This page will have all the documentation needed about how the plugin works and how to get yourself accustomed to using the plugin


Basic installation guide and requirements.



Linux server running WordPress v3.6+, PHP5 and MySQL 5. Windows servers can work too but we offer limited support for that environment.

Install WP Auctions via FTP

  1. Unzip the downloaded wp-auctions.zip file to a primary folder called “wp-auctions” on your computer.
  2. Using your favorite FTP client, like FileZilla, navigate to your wp-content/plugins/ directory on your server.
  3. Upload the entire wp-auctions/ folder to the plugins directory.
  4. Go to your Plugins admin area and activate the plugin.
  5. Configure your settings and start adding your first auction.

Install WP Auctions via the WordPress backend

  1. Download the wp-auctions.zip file to your computer.
  2. Upload the wp-auctions.zip file via the “Plugins > Add New > Upload” page.
  3. Activate the plugin.
  4. Configure your settings and start adding your first auction.

Upgrading WP Auctions

There are two ways to upgrade WP Auctions. Before upgrading make sure you have the latest version by logging into your account area and downloading from the WP Auctions product area.

Due to various server configurations we cannot guarantee that upgrading will leave your auctions intact. We recommend you wait till your auctions are over, end manually or deleted before upgrading. If you have to upgrade due to an error which was fixed please inform your bidders that the auction will be closed and re-opened again.

Upgrade via WordPress backend

  1. De-activate and delete the plugin from your Plugins area. This will not delete your auctions or bids from the database.
  2. Upload the latest version from the plugins backend upload area.
  3. Activate the plugin.

Upgrade via FTP

  1. Simply overwrite the updated files with your FTP client. We’ll usually let you know which files to update so you don’t have to upload everything.
  2. Refresh the WP Auctions plugin page.


How to configure WP Auctions on your site.


Setup WP Auctions

Once you’ve installed the plugin you will see your main WP Auctions dashboard. This area shows you your account at a glance and important links and information.

Auction Settings

This area has three main parts:

1. General Settings

Here you can enter your auctions widget title, the auction engine you would like to use, notification preferences and other important settings like user registration etc…

2. Payment Settings

Here you can enter the information for your preferred way of getting paid. You can also choose to say whether you will be charging a fee per auction or not.

3. Other Settings

Fine tune the plugin to your requirements with your options here. Set whether you want to allow extra bidding time, show seller details, set a landing page among many other features.

Issue Resolution Options

These settings help users with specific server setups to optimize the plugin for their use.

Add/Edit/Manage/Delete Auctions

Add an Auction

Entering a new auction is very straight forward. Start with the essentials like the title, description (using the WYSIWYG editor), upload a featured image, the starting price, end date and the payment method.

Once you’ve done the above you can then add further details like auction category, embedded auction URL, shipping data, reserve price and more images among other features.

After you have completed entering your auction details simply click the “Add Auction” button at the bottom of the page to make your auction go live!

Edit an Auction

From your “Current Auctions” tab you can click “Edit” to change any part of your auction. The start date cannot be changed on an auction once it receives a bid.

Manage your Auctions

You can view all your Current and Closed Auctions from those respective admin areas. Details like creation date, start date and ending date are displayed along with all bids placed. You can also see the current bid, your BIN price and any reserve you may have set. To edit any of this information click the “Edit” link.

All bidders have their name linked to their email address, for when you would like to get in touch with them for any purpose related to your auction.

Delete your Auctions

You can delete any auction, live or finished, from either the Current or Closed Auctions admin area at any point of time.

Optional Content Display

Our new modern auction display has some areas which can be optionally turned on or off.

1. Terms and Conditions

This is a global setting and can be turned on by placing some text in the relevant section under the main Auction Settings.

2. Seller Details

v5.0 allows subscribers on your site to post their own auctions. If you wish to show their details next to their auctions you can use this setting to turn the display on/off.

3. Shipping Tab

In the new modern display you can activate the shipping tab by entering any relevant shipping information for your item.

PayPal Payment Page

Note: This feature can only be used with the PayPal payment option. It will not display information related to any other payment option. Other payment option details are sent via email to the winning bidder.

After an auction is over the winner gets an email notification with the payment instructions. In v5.0+, you can set up a dedicated “Payment Page” by inserting the shortcode [ wpapayment ] (remove the spaces between the brackets) in it.

