How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress.

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 A membership site is a gated part of your online business where only members who subscribe can access the content you have placed behind the gates. A “gate” is simply a boundary you build into your website using a plugin,

 A WordPress membership site is a site built on WordPress that uses a membership plugin to manage the private member areas for premium content.

Plugin like MemberPress, BuddyPress, bbPress etc.

With WordPress you can craft a perfect membership site, where your members can explore your premium content, interact with your business and with fellow members, and access exclusive products.

Thing To Put Into Consideration When Building A Membership Site.

Member Registration and Member Log-in.

On your WordPress site, you will need a page or pages where your client will register to became a member.

A membership plugin will allow you to build a user-friendly registration page where your clients can become site members. WordPress already has default user roles built-in, such as administrators, authors, editors, and contributors; and once a client registers, your membership plugin allows you to update them as members.

Once a client is a subscriber or member, they’ll need a place to log in each time they visit your site so they can access premium content. The login is a gateway that protects the premium content and member-only deals from the general public.

Membership levels can also be managed with a WordPress plugin called MemberPress. https://memberpress.com/go/wpcw/pricing. This is where you can gate content based on the member package a client has purchased.

Member Profile Editing Capability

In addition to a login and access to content, your members need a place where they can view their account profiles. In MemberPress, members have the ability to edit their profile information, view their payment information and history, and update their credit card information. Members can also change their passwords in the profile area, allowing them to protect their accounts.

Payment Processing

In order to make purchasing your products user-friendly and also to allow you to bill and invoice accurately, your membership plugin should include the capability to securely process payments through a credit card gateway. Moreover, to the ability to simply process one-time credit card payments, your membership plugin should help you create recurring subscriptions for your members so they can receive continued access to your protected content.

Site Management

This is the part that makes building a membership site easy for you—WordPress’s default administration is simple to use, and the MemberPress plugin helps you manage members, levels, subscriptions, transactions, as well as granting and revoking access for posts, pages, categories, tags, feeds, communities, and digital files. MemberPress also offers a data reporting system so you can track your memberships’ and digital products’ performance.

Social and Community Forums

One of the benefits of a membership site is that members can interact with each other, sharing their experiences with your products and creating a buzz about those experiences. They can also interact with you, asking you questions and giving you valuable feedback about your product.

Email Services

E-mail communication is still important in today’s world, MemberPress works with many e-mail marketing systems, allowing your WordPress membership site to be equipped with a top-notch e-mail service with which you can reach out to your members, notifying them of special events or deals that you might be offering. E-mails are also a great way to remind members of when their membership renewal is about to automatically charge them.

Event Registration

So you’ve used the e-mail service to notify your members of an upcoming event, but you’d like a way for them to RSVP so you know how many attendees you will have, both for the event itself and for your data and reporting services. There are also plugins available to create registration for your events.

There are many other plugins—free and commercial—that are available for you to incorporate into your WordPress membership site. Now that you know a little about building a membership site on WordPress you should be able to see how it’s a versatile platform capable of functioning with plugins that allow you to run a successful and profitable site.

Building Up Your WordPress Membership Website

Install A WordPress Plugin

Using MemberPress plugin as my go-to plugin because it has all the features I mentioned above, and it works perfectly with third-party plugins necessary for the fast-growth of your business.

You need to install and activate the MemberPress plugin. For more enlighten, you can check https://wpblvd.com/how-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin/

After installing the plugin, goto MemberPress, click on Options page to configure the plugin settings.

To Add a Payment Method

The options page is divided into different tabs. The first thing you need to setup is a payment gateway because it allows you to accept payments on your membership site.

Kindly, goto ‘Payments’ tab and then selecting your payment gateway.

MemberPress supports Stripe, offline payment, Authorize.net and PayPal (Standard, Express, and Pro). You need to select the payment method you want to set up and provide the required credentials.

You can also add multiple payment methods by clicking on the add button to add another payment method. I typically use two options: Stripe for credit cards and PayPal as a secondary option because some users prefer PayPal over giving out credit card details.

 After you have selected your payment method,click on the ‘Update Options’ button at the bottom of the page to save your settings.

