Paypal Integration Settings

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Hi team, I have a few questions when I set up the paypal affiliation integration, hope you can help me with them.

1. Notification URL: My website is http and I have never upgraded it to https, which means I have to uncheck the “use secure urls” box right?
2. Return URL & Cancel URL: When I setup my paypal button on paypal, there is an option for me to set the return and cancel urls for the particular button. So if I set these urls up in paypal, then I don’t need to set those in your plugin’s setting right? Also I saw your instruction “In your PayPal account’s Profile Website Preferences enable Auto Return for Website Payments and input the Return URL that points to the appropriate page here on your site.” I guess I don’t need to set this preference as well since I didn’t find where to set it in paypal?
3. For the referral base amount deduction setting, I check “deduct fee”, but I didn’t see any place to set up the fee, so I guess your plugin use the paypal fee for this deduction? (I want the commission to be calculated based on the amount after paypal fee deduction)

Thank you!!!

42 Responses to Paypal Integration Settings

  1. George June 7, 2017 at 10:28 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    1. Correct, if you don’t use an SSL then you shouldn’t check this option. However, you are recommended to add an SSL to your website for security reasons. When and if you decide to add it, you should enable the option in plugin settings and update the IPN URL in your PayPal account.

    2. Correct. You don’t have to set the return and cancel URLs but imo it’s easier to set them under the plugin options instead of setting these each time you add a PayPal button. It’s up to you. The option to auto return after payment is completed, can be found under Profile > My Selling Tools. Then go to the right column under section Selling Online, click update next to Website preferences option.

    3. By checking the deduct fee option the referral amount will be calculated based on your final income.

    Kind regards,

    • yunyi June 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      Thank you George!

      Another question about PayPal commission is, I have multiple pages embedded with Paypal button code,so if one referral clicked the affiliate link to page 1 but he purchased products on both page 1 and page 2 ,will the affiliate get commission for the purchase on page 2?

      So for this shortcode, [affiliates_url][/affiliates_url], do I have to generate this for every page I want commission to be valid or just put the domain inside there will do?

  2. George June 8, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    In this case the affiliate will get a referral per each purchase. Actually, the affiliate will get referrals for as long as the cookie is stored, ie the user exits the browser or the cookie expires after x days as set under Affiliates > Settings > Referrals, Referral Timeout option.

    With this shortcode, you can help your affiliates promote specific links on your site.
    In general, a referral will be recorded if a guest follows a link to your site and that link has appended the affiliate url parameter.

    Example: If someone clicks on and makes a purchase on a paypal page with url, affiliate with id=2 will be granted with a referral.


    • yunyi June 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      Hi George,

      I am testing my Paypal affiliate system and purchased through my own affiliate link (I enabled this at the backend), however there are hits and visits showing at the backend, but no referral recorded….Will referral be recorded immediately after they purchase? What could be the problem of not recording it?

      My notification URL for IPN messages from PayPal is, does this link still working if I use plugin Protect WP-Admin to change my wordpress login url from wp-admin to xxxxx ? (I guess this is the problem but I am not sure lol )

      Please help, thanks!

  3. George June 13, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    Please note that i used domain for reference only.
    In your PayPal IPN settings you should use the IPN URL found under Affiliates > PayPal. If you don’t use the correct URL noted there, once a payment is completed through PayPal it won’t be able to send the correct notification to your installation.


    • yunyi June 13, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      Ya…I know, I also used as a reference. In my paypal setting, I used the exact url from Affiliates>paypal. But it is not working.

      Any reason may cause the problem that referral not being recorded?

    • yunyi June 14, 2017 at 4:01 am #

      Hi George. I need your help on this urgently…This is the last step of our testing and our affiliate program could be live after we solve this problem. Really appreciate if you can help me on this asap since now the system cannot record any referral.

      Could you please add my skype: zhao0171 for a better communication if possible? Thanks in advance!

  4. George June 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi yunyi,

    Usually the issue for not recording referrals is a wrong IPN URL set in your PayPal account.
    Please provide temp admin access to your Dashboard and send me the credentials to in order to have a look at your configuration.

    Kind regards,

    • yunyi June 15, 2017 at 3:00 am #

      Thank you George, Email sent!

  5. George June 15, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    I haven’t received it yet.
    Check if your IP is blacklisted in You can alternatively send me the credentials and wp-admin link to


    • yunyi June 15, 2017 at 8:46 am #

      Just sent again to both of your emails. Did you check the spam folder?

  6. George June 15, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Thanks for providing access.

    I will switch it to sandbox and add my sandbox account to perform a test if this is ok with you.


    • yunyi June 15, 2017 at 9:08 am #

      Sure, go ahead to test it out. Also if you want you can add my skype: zhao0171 for a easier communication.


  7. George June 15, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    I’ve added my sandbox account and tried with myself as an affiliate on a test button.
    You can find the test button in the page
    The referral was recorded properly as you can see under Affiliates > Referrals.

