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Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indigogo help raise money and create some of the more highly successful projects ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few million dollars. In fact, thanks to crowdfunding, startups and entrepreneurs have a viable alternative to bank loans and credit cards.
While Kickstarter and Indigogo are good, they are not the solution for everybody. To deal with that, you can create your own crowdfunding or backer site using WordPress and the WP Crowdfunding plugin. If the idea of creating your own crowdfunding site is intriguing, let’s see how WP Crowdfunding can help achieve your goal.
Features of WP Crowdfunding Plugin
WP Crowdfunding plugin for WordPress has a lot of features that make creating and managing crowdfunding projects very easy and intuitive. Below are some of its features.
Frontend form submissions: While you can create and configure crowdfunding projects in the backend, WP Crowdfunding also has all the same options in the frontend. Just by adding a single shortcode, you can modify the project details like description, goals, rewards, media, etc., without having to launch the backend.
Built-in project reward system: Just like with the crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indigogo, you can create your own reward system with any number of rewards. If need be, you can set a quantity limit for each and every reward. The free version of the plugin is limited to one reward per campaign.
Ability to customize the style of crowdfunding pages: WP Crowdfunding plugin has a built-in theme to get you started. You can customize the theme using the provided backend options or with custom CSS.
Support for multiple payment methods: WP Crowdfunding plugin supports various payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, Credit cards, Skrill, etc.
Detailed project reports: The plugin gives you detailed project statistics for each and every crowdfunding project. Moreover, if you are the owner of the project, you can export the report in CSV format.
Adaptive PayPal: If you are managing multiple crowdfunding projects, then Adaptive PayPal can be very useful. Using this feature, you can send money to the project owner and the site admin seamlessly.
Native wallet: The WP Crowdfunding plugin has a native wallet system that can keep track of all the funds. Upon withdrawal request from the project owner, the wallet can calculate the commission and other statistics.
Built on WooCommerce: The WP Crowdfunding plugin is built right on top of the most popular e-commerce plugin WooCommerce, so you will have access to all the features and power of WooCommerce, with it just a few clicks away.
Spam protection: Wherever there is a user-submittable form, you can expect automated spam. To deal with any possible spam, the WP Crowdfunding plugin has Google ReCAPTCHA built into it. When enabled, a user needs to solve the Google ReCAPTCHA whenever they are creating a new crowdfunding campaign or submitting a project.
Email notifications: Whenever there is a new pledge on your crowdfunding project, you will receive a quick email notification. As of now, the email notifications are only limited to new pledges. According to the developers, they are working on more notifications on various other events.
WP Crowdfunding plugin is free: The base version of WP Crowdfunding is free and limited in terms of features. You can learn more about the features and pricing of premium versions here.
Using the WP Crowdfunding Plugin to Create a Campaign
Though WP Crowdfunding has a lot of features, using it is quite simple. For this demonstration I’m using the free version of the WP Crowdfunding plugin, so everything you see here is what you get when you download the plugin from the WordPress repository.
1. First, make sure that you have the WooCommerce plugin installed and properly configured. After that, go to “Plugin -> Add New,” search for “WP Crowdfunding” and install it.
2. To create a new crowdfunding campaign, go to “Products -> Add New.”
3. Enter your crowdfunding campaign title and write in details in the post editor.
4. Scroll down and select the product type as “Crowdfunding.” In the General tab, fill in all the relevant details like pledge amount, starting and ending date, funding goal, campaign end method, etc.
5. Go through all the tabs on the left pane and fill in the details you think are applicable to your campaign. Do keep in mind that free users can only add one reward per campaign.
6. Just under the product type field, enter the campaign’s short description. This short description appears right under the main product image.
7. If there are any reviews or campaign updates, you can enter them in the “Reviews” and “Campaign Update Status” fields appearing at the bottom of the page.
8. Finally, set the main product image by clicking on the “Set product image” link appearing under “Product image” section on the right sidebar.
9. Once you are done with everything, click on the “Publish” button.
10. That is it. You have your first campaign all set and ready to go.
Customize the WP Crowdfunding Plugin
The WP Crowdfunding plugin has a wide range of settings to manage and modify how the plugin works.
To access the settings panel, click on the “Crowdfunding” link in the left panel. In the general settings tab you can set the default funds manager, default campaign status, enable and disable various part of plugin forms, select the user role of campaign creator, etc.
Under the “WooCommerce” tab you can select the default listing and registration page, whether to display the crowdfunding campaign in your shop, submit form text settings, tax settings, etc.
By changing the options under the “Style” tab, you can customize the crowdfunding campaign page.
If you want campaign backers and other users to share your campaign in social media, head over to the “Social Media” tab and select the checkbox next to “Enable Social Share.” Now, select the all the social media sites you would like to add and click on the “Save changes” button.
After installing the plugin, take your time to properly configure the plugin to best suit your needs.
The WP Crowdfunding plugin for WordPress makes it super simple to create your own crowdfunding site. While I’ve only used the free version of the plugin, I really liked how easy it is to create and manage crowdfunding projects. Though the free version has limited features, it is quite enough to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.
For additional features like adaptive PayPal, spam protection, native wallet, email notifications, etc., you can purchase the essential or enterprise version for $49 or $89 respectively.
So, give the plugin a try and see how it works for you.
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