The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Making a Crowdfunding site
This is an easy to follow, step by step tutorial on making your own crowdfunding website. Our aim is simple. If you’re an absolute beginner and you want to make a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter (so others can raise money using your site), this page will show you how.
And the best part of all; you do not need to Learn a line of Code.
Follow the steps in our FREE guide and you will have all the skills to create an online fundraising platform just like Kickstarter. We will show you how to turn this into a business, so you can actually generate income from the results.
This Build a Site Like guide consists of 3 simple steps:
- Step 1. Choosing your Website Platform (CMS)
- Step 2. Choosing a Domain name & Hosting provider
- Step 3. Installing the Website Platform, your crowdfunding theme & basic setup instructions
Complete all of the steps set out below and you will have a crowdfunding business, ready to help people raise money for good causes.
In no more than 30 minutes this business could be yours!
So enough with introductions, it is definitely time to get to it…
Step 1: Choosing which Website Platform to Use
One of the quickest and easiest ways to start a crowdfunding website in 2018 is piggy back your site on top of a well established, existing platform. In website terms, this is called a “Content Management System (CMS)”.
Why you should always use a Content Management System?
No matter the type of site you want to build using a CMS has a lot of benefits, the chief ones being, speed, efficiency and security.
The fact is, in 2018 anyone can build a website by using a content management systems (CMS). There is absolutely no need to learn any strange computer coding languages to succeed online.
With an established CMS plus a feature rich theme you will be up and running in now time.
Let’s take a closer look as to how the CMS can help.
How the CMS can help you manage your website
Once your CMS is installed, you will be able to create and manage all the important processes of your site from an easy to use admin area.
In many ways it can be compared to logging into your Facebook page. The CMS gives you a simple interface with which to post images, text and all other bits of important content.
You can also control how your website looks and functions by installing one of the many ‘Themes’ that are readily available.
With our crowdfunding website, we will use the CMS and a carefully chosen theme so that others can login and build their own campaigns, visitors can pledge money and you can manage all the finer details; without needing to know any of the technical nuts and bolts whatsoever.
Essentially, the CMS helps a beginner launch and manage a sophisticated website with no prior web design experience.
So, why choose WordPress for your Crowdfunding site?
WordPress is the best CMS for your crowdfunding platform. Here’s why:
- It is completely FREE
- Very easy to use no matter your technical skill level
- Thousands of designs (Themes) are available that control the look of your website (and can be installed with a click of a button)
- Easy to customize and extend.
- WordPress plugins allow you to develop the functionality of your website as your needs grow.
- WordPress looks good on all types of screen, (laptop, desktop or mobile)
- WordPress is fast and secure and is always being updated
For this tutorial, we will show you all the steps to starting a crowdfunding website using WordPress
This is what we are about to cover:
- Where to buy the best, most affordable beginner Web Hosting for WordPress
- How to register your new Domain Name
- The simple steps to Installing WordPress
- How to Install a Crowdfunding Theme into WordPress
- How to launch your new site with demo content
Step 2: Purchasing your Hosting & Domain Name
With the discussions on the CMS out of the way, we can now dive into more practical steps; purchasing a hosting service and buying your Domain name.
Here’s why we need these:
- Domain Name – This is the web address; you need one in order for users to find you online. Every website has one. (take Kickstarter.com for example)
- Hosting – This is the service that stores all of your website data so that it is accessible online.
iPage provides extremely affordable web hosting with all important excellent live support. The service is feature rich, fast and just perfect for beginners. With a price of only $1.99/month, it really is the best hosting deal you will find online.
And there’s more. Sign up using the link above you will get your first year domain registration absolutely FREE. iPage also throw in over $500 worth of extras, (you can read our full review here).
Note: BuildaSiteLike will earn a small commission if you decide to opt for the ipage hosting using one of our links. This comes at no extra cost to you at all.
To move on to the next section, lets head over to iPage to purchase Hosting and register our FREE Domain Name.
From here you will need to click the Get Started Now Button.
The next page will give you the opportunity to choose your domain name.
To show you the steps I have typed in ThisIsMyExample.com. I then pressed search.
Good stuff, the domain name I have tried is free.
Don’t worry if you find the name you would like to use has already been taken. This is common. However, you can always try variations and if you look at the results page you will find that iPage offers some suggestions too.
