Membership websites are immensely popular these days. However, instead of going with expensive software to create membership websites, you have to go with WordPress. WordPress is so versatile that you can create a membership website using the CMS. You can restrict the content which you want and similarly create as many membership levels as you wish. It simplifies the process of creating a membership website.
Today, we will share with you the complete guide to create a membership website with the help of WordPress CMS and the best membership plugins that it has to offer. Let us first help you understand what exactly constitutes a membership website so that you can understand the procedure better.
What does a membership website constitute?
A WordPress membership website enables users to register on your website and view the content through the dashboard. Once they sign up to your website, they can easily select the membership level and pay accordingly. It means that you can easily create a hierarchical membership, which allows you to monetize your audience. While membership websites can be of plenty of different types, but in general, the WordPress membership websites fulfill at least one of these qualifications:
- They restrict the content if you're not a member. Members have access to more content.
- They require you to register to become a member. In many cases, they need you to pay as well to complete the registration process.
- The members have their profile, which they can customize according to the requirement.
- They have a community for the members to discuss relevant topics.
If you want to create a membership website, it is essential to fulfill at least one of these qualifications. Fortunately, there are some plugins which help you not only in fulfilling these qualifications, but also making it easy for you to create a membership website.
The best thing about WordPress is that with the help of suitable plugins, you can create not only a membership website to sell digital products, information but also physical ones. It makes it much easier for you to monetize the products and services which you have on offer. When you want to create such a website, you will need a suitable membership plugin. Before we highlight the three steps to create a membership website using WordPress CMS, we will share with you the plugins which you can use.
Which are the best plugins you can use to create a membership website using WordPress?
Many of these plugins allow you to restrict the content. They even facilitate the creation of different membership levels so that it becomes easy for you to monetize your audience. However, instead of choosing just about any plugin, you can go to the three plugins which we will highlight below.
1. Membership & Content restriction:
The plugin, which we are highlighting now as the name suggests, is suitable for restricting content access. It also allows you to create multiple membership plans. There are subscription plans as well, which means that you can monetize your visitors regularly. The best advantage of these plugins is that it can integrate with WooCommerce, which allows you to sell physical products. You can easily customize the restrictions to monetize the content in a much better way. Also, the navigation process and the installation process are quite simple. Hence; it is such a popular choice.
Wp-Members is another plugin which you can use to restrict access to your website. With the help of dedicated tools, you can create landing pages and signup forms on your website. Due to this very reason, the entire navigation of your membership website is smooth.
This plugin allows you to restrict to various types of content on your website like:
Also, it can help you increase the conversion rate of your website by showing the snippets of content to your visitors. The visitors can then sign up for the appropriate membership level, which means that you will be able to monetize them easily. After signing up on completing the payment process, they can get access to that content almost instantly. It is entirely automated, which means that you will not have to intervene.
With the help of further add-ons, it is easy for you to manage the membership levels and also their account. It provides you with a full-fledged admin panel, which makes the entire task simple for you.
3. Simple Membership:
Simple membership is also a popular plugin. The first step which you need to do is to restrict the content access using this plugin. Once you do so, it is easy to lure new members. Also, it can provide you with customization options for different membership levels and accounts. It means that you can create virtually unlimited membership types.
It allows you to assign a role to each user if you wish to do so. This feature is beneficial when you want to provide access to your staff to the website. You can easily assign them the role of admin or a subscriber. There are many other hierarchies in between which means that you can easily outsource the management of your website once you use this plugin. That is why; it is such an accessible and easy to use the plugin.
Using this plugin, not only you can restrict partial access to your website, but also complete one as well. It means that there is complete control of the content which you want to offer to your visitors and members. With the choice of user account profiles and content restriction process, it is easy to use this plugin to create your very own membership website.
Before moving further, you need to choose the best wordpress membership plugin among these three options. Once you do so, it becomes easy for you to create a membership website using the three steps below. Yes, you read it right. Below, we will explain in 3 simple steps how to create your very own membership website. You don't need to go through an elaborate procedure or complicated customization to create your website.
