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A friend of mine wants to sell video downloads on his website. How can we make it happen? Answered

A friend of mine wants to sell videos of his lectures on his website. He wants people to be able to pay with their credit cards to gain access to downloads of his video messages. How in the world can I help him do this?


You can use PAYPAL also . You just have to make an account with paypal.com and the good thing is that it's secured and insured. Look into that.. I always use paypal when I buy online. Is allot safer because you don't have to give the seller your credit card or check card info. Allot of people don't like to give away Credit Card info. online. Allot of companies online use it also.Plus Paypal Offers buyers discounts when using Paypal for payments. And who don't like to buy online safe and save a few bucks! =)

Ok, yeah I get the Paypal payment thing, but then how do we deliver a link or page or somewhere for the visitor to download the video automatically?

Paypal supplies API's that allow you to do a 'callback' (probably not strictly the correct term when talking about web programming, but it will do).

When someone makes a purchase on Paypal you can setup paypal to access a php script, it will pass some details such as the product ID (if you use one), amount, email address, etc. your php script then has to contact a Paypal server to verify the details.

Once verified the payment goes through and you can automatically email the purchasee with a url and maybe a username/password.

Make all downloads go through a script, to prevent anyone from just accessing videos without paying. we use something similar on our site to stop "hotlinking" eg http://www.mysite.com/download?VidID=lecture123a.wmv&UserID=12312&SessionID=hdt363ye732

The download script can verify that the user is:
a) Authorised to download the file , eg they've paid for it
b) Are who they say they are eg they have logged into the site.

A reasonable knowledge of PHP is required to pull this off properly.

Thanks for the excellent description! I'm not a PHP guy, but I could look into it.

If you're a person without any web development skills (most people), then you might want to look for a solution that does the work for you. Your own dot com site, with a "built in" file download selling feature already in place. Then it's easy to sell downloadable files (any type of file) in an automated way (a visitor adds a file to a shopping cart, checks out, pays to your PayPal account (by his own PayPal, or by credit/debit card), and the visitor gets auto-emailed a download link. Easy, automated, done. MadBeeTech at www.madbeetech.com is good for that. Your own dot com site to promote your band/music, and to automate the sale of downloadable files. Cheap too - only about 5 bucks a month. Cool stuff like automated downloadable file selling, accepting payments by PayPal or credit card without needing a merchant account, etc. The mentioned host MadBeeTech is just one such service - google something like "sell downloadable files" for other hosts that offer similar services.

It's a fairly simple language, I'd say it is similar to javascript with a similar syntax to C. If you know another serverside scripting language asp/aspx/cgi (perl)/other that would probably work equally well. I looked up what paypal calls that feature - IPN (Instant Payment Notification). Anyway, there are pleanty of PHP examples out there and I think that there is enough information in the Paypal handbook and IPN examples for you or your friend to manage. Good luck! P.S What does your friend lecture in?

He lectures about science, spirituality, religion, meditation. I'd give you an award for best answer, but I don't have the option to do it on a reply. Post something that's not a reply if you want and I'll give it to you. Thanks for the advice!

You need a secure site to be able to accept credit cards-there are companies that will set you up to take cards but they charge for the service so you have to read your agreement carefully. Talk to your ISP, they might have options for secured downloads. Some websites send unique links after payment it received.