WP Printable Gift Certificates V 1.0

by Kyle on January 21, 2011

Today I have released Version 1.0 of the WordPress Printable Gift Certificates plugin. I still have a long way to go before this plugin is exactly what I want it to be but I think that I have reached a point where it is a valid, usable, stable plugin for the masses. Hence the 1.0 designation.

New Options

Version 1.0 introduces some new plugin options that didn’t previously exist. While I can’t make everyone happy these options should provide for a broader use of the plugin.

Require Address option: This new option allows you to set whether or not you want to require your customers to provide their mailing address, setting the option to no will limit the order form to e-mail and phone number only

Currency: With version 1.0 you now have the option to select the currency you want to use for selling your certificates. The available currencies are: AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, and USD

Custom Return Page: Enter the URL for your custom return page here. This allows you to provide your own style or page template for the return page. If you leave the field blank it will still work the way it worked prior to Version 1.0

Disable Included CSS: This does exactly what it sounds like. If you set this to Yes all of the CSS I included will be dead and gone. This allows you to style the elements of the order buttons and forms using your own custom CSS.

Changes to Cert Button Table

Previously the certificate button table was displayed using an HTML table and styled using CSS. From a design standpoint tables are falling out of favor so I have ported the display over to a definition list. This means the display of your buttons is going to change when you upgrade. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of.

In addition to changing from a table to a definition list you can now opt to display just the button (all the form fields and description are hidden or just not there). This allows you to style everything in whatever way you want and the just include the “Purchase Cert” button to initiate the order process. To do this just add the option button_only=”TRUE” to your shortcode. So instead of [wpgft id=1] you would use [wpgft id=1 button_only=”TRUE”]

Additional Changes

One new feature was added to the certificate review page for administrators. You can now export the listing of all sold certificates to a comma separated file.

The following bugfixes are also included in this release

  1. Upgrades erase all stored options and buttons
  2. Buttons displayed using shortcodes appear above post text, regardless of position.
  3. CSS Failing to load when Shortcode is first item on a page
  4. Certificate Amounts with Commas showing as INVALID
  5. Recipient name Field was editable during Review
  6. Order Processing Form was displayed multiple times when short codes were placed in a post on an index page.

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Working with the PayPal Sandbox

by Kyle on December 22, 2010

PayPal Sandbox

The PayPal sandbox is an invaluable test bed for anyone developing or working with a plugin or site that interfaces with PayPal. The sandbox provides you a method for executing complete transactions as if you were making a live purchase without actually spending any money. The sandbox is available to anyone with a developer account.

Step 1: Register

The first thing you are going to need to do is register for a developer account with PayPal. This is free and easy to do at http://developer.paypal.com

Step 2: Setup Your Accounts

Once you are registered and have logged into you new developer account you are going to need a couple of test accounts. You can’t use your actual PayPal accounts so what you need is to setup at least one Seller account and at least one buyer account. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using the “preconfigured” account option.

To set them up simply select Test Accounts on the left side menu of your developer control panel. Then select New Account: Preconfigured. Choose whether you would like to make it a buyer or a seller (you need one of each), give it an e-mail address and set your password.

*A note on e-mail addresses: The email address you setup for your test accounts is 100% fakity Fake. It cannot receive external e-mail. That means if you use the “buyer” account to make a purchase and the application you are testing sends out something, like a gift certificate, via e-mail you are never going to get it. When I am testing I don’t “login” with a test account to make my purchases I just use the buyer accounts credit card information and then I can make sure they use a REAL e-mail address for the interface with my app.

Step 3: Configuring Your Plugin/App

Now that you have your test accounts setup you need to configure your plugin / app to make sure it is pointing at your development environment. The PayPal url for test transactions needs to be set to http://www.sandbox.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr.

You also need to ensure you set the Business e-Mail to the SELLER account you setup in the developer control panel, not your actual PayPal ID or event he ID you use to login to developer.paypal.com. This is one of the mistakes I see people making, the Sandbox is potentially going to allow you to do the transaction but the results are not going to be what you want.

Step 4: Test, Test, and Re-test

Now that you have everything configured it is time to start your testing. You can now freely create transactions in your shopping cart or other PayPal enhanced plugin without having to actually do live transactions where money changes hands. A couple of things should still be kept in mind:

  1. Any PayPal generated e-mail messages that would typically be sent to the buyer/seller are not going to be sent out, you can only find them by accessing the developer panel and going to the “Test Email” section.
  2. Just because it worked in the SandBox doesn’t mean it will work in production (so test at least one transaction on the live system).
  3. Make sure you test all of your possible scenarios, and be prepared for people who are having problems with your setup. It is just inevitable.

That is the quick and dirty of it, I will be adding a follow up post on using IPN and how to test effectively using the SandBox. Got questions? Drop me a comment and I will try my best to help you out.

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Your Thoughts on WP Printable Gift Cert – Version 1.0

December 16, 2010

I haven’t heard from anyone in a while on additional issues or bugs with the current version of wp-gift-cert(0.9.4). If you are having problems or have identified issues or bugs in the current release please contact me direct via the contact form on this site or through the WordPress.org Forums. As it looks like things […]

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This is a short first post, but hey I am just getting this thing rolling and off the ground. If you are here that means I did something right. The idea behind this blog is really to discuss aspects of small business, blogging, social media, and how to market your business on the internet. Posts […]

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