Connecting Patreon with WordPress

I’d like to connect my Patreon community with my WordPress-based web presence, but this seems to run into various technological and even philosophical issues.

Are these issues insuperable, or are there workarounds?

My central WordPress site is here. The best known and most active site there is this one.

PS: I’m writing here because a Patreon support staffer asked me to.

Hi, technical issues can probably be overcome, if you elaborate them in detail.

Philosophical angle is a bit interesting. Since philosophy is a major field which is also somewhat tied to one’s perspective, it may be difficult but maybe we can also solve your philosophical difficulty.

1 Like

Greetings, codebard.

First, I had problems getting a Patreon plugin* to display in WordPress**. For several days the plugin, installed, wouldn’t display. (Now it does, I think. Not sure why.)

Second, I found many web discussions where users complained about difficulties in integrating Patreon within their WordPress work.

Third, philosophically, I found some debates about the propriety of embedding Patreon within WP. I think the issues concerned calling for money from within a not-for-profit platform, although I could easily have misunderstood the issue.

*I think it’s the plugin you published, codebard!
**This is a WP install hosted by a third party (Reclaim Hosting).

That could have been a plethora of issues. During the operating of a website, especially if it is being extended and bettered like how WP sites get by getting more plugins installed, issues naturally surface, and are fixed.

Best would be to just bring in these issues to the forum (here) at the time they happen so you can receive help.

Indeed so. Except many of those sites are major sites, large with a lot of content, many big plugins and they have custom modifications. And in many cases the issues presented are more extension/modification issues to make the plugin behave differently and do what it was not intended to do (yet), than anything related to not being able to use the plugin rapidly on a standard website.

Anyone who has a WP install that was not greatly modified should have no issues or very little issues in getting going with the plugin.

WordPress is not a not for profit platform, it is not a for profit platform either. It is an open source project.

The intent of open source is to enable people. It leaves people free on how will they use the open source software. So its not a matter of the philosophy of open source, but its a matter of the content - whether your content allows and justifies asking for money for it. And, to what extent. Depending on the niche your website will operate in, there surely must be a means for the people that are in that field to fund their activities.

For example someone who gives free courses / how-tos for open source software on his website may make a piece of content about enterprise integrations of certain open source software a paid content. This is perfectly legitimate in that enterprises or those who work on that level will not only be able to pay, but also see it justified that they were asked to unlock that content. Actually a lot of open source projects fund themselves on that basis of charging for enterprise info, addons, support and services.

It all depends on what the activity field that is specific to your website would allow as premium/locked content.

  • Please note that i just used open source to mean both open source and free software, for it has been some long time since these terms have become synonymous in my opinion - even if they are technically separate terms. I cant remember any tangible case of someone using a non-free open source project as their infrastructure in the last few years.

codebard, thank you for these thoughtful and sustained answers.

To the technical issue, your assessment works for me. As does the plugin.

As to the philosophical one… I agree that much depends on the alignment of website’s content with the Patreon approach. Is this a widely held opinion?

PS: I appreciate your gesture towards the contours of FOSS. Thank you.


I would say that in Open Source community free + premium content, software or services is a widely used business model since a long time ago. Free + Premium or Free + Paid Addons is a major model which is used by numerous big plugins, while Automattic, who is behind WordPress project finance themselves through other means, like their Akismet and JetPack plugins’ free + paid models. Automattic also provides WordPress hosting through WordPress com, which again runs with free + premium model.

Going through a sample of creators at Patreon (who use the plugin or not), its easy to see that that free + patron only content is very common there too.

So i think it is pretty much acceptable from any angle you can approach.

That’s very good to hear.