The winning email will then contain a link back to this Page which will give a link to the secure PayPal website to pay the winning bid price.

Subscriber Auctions

In v5.0+, all Subscribers can conduct their own auctions on your blog or website. This function is automatically built-in. If you do not want anyone else but you to create auctions you can simply disable the main feature to disable registrations via the Settings > General admin panel.

Allow/Disallow Subscribers to Host Auctions

As an admin you may or may not want to allow your Subscribers to host auctions on your site. Here’s a step by step process to amend this:

  1. Install this plugin: User Role Editor
  2. Go to the Users > User Role Editor admin panel and select the Subscriber role to edit.
  3. Scroll down to see the “Custom capabilities” and you will notice a checkbox that states ‘create_auction‘.
  4. You can select or deselect this checkbox depending on whether or not you want to allow your users to host auctions on your site.

Auction Creation

Subscribers can set up and manage their own auctions via their default WordPress admin panel. They can view all their Current Auctions from their backend panel.

Auction Management

They can also edit them, close them out early or delete their own auctions. The site administrator cannot edit or delete any Subscriber auction.

Subscribers Cannot…

– Subscribers cannot edit any auction settings, except for what is mentioned in the “Subscriber Account Settings” documentation below.

– Subscribers cannot edit any other auctions except their own.

– Subscribers cannot create Posts or Pages to show their auctions.

– Subscribers cannot create new categories for their auctions

Subscribers Can…

– Subscribers can accept direct PayPal payments only for their winning auctions.

– Subscribers can create as many auctions as they wish.

– Subscribers can add a shipping price to their auctions.

– Subscribers can hold Buy it Now auctions.

– Subscribers can set a Custom Bid Increment for their auctions.

How can you show your Subscriber Auctions?

You can enter the shortcode [ wpadisplay ] in a Page. This shortcode will show all your registered Subscribers and their profile will link to all the auctions they have live on your blog or website.

How can I protect myself against spammers?

You can use any number of membership plugins available to allow only paid/approved Subscribers to register. You can also delete a spam Subscriber anytime via your “Users” admin panel.

Must I have a PayPal Payment Page set up for my Subscribers?

Yes, it would be highly recommended as the only way a Subscriber can get paid is via PayPal. So setting up this page is vital. To learn how to do so read our PayPal Payment Page documentation.

This feature is in a beta phase and will greatly improve over time. Your feedback to make it better will be invaluable to us.

Subscriber Account Settings

Please read the documentation on “Subscriber Auctions” to learn how to show your subscriber auctions.

Subscribers can set up their auction settings via their default WordPress profile page in v5.0+. These include:

1. PayPal account: Subscribers can enter the PayPal email they wish to get paid at for the auctions they conduct on your site. All payments for subscriber held auctions are handled between the subscriber and the auction winner.

2. Email notifications: They can configure what type of email notifications they get for their auctions.

3. Bidder Blacklist: Subscribers can ban certain email addresses from bidding. As all bidders are linked by their email address (from the Current Auctions panel) a subscriber can ban any fraudsters or spammers from bidding on their auctions. This does not affect auctions held by other subscribers.

4. Auctions: A list of all current and closed auctions are shown to each subscriber.

Payment Options

You can request payment from auction winners via the following options.

1. PayPal

Enter your PayPal email address where you would like to receive your money and the plugin will automatically send an email out to the winner with a link back to your PayPal Landing Page. You must create a new Page for this and enter the shortcode [ wpapayment ] (remove the spaces between brackets) to show the relevant information to pay.

2. Bank Details

The textarea where you enter your Bank Details will be saved and sent out in the email to the auction winner. Typically, you should enter the information that is relevant for you to get paid. For example, your bank name and address and the account number where you would like money to be wire transferred. The manual transfer will then have to be handled offline between both parties.

3. Mailing Address

The textarea where you enter your Mailing Address will be saved and sent out in the email to the auction winner.

4. Custom Payment

If you would like to enter specific terms/forms of payment then you can do so here and it will be sent out in the email. For example, cash payment on pick up or drop off.


Get to know WP Auctions and what it can do.


Auction Engines

Important: The auction engine cannot be changed if you have any live auctions. You must wait till all your auctions end to change the engine.

The plugin comes with three auction engines built-in.

