We have just updated a client's site with a nice simple ecommerce feature. Our client wanted to sell research papers from their website. They expected that there would be one purchase per customer,  (no need for a complex cart), and they were keen to avoid using Paypal. Using Paypal would have allowed a very quick and cheap way to add a 'Buy now' button for each download, but our client felt that they needed a more unified and branded approach. There would have also been extra work connecting Paypal with an automatic download process so purchasers could access their file securely.

Having used Stripe previously on a couple of WordPress sites we thought we could look into a custom integration using some simple code and the Stripe API. The Stripe API allows for really simple integration with your website and ensures PCI compliance. This means that customer data is handled on the Stripe server and you don't have to worry about handling customer data. This is an important requirement - if a website does handle customer data on its server without adequate (potentially expensive) safeguards it could be forced to shut down. The purchase is made via an pop-up (which is hosted by Stripe) so the customer stays on your web page, making for a seamless experience.

We were able to complete this integration and create a secure download system using PHP very quickly. After purchase the customer is redirected to a page where the download link is generated automatically. Using the Stripe code made this process incredibly easy, meaning the whole job was turned around in under a day - happy web designer and happy client!

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