Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Site

With our new PayPal integration, you can start selling in seconds.

May 2016: Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Cities with renowned photographer, Shawn Lee, in a redesigned school bus en route to working with small business owners in Detroit.

Earlier this year, while working in Detroit with small business owners and the Rebrand Cities team, it became clear that entrepreneurs and publishers are looking for a simpler way to accept credit and debit card payments on their sites.

Our Happiness Engineering team — the guardians of our customers — also weighed in, and we knew that we wanted to make an existing process simpler. So we set a design goal of bringing a 15-minute-long process to under a minute — especially for a customer that has never used PayPal before.

So a small team of engineers and designers came together to solve that problem with the intent of releasing a “Version One” with which we could start to understand how a simpler payment button could be used by our customers. It’s currently limited to our Premium and Business Plan members on WordPress.com and for Jetpack Premium and Professional members on any WordPress site — while we tune and refine how it can work best.

Here’s how it works: Open a new post, select “Insert Content,” then choose “Add Payment Button.” You’ll fill out the details for what you’re selling, add the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent), and that’s it! Now your readers can send you a payment with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account.

Read more about how to get started with the new Simple Payments feature for Premium and Business Plans on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

***

It’s easy to think that making simple things is, well, simple. But that’s never the case. Austin, Texas-based engineering leader Bob Ralian led the product team that pulled this live, working prototype together in record time. I had the opportunity to observe the design team in action working with the engineers, and the following is a brief interview with Bob on how all the pieces came together.

JM: So tell me a little about yourself, Bob!

BR: I’ve been building websites and web applications for the better part of 20 years, and I’ve worked at Automattic for four years. I’ve done a mix of engineering, team management, and project management. I live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, three kids, and two dogs.

JM: How does an engineer think versus how a designer thinks?

BR: As an engineer I usually think in terms of what I have and what I know. I can work within a system, take different pieces and turn them into something new. Take duct tape, dental floss, and a rubber band, and turn it into a bicycle. Or I can look at a process and think through how I can make it better. But I’ve found that designers are able to create something totally new out of nothing. They’re not intimidated by a completely blank slate. It’s a superpower that I greatly admire!

JM: They sound very similar!

BR: I think we’re motivated by the same things. We want to make something that people like and appreciate and makes their days a little better. Really, we just want our users to be happy and enjoy what we’re building.

JM: An unusual amount of planning went into this little button — it started in Detroit with a group of designers and then was packaged into a variety of concept sketches and little movies. Does all that up front work really pay off? If so, how?

BR: We spent a lot of time with customers, particularly small business owners, to learn about what they need from their websites. We learned that many of them just want a simple way to take payments. So we used that as our guiding principle, make it as simple as possible for these business owners to add a payment button to their site.

JM: What’s an “MVLP”? I heard the designers use that term with the engineers.

BR: MVLP stands for “minimum viable lovable product.” It means that rather than taking a long time to build a complicated product behind a curtain, we try to build small, simple features and launch them early. It’s ready when it solves a real user need and we can feel proud of it – something we can love. Then we let our customers tell us what they want next and how to make it better. This keeps us focused on building for real user needs.

JM: As an accomplished musical artist yourself, how does “love” play into the engineering of products?

BR: To me it’s all the same; composing a song, writing a blog post, building a new feature, or making something with my hands. I just really love the process of “making things.” Bringing something new into the world is an act of love. It’s an act of vulnerability and generosity. It’s saying to the world “We did our best, and we really hope this makes your life a little better.”

JM: Thanks Bob! Our huge thanks to the engineers who built it; Jason Johnston (who led the project), Artur Piszek, Damián Suárez, Don Park, Jarda Šnajdr, Payton Swick, and Rastislav Lamoš! And special thanks to designers Takashi Irie and Dave Whitley for thoughtfully crafting the experience design for this very first MLVP of the Simple Payment button.


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44 Comments

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  1. kelvinhayesofficial

    It’s a start but can I use an alternative to PayPal?

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Aleksandra Bodera

    Reblogged this on Soaking up the light and commented:

    Accepting payments or donations through your WordPress.com site has never been easier!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. krystalknapp

    Lots of my readers don’t want to use PayPal and prefer Stripe.