    I would suggest you to try the following:
    1. Double check your PayPal buttons in case you are missing the proper shortcodes aka [affiliates_paypal_form] paypal button code [/affiliates_paypal_form].
    2. Have a look again at your IPN URL in your PayPal account and that IPN is turned on. As i mentioned before this is the most common issue that prevents referrals from being recorded properly.
    3. Check your IPN history in your PayPal account under History > IPN History. There you will see a list of IPN messages. By clicking on an IPN message you can see details and if the IPN was successfully sent.
    4. Create a new test page, add a new PayPal button enclosed in the affiliates shortcodes and do a test referral on live mode.
    5. Repeat the process but this time switch to sandbox, add a sandbox PayPal button and repeat the test.
    Keep in mind that sandbox buttons are different from live buttons.

    Regarding support, it is provided through this forum only. This happens mainly because all the issues and replies in this forum are used for future reference as well.

    Kind regards,

    • yunyi June 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      Hi George,

      That is very strange, I have double checked your first 3 steps and everything is correct.

      4. However I created a new test page with new button, tried again in live mode still no record. But I checked paypal IPN history, this new transaction is correctly shown there with “Delivery status: Sent”

      5. I am not familiar with sandbox and don’t know how to do it, but what is the difference between sandbox mode and live mode? If you tested it in sandbox mode and it works, but I tested in live mode not working…what could be the problem and how can I solve it?

    • yunyi June 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

      Also I just tried to buy from your sandbox paypal button but failed…I couldn’t login to my paypal to make payment for that.

  8. George June 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi yunyi,

    If it is working on sandbox and not on live, there might be an issue with your PayPal account or perhaps there is a plugin blocking IPNs on live mode only.
    You can further test the situation by creating a staging copy of your site. There we can conduct tests thoroughly without breaking the functionality of your live site and also check if there is another plugin that might be causing a conflict. Once you create a staging site, create an admin account for me, enable debugging and let me know so that i can further test it.

    To enable debugging, edit your wp-config file and replace the following line:
    define('WP_DEBUG', false);
    with these lines:
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);

    Finally create a new file named debug.log under your wp-content folder.

    A sandbox account is used for testing. So this means that you have to add your sandbox account email and the IPN URL in your sandbox PayPal account in order for the plugin to receive the payment notification.
    Also, i mentioned that the button i’ve tried is from my sandbox account, so it is linked with my sandbox PayPal account. Here you can find instructions on how to create a sandbox account.

    To make things even more clear:
    Everything has to be related with the account you use.
    1. When you setup the configuration with live mode, you have to add your PayPal account email to Affiliates PayPal settings.
    2. From there you copy the IPN URL and paste it to your PayPal account under IPN notifications.
    3. On your PayPal account you create a button and use this button on your WordPress page.


    • yunyi June 16, 2017 at 7:00 am #

      Hi George, I have created a staging site but I am not sure how to do the following:

      To enable debugging, edit your wp-config file and replace the following line:
      define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false);
      with these lines:
      define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
      define(‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);
      Finally create a new file named debug.log under your wp-content folder.

      so the wp-config file and wp-content folder are specifically for the staging site or for the real site? and how can I find those files?

      Btw, could you please replace my domain in your previous reply with “” so other people cannot see my website? Thanks.

  9. George June 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi yunyi,

    Your wp-config.php file can be found in your hosting account. It is located in the folder where you installed wordpress staging file. Same applies for wp-content folder. You can see the file structure of a WordPress installation here.


    • yunyi June 16, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi George, Thanks.

      I have done all the configuration and sent the new login to staging site to both of your emails.

      Looking forward to your reply~

    • yunyi June 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi George, May I know how is the debug going?

  10. George June 19, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    Your site is not accessible today. The temp admin access has expired.
    Can you please have a look?


    • yunyi June 19, 2017 at 8:23 am #

      Hi George,

      I just emailed to your 2 emails again with new links, please check. Hope it is working this time.

  11. George June 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    Thanks for providing access.

    The issue seems to be caused by Thrive content builder tool. In order to add a shortcode on a page, you first have to add a WordPress Content element from the right column. Then you should click on the new element, click on Edit Shortcode and add your shortcode-PayPal button block in Text mode.
    This is how i made the Test button on your staging site. I got that info from Thrive Knowledge Base.

    If you have created a sandbox PayPal account, use your sandbox buyer credentials and try to buy the Test PayPal button i created after following an affiliate link.
    Otherwise, switch Affiliates PayPal integration to live mode, add your PayPal email, edit your PayPal buttons to the frontpage according to what i mentioned above, and buy one of your buttons after following an affiliate link.


    • yunyi June 20, 2017 at 1:54 am #

      Hi George,

      I don’t understand what you mean by this issue seems to be caused by Thrive content builder tool. Because I was following the exact same steps to create the real buy buttons on my main site.

      Could you check those buy buttons on my main site? They are added by the same way as you added the new test button. Are you sure this content builder is the one causing the issue?

