Paypal setup for multiple websites: Step-by-Step Guide

In my last post One Paypal Account, Multiple Websites: Solved I discussed the best way to manage payments from multiple websites with a single Paypal account – by linking multiple email addresses to your account.

In this post I walk through the Paypal settings step by step to show you:

1) How to link additional email addresses to your Paypal Account.

2) How to customise the checkout pages for each of your websites.

Step 0: Login
Once logged into paypal, you can access your account settings by clicking (not hovering) the “Profile” tab at the top (see image below – click to enlarge).


Step 1: Upgrade to Premier Account [If required]
If yours is a ‘personal’ account, you need to upgrade to a ‘premier’ account. It doesn’t cost anything, and is virtually the same but it allows you to accept credit card payments from people without a paypal account.

If you click My Settings on the left, you should see the following screen with your account type listed (there should be an option to upgrade if required).


Step 2: Add email addresses.
On the left menu (still on the Profile page) click ‘My Personal Info’. As shown in the image below, you should now see all of the email addresses attached to your account.


You may currently have only 1 but you can have up to 8. Click ‘update’ then ‘add’ and add your new email address (addresses should preferably contain your website domain such as [email protected]). Paypal will send a confirmation email that you will need to open to verify the email addresss. If you are only selling from one website, then make your new email your primary address, but this is irrelevant if you’re using multiple addresses.

Now when anyone pays to an email address listed here via paypal the money will go to your account.

Steps 3-6 will customise your account to control what the buyer sees when they purchase. These options are accessed by clicking “My Selling Tools” in the “profile” area.


Step 3: Credit card statement name.
Click update and scroll to the bottom of page. Here we can control what appears on the credit card statement of a buyer. This is done so that they recognise who the payment was made to.

Note: This is the only setting that cannot be customised to each email address. You can set it to whatever you want, but Paypal only allows this to be set for the entire account, so your own name or an umbrella business name must be used.

Step 4: Customise payment pages
Click update, then click ADD

The important settings to edit are:
-Page Style Name: You can use your website name or an abbreviation.
-Header Image URL: This option allows your website banner to be shown at the top of the Paypal payment pages. Rather than uploading your image, Paypal wants your image to be hosted somewhere else. This can be on your own site (your website banner will already be conveniently hosted there), but there is a small complication to this option. Paypal’s payment pages are secure (https) pages, and if the banner image being displayed is not hosted securely (https address) then the buyer will have a message popup on their screen saying “parts of this page are unsecure” or something similar. This scenario will make people suspicious of the payment page and they may not want to enter their credit card details. It would therefore undermines the whole point of this exercise (to instill confidence in the buyer).

Fortunately there is a really quick and simple solution.

Go to
Upload the desired banner image from your computer (size 750×90 pixels and less than 50kb)
Enter your email address and submit
Check your email. They send you a link to your (now securely hosted) image.
Copy and paste this URL into the Header Image URL field
This has added our website banner to the payment page in paypal.

Note: There are other options you can customise such as page colours, so feel free to experient with these, but for me the banner does the trick on its own.

If you only sell from one website, or want to use a single banner for all sites (e.g. banner for an umbrella/parent business) then set this “Page Style” to primary.

If you want to specify a different banner for each website, then you must create a separate page style for each banner. Once you’ve done there is a final step required during button creation to ensure people see the right one (Step 6).

Step 5: Website preferences.
Click update and check/edit the following preferences:

“Auto-return” should be ON (returns buyer to your website after purchase)
Return URL: enter URL for the page you want the customer to be returned to after payment (usually a ‘payment confirmation’ or ‘thank you’ page)
“Paypal account optional” should be ON (IMPORTANT so you can sell to non-paypal buyers)
The remaining options won’t need touching (should all be off).

Step 6: Button Creation
The final step required for selling a product is to create a “Buy Now’ or “Add to Cart” button for customers to click. This button contains the details of your product (e.g. Name and Price), the particular email address you are directing payment to, and (once we are done) the appropriate banner (or Page Style) that Paypal will show.

On the ‘Create a Button’ page, you’ll enter the vital info such as product name and price (and which of your email addresses you want it linked to), then at the bottom you’ll see Step 3 – Customise Advanced Features (Optional). Click on this step and scroll down to Advanced Variables at the bottom (see image below).


Here you need to check the “Add advanced variables” box, then in the box, enter: page_style=PageStyleName.

So if you created a Page Style in step 4 called bobstrees, then when you create a Buy Now button on your Bob’s Trees website, you’ll enter page_style=bobstrees.

Note: I’m not sure how spaces or punctuation in the Page Style name are treated, so to keep it simple I’ve named them without spaces (bobstrees or bt instead of Bob’s Trees).

Result: When the customer clicks your Buy Now button, the matching website banner will be shown even after they move onto the Paypal site.

Step 7: Test
You must must must test your setup once you’ve finished. Have your husband/wife/family member/friend make a purchase on your site (you can refund them afterwards). Look over their shoulder and note all the identifying features on each new page the customer sees during checkout and afterwards (this includes every time they see your name, email address, banner, etc). Also review their Paypal payment receipt (for consistency) and any confirmation emails from your website. Best practice would be to take a screenshot of every point of contact or communication between the customer and your business during your test run.

Your goal is to provide a seamless experience, with consistent naming and branding. If the website name, website url, paypal business name, paypal email address, and followup emails don’t appear to have a common identity then this can alienate the customer, and even cost you the sale. Think about it…if you’re about to hire a financial planner from say Phoenix Financial Trust, then you see the payee as [email protected] you might think twice…

Talk soon.

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