Video membership site guide
If you want to have a members-only video subscription offering on your site so you can share your passion with your audience and drive revenue for your business—you’re in the right place!
How to build a video membership site
- Set up a WordPress website.
- Install Memberful on your site.
- Choose a video hosting platform.
- Create your plans.
- Add purchase links and marketing content.
- Restrict access for members only.
- Embed videos on protected WordPress posts.
- Add membership account management links.
- Connect to Stripe.
Some terms you should be familiar with:
- WordPress.org is software you use to create a website; hosting is not included.
- WordPress.com is a commercial company that uses the WordPress.org software, but provides hosting. Memberful only works with the WordPress.com Business Plan.
- A WordPress theme is a template you add to your website to set the design and layout.
- Web hosting is a service that stores your website on the internet.
- SSL establishes an encrypted link between your website and a web browser to ensure data passed between them remains private.
Set up a WordPress website
If you're new to WordPress, check out our WordPress website quick start guide.
We also recommend using an SSL certificate on your WordPress website. Memberful signs WordPress users into your WordPress website, and if you're not using SSL, that information is less secure. All our recommended WordPress hosting providers support easy SSL certificate installation.
Sign up and install Memberful on your website
You can also upgrade to the Pro plan for free in test payment mode: Navigate to Account → Plans and billing from your Memberful dashboard.
Choose a video hosting platform
A video hosting platform is the home for all your bandwidth intensive videos. Wistia and Vimeo (Vimeo PRO or Vimeo Business) are two great options. Both platforms offer plenty of customization options, HD videos, and reliable playback. They also provide you with the option to restrict video embedding to specific websites.
Follow these steps to get started with Wistia:
- Upload your videos to your Wistia account.
- Configure your Wistia account and customize your video player.
- (Important!) Enable domain restrictions.
Follow these steps to get started with Vimeo:
- Upload your videos to your Vimeo account.
- Customize your Vimeo video player.
- (Important!) Configure your Vimeo privacy settings and be sure to enable the Only on sites I choose embedding option.
Step 3 is important because it restricts the embedding of your Wistia or Vimeo videos to your domain. This ensures your members-only videos stay private.
Create your plans
Login to the Memberful dashboard, navigate to the Plans tab, and click the New Plan button. We recommend that you offer at least one monthly plan and one yearly plan.
Thinking of selling multiple plans? Learn how to set up Plan Groups.
Tip: We don’t recommend dripping content. For example, if your membership will include exactly 10 videos, create a Lifetime plan, which has a one-time fee.
Add purchase links and marketing content
Once you've installed the plugin and connected to Memberful, you'll see a Memberful: Restrict Access meta box at the bottom of every page and post. Use this box to define which plan members can access each page or post.
The editor to the right of the Memberful: Restrict Access meta box is shown to anyone without access. This is where you should add your purchase link(s) and marketing content. You could even embed a few teaser videos in this section!
Here are two options to add a purchase link to your site:
- Option 1: Click the Memberful button in the WordPress editor. Click Buy Plan from the dropdown menu. Specify Plan to subscribe to and Link text (e.g. Become a member - $10/month), and click OK.
- Option 2: Copy (ctrl/cmd + c) the raw HTML link from the Plan Settings page in your Memberful dashboard. Use it with the button options provided by your WordPress theme. Read how to create buttons with the Make theme.
If you’re not ready to create your own plan, you can add a purchase link for our Sample Plan on any WordPress page. View the page, click the link, and checkout using our test credit card data. Then, sign in to your Memberful dashboard to view the purchase!
Restrict access for members only
In the editor above the Memberful: Restrict Access meta box, add a “thank you” message for the members who purchased the plan and let them know what to do next. Then restrict access to this message for members only via the Memberful: Restrict Access meta box.
If you want members to be redirected to a different page on your site after their purchase, you can specify a redirect URL in your plan settings.
Embed videos on protected WordPress posts
Now it’s time to get your videos loaded onto your website. We recommend that you embed each video as a new post.
- Wistia instructions: Embed videos on protected WordPress posts.
- Vimeo instructions: Embed videos on protected WordPress posts.
You can add marketing text for non-members in the Memberful: Restrict Access section of each post or page.
Categorize your video posts
Create categories to organize and filter your posts. Once categorized, you can create a dropdown menu with the categories so your members can easily access your videos.
- From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Appearance → Menus.
- Click the Categories dropdown arrow. Select the required categories and click Add to Menu.
- In the Menu Structure section, drag the categories into your preferred order; click Save menu.
Add membership account management links
Give your members the freedom to manage their subscriptions with Memberful account links. Here are a few options:
- Option 1: Add a sign in link on any post or page.
- Option 2: Add sign in, sign out, and account links to your menu.
- Option 3: Add a profile widget.
To prevent your members from accessing your WordPress toolbar or dashboard, we recommend that you install these plugins:
To test Memberful as an end user, log out of your WordPress dashboard and sign up with a different email address than the one you use to log in to your site as a WordPress admin. You can use the + sign with your email address to create unique accounts. For example, email@example.com.
Connect to Stripe
Memberful starts out in test payment mode. When you’re ready to start processing orders, choose your currency and connect to your Stripe account through the Memberful dashboard: Navigate to Settings → Payment. We'll automatically purge all your test orders when you switch to live payments.
Way to go! 🎉
Now that you have a paid video membership site, it’s time to announce your offering to your loyal followers and solicit some feedback. This will get you selling right away. Then, you can slowly start adding new video posts as you go.
- Import your members.
- Edit the Memberful email templates.
- Use WordPress shortcodes in posts and pages.
- Use WordPress functions in themes and plugins.
- Integrate with an email newsletter app (like MailChimp or a discussion forum (like Discourse).
Start selling memberships the easy way! 🚀 🙌 💪
Join some of the world's biggest audience-supported creators.
- Import your members
- Edit email templates
- Create a Plan
- Create Plan Groups
- Change Plan price
- Include or sell downloads
- Choose your currency
- Give free access
- Enable Apple Pay
- Add conversion tracking
- Set member attributes
- Integrate with Zapier
- Create a coupon
- Add a custom field
- Offer and manage gifts
- Integrate with Tapfiliate
- Include VAT
- Use a staging site
- Install the Memberful plugin
- WordPress hosting providers
- Enable SSL (recommended)
- Other plugins (recommended)
- Theme compatibility
- Add a link to buy a plan
- Add a link to buy a gift
- Protect WordPress content
- Organize protected content
- Memberful account links
- Private RSS Feeds
- WordPress shortcodes
- WordPress functions
- Disconnect/reconnect plugin