monetize your link. For that, you need to enter your Skimlinks ID in the settings for Price Comparison Pro.
If you don’t enter an affiliate URL or a Skimlinks ID, Price Comparison Pro will fallback to just using the raw unmonetized link.
Price Comparison Pro Review
In order to scrape prices, you need to tell Price Comparison Pro where they are located. The plugin currently uses CSS selectors to handle this. This per-website approach means you don’t need to reconfigure the selector per product.
Configure once per website and then it will scrape all URLs you enter in your product pages (or shortcodes) using the relevant CSS selector for your site.
In “Settings” of WP-admin, click on “WordPress Price Comparison”. Scroll down to “Website configuration.”
The boxes are Domain, Logo URL, Expression Type, Price Selector, Sales Price Selector and Images Selector.
Domain: Enter the URL of the website from which you wish to scrape. Do not use the “Http” there, only the clean URL – (e.g. www.ebay.co.uk)
Logo URL: Enter the URL of a logo for this merchant. The logo will appear to the left of the price in the price comparison box. You can use HTTP or HTTPS in the logo field.
Expression Type: You can use CSS, XPath or Regular expression selectors to identify the price for the product on the page.
The easiest way to get the CSS selector correct is to visit the site you wish to grab the price from, right-click the price, Inspect Element (in Chrome), then on the right-hand side you will see CSS selectors which apply to this field.
If you want more advanced targeting please utilize the XPath or Regular Expression options. If you get stuck they have a paid service to configure these for you. Configuring the CSS selectors is a one-off job per website. Once they are configured, you just need to get the URLs to your product page.
Automating Insertion of the Price Comparison Pro Product URLs
If you have a large number of products, it makes sense to automate it. Unfortunately Price Comparison Pro doesn’t exactly have that option.
Currently the only way to import URLs for many products is using a plugin like WP All Import, and then just import into the relevant field names for them.
Ultimately, you need to enter the Price Comparison Pro URLs in the following product meta data:
- producturl1, producturl2 etc. (up to 10)
- pcproaffiliateurl1, pcproaffiliateurl2 etc. (up to 10)
Scraping Prices in Price Comparison Pro
Using Price Comparison Pro you can scrape prices using your own website with standard scraping. If you wish to simulate scraping from a different country, or you wish to rotate the scraper IP address to avoid detection then there is also an option for proxies.
Some websites use Ajax to load their prices. This makes it impossible to grab the prices without simulating a browser. You can check if a particular website is using Ajax by viewing the source of the page (CTRL+U on Chrome).
If you can’t find the price, it means the page is using Ajax to insert the price after the page has loaded. If you are scraping prices from these types of sites, you will have to use Web scraping Service with Price Comparison Pro plugin.
Once you purchased Web Scraping Service, you will need to visit your account page and enter the API key in Price Comparison Pro settings page in your WordPress admin area.
Scraping service works for every website without any limitations, and you can terminate the subscription whenever you want.
You may wish to also use scraping service with rotating proxies which guarantee you don’t get banned by any scraper-blocking mechanism your target site might be using.
Types of scraping options:
- Standard scraping – No proxy, no parse
- Basic proxied – Uses random proxy from the specified proxy list to request page
- Advanced PhantomJS Proxied Pre-parsing – Uses random proxy from the specified proxy list to request before loading in PhantomJS as above
Dave (author of the Price Comparison Pro plugin) told me about his plans for the plugin:
- Add cookie support to the non-scraping service code – this allows users to set cookies for websites, e.g. if they wish to change language, location or something else
- Improved admin settings page
- Remove limit of 10 URLs per product
- Add website search feature – Planning to add settings to the back end to let users choose which websites to search per product category (or site-wide). Then, when that product page is loaded, the plugin will ajax search the target site for the product name and save the product URL if found, then from there it’ll be normal price comparison.
- Record clicks on outbound links for admin reporting page
Price Comparison Pro PROS & CONS
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of using the Price Comparison Pro plugin:
- Too much manual work by adding links for each product from each store
- You need to configure CSS selectors for each website store you wish to use affiliate links in
- Plugin settings page could look better
- Adding links through WooCommerce limited to 10 product URLs
- Web Scraping Service is charged separately
- Fetch prices live from other websites automatically
- Option to set price cache age (How long would you like to retain scraped prices for before automatically checking them again)
- Option to add Skimlinks ID
- Option to use proxies
- Affordable plugin price
- Web Scraping Service
WordPress Price Comparison Plugin Final Words
Price Comparison Pro lets you scrape prices from any website and display them in a comparison box. It lets you enter a URL to scrape as well as an affiliate URL to deep link to.
You must configure each website you are scraping so that the plugin knows where to grab the price (enter the CSS selector for the price).
If you do not have affiliate relationships with all the websites you scrape, you can optionally use Skimlinks to backfill affiliate deals. Installing and configuring Price Comparison Pro is fairly easy. The hardest part is setting CSS selectors to identify the price on the page.
Other features that Price Comparison Pro comes with are Price Cache Age to set how long would you like to retain scraped prices before automatically checking them again.
It is recommended that you keep this figure fairly high to avoid your server being blacklisted from websites you are scraping prices.
There are Styling and Display Options if you wish to restyle the Price Comparison Pro box. It is very limited, so don’t hope for too much. You can use default theme styling or custom styling.
If you choose custom, CSS box will appear. You can use default style provided by a plugin by copying its style.css. Other than that if you don’t know to work with CSS, it will not do much good for you.
Update Woocommerce Prices/Images feature lets you update the WooCommerce product price and the external_url for the product to match the cheapest price found.
Saving images lets Price Comparison Pro pull images from the merchant. This option lets you automatically extract better images from merchants and update your product.
Price for Price Comparison Pro plugin goes from £59.25 – £186.50 ($79 – $250) depending if you are purchasing one site license, five sites or unlimited.
Updates and support are for one year and after each year license needs to be renewed. You can use coupon KASA20 to get 20% off.
If you wish to use Web Scraping Service, depending on the plan you choose, you will need to pay from £2.99 / month to £29.99 / month. Plans depend on how much prices you need to scrape and pages per day.
Overall Price Comparison Pro plugin has potential and it is a good choice if you need to scrap prices or use stores which use Ajax to load prices or are not integrated into other WordPress price comparison plugins.
If you intend to use Amazon, eBay, and other popular stores which are part of affiliate programs like Shareasale, Linkshare, Commission Junction, then I recommend choosing something like Content Egg or Datafeedr.
If you know a better plugin for making affiliate price comparisons from various stores and automatically updating prices, or you have used Price Comparison Pro plugin let me know in the comments below.
Price Comparison Pro
- Lets you scrape prices from any website
- WooCommerce integration
- Automatically update prices
- Create comparison sets
- Support for Amazon and Ebay locales
- Requires too much manual work to set links and price scraping
- Little pricey
DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.