I help run a fairly sizeable community based on a group of forums that we've had at ezBoard for about five years now. But when we discovered, after their recent hack-attack, that they weren't actually backing up our data as they'd been promising (despite the fact that we've been paying through the nose for exactly that all these years!) we've decided to move to a hosting plan with phpBB.
I'd say we have a decent undersanding of what we'll be needing for the most part (and indeed we've had a test board running for a few weeks to make sure we at least have a clue what we're doing).
But there is (at LEAST) one thing about which we are sadly ignorant. EzBug provided us with a "Community Chest" feature into which our members could donate funds via credit card to help us maintain our service. This worked very nicely. Our members could see their names on a public list along with the amount they had donated and the total amounts that had been donated in total, etc. When they donated X-dollars, the full X-dollars went straight to us. EzBug didn't take a cut, the credit card company didn't take a cut (well I'm sure they did, but it didn't cost us and it didn't cost the paying member, is the point) - the total amount was credited to us.
I understand that was a proprietary service offered by ezBoard and that I cannot find something exactly like that without finding another company exactly like ezBoard (which would be akin to doing something that feels just like smashing your fingers in the car door without actually smashing your fingers in the car door, per se hee hee...)
Obviously we are looking for something we can offer our members that is as similar to ezBoard's "community chest"-thingy as possible. What feature should I be looking for? What are the names of some of these types of programs or scripts or whatever?? Can you tell me in what ways they will differ from the system to which we are accustomed?
Thanks, DanX. That was our first thought too (PayPal), but as you said, PalPal takes a cut. That's why I was wondering if there was some sort of script or something, that perhaps I might get as part of our hosting package (something from within cPanel or like that??), that would work without us or our members losing a portion of the donation??
Originally posted by whoopycat Thanks, DanX. That was our first thought too (PayPal), but as you said, PalPal takes a cut. That's why I was wondering if there was some sort of script or something, that perhaps I might get as part of our hosting package (something from within cPanel or like that??), that would work without us or our members losing a portion of the donation??
But thank you for the reply!
A script can't be a replacement for a Payment processor. I'd suggest you use PayPal anyway. One caveat there: I wouldn't recommend phpBB, I'd recommend SMF it's just overall much nicer and suffers much less from script kiddies which try to deface your forums. Regardless of software you use, you will definately need to keep it updated. I don't think you had to do updates with ezboard. If the board is fairly large (how many users are on at once?), you may want to look into a VPS solution instead of a shared host. Take a look at:
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Also be sure with PayPal for donations that in your account you have the option on to not require the person making the payment to have a PayPal account.
Otherwise it will prompt them to create an account before they donate, something a regular payer would do but not someone making a donation that didn't have a PP account already.
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If you set up a donation button on your site, they will take 2.5% plus .20 per transaction. I have a donation button going straight to my non-business paypal account on one of my websites. It really is not that bad. Now if they donate .22 that is bad, but it's ALOT cheaper than you are going to get anywhere else.