What You'll Learn
Do you want to pay for web hosting using PayPal? Or do you want to use it for enabling transactions on your e-commerce website?
What third-party e-commerce platforms enable you to build a PayPal shopping experience? What should you look for in a web host? What are your next steps?
You'll learn the answers to these questions and what your PayPal e-commerce options are.
Want to fast-track your decision? You'll get my top 3 hosting recommendations too.
Hosts that Accept PayPal
Some website owners prefer to pay for online purchases with PayPal. While many hosts accept payment from your PayPal account, not all do. The hosting companies featured on this page gladly allow PayPal payments.
What about hosts that let you accept PayPal account payments?
Short answer: most hosts allow you to accept PayPal -- as this is done via simple codes you can copy and paste into your HTML, though there are varying degrees of support for advanced features.
Do I need a Merchant Account?
Planning on selling products or services online? You’ll need a merchant account if you want to accept credit card or debit card payments. Traditional merchant accounts can be costly both in terms of startup and maintenance.
This is why many businesses impose a minimum purchase amount for credit card users—it's to cover the fees they must pay in order to maintain their merchant accounts with credit card providers. Using PayPal allows you to skip the hassle of a merchant account because PayPal is the merchant account.
What are the Advantages of Using PayPal as My Primary Payment Gateway Service?
The PayPal site has an interactive demo you can try out. It will show you exactly what a customer's experience is like when they complete an online transaction using PayPal.
PayPal is a payment gateway service and is by far the most used option online. Once you’ve collected payment, you can later transfer it to your bank account. For a large number of businesses, PayPal has saved tons of money in payment fees.
PayPal allows you to collect website payment information to be processed at a later date, provide account access to multiple employees, customize the payment page to match the look and feel of your website, and more.
As an added bonus, customers have tons of incentives to use PayPal, as opposed to traditional credit card payments:
|PayPal||Merchants do not see customer details||Information is strictly private, customer details are safe||Instant payments, details stored||Free|
|Credit Card Payment||Merchants have direct access to customer details||Due to merchant's having access to customers' information, exposure to theft creates a risk||Takes time, having to re-enter information||Merchants often charge fees|
Options for Integrating PayPal With Your Website
There are various buttons and functionalities to choose from when integrating PayPal.
Available in numerous countries, PayPal fees vary according to location and sales volume. As with a traditional merchant account, you must apply to take advantage of the website's pro hosted solution. Applications are reviewed and approved within five to seven business days.
PayPal can be integrated into your website with HTML, with the button API, or through shopping carts or e-commerce platforms. If you’re not HTML or code savvy, the best way to integrate is through your e-commerce platform.
Check your host's requirements before signing up for an account to ensure compatibility.
Best Web Hosting Services to Collect Payment Using PayPal
Luckily, there are many ways to accept payment through PayPal, and you usually have at least a few options on a web host plan.
Other than building your own site from scratch, most hosts offer 1 or 2 main ways to add e-commerce functionality to your site and accept payments from customers with PayPal.
PayPal with E-Commerce Carts and Website Builders
The most popular option is to allow you to install an open source e-commerce shopping cart. This is usually done through a cPanel control panel that includes an installation script that allows you to pick the one you’d like.
The other option for hosts is to offer a site builder, which allows you to create a simple website through a drag and drop interface. This isn’t as common, but some hosts offer it as an option. Usually, they come with a PayPal payment gateway, although it varies between hosts.
Customer Advantages of Using PayPal for Purchases
Additionally, getting a PayPal friendly host isn't only for yourself. Customers do have key incentives to use online shops with PayPal support. Should you cater to them, your business' trust factor is bound to improve.
Other than trust an convenience, businesses who fail to support PayPal should be prepared to lose customers. Here are a few customer 6 benefits of using PayPal:
- Ease of Transfer
- Card and Data Security
- User-Friendly Applications
It couldn't be more simple to send money from one account to another - your customers appreciate this.
Customers can have multiple bank accounts tied to a PayPal account. This way, they are free to choose from multiple payment methods, with just one account. PayPal also safely stores payment data, saving them time.
Ease of Transfer
Customers could be struggling for funds. PayPal makes it quick and simple to transfer funds from one account to another. Users are simply required to enter the recipient's e-mail address, and the funds are through!
Card and Data Security
PayPal securely stores credit card and account data. This eliminates the hassle of customers having to re-enter details during every purchase. Checkout times are often under 1 minute.