Creating Membership Levels

Next step is to create membership levels that your users can purchase. Each membership level can have different pricing plans, perks, and access. You can even have a free membership plan.

To create a membership level, you need to go to MemberPress , select Memberships page and click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.

On the next page, enter a title for this particular membership plan and then provide the plan details in the post editor.

You will need to set the pricing and expiration for each plan under your membership terms section.

In the example above, we have created a yearly membership plan.

After that, scroll down to the membership options meta box below the post editor. This is where you can customize permissions and membership options for this particular plan.

Once you are satisfied with the membership plan, you can click on the publish button to make it available.

Repeat this process to create as many membership plans that you need.

Restrict Access for Membership Plans

The next step is to select which content would be available to different membership plans on your website. MemberPress makes it very easy to control access using ‘Rules’.

You can setup rules by visiting the MemberPress, goto Rules and clicking on the Add New.

The rule edit page allows you to select different conditions and associate for each membership plan.

For example, you can select all content that matches a particular tag or category to be available only to members with the silver subscription plan.

You can also create more specific rules. For example, a single post or page, child pages, or a specific URL.

Below the rules editor, you’ll see the content drip and expiration options.

Drip content allows you to gradually release content to users instead of giving it all away at once. The expiration option makes the content unavailable after a defined period of time.

If you are not sure, then you should leave them unchecked.

Once you are satisfied, go ahead and click on the ‘Save Rule’ button to save your rule settings.

Repeat the process to create more rules as needed for your membership site.

Adding Content For member

MemberPress makes it more easy to create members only content using Rules.

In the above example, I created a rule that restricted all content tagged as paid to be restricted. Now all we need to do is to create our paid content and add the paid tag to it.

MemberPress also adds ‘MemberPress Unauthorized Access’ metabox below the post editor. This allows you to select what logged out users (non-members) will see when they reach this content.

You can use the global default settings, or you can show excerpts, login form, or a custom message.

Once you have added members-only content, you can go ahead and publish it. As the page reloads, you will see a success message that this content is protected.

Create a Pricing Page

This is the page your users will see when they want to sign up for a membership plan. On this page, users will be able to select a membership plan and then move to the payment page.

Users who try to access the restricted or paid areas of your website will also be redirected to this page.

You can set this this by going to MemberPress, select Groups page and clicking on the Add New

First, enter a title for the group plan page. This will also be the title for the plans page that users will see.

Next, go down to ‘Group options’ metabox and add memberships that you want to display on the page.

You can also select a theme for the pricing table. MemberPress comes with few ready-made templates for that.

Once satisfied, click on the ‘Publish’ button to make your plan publicly visible.

To preview your pricing page, click on the ‘View Group’ link after publishing it.

Redirect Users to Pricing Page

Now that pricing page has been configured, the next step is to redirect unauthorized users to the pricing page.

To do that, first you need to visit MemberPress, click Groups page and copy the URL next to the group you created in the previous step.

After that, go to MemberPress » Options page and scroll down to the ‘Unauthorized Access’ section.

You need to check the box next to ‘Redirect unauthorized visitors to a specific URL’ option and then paste the group URL you copied earlier.

Click on the ‘Update Options’ button to save your settings.

Now unauthorized users will be redirected to the pricing plans page when they try to access a member only area.

Add Sign up and User Login Forms

Now that you have everything setup, it is time to allow your users to easily find their way around your website.

You need to add a user login form so that members can sign in to their accounts.

Go to Appearance, select Widgets and add ‘MemberPress login’ widget to a sidebar.

Next, we will be adding the pricing page link to the navigation menu, so that new users can select a plan and register.

You can do this by visiting the Appearance, click Menus  in your WordPress admin. From the left column, you need to click on the Groups tab to expand it. It will show the pricing plan group you created earlier.

Check the box next to your pricing page and then click on the ‘Add to menu’ button.

The pricing plan page will now appear in the right column. You can drag and drop to rearrange its position in the menu. You can also edit it and change the link text.

Don’t forget to click on the save menu button to store your changes.

You can now logout of the WordPress admin area and visit your website to see everything in action.

Check How to setup an ecommerce store on wordpress with woocommerce.

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