How to Create a Membership Site With WordPress?

When it comes to setting up a membership site, I strongly recommend to Create WordPress Membership Site instead of  a standalone site. Before, WordPress was just used as blogging platform until it evolved to be a powerful CMS.

The features you expect in a membership site like content management, security, SEO, etc. are all available in WordPress, making it perfect for  blogging and CMS.

Convert WordPress into Membership Site

Will it be an easy process to convert WordPress into a membership site? Yes. It is easier than you guess.

There is no need to add a code to create  WordPress Membership Site since there is a Best WordPress Membership plugin to do the setup. Here is where the WishList Member plugin comes.

WishList Member plugin (often it is called as WLM plugin ) currently is on version number 2.6. It has huge set of features now when compared to older versions of the WLM plugin.

Update: WishList Released newer version 2.7. New integrations with Icontact Autoresponder, 2Checkout Shopping Cart, Pay Per Post Feature, Custom Post Types etc. Download WishList Member version 2.7 now >>>>

WishList Member – What it can do?

Quick Navigation:

Protect content

Membership Level

Content Delivery

Payment Gateway

Auto Responder

Registration Process and Login Process

1. Protect Content

When I first used the WishList plugin version 2.3, it was able to protect only the posts, pages and categories. I wasn’t even able to protect media files. Especially I launched a membership site which had many video tutorials. So first I was bit disappointed. Because if someone knows my video URL then they can view it without paying a dime and membership access.

But that is not same now. Now WishList can protect anything uploaded inside your WordPress membership site. You can protect Posts, Pages, Categories, comments, Text, image, audio, video files, or whole core WordPress folders like wp-content, wp-uploads and files inside them. So you can protect everything or specifically something if you want.

You can create different levels of membership like free, gold, silver and provide different content access to different levels. All you have to do is, deciding what content for what membership level, using simple drop down options and ticking checkboxes. That’s all, So easy.

How to protect content in WLM Plugin?

Watch Video Tutorial on how does WordPress Content Protection with WishList Member Work  (search the wishlist products blog for this video tutorial)

2. Membership Levels

You can have unlimited membership levels. Basically every membership site admin wants to use this feature. A basic example of this – having free, silver, gold member levels. But you can name it as per your wish.

You can grant different content access to each membership levels. WishList helps us to do all that just inside the WordPress dashboard (search for this tutorial “hide and show features” in wishlist products blog). You may use different payment gateways for joining to different membership levels. You may integrate more than one payment gateway(shopping cart) with each membership level. You may assign a member to more than one level.

You can even manually move or add any specific member or all members from a membership level to another.You may sync different membership levels with your different email lists.

3. Content Delivery

If you want to drip the content in some intervals, then you can use the “sequential upgrade” option which can be setup using simple drop down options in the WishList dashboard. You can setup sequential upgrade in any period of days. Any additional plugin is not required to do the drip content setup.

Through Sequential feature, after a certain period of days, you can auto upgrade a member one level to another level in two ways. One is “Add” and another one is “Move”. If you setup “Add” option, member will be able to access his existing level content while the member enjoys current (newly upgraded to) level content. The “Move” option removes previous level content access and enables only the currently available level content.

4. Payment gateway

Membership Sites are the primary method to make money online nowadays. So a payment system comes necessary for us (Not necessary for setting up membership site with WishList. You may run a free membership site using WishList Member plugin without any payment system).

As of now WishList integrates with Paypal, 1ShoppingCart, Clickbank, infusionsoft, Cydec, Premium Web Cart, RedOak Cart and 2Checkout . The integration process for any of above shoppingcart providers can be setup by filling up nearly couple of datas like access keys.

So there is no coding knowledge needed. All you have to do is, just open up your shoppingcart login and do the steps mentioned in the WordPress WishList dashboard.

Integration with payment gateways happens in “full” not “simple” that means when a member pays through gateway , he is added inside WishList as a member (this happens even in “simple” integration) and if the member later cancels his payment in shopping cart provider then WishList Member automatically gets to know it and cancels his membership (this happens only if it is a “full” integration).

Don’t stare at the differences between simple and full integration because you have nothing to do with them. Just you have to make sure whether your preferred payment gateway is in WishList official site’s list of payment processors. If WishList plugin lists one shopping cart name in their site, then it means that it integrates in full.

5. AutoResponders

Aweber, Mailchimp, GetResponse, Autoresponse Plus, Infusionsoft, Interspire Email Marketer – all integrates “full” in WishList. The full Integration means same like above I mentioned. If a member get cancelled from his membership, then he even now be cancelled from the mailing list too.

Different membership levels can be integrated with different email lists. For example, you can join silver membership level members with the list named “silverlist” and gold membership level members with the another email list named “Goldlist”. By this way, you can send different emails, autoresponders for each list.

Watch Video Tutorials for WordPress Member Level Integration with Aweber, MailChimp.

6. Registration and Login Processes:

Custom Registration Forms in Wishlist Member PluginClick on Image to see it in Full Size

As of now, you can customize the registration forms inside the WordPress WishList dashboard. Prior versions not had this feature. Now you can add different fields as you do normally in contact form setups and now you can customize the look of the registration form.

Unlike other WordPress Membership plugins, registration form appears immediately after the payment done. Other membership site plugins and scripts do this registration step before the payment done.

Having the registration form before the payment step reduces the conversion rate and also it adds more garbage data inside our database when many visitors filling the form but not willing to complete the payment process.

Login widgets can be used in your site sidebars or you may even use a separate login page which is similar to the WordPress admin login page. You may also customize the WordPress login page through coding.

If you want to know more about WishList Member Plugin then check this post on “WishList Member Server requirements and License types“.

Hope my this post on how to Create A WordPress Membership Site helps you. Provide a star rating below and Share your needs or issues in comments below.

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  • lctrocio September 22, 2011, 3:54 PM

    this is awesome! i like this very much. thank you for the information about wishlist. you are such a very good tutor. i hope to integrate wishlist in my website soon. thank you very much, four blogger.

    • FourBlogger October 8, 2011, 1:35 PM

      Thanks for your expressing your interest on my post. I am really happy that it helps to many. More will be coming.

      Thanks, Pascal.

  • Mathew December 11, 2011, 2:32 PM

    Great stuff FourBlogger. Exactly the information that I needed to commence my membership site that I have been telling myself would be too difficult. Looking forward to modifying my current WP site. Thank you.

    • Pascal December 12, 2011, 6:46 PM

      Thanks Mathew for stopping by here. I am glad that you found this “Create WordPress Membership Site” tutorial useful. Hope you will love the WL Member plugin.