Tutorial | Creating A PayPal Variable Payment Button in SquareSpace

Before I switched to SquareSpace at the end of 2016, I had a pretty streamlined booking process for my clients through Machforms on my Wordpress blogsite. I created a Client Lounge – similar to the one you see below – where clients could fill out the required forms and make payments all in one place. One of my favorite features about the Machform payment integration, is that my clients were able to enter their own custom payment amount, which made executing payment plans super simple and convenient for both of us. 

When I switched to SquareSpace, my main concern was losing this functionality. In order to do something similar with SquareSpaces' PayPal integration, I would need to create a "Product" for every amount I wanted my clients to be able to pay. In addition to this, I would have to pay a commission on each sale to SquareSpace, on top of the PayPal fees already incurred. 

Luckily, I figured out a way to create a variable payment button through PayPal, and link directly to it using the regular button block in SquareSpace. Not only is it saving me money and time (by not having to send individual invoices or create multiple product listings), but it keeps my site looking cohesive because the payment button doesn't differ in appearance next to my other buttons. Winning! 

Clicking on "MAKE A PAYMENT" in the Client Lounge brings up this screen:


TUTORIAL: HOW TO CREATE A VARIABLE PAYMENT BUTTON

Login to your PayPal account. Navigate to "Tools" > "All Tools" > "PayPal Buttons"
You will see the following screen:

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 9.25.13 PM.png

Click on "Create new button" and you'll be in the following screen:

Under "Choose a button type" select "Buy Now", and under "Item Name", describe what you're selling or the service that's being paid for. This will show up on the customers receipt. The one I use on my website is titled "Payment - Birth Photography".

For the "Price" field - LEAVE IT BLANK. This will allow your customers to input any amount they wish to pay. If you need to charge tax on your item, be sure to input your tax amount. I leave everything else the same, then click "Save Changes". 

Once you save your button, you'll be taken to this screen:

On this screen, you'll want to grab the direct link under the "Email" tab. Copy that link, and then open your SquareSpace dashboard. Open (or create new) the page that you would like to add the PayPal button to, then add a Button Block: 

Customize your button's appearance, including title and size, then paste the PayPal link you copied in the EXTERNAL URL as shown here:

Congratulations! You're all finished. Now, when your customer clicks on that button, it will open a screen that looks like this, where they will type in the exact amount they want or need to pay in the "Price per item" field.