Visual Form Builder PayPal Redirect

For anyone who knows me even slightly well knows that I’m a huge fan of WordPress. I use it as my go-to CMS for all of the websites I create, whether for myself or for clients. It gives me the flexibility I need in a well designed format, and it gives my clients the ability to make changes to their own websites without knowing any code.

Some people will give you a giant list of plugins that you have to download when first setting up your WordPress site. My theory is the opposite. The fewer plugins, the better. I don’t install something if I don’t need it, just to have it. One plugin I almost always find myself installing, though, is Visual Form Builder. It makes creating HTML forms a piece of cake. Sure, you can code them all yourself, but why when this is so easy? It offers plenty of features, such as sending a copy of the form to administrators, to the person filling out the form, and so many other features. There is a Pro version as well if you need it, but I’ve found that all the features I need are offered in the free version.

One thing I often do for clients is build a form using this plugin so that they can collect some data or information from their customers. Once the customers click “Submit” on the form, it redirects them to a PayPal link where they can purchase a product. All of this is done through Visual Form Builder. On the “Confirmation” section, you have the option of redirecting the user to a different page in your WordPress site, to a different URL, or just display some text. Here is where I select “URL” and then post in the link that (under the email tab, not the WordPress form code) that PayPal has given me.

This morning, however, I ran into a new problem I’d never seen before. Upon redirection, I saw this error through PayPal:

I did everything that I could think of, and I could not for the life of me figure out the issue. It kept saying that I was missing “required information”. The thing was that I wasn’t sending any information. And what was even more baffling was that if I copied the link directly into a browser, the URL worked fine, and I was successfully redirected to PayPal. Therefore, the problem lies with Visual Form Builder.

I scoured the internet. I found a post on the plugin support page with someone having the same issue as me, but it was a quick dead-end. It was over 2 years old, and no problem had been found. The developer basically said, “Buy the Pro version.” And then the topic was closed. Well, that was no help.

I continued trying. After a lot of trial and error, I finally found a workaround. I used the Google Link Shortener, and for some reason, that worked. I pasted in my PayPal “email” link, and then Google spit out a shorter URL. I pasted that into the “Redirect” field under the confirmation settings, and voila! It worked!

This seemed to work for me. It’s not ideal, but it’ll do for now. Have you had a similar problem? Does this work for you? Let me know what you think.