Losing sales! Help! Purchases not going through.

Clients are trying to purchase from my website, but no purchases are going through. I'm losing sales. How do I resolve this quickly?

  • Dimitris

    Hey there Tamara,

    I trust you're well today!

    First of all, I'd like you to describe me which plugin you use for purchases (MarketPress, Pro Sites, etc) and which payment methods/gateways you're using.
    After that, I need to know if there're any error message when a client is trying to make a purchase.

    I presume that your website was working previously as should be and this is a new issue, is that right?
    Are there any recent changes/updates that you've done that might corrupt previously working state?
    A theme/plugin conflict test may ensure you this. Feel free to conduct such a test as described here https://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/using-wpmu-dev/getting-support/ in a flow chart. As this is a live site, you may need to activate a "under construction" plugin before.

    If this comes down to nothing, I'd like you to:
    1. Enable WP_DEBUG in order to get any related errors. To do so, access your server through FTP, edit the wp-config.php file, find a line like
    define('WP_DEBUG', false);
    and replace it with the following (if the above line doesn’t exist, simply insert next snippet just above the /*That’s it! Stop editing… */ comment)

    // Enable WP_DEBUG mode
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
    // Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
    // Disable display of errors and warnings
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
    @ini_set('display_errors', 0);

    Then go ahead and try to replicate the error by making a failed purchase. By doing so, a /wp-content/debug.log file should be created. Simply download it, rename it to debug.txt and attach it here in your next reply.
    2. Grant us access to your website in order to better inspect your settings. Details can be found here https://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/wpmu-dev-dashboard-enabling-staff-login/

    Warm regards,

  • Tamara

    Thank you for responding. I am a complete layman and my web designer is unavailable. The error says, "Oops! An error occurred while processing your payment." I think it may have to do with Paypal. I'm so confused. I have lost many sales because it doesn't redirect properly to Paypal. I added the API information in 2014, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. If I grant you access to my website, is their a cost associated with that? Thanks.

  • Dimitris

    Hello Tamara,

    there's currently a massive attack in DNS servers.
    A colleague of mine just stated that even PayPal is down for her (located in US), so this may be the issue here.

    There's no risk with granting us access, we could have an admin access to your website, that's all.
    You don't have to worry as we won't try any changes that may interfere with your sites functionalities, but we could really use some debugging information as the WP admin account can't provide us with much info.

    Warm regards,

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Tamara!

    Once they add their credit card information it redirects them back to my website where they are to click a "submit order" button. That button doesn't allow you to click it.

    Can you please point me to the site in question (you didn't assign any site of your to this post) and provide me with a short step by step guide on what should I do there to reproduce it? I would also like to take a closer look so please grant me a support access to the site as described here:


    Best regards,

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Tamara,

    Thank you for granting access.

    I checked your site and I was also able to replicate the issue there. I used my PayPal sandbox account credentials for this but I already set your PayPal back to as it was set by you.

    I can confirm that this doesn't work as expected but also there's no errors or unusual settings that I could find. This would mean that most likely some settings of the site and/or server interfere and in order to identify this a full theme/plugin conflict test would be necessary.

    To do this, I would recommend first switching PayPal to a sandbox mode so you wouldn't have to perform a real transaction each time. See "Creating a new Sandbox test account" section here:


    Once you have sandbox credentials go to the "Store settings -> Payments" in your site's dashboard, replace current credentials with sandbox and switch gateway to sandbox. You may want to add a message on site that the purchase is temporarily not possible (just for testing time).

    Then, follow this flowchart (you may need to scroll the page down a bit to see it):

    Hopefully at some point the site should start to work and then we would know which plugin or if a theme is interfering. Knowing that we could further investigate it and I'm sure we'll be able to find the solution.

    Kind regards,

  • Tamara

    Thank you Adam. I've gone through all of the steps to sandbox Paypal and when I link back to the site it still doesn't work. I'm now at the point where it says I should use a default template. The only problem is that I have a lot of galleries on my site and wouldn't know where to start. Also I noticed that the "Core" theme 'stylesheet' is missing. I'm not sure what that is, but could that be the problem?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Tamara!

    Thank you for getting back to me :slight_smile:

    I've gone through all of the steps to sandbox Paypal and when I link back to the site it still doesn't work

    I"m not much surprised with it but I suggested this mostly for your convenience. While performing a full theme/plugin conflict test you will need to perform a lot of purchase transactions as well so it's better to use sandbox account for such testing because:

    - with sandbox account no real money is involved
    - also there's no risk that due to so frequent identical transactions PayPal would suspend your account temporarily or your bank would block your card (dozens of $0.01 transactions "in a row" may appear suspicious for them).

    Therefore, switching to sandbox for tests removes that risks entirely :slight_smile:

    I'm now at the point where it says I should use a default template. The only problem is that I have a lot of galleries on my site and wouldn't know where to start.

    The gallery is a content and the theme is "content presentation" so if the theme is not "broken/poorly written" that shouldn't be an issue. All that should happen would be that the galleries would display in a different way (possibly appear "broken" but that's only until you switch back to your current theme).

    Switching to "default" theme basically means this:
    - go to "Themes" page in your dashboard
    - activate e.g. "Twenty Fifteen" theme

    Also I noticed that the "Core" theme 'stylesheet' is missing. I'm not sure what that is, but could that be the problem?

    Theoretically, a missing stylesheet (CSS style file) of a theme shouldn't cause this but you never know that. Also, there should not be any missing stylesheet in a theme and if there is that would mean that either the theme was not fully installed (rarely but it happens sometimes due to some unexpected glitches/connection drop-downs) or that it's been somehow modified.

    I would however suggest proceeding with a conflict test to see where it gets us and if at some point this starts to work.

    Best regards,

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Tamara,

    That's strange, switching theme shouldn't be causing fatal error like this one...

    I tested Photomania theme on my installation and disabling it doesn't cause any fatal errors for me.

    Can you tell me which PHP version you have on your server and which is your hosting provider?

    Also, can you check if you have any server side caching and try clearing it to see if it starts working after that?

    Best regards,

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