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using paypal to give people website subscriptions

i am brand-new to this... hope someone can help me along...



11:32 pm on Feb 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, i have this website, and i'd like to allow monthly or annual subscriptions to it...

however, i'm not sure how to do it, exactly! I have a paypal account, and i understand how to actually use it and everything, but what i'm unsure of is: when someone visits my site and signs up to a subscription, how will their payment be automatically matched with their database entry in My website? and how am i going to keep track of when who's subscriptions expire so their database entry can be altered so that their accounts can be reverted to non-premium... i would like everything to be automated...

I hope someone can train me on all this :) thankyou


12:17 am on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am suprised nobody has replied to this one yet... i usually get a helpful reply within a day. Is this very complicated to set up?


2:30 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

have a look at 2checkout.com

good luck


9:42 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Check out: [paypal.com...]


10:57 pm on Feb 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I looked into this, also, to try to add subscriptions to a web service. I don't think there *is* a way to have Paypal work with your database (unless you can somehow make your Paypal completion URL a database call).

But I didn't try very hard, either, and this was over 6 months ago so maybe things have changed.


1:30 pm on Feb 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think the nearest you can get is that Paypal will send you an email with the details each time someone has credited your account and you would then have to find away then of transferring this info into your database. The only way I can see it at the moment is manually which would mean that unless you were going to sit at your Inbox 24 hours a day, the subscriber would still not be able to access the site until you had created, again manually, his user account. You would need to find someway of automating the transfer, at the very least the users email address, from the mail you received from Paypal, into your database. The subscriber would then use the email address as their user id. How this is done, I do not know nor if it is even possible for a database to import info from an email automatically.

Good Luck.


4:39 pm on Feb 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How does WebmasterWorld do it?

I know this is possible.

Webmasters don't sit at their inbox 24/7.

Sarvesh Nagpal

12:20 pm on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's possible to connect your database with PayPal in realtime using IPN. Once you are done with initial hardwork of setting up the scripts, everything will be automated and work perfectly.

1)Setup a script to handle Insant Payment Notification (IPN)
// There are many free scripts available on internet for same purpose.

2)Enable IPN for your account and set your IPN URL to point to your script location.

3) Just check for the variable: "txn_type". If it's "subscr_signup" then it means a new subscription has been activated. If it's "subscr_eot", it means a subscription has just expired (end of term). Please note that eot is separate from subscription cancellation. For more details, please check IPN manual available on PayPal.

4) To make sure that integration with database is seamless, please use optional fields also while passing variables to PayPal.

Above method may seem complicated at first sight but once you are done with it, you will surely find it worth all your efforts.

Alternative to aforementioned process can be "completition URL" (as described above) but it's not very accurate and won't be able to predict end of terms automatically.


12:45 pm on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here is a sample subscription call for paypal:


where the test paypal address is web@email.co.uk and the fee is 35 USD per month