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 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
You can also upgrade to the Pro plan for free in test payment mode: Navigate to Account → Plans and billing from your Memberful dashboard.
Create your Plans
To create your 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.
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 use it with the button options provided by your WordPress theme.
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
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 hide the sign in link from signed in members and to prevent your members from accessing your WordPress toolbar or dashboard, we recommend that you install these additional plugins.
Connect to Stripe
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. You can use the + sign with your email address to create unique accounts, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. You may also want to:
Can't find what you're looking for? We'd love to help! 💪
Send us a message through the orange chat bubble in the lower right corner of the page. You'll hear back within a few hours Monday - Friday. 😀
- Import your members
- Migrate from Substack
- Add a member
- Add a staff member
- Change Plan price
- Add a custom field
- Give free access
- Offer and manage gifts
- Manage Team plans
- Refund or suspend an order
- Move all members of a Plan
- Use a staging site
- Pause a subscription
- Handle failed payments
- Switch Stripe accounts
- Install the Memberful plugin
- Other plugins (recommended)
- WordPress hosting providers
- Enable SSL (recommended)
- Theme compatibility
- Member account links
- Protect WordPress content
- WordPress troubleshooting
- Organize protected content
- Private RSS Feeds
- WordPress shortcodes
- WordPress functions
- Disconnect/reconnect plugin