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 Plan purchase links to your site.
- 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 also provides the hosting for it. Memberful only works with their Business Plan.
- A WordPress theme is something you install on your WordPress website to change the design and layout of the entire site.
- Web hosting is a service that stores your website on the internet.
- SSL is a technology that protects your information and every website should have it nowadays. It establishes an encrypted (secure) connection 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 our Pro plan for free in test payment mode, which will unlock many features for you. To do so, navigate to Account → Plans and billing from your Memberful dashboard.
Create your Plans
With Memberful, you can create membership plans and sell subscriptions to those Plans.
To create your membership Plan(s), log in to your 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.
By default, when members sign in they will be redirected to whichever page they were on before signing in. If you want members to be redirected to a different page on your site after their purchase, make sure to specify a Redirect URL in your Plan Settings.
Thinking of selling multiple plans? Learn how to set up Plan Groups.
Add Plan purchase links to your site
There are two ways to add a Plan purchase link to your site:
Option 1: Select Buy Plan from the Memberful editor button on any WordPress page or post.
Option 2: Copy the raw HTML link from the Plan Settings page in your Memberful dashboard and paste it on your site, or use the button options provided by your WordPress theme to create a button instead of a link.
Restrict access to your members-only content
Next, you'll want to restrict access to all of your members-only content using the Memberful: Restrict Access meta box found at the bottom of every page and post.
Add membership account management links
It's a good idea to give members an easy way to sign in, sign out, and manage their Memberful account.
Here are a few options to add Memberful account links to your site:
- Option 1: Add a sign in link to any post or page.
- Option 2: Add sign in, sign out, and account links to your menu.
- Option 3: Add a profile widget to your site's sidebar.
Connect to Stripe
Your Memberful account starts out in test payment mode so you can test everything before going live with Stripe payments.
To test Memberful as an end user while in test payment mode, log out of your WordPress dashboard and sign up with a different email address than the one associated with your WordPress admin account.
Useful tip: On some email services (like Google's Gmail) you can add a + sign to your email address and anything anything after it will be ignored. You can use this to create tons of unique addresses and all the emails sent to them will reach your inbox. For example, if my email is [email protected], any emails sent to [email protected] will automatically reach my inbox. You can use one of these made-up addresses to sign up as a member on Memberful.
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. Note: We'll automatically delete all your test orders and member accounts when you switch to live payments.
Edit Memberful email templates (optional)
Memberful sends some transactional emails to your members, such as payment receipts, credit card expiration warnings and subscription expiration reminders. To customize these emails, navigate to Customize → Email → Email Templates and edit the emails.
Integrate newsletters, forums, and courses (optional)
You can add new benefits to your membership, such as newsletters, forums and courses.
Check out our Integrations page to learn about each service, and once you've decided to use one, read its article below to learn how to set it up.
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. You may also want to: