Here are the most common questions that we get asked of SubscriptionBoss. If your question isn't listed here, or if you want to speak with either Liz or Russell, please visit the contact page and request a Skype call to get your questions answered.

I Need The Site To Go Live Tomorrow – Can You Help?

Getting the site live quickly with the ability to take payment via PayPal for Infusionsoft Subscriptions is possible if you make the necessary preparations. It involves a bit of learning and possibly some software installations or upgrades and some configuration in Infusionsoft.

SSL Certificate

The first thing is to establish whether or not you need a SSL certificate. A typical host will take between 4 and 48 hours to set up an SSL certificate.

For installations where the integration is via Infusionsoft order forms/shopping cart which gives out-of-the-box integration with the Infusionsoft affiliate system, you will need an SSL certificate on the WordPress site where the plugin is installed

For more see do I need an SSL certificate? and where do I install SubscriptionBoss?

Infusionsoft Preparation

If you already have your sales funnel and campaign in place for credit cards then the setup will go faster as you will have most of the hooks in place:

  • Products/Subscriptions
  • Order Forms or Shopping cart themes
  • Campaigns – that turn a prospect into a customer
  • Tags – for members, ex-members, payment events
  • Action Sets – for order success, order failure
  • Email – welcome emails, cancellation warnings and confirmations, payment failure notifications
  • Thank you pages

WordPress Preparation

Here are a few posts to look at to help you get started and get the environment prepped if required:

SubscriptionBoss Setup

The follow posts provide more information on how you integrate SubscriptionBoss with Infusionsoft for your subscriptions and payment plans.

Access Requirements

You will need login access to

  • PayPal
  • Infusionsoft
  • the WordPress site
  • cPanel if you are using PayPal API certificates rather than API signatures

How Long Will SubscriptionBoss Take To Install?

We run a shared session over Skype or GoToMeeting.

The fastest install was 45 minutes, 60 to 120 minutes is typical depending on the number of subscriptions and the amount of training that is taking place during the session.

You will get most out of the session if you have also logged in at the SubscriptionBoss Membership site and looked at the Six Step Setup in advance of the session.

SubscriptionBoss Installation On Main Site, Sub-folder Or Subdomain?

Is it better to have a sub domain and associate that with the SSL or will a folder do?

What’s the best practice in doing this? Do you have a vendor you recommend?

Main Site, Subdomain or Subfolder?

There is not a best practice as such – it is whatever makes most sense to your business.

Location Considerations

For example, we have a around half a dozen brands, and our limited company is Purple Parasol Ltd. We have our payment gateway at payments.purpleparasol.com on a server in the USA and www.purpleparasol.com on a server in the UK. The subdomain approach made it easier to host the subdomain in a different physical location from the main site. Our billing system is at Infusionsoft in the USA so hosting the payment gateway in the United States makes sense in terms of performance and availability.

Branding The Site

Having a separate WordPress installation makes it easier if you want to implement “Order Confirmation Pages” and want to style each Order Confirmation Page according to the brand. This typically just means having different image banners at the top of the page according to the product that is being bought. Having a separate installation means you can choose a WordPress theme that makes it easy to style individual pages differently.

Managing Complexity

A separate WordPress installation also removes the potential issues of plugin conflicts. For example, working with a client on an installation just last night I discovered that the Lead Pages Connector plugin “steals” the home page before SubscriptionBoss can process any order form sent by Infusionsoft.

Right now you cannot use a Lead Pages landing page as the home page and use SubscriptionBoss together out of the box. It is necessary to add a few lines in the .htaccess file to allow SubscriptionBoss to operate on another URL by adding a RewriteRule such that a URL such as http://www.yoursite.com/?subb_action=submit&subscription=gold gets handled at http://www.yoursite.com/subb-handler?subb_action=submit&subscription=gold and hence does not bump into the Lead Pages connector processing.

Rule Of Thumb

So the broad rule of thumb as follows:

Install the plugin on your main site if you have a single brand and don’t have dozens of other plugins running that are doing URL rewriting, and your site does not run painfully slowly. Otherwise, consider a subfolder or a subdomain. If you already have SSL on the main domain and have capacity on your server then there is no need to buy another SSL certificate, just use a subfolder.

A Note On Server Sizing

For most users, they do need a server that is available and hence reliable but not necessarily very fast.

