How do you create a simple buy now button for a website?

I am looking for resources on how to create a buy now button on a simple website.
K MAsked:
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John EastonDirectorCommented:
I know PayPal offer Buy Now button where you copy and paste their code, edit to meet your needs and then a user would click the link and be taken to PayPal to pay.

Have a look at this link for more detail:  https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_singleitem-intro-outside
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K MAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much!
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John AshenhurstCommented:
take a look at gumroad.com as well
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K MAuthor Commented:
Thank you John.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I think you have to define what you mean by simple.  

Most of the time people ask this similar question meaning the idea is simple enough to think through so it must be simple enough to implement.    The natural reaction is to think of something like the paypal buy now button.   It's simple in that you set up the button on the pay pal site with the price and they give you some code to place on your site.  Clicking the button takes you to the pay pal site.    This is where the "simplicity" ends.

There are other similar products such as that from the gateway, Authorize.net http://developer.authorize.net/api/simplecheckout/.  I like this example because they illustrate what happens and also why some people end up frustrated with this solution.

Athorize.net calls this simple checkout.
simpleThis works similar to paypal where the user starts on your site and is sent to the gateway/processor site to complete the transaction.  Where this has caused confusion for other Askers here is they also want the payment to be seamless on their own site.  Perhaps update inventory.  If you need to do any ad hoc processing after the sale, this method is actually more complex as you have to wait for a post from the payment gateway and/or poll the gateway from another page.  

Also, if you have many products and you want to update things like prices or add and remove items quickly, this method can be more cumbersome.   The upside is you don't have to be a programmer and you don't have to worry about PCI as the transaction is taking place on their server.

The opposite end of the spectrum is where you have the buttons hosted on your site, the products are on your site and you take the credit card on your site.   Typically, your products are probably in a database, the front end of the site my show the price but  only posts an id number that is then linked to the actual price in back end processing.
advancedThis method is vastly more complex to set up and requires programming skills and your server is required to be pci compliant which is basically answering some questions about your server and running a scan then taking care of any potential problems.  

I prefer this as it is much easier to seamlessly integrate, keep people on your site and perform post processing items you  may want.

While the first method is simple for the site owner it can be confusing for the user if they are not redirected or confirmed properly that their sale is acknowledged by the merchant.   The 2nd way is not so easy for the site owner if you do not know what you are doing, but can give a much more simple experience for the site user.

Somewhere in between will be a shopping cart site like volusion.com or shopify.com where the "site" is also the shopping experience and no coding required for the site owner, just uploading or posting content.   If you have a cms site like wordpress, there are plug ins from woocommerce or easy cart.  This gives the similar experiance as volusion/shopify except you are hosting the site with wordpress.

These shopping cart sites and plug ins will most likely be the happy medium for the site owner that just wants to sell products and the site visitor that wants a smooth experience.
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