WordPress membership site guide
If you want to add paid memberships to your WordPress website so you can share your passion with your audience and drive revenue for your business—you’re in the right place!
When you combine the page restriction powers of Memberful with a beautifully designed WordPress site, you can easily create a dynamic membership experience!
How to build a WordPress membership site
- Set up a WordPress website.
- Install Memberful on your website.
- Create your plans.
- Add purchase links and marketing content.
- Restrict access to your members-only content.
- 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 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
While in test payment mode, you can also upgrade to the Pro plan for free: Navigate to Account → Plans and billing from your Memberful dashboard to upgrade.
Create your plans
Login to the Memberful dashboard, navigate to the Plans tab, and click New Plan. 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.
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 each page and post. Use this box to define who can see the 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.
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 to your members only content
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 content 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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Edit Memberful email templates (optional)
Memberful sends transactional email to your members. Navigate to Settings → Email → Email Templates to edit the emails.
Integrate newsletters, forums, and courses (optional)
For integration instructions, read the article that’s right for you.
Import your members (optional)
We make it easy to import all your existing members and their plans directly into Memberful.
Nice work! 🎉
Now that you have a paid 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 start adding some extra member benefits as you go.
- Organize protected content.
- Use WordPress shortcodes in posts and pages.
- Use WordPress functions in themes and plugins.
- Add a private RSS Feed.
- Add conversion tracking.
- Offer a free trial.
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