Do you have a WordPress website you want to turn into a membership site? Having a membership site gives you the freedom to create high-quality content people are willing to pay for. It also lets you restrict this content from non-registered users, increasing both its appeal and value.
But starting a membership site is not an easy task, especially if you don’t have the right WordPress membership plugin on hand to help guide you through the entire process.
That’s why today we’re going to take an in-depth look at one of the best membership plugins in the market – MemberPress – and show you how having the right plugin can make a world of difference in the success of your membership site.
So, let’s get started!
Why Create a WordPress Membership Site?
Beyond the obvious answer, which is to make more money online, creating a membership site offers several other benefits:
- Establish Yourself As An Expert: chances are you have a lot of useful knowledge that can be passed onto others interested in your niche, field, or industry. By running a membership site, you have the opportunity to showcase your expertise. And by charging people for the very best content you have, you establish yourself as a well-known authority.
- Build a Loyal Following: if you create value for your members, they’ll be sure to spread the word about you. This social proof is essential if you want to grow your business and generate more revenue.
- Build a Bigger Email List: you get to collect emails from all your members. Not only are these emails helpful in relaying members-only information, they can be used to promote everything else you have to offer.
As you can see, there are many reasons to create a WordPress membership site. Now, let’s see how MemberPress can help you achieve your goals!
MemberPress: An Overview
MemberPress is an easy to use WordPress membership plugin that lets you create, manage, and track membership subscriptions. Plus, it lets you securely receive payments from members, whether they are one-off payments or recurring subscriptions.
It integrates seamlessly with your WordPress website, so the learning curve is small if you’re familiar with the popular WordPress content management system. This also means you can easily add additional WordPress plugins to complement your membership site. For instance, you can create a forum or social community, sell products from a WooCommerce shop, and even provide non-members blog content in an effort to convert them into paying members.
Top Features of MemberPress
1. Easy Membership Settings
Setting up MemberPress is a cinch. The first thing you’ll need to do is create a MemberPress account and download the premium plugin for use on your site.
After the plugin is installed and activated on your site, you can configure all of the plugin’s settings.
Pages: customize thank you, account, login, and even group pages here.
Account: configure member information like permissions, registration, login/logout, and account page welcome messages.
Fields: enable or disable fields and configure fields on both membership registration forms and user account pages.
Payments: configure payment settings for your membership site. MemberPress currently accepts PayPal Standard, PayPal Express Checkout, Authorize.net (AIM & ARB), and Stripe.
Emails: configure the name and email address that both admin and members will see when they receive emails.
Marketing: manage and control your email accounts and mailing lists. MemberPress is compatible with more than 10 email marketing services such as Mailchimp, AWeber, and Drip.
Info: add all of your company’s information such as name and address.
General: define your language code and currency, theme compatibility, SEO and paywall, rewrite rules, and background jobs.
The neat thing about the SEO & Paywall section is that you can authorize search engines like Google to index and rank your protected content, which is a great SEO boost. You can also enable non-members as many free views as you want.
Taxes: enable or disable tax calculations and manage the settings.
Want to tap into any one of the third-party plugins or tools that work seamlessly with MemberPress? Go to MemberPress > Add-ons and instantly install and activate any number of add-ons to help you with your membership site.
2. Intuitive Membership Creation
Once MemberPress’ settings have been configured, it’s time to create a membership. The interface for creating memberships is very similar to the WordPress content editor.
Here you’ll give your membership a name, add some text, and define the Membership Terms, which include the price, billing type, and payment interval. You’ll also have the chance to provide a free or discounted trial period for new members.
If you scroll down the page, you’ll find the Membership Options section where you can:
- Define the registration CTA button text
- Enable a welcome email
- Customize payment methods
- Determine who can purchase a membership (and create a no permissions message)
- Customize the price box
- Enable comments, trackbacks, and pingbacks
When you’re done, click Publish. Then, go to MemberPress > Memberships to manage all the memberships you’ve created.
