Collecting payment for visitor submitted Web App items

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

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In this article, you'll learn how to charge registered visitors a fee for interacting with Web Apps on a site.

There are two main types of Web Apps:

  • Basic Web Apps: Admin users submit Web App items using the Admin Console
  • Visitor-submitted Web Apps: Site visitors submit Web App items online using a submission form

An understanding of visitor submitted Web Apps is required. For details, see Allow site visitors to submit Web App items

The practice of charging for submitting Web App items is only applicable to the visitor-submitted type of Web App. However, you can charge visitors a fee to access the Web App items in both types of Web Apps. There are three main strategies for charging visitors to interact with a Web App:

  • Charging visitors to post Web App items
  • Charging visitors to view Web App items
  • Or both

The instructions for implementing these strategies are provided below. Before following these instructions, be sure to set up the site's payment gateways to facilitate payment transactions. To learn more, see Collecting credit card details for offline processing . However, to create and test the full experience on the live site, an online payment gateway is required.

Charging visitors for submitting Web App items

A Web App can be configured to display a variety of posts from the general public. For example, imagine a site that displays help wanted or for sale items, just like the classified section of a newspaper. Business owners could also post their company's details to promote services online. When building these types of Web Apps, you can optionally require that the visitors submit a form with their credit card information in order to post each new item.

  1. Select Web Apps, and then select one of your Web Apps from the list. Alternatively, create a new Web App. For details, see Creating a Web App and adding custom fields .

  2. In the Web App Item Options section, click the checkbox next to Payment Required. 

  3. If this option is checked, then the Web App submission form will include the credit card payment fields automatically.

    Using this strategy, the visitor will be charged a fee for each Web App item that they submit using the form. (If you previously inserted the submission form on a page, and then enabled this option, be sure to delete and reinsert it and publish the page again. The form is not updated automatically when this setting is changed).

  4. Select Site Manager > Pages to access the page that contains the Web App submission form. If you previously inserted the form, you'll need to edit the page by deleting and reinserting the form with the updated payment fields. It is helpful to choose the HTML tab, because you can select the opening and closing <form> tags and delete all of the code inside.

Note: If you prefer to charge visitors a flat fee to post as many Web App items as they'd like (for a specified duration or for the life of the site) you can also configure the site as described in the next section, and place the page that contains the Web App submission form inside a page in a Secure Zone, and then charge for accessing the Secure Zone to post new content. You could also create two Secure Zones (one that contains the Web App submission form, and one that contains the list of Web App items) and then charge different fees for accessing each Secure Zone. Using this approach, you can charge visitors one fee for viewing Web App items and a second fee for posting new Web App items.

Charging visitors for the ability to view Web App items

If you want to charge visitors to access the Web App content (either Admin or visitor-submitted) the first step is to insert the Web App on a page that is added to a Secure Zone. This way, the content will be inside a password-protected area. For more details on Secure Zones, see Introduction to secure zones .

Once the content exists in a Secure Zone, you can charge visitors to access it. Follow these steps:

  1. Select Site Manager > Secure Zones.

  2. The list of Secure Zones appears. Select the name of the Secure Zone that contains the Web App item display from the list, to see its details.

  3. Click the Sell Membership Access checkbox. 

  4. Use the Membership Cost Currency menu to choose the country where the site is based. For now, use the Membership Cost field to set the fee to $0.01, so that you can test the functionality with a real payment gateway without incurring full payment. Now use the Frequency menu to set the duration of time before members of the Secure Zone have to pay for access again.
  5. Scroll to the bottom and click Save to save your changes.


Considerations when charging fees for participating with Web Apps

You have complete control when configuring the site to monetize the Web Apps site feature. You can charge visitors to post new content and view the submitted content. You can charge for each capability separately, or include the ability to view premium content for free if the visitor has already paid a fee for posting content. Or, you can charge a fee for a monthly subscription to a Secure Zone, and send out email reminders when their access is about to expire.

You can create any number of roles, and create any number of registration forms, each with separate cost, that enable visitors to access a specific Secure Zone.

For example, a job posting site might involve the following participants:

  • Administrator: Builds the original Web App and contributes the initial set of Web App items (by adding the items manually or importing them).
  • Employers: Register online and pay a fee to access the Secure Zone that contains the Web App item submission form, so that they can post their job opportunities.
  • Job Seekers: Register using a different registration form and pay a lower fee to access a different secure zone that displays the list of submitted Web App items.
  • Moderator: A team member that receives email notifications whenever a new Web App item is submitted by an employer; they approve or delete the posts in the Admin Console to determine which posts are displayed on the live site.