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E-commerce on a Budget


If you are considering a low cost shopping cart alternative, prehaps you should consider Dreamweaver MX's paypal extension.

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By: Macromedia Team
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April 10, 2003

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If you are considering a low cost shopping cart alternative, prehaps you should consider Dreamweaver MX's paypal extension.

The PayPal eCommerce Toolkit extension for Dreamweaver MX allows web designers and developers to quickly and easily add e-commerce functionality to a website.

Using this free wizard-based tool from WebAssist.com, Macromedia developers can create PayPal payment buttons and shopping cart functionality for their websites.

In under an hour, you can Commerce-enable your website and accept any major credit card or bank payment from your customers.

E-Commerce: You and What Army?

Have you ever wanted to build an E-Commerce site, but had no idea:

  • What tools to use?
  • How much it would cost?
  • How much time it would take?

Congratulations, you're not alone! Setting up an e-commerce site can be a complex task. Servers, databases, digital certificates, SSL, merchant accounts, payment gateways, CGI programming, shopping carts, real-time payment confirmation, fraud detection… ok, enough already! Even the cleverest Alpha Geek might crack under this litany of technical skills and requirements.

The PayPal eCommerce Toolkit for Dreamweaver MX

Using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX you can create e-commerce websites in under an hour. Simply download the free PayPal eCommerce Toolkit extension from WebAssist.com. Then, use Dreamweaver MX to create payment buttons for your products and services, and publish them on your website to start accepting credit cards. No additional programming or software installation is required.

A Quick Introduction to PayPal

Before we review the extension, you might be asking, "What is PayPal all about?" Well, you've probably heard about PayPal if you've ever bought or sold an auction item on eBay. PayPal enables merchants and individuals to accept credit card, debit card, and bank transfer payments online. In short, PayPal is a web services company, a payment processing company, and a security company all rolled into one.

PayPal signup is free , and there are no monthly fees. You pay a transaction fee when a purchase occurs, as low as 2.2% + $.30 per transaction—check the PayPal site for current fee schedule.

Three Wizards from WebAssist.com

The PayPal eCommerce Toolkit extension has three wizards for creating Single Item Purchase payment buttons and Shopping Cart buttons from within the Macromedia Dreamweaver MX environments. These wizards generate HTML buttons that enable e-commerce for your website.

Single Item Purchase Wizard

The Single Item Purchase wizard is perfect for businesses that have just a few items for sale, or want a simple method to collect payment for services. Non-profit organizations and individuals can also use this button to collect donations. By simply creating these payment buttons and placing them on your website, you can immediately accept credit card payments from your customers.

With the Single Item Purchase Wizard, you can create payment buttons in six easy steps:

  1. Enter the e-mail address to receive payments.
  2. Choose a payment button to use for your website.
  3. Enter item or service details and price (leave price blank to let the customer enter amount).
  4. Specify any additional shipping & handling details (optional).
  5. Provide a logo to be displayed on the payment page (optional).
  6. Enter URLs where your customer will be redirected to after payment (optional).

When the wizard is done, the generated HTML will create a payment button to be placed on a website, and instantly your customers can now pay with any major credit card. PayPal payment buttons can also be pasted into HTML e-mails and used as an online invoice, or sent to customers along with product offers or e-mail marketing campaigns. For more information, check out the Single Item Purchase video tutorial or the PayPal Single Item Purchase technical overview.

Note: To view the tutorial movie linked above, you must have QuickTime installed.

Shopping Cart Wizards: Load up your cart and check out

The PayPal Shopping Cart is a hosted service offered by PayPal—it's great for merchants who have multiple items for sale, and don't have their own shopping cart software. The Add-to-Cart and View Cart wizards create HTML buttons that enable basic shopping cart functionality.

Customers click on Add-to-Cart buttons to put an item in their shopping cart, and then click on a View Cart button to review items in their cart before checking out. When they're done, they can checkout and pay with any major credit card, or bank transfer payment. For more information, check out the Shopping Cart video tutorial or the PayPal Shopping Cart technical overview.

Note: To view the tutorial movie linked above, you must have QuickTime installed.

That's all there is to it! With PayPal and Macromedia, you can become an e-commerce developer in a single afternoon. For more information about developing PayPal E-Commerce solutions, check out the PayPal Developer Network (PDN) and see over 100 other PayPal third-party developer solutions and How-To articles.


DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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