PayPal IPN – Creating Listener Code to Process IPN Messages

You have finally decided IPN is the solution to your website application. You do not want to pay someone else to do it. It can not be that hard, can it? Where can you get some practical advice from people who have been there, done that. This article will answer these questions and help you decide if you are able to write that code. If you find it too complicated there are a few commercial products out there that will handle everything for you so do not lose heart if you find yourself stuck.

PayPal IPN

Instant Payment Notification is better known as PayPal IPN and is PayPal's interface for handling real time confirmation of purchases. A typical use for IPN is where you want to use the software to download.

PayPal provide 3 different types of account. Personal, Premier and Business. You will need Premier or Business to use IPN.

Listener

PayPal IPN messages are not synchronized with actions on your website. You detect IPN messages from PayPal with a piece of code known as a listener.

You specify the URL of your listener in your PayPal account's profile but you can override this for specific transactions when you setup a button or API operation. You can also temporarily turn off the sending of IPN messages, useful if your site is down for maintenance. They are still generated and stored until you switch sending back on again.

You must perform a number of checks on the IPN message received from PayPal.

  • Check the email address to make sure it is yours
  • Check that you have not already processed the transaction identified by the transaction ID
  • Make sure that the transaction's payment status is "completed"
  • Verify that the payment amount actually matches what you intend to charge

PayPal Sandbox

When you are developing your website you really do not want to be trying to get it working by experimenting on a real money system. Any early bugs in the system could leave security holes but even if you write perfect code it is best not to do your testing using real money.

PayPal provides what they call a sandbox, almost identical to the live PayPal system. You can setup fake customers with fake money and make as many test purchases as you want. The perfect system to fully test your web application.

There is a Sandbox Forum on the developer network. It's a great place for advice.

Testing your Listener

The Sandbox has an excellent IPN Simulator (under Test Tools) which lets you choose the transaction type, fill in all the parameter values ​​and send a test IPN to a specified address.

IPN History

PayPal provides an IPN history page under the My Account tab. Click on History to see it. It includes everything you want to know about each IPN message including the following Status values.

  • Sent: indicates that PayPal sent the message to your IPN listener
  • Failed: indicates that PayPal did not receive an acknowledgment to the message
  • Queued: indicates that PayPal is ready to send the message
  • Retrying: indicates that message was resent between 1 and 15 times and PayPal continues to be resend the message
  • Disabled: indicating that the message will not be resent because the merchant's account has been disabled

Conclusion

The best place to search for information is the PayPal Integration Center which has guides, code and links for everything to do with integrating your website with PayPal.

The one place you MUST visit is the PayPal IPN Forum on the developer website. As well as a constantly changing list of discussion topics about IPN, there are some good sticky posts about troubleshooting tips, IPN variables, template code etc.

PayPal IPN is a difficult subject but the combination of an excellent testing environment in the form of the sandbox and the good quality advice provided through the forums should make it possible for you to get your website application up and running.

Diabetes Weight Loss-Diet And Exercise

When people are diagnosed with Diabetes, their reactions range from, 'So what, another pill,' to, 'My life is over.' We're going to examine the serious complications of the disease, the available treatments and, most importantly, how you can personally reduce the complications and medicines through diet and exercise to lose weight. Since Type 1 Diabetes occurs in childhood, with medicine and diet control required for survival, the focus in this article will be on the more common disease, Type 2 Diabetes.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes? This is a disease where the body has been overfed with carbohydrates (carbs) for so long, it develops a weird kind of reaction to them. Insulin is a chemical your body makes, to turn carbs into energy in your cells, but, when you've been overdosing on carbs for a long time, your cells become resistant to the insulin and can not absorb the energy. Your cells begin starving even though there's more than enough carbs for energy. The carbs stack up in your body as blood sugar (glucose) and eventually get around your waist as fat, leading to obesity. The fat and starving cells make diabetics sluggish and tired, and almost continuously hungry. It's easy for Diabetics to develop food addictions because of this hunger. As we load up to satisfy our hunger, we send our blood sugar into a roller-coaster, where we risk stroke at high-sugar times and Diabetic coma at low-sugar times.

What Are The Diabetic Health Risks? Stroke and coma are just the 2 immediate extremes of Diabetes. When you add in the fact that Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, a major cause of cardio-vascular diseases and a contributing factor in many cancers, pneumonia and other serious diseases, Diabetes could be the number one cause of death in the US Short of death, Diabetes is nothing to ignore. It's a leading cause of blindness, nerve diseases, periodontal disease, vaginal yeast infections and amputations of fingers, arms, legs, ears, noses and other extremitudes. It slows healing from all diseases and infections. Diabetes needs to be treated seriously in order to extend your life and retain a high quality of life.

