This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Coin of the Realm


Coin of the Realm is a system that allows WordPress publisher to reward their readers for linking back to the word press blog. It’s at its heart an affiliate system set up for the general user instead of companies combining crowd sourcing into the standard affiliate model.

The way Coin of the realm works is by generating unique links to all of the pages and post on a WordPress sight for each Registered user. When that user uses the link to reference the sight on some other website every reader who click on the link generates a referral in the COTR system. COTR converts referrals into coins that the registered user can use to buy things in the automatically generated store page.

Coin of the realm supports 3 types of reward products; digital downloads, comment badges, and donation drives. These products are quick to create in the store interface and can be purchased with either referral generated coins or with regular currency. COTR support both the paypal and verotel payment gateways for making purchases.

For more information visit the COTR message board.

Message Board


  • The referral worth will not update until you save the page
  • COTR use ip addresses to prevent multiple “referals” from a single user. While this prevents abuse it does make the system rather stingy when giving out coins.
  • Changing the number of referals needed to earn one coin will not change the amount of coins a user has already earned. It is best to set the Referral IP Coin Value once and then modify the coin cost of individual products as needed.
  • Psychologically user respond better to the system when it is easy to earn coins and they can see themselves making progress towards a goal. It is recommended to set the Referral IP Coin Value low at 1 or 2.

Ad Hoc Purchase Settings

The Ad Hoc Purchase Settings allow user to buy products with cash instead of coins earned through referals. Filling out this section transforms the COTR store into a traditional shopping cart system on top of the affliate system set up by the coins. While these setting are optional it’s generally useful to fill out some of them to earn money as well as referrals through the COTR.
If you do not fill out these fields the associated buy now buttons for the payment gateway will not apear on the page. COTR allows for two payment gateway system. Paypal for sites with general content and Verotel for site with mature content. While both payment gateways can be active on the same site it is unusual to have both Paypal and Verotel running at the same time.


At this time there is no way to pick and chose by product what payment gateways are available these are global setting for all products.
* Verotel set up requires integrating with your Verotel account. It is best that you contact your rep to walk you through the process.
* To accept payment through paypal complete the following steps.
1. Enter in your Paypal log in email in the Paypal handel.
1. Type in the 3 digit currency code for the currency you will be using. You can find a list of all the code paypal uses here:
1. Set the test mode to No. Test mode is used for Paypal sandbox accounts to test out purchaces with out using real money. If you want to use a paypal sandbox account you can set it up here:


The message section is where you set up the dispaly messages for various points in the COTR system. These are raw html code boxes that you can use to put any html text on the page.

  • Fill out the three messages on this page with the HTML and text that you wish to apear
  1. HTML in the Can’t purchase message will appear under every product in the COTR store when a user is not logged in.
  2. HTML in the Donation Thanks message will ONLY appear on the main store entry for a donation if there is no download associated with the donation after a user makes a donation.
  3. The Comment Badge Intro text places HTML code above the badges in a users comment. But only if they have purchased and are displaying a badge.

Template Setting

The Template Setting section set up the layout for the products in the COTR store. Each individual product will have the Template Setting applied to it to determine how it appears.

  • Store List Item Row is an HTML field that displays the product. As well as using standard HTML and CSS formating the feilds uses a number of custom hooksto display product specific information. These hook can be used in the template for global changes to the store or be placed in the product description later.
  1. [product_name] – Places the name of the product in plain text
  2. [product_description] – Places the description field of the product in plain text
  3. [product_image] – Places an image tag that has it’s source correspond to the uploaded “image” of the product
  4. [product_image_url] – Places a plain text url of the source of the “image” uploaded into the product
  5. [product_download_url] – Places a Download now button that can be use to download the product. It is only visible if the product has been purcahced
  6. [product_cost_coins] – Places a text number equal to the cost of the product in coins for free product the hook does no display
  7. [product_cost_cash] – Places a text number equal to cash cost of the product. If the product is free it displays a 0.
  8. [product_buy_now_coins] – Places a “buy now X coins” visible to loged in user who have enough coins to complet the purchace
  9. [product_buy_now_cash] – Places a “Buy now button X USD” on the page for any payment gateway that has been activated in the setting. This button is only visible to logged in users.
  10. [product_coins_awarded] – Places the text “Coins awarded for purchasing this product: X” if the products awards coins
  11. Shop home full description controls if the Store page shows the full description for the products or show an expert for the product with a more button to see the full description. Unless you are particularly verbose in your product description it is best to leave this to yes.

