How to Setup a Membership Site with WordPress & MemberPress
MemberPress is an impressive tool that will give you the ability to turn your WordPress website into a fully fledged membership site. This premium plugin is an ideal choice for those who are wanting to create a successful online membership business. But is it the right solution for you?
In this article, we will consider the features that MemberPress (one of the best WordPress membership plugins) offers. We will then look at how to set up the basics of this advanced plugin, and turn your WordPress website into a useable membership site. So let’s get started…
Features of MemberPress
MemberPress is a premium WordPress plugin that works with any WordPress theme. Its primary feature is that it allows you to convert your website into a membership site. By hiding content and setting up membership subscriptions, you can charge visitors to access your posts and pages.
Easy to Set Up
MemberPress is intuitive. This makes it quick and easy to set up and use. Quickly create membership plans and subscription forms, integrate with payment gateways of your choice, add registration and login links to your site’s menu, produce attractive comparison tables, and much more.
Ideal for Beginners and Developers
MemberPress works straight out of the box, with a straightforward setup that makes it ideal for beginners. However, MemberPress also includes a large number of actions and filters. This makes it a great choice for those advanced users who want to customize their membership site to exact specifications.
MemberPress gives you full control over your membership plans. Choose the price of each membership, add billing preferences, and create a trial period, to name a few options. Then create rules to hide content, and allow certain pieces of content to be displayed on particular membership plans.
Seamless Payment Gateway Integration
MemberPress accepts payments by integrating with all the big payment gateway providers. Choose from Paypal Standard, Pro or Express Checkout, Stripe, Authorize.net, or offline payments. You can also add more than one payment gateway if you wish.
The documentation provided with MemberPress is thorough, using a combination of instructional text and video. So if you become stuck, you can quickly re-find your way.
MemberPress boasts a range of other impressive features and functionalities. These include:
- Beautiful Pricing Tables
- Email Integration with all Major Marketing Providers
- Integration with BuddyPress
- Content Dripping
- Discount Coupons
- Member Management
- Analytics Reporting
As you can see, MemberPress offers an impressive list of features. We will now have a look at how to get started with the MemberPress plugin, so you can turn your WordPress website into a successful membership site…
How to Install the MemberPress WordPress Plugin
To get started purchase the MemberPress plugin from the MemberPress website. Then, from within your MemberPress account, simply download the plugin to your computer.
Open your WordPress website and select ‘Plugins > Add New’.
Click on ‘Upload Plugin > Choose file’, and select the MemberPress plugin from your saved files. Click ‘Install Plugin > Activate’. You will now find ‘MemberPress’ has been added to your WordPress dashboard menu.
Select ‘MemberPress > Activate’. This will take you to the ‘Activation Page’ where you will need to add your activation key. Then select ‘Activate Licence Key’.
Your MemberPress plugin is now installed and activated.
Configure the MemberPress Plugin
The next step is to configure your MemberPress plugin. In your WordPress menu select ‘MemberPress > Options’. Here you can configure the plugin to suit your WordPress membership site’s needs.
There are numerous tabs on the ‘Options’ page. Let’s have a look at a few of the most important ones…
Under ‘Pages’ you can customize your basic MemberPress pages. The ‘Reserved Pages’ are essential pages and must be set. These include the ‘thank you’ page, ‘login’ page and ‘account’ page.
You can select ‘Auto Create New Page’ if you would like MemberPress to automatically create the pages for you. Otherwise, you can design and select your own pages for use from the drop down menu.
Once you have made necessary changes, select ‘ Update Options’.
The ‘Accounts’ area allows you to customize member information. Here you can select the options you would like for your user’s accounts. You can also add a welcome message for members, that will be displayed at the top of their account page.
The ‘Fields’ tab will let you create custom fields for your sign up form, and accounts page. Collect information about your members including their name, address, email, birthday, and much more.
The ‘Payments’ tab is where you can add the payment gateways of your choice. As mentioned earlier, MemberPress can be integrated with numerous payment providers. Simply click on the ‘+’ icon, and then specify the payment gateways you want to add to your membership site.
There are an assortment of email types you can send out to your members. Select the ‘Emails’ tab. Then simply choose the email types that will suit your WordPress website.
