Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter, RocketHub, and Indiegogo have helped get some great projects off the ground including the Pebble watch, the Ouya video game console, and a consumer 3D printer.
However, if you have a project you want to find financial backers for, or you want to create your own fundraising community, there is now no reason why you can’t create your own crowdfunding website. All you need is WordPress, a crowdfunding plugin, and a suitable theme and you could be up and running in no time at all.
In this article we will take a look at the best options available for building your own crowdfunding website, whether it’s to secure funding for your own projects, or to help put backers in touch with inventors and designers.
IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding WordPress Plugin
When it comes to creating a crowdfunding website with WordPress, the plugin options are pretty thin on the ground. In our previous guide to this topic, the AppThemer Crowdfunding plugin from Astoundify was the tool of choice. However, since then IgnitionDeck, who has their own WordPress crowdfunding solution, has acquired the Astoundify plugin and their popular Fundify theme.
So today we will be taking a look at the crowdfunding solutions from IgnitionDeck. There is a free version of the IgnitionDeck plugin available which should give you a good overview of the interface that you can use to create an unlimited number of crowdfunding, per-order, or fundraising projects on your WordPress website. However, the more advanced features are found in the premium version, and include:
- PayPal and Stripe integration
- 500 Framework Crowdfunding Theme
- One or more IgnitionDeck extensions
- Kickstarter importer plugin
- IgnitionDeck ecommerce plugin
- Membership registration and dashboards
- Recurring pledges or donations
- Front end project submissions
As you can see from the options, upgrading to one of the three premium versions of IgnitionDeck will give you the ability to build a fully functioning crowdfunding website with WordPress as its base. Depending on the license you choose, you can have everything up and running to allow visitors to register and start adding their own products in the hope of finding financial backers, with multiple options for processing and collecting payments.
When it comes to setting up your crowdfunding website the IgnitionDeck team offers a premium valet service in which they take care of everything from installing WordPress, through to creating your first project, with the end result being that you will have a working IgnitionDeck installation. If time is money then this service can help you save a lot of both.
Whether you want to host your own crowdfunding projects in the search for backers, or let others host their own projects, IgnitionDeck is currently the strongest candidate for WordPress users. Although IgnitionDeck isn’t a free option, the one-time fee compares favorably to the percentage amount charged by hosted crowdfunding services such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and RocketHub.
Another selling point of IgnitionDeck is the extensions that are available for it. Depending on the license you choose when purchasing the plugin, you will get access to at least one of these extensions, with the others being available at an additional cost. Some of the highlights from the library of extensions for IgnitionDeck include:
- Amazon Payments: use Amazon’s powerful payments API
- Stretch Goals: add and maintain dynamic stretch goals
- Constant Contact: forward supporters to your email list
You can view the full list of options on their extensions page.
Crowdfunding WordPress Themes
While the above IgnitionDeck plugin will in theory work with any theme, the developers have created a selection of themes built especially for creating a crowdfunding website with WordPress.
The responsive 500 Framework is a free theme that comes with IgnitionDeck and now includes with WooCommerce support for handling the checkout process. The framework gives you the opportunity to customize the colors of your website through a visual set of controls, without the need to edit any code. There are a number of child themes for the framework which add a totally new look to the underlying set of features.
The clean and minimalistic design of Backer will appeal to anyone looking for a sleek and modern look for their crowdfunding website. Once this third party theme has been installed on your site Backer makes it easy to customize the colors used for many of the elements of the theme, allowing you to create a personalized look with a mass market theme. Whether you are hosting your own projects or hoping to create a community of users promoting their own projects Backer covers both angles.
Now under ownership of the IgnitionDeck team, Fundify continues to be a popular choice amongst those creating WordPress-powered crowdfunding websites. The Fundify theme is ideal for creating a website to promote a personal project, or building a multi-author, multi-project fundraising website. Just like the best crowdfunding websites, the individual project pages on Fundify display all the important information including the amount being sought, the total received so far, and the benefits for backers pledging certain amounts.
Investors and backers can easily find their way through the unlimited number of projects that this theme and plugin combination supports. The use of project categories and other filtering mechanisms should increase the chances of a willing backer being presenting with a project they can’t refuse. The price of this premium crowdfunding theme includes one year of support and updates, which can be renewed after the first year of use.
Once again WordPress and the scores of developers working in its ecosystem have made it very straightforward to build a specific type of website, which would otherwise require a large time or financial investment. While in this case the premium options will yield the best results, the amount of money required in order to get a professional looking and functioning crowdfunding website online is very reasonable.
Whether you want to start your own fundraising community, or simply get some financial backing for your latest great idea, WordPress has it covered. Have you used the IgnitionDeck plugin and suite of compatible themes or do you have experience of using any other crowdfunding tools for WordPress? Please share your experiences in the comment below.