How to Install

SP Paypal Subscriptions is installed just like any other standard Joomla component from Extensions Manager in back end.

Free registration is required to download. Click here to create an account.

Let's see below an example of building a subscription for users to access the Fruit Shop content of the default sample data.

Example - Managed Subscriptions

Prepare User Groups and View Access Level

From User Manager tab User Groups create a new user group called "Customer Group"

From User Manager tab Viewing Access Level create a new access level called "Customer Access Level"

Assign Content to the Viewing Access Level

Choose the content and assign the viewing access level. In our example we choose some categories, but it could be anything (articles, menus, modules etc)

Edit the categories you want and assign the newly created access level. In our example we modified category "Fruit Shop Site".

Activate IPN notifications

First you have to login to your PayPal account.

  • If your IPN notification is active you do not have to anything ( you do not have to change the destination URL). That is because we will use later dynamic IPN notification.
  • If your IPN is not already active then you have to activate the IPN notification. You should define as "Notification Url":

Create PayPal Subscription Button

First you have to login to your PayPal account.

If you are not already familiar then read how to create PayPal subscription buttons. You should only be aware that the PayPal feature for creating usernames/passwords is not used by the component.

There are two important things that you have to do:

  1. Add a unique "Subscription ID" which you will later connect with your siteSubscription ID
  2. Define the IPN url address in tab "Customize advanced features" in "Advanced variables" field.IPN URL

You can ignore to define in advanced variables the IPN URL, if it is the default URL of your account IPN notifications.

Link PayPal buttons with User Groups

The last step is to create the relation between your buttons and the user groups. That is achieved with SP Paypal Subscriptions.

Go to SP PayPal Subscriptions component



Press button options (required only once) to define your PayPal account id, email and how you want the usernames to be created.

This is how security is achieved. When the IPN notification is received by our component, a handshake is achieved between your site and PayPal based on your Merchant ID before any update is applied. Even if your site is NOT SSL secured (http), PayPal is using SSL security (https) therefore the exclusive real time handshake cover any security issue. This way is based on PayPal recommendation.

Define the email notifications that are to be sent. There are two possible emails:

  1. For new users
  2. For existing users that are to be upgraded.

In the emails you have the ability to use special keywords to personalize for each recipient. HTML tags is not allowed but plain text. The keywords must be included in {}. See below the special keywords:

  • {name} - Recipient full name
  • {username} - Recipient username
  • {password} - Recipient password (only valid for new users)
  • {email} -Recipient email
  • {sitename} - Your site name as defined in Global Configuration
  • {siteurl} - Your site url

See below an example image:

Email Notifications


Then create one item per PayPal button to link with User Group by pressing button "New". Add below fields:

  • "Paypal Item #" is the button's subscription id
  • "Block" choose whether to block user when non active subscription, or revert to "NON Active Subscription" group
  • "Active Subscription" the Customer Group.
  • "NON Active Subscription" the Registered group, so to revert when subscriptions ends

You have also the ability to add contacts linked to your new created users.

See below image for our example. This is how the relation between the PayPal button and User Group is created.

What is the result?

That's it!!! You now have all the PayPal Subscription buttons functionality integrated with your site's User Groups.

With the new User Groups vs Viewing Access of Joomla, you now have every unlimited possible option to choose to what your subscribers have access.

With PayPal button:

  • With every new subscription (or subscription payment) a new user is created
  • With every "End Of Term" (EOT) of subscription, the user is automatically blocked, or revert to the group you choose
  • With every subscription payment (renewal), if the user is blocked, then is unblocked, and upgraded to the group you choose


We strongly suggest to test with Sandbox before using in live sites and buttons. That way you ensure fully functionality. In sandbox to test you should use:

  • Transaction Type -> Web Accept
  • Item Number -> Your test Item Number
  • txn_type:
    • subscr_signup (for new subscriptions)
    • subscr_eot (for subscription finish)
    • subscr_payment (for renewal)
    • web_accept (for one time subscription)

The web_accept corresponds for Buy Now buttons. It is suitable for selling/download digital products. With the Buy Now buttons you may automatically register your customers to specific groups that have access to specific download pages (articles).

We remind you that you should first choose to test with Sandbox from SP Paypal Subscriptions options.


Because by default Joomla strip the url of your Paypal buttons, first make sure to disable filtering before saving your articles. For example if you use super administrator to edit your articles do the follow:

  • Content, Article Manager
  • From there in the upper right hand corner, click "options"
  • In "Article Manager Options" go to tab "Text filters"
  • Set "Super Users" to "no filter"

We also have available to download for FREE the even more powerful SP Digital Subscriptions that utilizes PayPal Express Checkout instead of the buttons.