Fundify is a new theme by AppThemer that turns any WordPress install into a crowdfunding website. It has the core features that have proved effective with sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo: the ability to create new campaigns/projects, rewards backers, allows for fixed or flexible campaigns (meaning: you can collect donations only if a goal is met...or just collect whatever is donated).
The obvious question of course is why create a crowdfunding theme for Wordpress when sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo already have huge and active communities for this very purpose? It's a good question, with an exciting answer.
The first and most obvious answer is that it completely does away with the issue of fees. When using Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you're looking at a minimum fee of 4% of the total amount raised. In some instances on Indiegogo that fee can rise to 9%. While hardly exorbitant, those fees can add up. Particularly if you're project raises thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions as we've seen on these platforms.
But to me that's almost an incidental benefit. What I really like about this theme is that it allows large groups, online communities and organizations with lots of internal projects to allow their members to create and fund the projects they are passionate about. Some group types that immediately come to mind are churches, charities, non-profits, schools, colleges, co-ops, and collectives.
All of these groups types tend to have the potential for large communities with various projects or at least proposed projects going on at one time. Having one place to create, view, and fund those project seems like a great way to empower the individuals in these groups while accomplishing more than ever.
In the post below I'll do a quick overview of installing and configuring the Fundify theme, so you can get a better idea of what it's like on the backend.
When you first download the Fundify zipped folder, you'll first need to unzip it so that you can use the second zipped folder - called Fundify-Theme - inside. Next you'll want to navigate to the backend of your WordPress site > Appearance > Themes > Install Themes > Upload and install the theme's zipped folder there.
Upon activation you'll immediately see a notification prompting you to download and install the Crowd Funding plugin by AppThemer. In turn that will then prompt you to install Easy Digital Downloads. Go ahead and install/activate both plugins as a large part of the functionality of this theme requires that you do so.
Once everything is installed and activated it's time to configure Fundify and populate it with content. Thankfully, AppThemer has really made this process quite simple.
In the original zipped file you downloaded and unzipped, you'll find a folder called DOCUMENTATION. Inside there is a read-me file that when double-clicked will automatically take you to this web page. As you can see, every step for getting this theme up and running is beautifully documented with easy to follow instructions.
So instead of duplicating all of those instructions, for the purpose of this post I'm going to highlight the theme's core features, what they look like on the backend and describe briefly what it was like to set everything up on a fresh install.
The above image is what this theme looks like on the front end as soon as it's installed. As is the case with almost every theme I've ever installed, it's a far cry from what the theme's demo site looked like. The difference here is how insanely easy it is to go from the image above to the one below.
Here are the steps:
- Go to Pages and create/publish the following pages (leave them blank for now): Home, Blog, Discover, Start, Contact, Account. Make sure the Home page has the Front Page template selected.
- Go to Appearance > Menus. Add the Discover, Start, and Blog pages to the Left Navigation menu. Add the Contact and Account pages to the Right Navigation menu.
- Go to Settings > Reading. Under Front Page Displays select the second option (A static page) and make Home your front page and Blog your posts page.
- Go to Tools > Import > WordPress. Upload the XML Dummy Content file from the original Fundify zipped folder.
After those four steps are complete, re-fresh your site and it should look exactly like the demo image above. When I did this it took me about five minutes.
At this point you have a great looking website with lots of working content in it for you to experiment with and use in test mode. Which can be activated under Campaigns > Settings. Along with a bunch of other important stuff.
In fact, besides customizing the design, every important setting or feature associated with this theme is housed under Campaigns, which is a sort of mashup between the Easy Digital Downloads and Crowd Funding plugins you installed at the very beginning.
Campaigns by the way are custom post types. So the first thing you see is the All Campaigns view, just like the All Posts view, and then below that Add New for creating new campaigns.
As you can see each new campaign is a lot like a regular blog post, except there are some new custom stats and fields available; like the campaigns stats in the screenshot above and the campaign info fields in the screenshot below.
On the front those fields will look like this...
And just like regular blog posts, you can create your own tags and categories for these campaign custom post types.
But what else is under the Campaign menu? Well, there's the...
Ability to create Discount Codes
View Sales Reports
View System Info
And get Add-Ons
But what about design? Are you stuck with the default? Not even close! One of the things I really love about this theme is that it takes advantage of WordPress's updated Customize Feature to allow quick customizations and previewing before changes are made permanent.
Summary & Review
When it's all said and done I am really impressed with this Fundify. As far as I can see they've done everything right. They deliver a beautifully designed theme which is easy to customize (and with excellent documentation). They package their key functionality in separate plugins instead of lumping it in with the theme itself. They even have a tutorial on how to make child themes - which is extremely useful for future updates or more intense customizations. Beyond those important features the theme fills a specific need that has never been serviced by WordPress before (that I know of) and it does it really well. I highly recommend this theme for any WordPress users looking to create a crowdfunding website.