So why do you need a membership site? What you want to achieve? What does your business actually need? Do you need a fully automated membership site with advanced bells and whistles hosted on a dedicated server or just a way to offer protected content to a select group of users to help you work out exactly what you need before you begin building a membership site? We’ve created a checklist of all the questions you should ask and the steps you need to complete to get the membership site that will best suit your needs.
Since we’re going to build a simple members only area in this tutorial, let’s, start with the most basic essential elements of a membership site. A membership site needs to offer some form of membership level, even if it’s, just a free membership, more advanced membership site solutions allow you to have unlimited membership levels, but we’ll just start with one for now.
Next, a membership site needs to be able to register members, so we need some form of member registration functionality. Finally, a membership site needs to be able to protect content so that only members can access it.
Content protection, then, is the essential element that makes a membership site different than all other types of web sites. If you want to sell access to your content, you may also want to add a payment processor to the set up, and if you also plan to build a list of members that you can contact with, updates and upsells, you should also add an email capture form.
But these are all additional features. Essentially, all we need to start with, especially from a teeny-tiny budget, is a membership level, member registration and and protection. So the next question now that we understand the essential elements of a membership site is why use WordPress to build a membership site.
Well, the simple answer is that WordPress is the ideal platform for building membership sites. In fact, WordPress is the ideal platform for building any kind of a website, but let’s just stick with membership sites.
For now, some of the things that make WordPress an ideal platform for membership sites is that it already comes with built in features and functionality. That developers can then extend on or customize or build advanced features for, and some of these are built-in features and functionality include offering user roles, user registrations, the ability to store and export data in a database and privacy features, and what we want to focus on in This tutorial is one of these privacy features, which is the humble password protection feature now.
WordPress comes with a built in password protection feature, and this is what we’re, going to use to build our very simple Members. Only access area in a WordPress site, so let me take you through an actual example now and show you how we would build this very simple Members, Only access area in WordPress.
So here I am logged in to my demo WordPress site, and the first thing we want to do is you want to either create a new post or we want to create a new page. For this example, I’m, going to create a new page, so we come here.
We go pages, add new. Now here we are on a brand new WordPress page, and the first thing I want to point out is that if you want to hide your membership area or our members, only access page from the general public from your regular web visitors, what you would do is You could nest it.
You can do this if you’re doing if you’re using a page, so we can nest it under another page, so it just just gets a hidden from from view. We want. We’re, not protecting anything. Yet we’re, just basically nesting it and a couple of layers of different pages, because it doesn’t really matter where we put it as long as we can give our new members access to the page.
So all we have to do now is basically start adding content to our page or to our post. So here’s, where you would add the content that you want to protect like a video or a downloadable, a guide PDF a guide or an e-book, some templates whatever it is that you want to protect and restrict access to.
So, as you can see here, I’ve already gone ahead and I’ve created a little bit of a download page of our members access download area. So here we have video, and here we have some downloadable templates and once you’ve added your content.
The next step is to turn the visibility of this page or post from public into password-protected. So we come to password protected and here we create a password, so this can be whatever it is. We’re gonna go with this, and once we have a password protected page, let’s, go ahead and publish so now that the page is published.
Let’s, go ahead and take a look at it, and here you can see. This is what your members access area will look like to someone who hasn’t got the password, so now that you’ve got to set up. How do people access the content? Well, very simple: you email them the password, and this is where you’re.
Having some form of an email, CAPTCHA form is useful, because, essentially what you would do is you would capture the details and then you would mail them email them. The password, and so once a member receives the password they enter it, and now they have access to their member download area.
So that’s. All very simple and, as I said, if you don’t need anything fancy. If all you need to do is to restrict some content for a specific group of members, just choose the built in WordPress password-protect feature.