Integrating Paypal with your Website (HTML integration)   16 comments

Perhaps you want to integrate PayPal into your existing e-commerce website. Or, you might be an established retailer but new to online selling. Or perhaps you’re launching a completely new venture.

 Integration Options: When it comes to integrating PayPal features with your website, there are several approaches you can take, each associated with specific PayPal offerings. As you might suspect, some of these approaches are easier to execute than others.

In general, integration means inserting some sort of code into the underlying code of your existing website. Some of this code inserts things like buttons and links necessary for your customers to purchase items and access their shopping cart and checkout system. Other code links information on your site, and input by your customers, to functionality hosted by
PayPal. Still other code generates forms to accept customer information or even checkout pages. Which and how much code you need to insert depends on the PayPal products you choose.

HTML Integration: The simplest type of PayPal integration involves the use of blocks of HTML code. HTML integration can be undertaken by anyone with a basic familiarity with HTML coding. In the simplest forms of integration, PayPal generates the actual code—all you have to do is insert it into the appropriate page on your site.

There are two PayPal solutions you can implement via simple HTML coding:

(A)Website Payments Standard: With this option, favored by many smaller retailers, PayPal services are integrated with your website or e-commerce application via HTML code. The simplest approach is to create payment buttons using PayPal’s button creation tool; you can create Buy Now, Add to Cart, View Cart, Subscribe, and Donation buttons that link to the proprietary PayPal Shopping Cart. You can also use HTML code to link these buttons to third-party shopping carts
and checkout systems.

(B)Payflow link: This HTML-based product provides a gateway between your shopping cart and your merchant services account. Payflow Link gives you secure order pages, hosted at PayPal, that you can customize.

Whichever solution you choose, HTML integration is pretty much a onetime setup. You go to the PayPal site to generate the HTML code for the elements you need, and then insert that code into your web pages. You only have to update or add new code if you change the products or features you offer on your site.

PayPal’s HTML-based solutions are simple to implement because all the back-end operations take place on the PayPal site. You don’t host the shopping cart or checkout system, and thus don’t have to generate shopping cart and checkout pages. Instead, clicking a Purchase or Payment button takes customers to PayPal’s site, where all the heavy lifting takes place.

Let’s say you’re an individual who’s offering a single product for sale, something like a self-published book or manual. You can easily create a page on your website to promote this book and add the requisite PayPal payment button. For that matter, you can insert a payment button on your site’s home page, or even in the sidebar of your blog. It’s a one-time thing; insert the code and forget it. PayPal will handle all subsequent orders and notify you when there’s been a purchase and you need to ship your product.

When a customer clicks the Buy Now button, he’s taken to the checkout system on PayPal’s site, where the transaction is completed. It’s not an entirely customized solution, in that it isn’t as branded as it would be if you built your own checkout system. However, as an individual or small retailer, you get a ready-made payment processing system with minimal effort (and zero upfront cost) on your part. However, if you have a larger variety of products, or if your offerings change frequently, it can be tedious to keep updating the bits of code on your site.


16 responses to “Integrating Paypal with your Website (HTML integration)

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