What Treatments Are Available? Diabetes treatment can be as simple as monitoring and diet / exercise control, to adding a pill to your daily medicines, to insulin supplements, to complex and painful surgery and living assistance for normal daily activities. There are new treatments being discovered all the time but you should have the attitude of 'less-is-more' when it comes to treatment. The less treatment you need, the longer and better your life will be. Even with minimal treatment, you'll need to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly to make sure everything is going right. Your doctor will recommend a home glucose monitor, other diabetic supplies and blood glucose lab tests for every 3 months. As your disease progresses, the monitoring and labs will be more intensive. Once you're taking medicine, you should test your blood glucose at least twice daily, when you get up and 1-2 hours after your biggest meal. If you're using insulin injections, you'll be testing more often than that. No matter what stage of Diabetes treatment you're in, diet and exercise can help.

How Do Weight Loss Diet And Exercise Help Manage Diabetes? Unfortunately, many people approach Diabetes like a headache … taking a pill is enough. With this disease, you have to look at diet and exercise as medicine. I reduced my average blood glucose by 50% (to normal) in 6 months just by changing my diet and exercise. Most medicines do not claim to do as much. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) [http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp] is a great place to learn about the disease, treatment, diet, research, etc. Using the ADA diet as a guide, I ate smaller meals with 3 in-between meal snacks, keeping a balance of proteins, carbs and fats, I added high fiber fruits and vegetables, lots of water, and I watched my cholesterol. I should point out that I was less hungry on this diet than when I ate without control. I did aerobic walking and other exercises for 30 minutes, 5-6 days per week. As diabetics, if we reduce our weight by just 5%, we can make improvements of up to 30% in our blood sugar. For a 200 pound person, that means losing 10 pounds … anyone can do that. You can find more information on diet and weight loss all over the internet. Just be careful to consult your doctor and not do any fast type diets because they lower your blood glucose too much.

We who suffer from Diabetes need to recognize that this disease will progress, but we can control how fast it progresses. If we just take the meds the doctor gives us, the prognosis is not good for the length of our lives or the quality. If we decide to fight the disease by controlling our diet and exercise, we may not need medicine for years, we'll add many years to our lives and have a far better quality of life during those years. What's your choice?

Local SEO Industry: Current Status and Future Projections

What Is SEO?
This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman's language, it the process of capturing traffic from the search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field.

The Major SEO Players
Like any other industry in the world, the online SEO business has its players. This includes SEO local tools providers such as small digital agencies, SEO free lancers and web-designers among others.

Returns for SEO Players
The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players' hardwork and skills in the field. For example, according to this research, 34% of the interviewed SEOs said they received an amount less than $ 30,000 while another group of respondents, 17% said they received returns that were above $ 500,000.

From the above statistics, it is evident that the size of an organization played a role in the determination of the amount of returns received. It beats logic for one to expect a large organization to receive low amounts of returns and vice versa. In addition, the presence of part time SEOs as well as the entry of newbies into the market could have let the low rates of turnover due to low operation capacity. However, it is hard to predict the course the SEO market is likely to take due to lack of clear shift in SEO earnings since the year 2011. However, the demand for local SEO services seems to be growing day in day out and this is appealing more players theseby tightening the competition among SEO service providers.

The Emerging Issues with the Current SEO Returns
With the above distribution of returns, several questions emerge. This includes the following:

• From the statistics, a large percentage of SEOs receive a low income something that suggests low pricing of SEO services.
• It is also possible that small and medium businesses do not understand the value of SEO services provided to them.
• The low SEO income earners, those who received less than $ 30,000 annual returns are also being doubted if they can provide quality services while earning that low.
• It is also unknown if most SEOs will still be in operation if their income remains static.

The Current SEOs Income Per Customer
Just like the annual SEO returns, SEO income per customer also varies. This is because there are those clients who would pay less than $ 100 a month while others will pay more than $ 5000 a month. This variation in income per client can be attributed to the type of services provided as well as the depth of services. The size of business a client is seeking SEO services for also play a role in determining the amount to be charged. For example, small businesses are charged less simply because their requirements are much smaller as compared to large multi-location franchise businesses.

Research also shows that some SEO service providers operate on high volume basis. Such SEOs provide simple SEO services at very low monthly rates. As a result, such SEO service providers end up having a high customer churn with a large dedicated network of sales team.

Similarly, some SEO service providers provide services that are more comprehensive in a much more professional manner customized according to the client theby leading to a low number of clients.

Due to the above statistics, it there becomes essential for any SEO service provider in the current market to operate in a manner that matches his / her setup.

Handling Capacity of the Modern SEOs
Currently, SEOs are handling more clients as compared to the previous years. Statistics show that about 40% of the SEOs in the market handle at least 11 clients while 23% SEOs handle at least 21 clients. Such large numbers of clients to handle lead to more audits to be done, lots of tasks, research, reports and even more calls from the clients to be attended to. The high numbers of clients also demand a high level of efficiency so that the clients can be assured of quality services.