However if you run webinars with hundreds or thousands of people all trying to buy at the same moment then you need to size the system accordingly due to the massive spikes in traffic

SSL Certificates

A SSL certificate is required to secure the transmission of the Infusionsoft form data to SubscriptionBoss. A NON self-signed SSL certificate must exist on the site where SubscriptionBoss is installed to avoid the user receiving browser warnings or having the SubscriptionBoss script blocked entirely

SSL certificates come in various shapes, sizes and costs. These include company wide certificates, wild card certificates and those that entitle you to add various kitemarks to the site.

The cheapest SSL certificate will suffice as far as SubscriptionBoss is concerned. Normally your existing host will set it up for you on request for between $50-$100 per year. Cheapest certificates you can purchase yourself are around $10 per year however your host will probably charge you $50 install it

It probably simplest asking you host to install the certificate for you providing you find their charges acceptable.

Can A User Cancel A PayPal Payment Plan?

We wanted to know if there’s a difference in the way money is collected, between “payment plan” vs “subscription” service.

Example we want to sell a product with a payment plan:
– Product A = 300$
– plan = 3 payments of 100$ after 30days x 3
– with an immediate charge of 15$

I’ve read your article but still a bit unclear.

The reason we’re asking is that our current cart solution does not make the difference between subscription vs payment plan. So if I would sell a product, someone could cancel anytime the recurring payment. Whereas the payment plan, is something pre-authorized in advance and no way to cancel the recurring payments?

Example Product Plan Set Up In SubscriptionBoss

For your example, we set up the SubscriptionBoss Subscription as follows:

Let’s say that Product A is product 47 in Infusionsoft

  • Initial charge: $15, product number is p47, product name is “Product A”
  • Recurring Charge $100, Frequency 1 Month, 3 Billing Cycles, Billing Delay 30 days, product number is p47, product name is “Product A”

The $15 is taken at the time of the order but the user can cancel at any time in the next 90 days.

Infusionsoft will issue the same invoice 4 times, once after each payment, with each showing the total invoice amount, the amount paid and the outstanding balance.

PayPal Payment Plans Can Be Cancelled

PayPal does not pre-authorize in the same way as credit cards – in this example a payment profile of 3 payments it set up – the payments will take place only if a) the buyer has a sufficient funds and b) they do not cancel during the agreement.

Payment Plan Cancellations

With PayPal, the buyer can cancel at any time, so you need to handle this. PayPal will generate an Instant Payment Notification and SB will capture this and can run an action set in Infusionsoft. This will typically do a number of things

  • Cancel the subscription order
  • remove some tags or make an http post that remove access to the service
  • send the buyer an email confirming the cancellation
  • send an email to an administrator if you need to take manual action to initiate recovery of physical goods that have been sent

Payment Plan Payment Failures

Also, you may be notified of Payment Failures, PayPal tries 3 times to take each payment with 5 day intervals between attempts. SB will receive notification of these failures.

You have the option to set up action sets that email the buyer to let them know of the failure and encourage them to take action so their PayPal account is properly funded.

You can send them the same email on each failure or do some more sophisticated payment failure handling depending on whether or not it is a frequent occurrence and important to your business.

Advanced Payment Settings

A possible option when using a Payment Plan is to check the AddToNextBilling box. This means that if at the end of the first month that payment fails (3 times) then it will try and collect double the amount on the second month, the outstanding amount due at that time. Use this feature if you want to try and take payment automatically more than 3 times. Whether you use this setting or not, you can always log into PayPal manually and request the outstanding balance.

Screenshot of Add to Next Billing indicator

My Main Site Is Joomla Can I Use SubscriptionBoss?

You can leave your existing sales site on Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress or even Facebook and set up a separate WordPress installation to act as gateway between PayPal and Infusionsoft.

Installation Options

About 10% of our clients use SubscriptionBoss in this way where it is installed as part of a dedicated WordPress installation in either in a subfolder, or a subdomain of the main site or on a separate domain entirely. For example:

  • Sub-folder – http://wwww.yoursite.com/payments
  • Sub-domain – http://payments.yoursite.com/
  • Separate domain – http://yourpayments.com/

One Gateway Can Service Multiple Sales Sites

As long as the same Paypal and InfusionSoft accounts are used the gateway can serve one or more sales sites.

