How To Accept Website Credit Card Payments Without a Gateway Service

To accept orders and payments on your website, you need an ordering system and a way to accept payment. Services like PayPal are a reasonable option, but if you want to accept payments by credit card, your options seem to be an aggregator service such as Stripe which like PayPal, has a higher processing fee for your transactions than a standard credit card processing account, or you can tie into your own merchant account through a gateway service such as With the gateway service, you can process transactions at lower processing rates, but with an additional fee for the gateway. A gateway service might charge $25/month plus an additional 10 cents per transaction, but that is better than paying 2.9% at Stripe.

Until recently, those were your only options. Now, to get around the gateway service, you can integrate directly with a great processor through their gateway that is setup to support email invoicing, iPhone apps, and other device connectivity.  We’re including the gateway with the card processing accounts, and have integrated it into open source shopping cart solutions so you can easily and freely add real credit card processing to your website without a gateway service. And, you can have this with processing rates that are about as low as they come.

MX Merchant is a really great system for processing payments competitively with powerful tools and features. We’ve been closely following the online ordering and payments world since 1997 and we think that this is currently the best thing out there for website payment processing.

Check it out:

Detecting Website Problems with Google Analytics

It’s sometimes difficult to detect website bugs when they are only showing on select devices or browsers. Even when using browser testing tools like, it is possible for errors and bugs to slip by unnoticed, either because the display issue did not show in your testing platform or you failed to duplicate it while testing.

Google Analytics provides a good way to know when you need to dig further into testing to look for errors that need fixing under Technology > Browser and OS.

By looking for anomaly bounce rates among browsers and devices, you can identify when something needs to be looked at. For example, if on average, your bounce rate for Internet Explorer is 60%, but IE8 is showing 92%, you’ll know to dig deeper into what is causing IE8 users to bounce. JavaScript or CSS issues can be the culprit you have not previously detected while testing. Fixing these can recapture the attention of these visitors, and be an instant boost to online your marketing results.

Convert Photo to Sketch / Drawing in Photoshop

These are the basic steps to make an image look like a drawing in Photoshop. Other adjustments can be made to get it looking right, but these short notes are based on an open image.

1. Duplicate Layer
2. Set Blend Mode (found in layer window) to Color Dodge
3. CMD i – Invert
4. Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur
5. Adjust radius until it looks good
6. New Adjustment layer – Hue/Saturation to 0
7. Merge Visible
8. Adjust Brightness / Contrast

JQuery UI Radio Buttons Won’t Switch / Bootstrap Conflict



Hopefully this helps someone –

If you are trying to incorporate the jQueryUI button widget into a website project to add some style to radio buttons, and you cannot get the radio buttons to work and or cannot get them to switch properly like radios are supposed to (or possibly having trouble with other functions related to buttons), are you using bootstrap?

After many attempts to debug, trying refresh and all kinds of other techniques – I disabled bootstrap’s javascript, and everything worked.  Turns out there is a known conflict between bootstrap and jQueryUI, and a little research turned up this easy fix:

var btn = $.fn.button.noConflict() // reverts $.fn.button to jqueryui btn
$.fn.btn = btn // assigns bootstrap button functionality

Placing this workaround in $(document).ready reassigns the conflicting element.  It seems there may be other conflicts, so before spending too much debug time on jQueryUI, try commenting out bootstrap.js.

ShopSite MySQL Database Empowered

By syncing Sh0pSite’s databases with a separate MySQL database, you can be empowered to develop your own functions and applications that use results from querying the product and page info stored there.  These functions can dynamically generate content for your website pages, enabling you to modify what’s shown on your website based on criteria you specify.  This frees up a lot of possibilities to be creative beyond ShopSite’s statically generated pages.  Sorting, price calculations, merchandising messages, real time inventory, breadcrumb navigation, and more become possible.

Beyond website functions, we’ve used this concept to generate data for ShopSite.  For example, when updating or adding large numbers of products based on a file with thousands of items from a manufacturer, you’ll likely want to compare that information with what is already in ShopSite’s database.  Say you want to add a line of new products to your store, maybe 300 items from a supplier’s spreadsheet.  But, you already have some number of them in your store already, and you don’t want to overwrite those items.  By loading the spreadsheet into MySQL, you can query against your store data and generate a feed for ShopSite, excluding items you already have.  Then this feed can be loaded to your store.

We’re about to embark on some more applications for this concept, and will let you know what we come up with.  If you want your ShopSite store synced with MySQL, we can set it up for free for stores hosted with us.