If the .com version is already taken, do not worry, there are many other extensions to choose from.
Once you have found a name that you would like to use (and importantly seen that it is available), press Next, choose my term.
You will now find yourself on a page that asks you to select a 1, 2 or 3 year term for your hosting plan.
The length of term is entirely up to you. However, the longer you choose the better the overall discount you get.
Make your choice and then press Next, customize my plan.
This will take you to a list of options you can choose to select or deselect before you buy.
The optional addons are as follows:
- Domain Privacy – This really is worth buying. It will help prevent any spam phone calls and texts from design agencies that have discovered you have just bought a domain name.
- Website Security & Daily Backup – We recommend selecting yes on these. This is the easiest way to ensure your website remains secure and that daily backups are made. (It is possible to take care of both of these tasks using WordPress Plugins however).
- All in One WordPress Bundle – This is unneccessary.
- SSL Certificate – You should purchase this. From July 2018 Google will penalise websites that do not have valid security certificates.
Once your extras have been selected, click Continue to Payment. You will be asked for your credit card or paypal details.
Well done, we are at the end of Step 2!
After payment you will be greeted with a success message. A new screen will appear where you will need to create login details for your iPage account.
After completing this you should login to the account to install WordPress and launch your crowdfunding website.
Step 3: Installing WordPress & a Crowdfunding Theme
i. Installing WordPress via iPage SimpleScripts
Once you are logged into the iPage Control Panel you will see something similar to the below screenshot.
Under the Website section, locate My Installs (SimpleScripts) and click.
From the script list, click WordPress.
On the screen you end up on, leave the default settings as they are.
They’ll be another screen asking you to agree to the terms and conditions. When prompted you should also enter the login details (Username and Password) you would like to use for WordPress. And then…
Your WordPress Installation will be complete.
The front page of your website will be your domain name, (mydomain.com as an example).
WordPress will have automatically installed the default theme for your site. Without content it will all look very bland.
Don’t worry, this next section is where it all gets very exciting.
We’re about to purchase and install your crowdfunding theme so you can launch your new website!
ii. Installing a Crowd Funding Theme
So far so good. WordPress is fully installed on your website, and now it is time to purchase and upload your crowdfunding theme so you can lauch your own Kickstarter business.
Sounds simple? That’s because it is.
The first step involves login into the WordPress admin panel.
The location of your dashboard is easily found by adding /wp-admin after your domain name and typing that into the address bar of your browser, (i.e: mywebsite.com/wp-admin)
Enter your username and password into the wordpress login page, and you will be taken straight to your admin dashboard, which looks something like this…
The WordPress admin area gives you access to all the menu options you need to manage your website.
What we need to do now is get that new theme up and running.
Before we look in to where you can purchase your crowdfunding theme, we will begin by taking a look at the WordPress theme page.
You will find this in left sidebar menu. Hover over Appearance, and then click Themes.
This is what the theme selection page on Buildasitelike.com looks like.
We currently have a Child theme selected. The Twenty Seventeen, Sixteen etc are the default WordPress themes and will be what you see when you first visit your own theme page.
However, since you’re here to make a Crowdfunding website, we need to find a WordPress theme that will give you all the functionality you need to launch your new site.
For that we are going to need a premium theme.
The best place to buy high-quality WordPress Themes
[Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.]
To find high-quality WordPress themes you will need to turn to visit one of the many premium theme market places that exist online.
However, because themes are big business, there are countless options with varying quality. We have done our homework in this regard.
Between the crew here at BuildaSiteLike.com we have tried and tested a large amount of themes from the premium theme players. From that expertise we recommend the following market places when you are looking for a theme for your website.
- Elegant Themes
- Template Monster
- Engine Themes
- Thrive Themes
- Theme Fuse
- Theme Furnace
What’s the best Crowdfunding WordPress Theme?
There are many Crowdfunding themes available, however only a few offer the wide range of features required to run a complete crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter. Of those few we have found what we believe to be the best of the bunch.
Backer, by KrownThemes is our top choice for a number of reasons. It features a clean, sophisticated design allowing for your user’s campaigns to really stand out.
The login process is simple and combined with the excellent Ignition Deck plugin (which is required for full platform functionality) your website can take payment from pledgers, allocate funds when targets have been reached and basically allow you to manage the entire platform with an easy to use interface.
