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Using PayPal Subscriptions with Your Web Empire

PayPal subscriptions are simplified and done mostly through PayPal for those who are used to the PayPal interface. In fact, this document is only really necessary for those who want to change a member's status or membership level based on a successful subscription and login. But this document will still help those who don't need that functionality. These basic instructions will work for any

In short, we will be doing the following:

  • Making sure your PayPal account is configured correctly
  • Creating the button link in PayPal
  • Creating the button in Your Web Empire
  • Following a new subscriber/member

Enable Auto Return

First, you need to make sure you have a PayPal business account, not a personal one, otherwise you cannot create buttons. Consult PayPal documentation if needed for that. Next, you need to make sure the auto return is turned on, otherwise the information cannot be transferred back to your website after the purchase (you would need to change the member's status/level manually).

Auto return is turned off by default. To turn it on...

  1. Log in to your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com. The "My Account Overview" page appears.
  2. Click the Profile subtab. The "Profile Summary" page appears.
  3. Click the "My Selling Tools" link in the left column.
  4. Under the "Selling Online" section, click the "Update" link in the row for "Website Preferences." The "Website Payment Preferences" page appears
  5. Under "Auto Return for Website Payments," click the "On" radio button to enable Auto Return.
  6. In the Return URL field, enter the URL to which you want your payers redirected after they complete their payments. This should simply be your main URL, or if you like, you can create a custom webpage and use that. NOTE: PayPal checks the Return URL that you enter. If the URL is not properly formatted or cannot be validated, PayPal will not activate Auto Return.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the "Save" button.


Create the Button

Use PayPal to create your button. You should follow the PayPal's instructions for this. The only thing you need to know for your website integration, is the button finished checkout URL that needs to be entered in Step 3 of PayPal's button creation stage.

Your URL will be


You will need to replace the "#" signs with the number of your status and/or level. You can get this information either from the "Configure" > "Custom Levels" or "Custom Status'" sections of your Relationship Manager or the "Configure" > "Payment Processor Information" section of your Simple Sell.

Note: This URL overwrites the default return URL you entered earlier, which is what we want to happen.

When you "Save Changes," you will be given the button code. Since Your Web Empire does not allow for custom form variables, you need to use the Email link. Copy that. You will need it in the next step.


Create the Button on Your Website

This is as easy as creating a link. However, if you want to spice it up, create a button. Use the "Buttons (click to insert)" to the left of the edit window when you are creating a webpage to add a button:

Text of Your Button Here!

Next, place the cursor at the start of the text, then select the PayPal icon under the "Icons" on the left of the edit window, then click the icon button to insert the icon.

Text of Your Button Here!

Next, edit your text in the button:

  Subscribe via PayPal!

Finally, put your cursor anywhere on the button and click the link icon in the editor, then paste your PayPal button link.

So if you are curious, here is what's going on in this whole process:

  • All users on your site are immediately assigned a unique visitor ID that follows them via cookie.
  • When they complete the subscription, they are sent back to your website via PayPal and your website records the level and status associated with the subscription, and links it to the user's unique ID.
  • When the user registers and/or logs in for the first time after becoming a member, their status and/or level will be updated.

Note: There are checks in place on the back end to ensure no foul play.

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