How to use the PayPal Payments Plugin

A sort of a list of hints and tips that will probably grow as I add more features. Contributions welcome in the comments.


Adding a form to your site Use the shortcode [qpp] to add a simple form on your site. To add a payment form to a sidebar use the widget. If you have more than one form use the shortcode [qpp form="name"] where name is the name of your form. The shortcodes for each form are listed on the Setup page.
Email address Add your PayPal email address to the Setup page. Miss this out and PayPal will return an error message.
Currency Each form can have its own currency. You can edit these on the Setup page. Only those currency codes list on the PayPal developers page are permitted. Errors will default to US Dollars.
Creating a new form You can create new forms on the Setup page. Enter name of the form (just letters, no spaces, numbers or punctuation) and the currency you want to use. When you update the page the new form will appear in the list. You can now edit the form settings and styles.
Copy Settings Select an existing form from the dropdown to copy the settings across to your new form.
Deleting a form To delete a form use the ‘Delete’ button on the Setup page. You also have the option to reset everything to factory (default) settings.
Testing the Form The Setup page has an option to use the PayPal sandbox. This will allow you test the PayPal settings (especially if you are using IPN) without making an actual payment. You can also test your forms from the plugin setting pages.
Form Selection If you have more than one form use the selector at the top of each settings to swap between them. If you have made any changes to a form make sure you save the settings before selecting a new form

Form Settings

Form title and blurb This is the info that appears at the top of the form. It uses your theme H2 and paragraph settings unless you change how they look on the Styling page.
Form Fields The fields you display on the form are set on the Form Settings page. The Reference and Amount are needed for PayPal to work but you can select and edit: Item number, quantity, postal charge, processing charge, coupons and a captcha. Change the order they appear on the form by dragging up and down.
Setting the payment reference or amount To set the payment reference or the amount enter the details and check the pre-set box. This will remove the form field and just display the details you set. You can also set the payment reference or the amount using shortcode attributes like this: [qpp id="Manhatten" amount="$12"] The third method is to use WordPress queries to send the information via the URL. The basic format is:£50. This is ideal if you want to add payment links to emails or pages where there are multiple products or services.
Multiple References If you have pre-set the payment reference or amount you can have a list of options. Separate each option with a comma and you will see a list on the form. You can also do the same with shortcodes. Example: [qpp id="Bed,Green,Blue"]
Coupons If you have selected the ‘Coupon Code’ form field Click on the ‘Set Coupons Codes’ link to add the actual codes. You also have the options to set the percentage or a fixed amount for each. On the form there will be a new button which calculates the discount before payment. You can also use WordPress queries to send the cookies via the URL. The basic format is: This is ideal if you want to add coupon links to emails.
Postage Charge If you set the postal charge it will be calculated and displayed on the PayPal payment page. The charge is added to the amount the payee has set.
Processing Fee If you set the processing fee it will be calculated and displayed on the PayPal payment page. The fee is added to the amount the payee has set.
Terms and Conditions Add the URL of your T&C page if you want a confirmation.
Maths Captcha An optional form field that will block the spammers
Shortcode Labels If you have pre-set the payment reference or amount you can display a label as well. Leave blank to only display the reference or the amount.
PayPal Image It doesn’t have to be a PayPal image, it can be anything. The image will resize to fit the width of the form.


Form Width Set this on the styling page. At the moment you can only set to 100% (responsive) or a fixed pixel width.
Border If you want a border you can change the style using a CSS shortcode. The format is: thickness type colour. All the options are explained on the W3C schools page.
Backgrounds You can select a solid colour or upload an image as the form background. If the image is smaller than the form it will tile (repeat).
Colour Selector This is a wordpress function. Click on the button and choose your colour. You can add a hex code or clear the selection. To close the selector click on ‘current color’.
Fonts There are 4 font areas: header, input fields, other text content, submit buttons. You can set the font face, size, colours and borders where applicable.
Custom CSS If you want a style not listed in the Styling page you can create your own. To apply the style check the ‘Use Custom CSS’ box.

Send Options

On hold Message PayPal can be a little slow sometimes so you have an option to display a submission message. This will display while the form is processing and again while PayPal is loading.
Setting the locale You can override the local paypal language using the locale setting on the Send Options page. This does not change the language on the form, it only works on the PayPal page.
Cancel and Return Pages PayPal will return your visitors to the current page. If you want to send them to a different page add the URLs in the appropriate box.
Custom PayPal Settings A number of options to tweak how PayPal processes the payment information.
Open PayPal in a new tab/window This might not work as some browsers get very iffy about changing focus.

