The Quest for a Payment Gateway

Although I've been "making websites" for a lot of years, I've mostly avoided the kind where people actually pay for anything. The result of this is that I built Bitestats (elevator pitch: sign up and get a printable summary report of your web stats every month by email) but then got busy and never built the bit where people can actually pay to use it.

I recently carved out some time to correct this situation, and fell into an absolute pit of confusion when I tried to figure out what my options even were. My requirements are that my customers are global, I am UK-based, people will set up a regular subscription, and I don't have (and I think I don't want) a merchant account at this point. I'm not PCI compliant and have no intention ever to attempt that. This post is an attempt to round up some things I found out along the way. Continue reading

Adding Markers to a Google Chart

I seem to blog about graphs a lot at the moment, but that's because I am seeing a lot of them, with one thing and another. I recently added some little bubbles to the line graphs produced by Bitestats (obligatory elevator pitch: one-page, simple summary report pull from your google analytics account). I think they are kind of cute:

Once I got going with them, they were actually pretty straightforward. You can actually add all kinds of markers to your google chart, complete with funky icons and customisable colours! The code I added to make these is simply:


&chem=y;s=bubble_text_small;d=bb,Max:+917,FFFFFF,660066;ds=0;dp=15|y;s=bubble_text_small;d=bbtr,Min:+185,FFFFFF,660066;ds=0;dp=20

All we have here is a simple specification of which kind of bubbles I want, the label for them and which data series (ds) and data point (dp) to attach it to. I generated the bubble tail directions sensitive to whether they were a min or max label, and which half of the graph they are in.
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