PAYPAL 'STANDARD' PAYMENTS

There is a VAST amount of stuff about using Paypal not only on their own website but elsewhere on the internet. HUGE amounts of irrelevant bollocks, flow charts of the "customer's buying experience" and all manner of tedious garbage. Payal's Website Payments Standard Integration Guide is 466 PAGES long! Here on one page is all you really need to know in order to add a BUY IT NOW type button. If you want a shopping cart, go and fish one out of the river.

  1. At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, if you don't already have one you will need a Paypal account - whereas your customers do not.
  2. Login to your account.
  3. Click the Merchant Services tab.
  4. In spite of the manual running to 466 pages I could find NO link for ‘Website Payments Standard’ - to use PayPal's weird terminology. So...
  5. From the LEFT hand table select SELL SINGLE ITEM. This opens a page entitled CREATE A PAYPAL PAYMENT BUTTON. At the top is a link to "see Website Payments Standard Overview" Click that and the next screen has a "SIGN UP NOW" button.
  6. Do that. When done, there is a link to "Go to my business setup." Go there.
  7. There are 5 options.
    • Set up my payment solution
    • Customise my buyer's checkout experience [jeeezers]
    • Manage my money [must be joking]
    • Process my orders
    • My bookeeping
    Click the ‘Start Now’ button under Set up my payment solution.
  8. Next screen has 3 main option.
    • Create payment buttons
    • Third party carts
    • Custom integration
    Each option has a little + sign alongside which will expand the panel to give additional options. Click the + alongside 'Create Payment buttons' and you have 5 options.
    • Buy Now
    • Add to Cart
    • Subscribe
    • Donate
    • Buy Gift Certificate
    Chose whichever is required. Clicking the Buy Now option takes you to a page where you can "Use this page to customise your button and create the HTML you'll need to copy and paste into your website." There are 3 options:
    • Chose a button type and enter your payment details
    • Track inventory, profit and loss (optional)
    • Customise advanced features (optional).
  9. Enter the payment details. This includes options to include an item ID, offer choice of colours, sizes, postage etc. You can modify the size of button [see below], opt to use your own, whether to display credit card logos and so on.
  10. Muck about with steps 2 and 3 if you want - but finally...
  11. Click CREATE BUTTON at the foot of the page. This opens a new window with a preview of the button you selected plus the HTML and a 'select code' button
  12. Select the code and copy it in place on your webpage and that's more or less it. On the same screen are options to save your button, go to 'my saved buttons', create a similar or new button. The result might look like one of these.
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As shown above, the size can be altered as can the button text. There is some tidying up to do if you aspire to XHTML - clearly PayPal don't. I can't show you the original as Joomla insists on tidying up the poor PayPal HTML but you need to check there is a space and a forward slash / at the end of each input tag and the image tag. I also get rid of the extra Paypal alt verbiage in the image tag about Paypal being safe and easy and just leave alt equalling PayPal - like this;

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Having created your first button and saved it subsequent buttons are a whole lot quicker. Log in to your PayPal account and select the Merchant Services tab. On the left hand panel are various options including viewing saved buttons. Clicking that will give you options to edit, create similar or new buttons or to delete it.

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Paypal uses a lot of JavaScript. If you are trying to use Paypal buttons etc on a CMS website such as one running under Joomla you may encounter problems. Most seem solvable and about there is a great deal of info and help to be had from the Joomla forum. As I come across them I will include nuggets of advice below.

  • If you use a Buy now button with an email address in it then you may need to place emailcloak=off (within curly brackets!) in the Article.
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Here is a bit more info from PayPal which you can skip if you want! Once you've implemented Website Payments Standard onto your website, shoppers can click the "Add to Cart" or "Buy Now" button when they find the right product or service. From there, they go to a secure PayPal page to pay. If they pay with a credit card, they don't need to have a PayPal account - they can simply fill in billing, shipping, and payment information. If they pay with PayPal, this information is already stored in their PayPal account. After checkout, all shoppers return to a confirmation page on your website.

Website Payments Standard offers several advantages to those who are just launching their online business, or for those wishing to expand without increasing their overhead. It allows you to accept credit card payments at a low per transaction fee (with no set-up fee or monthly fee), nor do you need a separate IMA - which is usually required for accepting credit card payments and often involves a lengthy application and approval process. And shoppers don't need a PayPal account. [Yes, yes, you've said that already!]

With Website Payments Standard, merchants avoid the liability of protecting shoppers' credit card data, as shoppers enter this information only on secure PayPal pages. This flexible solution lets you accept payments for products or services, donations, subscriptions requiring recurring payments, and gift certificates. If you need to process payments received by phone, fax, or email can use Virtual Terminal with Website Payments Standard for a monthly fee.

Website Payments Standard offers the easiest way to turn a static HTML content page into a transactional page. If you're an experienced HTML author, PayPal lists the variables to create a cart for upload integration. In that case, you can transfer all the information you've collected to Website Payments Standard via an HTML form post.

For more details on integrating Website Payments Standard, visit PayPal Integration Centre - Standard and the best of British!

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