Auto Responder

Enable Auto Responce Like it says on the box. this lets you send an email to the Payee.
Submission option Select when you want the message to be sent: after submission or after payment.
From name/email This is the name and email that the recipient will see in their email header.
Subject The email subject.
Message Content Note that some email clients block images and check link so be a bit careful what you put in here.
Add Payment Details This adds the payment details to the message.

Instant Payment Notification

Enable IPN If you have set up IPN in your PayPal account use this setting to report back completed payments in the dashboard Payments history.
Column header and label These are the labels that will appear on the dashboard Payments history and downloaded email/CSV.
Sandbox If you have checked the sandbox option on the setup page the IPN code will display in the Payments report so you can use the IPN simulator.


Error Messages If your visitor doesn’t fill in the reference or the amount they will get an error message. You can change the message they see.

Other Features

Payment history You can see and download a record of everyone who has filled in the form by clicking on the Payments link on your dashboard. It will not record if they made an actual payment unless you are using IPN. If you want to display the list on your site (if you have donors for example) use the shortcode [qppreport form="name"].
Widgets The QPP widget has a dropdown to select the form and fields to preset the reference and the amount.
  1. Kayla O'Steen on 20 Dec 2019:

    Hi there. One of my clients has made a new paypal account and I am not sure how to switch it on his website. In WordPress, I changed the email that is associated with his account in the plugin settings. I am not the original person who set up this plugin for him so I don’t know if I need to reset it altogether or if it is easy to switch. Thanks.

    Reply to Kayla O'Steen

    • Graham on 20 Dec 2019:

      Hi Kayla,
      Go to the plugin settings and you can change the PayPal email address on the setup page

  2. Cindy on 10 Dec 2018:

    Graham, I really think Quick PayPal Payments is great! Thank you.
    Is there a way for me, the site admin, to get an email notification when a payment is submitted? It would be easier for me to monitor this way.

    Reply to Cindy

    • Graham on 11 Dec 2018:

      Hi Cindy,
      In the Send Options settings just add your email address to the notification field separated with a comma.

  3. Carla on 22 Mar 2018:

    Graham… I went ahead and downloaded the Events Manager plugin to use instead of another calendar plugin. Great plugin! Couple things… I’m needing to use the PayPal Payments plugin as well because the EM plugin doesn’t allow for complex cost options. That being said, do you have a secret for receiving IPN notifications from both plugins? PayPal doesn’t allow more than one IPN listener, so…? Or perhaps more complex cost options can be made available for EM? Thanks!!

    Reply to Carla

    • Graham on 22 Mar 2018:

      I’ve been toying with the idea of building a more useful payment system. Perhaps something like this:

      But it is complicated and I need to have enough time to do the work. Unfortunately the paying work comes first and the plugin updates have to be fitted in whenever I have free time. But I will see what I can do.

  4. Carla on 20 Mar 2018:

    There is no option for “Places Available.” I’m working with the PayPal Payments plugin.

    Reply to Carla

    • Graham on 22 Mar 2018:

      Aha! I thought you were using the event manager (which does allow you to see the number of attendees). I suppose it’s possible to add this feature but it would only work if you are using IPN or In-context checkout. This would be quite a major change to the plugin as I’d have to rework a number of functions so I’d have to ask for come cash to support the development (as I do have bills to pay).

  5. Carla on 19 Mar 2018:

    Thanks for that, Graham, but where do you edit the number of places?

    Reply to Carla

    • Graham on 20 Mar 2018:

      In the event editor, scroll down the page a bit and you will see a line titled ‘Places Available’. Enter the number of places and update. Then go to the registration form settings and check the ‘Hide registration form when event is full’ option.

  6. Carla on 17 Mar 2018:

    I’d like to have a limit on the number of payments that could be made. For instance, having an event where the max number of attendees is 20. Once 20 “tickets” or payments have been paid, the option to buy is not available.

    Reply to Carla

    • Graham on 18 Mar 2018:

      Hi Carla,
      When you create or edit an event you have the option to set the maximum number of places. When this number is reached a ‘Registration is closed’ message will display.

  7. Dennis Crayon on 12 Feb 2018:

    The First and Last name is not captured and added to the database do I have one of the settings wrong? If I upgrade will the name show then>

    Also if I upgrade will more info get passed through tp paypal.

    GREAT Plugin

    Reply to Dennis Crayon

    • Graham on 12 Feb 2018:

      Hi Dennis,
      I should all be saved to the database. On the Payments report have you checked the ‘Show Address’ box and updated the settings?

  8. Brayden Gerrard on 11 Feb 2018:

    Hi, is there a way to let the user choose any payment amount they like?

    Reply to Brayden Gerrard

    • Graham on 11 Feb 2018:

      Hi Brayden,
      Yes you can. The default form allows people to enter the amount they wish to pay

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