If you are relatively new to Stripe, then you might have no idea what a webhook is actually supposed to be. It is one of the more important details that you will need to consider when using the platform, and it is not always easy to understand what the documentation is telling you.
Thankfully, webhooks are not that complicated – at least not until it comes time to test one that you have built yourself.
What are Webhooks?
A webhook is simply an HTTP endpoint used to receive events from Stripe. In a sense, it is a piece of code that can receive prompts from Stripe after a payment happens, allowing you to code events to happen once a payment has been made.
This gives them a wide variety of uses, such as allowing them to trigger notifications in apps that use Stripe. Thanks to this, it becomes even easier to make sure that apps are carrying certain things out when a user receives a payment, gets involved in a Stripe dispute, or has money added to their Stripe account.
While these functions may sound relatively simple, they are one of the main uses of a Stripe webhook. Without webhooks, an app would never be able to tell you that money has arrived in your Stripe account without some complex workaround.
Can You Build Webhooks From Scratch?
Webhooks are designed to be built quite easily. Each request that Stripe sends contains an Event object, something that can be used to trigger your own custom events once certain outputs are triggered.
Naturally, you can’t code a Stripe webhook without knowing how Stripe coding works, and the documentation for creating one is freely available online. The most important thing to remember is that webhooks are not always as simple as they seem, especially if you are tying them to complex functions that require entirely separate pieces of code.
In general, there are going to be three major hooks that you will want to use for most projects. These are for successful payments (payment_intent.succeeded), disputed payments (charge.dispute.created), and money arriving in your Stripe account (balance.available). All three can be integrated into whatever else you are building with relative ease.
Do You Need to Test Webhooks?
Webhooks are simple in theory but complicated in their coding, at least for people with limited Stripe experience. This means that it is important to test your Stripe webhooks before you assume that they are fully functional and working as intended.
If you are not sure how to test your Stripe webhook, then it is a good idea to look into resources that can break it down for you. A lot of coders only need to try something with outside help once or twice to understand how it works, and there is nothing wrong with turning to tutorial documents for help.
Make sure to fully test a webhook each time you modify it, just to be sure that it will work. The last thing you want is to push out a product with an unfinished webhook that does not make payment events activate in the ways that they should.