Using PayPal with Google Sites

posted Apr 23, 2009, 11:45 AM by Brian Johnson   [ updated Jan 27, 2010, 7:59 PM by Brian Johnson ]
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Google Sites has been updated to allow for a more seamless process of adding PayPal buttons and forms.  Instead of following the work-around below, you should now be able to simply paste the PayPal code into the HTML editor for your Google Sites page.

A very common question in the Google Sites User Forum is how to include PayPal buttons and forms.  People not only want to know how to make this work, but also why it doesn't work in the first place.  The purpose of this article is to address both of these questions.

Have a question, but don't know where to start?  Check out the Google Sites FAQ

Why PayPal code doesn't work

The code that PayPal provides for embedding buttons and forms into your website will not work with Google Sites due to how they are put together.  As you know, Google Sites is fairly restrictive in the custom code it will allow, and the <FORM> tags that are necessary to make the PayPal buttons work are rejected because of this.


Creating a PayPal Donate Button

Despite the limitations described above, it is possible to include such things as a PayPal Donate button on the pages of your Google Site.  To do this, follow these simple instructions:


  1. Log into your PayPal account
  2. Select the Merchant Services tab
  3. Click the Donate link under Create Buttons
  4. Complete the "Create PayPal Payment Button" wizard and click Create Button
  5. On the "You are viewing your button code" page, click the Email tab
  6. Copy the URL from the text box to your clipboard (<CTL-C> for Windows users)

Google Sites

  1. Log into your Google Site
  2. Navigate to the page on which you would like to display your Donate button
  3. Select Insert >> Image and choose the "by URL" option.  Paste in the URL for your PayPal donate image:

  4. Click the Add Image button
  5. Position the image how/where you would like it to display on your page
  6. Select the image
  7. Click the Link icon on the Edit toolbar
  8. Paste in the link from step 6 on the PayPal instructions above
  9. Check the Open this link in a new window box if you want a new window to open when the image is clicked
  10. Click the OK button
  11. Save your page.

That's it.  You should now have a functioning Donate button from PayPal on your Google Site.  Feel free to try this one out (and to donate!):

    >> OR <<   Donate via PayPal!

Example of PayPal Donate Button as a Custom Gadget:


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