How to Add a PayPal Donate Button in WordPress

This guide shows you how to add a simple PayPal Donate Button in WordPress? Bloggers can spend lots of time, money, and effort on content creation, regular updates, and site maintenance.  It’s reasonable to ask for voluntary donations to help fund a project that offers excellent value.

PayPal donate also works well with non-profit organisations. It’s a simple way to run funding campaigns that champion worthy causes.

Why PayPal (PP)?

PayPal is a globally recognised, simple to use, trusted online payments system. Most countries that support internet money transfers accept it. That’s because PP is a secure electronic method of sending and receiving money. For site owners, the PayPal Request Money tool is an ideal solution. It lets you gently solicit voluntary donations from those who patronise the site.

Here are some of the benefits of a PayPal donate button:

  • Fast and super-easy to implement
  • Low transaction fees and no monthly fees
  • Easy to track where donations come from
  • Every donation goes straight into your PayPal account
  • Accepts credit card donations
  • Allows donation requests by email or mobile

Best of all, PayPal’s Donate button is ready to use the moment you add it to your site.

Note: Make sure you’re familiar with PayPal’s terms and conditions before proceeding.

Getting Started

You need an active PayPal Business account before you can add the donate button. It’s free to sign up, and it’s a straightforward form-filling process. You can easily upgrade to Business if you already have a Personal account.

This guide assumes you have an active PayPal Business Account and are ready to go.

Point to note: Decide on the button type for your needs before you create it.

2 Ways to Add a PayPal Donate Button

There are two ways to implement a PayPal Donate button in WordPress. The first—and simplest—is to use a plugin. Some site owners like to keep the number of installed plugins to a minimum. If that’s you, skip to the second method and use PayPal’s own Donate Button Creator.

#1 PayPal Donate button using a free plugin

Please read How to Install New Plugins before continuing if you’re new to WordPress.

The easiest way to add a PayPal donate button to your WP website is with a free plugin. The one used for this tutorial is PayPal Donations by Tips & Tricks HQ, Johan Steen. It does have limitations, but it’s ideal if you don’t mind the restrictions.

Install and activate the PayPal Donation plugin from the WP Plugins screen.

Go to Settings => PayPal Donations from the Dashboard side menu.

Enter your PP email address (the one you use to log in with) on the Donations screen.

The default currency is US Dollars ($). Change it to Pounds Sterling (£) or other if necessary.

The Optional Settings let you choose a custom payment page and a return (Thank You) page.

There are also three optional Default Fields. These are handy if you want to add a default donation amount, the purpose of the donation, and a reference.

Navigate to the Donation Button section and choose a button style. Alternatively, add a URL to a custom button from this section if you’re using one.

Next, select the donation Country and Language from the Country and Language dropdown.

Click the Save Changes button to complete the final step.

You’re now ready to add the new PayPal Donate button to your WordPress website.

You can put the button anywhere on your website or blog using the shortcode [paypal-donation]. That includes the main content area, or sidebars and footers using WP widgets.

Adding the PayPal Donate button to a post or page

Open an existing post or page in Edit view or create a new one. We’ll add the PayPal Donate button to an existing post for this example.

Go to Posts => All Posts from the Dashboard side menu.

Click the Edit link for the post you want to add the PayPal Donate button.

  1. Click inside the editor where you want to display the button
  2. Click Add Block (+)
  3. Type shortcode into the search box
  4. Click the Shortcode icon

You’re now presented with a shortcode popup.

  1. Add the shortcode [paypal-donation] into the field
  2. Preview the changes in a new tab, desktop, tablet, or mobile
  3. Click Update if you’re happy with the button style and its location

Point to note: You will see a Publish button (not Update) if you’re working with a new post.

Here’s how the button looks on the sample site.

Users who click this button get taken to the donate screen. The donation currency here is in UK Pound Sterling. There are options to donate with PayPal, Debit, and Credit Cards. Contributors can also agree to make monthly donations if they wish (see image below).

Add the PayPal Donate button to a sidebar or footer

You have the option to add the donate button to a sidebar or footer if you prefer.

Go to Appearance => Widgets from the Dashboard side menu.

Drag your PayPal Donations widget to the sidebar or footer.

The widget then opens the PP Donations settings box. These are the same as we completed earlier. Simply add a title and text (optional), and click Save.

Here’s how that looks on the sample site. Your display and layout may look different depending on personal settings and the active theme.

#2 Embed a Button Using Code from PayPal

This simple method lets you manually add a PayPal Donate Button in WordPress. It’s the same feature but without another plugin taking up valuable site resources. It’s possible to create a donation button without logging in to PP, but some options may not be available. Also, you need to log in to save the new button, so you may as well do it from the outset.

Point to note: Sometimes, website layouts, links, and wording may change without notice. The screenshots here are all correct at the time of writing this guide.

Log in to your PayPal Business Account.

Go to Tools => All Tools from the top menu.

You’re now on the Make a PayPal Button screen where you can get the button and link.

Click the Donate button from the button selection panel.

PayPal presents a customised button creator on the left, with a preview panel on the right.

Click Continue when you’re happy with the button.

Enter your PayPal email and purpose (optional) on the next screen. There may be optimal settings if you’re logged in to PayPal. Choose what you need and click Continue.

Tip: You can choose to either show or hide your PP login email on the new donations page. The recommendation is to use the default Merchant Account ID instead.

The final screen lets you choose the currency and set donation amounts, i.e., any or exact. Again, there’ll be a few extra settings if you’re logged in to PP when creating the button. Choose or ignore any additional options as you wish, then click Finish and get code.  

The last screen presents you with your unique button code. You can use it on your WordPress blog, social media, emails, and wherever else you’d like to display it.

Copy the PayPal button code to your clipboard.

Next, log in to your WordPress Dashboard as Administrator.

You can add the PayPal Donate button to any new or existing WP post, page, or widget area. We’ll use a new page to illustrate, but the procedure’s the same for posts.

Go to Pages => Add New from the Dashboard side menu.

  1. Add a title for your new page
  2. Enter some content to support your request
  3. Put the cursor where you want the button, and click the Add Block (+) icon
  4. Type HTML into the search box to reveal the block
  5. Click the Custom HTML block to open it

The editor now opens the Custom HTML block.

  1. Paste the PayPal button code where it says, Write HTML…
  2. Click the Preview link

Below are our sample buttons. Yours may look different depending on the custom settings you chose during the set-up process. You can keep your new button or go back and modify it.

Click Publish to make the page live once you’re happy with the Donate Button.

That’s it. You now know how to add a simple PayPal Donate button in WordPress.

Want to Learn WordPress?

WordPress is an amazing platform for building any type of website.   It’s used by large corporations and small mom & pop sites.

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