Market Structure for Most SEOs
SEOs have been using several marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Offline marketing channels such as word of mouth has been cited by most SEOs as the most effective marketing technique. This can be attributed to the trust level, business reputation as well as relationships build during the offline campaigns.

Alongside offline marketing, SEOs also practice online marketing such as the use of LinkedIn and social media. However, most SEOs have cited LinkedIn as the best option as compared to the social networks because it is better placed for lead generation and networking.

Services Offered by SEOs
Majority of the SEO players offer onsite optimization with 91% of the SEOs practicing this. Google+ optimization has also a good number of SEOs practicing it as 86% claimed to be offering this service to their clients. For affiliate marketing, only a small percentage (11%) of SEOs are offering this service to their clients.

Other services offered by SEOs:

• Content creation / optimization
• Link building
• Citation building
• Social media marketing
• Website development
• PPC
• Mobile site development
• Video marketing and mobile marketing.

The most demanded service by SEO clients is onsite marketing, while the least demanded service is affiliate marketing. The other services are somehow averagely demanded. However, most small and medium businesses do not understand the opportunities that video and mobile marketing can unlock to them and therefore tend not to use these services. SEOs therefore need to educate their clients on these marketing channels so that they can go for them.

When asked about the online SEO services SEOs feel effective, 82% of them said that the General search is the most effective for generating leads. Local search appears to be the second best after 62% of the respondents in an SEO survey voted in its favor. PPC is the 3rd with 53% while social media is the 4th with 26%. Daily deals appear to be an appealing to most SEOs because only 1% voted in favor of it.

Tedious SEO Tasks
55% of the current SEOs in the market find link building to be the most tedious and time-consuming work. Others, although 15% only believe that content writing is the most tedious and time consuming task among all the tasks they do. It therefore emerges that to the 55% who find link building tedious, this task is also boring to them.

Future Projections
This is an outline of what we expect in the near future as far as SEO business is of concern.

Expansion of SEO Businesses
Compared to the previous years, SEO businesses has been growing and expanding steadily. Most SEOs (about 93%) are not only optimistic about expanding their businesses, but are also expecting to grow their business. In what seems to be a determined move to grow their businesses, most SEOs (82%) are willing to recruit more staff members so as to realize their desired levels of growth.

The social media is also expected to grow and be more effective even than the local directories. This is because most SEOs believe that social media can perform better because of recommendations from friends. Mobile usage is also expected to grow further and become relevant for local businesses.

Upsurge of Confidence in SEO Business
Unlike other businesses, the SEO business is showing a positive growth of confidence among the players. Despite this being a dynamic and innovative industry, most SEOs are still willing to recruit more staff to help drive their businesses ahead. 84% of the sampled SEOs in the SEO research are also optimistic that the SEO business is going to be more profitable starting this year 2013.

Confidence is also running high that if the SEO players increase the understanding of SEO / social among the business owners they serve in future, they will not only increase the business owners' rate of investment, but also make them transfer their marketing budgets from other channels to the digital channels.

Do You Know What One Of The Highest Selling Automobile Components Is?

So you're one of the people that think automobile sales are the most progressing in sales probably because all of your friends and family have more that one vehicle. But you're wrong. For every automobile sold there are four or more of these critical components sold and without these things on your automobile your car would not run or work. In fact if you did not have these items on an automobile you would not be able to even sell the vehicle. Well you want to know what I am talking about do not you? Well I'm talking about the tires for your car, of course!

I'm sure you have not ever thought of this but while you own and operate your car you are wearing out tires constantly. An average survey done says that you use three sets of tires in a period of five years which is a total of 12 tires in five years depending on what kind of car you have some vehicles have more tires. If you're one of those people like I am who go out in the woods and go mudding and just mess around in the outdoors you might be having a new set of tires each year that means in a period of five years you would have use 20 tires that's a lot of tires do not you think? So you see the demand for auto tires is much greater than the demand for automobiles.

This is the reason why when rubber was first invented it was considered one of the most valuable things at the time and it was also called the "golden sap". It was one of the most valuable things at the time and still is very valuable. Initially locations such as Malaya and Singapore (then known as the Malayan Peninsula) were the world's top manufacturers of the new product and large nations with many consumers like the United States and almost all of Europe were very eager to get to this area and get their hands on this new product. This is probably why Europe has one of the largest tire companies there and why there is so much rubber coming from Europe.

Now after many years have passed the demand for rubber tires is still increasing and showing no signs of slowing down. The demand for auto tires keeps getting bigger and bigger there are more and more cars getting injected and getting put on the market which means more car tires are going to be needed to be produced.