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

  1. Set up a WordPress website.
  2. Sign up and install Memberful on your website.
  3. Create your plans.
  4. Add purchase links to your site.
  5. Restrict access to your members-only content.
  6. Add account management links.
  7. Test the member experience.
  8. Go live.

Try the Memberful plugin on a live WordPress site

Want to test out the member experience? We’ve set up a demo site so you can see how Memberful works with WordPress.

✔️ Browse a real site using the Memberful WP plugin
✔️ Go through the signup process with a test credit card
✔️ See what the “logged in” experience could look like for your members

Access the demo site >

Set up a WordPress website

Some terms you should be familiar with:

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 (Creator plan or higher 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.

Sign up for Memberful

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.

Install plugin

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.

Create a plan

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.

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.

Memberful purchase links

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.

Protect WordPress content

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.

Any member account management links in your theme and content (as well as links added by plugins) will need to be updated. Learn more about updating links in your theme, content, and plugins.

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.

Go live

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:

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. 😀