Friday, January 4, 2008

The Easiest Way to Make a Paypal Donate Button

(this article was originally featured at

Like other people, I had some trouble finding a simple Paypal donate button to put on my blog. After some searching around, I found an easy way to do it myself.

The easiest, safest, and best way to put a Paypal donate button on your Wordpress blog or website is through the Paypal website. Don’t download plugins or widgets with who knows what kind of code in them, when you’re dealing with yours and other’s money.

So how do you do it?
Short guide:

Go to the Paypal Donations Factory. Add the name of your website, pick the button style you want, and click “create button now.” Copy and paste the code given into your blog post or a text widget on your wordpress sidebar.
Long guide:

1. Login to your Paypal account.

2. Click on the Merchant Services tab.

3. Click on the Donate link. It’s under the Create Buttons category.

4. Enter the required information. Donation name/service can be whatever you want, but make it accurate. What they’re asking for is the name of your website or business. You can set a required dollar Amount for your donors to give if you want, but leave it blank if you want to let them set their own amount.

5. Select what you want your button to look like (you can make your image if you want later.)

6. I highly recommend you keep the encryption setting on. This will keep your Paypal information (like your email address) hidden from other people.

7. When you’re done click “Create button now.”

8. The code will be generated and given to you in the first box.

8. Copy all the code in that box and paste it into the html code of your blog or website. If you’re using Wordpress, then you have to click on the “code” tab of the post you’re writing.

9. Click the button on your site to make sure you don’t get any errors.
If you get a “We were unable to decrypt the certificate id” error, your code may have gotten a little messed up after you pasted it. The most likely case is that your blog software or page editor is putting line breaks where they’re not supposed to be. This happened to me. Go back to your button code and look at the very bottom, where it says this:

See the quotation mark on the second line? Click in front of it and push backspace to pull that quotation mark up to the previous line, like this:


Now try it again and see if it takes you to the donation page. Wordpress has a weird way of processing html code. If you already saved your post, you might have to re-paste the code and follow step 9 again.

That’s it! If you want to put this on your Wordpress sidebar, just create a new Text widget, and copy and paste this code into the widget. And boom, there’s your donate button!

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