1. Proxy Engine

This is the default engine and works like the following example:

  • John enters a Maximum Bid of $20 on an auction with a starting bid of $10.
  • John is currently winning the auction at $10, the starting bid.
  • Mary places her Maximum Bid of $40, but since John had bid only up to $20 he is now beaten by Mary’s bid.
  • The current bid is now $20 with Mary winning.
  • John decides to bid $30, the most he is willing to pay, and enters it.
  • Since Mary had entered $40 as her Maximum Bid her current bid price will increase to match John’s Maximum Bid of $30.
  • Therefore the current bid now goes up to $30, and Mary continues to win.
  • The auction closes soon at $30 with Mary winning.

2. Simple Engine

Bids are accepted as is.

  • John bids $20 on an auction with a starting bid of $10.
  • The current bid is now $20.
  • Mary decides to bid $40, the current bid is now $40 and she is winning.
  • Bidding continues till the auction is over.

3. Reverse Engine

Bids are accepted in reverse. This type of auction is best used for services where you want your winner to provide some service at a lower rate.

  • John bids $19 on an auction with a starting bid of $20.
  • The current bid is now $19 and John is winning.
  • Mary bids $18.50, the current bid is now $18.50 as Mary is willing to pay less.
  • Mary wins the auction once time is up as John does not want to go below $19.

4. Quick bidding

The quick bidding is just another name for a regular sale, so this isn’t an auction but more a “buy now”

Buy it Now

You can use the Buy it Now feature to sell items at an up-front price point.

To use Buy it Now simply enter an amount for the field while adding a new auction. It should typically be over the starting bid of your auction and be a final price you are willing to accept for the item on sale.

You can also use Buy it Now as a standalone feature by putting the starting bid of the auction at 0 (zero). This way you can use the plugin as a quick and efficient e-commerce plugin.

Bid Increment

You can use the Bid Increment feature to only accept bids that meet a set target.

To get started set your global Bid Increment (plugin general settings) with any figure, such as 10. This means that all your bidders have to bid at least 10 above the current bid. So if the current bid is $32 the next bid has to be at least $42 and no less. The bidder can place a higher bid if they like, but it must be a minimum value of (Current Bid + Bid Increment).

You can also override the global Bid Increment value and set it per auction. This is useful when you have auctions for selling items of different value.


WP Auctions takes the security of your auctions seriously. Here are the features we have in place that allow you to run safe and secure auctions.

1. Register to Bid: You can set the plugin to only allow registered users to bid. Users will be required to register via the default WordPress registration system. Make sure to set all new users to be set as “Subscribers”. Once activated only registered users will be able to place bids on live auctions.

2. Request to Bid (for registered users): After activating the feature to allow only registered users you will see another option show below called “Request to Bid Mode”. You can set this to activate for approved bidders to bid. After activation you will see all your approved list of bidders on a per auction basis in the “Manage Bidders” admin area. Users can request approval to bid on a particular auction, approval is manually handled by you. You can revoke anyone’s bidding rights at any time, even after an auction is live and there are bids placed.

3. Blacklist: You can ban certain email addresses from bidding on auctions by entering their email address in the space provided under Auction Settings.

4. Anonymous Auctions: You can obfuscate the names of bidders when this option is activated. A great way to hold semi-private auctions.

How do I place an Auction in a Post/Page?

Very Important: You can only place ONE auction per Post/Page. If you want to show a list of auctions in a Page, try our List Widget add-on.

Tip: Use the < !-- more -- > tag from the editor to separate content and auction forms for your, home, archive and search pages. If you show more than one bid form per page the bids will probably not be accepted properly. By doing so your users will not get confused by viewing all auction bids forms at once on one very long page.

  1. First, you need to add your auction.
  2. Create a new Post or Page, and embed the auction by using the custom panel that shows all your live auctions in a drop down or by using the custom shortcode [wpauction id=”1″ /] where 1 is the auction ID.
  3. Click on the “Bind Post to Auction” button and you’re done.

The Sidebar Widget and List Widget will now direct all your bidders to this Post/Page for bidding and getting updates on the auction.

Can other users post their auctions?

Yes, in v5.0 of WP Auctions subscribers can place their own auctions. This feature is still in early development phase and will extend in functionality as we gather user feedback.

On activation the plugin automatically allows your users who are signed up as “Subscribers” to post their own auctions. You must first allow users the permission to sign up, this is done via the Settings admin panel in WordPress. Check the box called “Membership” and select the user default role as “Subscriber”. All your new registered users can now conduct their own auctions.

