Do you want to create a membership site? We’ll show you how to create a robust end-to-end online learning platform in this detailed post.
If part of your goal is to convert existing visitors on your website into paying customers by offering access to learning opportunities and some other exclusive information, then keep reading.
Communities like churches, schools, and other institutions can have a membership site to teach new topics, offer digital downloads, award free certificates after completing online courses, and much more.
Whatever your goal is, you can achieve it by creating either an entire membership website or a membership section on your existing WordPress site to carry out all forms of gated content activities.
So are you ready to start your membership site? Let’s get started!
- What Is A Membership Site Or A Website?
- Why Create a Membership Site?
- What Can I Do With A Membership Site?
- Introducing MemberPress
- Benefits of Using MemberPress
- How to Create A Membership Site With MemberPress
- FAQs on how to create a membership site using MemberPress
What Is A Membership Site Or A Website?
A membership site is an online platform that offers exclusive information access to its users or visitors regularly in exchange for a subscription fee for a certain period.
Usually, new website visitors and existing customers are persuaded to sign up (either for free or for a fee) to access important information that is not meant for the general public.
Users are often charged monthly, quarterly, or yearly membership subscriptions depending on the type of content offered by publishers or bloggers.
Why Create a Membership Site?
Content creators and other small business owners oftentimes feel the need to restrict some information on their websites to the general public or visitors. The major reason for this idea is content monetization, hence, the need for them to set up a gated content system.
What Can I Do With A Membership Site?
As a content creator, you can do a whole lot with a membership site such as:
- Offer online courses in any expert field, for example, a parenting website, music band site, nutrition site, and so on.
- Give online shoppers VIP access to exclusive content after purchase.
- Create and monetize online discussion forums for your memberships.
- Create and monetize private podcasts.
- Connect LIVE with your fans turned subscribers for live shows, events, webinars, etc.
- Offer your paid memberships access to downloadable files such as music, videos, etc.
With a richly-built membership site, there’s no limitation to achieving the best content monetization practices. Having known this, let’s move on to how to create your desired membership site.
There are some membership plugins in the WordPress repository, but we will be recommending the most popular membership plugin, which is – MemberPress.
MemberPress is an all-in-one membership software and a WordPress plugin for creating membership sites that accept credit cards securely, sell online courses, control who sees your content, sell digital downloads, and much more, all without the difficult setup.
MemberPress works in conjunction with the most popular CMS tool – WordPress, for creating all types of websites. In other words, you can successfully create a membership site on a new or existing WordPress site because of its easy integrations.
Currently, the MemberPress plugin is used by thousands of successful WordPress-based membership sites. Start an online course or membership site with MemberPress. Say goodbye to the 9-5, and say hello to the freedom of being your boss!
If you’re looking to build a business out of your membership site by creating paid memberships, there’s no better way than to use MemberPress.
Benefits of Using MemberPress
There are numerous benefits attached to using MemberPress for creating a full-fledged, money-making membership site. MemberPress lets you achieve the following;
- Start charging your subscribers for subscription fees before accessing exclusive or gated contents.
- Create, manage and track membership subscriptions.
- Supports third-party integrations like email newsletters, CRM tools, payment gateways etc.
- Sell digital downloads and other products with ease.
- Powerful access rules – which allows you to protect your content and restrict access to some pages on your website.
- Easily build and sell online courses with built-in LMS features.
- Send great reminders to users increase signup rates and boost revenue.
- Run promotions with coupons and giveaways to grow your membership site.
- Build premium community forums seamlessly with BBPress, BuddyPress etc.
- Integrate seamlessly with popular WordPress LMS software – LearnDash.
- Create simple pricing pages for your membership products with no CSS or HTML code required.
- WordPress theme compatibility – Use MemberPress on any WordPress theme.
- Content dripping features.
- Regular updates and security features.
- 24/7 customer support.
Now that you have seen all MemberPress’ benefits, it’s time you learn how to download, install and activate the membership plugin.
How to Create A Membership Site With MemberPress
Creating a membership site with MemberPress is pretty simple. However, there are some steps to carry out:
If you are starting from scratch, first, you will need to have a WordPress site setup. We recommend you use Hostgator or Bluehost to build your WordPress website. Refer to this detailed guide in creating your WordPress website. If you already have an existing WordPress site, then proceed to the next step.
Once that is done, the next step is to download MemberPress by creating an account. MemberPress doesn’t have a free WordPress plugin. What you will find in the WordPress repository is the Members plugin, which can’t be used for monetization purposes if your main goal is to make money with your membership site.
Pricing: Note at this stage, you will be required to subscribe to a MemberPress package to enable you to download the premium plugin to your WordPress site. The minimum premium package costs $149 per year for a single site and a 14-day trial period. If you aren’t satisfied during this period, you can request a refund.
1. Install MemberPress on Your WordPress Site
After purchasing your desired MemberPress package, you can log in to MemberPress and download the zip file for the plugin. Next, follow these simple steps to install and activate MemberPress. It only takes a minute!
- Login to the WordPress dashboard on your site
- Head to Plugins >> Add New >> Upload
- Choose the memberpress.zip file you downloaded earlier
- Click “Install Now“
- Insert your activation key and click “Activate Plugin“
Once MemberPress is activated, now use this menu to configure your membership site.
2. Create a Course on Your Membership Site With MemberPress
Once the MemberPress is installed and activated, head over to Memberships >> Add New and create your first membership course.
Say, for example, you can name it Premium, and then tag the price for $39.99 in the price section. After that, you go ahead and set your membership terms in the right-hand section, such as Billing options and content access to either yearly, quarterly, or monthly.
You can add trial period as well. This convinces your members whether your course is worth the price or right for them to take or not.
These settings are dependent on the type and model of courses, you are offering to your members. Once you are through with the course setup, then click publish to go live.
The next phase will be to set up rules to protect your premium content. You can create different types of rules for your type of content with ease such as video pages, articles, posts, and so on.
For more details, check out how to set up rules for protecting your membership site content.
3. Add Membership Course To Your WordPress Menu
It’s pretty simple to add your membership courses to your WordPress site menu for easy access by your members. In your WordPress dashboard, simply visit the Appearance >> Menus section. This takes you to the menus dashboard as seen below.
Once you are there, scroll down to where you will see your membership courses you’ve created. Tick and add them to the list of menus. You can also edit their label names with whatever names you want and click the save button..
4. Add User Login And Registration Details to My Membership Site
Now that you’ve created your membership course and protected your content with rules, next is to add user login details to your membership site for easy access by your subscribers or members.
MemberPress makes it easier to add login and registration details for easy access to your membership site menu area. You can set up unauthorized access for your courses and redirect them to the login and registration page.
To do that, first, you will need a Login / Logout WordPress plugin installed on your WordPress site. You can skip this part If your WordPress theme already has login and logout page options.
To verify if your login and reg page details are working, simply log out from your WordPress admin site, and visit your front-end site to carry out a sample registration, or test signup.
Immediately that’s done, log out from the sample test registration and head back to your admin dashboard to log in and check your MemberPress new subscription for the test signup.
There you go! Your new membership site with MemberPress is ready!
Start exploring more ways to grow your business as you learn how to create, manage and monetize a rich membership site on your WordPress website.
If you’re stuck on the way while creating any part of your membership site, reach out to us for help. Or better still, hire a website expert for a complete setup.