Website Design and Credit Card Payments

It is important to design your website according to a pre-defined set of design rules so that your site will be attractive, will be intuitive, and allow the user to navigate easily through the site. The alternative is that the site will appear haphazard, not have a consistent theme, may be difficult to navigate, and generally turn a potential client away from your website.

An unplanned website is like having a store where the products are displayed in any order making it difficult to find what you are looking for. This type of store turns potential clients away, and an “untidy” website will do the same.

Some of the key features of a good website are:

  • Consistency in design throughout the website
  • Designed in a way that allows a user to quickly find what they are looking for. Having a search engine helps especially when the site has more than 15 – 20 pages.
  • Navigation Rules – using hyperlinks and navigation buttons will help a client find their way around your website. Neat navigation bars and site maps can make your site more intuitive.
  • Web Page Sizes – Your screen must be able to respond to the screen size (responsive). Your site must be viewable on computer screens as well as tablets and smartphones. Keep the webpage length under 3 letter sized pages.
  • Website Text Layout – use short paragraphs and bullet points
  • Fonts & Typefaces – web safe fonts include;
    • Times New Roman
    • Arial
    • Courier New
    • Verdana
    • Georgia
  • Graphics & Images – images make your site attractive. Too many images slow down loading your website. Background images with text overlay can make reading difficult.
  • Content – It is important that your website looks clean and professional. It is far more important that you concentrate your efforts on the creating useful and unique contents. Attractive sites make a person stay for more than 10 seconds. Good content makes them come back for more and build loyalty.
  • Special Effects – spinning graphics and logos often distract your site visitor from the content and will cause them to leave your site.
  • Backgrounds – Ensure your visitors can read the text on the background
  • Color Schemes – choose two or three complementary colors and stick with them – don’t change colors on every page
  • Site Map & Search Features – If you are designing a website that would include more than 15 pages, then it is useful to have a sitemap or a website “Search” feature on your website to ensure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.


Credit Card Payments – Considerations

Credit card payments using online technology has become widespread, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. They say that forty-six percent of U.S. consumers report having made a mobile payment during 2015, which translates to approximately 114 million adults.

This section looks at some of the things we should consider when building credit card payments into our website:

How soon can I expect money in my bank account if PayPal processes the payment?

I discovered that transfers requested before 7:00 PM ET on business days are typically deposited the next business day, depending on your bank. All withdrawals are subject to review and, in some cases, may be delayed or blocked if PayPal identifies a problem. Additionally, bank transfers will not be deposited on bank holidays.

What protection do I have against claims such as “items not received” or “unauthorized transactions”?

PayPal says that to be eligible for coverage, the transaction must meet basic requirements and conditions such as:

  • Shipping to the address on the Transaction Details page
  • Having proof of shipping and delivery
  • Selling a tangible physical item.

What is an example of a non-eligible transaction?

  • The sale of intangible items, licenses for digital content, and services.
  • Items equivalent to cash including gift cards.
  • The sale of prohibited items such as drug paraphernalia or firearms are not eligible.

What is the impact of fees on the transaction?

This is an overhead that bites into your profits. Fees on a $10 item is 59c ($10 x 2.9% + $0.3) which is 6% of the original price and sounds a little high. It doesn’t sound so bad on a $100 item where the fee is $3.20 which is 3% of the original price. Bottom line; we have to consider the fees when determining our pricing strategies.

Will the majority of my potential clients be willing to use PayPal?”

My affiliate partner uses PayPal so the question suddenly becomes relevant. If my target market doesn’t like using PayPal, how would that affect my business? If only 18% of ecommerce transactions are done using PayPal, we need to establish if my own target market has barriers to PayPal.

Shipping and tax calculation features.

If you have a business account with PayPal you can set up the PayPal function to calculate the shipping costs, sales tax, or value-added tax (where applicable).

With flexible shipping options, you can allow your customer to choose the shipping method they prefer such as ground transport, next day by air, etc. You can also set the method by which the rates will be calculated; order amount, weight, or quantity. Sales Tax is set up by ZIP code for domestic (USA) locations, and by countries for international transactions.

An interesting benefit I discovered is that when you use PayPal’s payment services, you can also print packing slips and prepaid shipping labels, do batch-shipping for multiple packages, and track the items you ship. You are also able to track the progress of that shipment because PayPal displays a record of all your orders and their shipping status for the past month, on your PayPal History page.


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