If you are using the Infusionsoft shopping cart or Infusionsoft hosted order forms then you will need to put an SSL certificate on the host/subdomain where SubscriptionBoss is installed in order to secure the data passed between Infusionsoft and SubscriptionBoss.

Choosing A WordPress Theme

If you do NOT use Order Confirmation pages then the buyer never lands on the gateway site (unless PayPal is unavailable) and hence you can use any theme

Only if you use Order Confirmation Pages (where the user reviews the order on returning from PayPal before clicking the Buy Button) will the buyer actually land of this site. In the case where you are servicing multiple brands, then you may want to be able to have different page headers on each order confirmation page to reflect those different brands. In which case choose a WordPress theme that makes it easy to give each page its own style.

Help Setting Up SubscriptionBoss

If you would like some help in deciding on where to set up SubscriptionBoss please post in the support forum

Do You Offer A Free SubscriptionBoss SandBox?

SubscriptionBoss is not complicated enough to warrant a full sandbox environment – it is not Infusionsoft – and does not present any real challenges. It is just about adding another payment method. It can be set up in 45-90 minutes and integrated to work in existing sales funnels.

The $1 30 day trial provides plenty of time to set it up in a real environment.

What Emails Do I Need To Create For A Subscription?

Several events occur during the lifetime of a subscription: from order through payment failures, temporary service suspensions and resumptions, through to cancellation.

Typically you will want to communicate these events to the subscriber so he or she can take appropriate action.

Here are the emails you may want to consider creating and a flavor of what they might contain:

Welcome Email

Here are your login details / if you need help contact us at … / you will receive access to the following services …

Order Pending Email (optional)

You have decided to pay by e-check so your payment may not be cleared for up to 5 days. In the meantime your access will be restricted to …

It is up to you if and how you want to handle e-checks: whether to grant full or partial or no access at the time of order, or wait until the e-check clears before granting access.

Order Failure Email (optional)

You tried to order but we were unable to take payment

Deferred Cancellation Email

We confirm you have cancelled – no further charges will be made – your access to the service will be removed at the end of the billing period

Cancellation Now Email

We confirm you have cancelled – no further charges will be made – service will be removed immediately as you current payment is overdue.

You will want to cancel the subscription immediately if they are already in payment failure which means they have not paid yet in the current billing cycle and now consuming the service free of charge

First Payment Failure Email

We failed to take payment, we will try again in 5 days, please review the funding of your PayPal account

Second Payment Failure Email

We failed to take payment, we will try again one more time in 5 days, we will suspend service on a further failure

Third Payment Failure Email

Please contact us as a matter of urgency to arrange payment to continue your service otherwise we will cancel your account within 48 hours

Service Resumption Email (Optional)

We have received your payment and have restored your access to ….

You might want to send this email if you removed service after the second failure and they have now paid.

Administration Cancellation Instruction

Please cancel the X subscription for contact Y.

This email sent to your administrator to make cancellation of membership. You may want to have the administrator call the member first. If the order is via credit card then the admin will go into Infusionsoft and run your Subscription Cancel Now action set, if it is a PayPal order then the admin will go to PayPal and cancel the Profile there which in turn will trigger the Subscription Cancel Now action set.

This action set will typically cancel the order, remove membership or customer tags to remove access to the service, add “ex-member” tags, and move the member from a members campaign or follow up sequence to a prospect campaign, before finally emailing confirmation of cancellation to the ex-member

Do I Need Different Versions Of Each Of The Above Emails For Each Subscription?


If your members do NOT consume multiple services you may be able to use the same email templates for different subscriptions by employing suitable generic wording such as your subscription.

Also you may want to send out 1st, 2nd and 3rd payment failure emails for credit cards as well as PayPal. You can do this in the Billing Automation section on Infusionsoft.

If you do not want to double up on the payment failure emails, you can simply replace the “5 days” in the PayPal email by “a few days” in the First Payment Failure and second payment Failure email. Infusionsoft retries credit card failures every 2-3 days.

PayPal Important Update – SSL Certificate Upgrade

You may have just received an email from PayPal notifying you that:

In keeping with industry standards set by the Certification Authority/Browser (CA/B) Forum, PayPal will discontinue supporting 1024-bit key length certificates and will migrate to 2048-bit certificates before the end of 2013.