Important points for your Subscribers

1. Set up a Default Auction Page and enter the shortcode [ wpadisplay ]. This will show all active auctions from all your users. Without this set up your users will not be able to show their auctions, unless you give them the rights to create Posts. This can be accomplished by using any role editor plugin available for WordPress.

2. Your users will get paid for their own auctions, they can enter their PayPal email account under their WordPress profile page (at the very bottom).

3. An auction can only be viewed and edited by its owner via the auction backend. The administrator has rights to view all auctions but cannot edit them.

4. Subscribers cannot edit your main Auction Settings or auction engine.

Registered Users and Request to Bid

You can limit who bids on your auctions by turning on the option to only allow registered users to bid. You must also have your site to accept new users via your general Settings in WordPress.

Once you’ve done the above the plugin will ask all bidders to register or log in to bid.

The Request to Bid feature is activated once you activate the registered users only option. Request to Bid allows you to further segment bidders based on a permission to bid given to them upon request.

Users can navigate to any live auction they are interested to bid in and request to bid on it. Once they do so you will see their username in Manage Bidders tab. Here you can decide to give them permission or not. You can also set the system to automatically accept all requests, you can always remove permissions for any user at any point of time.

Add-On Modules

How to install and use add-ons.


How do I use the List Widget?


  • Upload the ZIP file you downloaded as you would normally do any other plugin, via the Plugins > Add New > Upload area..
  • Once uploaded you need to activate the plugin as well, otherwise it won’t work.

Uploading via FTP

These are programs that let you connect to your host via FTP. You need your hosting account FTP username and password to connect. Contact your hosting provider for more information.


MACList of Mac FTP Clients


Important note:

To have auctions displayed in your list widget, you need to bind them each individually to a post or page.

So, if you have created for instance an auction for a boat, you need to:

  • first set up the auction
  • create a post or page with the same name
  • bind the auction to it (there is a button at the bottom of a post or page saying: “insert and bind auction”

After that, use any of the following shortcodes to display the list widget.

1. To use this widget simply place the following shortcode into a Post or Page:

[wpa_list_widget mode="list"]

2. To limit how many auctions you want to show, use the maxrec filter:

[wpa_list_widget mode="list" maxrec="3"]

In the example above, 3 auctions will be shown randomly from all your Current Auctions.

3. To show the description, use the  limitdesc filter in the shortcode:

[wpa_list_widget mode="sidebar" limitdesc="50" maxrec="3"]

In the example above, your description will be limited to the first 50 characters (not words). The word “Hello” is 5 characters.

NOTE: The description will not be shown in the “list” mode.

4. To show auctions from a certain category, use the  category filter in the shortcode:

[wpa_list_widget mode="list" limitdesc="50" maxrec="3" category="CategoryName"]

In the example above, auctions from the category “CategoryName” will be shown. Category names with spaces will not work unfortunately, so “Art Gallery” would not work, whereas “ArtGallery” will.

5. To show auctions in a particular order, use the  order filter in the shortcode:

[wpa_list_widget limitdesc="50" maxrec="3" order="xxx"]

Where xxx can be: random, date, datedesc, price or pricedesc.

NOTE: price or pricedesc will show the auctions based on the current bid price only and NOT the starting bid price.

6. To paginate your auctions, use the  perpage filter in the shortcode:

[wpa_list_widget perpage="1"]

In the example above, all your auctions will be shown in 1 page. If you want to show less per page then increase the number accordingly. So if you have 10 auctions, you can use perpage=”2″ and the List Widget would only show 2 auctions per page.

7. To show future auctions:

[wpa_list_widget futureauctions="yes"]

Choices: yes or no

8. To show closed auctions:

[wpa_list_widget closedauctions="yes"]

Choices: yes or no


mode=”list” – This will show your auctions in a list format. Descriptions are not shown in this mode. Leaving it out will show it in an alternative list format. Properties: list and sidebar.

limitdesc=”50″ – This will limit the characters in your description to the first 50. You can enter any number you like there.

maxrec=”3″ – This limits how many auctions you would like to show.

category=”CategoryName” – This filter lets you specify auctions from one category. Enter the category name for all auctions from that category to show.

order=”xxx” – This filter lets you specify the order in which you want to show your auctions. Properties: random, date, datedesc, price and pricedesc.

perpage=”1″ – This filter allows you to list a desired amount of auctions per page with the List Widget.

futureauctions – Choose to show your future auctions or not

closedauctions – Choose to show your closed auctions or not

How do I use the Bulk Upload add-on?


