PayPal IPN Troubleshooting

PayPal should automatically be able to send a message to your site that updates the donation status, using what is called an IPN listener. Generally, it should work out of the box but there are a few reasons why it might not be working for you.

The first step to take when troubleshooting this is to use the Sandbox tool that is provided with Charitable.

  1. Go to CharitableSettings > Payment Gateways and click on the PayPal settings button.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the settings area and enter your sandbox seller account in the field provided. If you have not created sandbox accounts yet, read this guide to setup your sandbox accounts (you’ll need to create at least two):

    Screenshot of sandbox testing tool in Charitable

  3. After doing this, you will be redirected to PayPal’s Sandbox to pay for a fake donation. You will need to use your buyer sandbox account to make the payment.
  4. Next, you will be returned to your WordPress dashboard and you should receive feedback on whether the IPN notification was successful. You will also receive an email with more details.

Next steps

If you have followed the steps above and you are not receiving the IPN notifications, try to set the notification URL. Log in to PayPal and go to Profile and Settings > My Selling Tools. You should see an “Instant payment notification” field, which you can fill out to be {http://yoursite.com}/?charitable-listener=paypal

If problems persist, check the following:

  • Verify that the PayPal account you are using has a verified email address.
  • Check that PayPal is receiving payments in the same currency as Charitable is set up with.
  • If you have a firewall plugin or the Bad Behavior plugin installed, try disabling them temporarily to see if the issue persists.