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As per the topic I am very confused about paypal and how to integrate it into a site.
I've been reading documentation for 2 weeks and I think I am even more confused than when I started. I have a few dilemmas which I can't understand, and I'm hoping someone on here can help.
What's with the different 'docs' and 'api' section in the developer platform? Is anyone able to explain the use cases between both scenarios? Are the API docs not also docs? They seem to have two completely separate sets of instructions but I'm not sure why, because I thought that all paypal transactions are done via API? So what are the instructions under the "docs" for exactly and when would I follow them rather than the API docs?
I think what I want is called just "paypal payments standard" but I go to either set of docs and there's no mention of payments standard. Is paypal checkout different to paypal payments standard?
I found a button generator in my paypal account and that's great, but it seems a little bit too basic? It has a drop-down with items in it and then click the paypal button to redirect away from the site to pay for it, but then what? How does paypal notify the server what the user bought? or who the user even was? So then I found documentation that says payment buttons can use Payment Data Transfer for those buttons as a GET to notify the server of the transaction details. But then I saw another bit of documentation that says PDT can't be used with those buttons, only with the REST API.
I think there's just too much documentation and no clear explanation as to what's what and when to use what.
What I'm basically after is just a button to take payment from a user for access to a site. Above the button can be any sort of user form to pick whether they want 3 months/6 months/12 months access. Whether that form is provided by paypal or myself I don't mind. I'm not looking for a subscription or re-occuring payment, just give the user the option to outright buy a one-off block of access.
But as the transaction is performed away from my site, I do need to be able to send a couple of parameters to paypal during the processing and then have those parameters returned to me via json/xml/whatever works. Just a couple of strings containing the user's username and what they bought. Or if there's some other way that paypal does this I'd be interested in that too.
I'm a php developer and have worked with REST APIs quite a bit so don't mind whether it's something that I write myself or a pre-built button, but if anyone is able to point me in the right direction I would be very very grateful. There's just so many options and so much documentation that I can't even orient myself to find what I actually need.