The question is: does this affect SubscriptionBoss?

The answer is maybe, but only if you already have an SSL certificate on your domain.

It breaks down like this…

If you do NOT have a SSL certificate now, it does not affect you.

If you have an SSL certificate now, and its key length is 2048 bits, it does not affect you.

If you have an SSL certificate now, and its key length is 1024 bits, then it DOES affect you.

How To Check Your Certificate Length

Firstly, go to your site in Firefox then follow the instructions for how to check your SSL certificate length

  • Open Firefox
  • Navigate to your site specifying https as the protocol
  • Click on the Site Info icon on the left side of the URL bar
  • Click on the Security tab
  • Click View Certificate button
  • Click Details tab
  • Scroll down and click on Certificate Signature Value
  • Check the size in bits

Screenshot of SSL certificate

If your existing certificate size is 1024 bits then you will need to get a new 2048 bit SSL certificate before December 31st 2013

How Are Echecks Handled?


What happens to PayPal buyers who pay via echeck? What happens if the echeck failed?

Right now we have one case who paid via echeck and so far the payment got posted in infusionsoft so he gets access to our membership site, but we want to know what happens if the e-check didn’t clear or failed after a few days.


PayPal sets the payment as pending, then 3-5 days later the payment comes in as completed or failed and PayPal notifies SubscriptionBoss of this by a second IPN

SB creates the initial order and invoice but does not apply a payment as it is not cleared. SB does NOT trigger the Order Success event, but instead it may trigger the Order Pending event if one has been defined.

Several days later, the payment success event will be triggered if the the payment arrives; the payment failure event will be triggered if PayPal reports the payment has failed.

Order Pending Action Set

On SubscriptionBoss Subscriptions, in the Infusionsoft Order Actions section you can specify an “Order Pending Action Set:”. This allows you to control what you want to do. You may want to grant access immediately, or you may want to delay access until the payment has cleared or you may want to give limited access to the membership site. e.g. maybe one piece of content, and only give full access when the payment is cleared.

Screenshot of setting the actions to trigger on an e-check order

Your Existing Order

The behavior has been as described above since version 1.28 which was released in April. You are currently running 1.27 which was before the Order Pending action set was introduced. The older versions had a bug as I had not yet appreciated the behavior of echecks at that time. SB applied the pending payment as if the payment were completed.

For this specific order, on SubscriptionBoss check the Notifications page and see if the second IPN has arrived. If it has, then take appropriate action based on whether it shows the payment as completed or failed. If it has not, then go into Infusionsoft and delete the payment.

Handling E-checks Automatically

Please upgrade to the latest version for correct handling e-check orders. This will allow you to set up an Order Pending Action Set. This can simply set an appropriate tag on the contact that triggers a campaign sequence.

If you have enough of these e-checks to make it worthwhile then you could set up three campaign sequences, triggered by the tags echeckorderpending, echeckordercompleted and echeckorderfailed respectively. Each campaign sequence can then send the member the relevant email and perform the necessary tagging or HTTP posts to control access to the membership site.

How Can I Integrate Premise with Infusionsoft?


I am using Premise for my membership site. I’m also using a third-party InfusionSoft integration plugin to pass back various information but after conversations with the plugin developer and Infusionsoft, it seems to breakdown when it comes to passing and attributing any sales information to referral partners

I thought I’d get in touch in case a) SubscriptionBoss could provide a solution or b) If you have come across Premise before and know of a workaround for this sort of thing Appreciate any input you might have.


I have come across Premise before. It is not the best membership site software by some distance however it is GPL, and good value for money. Some time ago I looked through the code in some depth and thought about how to integrate it. It was non-trivial so I choose another membership site solution instead. Below is not a proven solution – just a couple of ideas of how you could integrate Premise and Infusionsoft with SubscriptionBoss.

There are two approaches – one is to slip the affiliate code into the existing order, and then process the PayPal IPN to provide the integration with Infusionsoft; the other is to drive the order though Infusionsoft via a custom Premise Member Access Gateway, which is probably what your plugin is doing?

Option A: Payment Driven Orders

The easiest way to integrate is to use the SubscriptionBoss feature called “Payment Driven Orders”. In the current version of SubscrptionBoss it will not solve the problem of the referral code as the referral code is not being passed to PayPal and hence to SubscriptionBoss so a little further development would required to add support for referral programs.

