PayPal Standard Payment Gateway

The PayPal Standard payment gateway will allow your attendees/registrants to pay for their event registration with a PayPal account. If guest checkout is enabled, then they can also pay with a bank card.

View quick links for this payment gateway –> 

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No installation is required. The PayPal Standard payment gateway is included with the Event Espresso 4 core plugin.

Important note about PayPal Standard: PayPal Standard is no longer supported, so its settings panel is hidden by default. PayPal Express is the recommended alternative. If necessary, you can unhide PayPal Standard’s settings panel by adding the following code to your custom functions file:

add_filter( 'FHEE__EE_PMT_Paypal_Express__register_payment_methods__hide_paypal_standard', '__return_false' );

You can add the above to a functions plugin, or into your WordPress theme’s functions.php file.

Switch from PayPal Standard to PayPal Express

1) Login to your account.

2) Look for the  person icon in the top left area of your screen and click on it. Then click on Profile and Settings.

3) Look at the left area of the screen under  My Profile and click on My selling tools. Then click on the Update link for API Access.

4) Click on the second option for  Classic (NVP/SOAP). If you have used PayPal Express for other projects, then you’ll have existing credentials that you can click to view and then copy into Event Espresso and save changes. If this is a new account, then you can request the credentials. Continue with the steps below.

5) Click  Request API Credentials.

6) Click  Request API signature.

7) Click  Agree and Submit.

8) Login to your  WordPress dashboard (WP-admin) and go to Event Espresso –> Payment Methods –> PayPal Express. Click the button to enable the payment method. You can then copy and paste the API usernamepassword, and signature into the payment methods page and save changes.

9) You’ll now want to verify that your PayPal Express payment method is ready to go. You can do this by starting a registration for an event and selecting PayPal Express during registration checkout and continuing to the page.

If you are able to reach the page, then your credentials from your account are correct. If you see an error, then please double-check your credentials and update them and try again.

10) Now that you have confirmed that PayPal Express is working, you can deactivate PayPal Standard through the payment methods page (Event Espresso –> Payment Methods) by clicking on the button to deactivate the payment method.

Setup and Configuration

An account with PayPal is needed to accept payments via PayPal Standard. Need an account? Call this number to get started: 1-855-456-1338.

A dedicated SSL certificate is recommended to make registration checkout and other areas of your website more secure.

Login to your  WP-admin (WP Dashboard) and go to Event Espresso –> General Settings –> Payment Methods. Once on the Payment Methods screen, click on PayPal Standard and click on the button to activate the payment method.


Below are the available fields and explanations for each field.

Name – This is the name of the payment method.
Description – This description is shown during registration checkout.
Admin-Only Name – This is a name of the payment method that will only be shown in the WP Dashboard (WP-admin).
Admin-Only Description – This description is used only in the WP Dashboard (WP-admin).
Use PayPal Sandbox? – Enables debugging for this payment method. It should be off (set to no) on a live/production site.
Open by Default? – This sets this payment method to be pre-selected on the registration checkout page.
PayPal Email – This credential is needed to process payments and is the email that you use to login to your account.
Image URL – This image is used on the page and appears in the top left area of the screen. This is helpful for branding your payment page.
Shipping Address Options – Specific the option for how addresses should be handled: Do not prompt for an address, Prompt for an address but do not require it, Prompt for an address and require it.
PMD Order – The value (number) can be used to sort or arrange this payment option. A lower value means that it should appear first during registration checkout.
Button URL – This is the URL to the image that will be used during the payment process of registration checkout.
Alternative Button URL:
Alternative Button URL:
Usable From? – Select where this payment method should be available for use. This payment method cannot process payments through the WP-admin (WP Dashboard).
Update Settings – Click this button after making any changes to your payment method.
Deactivate Payment Method – Click this button to deactivate this payment method.

Locate your Credentials for PayPal Standard

Your credential for PayPal Standard is your email. This is the email address that you use to login to your account on

You can then enter your email in the payment methods page for Event Espresso within your WP dashboard and then click on the Update Settings button.

Enable PayPal Instant Payment Notifications (IPN)

The PayPal IPN updates Event Espresso of payments through received through PayPal Standard. It must be enabled for Event Espresso to update payments correctly and a business or premier account with PayPal is required. Here are the steps for enabling the PayPal IPN:

1) Login to

2) Click on Profile under the My Account tab

3) Click on My Selling Tools (left menu)

4) Locate Instant payment notifications and then find the text that says “Integrate PayPal payment notifications with my website.” Now click on the Update link next to it.

5) Click on Choose IPN Settings. Set the Notification URL to be your transactions page for Event Espresso. On a default install of Event Espresso, this URL will be
Then select the Receive IPN Messages (Enabled) option and click on Save.

Enable PayPal Auto Return

These steps are not required but are recommended so PayPal automatically brings your attendees/registrants back to your site so they can view their registration confirmation. Here are the steps for enabling the PayPal Auto Return:

1) Login to

2) Click on Profile under the My Account tab

3) Click on My Selling Tools (left menu)

4) Locate Website Preferences and then find the text that says “Bring customers back to my website after they pay with PayPal.” Now click on the Update link next to it.

5) Set the Auto Return option to On. In the Auto Return field, add your thank you page URL for Event Espresso. On a default install of Event Espresso, this URL will be

6) Scroll to the end of the page and click on Save.


The PayPal Standard payment gateway will let you accept payments on This is an offsite payment gateway which means that attendees/registrants are transferred over to a secure page to process their payment. They are then returned to your site to view their registration confirmation.

If available, you can also process credit or debit cards via guest checkout. Note: this is only available in certain countries. Learn more about guest checkout with PayPal

An account with PayPal is needed to accept payments via PayPal Standard.


I configured PayPal Standard and payments are not being updated in Event Espresso. Can you help?
The PayPal IPN is needed to update payments. Please see the steps in the Usage section of this article.

When I refund a payment, does it also refund through
Refunds in Event Espresso 4 are currently a two step process. First, apply the refund through the transactional details screen of Event Espresso in your WP-admin (WP dashboard). Then login to your PayPal account and process the refund.

My attendees/registrants have to click a link on to get to my site after paying. How do I make return them to my site automatically?
The PayPal Auto Return option will handle this for you. Please see the steps in the Usage section of this article.

How can I setup a recurring payment or subscription through PayPal Standard?
Recurring or subscription payments are not currently supported in the PayPal Standard payment gateway.


Is an SSL certificate needed for PayPal Standard?
A dedicated SSL certificate is recommended if you are accepting payments on your website.

Do I need to be PCI compliant?
Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards ( PCI DSS) is required if you are processing, storing, or transmitting credit card data. Event Espresso recommends using a dedicated SSL certificate on your website.

View more information on PCI compliance from PayPal.

PayPal Standard is missing. Can I still use it?

PayPal Standard has been removed by default from Event Espresso 4, because the PayPal Standard service is not as reliable as the PayPal Express service and should be avoided in mission critical environments.

Our support team cannot write custom coding for you. Below are some examples on customizing this payment gateway.

Need to Buy a Support License for Event Espresso 4 (includes PayPal Standard)?
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