Over the past year plus, I've gotten a handful of emails about donations to StuffAndyMakes.com. I've also been offered payments for customizing PCB designs or even just making the files available. Some have requested kits of the Iron Man Arc Reactor for payment. I hadn't taken the time to get it set up. Well, no more! I set up a Donate page, thanks to the amazing people at Stripe! Stripe is a fantastic and ridiculously easy-to-use card processing system built specifically for developers. It's easy to sign up, they take a little in fees per successful charge (2.9% + 30¢) and it even works in your mobile apps. Best of all: It ain't PayPal! Woot!
From their website:
You don’t need a merchant account or gateway. Stripe handles everything, including storing cards, subscriptions, and direct payouts to your bank account. Stripe.js lets you build your own payment forms while still avoiding PCI requirements.
As of this writing, their website says U.S. businesses can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners Club. Canadian businesses can accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. For those readers elsewhere, please be patient. Or, I happily take payment, bribes, etc. in the form of bourbon.
Stripe has client libraries for PHP, Ruby, Python and it takes only a few minutes to get page up and ready for testing. To save time, I tried a few different Stripe plug-ins for WordPress and the one really awesome FREE one turned out to be flaky in Chrome, which happens to be the most popular browser visiting this site. Boo. So, I set off to build my own solution, albeit a dumpy one. Dumpy but functional, at least. I built a special page using PHP that will redirect itself to the SSL version of itself so that visitors can be assured of a secure transaction. Most of the client side of things I borrowed bits and pieces for from around the webland.
I haven't spent more than two minutes styling the payment form and that's estimating on the high side, mind you. Loosely translated: Don't email me and tell me the form is crappy looking. It'll get prettied up in the whole-site redesign coming... Well, whenever I get around to it.
The executive summary of how Stripe works is this: You put up a secure page with some Stripe.js stuff and a form with the appropriate fields and whatnot. The form, if done right, prepares a little token that Stripe's server prepares for you and you use it on the backend of your site to actually charge the card. Because of this, you should secure your page (or site) with SSL. It's really about that simple. There are plenty of examples on their site and around the webz if you want more info.
Thanks to those who've patiently waited and still wanted to donate! Even small donations help to defray the costs of running the website. The ads help a little, especially when the ads target for DIY and gadgety stuff.
Good night, Cleveland!