Premise Setup

Set up as usual.

SubscriptionBoss Setup

  • Set up IPN forwarding so PayPal IPNs get sent through to the Premise IPN listener as well
  • Enable Payment Driven Orders
  • Set up order matching rules for each subscription (e.g. item_name=GoldMembership)
  • How It Would Work

    • New member buys
    • First Payment IPN gets sent to SubscriptionBoss
    • SB matches IPN to determine Subscription and sets up contact if required, makes subscription order if required, create invoice if required and matches payment to invoice, and runs action set if required
    • SB sends this IPN and subsequent IPNs on to Premise so it can do its stuff

    Potential Issues

    • If you have a free trial period then there will be a delay before SB and IS learns about the member when the first payment happens – I could fix this is the next release so SB also creates orders when the Payment Profile is created, not just on payment
    • It does not work for referral code right now – although you could fix this by adding a custom field with the affiliate code into the PayPal order by changing the _process_order method. In SubscriptionBoss I would also need to add a matching rule for fetching the affiliate code as part of the Payment Driven Orders processing so I could pull the affiliate code out of the PayPal IPN and create the order with the correct lead and sale affiliate

    Option B: Infusionsoft Member Access Gateway

    With this approach you create a custom Member Access Gateway. It is a variant of the existing PayPal gateway. The _process_order function is changed significantly as it needs to interact with SubscriptionBoss and not PayPal.

    Firstly it captures the affiliate code which I presume is available in a cookie or in the current URL. What is does next is send the buyer to SubscriptionBoss with the affiliate code on the URL. SB will ensure the resulting order is an affiliate order.

    The order success action set will include a HTTP post to the member access gateway which will cause the complete_sale event to run on the gateway which will set up the membership access. Premise will behave from this point on as if it is a normal PayPal order.

    As with the above option you also need to enable the secondary IPN listener so SB sends the recurring payment IPNs to the custom gateway. In this way, the gateway extends the membership each month or cancels as required. The code for this will be identical to the existing “MemberAccess_Paypal_Gateway” so implementing this bit of functionality is pretty much cut and paste.

    Please let me know you experiences of integrating Premise and Infusionsoft by commenting below.

How To Do You Cancel A PayPal Subscription?

Question:We’ve had a customer request to cancel a monthly subscription that is set up with PayPal payments through Subscription Boss. I have made the subscription inactive in the Infusionsoft customer record. Will the recurring payments get automatically cancelled at PayPal, or do I need to go to PayPal and manually cancel the recurring payments profile for that customer?

This customer’s PayPal profile is set to charge on 5/26/13, so if you can get back to me before that I would really appreciate it. If it will cancel automatically, I wanted to not interfere with that so I could see how it all transpires.

Answer: You will need to intervene as nothing will transpire unless you take further action.

The way to cancel a subscription is to make the cancellation directly on PayPal.

Cancel Subscription On PayPal

You can find the PayPal Profile ID in the custom tab on the Subscription Order. Then log into PayPal and do a transaction search using the Profile ID. View the last payment and then click the link called View Details. This takes you to a page where you can cancel the subscription.

SubscriptionBoss Triggers Subscription Cancellation Action Set

PayPal will send an agreement cancellation notification to SubscriptionBoss which will in turn activate the cancellation action set you have defined for that subscription in the Payment Event Actions section.

Screenshot of Payment Event Actions

This action set is identical to the one you would use if the person was paying by credit card wanted to cancel.

Example Cancellation Action Set

Typically the action set will take the following actions:

  • Cancel the subscription order
  • Remove the relevant membership tag
  • Remove the member from any subscription-specific follow up sequences
  • Add an ex-member tag
  • Email the member to confirm the cancellation

Below is an example for a subscription that includes trial period and hence the email sent to the member is different if the cancellation occurs during the trial. If also has some rules in place to delay the cancellation until the end of the billing period if the member is up to date with payments, but will cancel immediately if the member is in payment failure.

The following cancellation action set is used whether the member is paying via PayPal or credit card.

Screenshot of cancellation action set

Cancelling Directly on Infusionsoft

If you cancel the subscription directly on Infusionsoft then SubscriptionBoss does nothing as it is not in the loop.

You still need to go into PayPal and cancel the Subscription before the next payment is due.