A visual editing system for creating commercial online computer services. The visual editing system creates online services that consist of a number of subservices. Each subservice is a program that provides a particular type of functionality to the online service. Different subservices exist for displaying hypermedia documents, searching directories and databases, displaying classified advertisements, providing a bulletin board system, etc. Each subservice has an associated database of information and a collection of scripts that handle events such as input from a user. The visual editing system of the present invention features a fee setting tool that allows the developer to develop a fee structure for an online service. The fee structure can handle both fees levied against users and third party content providers. For example, users can be levied fees for logging onto an online service, performing searches, or downloading information. Third party content providers can be levied fees for submitting advertisements or for executing a transaction with a user. Similarly, the fee setting tool also allows the developer to assign a payment system whereby users or content providers can be paid for certain actions. A user may be paid when that user that fills out a marketing questionnaire or wins a contest. A third party content provider can be paid when that third party content provider supplies valuable information desired by the users of the online service.