Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Accept PayPal Payments on Websites – Integrate PayPal into Your Site

updated on Jul 26, 2017
How to Accept PayPal Payments on Websites – Integrate PayPal into Your Site As PayPal is the most popular and efficient way for instant online payment processing, an increasing number of webmasters are intended to accept PayPal payments on their websites to sell goods and works easily. However, integrating PayPal may sound difficult for beginners.

In fact, the task is not that painful because PayPal has prepared some good tools that help much. If your website is built with WordPress, adding a button for PayPal payment is even easier as you can install a useful plugin to handle all the work for you. Little manual effort is needed.

This tutorial provides a method that can be used by all kinds of websites to integrate PayPal. And later, we will also discuss the easier way for WordPress platform.

How to Add PayPal to Website

To achieve this goal, you need to make use of PayPal buttons and attach them to your website. At present, there are five buttons that are commonly used by webmasters.
  • Add to Chart - This button is also known as Shopping cart, helping people purchase multiple items on your website in bundle. For instance, if someone wants to buy a pearl necklace in your necklace category and a stone bracelet in your bracelet category, they can purchase them in one time using this button.
  • Buy Now - This button is used to pique people’s attention and to help them check out your items quickly. Among these five buttons, this one is the most commonly used one.
  • Donate - Generally, the donate button is used to by some charity organizations used for raising funds, but you can still add this button to ask people to donate you to keep the website up and running.l some gift certificates to your visitors.
  • Subscribe - We highly suggest this button if you have a subscription system, for it allows your club members to pay the subscription fees automatically every month instead of paying manually.

Add a PayPal Payment Button on Your Website

The easiest way to integrate PayPal into a website is to add a PayPal payment button to a single item on your site or to the shopping cart. The detailed steps are explained below, and the whole process does not require much coding knowledge or technical skill. Ten minutes are enough for accomplishing the task.

Step 1: Get a PayPal account and the merchant account ID.

First of all, you should open a premier account (which supports both buying and selling) by visiting If you have already had one, then you need to login to your account and find your merchant ID on the Profile page under Personal Information. If you do not have a premier or business account, you can still use your email address to do the following steps.

PayPal Merchant ID

Step 2: Create a PayPal payment button for your website.

On the Profile page, there are 4 categories that you can change, including Personal Info, Financial Info, Settings and My Selling Tools. You now need to click on the My Selling Tools link to open a series of settings related to selling online. To create a PayPal button, click on the "Update" link for "PayPal buttons".

PayPal Buttons

In the list of buttons, you can edit each one, view the code, and create a completely new button. To customize an existing one, you can open the "Action" drop-down menu of a button and choose the relative option. And to create a new one, click on the link saying "Create new button".

Create New PayPal Buttons

You have to complete altogether 3 steps to get a new button created. The first step is the basic information about the button. You need to choose a button type among "Buy Now", "Subscriptions" and "Shopping Cart", enter the item name and ID, set a price for the item, configure the tax and shopping, and choose a merchant account ID. In the "Customize button" box, you can customize the appearance of the button and preview it. The flexibility in appearance is awesome.

Button Type and Information

The rest steps are optional which allow you to track inventory, profit and loss, and enable you to customize some advanced features. The settings are easy-to-understand. Even if there is anything a little bit hard to decide, PayPal offers a complete guide. When you have finished the configuration, click on the orange button saying "Create Button" on the bottom of the page, and a brand new button will be created successfully.

Step 3: Insert the button code to your website

After you click on the "Create Button" button, the system leads you to a new page which reminds you to add the button to a webpage. On the page there is a box with lines of code which you will need. Just click on the button of "Select Code" and copy the code, and then follow the steps displayed on the page to paste the code at anywhere you want the button to appear. The developers of PayPal are so considerate that they offer a detailed tutorial guiding you through.

Select Code

We have tested the steps above on a WordPress site, and we get the button displayed right on pages.

PayPal Buy Now Button

Easier Way for Accepting PayPal Payments & Donation on WordPress Sites

In the case that your website is based on WordPress, there is a much easier way for integrating PayPal – using a plugin. The power of great plugins makes it a simple process to accept PayPal payments and accept donations through PayPal by using shortcodes or functional widgets. Besides, you can even build a PayPal shopping cart on the site.

Now we'd like to introduce how to use the WP Easy PayPal Payment Accept plugin to allow PayPal payment and to create a PayPal donation button. As usual, you need to go to the WordPress dashboard to install the plugin. After activating it, go to Settings > WP PayPal Payment. On the settings page, the plugin has several suggestions for the usage so that you can choose any one.

Plugin Settings

For the options about the plugin, you can give a customization as you want. Once you update the options, you are able to add the button you need by inserting the simple shortcode [add_paypal_payment] in pages, posts or sidebar. Actually, instead of configuring the details on this page, we'd suggest you to use more available shortcodes of the plugin to achieve more possibilities. But remember that you should still make the following general options right which define the currency and the PayPal email address which receives payments.

Plugin Options

Here we introduce 2 commonly used shortcodes. The first one, which is shown below, is to simply add a "Buy Now" button. You can also add parameters to get it more suitable for your need. Note that to display a payment button, you need to select the submit button type on the plugin settings page to be "Pay Now".

[wp_paypal_payment_box email="" options="Payment for Service 1:15.50|
Payment for Service 2:30.00|Payment for Service 3:47.00"]

After we make some customizations to the shortcode, we get a payment button on our website like this.

[wp_paypal_payment_box email="" options="single chocolate:10.00"]

PayPal Pay Now Button

The other shortcode is to add a donation button. After changing the submit button type to be "Donate", you can use the shortcode below to allow visitors to donate any amount, or you may remove other_amount=true to accept fixed amounts of donation only.

[wp_paypal_payment_box email="" options="Donate:10.00|Donate:20.00"

PayPal Donate Button

At last, we want to share with you how to add a PayPal payment widget in the sidebar. This is very easy because you only need to go to Appearance > Widgets, drag and drop the Text widget to the widget area you want, and then insert a shortcode explained above to the widget.

Text Widget

Once you save the change, you can get a PayPal payment widget in the sidebar.

Sidebar PayPal Button