How-To Article: MailChimp List Subscribe Form 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 List Subscribe plugin and WordPress should do the heavy lifting, automatically.


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

Activated plugin

Connecting to MailChimp

Once the plugin is installed, it will automatically create a new entry in the "Settings" menu. Click on "MailChimp Setup" to navigate to the main MailChimp settings page.


From the "MailChimp Setup" page, click the "Connect" button to begin connecting MailChimp to your WordPress install.


After clicking "Connect", you'll see a popup menu which will prompt you for your MailChimp username and password (like you're logging into your MailChimp account). Add the information in and submit it to connect to your account.

OAuth with your MailChimp username and password

Since the plugin uses OAuth to connect and redirect to your site, you'll need to make sure your website is accessible via the web. Locally hosted sites will not work with this method.

Configure the Form

Now that you're connected to your MailChimp account, you can pick the list you want to use from the dropdown of available lists. This first menu also allows you to customize some of the messaging and button settings.

Choose your list

Scrolling further, you'll be able to enable or disable the custom styling. The MailChimp plugin is set to inherit any styling from the container it's added to by default. However, if you want to add some custom styling, you can use this area to define your custom color scheme.

Enable/Disable custom styling

The next area allows you to configure some additional form options. For instance, you can choose to include an unsubscribe link for those who might visit your site frequently.

Configure your form's options

You can also choose which merge fields you'd like to display based on the list that you've chosen. By default, all fields will be included, however you can disable any non-required fields.

Choose which merge fields to display

If you have groups enabled for your list, they will show up in the next bloc. If you haven't set up groups yet, this area will not be available.

If you have groups, you can also display those

Lastly, if you're wanting to do some customization to the form, but don't want to use our built-in editor, you can use this CSS cheatsheet to style the form however you'd like. You'll need to have some knowledge of CSS before you dive into this portion, but we've made it much easier to identify each class.

CSS Cheatsheet

Add the form to your page

Once the form is configured, it's time to add it to your page. To do this, you'll want to go to "Appearance" and then click on the "Widgets" option.


To add the widget to your page, simply drag it to your desired widget area.

Drag the widget to the area

If you want to add the widget somewhere that's not draggable, no sweat! You can use the short code to add your MailChimp widget anywhere.

Final product

Using the plugin in a local environment

If you're using a local WordPress installation, you'll run into some trouble connecting the plugin to your MailChimp account. With versions 1.4 and above, we've included a new "Developer Mode" (aka Kitchen Sink Mode) for setting up the plugin in a local environment.

For more information on how to enable this developer mode, check out our developer documentation.

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