      Can we arrange a time to have a one hour chat Today to figure this out? This is a very urgent issue, and it has been lagged for about 10 days. I know you want everything to be on the forum, but this will take forever for us to fix the problem due to the slow communication. After we solve the problem together, I can post our solution here so all other people can see. I believe this is also the best way for other users because they can see our final solution straightly instead of seeing a lot of communications which is not helpful for them.

      Please let me know asap. I need to solve this today!

    • yunyi June 20, 2017 at 6:01 am #

      Hi George,

      I just used my paypal to purchase from your test button on staging site, no referral is recorded. But you can check the log to see if any problem is founded. Thanks.

    • yunyi June 20, 2017 at 7:25 am #

      Hi George,

      New update, we tested again according to your instruction and here are the result:
      1. Bought from your test button from sandbox mode——-Referral recorded correctly
      2. Created a new button below your sandbox button and bought in live mode—–No referral recorded, No Log.

      Please help us check what is the problem.

  12. George June 20, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    Please send me a screenshot from your IPN settings page where you set the IPN URL in you live PayPal account. Also, i would like to see a screenshot of your last IPN message transaction, the one you did in live mode. You can send both to my email accounts.
    In the meantime, i will debug Affiliates PayPal plugin in case the referral is not recorded there.

    So far i haven’t posted any sensitive data in my comments regarding you or your site, if though you think the content has to be edited, please mention it and i will edit accordingly. As i mentioned before support is provided only through the forum from Monday to Friday and support hours are from 10:00 to 17:00 (GMT).

    Kind regards,

    • yunyi June 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi George,

      Screenshots sent to your email

  13. George June 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Please try making a transaction using one of the live buttons and let me know. I have added a different version of Affiliates PayPal in your staging site.


  14. yunyi June 21, 2017 at 6:32 am #

    Hi George,

    I just purchased again using the live button on the staging site but still no referral recorded. Is the paypal setting and ipn message I sent you yesterday all good? Do you need me to send you again the ipn message for the new transaction?

    If all settings are good, then what should be the reason causing that problem….Is there any hope we can get this solved today?

    Thanks again.

  15. George June 21, 2017 at 7:31 am #

    Hi yunyi,

    Yes the IPN URL is correct and the message response is ok, so you don’t have to send me these now.
    I’ve uploaded a different version atm and another plugin to log messages.
    Also, just in case your site is running low on memory, try to increase PHP memory. Add this line to your wp-config.php file which is located to the root folder of your WP installation.
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M');

    After adding that line, repeat the test with a live button.


    • yunyi June 21, 2017 at 8:21 am #

      Hi George,

      I don’t know which site you were referring to, so I added the code under both of my main site and staging site.

      Just done the test and still doesnt work.

  16. George June 21, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    That’s ok everything takes place in your staging site, but the line added is nothing harmful. It even appear useful in the future.

    Please repeat the test always in your staging site, using a live button.


    • yunyi June 21, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

      Noted thanks!

      Do you need me to test with the live button again? How is it going now?

      • George June 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

        Yes please!

        • yunyi June 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

          Just did. No record as well.

  17. George June 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    HI yunyi,

    I’ve just tried to make a purchase using my PayPal account and the referral is correctly stored.
    I used myself as the affiliate and bought the 1USD PayPal button you have added right after the Test button.

    What process did you follow during the tests and which button exactly did you use? Did you complete the PayPal payment? Did you also receive the payment?


    • yunyi June 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi George,

      We have refunded your test payment for $1 before. Can you help us do one last test with the live $0.01 button here (This test is for my live site and in the pricing table format) ?

      We have tested it many times using different ways but still no referral stored and I am not sure if it is your plugin’s problem or our testing problem.

      Please let me know your result, if it works with your test then we will simply publish it. This has really bothered us a lot.


  18. George June 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm #

    Hi yunyi,

    Thanks for the refund.
    I’ve just tested the 0.01USD button you sent me by mail and it worked normally as it should. Although the referral granted appears as 0.00 because the commission is too low( 0.01×30% ) and you allow only two decimals, but the referral is properly stored.
    IMO you are ready to go live and just remember the suggestions i’ve sent you by mail. What i mean is in order to record a referral, a visitor/customer should follow an affiliate link and complete a purchase on your site.

    Kind regards,

    • yunyi June 29, 2017 at 1:48 am #

      Thanks George!

      1. I saw you deactivate my plugin “protect wp-admin”. Is it because of this plugin that the affiliate program not working?

      2. I saw your referral successfully recorded in the “visits and referral” section, however the referral in “Traffic” is still showing 0. Do you know why?

  19. George June 29, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    You are welcome yunyi.

    1. My initial tests have been conducted with all your plugins deactivated, so you can proceed and activate this plugin as well.

    2. There might be an issue with reports under Traffic but as long as the referral appears under Referrals report and under Totals there is no issue regarding the referral being recorded or not.