2. Install a separate dB for CiviCRM and use the same db user for WordPress to read/write on this separate CiviCRM dB
3. Follow the installation instructions on CiviCRM's wiki
4. Upgrade once or twice a year, or as needed by security fixes. CiviCRM's new releases are unstable, even when they say they are 'stable'. Beta is out of the question. Avoid earlier revisions. Do not install version: x.y.0 or x.y.1, for instance.
5. Upgrade instructions are easy to follow. Read carefully.
CiviCRM has a variety of free online documentation resources:
1. Go to: CiviCRM > Administer > System Settings > Payment Processors to view and configure PayPal as a payment processor. Your default payment processor will available and default on all donation pages and event pages you create.
2. Configure email "from" and bounce handling at CiviCRM > Administer > CiviMail
3. Configure "cron" to run automated CiviCRM tasks http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC42/Managing+Scheduled+Jobs Choose which jobs to run at Administer > System Settings > Scheduled Jobs GNOME needs only Update Membership status and Maintainance Tasks at the moment
4. Edit the contribution page(s) by going to Contributions > Manage Contribution Pages. Edit the info, title, settings and profiles used to collect the data
5. Edit profiles (which fields to collect) at Administer > Customize Data and Screens > Profiles
6. Use the "Gifts" Activities to add sending and returning of gifts. Do so by viewing a Contact, clicking the Activities tab, and then adding a new activity.
7. Search for Friends of Gnome using "Find Members" and those of "current", "new" or "expired" status
CiviCRM requires a daily cron to execute certain automated tasks:
- Update membership status from 'current' to 'expired'
- clean up temporary files and caches
You would do this like so: php <server-path>/wp-content/plugins/files/civicrm/bin/cli.php -u $user -e Job -a execute
where $user is a Wordpress user with Admin access to the CiviCRM interface.
More details here: http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC42/Managing+Scheduled+Jobs
You will know cron is running when the scheduled jobs here say something other than "never". https://www.gnome.org/wp-admin/admin.php?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/admin/job&reset=1