So if you’re ready, let’s take things to the next level by purchasing the Backer Crowdfunding theme.
The link above will take you straight to the Backer Crowdfunding Theme sales page.
(By all means have another look at the theme demo to see what your site will look like – in just 5 minutes time!)
The payment steps are self explanatory. After clicking the Buy Now button:
- Fill in your First name, last name & email address then click Next.
- Choose your ThemeForest username and password.
- Verify the captcha
- Click the Create account & Continue.
- After filling in your billing details, click the Save and continue button.
Available Payment Methods
ThemeForest and the Envato Marketplace is a well respected merchant for WordPress themes. They offer secure payment via 3 different methods, Debit/Credit card, PayPal and Envato Credit.
Once you have made payment via your preferred method, head to your membership area (using the menu bar at the top right of the screen).
Click on downloads.
Here you will find the Backer theme files, ready and waiting; (much like the screenshot below).
Press the green download button as shown in the screenshot above.
Two options will be shown.
- All files and Documentation – This is a package download (in the form of a .zip file) that contains the theme, licence information and other related documentation)
- Installable WordPress files only – This is the one you need – single .zip file containing your Backer theme.
Click the link to download.
Once that’s done, head to your main WordPress dashboard again (mywebsite.com/wp-admin).
Installing the Backer theme in WordPress
This is where things get very exciting. With just a few clicks your crowdfunding website will start to come alive.
What we are going to do now can be broken down into a few simple steps:
- Uploading the Backer theme to your WordPress website
- Installing all the relevant plugins to make the website work properly
- Uploading a import file so that your site looks just like the demo
- Final touches so you can launch your crowdfunding platform
Installing the Backer theme
To install the theme you need to go to your theme selection page.
- Navigate to Appearance > Add New Themes > Upload.
- Select the Backer zipped theme folder that you recently downloaded to your desktop.
- Hit “Install Now” and the theme will be uploaded and installed.
Once the theme is uploaded you will be given the option to Activate theme. Click to activate.
The next step is to install the required plugins.
Installing the theme plugins
The theme authors have very kindly provided one-click install for all the plugins you need.
After theme activation you should receive a prompt at the top of your WordPress admin area, asking you to Begin Installing Plugins.
Clicking this prompt will take you to the plugins download page.
There you will find a list of all the plugins you need. Click install next to each item.
The plugins are as follows:
- IgnitionDeck – This plugin is the heart of your crowdfunding website. More on this below.
- Revolution Slider – this is one of the most popular WordPress sliders around. Installing the theme demo file will get this up and running for you.
- Krown Shortcodes – This is theme shortcodes generator. Shortcodes allow you to quickly and easily insert buttons, columns and other design features into your site. When using the theme demo file you will need this plugin installed so that everything looks the way it should.
- oAuth Twitter Feed for Developers – If you decide to create a Twitter page for your platform, this plugin will integrate the feed into your website.
The Ignition Deck Plugin
The theme authors have kindly provided the free version of the Ingnition Deck plugin. This is great if you just want to create a crowdfunding site for one campaign. However, for a full Kickstarter style platform, you will need the premium version.
There are two options if you wish to have a full crowdfunding platform that allows users to create campaigns:
- $249 Enterprise (6 Months) – all features including unlimited user accounts and full payment support.
- $349 Enterprise Annually – Same as the monthly options except access to a premium theme.
Using the Backer Demo Import File
Using the demo import file is the best way to get started with your new website. This will turn your website into something that looks like the demo, meaning the design, structure and functionality of the site will be done for you.
Once installed you can delete the old campaigns (or leave in place as a way of encouraging new users) and add new content within the foundation that has been created for you.
To install the theme demo files you need to locate the xml import file within your theme folder on your desktop (backer-import.xml). (Make sure the IgnitionDeck plugin installed and activated before doing the import!)
To use it, go to Tools > Import > WordPress and upload the xml file.
When prompted, Import everything, hit the button and wait.
Congratulations you’ve just built your very own Crowdfunding website
Once complete your site will look like this: (Click image for live version)
How was your experience building this Kickstarter style website? Was the guide easy to follow? Do you have any questions? Post your comments as we would love to hear your feedback.
And if you like what you found here please Share it with friends; we want to get the word out so that everyone can understand how to get started online and build a successful website just like… 🙂