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Subscription Question

theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
Sorry if this is a stupid questionI was wondering--suppose you wanted to build a website with premium content and you wanted to charge a monthly subscription for it.Is that something that could be handled through the shopping cart software... or would you need an additional add-on, if I may be so redundant?Know any good resources for building premium content or subscription-based websites?Appreciate any help you can offer!


  • DavidDavid subscriber Posts: 3
    Most of what you`re describing can be done over Paypal.   It lets you set up a subscription that will bill them on a regular basis until it`s cancelled.  Once they pay, they get set up into the site.
    Depending on the level of control you want and how much technical work you`d be able to put up with, it can be totally automated where a script takes the payment and makes the account for them or you can do it manually to play it safe.  It`s not a hassle either way. 
    Most shopping cart software come with a module that has a site view for members and one for guests, so non-paying surfers can see a little of the website before they pay.  It is critical that you do NOT pay for the software, as the free alternatives out there have powered multi-million dollar e-commerce sites like Razer and Collegebellhop.com.  However, you may or may not pay someone to set up the software again, depending on your tolerance for customizing stuff like PHP or CSS.
  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Thanks David--Good info.
  • DavidDavid subscriber Posts: 3
    Paypal has been working to counter that.  One-time payments for example, do not require a signup for a Paypal account.  Paypal is also launching a "Pay by Phone" option where customers can make payment over text messages and quick phone calls.  It may not be useful for all businesses, but it is a good way to give customers and clients multiple payment options over multiple non-Internet channels.
    The only caveat is that one should definitely keep records independent of those on the Paypal website as they tend to side with the customer and not the recipient in cases of potential fraud or miscommunications.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    First of all buddy, it depends which payment gateway you are using. If you are using paypal to charge something on a monthly basis, is called recuring payments. "Yes" Paypal has a subscription button you can populate when you log into your paypal account. Now let`s say you are using a "real payment gateway like Linkpoint" then it gets a little tricky. There are two ways you can do it if you have linkpoint. One is lets say you take the payment via telephone all you do is, you log into your virtual processor (terminal) and once you have your customes address and ccredit card information, you hit the recuring payments button, you tell it for how many months you want to charge your customer and the amount, and "Viola" it charges your customer on a monthly basis. Now if you are going to take payments via the Internet, then tell you need a programmer to develop a simple payment form and instead of telling the form to charge once you tell it to charge on a monthly basis. It is tedious if the programmer doesn`t know how to program your form. It took me 79 hours to get my clients Linkpoint Gateway to connect to the Bank, but I was certified by them to integrate Linkpoint I am also certified to integrate, Authorize.net payment gateways. If any one is interested in ditching Paypal and move up to a gateway processor, let me know and I will help you get it for free. you only have to pay your monthly fee. Now back to pay pal, there is a way where you can create a form on  your web site, then have the customer fill it in and it will send the variables to paypal, meaning all they have to do is enter their credit card info. If this is what you are looking for, call me... I like this approach with paypal because it gives your web site a proprietary look until the customer is ready to pay. [This works better instead of a bunch of payment buttons on your web site.
    I hope this helps you. I can send you a diagram and stuff like that if you are interested.
  • DavidDavid subscriber Posts: 3
    It is important to always keep security in mind.  I`m not trying to slight Linkpoint or Authorize.net in any way, given your recommendation of them, but many merchant gateway solutions are shoddy.  While it`s nice to imagine that payment solutions, either as an independent server or off-the-shelf software, will never mess up, the real world is far more sobering.
    Many solutions are created by 1 or 2 overworked hired guns by software firms interested more in the quantity of their programs and less in the quality.  Many companies are not able to troubleshoot all the vulnerabilities of a payment solution, either technical or through "social engineering".  Even Paypal is continually adapting to the platoons of scam artists who constantly target them.
    Anyone who buys too much into the hype of Internet commerce should look into the cautionary tale of eGold.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Of course security is always a high risk.I really don`t understand what you are trying to say above but let me see if I can break it down. If you are going to use an integrated payment processor on your web site, I am assuming you are taking precautions already; meaning you already have an SSL certificate in place, or at least a shared certificate by that matter. It doesn`t matter whether you are only collecting names, addresses, and emails you are still responsible for you clients information. Having an SSL certificate does two things for your customers and for your  business: 1. Gives them the peace of mind 2. Increases your sales for the simple purpose you took the time to secure your web site( this is an ethical thing to do).Secondly, no one can predict who and when someone is going to try to high-jack your clients information. But taking the right measures, can save you headaches, and lawsuits. This is why, when ever a client comes to me to integrate a payment system into their web site, my first question is, "Do you have a secure socket layer certificate?" if the answer is no, I force them to purchase one. Not because I`m trying to make a quick buck, but for the simple reason that all payment gateways are going to require you to have one. Now how do you know if you are secure or not? Simple if you have a shared or you purchased your certificate people will know by your headers.http:// you are not secured https:// you are secured. the difference is in the "s" at the end of the http:Something to consider when shopping online.
  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Yep.That does help, Connie. I`ll check Xoops out, too.I`ve been enjoying this conversation and learning a lot.
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