Many PayPal users are incentivized by PayPal's sponsorship schemes. Since they're often eligible for vouchers and discounts, PayPal has become a primary source of payment.
It's free! Need I say more? Your customers can use PayPal to purchase from your site, at no extra cost.
There are official applications for both iOS and Android devices. PayPal is, therefore, multi-platform compatible and easy to access from anywhere.
Find The Best PayPal Hosting For You
The Most Popular E-Commerce Software Options for PayPal Hosting
You have quite a few options for an e-commerce website that needs to accept debit card or credit card payment through PayPal.
Many of these integrate PayPal Payment Pro (formerly called “ website payment pro ”) which lets your customers pay without even leaving your site. Here are the 5 most popular ones to date:
When you sign up for most hosting plans, you will get access to a control panel. The most popular control panel by far is cPanel.
One of the most powerful e-commerce platforms. It has quite a learning curve, but can be configured for just about any online store. PayPal is a major partner and simple to integrate into your site.
A modern, simple way to build an online store. Your store will be mobile-friendly automatically, and you can accept payment from customers around the world. PayPal can be integrated with a simple addon.
Works and looks a lot like WordPress from the backend (but a completely different piece of software) and comes with several search engine optimization features built-in. You can configure your site through themes and extensions. Enabling PayPal is simple.
Not quite as modern as the other options, but can be added to custom built sites to enable shopping cart functionality. A solid option that’s been around for years, and supports PayPal.
A brief demonstration of a Shopify demo online.
PayPal is a much sought for payment option for Shopify. As an easy to use a website builder with PayPal support and a crisp user-interface, it's a recommended choice.
Installing Your Chosen Software
In cPanel, your host has likely set-up an auto script installer like Softaculous. These installers let you search and choose from hundreds of open source software products.
The specific options depend on the specific script installer used, but most will support all 5 of the above options.
My 3 Favorite PayPal-friendly Hosting Providers
For serious online stores, Liquid Web is the host company to beat. Their plans are all geared towards high performance, which translates into a fast and smooth experience for your customers. Liquid Web also has a 24/7 support team, where all members have hundreds of hours of training.
With Liquid Web plans, you get access to a fully stocked cPanel, which will let you install all the popular open source e-commerce solutions that integrate with PayPal. In addition, their managed WordPress plans are perfect if you're trying to create a high-performance WooCommerce store.
On the other end of the spectrum, Yahoo's small business hosting is perfect for a small or beginning e-commerce business. There are only a few simple, cheap, shared hosting plans to choose from. All of them support WordPress but also come with a custom online site builder.
If you use the site builder, it only takes a few clicks to enable PayPal payments with no coding. All of Yahoo's plans come with 24/7 support, and a solid knowledge base. Finally, you get free advertising credits, a free domain name, and a free SSL certificate.
Bluehost offers a hosting plan tailored specifically for WooCommerce, but all other plans come with cPanel and a script installer for other e-commerce software. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee on all Bluehost plans if you'd like to try it out.
Here's What Your PayPal Hosting Needs To Offer
PayPal can be integrated into a website using HTML, the PayPal button API, and as part of shopping cart software or ecommerce platforms. Any hosting provider will support PayPal integration provided that the platform that powers the website is compatible with the hosts servers. In our experience, BlueHost excels as a hosting provider for ecommerce websites and has our recommendation for PayPal integration.
Important Web Hosting Features for Online Business Owners
A PayPal shopping cart to accept payment is an important part of running a successful e-commerce website, but there’s more to scout for when choosing a hosting package.
Here are the other most important things to look for in a web host:
- Domain name cost - Some web hosts offer a free domain name to customers. Some hosts conveniently offer domain registration, while others don’t.
- Control panel - Does your account come with cPanel? If it’s a lesser known control panel, it may not have many PayPal-friendly options.
- SSL certificates - Some hosts charge you a lot for an SSL certificate, which is a necessity for online stores.
- Email address - Do you need to pay extra for an email address? Most hosts will give you a limited number for free.
Finally, keep in mind that some web hosts have strong support teams that will help you if you have trouble integrating PayPal, while others don't.
PayPal Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What is PayPal?
PayPal is a service that allows you to send and receive payments online using email addresses. They're the world's largest online payment services company. PayPal is a private company and is not legally classified as a bank in all countries, but as a payment intermediary, so regulations apply somewhat differently to PayPal than to traditional banks.