3. Advanced Access Rules
After creating memberships, it’s time to set the access rules. MemberPress allows you to restrict access to everything: pages, posts, custom post types, categories, tags, and nearly every other type of file you can think of.
To define the access rules, go to MemberPress > Rules and click Add New. You’ll then see a a drop down menu for choosing the type of content to restrict as well as the access conditions. The access conditions must be met in order for a site visitor to view the content on your site.
For the above example, we restrict a single blog post title “Example Blog Post” from all site visitors except those with a Gold membership.
You can define the rule even further by restricting access from everyone but members with a certain membership level and a certain name.
As you scroll down, you’ll notice an Unauthorized Access section that lets you define the unauthorized messages. In other words, anytime someone that doesn’t meet the access rules conditions tries to view your restricted membership content, they’ll see this:
You also have the option to display the login form for members that meet the rules and want to log in.
4. Content Dripping
One of the best features found in MemberPress is content dripping.
Found in the Rules section, this feature lets you allow access to restricted content after a certain amount of time. This forces members to continue to come to your website over time and helps encourage more membership subscriptions. After all, people will want in on whatever content is coming in the future.
You can also set an expiration date and restrict access to the content after a certain number of days.
Part of purchasing a membership to any website is making sure you always stay subscribed and up to date with payment. That’s why MemberPress makes it easy for website owners to send out reminders to members in the case of a membership expiration, renewal, or failed attempt to sign up.
In the Reminders section, you can define the following:
- Number of days before to send out reminder
- Reason for sending – end of subscription, credit card expiration, etc.
- Who to send reminders to (member and/or admin)
- Specific memberships
You can automate reminder emails using custom or the default messages. In doing so, you can gain more members and retain existing ones.
Another neat thing you can do with your membership site when you use MemberPress is run promotions and provide people with coupons.
MemberPress allows you to generate unlimited coupons, customize the coupon codes, and control their expiration dates and number of uses.
You can also decide how many times a coupon code can be used and restrict the membership types the coupon code can be used on.
If you have more than one membership level and want people to be able to quickly view and compare the levels, you can create a MemberPress Group.
This feature allows you to give potential members a snapshot of the various memberships that you offer. It also gives people an easy way to upgrade or downgrade thanks to the MemberPress Change Plan popup.
With the Change Plan popup, you give existing members a way to easily change their plan up or down.
This streamlines the user experience and gives people an easy way to make account changes without a lot of hassle.
MemberPress makes it easy for you to tell what’s going on with your membership site with an advanced reporting dashboard.
To start, you can get a quick view of:
- Active members
- Inactive members
- Total members
- Total WP users
- Active free members
- Active paid members
- Average lifetime value
You can track membership activity based on months, years, or all time and even refine your tracking results to specific memberships you offer. In addition, you can see transaction data to get an idea how well you’re doing financially because of your membership site.
If you need these reports to share with your team or to keep for you own records, MemberPress will let you export the data as a CSV.
Support, Documentation, and Pricing
MemberPress is a premium plugin that comes with exceptional customer support, as it should. You can get in touch with an expert via the support ticket system during regular business hours. The team behind MemberPress tell us that customers can expect responses within 1-2 business days.
If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, there is an extensive knowledge base for getting started, using advanced features, or troubleshooting.
As for pricing, there are three tiers to choose from.
The Basic plan is $149/year and is good for use on one website. The Plus plan is $249/year and is good for up to two sites. Lastly, the Pro plan is $349/year and s good on up to 5 websites.
There’s also a 100% money-back guarantee – no questions asked – if you don’t like MemberPress for any reason.
As there you have it! Everything the WordPress membership plugin MemberPress has to offer people looking to start a membership site.
There’s a lot to do when it comes to creating premium restricted content on your WordPress website. But it can be a whole lot easier when you have a solution that’s designed to make it simple, intuitive, and just plain user-friendly, like MemberPress does. With features like content dripping, advanced access rules, and detailed reporting for tracking your success, you simply can’t go wrong with a full-fledged membership plugin like MemberPress.