“Money isn’t everything, but everything needs money.”
Or so they say. We’re not sure who “they” are, but it’s a pretty solid point. Money is fundamental to any business and most organizations, from product sales to service payments, event registrations and membership applications to donation forms and facility rentals. By way of a global pandemic, virtually every industry has been forced to move operations to the web, and we’re proud to say that Gravity Forms has been mission critical to that great digital migration.
Configuring your website to accept payments requires a number of considerations — an accessible frontend user experience, an intuitive way to build and manage forms behind the scenes, and a super secure payment processor to safely transmit the data. In this guide, we’ll help you navigate all these variables and show you how Gravity Forms can be your North Star along the way.
Why Gravity Forms?
For our friends who already use Gravity Forms to power their contact forms, online registrations, support requests, and more, using the same product to collect payments is an easy decision. You get the same intuitive form builder you know and love, and your users benefit from the consistency, too.
Gravity Forms has been leveling up the form game for more than a decade, but if you haven’t given it a try yet, here are our top reasons to choose Gravity Forms for your WordPress website…
How Gravity Forms Can Help You With Your Online Payments
Online payments certainly aren’t new, and we’ve come a long way from the first simple web-based stores. As more and more organizations take a digital-first approach, we’ve seen the complexity rise in the payments space. Below are just a few of the types of payment forms your organization might need, whether it’s a one-time transaction or an automated recurring payment.
Recurring Payments (aka Subscriptions)
The subscription model is 🔥 right now — and for good reason. It’s one of the best ways to ensure repeat business and grow your revenue. Subscriptions work great for content providers, SaaS products, recurring donations or licenses, annual memberships, and even client retainers. When you install the Stripe Add-On or the PayPal Checkout Add-On, you’ll be able to use Gravity Forms to automate the process and add a little stability to your revenue each month.
Payment Processors 101
Before we dive in, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what a payment processor is and why you need one. A payment processor manages the credit or debit card transaction between you (the merchant) and the financial institution your customer is using. The processor is responsible for authorizing the transaction and facilitating the transfer of funds, which means they’re also on the hook for PCI compliance and security.
Choices are great, but before you go into acute decision fatigue, remember we’re here to help! When evaluating payment processors, there are a few key attributes you’ll want to consider:
Gravity Forms Payment Add-Ons
If you’re using WordPress as your web platform, you’re probably a big fan of flexibility and choice. And we honor that by making sure you have a wide range of payment processors to choose from so you can find the one that works best for your business.
Meet the all-star line-up of Gravity Forms payment Add-Ons for your consideration:
Creating a Payment Form with Gravity Forms and PayPal Checkout
Ready to get payments up and running on your site? The process is similar no matter which processor you choose. First, you’ll set up your form using our intuitive form builder. Then you’ll select your payment processor and configure it as needed. We’ll take you through the process step by step using the PayPal Checkout Add-On as an example.
Step 1: Install the Payment Processor Add-On
To install your payment processor of choice, open the Gravity Forms Add-On browser within your WordPress dashboard, select the appropriate add-on and select Install < Activate.
Equally, you can download the add-on directly from your Gravity Forms account dashboard and then upload it to your website.
Step 2: Integrate Gravity Forms with PayPal
Next, you will need to connect your PayPal account with Gravity Forms.
Navigate to the Gravity Forms PayPal Checkout Add-On Settings page:
Select from Live or Sandbox PayPal environments and click the Connect with PayPal button.
In the PayPal modal that is displayed, follow the steps provided by PayPal to connect to an existing PayPal account or create a new PayPal account.
Step 3: Install a Form Template
Now Gravity Forms is synced with the payment processor of your choice, you can get started with your payment form. Begin by browsing the Gravity Forms form template library and downloading the template that best suits your needs. All templates are free and fully customizable.
Step 4: Customize Your Form
Import the template into your site and customize the fields and settings as needed. Be sure to add fields for capturing customer billing and/or delivery information. For example, you may want to include Name, Address and Email fields to get basic information from customers; however, these fields are not required to use the add-on.
You’ll also need to include Pricing Fields in your form, for example Product, Shipping, and Total fields.
Lastly, you’ll need to add the PayPal field at the bottom of your form to enable your users to submit their credit card information.
Step 5: Configure the PayPal Feed
Once you add a PayPal Field, a feed will automatically be created for you in the Form Settings > PayPal Checkout area. You’ll want to review it to confirm that the settings are as you require and that the Billing Information fields are mapped to the correct form fields.
The PayPal Checkout Feed is also where you can designate a transaction type—the “Products and Services” type is used for one-time transactions, and the “Subscriptions” type is for recurring payments. For “Products and Services” transactions, you’ll also have the option to select a payment amount, which can be captured from a specific field on your form or the form total.
Some merchants prefer to only authorize the payment at the point of sale and then process the transaction at a later point, such as when the item ships. The PayPal Checkout Add-On makes this easy to configure using the Authorize and Capture feature.
Check out the PayPal Feed documentation for more details on configuring the feed.
Step 6: Set Up Confirmations and Notifications
Clear customer communication is critical when collecting payments, and Gravity Forms offers customizable confirmation messages to help you automate the process. You’ll want to thank your customers for their business and also give them as much information as you can about when to expect their order.
Notifications can also be customized for both your company and your customers. To create custom notifications, find the appropriate form in your form list and click Edit. Once the form editor loads, click Settings > Notifications.
In that view, you’ll be able to select who should receive the notification, what email address it should go to, and what the content of the message should include. You can even use merge fields to personalize the message or use conditional logic to send custom notifications based on shipping method, payment method, etc.
Step 7: Add Your Form to a Page
Now you’re ready to put that form to work. You can add a form to any page or post by using the block function that is a part of Gravity Forms core.
As always, testing is key! Be sure to test every form to ensure that everything is configured properly for your users, including the confirmations and notifications. If you run into any challenges along the way, be sure to check out our detailed documentation or get in touch with our team.
Taking Your Payment Form to the Next Dimension
Gravity Forms makes creating and managing your online payments simple and intuitive. But if you’re looking for some next-level functionality, we’ve got you covered there, too. Check out these advanced features available to you out of the box:
We think we’ve come up with some pretty incredible tricks to bring your wildest payment form dreams to life. But we couldn’t do it without the support of our super sharp community of Gravity Forms users. That’s why we created the Certified Developer program—to bring you even more form enhancements from trusted developers within the Gravity Forms community.
These third-party premium add-ons enable you to do more with our form builder, such as:
Browse the full library of Certified Add-Ons and turbo-charge your forms with a little help from our friends.
Whew. Still with us? Online payments can be tough to navigate, with infinite options to consider.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to a specific tool yet, we invite you to take our free Demo for a spin. You’ll get full access to our most popular payment form templates to see just how easy it is to start taking payments on your WordPress website.
Any questions? Ask away in the comments below…
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This content was originally published here.