One of the most useful features of the PRO version is the Mark as paid one. This tutorial will guide you through how you can mark authors and posts as paid with Post Pay Counter, and how to use the plugin to pay authors through PayPal in just a few clicks.
Marking as paid is useful especially because it allows for automated payment managing! You will not need to take care of how much you paid an author last month and how much you should pay him this month. The plugin will keep a payment history and will make all the math needed.
First thing you need to care about is permissions. Post Pay Counter has detailed permissions settings to keep users from accessing features they should not. You yourself may not yet have access to payment features because you lack permissions to do so.
Head over to Post Pay Counter > Options and look for the Permissions box. Let’s start by ticking all payment-related permissions. Of course, you can play around with them and decide exactly which you want to be active, but we are going to present all the available features now.
When your setup will be complete, you may want to personalize user settings in order to hide those features from normal users and only see them yourself.
Payments happen in the stats page, so let’s go to Post Pay Counter > Stats now. Payment features are available both in the general stats view (where authors are displayed) and in the detailed stats view (where posts details from a single author are displayed). We will be showing them off for the detailed view of a specific author now.
Each post has three columns you should care about when paying:
- Due pay: this is the amount you will pay. It can be different from the Total payment one, because it keeps track of past payments as well, subtracting them from the total amount.
- Pay: when checked, the post/author is enlisted for payment.
- Payment history: displays post/author payment history, to review past payments.
Let’s tick all posts we want to mark as paid and scroll down to the bottom of the stats table, where the payment buttons are. We have two choices here: normal mark as paid, or pay through PayPal. We will be dealing with PayPal payments later on, but it is virtually the same.
So, once checked all to-be-paid items, click on Mark selected posts as paid.
You will be brought to the Confirm payment page, where you can review the payment you are about to make in all detail. Author and posts details are showed, and the detailed view can be collapsed. It is also possible to add a note to the payment for future reference. Of course, in case multiple authors were selected for payment, all of them would show up in the confirm page.
At the bottom-right of the page is the Confirm Payment button, which will confirm the transaction. The request is processed and, unless an error occurred, you are brought back to the stats page.
At this point, all posts we marked as paid show up with a 0.00 Due Pay amount. Also, the Pay checkbox is disabled. If, after a payment has happened, the value of a post changes, the Due Pay gets updated consequently.
For example, if more words are added to the post, or if it receives more visits, or if it generates more Adsense revenue, the new income will add up in the Due Pay amount. And when, one month from the first payment, you will pay that post again, you will only pay for the newly-generated income. In fact, the already paid amount will be subtracted.
Marking as paid would be quite useless without the ability to review past transactions. And indeed, you can do that! The See payment history link in each row will open a nice dialog with details of past transactions.
After making the test payment above, the payment history for user admin has a new entry. Besides knowing the date and amount of payment, full details of the transaction are shown, together with the optional note you may have left. The Export transaction details link besides each entry allows you to download the detailed breakdown of the payment in csv format.
Moreover, payment history entries can easily be deleted through the apt link. Doing so will restore Due Pay amounts to before the transaction happened. Deleting an author payment history record will delete all the related post payment history as well.
Each transaction has a unique identifier (ID). Clicking on it will bring you to the details for the whole transaction. This is useful if you paid more than one author in the same transaction, and will display all involved posts and authors. Clicking on authors/posts will bring you to the individual payment histories for the clicked element.
Now to PayPal payments. After selecting all the items you wish to pay as seen above, you do also have the option to pay the corresponding authors through PayPal directly. It just depends on which button you click in the stats page: either mark as paid or pay with PayPal.
Both simple marking as paid and paying through PayPal will get you to the Confirm Payment page, as seen above. However, when confirming the transaction you will be brought to PayPal to enter your credentials and authorize the payment.
You can either use your PayPal account, if you have one, or pay with a credit card. In all cases, the plugin does not store any confidential data. For this reason, you need to enter your login data every time. There is a PayPal Settings box in the Options page though: you may want to have a look at it or at the tutorial.
You may notice that my name, Stefano Ottolenghi, shows up at the top of the payment page. That is because the PayPal app was registered under my name, but of course I don’t get any money from your transaction. Also, users will never see that, because the payment will come from your own email address. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to change this.
One more limitation about PayPal payments is that you may not pay more than six authors at once.
Anyway, after confirming the payment, you will be sent back to the stats page. A new payment history record gets added just as it happens with marking as paid. However, the entry clearly shows that the payment was made through PayPal.
You may be wondering how do authors can input the PayPal email address they want to be paid to. Well, it’s right in their profile page (or in their BuddyPress member page, if you have the BuddyPress addon)!
If you have a custom setup for user profiles, and for some reasons users can’t see the default PayPal email address field in their profile page, you can manage it on your own. The code you should be using is something like
get_user_option( $ppcp_global_settings['paypal_email'], $user_id );
update_user_option( $user_id, $ppcp_global_settings['paypal_email'], "email_value" );
Using WP functions and PPC PRO variables makes sure your implementation will work for sure, even in multisite and with future updates of the plugin, but if you need the specific wp_usermeta meta key, it’s wp_ppcp_paypal_email.
So there you go! This is how payments management becomes easy with Post Pay Counter PRO!