3 Steps to create a membership website:
The three-step guide which we will share with you now is about the Membership & Content Restriction Plug-in. It is an easy to use plugin. It not only helps you in content restriction, but also introducing the subscription facility on your website. That is why; it is such an easy plugin to work with. Also, before you start with the three-step tutorial below, it is better to activate SSL on your website. The three steps which can help you create a membership website include:
1. Activate user registration:
WordPress has a user registration feature. However, by default, this setting is de-active. Before you can progress with the plugin, it is essential to activate this setting. It is present in the Settings > General tab. You have to activate the option; anyone can register. After doing so, you have to click on the save settings button. Only once you enable this setting, you can go ahead and create membership plans for your website.
2. Creating subscription plans:
Once you have finished the installation of the plugin, it is crucial to set up the subscription plans. The new tab which will open up after the installation of the plugin will allow you to set up subscription plans under the paid membership subscriptions tab. When you visit the subscription plans section, it would be empty by default. You have to click on the add new button to create the subscription plans.
The advantage of this plugin is that for each subscription plan, you can enter a name and description. Once you do so, it is easy to identify the subscription plans. The description of the subscription plans will be visible to the users as well, and that is why; you have to ensure that you are as detailed as possible. It will help the users decipher different subscription plans.
While entering the description of the subscription plan, some of the things which you should include:
- Features, which differentiate the subscription plans
- Exact inclusions
- Level of support on offer
Once you include these three the details, then, it is essential to choose the subscription cycle. The plugin allows you to input the subscription cycle in terms of days, weeks, months, and years. If you set it to 0, the plugin will assume that it is an unlimited subscription. Thus, you have the option to customize the subscription duration precisely as per your requirements.
Since you can set the subscription duration in weeks or months or yearly, long-term subscriptions are possible as well. Most membership websites provide a hefty discount on long term memberships. It means that with the help of long term memberships, it is easy to lure the members. It will help you maximize the revenue from your website as well.
Once you click the save button, your subscription plan will be saved. After that, you can follow the same procedure to create more subscription plans. If you want to create a single subscription plan or if the process of creating the subscription plans is over, you have to visit the Paid Member Subscriptions › Settings › Payments Tab. In this tab, you can easily integrate the payment gateway.
The plugin offers PayPal payments by default. You will have to enter your PayPal address, and the plugin will easily configure other things. Once you integrate the payment solution, every time a subscriber signs up, they will have to complete the payment process to gain access to the content. It means that in terms of the membership process, you will not have to do anything else. The next step will highlight how you can restrict the content so that you can attract new members to your membership website.
3. Restricting the content:
The plugin which we are talking about allowing you to restrict not only posts but also pages. You have to click the edit option for the page or post you want to restrict. Below, you will find a new widget by the name of content restriction, which now appears. There, you can limit the content to either the logged in users or the specific subscribers according to their hierarchy.
The plugin will provide you with the subscriber types which you created in the last step to restrict the content. You can easily choose the subscription plan as per your requirement. As a result, complete customization of restrictions is also possible. You can select multiple user types according to the hierarchy. It means that you can create a proper hierarchy of content access according to the membership types or according to the cost of membership.
The plugin also allows you to add the custom message for the visitors to see when they try to view the restricted content. If you wish to do that, you have to click on the enable custom message options. Once you turn it on, there will be a box which will allow you to type the message which you want the visitors to see. It means that once the pages or the posts are restricted, the visitors will see that message. The message which you input will be directly responsible for the conversions which you get. So, it is a good idea to put a proper call to action and explain the entire process for reviewing the content.
You can put a different message for every page or post which you restrict. It means that you can put a relevant message which allows you to increase the conversion rate significantly.
So, if you want to create a membership website using WordPress, these are the three simple steps which you need to follow. With the help of these three simple steps, you can get your membership website up and running. The advantage is that you can monetize your website in no time.
Using different subscription levels, you can scale up your revenue, which will help you invest even more in content and marketing. With the help of such membership websites, it is easy to create a proper business model from a regular website. Since these are WordPress plugins, there is no need to change your CMS or modify your website drastically. You need to install a plugin, and you're good to go with the help of our guide above.