Click on ‘Edit’ to customize each email. Then send a test email to check that each email type is suitable and of a high quality. Here you can also select which email types you would like admin to receive.
Once you have configured the ‘Options’, you are ready to get started setting up the rest of your MemberPress site.
Set Up Membership Plans
To set up membership plans on your website, select ‘MemberPress > Memberships’ from your WordPress menu. Click on ‘Add New’, located at the top of the page. Then give your membership plan a name (here I have called it Premium).
Under ‘Membership Terms’, on the right-hand side of the page, you can select the price of the plan, whether you want it to be a one off payment or a recurring payment, add a trial period option, and lots more.
Further down the page, you can customize the ‘Membership Options’ section. Here you can alter the text on the registration button, add a custom thank you message, set rules for who can access the membership plan, as well as much more.
Once you are happy with your settings, publish the Membership page. Then log out of your WordPress account to view the page, or open the page incognito. You will now see the default membership signup form for the membership plan you have just created.
If you want to alter your membership pages, you can use any page templates available in your theme. Simply select a ‘Custom Page Template’, located on the right-hand side of your editor in the membership page you are working on.
After creating your first membership plan, you can keep adding more by simply clicking ‘Add New’. Use shortcode, found under ‘Membership Options’, to add the signup form to any page or post on your WordPress website.
Create Rules for Your Membership Plans
Once you have created the different plans you need for your membership site, you need to set the rules for each plan. Setting the rules allows you to hide content from non-subscribers, and select which content types will be available on each plan.
To get started, select ‘MemberPress > Rules’ from the WordPress menu. Then choose ‘Add New’. An ‘Add New Rule’ page will now be displayed.
Under ‘Rule Options’ you can choose what content you would like to protect from non-paying members. Here you can hide all content, different posts, pages, content categories or tags, or choose from many other options.
You can then give access to this content to members who have purchased particular plans. Click ‘Save Rule’ and then create as many rules as necessary to cater for your different plan types.
Add a Registration Link to Your Site’s Menu
Once all your membership plans are completely setup, you should add a registration link to your website’s menu to make it easy for your visitors to become subscribers.
Select ‘Appearance > Menus’ in your WordPress menu, or open the ‘Customizer > Menus’ on the front end of your site. Here you will notice there is now a ‘Memberships’ option. Select your plans and then click on ‘Add to Menu’. Change the ‘Navigation Label’ if you wish, then select ‘Save Menu’.
Your menu will now display links to your different membership plans.
Add a Login Link to Your Membership Site’s Menu
To add a login link to your membership site’s menu, MemberPress recommends downloading the free WordPress plugin BAW Login-Logout.
Install this plugin on your WordPress website and then open ‘Appearance > Menu’. You will now find ‘Login/logout links v1.3.3’ added to your menu items. Select ‘login/logout’ and then ‘Add to Menu > Save Menu’.
Click on ‘MemberPress > Options’ from the WordPress menu. Click on the ‘Account’ tab, and under ‘Login and Logout’ select ‘Force WordPress to use the MemberPress login page’.
This will ensure that WordPress opens the BAW plugin membership login page. Members can now log in to their account on your site and access the premium content they have purchased.
Final Thoughts on MemberPress
This advanced plugin offers an (almost) endless list of features, making it ideal for any type of membership site. In this article, we have only covered the basics of getting started with MemberPress. However, by just following the steps above, you will be able to create a working membership site that will hide content from non-subscribers, enable visitors to sign up to membership plans, and generate revenue for your WordPress website.
Once you have completed these first few stages to get your membership site setup, you can then produce attractive comparison tables, add coupons, track transactions and subscriptions, setup an affiliate program, monitor analytics, and much much more. So if you are looking to create a successful membership plugin, then MemberPress may well be the WordPress plugin for your project.
Does MemberPress sound like the best membership plugin for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…
Looks pretty neat. I’ve have done a few websites with PaidMemberships Pro and have added a lot of customization in my child functions to make it as robust as possible. It would be cool to compare functionality and which one is most robust. Of course using the Total theme has made my life much easier making membership websites 😎
Great theme choice <3 And I've never tried PaidMemberships Pro - I'll have a look and see if a review/comparison is something we could add to our schedule