How to Create a PayPal Payment Button or Link

Posted by | February 9, 2011 | General, Migration | 10 Comments

Learning how to create a PayPal payment button or link using PayPal’s Website Payment Standards is perhaps one of the most basic things you need to master if you want to make money online. After all, why bother with advanced stuff like SEO and copywriting when you don’t even know how to collect money?

There are some advantages to using PayPal’s payment buttons:

  • It’s easy to do and you don’t need any additional software
  • The money goes directly to your PayPal account via a secure page
  • You can also collect payments via credit card if the user doesn’t have a PayPal account

I tried searching for tutorials on how to create a PayPal payment button but wasn’t satisfied with what I found. So I decided to create my own tutorial.

To setup PayPal buttons and payment links however, you need to have a Premier or Business account. You cannot do this with a personal account. However, you can upgrade from a personal account to Premier / Business at no cost. The only difference is that you will be paying a higher fee per transaction.

Setting Up Your Product and Pricing

The first thing you need to do is enter your product name and pricing details. Just login to your PayPal account and click on Merchant Services. Then, click on Website Payment Standards.

PayPal Payment Button

Next, select which type of payment you need. If you’re selling a single item (for example an ebook) then you only need to choose the Sell Single Items button. If you’re selling recurring products (like a membership site), then you can choose Offer Automated Payments. For this example, just select Sell Single Items.

PayPal Payment Button

Next, enter your product name and product price. If your product has an SKU number or reference number, you can enter that as well under Item ID.

PayPal Payment Button

If your product has a shipping fee or a tax rate, you can enter that as well. PayPal gives you the option to accept payments to your PayPal email address or you secure merchant account ID. I recommend choosing the merchant account ID option for better security.

PayPal Payment Button

Setting The Return URL to Your Website

To automate the deliver of your product, you must have a “Thank You” page on your website where customers will be redirected to once they have made a successful payment. The “Thank You” page should contain the product download links (for digital items) or instructions on what to do next.

PayPal Payment Button

Make sure you enter the correct thank you page URL for completed payments, and your website’s product page URL for canceled payments.

Getting The PayPal Payment Button or Link

The final step is to get your PayPal payment button code. You can just copy this code and paste it into your website’s salespage. The PayPal “Buy Now” button will appear on your site, and users can click on that button to be taken to the payment page.

PayPal Payment Button

However, if you already have a different payment button or if you want to get a link to be included in your emails, click on the the Email tab and you will see a link like this:

PayPal Payment Button

This is the direct payment link that you need to put on your salespages. Make sure you copy and paste the URL exactly as it is, or the payment link will not work.

If you’re planning to open a complete e-commerce store however, creating PayPal payment buttons for your entire product line is way too tedious. Instead, I recommend you try the BigCommerce shopping cart software. It comes with a complete e-commerce store, templates, and built-in PayPal payment system.

If you’re from Malaysia and want to learn how to use PayPal, here’s the best place to get video tutorials: PayPal Malaysia


  • Ruzie says:

    Hi, Gobala. Thank you very much for the head start! :-)

  • D. Golf says:

    I was glad to see your instructions because I needed the button for my website and was not totally sure how to do it.

  • zudie rahman says:

    Hi Mr Gobala,

    Thanks for this useful post and information. I am also like yours before. I try find out a good tutorial that explaining on how to make payment page plus downloading page using paypal. But the result is not achieve my expectation.

    I am already studying what you explaining here. Then i got it makes me know and clear what i am trying to find out before. Thanks for this useful info. You explain it clearly.

    Thanks! :)

  • Iskandar says:


    How do we deal with people who actually look for the download/thank you page on your site via Google ?

    I used to sell digital book and I found that some really smart people actually google my site for “thank you” or “download” or other variations of pages where you keep your download link.

    I really don’t mind these folks downloading the book because I find their out of the box thinking really amusing. And I learned something there.

    Renaming the name wouldn’t be helpful because your page probaby have words like download here or other variations of it in it — and google will surely find it.

    One of the quick fix is to ask google the exclude the download page from the search result. But I don’t think that the move is foolproof — since there are many more engines out there.

    Any idea how to solve this other than use clickbank or other digital product delivery sites?

  • Ome says:

    Thank you for the info, Gobala. I knew that Paypal has a payment button, but the shopping car button is another exciting potential feature for future use. :)

  • Rick Nielsen says:

    Great post Gobala. Some of the simplest things we take for granted are things the average web newbie struggle with.

    Keep up the great work!


  • Azman says:

    Hi Gobala,
    Just want to thanks you for the nice article..This article absolutely really helpful and useful…

    Million thanks to you as you are willing to post this article..I always drop by your blog because so many things i can grab to..

    Keep it up and keep on to post the nice article..I really appreciate your willingness to share the nice thing..Thanks again Gobala..

  • Great info here Gobala. This post will help those interested in selling products online.

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