You need to upload the downloaded ZIP file to the plugins directory of your WordPress install via FTP or the plugin upload area. Once uploaded you need to activate the add-on separately from the main admin panel of the plugin.

After activation you will see a new menu item under the “WP Auctions” menu tab called “Bulk Upload”.


Please do not use the CSV import if you have any live auctions. It could very well cause errors for your live auctions and possible delete any bids you received. This add-on is to be only used with a fresh batch of auctions.

If you want to edit your live auctions after upload please use the “Manage” area to edit them as needed. Since there are literally hundreds of thousands of various server settings out there this is the safest route to take.


1. Purge Database: This option allows you to completely delete your auction database. Be careful with this one, it will REALLY delete everything if you select the “Yes” option.

– What is this option for?

Basically, it allows you to delete your records if you get any errors with the import of your CSV file. As a fail safe it is always set to “No” just in case you didn’t actually want to delete your auctions. If you select “Yes” and delete your records there’s nothing we can do about it. So PLEASE make a backup of your auctions first before continuing with this option.

2.Export Records: You can export a CSV file of your auctions using this option. Simply click on “Export CSV” and the download should start.

3. Import Records: This option allows you to import your auctions from a specification ready CSV file. The file MUST be in the EXACT specifications mentioned, otherwise you will receive an error. If the first row of your file has column headings you can select the option present to have the upload process skip it. The first row is present by default in the sample CSV file.


– My import failed?

Please review the error posted by the add-on and re-check your CSV file for any errors, specifically the start date and time. It HAS to match the specification posted.

– Can I use HTML and video embeds in the CSV file?

Yes, you can. However be careful about some punctuations like and ;. They might cause some issues with a few servers during import and give you an error.

– Can I change the date format?

No, sorry. At this point of time it is in the DD/MM/YYYY format. We might add support for others later.

– Why do I have one auction repeated twice?

You probably imported a CSV file that had the auction present the first time and uploaded a new CSV file with the previous auction still present in it. Simply delete the repeated auction by visiting your “Manage” screen.

– Will importing auctions delete any bids that are placed on live auctions?

Yes. If you have live auctions WITH bids on them then please make sure any further CSV file import does not have the same auction in it. It will add another similar auction and could cause your live auction bids to get deleted or cause undue errors.

If you get any other specific error please post them on our support page.


Basic troubleshooting help for the plugin.


Auction end date/time cannot be in the past: (specified: xxxx-xx-xx HH:00:00 – current: xxxx-xx-xx xx:xx:xx)

After upgrading from the free version, sometimes users see this error when trying to add auctions.

It is important in that case to make sure you clear your cache and do a hard reset, on windows this is ctrl + f5).

You should also see the blue interface, not the yellow/green one.

Outgoing e-mails show weird signs in the subject line like: “=?utf-8?b?W0F1Y3Rpb25zXSBOZXcgYmlkIG9uIFBpYWdnaW8gUDE4MCBBdmFudGk=?=”

There is an option in the settings “BYPASS UTF8 EMAIL” which you can change (somewhere at the bottom of the auction settings tab) that will fix this.

Why are bidders re-directed to my home page in the notification emails?

This is the default re-direction scheme, i.e http://www.example.com/?auction_to_show=1.

The above link will show the auction, with the ID 1, on your home page. Your home page must either have the sidebar widget or a front page sticky Post/Page with any auction embedded in it.

If you do not have the sidebar widget, or a front page sticky Post/Page with an auction in it, and you are embedding auctions in a Post/Page, then you must form a relationship with the Post/Page and the auction. See “How do I place an Auction in a Post/Page?” for instructions on how to do that.

Why Do I Keep Getting This Notice: “WP Auctions hasn’t been configured yet.”?

In order for WP Auctions to be correctly configured you MUST set the “Auction Engine”. Your three choices are “Standard”, “Simple” and “Reverse”.

To select your Auction Engine, click on the drop down box and select the engine you want to work with. You must literally click the drop down to select it, even if the default is set to “Standard”. Once you’ve selected it, and set your other settings, click on “Update Options”.

If you see the notice again, click on Update Options one more time.

Please note you cannot change your Auction Engine while you have live auctions on the site.