Installing a Paypal Button on WordPress

A popular topic is installing a Paypal button on WordPress, in the hopes that someone will like your blog and donate money to the worthy cause of self-publishing. While I don’t know if this ever properly works out (i.e. I know a lot of writers don’t necessarily get paid for their blogging work), it seems worth the effort.

Now, I don’t have a Paypal button, and it isn’t likely that you will see one anytime soon. This is mostly a personal choice, coupled with my belief that Donate buttons don’t draw in any real donations. My evidence for this is spawned from Facebook, where I see multiple causes with thousands of people who ‘Like’ something, but nary a dollar given to the subject.

Anyways: Installing a Paypal button is fairly straightforward if you know basic XHTML and can work some WordPress hackery. There are instructions on the WordPress Support pages here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/paypal/. These instructions are fairly straightforward, but it can help to have someone with a little savvy assist with it. I am not going to rehash the contents, just give a few pointers.

One good way to build the Button is to open a blank Post in WordPress. This will be your ‘workspace’, where you can build your Paypal button. Follow the instructions on the page.

Pay close attention to #6. You don’t want the Website code, you are going to link the Paypal Button to your email account. This is because WordPress will strip out any code that may be harmful, which includes the Paypal/Website code. After all, WordPress doesn’t know you are building a donation button. The WordPress.com system is set up to protect you and other users, which includes being strict when it comes allowing programming code on a blog.

Under instruction #9, highlight and copy the Button code (Keystroke: Ctrl-C, or Apple-C on a Mac) you like.

The Button code is the part of the webpage that reads

<img src="https://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/btn_donate_LG.gif" alt="" />

Go into your ‘workspace’ Post. Select the word HTML (next to the word Visual, on the top right side of the Editor).  Paste in your Button code that you copied. Copy the link from the Paypal Email page (See #6 on the original instruction page).

There is a lot of programming stuff between #10 and #11 on the Support page. Someone must have been tired by the time they got to this point, because the gaps are huge for a novice WordPress blogger/designer. The first time I did this, I realized that half the Paypal button is covered in #1-9 of the Support Page, and the other half of the Paypal button design is covered by #10 and #11. Select the word ‘Visual’ on the ‘workspace’ Post, click on the Paypal Donate button, and select the Create Link (it is supposed to look like a chain, but actually looks like a pill). Paste your email link.

Save your ‘workspace’ post as its own post, label it something like ‘Paypal Button’, and save it as a draft. This is so you will have a back-up of your Button, as well as have a button already built. Think of it as your own code library, right there on WordPress.com.

Create a Text Widget and copy your HTML into the new Widget. You can get the HTML from your Paypal Button by selecting ‘HTML’ (next to Visual), and copying the entire paragraph of computer code into the Widget. Then you should be ready to go.

On the other hand, if you prefer for someone else to do it, then you can drop me a line. My rates are fairly reasonable, and I can get it done within a day. Not a plug, just an understanding that many people would prefer to have someone else solve a technical issue like this.

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