A Bug With The Paypal Pay Button On WP.com

For reasons I will explain, I set up a site here on WordPress dot com to sell some greeting cards.

The background to this decision is that from time to time Tamara and I make changes to the greeting card designs on our main site, such as updating the information on the back of a card or changing the font, or changing the image. And sometimes we have an end of line that is taking up space.

So we decided to bundle them into sets of cards at a big discount.

We could have put the cards on the main site at Flying Twigs, but we decided not to because we might end up cutting into sales of the latest cards in the catalogue.

Instead, we decided to make a new site and sell them on Extra Twigs, a site I set up here on WordPress dot com

We chose the new TwentyTwentyOne theme and I wrote separate posts for each set of cards, with a gallery of images to show what was for sale, and a Paypal Pay button.

So far so good.

I created post number one and then used the ‘copy’ feature in the WP Admin panel to create a draft of post number two. Then I replaced the gallery images and the text in the Paypal Pay button.

Following that method I created twelve posts in all and then decided to edit one of the posts.

And then, uh oh….

Somewhere in that process, I noticed that the title of the set of cards – the title that you write in the Paypal button block to say what the name of the product is – renamed itself back to the previous title. For example, ‘Greeting Cards Set 8’ renamed itself to ‘Greeting Cards Set 7’.

At first I thought it was my error, but I checked and it was definitely not. If I was quick I could actually see the text change in front of my disbelieving and depressed eyes.

Why It Is A Problem

I’s a disaster. Someone opts to buy one set and I think they have bought a different set and I put the wrong set in the post.

I raised it as a bug and chatted with Support (one of the perks of having a Premium plan). And because it took a while and I was supposed to be going out, I suggested that Support followed up with an email.

Support did so and said they weren’t able to reproduce the issue. So I checked again and followed up saying I was sure there was a bug. And I then received this reply from someone else at Support who said:

Unfortunately this is a known bug with our Pay with PayPal blocks. Duplicating/copying the blocks can sometimes result in the new duplicated block acting as a copy that is still connected to the original, so when you edit the block that you duplicated, the same changes happen to the original block that you copied it from as well.

Our developers have been looking into the cause of the issue, but I do not have an ETA on how long it may take for them to fix. I will say that unfortunately it has been an issue for a while already, so I would not anticipate the fix being right around the corner.

If copying your posts is an important part of your workflow, and you need the Pay with Paypal blocks to be different in each post, your best bet would be to totally delete that Pay with PayPal block after you’ve created your freshly copied post, then create a new Pay with PayPal block in its place with the correct title/contents. That way, it will be its own independent block that is not linked to the duplicated one.

Oh, I was so pleased. As they say – there is no pleasure like the resolution of a doubt. I told Support that while I was waiting to hear, I had started to hate the block because I knew there was a bug, and if Support continued to say there wasn’t then I felt like dropping the whole project.

So, with an answer that explained how to avoid the issue, I went though each post and deleted the blocks and rebuilt them individually. Thankfully there were only twelve.

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Categorized as WordPress

What Is A Web Host

First, what is the web?

What is the web? It is a publicly accessible network of digital information that is beamed out to anyone who has a receiver to receive it.

You can’t see radio waves but you can pick them up and hear them with a radio, In the same way, you can hear and see the digital information that is all around us if you have a computer with a portal.

There are several portals, otherwise known as web browsers – Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Brave, Thunderbird, and others.

I sometimes think of a web browser like looking out of a window in a plane or a porthole on a ship at the world as we pass by. (portal …. porthole…. get the idea?)

Web browsers are like radio that can pick up signals. But unlike radios, browsers can not only ‘listen’, they can also send information back to the web host – information such as adding an item I want to purchase to my basket.

What is a server?

Servers are a collection of computers that are programmed to beam out digital information.

OK, now we know what the web is, what a browser is, and what a server is, we an answer the question – what is a web host?

What is a web host?

A web host is a company run by people and they have a collection of servers – computers that they have programmed to beam out digital information that can be picked up and read by web browsers.

Web hosts are businesses. They take up a tiny bit of space on their servers to put their own digital information to tell people they are in business. In other words, they have a website and they advertise that they are in business. And their business is to rent out space on their servers to customers who put their own programs on them so they can beam out the information they want to beam out to people worldwide.

So a web host is a business run by people. And they rent out space on their servers and allow customers to put their own digital information on the servers.

To put it another way, the customers who want to beam out digital information from the web host’s servers are website owners who have rented space on those servers.

Let’s stop for a moment and think about WordPress.com. It is owned by a company by the name of Automattic (notice the two ‘tt’s in the name). It is unusual in that it lets people rent a bit of space for free. It also charges rent if people want certain things over and above the basic package, but essentially it is free to its users. It is also slightly unusual in that it only allows one kind of platform, namely WordPress.

What is a platform?

A platform is a system of code that can be put on a server and beamed out and read by people with web browsers. WordPress is an example of a platform but there are many others, such as Drupal, Joomla, Django, Ruby on Rails, ASP.net, Laravel, Symfony, Angular, and more.

What is a database?

Some code systems split the code into the design part and the part that has the data that changes from time to time. The design is the arrangement of the parts on the web page and the data is the information (such as these words) that are displayed within the design.

When you opened this page to look at it, the code displayed the design and it also went off and requested the data from the database and displayed it all together is the blink of an eye. If I publish this and then change the text at a later date, the changes will be made in the database. So anyone visiting the page after I make the change to the data will see the updated version.

When you go to a web page that has advertisements on it, they will probably be being fetched from a database on a completely different server – perhaps on Google’s servers – and all of it assembled in front of you in an instant. it’s the same with typefaces. Google, for example, has a free collection of fonts, and if a website owner codes his or her website to use Google fonts then when someone goes to look at the page, the page scoots off and fetches the font from Google’s servers.

It’s like a magic trick where the rabbit is pulled out the hat, but the ears come in from one place and the tail from another, and the flashing neon sign on the rabbit advertising rabbit food comes from somewhere else again, instantly.

What is a theme?

A theme is a particular design layout of the colours, the typography, sizing and positioning of the entire web site. If a person starts from scratch and builds the design of a website, they might not think of the design as a theme. But when someone writes code and builds and assembles the parts of the design and makes it available for other people with websites to use, what they are releasing for others to use is a theme.

And just to round off this set of definitions, the design of a particular page is called a template.

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Categorized as Photography

2020

Getting through 2020 has been like dancing on ice. Somewhere is the thin ice, but where? Hyper-awareness takes its toll, but so does sloth and indolence. So I am not quick to judge whether this has been a good or a bad year.

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Categorized as Photography