Category Archives for "Wordpress"

Review of Top 5 Payment Solutions

Jean Maund

Jean Maund is a “WordPress Website Wizzard!” and is one of the valued delivery partners in the WOBS Business Training Academy.
Jean brings her technical expertise to give technical support and advice on WordPress websites, the techy stuff behind online marketing and much more.

WOBS is growing and fast becoming THE place on-line to learn and grow – we’re about collaboration, learning and growing – oh and of course earning money doing what we love!

Being able to make (and receive) payments on tcash-register-78741_640he Web is a vital factor that affects the survival of an online business, and, is of course, an excellent tool in the hands of people that can now purchase anything, anytime, anywhere. Being able to take payments online from your customers is vital However, with the plethora of available online payment solutions, you need to be careful as to which one(s) to trust for your real-time, money transfer, or credit card orders and here is a guide with the 5 most widely used ones, to help clear the fog.

1.PayPal Standard
Definitely one of the most popular payment acquirers with more than 140 million active accounts and processing more than 8 million payments per day, as of this writing. It is easy to use and payments are made either using a credit card or the user’s existing account. As you can send money to an email address directly, PayPal actually prompts users to create a new PayPal account. Besides taking payments, PayPal has a feature that not many online payment providers have as of now: PayPal users are allowed to send money through the service. Finally, customers can make a purchase without having to leave the website.
Costs Involved: For each transaction, PayPal takes 2.9% + $0.30 (for transactions ranging from $0 to $3,000 per month), and there are no monthly or setup fees.

2. PayPal Website Payments Pro
For the last decade, payment processing for many independent e-commerce websites was through PayPal Pro as it saves merchants the troubles related to online credit card transactions, merchant accounts, and returned charges. Furthermore, it allows merchant accounts to use the payment gateway, which functions effectively and quickly.
With 128-bit SSL encryption, all transactions are securely and safely processed, and it offers traders a wide variety of options for their business (they get to work with more than 200 shopping carts and any major payment processor). Finally, merchants can accept payments for mail, fax, or phone orders and process payments for these types of transactions, with Virtual Terminal.
Costs Involved: PayPal Pro requires a £20 monthly fee, a £0.20 fee per transaction (complete transactions, declined payments, and authorisations alike), and 3.4% for MasterCard, Visa, and Discover charges.

3. Stripe
Stripe is very popular among developers, and they use it to integrate a payment system into their projects; therefore, a merchant account is not necessary. This allows you to bypass the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards and build your own payment forms. In other words, for its providers, Stripes acts as a merchant account and carries through with merchant approvals and compliance with PCI. For Stripe users, it is easy to use their IOS apps and accept Apply Pay. This allows customers to make a purchase with only one touch, as long as they have a credit card stored, making starting a mobile business a walk in the park.
Costs Involved: For each transaction, Stripe charges 2.4% + £0.20 while there are no monthly or setup fees required.

4. Payatrader
If you have a business that provides services in the home (e.g. building, decoration, plumbing, cleaning, gardening etc.), then Payatrader is probably the easy way you have been seeking for accepting card payments. You don’t need a terminal for it and you get a variety of payment choices. Plus, it is secure and you can have it set up within the same day. Moreover, you can use your iPhone and implement the Pay As You Go that allows you to only pay for what you use. Since everything is done automatically, Payatrader is a convenient option that relieves you from the worries of dealing with a bounced cheque and bank visits to get payments accredited to you. Additionally, you can provide refunds and online receipts, as well as track payments, easily online.
Costs Involved: 2.3%, with no monthly charges.

5. WorldPay Zinc
Worldpay Zinc is a payment acquirer that opens the doors to secure card payments (Chip & PIN) on your mobile phone, wherever in the UK. It is easy to use and you only need to sign up either through their app or online, to receive your keypad (pocket-size). Once this is done, you just pair your smartphone with the keypad by downloading the Worldpay Zinc app.
Costs Involved: The keypad’s Recommended Retail Price is £79.99 and there are no setup fees, tie-ins, or ongoing costs. You can choose from the 3 tariffs offered with transaction costs from 2.75%, 1.95%, and 1.3% for each transaction.

Comparison of payment processors – spreadsheet

So, my conclusions:
For ease and simplicity, you can’t beat Paypal. If you have a friendly techy to hand (hint hint!) then Stripe is a more affordable option long term with no ongoing costs and lower fees than Paypal.
One thing you do need to bear in mind is that technically you are breaking the law if you are taking down people’s card details and then entering them after an event for example. See https://support.stripe.com/questions/do-i-need-to-be-pci-compliant-what-do-i-have-to-do

See more at: http://justaskjean.co.uk/review-top-5-payment-solutions/#sthash.7q6FkKN7.dpuf

Having access to business experts like Jean is one of the benefits for members of the Business Training Academy.
More details of the Business Training Academy and how to join are here.

How to find free photos for your website

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It’s easy to find beautiful royalty-free photos to use on your website or blog. But these often come at a price, and if you’re a tiny business or just starting up, it can get expensive.

Another fabulous post from Helen Lindop, the WOBS Delivery Partner for all things Twitter related:

So I thought a list of sites where you can get photos for free would come in handy! But…

Remember to check what you are allowed to do with the images

Please note that, although you can use the photos on these sites for free, you need to check the usage rules of each site carefully:

– Sometimes you need to credit the photographer, website or both

– Sometimes you don’t need to add a credit at all, but they would appreciate a mention on you website

– Sometimes you have to get permission to use the photos in certain ways and places (e.g. for morgueFile you need to contact the photographer if you want to use a photo in a blog post, but not if you’re a designer or illustrator using it in your own work)

– Usually, you can’t incorporate the images into your logo

– Some photos can be used for commercial use and others cannot

– Some sites allow you to modify their images, others do not

– Most allow you to use the images on your website but some don’t allow you to print them onto mugs and t-shirts etc

Here’s the list of free stock photo sites

pixabay.com

morguefile.com

freedigitalphotos.net

unsplash.com

join.deathtothestockphoto.com

freerangestock.com

publicdomainpictures.net

sxc.hu

dreamstime.com/free-photos (note: only some of the photos on this site are free)

stockvault.net

freestockphotos.com

freeimages.co.uk

freephotosbank.com

New Old Stock (New! – added  3/12/2013)

Please do let me know if I’ve missed one and I’ll add it to the list.

Finding photos you can use commercially on Flickr

Flickr is a photo sharing site and only some of the photos there can be used for business purposes. You need to make sure the photo has a Creative Commons License and can be used commercially. To do this…

1. Go to Flickr.com

2. Click  on the search magnifying glass to get the Advanced Search option

flickr1

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page

4. Tick the Creative Commons and ‘Find content to use commercially’  boxes (and if you intend to modify or adapt the photo, tick that one too)

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5. Click search an you will only be shown those photos you can use commercially with a Creative Commons license. There’s more on what Creative Commons means here.

So there you go – lots of free photos!

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