How-To Article: Setup MailChimp for WordPress

Install the Plugin

To install the MailChimp Widget plugin, from the WordPress dashboard go to "Plugins" and click on "Add New." In the search box, type in "MailChimp" and submit the search. Click "Install" for the MailChimp for WordPress plugin and follow any necessary prompts on screen, then click "Return to Plugin Installer."

To check that the plugin is installed and activated, from the WordPress dashboard go to "Plugins" and click on "Installed Plugins."

Installed Plugins

Connecting to MailChimp

After ensuring the plugin was installed, select "activate" to begin using the new plugin. This will add a new entry titled, "MailChimp for WP," into the navigation menu on the sidebar. Click "MailChimp for WP" setup the plugin.

To connect your MailChimp account you will need to enter your API keys into the necessary field. The plugin provides a convenient link, below the field, which will direct you to the API key in your MailChimp account. You must be logged in to your MailChimp account for the link to work as expected.


Once the API key is added and the changes saved, your list information will populate in the "MailChimp Data" area. This will give you a break down of each list and the fields associated with them.

List data

Configuring the Plugin

The plugin offers two different options for collecting subscribers. One option is to add a subscription checkbox to the comment and/or registration forms which would allow visitors to subscribe to your list during the commenting or registering prcess. The other option is to build a signup form to add to any or all of your website's pages.

Within the MailChimp for WP sidebar menu, choosing "Checkboxes" will allow you to configure the checkboxes used for signups. In this area, you can choose which lists subscribers are added to, double opt-in settings, and additional styling elements.


Under the "Forms" menu, you can create and customize the HTML for the signup form to place within your Wordpress site. By default, the form will be setup for an email field. To add additional fields to the form use the "Select MailChimp field" drop-down under the "Add a new field" area. Before adding the additional fields, you have the ability to edit the field's properties. For example, you can add in a default value for a form field and mark a field as required.


Under "MailChimp Settings," you can customize the signup options for the form, such as double opt-in, and the ability to send a welcome email. Finally, in the "Form Settings & Messages" area you can adjust messages shown when a form submission is complete as well as any error messaging.

Additional settings

Publish the Form

Once you've finished customizing your form, you can publish it to your Wordpress site. To add the form to one of your Wordpress pages, either copy the HTML generated under "Form mark-up" or copy the shortcode provided below the code. Click to edit the Wordpress page or menu you wish to use and paste in the code where desired.