How to Install Coil Web Monetization on WordPress

by | 7 April 2020 | Business, Content Creation | 9 comments

9 min read

One of the most exciting applications utilizing the cryptocurrency XRP for payments — with a huge potential to change the way web monetization works — is Coil.

Already today, Coil is fully functional and allowing content creators to instantly receive donations from viewers who are subscribed to Coil while they consume the creators’ content.

In this article, I give you as a WordPress content creator a step-by-step tutorial on how to install Coil on your WordPress website.

What is Coil Web Monetization?

Coil is being developed by a San Francisco-based startup, which is working on a new business model for the web. It is enabled by the Web Monetization API and enables online content creators to monetize their content.

Coil subscribers are paying a monthly subscription ($ 5 as of right now, with different packages available in the future). Whenever they visit a Coil-enabled website, every second a small amount of XRP is being donated to the content creator. Those real-time micropayments offer a much more attractive monetization option compared to being dependent on ads.

If you want to learn more, I can recommend checking out Coil’s Help Center.

In the following, I will introduce three different ways showing how you can setup Coil on WordPress:

  1. Using the official Coil WordPress plugin
  2. Using a Child Theme > adding code to the functions.php
  3. Using a Parent Theme > adding code to the header.php

Let’s get right into it!

Prerequisites

Create Your Coil Account

As the very first step, you need to sign up to Coil. All you have to do is go to the Coil website and go through the signup process. Only if you want to subscribe to Coil in order to donate to websites having Coil integrated, you need to submit your credit card details. To monetize your own content and to receive donations through Coil, you don’t need to wait for that.

Get Your Payment Pointer

The next thing you need is a payment pointer. This will tell Coil where to send the donations that are coming in from Coil subscribers visiting your WordPress site.

You can easily set up your payment pointer from the settings panel in your profile on the Coil website. Simply navigate to the settings page and click on the “Payout” tab.

You will find an overview of different payout options including setup options to follow. I can recommend the Uphold option, which allows you to receive your payments in one of many fiat or crypto currencies.

Screenshot of the different Coil payout options

After you went through the setup process, the payment pointer should be shown right there in the “Payout” tab.

FYI, the payment pointer is not confidential and bears no direct security risks, so don’t worry about hiding it.

That’s it, now we are ready to install Coil on your WordPress website.

Method #1 — Using the Official WordPress Plugin

Meanwhile, Coil has launched their own official WordPress plugin. Not only does the plugin allow you to implement your own payment pointer to receive payment streams, it also gives you a set of tools to make your content (or parts of it) available only to Coil subscribers.

I recommend using the plugin from now on, as the plugin will be kept up-to-date by Coil in case they change something. You can find and install it through your WordPress dashboard, simply look for “Coil Web Monetization”. 

Coil WordPress Plugin

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you will find a new tab for it in the WordPess dashboard menu. All that’s left to do here is going to the “Global Settings”, where you will find a field to input your own payment pointer.

Screenshot of the Coil WordPress plugin settings page

Save your changes, then you’re good to go.

If you are curious what else you can do with the Coil WordPress plugin, I suggest you to take a look at the official documentation page.

If for some reason you don’t want to use the plugin, you can also install your payment pointer manually.

Method #2 — Modifying Your Child Theme’s functions.php

The preferred way of running your WordPress website is always by utilizing a child theme. This allows you to make any kind of customization to your theme, while at the same time always being able to update the theme you are using, without losing your customizations in the process. The same goes for setting up Coil on WordPress.

If you don’t know what a child theme, I strongly recommend you to look it up, for example here.

We need to add a little bit of code to our child theme’s functions.php . For that, go into your WordPress Dashboard > Appearances > Editor, then make sure that your child theme is selected in the top right corner. Then open the functions.php in the editor by clicking on it on the right.

Then all you have to do is copying the following piece of code and pasting it at the end of the code that you should see now. This piece of code simply adds the required meta tag to your website’s <head> section.

Attention: Don’t forget to put in your own Payment Pointer!

// Coil Web Monetization Integration
function custom_meta_tags() {
?>
<meta name=”monetization” content=”YOUR_PAYMENT_POINTER” />
<?php
}
add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘custom_meta_tags’);

It should look like this:

Don’t forget to click the “Update File” Button when done.

That’s it!

Method #3 — Modifying Your Parent Theme’s header.php

If you are not using a child theme, then you can still install Coil by editing your theme’s header.php.

To do this, go into your WordPress Dashboard > Appearances > Editor and make sure the right theme is selected in the top right corner. Then open the header.php in the editor by clicking on it on the right.

All you have to do now is copying the following piece of code, which you can also find in your Coil account’s dashboard, and pasting it into the editor right under the <head> marker.

Attention: Don’t forget to put in your own Payment Pointer!

<meta name=”monetization” content=”YOUR_PAYMENT_POINTER” />

It should look like this:

Don’t forget to click the “Update File” Button when done.

That’s it!

With this method you have to remember that whenever you update your theme and its header.php gets overwritten, you need to manually add the meta tag again by following these steps. That is the benefit of using a child theme, theme updates can not break your own modifications.

Check If It’s Working

To check if installing Coil on your WordPress page worked, you will need to install the Coil Chrome or Firefox extension. Once installed in your browser, head over to your website.

If you followed the steps correctly, the Coil extension should now indicate that the website is web-monetized. If you are not subscribed to Coil yet, the window will still show whether or not a page is web-monetized.

Another easy way to check if your Coil integration was successful is by using the Coil Checker created by Wietse Wind. Just enter your website’s URL and click “Check”.

You have now successfully installed Coil Web Monetization on your WordPress website and are part of the future of the internet – with a monetization method far better than ads.

Instant micro-payments for creators and the potential for a completely new way of sharing content with your followers. Welcome to the future of the internet, powered by XRP!

Having done that, I highly recommend you to sign up for a Coil subscription and to start supporting content creators. For the cost of a cup of coffee per month you can take a stance on how the internet should work from now on.

If you have any questions or need help with the process of setting up your own WordPress page, feel free to leave a comment below this article.

You can check out all my monthly Coil income reports, which I create to track the development and perceived adoption of Coil.

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Adam

Benny, this is beyond excellent! I’m not sure you’ll ever know how many people you truly help with this step through guide…

Jack

Useful piece, thanks!

PatriciaC

Awesome article Benny!

Janet

Hello Benny, how has your experience been with coil post integration and how long have your been using it please?