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 protection 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.
- Sign up and install Memberful on your website.
- Create your Plans.
- Add purchase links to your site.
- Restrict access to your members-only content.
- Add account management links.
- Test the member experience.
- Go live.
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 offers 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 help doc.
To start, make sure you have either a WordPress.org website with reliable, managed hosting and a great theme, or a WordPress.com hosted website (Business Plan only!) and a great theme.
Most WordPress themes are compatible with Memberful, but we recommend the Make theme if you need a theme with a page builder or Beaver Builder if you're looking for a page builder plugin that can be paired with a different theme.
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
Sign up for Memberful and install the Memberful WordPress plugin on your website. You can try Memberful for free in test mode for as long as you need.
You can also upgrade to our Pro or Premium plans for free in test mode, which will unlock many features for you. To do so, navigate to Account → Activate account and select a Memberful plan.
Once connected, your members will be signed into WordPress when they sign into Memberful. Their plans are also automatically synced, which makes it easy to protect WordPress content.
Create your Plans
You'll want to set up some membership plans that people can subscribe to.
Log in to the Memberful dashboard, navigate to the Plans tab, and click New Plan. Fill in the details and settings for your Plan and click Create Plan. Learn more about creating membership Plans.
Thinking of selling multiple Plans? Enable the upgrade / downgrade settings.
Configure your redirect settings
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 (like a "thank you" page), configure the Redirect URL in your Plan Settings.
Add purchase links to your site
Copy the purchase 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. Learn more about adding purchase links to your site.
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.
Learn more about your content restriction options.
Want to restrict access to video content? Learn more about hosting videos and embedding them in protected posts.
Add account management links
Give members an easy way to sign in to your site and manage their Memberful accounts. You can add a sign-in link to any post or page or add sign-in, sign-out, and account links to your menu.
Test the member experience
While your Memberful account is in test mode, you can use Stripe’s test credit cards to complete example member purchases and recreate their onboarding experience.
Make sure to sign up with a different email address than the one associated with your website and Memberful admin accounts, as using the same email address can produce unexpected errors.
Additionally, you can use our Visual Editor via the Customize tab to see which features are customizable, how they interact, and what they’ll look like to your members across different views and devices.
When you’re ready to start processing orders, choose your currency and connect to your Stripe account via Account → Activate account. We will automatically delete your test orders, delete test member accounts, and reset your dashboard metrics when you switch to live payments. All your other settings and customizations will be maintained.
Nice work connecting to Stripe! 🚀
Now you’re ready to start selling memberships to your audience. Here are a few ideas to make your launch a success:
- Announce the membership on your social media pages.
- Link to the membership sign-up page in your social media profiles and upload special banners for launch month.
- Send a membership-specific email blast and add a link to the membership signup page in your email signature.
- Host a livestream or post a video to announce the membership.