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From the author of How Easy Is Adding the PayPal Buttons?

Generating the Button Code

Before you start generating payment buttons for your site, you need to open a PayPal Business account, which you can do from the PayPal home page. You can then sign up for PayPal's Website Payments Standard program, working through the following process to generate button codes. In essence, you tell PayPal everything there is to know about the transaction—the item name or number, selling price, shipping/handling charge, and sales tax. All this information gets hardcoded into the button.

To add PayPal payment buttons to your website, just follow these steps:

  1. Log onto the PayPal website.
  2. Select the Merchant Services tab.
  3. When the next page appears, click the Buy Now Button link.
  4. When the Create PayPal Payment Button page appears, as shown in Figure 1, pull down the Choose Button Type list and select Buy Now. (You can also create Shopping Cart, Donations, Gift Certificates, Subscriptions, Automatic Billing, and Installment Plan buttons.)
  5. Figure 1 Creating a PayPal payment button.

  6. In the Item Name box, enter the name of the item you're selling. If the item has a product number, enter that number into the optional Item ID box.
  7. Enter the selling price of the item into the Price box; pull down the Currency list to select a currency other than U.S. dollars (USD).
  8. You can customize the button in a number of ways, if you like. Select from one of the following options in the Customize Button section:
    • Add Drop-Down Menu with Price/Option
    • Add Drop-Down Menu
    • Add Text Field

    By clicking the Customize Text or Appearance link, you can change the wording of the button text and/or the appearance of the button.

  9. To use shipping instructions specified in your PayPal account, check the Use Settings Saved in Your PayPal Profile option in the Shipping section of the page, and then enter the shipping weight of the item and its packaging. To charge a different amount for shipping, check the Use Specific Amount option and enter that amount into the box.
  10. If you charge sales tax, enter the amount of tax into the Use Tax Rate box.
  11. To link sales to your PayPal merchant account, check the Use My Secure Merchant Account ID option. To link instead to another email address listed with PayPal, check the Use My Primary Email Address option and select that address from the pull-down list.
  12. Click Create Button when you're finished. PayPal will generate the HTML code for this button.
  13. Click the Select Code button (see Figure 2), copy the selected code, and then paste the code into your web page's underlying code where you want the button to appear.
  14. Save your edited page back to your web server, and you're in business!
  15. Figure 2 Generating the PayPal button code.


As we've seen, all you need to do is give PayPal some basic information about the item(s) you're selling, and it's easy to generate the appropriate button code. Of course, you'll need someone with a certain level of technical expertise to paste the button code into your website; other than that, it would be hard to make this solution much simpler.

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