How to add a custom paypal donation link

UPDATE: There is now a wordpress.com support documentation entry that you may find easier to follow as this post was published in 2008 and things may have changed since then.

As it is becoming increasingly more difficult to locate threads in the support forum searchbox and as bloggers are seeking blogging tips on how to add a custom paypal donation link to their blogs, I’m posting this as a guest author contribution.

Adding a Custom Paypal Link – Easy as 1-2-3

I recently had a heck of a time trying to add a custom paypal donation link to my blog. I poured through the forum, and was finally able to figure it out by piecing things together with the topics on the subject, but I thought that I’d offer this to make the process as simple as possible. If this helps even one person from the hours of time and exasperation that I had, it will be a good thing! O.K., here goes:

1. Make a folder where you will put your urls and codes for safekeeping.

2. Find or create an image and make your custom paypal button. Now you must host it somewhere, whether it be WordPress, Flickr or Imageshack. Once you upload the image, copy the image address URL. Put it in the safekeeping folder.

3. Go to Paypal. If you are not a registered user, you’ll have to set up an account before you can create a button.
Once logged in, follow these instructions:

  • A. Click on the “Merchant Services” tab
  • B. In the box Merchant Services, click on Website Payments Standard
  • C. Under the “Donate” button, click on “Accept Contributions”
  • D. Scroll down to and click on “Get Donation Buttons”
  • E. Create a donate button by filling in the details – Name, Currency, and for country, you can choose –-Choose a Country–
  • F. Under “Choose Button Style” click on ‘Use your own button image’. This opens a “Button Image URL” box where you will enter the URL of your image location, which is in your safekeeping folder.
  • G. Under “Button Encryption” choose “NO” so that you get the correct code.
  • H. If you want to add more options before creating your button click on “Add more options” – Under Notes and special instructions, I chose “Yes” in the event that a donor wants to leave me a message.
  • I. Click “Create Button Now”
  • J. On the “Add a Donate button to your website” page your code appears in the second box entitled “Links for emails”. Select and copy the text. Put this text in your safekeeping folder for the time being.

4. Go to your Blog – go to ‘Write Post’ – ‘Upload’ – ‘Browse’ – upload the image of your custom paypal button from your hard drive. The image will be displayed in the Upload box asking how to show it and if you want to link it. Show ‘Full size’ – Link to ‘None’. Send to Editor.

5. In the “Post” section of the page you will see the image URL. Select and highlight the image URL text. Click on “Link”. In the open box add the Paypal “Links for emails” code. Now your image URL and paypal URL are linked together. Highlight and select all text. Click on “Code”. Select and copy the text. Put it in your safekeeping folder while we create the widget. At this point you can keep the ‘post’ as a draft or dispose of it, as you wish.

6. Now to create the widget – Go to “Appearance – Widgets. In the “Sidebar” you will add a “text” widget in which to put the code. Drop and drag the widget into the sidebar.

7. Open the text box and put the image/paypal code into the box. Save Changes and viola, you’re paypal button is on your blog!

Reference: Posted: to the wp.com forum Friday, November 9th, 2007 at 5:39 am

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37 thoughts on “How to add a custom paypal donation link

  1. Hi TT

    Given the quality and completeness of your research, posts and advice I wonder if you might not consider a PayPal button.

    Howls of protest from stage left – “don’t put ideas in her head” :-)

  2. Nice Blog,

    I am recently facing problem in putting up this donate button in my Site.

    When I go to the Merchant Services of my PayPal account I don’t see any donate button available…more over I am pissed with pay pal’s customer service …they just can’t understand that the donation button feature is not at all available in my account…as of now I see only 4 options ….subscriptions, gift vouchers, add to cart and buy now…..I don’t know whether its a bug or not …still….is this a common problem….I hold a premier account so I should have this feature available…….

    • The instructions above are for those who have wordpress.COM blogs and you have a Blogger blog. I’m sorry but I can’t help you with this. If these instructions for Blogger blogs do not work for you then you will need to get your support from PayPal. blogknowhow.blogspot.com/2009/04/add-paypal-donate-button-to-blogger[dot]html

  3. This is awesome. Thanks and no screen-shots needed.
    Question, when I add the html and click save, it changes and does not show up on my blog. Do you know what might be the problem?

    Thanks if you can help!

  4. I admire people that are positive and try to create change in the lives of others. Changing the lives for the good of others only makes our life so much better. Keep up the good work.

  5. You have totally made my day!!! I’ve literally been sitting all day trying to figure this out … thank you from the bottom of my heart for this tip. I’ll be bookmarking you and returning.
    Yay!! Now if only I could figure out how to center it on the page. Ugh!
    (and I didn’t need screen shots btw.)
    :)

  6. Thanks again, your very helpful to all of us bloggers I had finally gotten it working and then my image went wonky, so back to the old drawing board.

    I am book marking this blog and adding you to our blogroll

    • Hello there,
      I’m so sorry to hear you are having such a struggle. I wish there was something I could do to help but there isn’t. :(

      Thanks so much for linking to my blog. I really appreciate it. :)

  7. sorry no offense, but this is not easy as 1-2-3 its more detailed than you think, i`m currently trying this now so we’ll see how it works out either the way WP allows you to do this has changed or something ese since you wrote this post.

  8. Thank you, this was very helpful! In time some things have changed on the PayPal site, but after you get through steps A and B, you simply have to search “donation” link and it will set you back on track!

    Thanks again!

  9. Thanks very much for the info. Actually, I’d been searching for this for so many long time. This site has the best info on this paypal donate.

    Thanx!

  10. hey there. forgive me…really new at all this. how do you ‘make’ your own button in step 2. if this has another tutorial you’ve written, please email to [edit: email address removed] …my blog is on wordpress.com….it’s ‘http://thoughtbythought.wordpress.com….a friend who knows something or 2 about html helped me get the paypal button up. but you click on it and nothing happens and also it’s just their standard button. i would value creating my own but don’t know how.
    thanks much. tre

  11. thank for this tutorial. I agree with Moinansari, it would make is a lot easier, if you put some screen shot…

  12. I don’t have a paypal donation button but you were given the link to help you locate Barbara’s blog where you can see her customized papypal donation link. As her button is customized for a specific charity it probably won’t be of any use to you. However, please feel free to make your own screenshots if you require them and here is a link to instructions for doing that http://onecoolsite.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/how-to-take-a-screen-shot/
    Happy blogging! :)

  13. Everyone naturally wants to use the encrypted version, but for whatever reason that won’t work here. It’s held up more than a few people I know of.

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