How to Host Secure HTTPS Images for Your PayPal Custom Page Styles

Some changes to Dropbox policies have made it necessary for me to update this post. If you’ve created a Dropbox account after October 4, 2012, you no longer get the Public Folder folder for free. You’ll need to pay for Dropbox, which is $9.99 / month. If you have an older account, this will still work. Dropbox is taking away all of the Public Folders, regardless of when you opened your account. We’ll have to see how this affects things moving forward.

Update 2! See Don Johnson’s comment below for additional info on getting this to work in 2016.

Update 3! SSL certificates are now available for free via Let’s Encrypt. I use them on this site and several others, though via WP Engine so I have no experience setting them up outside of that service.

PayPal is a pretty decent way to collect money online, though I vastly prefer Google Checkout Stripe for reasons I won’t get into here, there are times when you might find yourself needing to use PayPal (such as via Gravity Forms, as they don’t yet offer payment gateways other than and PayPal).

When doing so, you can slightly customize the checkout form that users see when they’re taken to PayPal’s site. These forms are a little bit ugly, even if you do customize them, but anyway, it’s possible and the point of this post is to show you how to get secure versions of your images. As PayPal tells you on their Custom Page Styles creator, if your images aren’t hosted on a secure server, your users’ browsers are going to pop up a message telling them that the page contains unsecure items and make it all the more likely that’ll scare them away from completing the transaction. So how can we get our images hosted on an SSL Certificate secured site without purchasing one just for this purpose?

Use Dropbox to Host Secure Images for your PayPal Custom Page Styles

Good ol’ Dropbox to the rescue. Dropbox is a free service (up to 2GB) which you can use to store files online, even back up particular files on your computer, and then access them anywhere. This includes sharing those files publicly. Here’s a rundown of how to do this, exactly.

  1. Sign up for a Dropbox account. It’s free for up to 2GB of storage. You have to download program to your computer, but Dropbox can be so much more useful than just for the purposes of hosting a couple of images on PayPal, though if you don’t want it on your machine anymore, you can just delete it when you’re done with this process.
  2. Once you’ve gone through the sign up process with Dropbox, sign into your account.
  3. Click the Dropbox link near the top left of the page.
  4. Click the Upload Icon right around the middle of the top of the page to upload your images.
  5. Once you’ve uploaded them, you can drag and drop them into the Public Folder. This makes them viewable by anyone on the web, including for use on PayPal.
  6. Click the Public Folder to view it’s contents.
  7. Right click on the name of the file you want to use in PayPal and choose Copy public link.
  8. A window will popup with the URL to the file, just copy that and paste it into PayPal where appropriate.

There you have it, HTTPS:// SSL Secure image hosting for absolutely no cost! Thanks Dropbox!

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