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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member toroandbruin's Avatar
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    Switching payment processing & checkout systems

    I have a client with numerous products being sold on 2 related websites, one of which is a Wordpress site (the product pages are hundreds of individual "posts"). Both sites have been using Google for payment processing and checkout. Since Google is discontinuing its shopping cart I need to quickly switch over about 1,000 products to a new, secure, payment-processing/checkout system, one which doesn't cost any more than the Google cart did. That means Free except for a modest processing charge taken out of each transaction. Almost nothing is actually sold directly from the website. People will come to the store to inspect the individual product. However having the option to buy online is needed for the "image" factor and as time goes on maybe more people will purchase that way.

    I looked at the 3 companies Google suggested (FreshBooks, BrainTree, Shopify) but none of those do exactly what's needed for free. If this client were designing his sites from scratch, I'd try to find him an appropriate CMS but I have to work with pages which have already been created over the years.

    We'd like to use PayPal for payment processing and at first it looked like PayPal's own, free, "Buy Now" button would fill the bill. Unfortunately that won't work because you have to generate the code for each button individually at PayPal's site. Multiplied by 1,000 items that translates into hundreds of dollars of labor time to create the code. It's already going to be expensive to change 1,000 individual pages, even with cut and paste!

    Though the products are not in a database online, the shop owner does have his inventory in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. We need to find a system whose buy-button codes we can generate all at once by combining that with the unique product name, price, etc. for each row in the Excel spreadsheet. You can't do that with PayPal because their online software must be used, product by product, in order to generate encryption into the resulting code. PayPal says a solution might be to find a PayPal-compatible shopping cart whose code we could create using the spreadsheets or uploading them somewhere.

    There are 2 problems I run into: 1. A free or low-cost version of a cart turns out to accommodate only a few products; with 1,000 products there is a cost which is impractical. 2. A free shopping cart software accommodates unlimited software but involves creating an entire website via the software itself. Basically you're starting from scratch with all the work that involves! I need something which will simply integrate with the HTML pages already built.

    There are hundreds of shopping carts out there. Surely one must fill the bill if only I could find it.

    Has anybody here already found my "ideal" Wordpress-compatible and PayPal-compatible shopping cart for a similar situation? Or come up with another inexpensive solution?

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Hi toroandbruin. Welcome to the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by toroandbruin View Post
    you have to generate the code for each button individually at PayPal's site.
    That's not the the only option. You can do it just with one piece of code. E.g. You can use code like this for every product, just adding the bits in red once for your client, and the bits in blue for each product:

    Code:
    <form action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post">
        <input type="submit" value="Add to Cart">
        <input type="hidden" name="add" value="1">
        <input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_cart">
        <input type="hidden" name="business" value="your business ID">
        <input type="hidden" name="item_name" value="product name">
        <input type="hidden" name="amount" value="product price">
        <input type="hidden" name="return" value="return URL to product page or site">
        <input type="hidden" name="cancel_return" value="return URL to product page or site">
        <input type="hidden" name="cn" value="Comments">
        <input type="hidden" name="currency_code" value="indicate chosen currency—e.g. USD">
        <input type="hidden" name="lc" value="language code—e.g. EN for Englais">
        <input type="hidden" name="bn" value="PP-ShopCartBF">
    </form>
    You can use code like this in a CMS, where the client just enters a few bits of info like product name and price and they have a ready link to PP.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member toroandbruin's Avatar
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    That's just the sort of code I was hoping to use! Where did you get it?

    I just talked again with a PayPal Business Support specialist who swore that code not generated by their online software was not going to work. She did not know what the URL https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr might represent and had never heard of it. (It's the URL that their online-generated code uses, too!) Then I talked with another support specialist who said that there was such a thing as third-party buttons out there and the only way to find out if the code you gave me would work would be to try it. So I'll complete a few PayPal account setup details and give it a shot.

    By the way, below is the code that PayPal generates for an Add-To-Cart Button. The DC84J8GRTLD6Y contains the product, price, etc. encoded.
    <form target="paypal" action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post">
    <input type="hidden" name="cmd" value="_s-xclick">
    <input type="hidden" name="hosted_button_id" value="DC84J8GRTLD6Y">
    <input type="image" src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_cart_LG.gif" border="0" name="submit" alt="PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!">
    <img alt="" border="0" src="https://www.paypalobjects.com/en_US/i/scr/pixel.gif" width="1" height="1">
    </form>

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member toroandbruin's Avatar
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    A PS

    One more thought -- I just noticed you are in Australia. Do you suppose PayPal is less picky about code for Australian sites? I wouldn't think so.

    In any case, many thanks for the code to try! It just might work!

  5. #5
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toroandbruin View Post
    That's just the sort of code I was hoping to use! Where did you get it?
    It's been so long, I can't remember, but it was from PP's site.

    I just talked again with a PayPal Business Support specialist who swore that code not generated by their online software was not going to work. She did not know what the URL https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr might represent and had never heard of it.
    Yeah, it's sad when company employees doesn't understand their own system, but it's common. I guess it's understandable, given what a miserable dog's breakfast PP's online documentation is.

    Quote Originally Posted by toroandbruin View Post
    I just noticed you are in Australia. Do you suppose PayPal is less picky about code for Australian sites?
    No, it has no bearing on it. I've seen this code used all over the world. I can assure you it's from PP and that it works fine, as I use it on a lot of client sites that are happily selling products through PP with that code alone.


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