Registering and Loging in

To uses COTR you users much register on your wordpress site and then login. The wordpress site must also have it’s setting changed from the default to allow login.

  • Navigate to the Setting menu and then the General Setting sub menu
  • Locate the Membership heading and check the box next to Anyone can register
  • Once you have allowed registration you must provide you users with a link to the registration page. Place a link to {Base site url}/wp-login.php?action=register somewhere on your site for the user to register.
  • After registering the users must login. You may place the login widget (detailed below) on the page for this purpose or provide a link to the login page: {Base site url}/wp-login.php?


If you are using a content managment system on your site make sure that the New User Default Role is a role not used by the content management system. If you are not careful about this you will open up secure areas of your site.


It has been found with our tests that generally users are reluctant to log in with their email address and prefer to link their login to a social media site. At the writing of this documentation the best plugin to do this we have found is the oneall Social Login Plugin.

Setup Complete

After completing these steps the Coin of the Realm software will be functional. The next sections cover page layout of COTR and creating products to sell.


The follow section details the tools you now have available to you after setting up COTR

Store Page

Upon the fist install of COTR and new page is created on your site. The name of the page will be “ Store”.

  • If you edit the store page you will find a single hook that generates the store. [sb_vc_store].
  • Add any text and formatting around the hook to generate your store.

Widgets and Shortcodes

There are several Widgets and Shortcodes that are added for operation of the COTR.

Coin of the Realm

  • This is the main widget that give the user all the information for the operation of the Coin of the Realm account.
  • This information can also be places on a page with the [vc_widget_content] short code

Coin of the Realm Available Downloads

  • This widget is only visible if the user has made a purchase or if you have entered text into the no available download text box on the widget. The widget provides links to all products that the user has purchased for ease of retrieval.
  • This information can also be placed on a page with the use of the short code [vc_available_downloads]

Coin of the Realm Personal Link

  • This widget displays the personal link of what ever page it’s for the user without any other formatting or information.
  • This information can also be placed on the page with the short code [wp_vc_personal_link]

Coin of the Realm Login Widget

  • This widget proved a small login box where it is placed instead of forcing the user to go to a login page. It is only visible when users are not loged in.

Coin of the Realm Donation Progress Widget

  • This widget is used to display the progress of a donation product where ever it is place.
  • The donation prodcut drop down will show all donation products by their title. Do display a product select it from the dropdown
  • The show summary text switches on and off a line of text that states the donation target and how much has been achieved.
  • The show donation buttons switches on and off the donate now buttons in the widget
  • This information can also be placed on a page with the use of the short code [vc_donation_progress product_id=X] where X is the id number of the donation product. The button has two optional switches to hide parts of the the display hide_description=1 hide_buttons=1.


  1. Upload plugin-name.php to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

Uploading files (optional)

  • Open up a ftp connection to your wordpress site
  • Navigate to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory off of the main site
  • Upload the Coin of the realm folder and all sub folders into the directory. Make sure to upload the folder not just the content of the folder.
  • The Plugin is now ready to activate

Activating Coin of the Realm

  • Activate Coin of the Realm in the plugins page
  • Once activated you will get 3 new menus, COTR Products, COTR Badges, and Coin of the Realm
  • To complete the installation go to the Coin of the Realm menu and the base Coin of the Realm sub page

General Setting

The general setting are required for the proper operation of COTR. The general setting establish what the value of one “coin” in in terms of referals and cash. It also determines what features of Coin of the real you want to use. Ideally these setting should be set once upon installation and not changed afterwards as changing the setting can change the value of individual users accounts.

  • Set the number of unique hits that a user needs to bring in to earn a single coin. This value can be any positive whole number greater than 0.
  • Set the Coin Cash value. This can be any positive whole or decimal number that represents the conversion rate for coins into real money when the coin is donated in a donation product. Number greater than 1 mean a coin is worth more than a single dollar (or whatever currency you are using) and conversely decimals less than 1 have the coin worth only cents on the dollar.
  • The Disable Badges drop down should be left to the default of No unless you experience errors on your comment pages after installing COTR. On some custom Templates the badge system has interfeared with the commenting process this drop down is added to deactivate badges in that case.


No we don’t know. Tell us your ideas on the Coin of the realm message board:
Message Board

What’s the point of this plugin?

The basic idea is to give WordPress authors a way to reward their readers for sharing the WordPress site. The viral sharing of a website is key to its success you could even say that sharing of sites is the coin of the realm (get it
nudge nudge
wink wink) but there has been no tool to reward this essential behavior.


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Contributors & Developers

“Coin of the Realm” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.