You can also send invoices using PayPal, set up recurring automatic subscription payments, process phone-based credit card payments, and integrate PayPal into your website using easy shopping cart integration and APIs.
What kinds of plans does PayPal offer?
PayPal offers three kinds of accounts:
- Personal accounts are intended for consumers who are want to use PayPal to shop online and are not charged any fees for the majority of transactions.
- Premier accounts are for PayPal members with a high volume of transactions, or who need to be able to accept credit card payments.
- Business accounts include many more features, such as the ability to use a company or group name for your account, lower fees for higher volume transactions, and the ability to accept payments from people without PayPal accounts themselves.
Both premier and business accounts come with extra features such as unlimited credit card payments, the ability to accept automatic subscription payments, multiple logins, and phone support.
What sort of fees does PayPal charge?
PayPal doesn’t charge any fees for buyers, and sellers are usually charged a percentage plus a flat fee per transaction, but no monthly fees for basic plans. The percentage can vary for international sales, high volume discounts, nonprofits, and other factors. For personal accounts, PayPal doesn't charge any setup fees, monthly fees, or termination fees, unlike many traditional merchant accounts. Some of PayPal's plans, however, do charge a monthly fee.
What are PayPal Payments Advanced?
PayPal Payments Advanced is a program available for a small monthly fee that includes extra features for merchants. With PayPal Payments Advanced, you get PayPal's online invoicing and mobile payment tools, and your customers can check out and process their payments without ever leaving your website. You also receive a free card reader for processing payments in person using your smartphone, and can offer no-interest financing for your customers.
Why do people use PayPal to accept payments rather than doing it directly?
In order to accept credit or debit card payments, businesses need to set up merchant accounts. Merchant accounts usually charge monthly fees in addition to per-transaction fees, and can be prohibitively expensive for small businesses. One big reason for PayPal's popularity is that there are no monthly fees to accept payments, just per-transaction fees.
Are there any drawbacks to using PayPal?
PayPal's legal status is somewhat complicated. It's legally classified as a bank in some countries, but not in others.
In the United States, PayPal is not considered to be a bank, but a payment intermediary. As a result, PayPal account balances in the United States do not benefit from FDIC insurance, and only credit card transactions are protected from seller fraud, not debit card or bank transactions.
Some complain that PayPal withholds money or delays transactions, resulting in sellers being unable to withdraw money that they've been sent by customers.
What alternatives are there to PayPal for receiving payments?
Some popular alternatives to PayPal for payment processors and merchant bank accounts include Stripe, Amazon Payments, 2Checkout, and E-Junkie.
How does PayPal compare to Stripe?
Stripe is a payment processor for businesses based in the US and Canada, with fees comparable to PayPal's. Stripe is available to integrate with ecommerce services such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, and can be integrated into WordPress sites with plugins.
Unlike PayPal, Stripe’s payment forms are self-hosted and performed all on your website, and they deposit payments into your bank account automatically, whereas PayPal payments end up in your PayPal account balance and must be manually withdrawn. However, Stripe has a waiting period of seven days before you receive your money.
How does PayPal compare to Amazon Payments?
Amazon Payments is a payment processor and merchant bank account with fees comparable to PayPal. Using Amazon Payments, you can set up simple "buy now" buttons for your website, or create a fully integrated shopping cart using software like CoreCommerce, 3dcart, or ShopSite.
Amazon Payments has a waiting period of 3-5 days for transactions. It automatically deposits your money into your chosen bank account. It does require a bit of technical knowledge to set up the integration, however; and they also hold back a portion of your earnings as a cushion against chargebacks.
How does PayPal compare to 2Checkout?
2Checkout is a payment processor and merchant bank account available in any country. Its fees in the United States are comparable to PayPal's, but higher in other countries. Your funds are released to you every Thursday.
2Checkout's main advantage is that they're available in many countries where PayPal is not.
How does PayPal compare to E-Junkie?
E-Junkie is a popular option for selling digital products, since they can automatically send digital goods to the buyer immediately upon their purchase. The download links expire after a few downloads or a set time limit, protecting your digital goods from being pirated or shared with others.
Unlike PayPal, E-Junkie doesn’t charge any transaction fees at all; just a flat monthly fee based on the number of products you're selling.