Create a payment system

In the first two instalments of this three-part e-commerce series, you designed a site and built it using CSS. In this final stage, Jason Arber uses PayPal to add a shopping cart that'll handle all those vital transactions.

The final piece of the e-commerce puzzle is about to drop into place - here I'll show you how to create a mechanism that allows people to buy your goods or services. Bespoke shopping cart systems can be costly if you're just starting out, or if you only have a few things to sell, but luckily there are some cheap and easy solutions.

PayPal's free shopping cart makes its money by taking a percentage from each transaction, so it's a great way to test the e-commerce waters without losing money.

PayPal has been around for a while, and is now one of the most trusted names in online shopping. The company was bought by eBay in 2002, operates in 57 countries and manages over 100 million accounts. There are other free client-side shopping cart systems available, such as Mal's e-commerce and even Google, which is rumoured to be entering the low-end shopping cart business with Google Payments, so shop around to find the best solution for you.

PayPal provides comprehensive documentation on its site, so download and read through all the relevant PDFs before you start this tutorial.

You can find part one of this series here, and part two here.

Click here to download the tutorial for free