Getting Started Center

This article will show you how to create a basic Subscription button for setting up a flat-fee subscription on your website.

See the "Additional Info and Frequently Asked Questions" section for help in setting up a button with multiple plan and pricing options for your customers to choose from.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. On the button creation page, select the "Subscriptions" button option to start creating your button.

  2. In the "Subscription name" box, enter the name of the subscription or service you want to sell, such as "Gardening Service".

  3. Optional – The "Subscription ID" is not needed, but can be helpful for managing and tracking your subscriptions with other systems.

  4. Choose your currency. By default it is set to USD

  5. If you are charging a flat fee for your subscription, enter the amount you will charge people in the "Billing amount each cycle" field. You can enter the price in most formats, such as "10.00" or "10". The currency sign will be included automatically in your button, so you don’t need to include the dollar sign.

    See the Additional Info and Frequently Asked Questions section for help in setting up a button with multiple plan and pricing options for your customers to choose from.

  6. For "Billing cycle" use the dropdown menus to choose how often your customers will be billed.

    If you have customized your button with different options, prices, and billing cycles, this field will not be available.

  7. Choose from the drop-down menu under "After how many cycles should billing stop?" how many times your customers will be billed. For example, if you have chosen a once-per-month billing cycle and want your subscription to last for a year, you would choose "12" for a 12 month billing cycle. For a subscription that will last until canceled by the customer, choose "Never".

  8. Optional – "Have PayPal create user names and passwords for customers". This feature will generate usernames and passwords that customers can use to access member-only content on your website, and requires installing a script on your website’s server. It is not required in order to use a Subscription button or Recurring Payments, so please ignore this feature if you are not comfortable writing or editing script.

  9. Optional - If you want to offer your customers a discounted or free trial period, check the box next to "I want to offer a trial period".

    Enter the amount you want to charge customers during their trial period, and use the drop-down menus to select how long the trial period will last.

    You can also offer a second trial period, allowing customers to extend their trial period – it does not need to be the same price or length of time as the original trial period.

  10. By default, payments are sent to the PayPal account that you used to create your button and are only identifiable by an email address or a secure merchant account ID – this helps to keep your account’s email address safe and secure. It is recommended that you keep the default "Use my secure merchant account ID" option so that your email address is not exposed within the code of your button.

  11. Click "Create Button" to save your button and generate the code you need to add it to your website.

  12. You will need to copy the code in order to place it on your website. Click "Select Code" underneath the box containing the HTML. This will highlight all of the HTML for you.

    There are slightly different instructions for adding a button to an email or Facebook

  13. Right click on the highlighted code and select "Copy" (or press Ctrl+C for Windows, or Cmd+C for Apple systems)

  14. Above the HTML box are general instructions for placing the code on a website. If you need instructions specific to your website or additional help with putting the code on your site, contact your website provider (e.g. Wordpress, GoDaddy, Joomla, Yahoo, etc). They will be the most familiar with your website and how to get your button working properly on your website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I offer multiple plans and pricing options?

If you want to let customers choose from several pricing tiers or how often they will be billed, you will need to customize your button with the some of the available drop-down menus for customers to choose their options.

There are several ways you can customize your button:

  1. "Add drop-down menu with price/option" – This allows you to set a different price and collection frequency for each option, (e.g. a monthly version for $15 per month, or a yearly version for $150)
  2. "Add drop-down menu" – Allows your customers to choose an option when the price is the same (e.g. packages with slightly different options)

You can use these options in combination with each other for even greater flexibility - adding a drop-down with price options will not prevent you from adding a second drop-down menu with no prices, for example.

  1. "Add drop down menu with price/option". If your subscription has multiple prices based on different tiers or billing frequency check this box to set up your prices for each option.

    Enter the name of your drop-down menu – it should be a description of the kind of options available, such as “Pricing Deals”.

    Enter your options and prices for each.

    There are three options available by default – if you need more, click "Add another option," up to a maximum of 10. If you need to remove one, click "Remove option" to remove the bottom option from the list.

    When you have finished adding your options click “Done” to apply these settings to your button. The example button on the right side will update to show you how your button will look to your customers.

  2. Optional – “Add drop down menu”. If your customers can choose some options for your subscription, but the price remains the same, check the box to use the “Add drop-down menu” function.

    Enter the name of your drop-down menu – it should be a description of the kind of options available, such as “Bonus Prize” or “Additional Services”.

    Enter each of your options in the “option name” boxes.

    There are three options available by default – if you need more, click "Add another option," up to a maximum of 10. If you need to remove an option, leave it blank – it will be removed when you click the Done button.

My customers need to include some additional information with their purchase, or send me some additional instructions. Can I add a way for them to leave a comment to my button?

If you want to allow your customers to include some customized text on their subscription, or send you information or instructions, check the box next to “Add text field” in the “Customize button” section.

The name of the field can only be 30 characters long, so you will want to use something simple but descriptive such as “Your Initials”, “Please engrave” or “Custom text”.

When you are finished, click “Done”. The example button on the right side will update to show you how your button will look to your customers.

How can I change the appearance of my button?

In the “Customize button” section, choose “Customize text or appearance”. Click this option to change the appearance of your PayPal button.

If you want to use the classic PayPal button, there are options to make it smaller and remove the credit card logos from underneath it. You can also change the text to say “Buy Now” instead of “Subscription”, or use a different language altogether.

You can also use your own button image, but it must already be hosted on a webpage URL.

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