    Liked by 8 people

    • John Maeda

      Thanks — right now it’s just PayPal, and we’ll add Stripe to the wish list.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Bob Ralian

      Just to clarify, you readers don’t need a PayPal account to make a payment. They can pay via credit card. And in fact you don’t need an existing PayPal account to start collecting payments on your site. You just need to specify an email address. Any email address that you have access to will work to get started. Then you just register that email address with PayPal to access the payments.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. Thiago

    Is it possible to accept donations using this new tool?

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA

    Fantastic, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. WP Detox

    Reblogged this on Beyond Universe and commented:
    Long wanted the feature of being able to integrate PayPal easily to WordPress.com hosted sites – here it is.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. kiciktest

    I just got migrated from Medium to WordPress business plan yesterday, for my blog. And now, I just got a new feature what I’m looking for. Big thanks 🙏

    Liked by 11 people

  8. homeomart

    Great!! Finally its here, we have been asking this for a long time. It was in the making for a long time and since it was not available earlier we did our bit of code pasting that was given by Paypal. Though far from perfect, it got us going and the response has been pretty amazing. We would love to share our experience & ideas with the Happiness Engineers and contribute our bit to make it even better. One small step for ecommerce, a giant leap for bloggers!!

    Liked by 9 people

  9. anushkasuri

    Can you also integrate payoneer, paytm, amazon pay in the near future. It is a fantastic step!!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. marveelous

    Is this only for credit cards? or can be used on debit cards as well?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. hlsteelstructure

    It’s a nice new tool.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. admin

    Hi, I am living in € zone. Can currency be changed optional?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Bob Ralian

      We don’t allow that now, but we’ll make it a priority to add that next. Thanks for the feedback!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Bob Ralian

        Quick update, now you can select your currency for the payment button. It’s in the dialog when you set it up. You can also change it on existing buttons by going to the editor for the page where it’s hosted and then clicking on the payment button to edit it.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. cityark17

    PayPal is most considered a genuine payment method by readers

    Liked by 4 people

  14. julz

    Hi – this is a great idea – I just clicked on the button to do a trial and came across a problem! I LIVE IN THE UK AND SELL IN £’s – there is no option to change currencies from the $. I use paypal all the time, and it will automatically convert a £ payment in $’s if the customer is in the US.

    Are you able to add the £ sign, and for others the Euro etc?

    thanks

    Liked by 4 people

  15. deepanilamani

    Great news. Thanks a lot for the payment button. It will come in handy in the future 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Thiago

    “The currency defaults to be the same as the transaction for your plan subscription.”

    Ok, but in my country we can only pay WP.com in dollars, but we can not sell or ask donations in dollars. So, we need a way to change the currency more easily.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. PlayLegit

    Sweet!

    Liked by 4 people

  18. katsfabrications

    Will this option be available for non-Premium members in the future?

    Liked by 6 people

    • John Maeda

      Thanks for asking — we’re still in the early stages of development for this feature. So as we learn going forward, knowing about your interest is super helpful.

      Like

  19. Biblicon

    Very good, It would be even simpler if demo images did not flash on and off too quickly for the eye and brain to absorb Whwn this happens, it does not help. it only annoys.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. anna mosca

    Love it!!! Thank you so much for coming up with this. As my WP site is bilingual (English and Italian) I will need for the readers to be able to make a donation both in $ and in Euro.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Takashi Irie

      Thanks for sharing this context. Currently, you only can set a price with one currency, but PayPal will convert the price automatically and allows your readers to pay with their currencies.

      Liked by 5 people

  21. @SylviaHubbard1

    Reblogged this on How To Ebook and commented:
    This is phenomenal and I’m really thinking about going toward the premium plan, especially with the other features that will be available too. Also, I love the Amazon link feature and the meetup link feature as well. thank you so much for the bonuses and treats for using wordpress.com. I can’t wait for more to come

    Liked by 3 people

  22. marethabotha2013

    Reblogged this on MarethMB and commented:
    Thank you, WordPress – I’ll definitely consider an upgrade when I renew my subscription. As a reminder, I’m reblogging this as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. ebikerpakistan

    Is this option can be applied in Pakistan also?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. David Thrift

    This is really awesome, and thanks for setting this up. I am currently set up on just the personal plan on both of my websites (www.mudpix.com) and (www.nwoaa.com), so if I’m understanding correctly, I would need to upgrade the plan to the next level, “premium”, to get this feature? If not, will I be able to paste code into blog posts for paypal buttons from their site?

    Liked by 2 people

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