How to create members-only content on WordPress

Jack Wallen introduces you to a plugin that makes it easy to monetize content with WordPress.

Logos of the web content management system WordPress in a heap on a table.  copy space.  Web Banner Format.
Image: Andreas Prott/Adobe Stock

WordPress is one of the most widely used frameworks for building websites out there, and with good reason. Although WordPress was originally developed just for blogging, it has now evolved into a platform that can handle just about anything.

Case in point: membership content. Using WordPress and a simple plugin, you can create members-only content for your website. With the help of Paid Membership Pro plugin, you can monetize content on your WordPress site with different membership levels including:

  • Free
  • Monthly
  • Yearly
  • Once
  • lifespan
  • study

With the Pro paid membership (which is free with paid add-ons), you can monetize content for courses and coaching, associations and professional organizations, physical and digital products, paywall content, and paid newsletters.

SEE: Hire Kit: Backend Developer (TechRepublic Premium)

There are also paid plans for the plugin, which are:

  • Standard: $247/year and includes everything in the free version with premium support, advanced customizations, 20 standard add-ons, and automatic updates. A site license is included.
  • Plus: $397/year and includes everything in Standard and 30+ add-ons. Two site licenses are included.
  • Builder: $697/year and includes everything in Plus with five site licenses included.

Let’s install Paid Membership Pro on WordPress and see how to get started with it.

How to Install Paid Membership Pro

Installing the plugin is the same as any in WordPress. Login to your site as an admin user and go to Plugins | Add new. In the search pane, type Paid Membership Pro (Figure A).

Figure A

Localizing the Paid Membership Pro plugin in WordPress.

When the Paid Membership Pro plugin appears (Figure B), Click Install Now.

Figure B

Installing the Paid Membership Pro plugin.

Then click Activate (Figure C) to make the plugin available on your website.

Figure C

Activate the Paid Membership Pro add-on.

How to create your first membership level

Once the plugin is installed, you will find a new tab called Memberships on the left sidebar of WordPress. Click on this tab and you will be greeted with the warning No Membership Levels Found (Figure D).

Figure D

You must first create a membership tier.

Click Create Member Tier and a new pop-up window will appear (Figure E).

Figure E

Create your first membership level with Paid Membership Pro.

Let’s say your first membership level is monthly. Click on this entry and on the resulting page (Figure F), fill out the required information for the membership level.

Figure F

The configuration page for a monthly membership.

Note that you can restrict this membership level to categories (Figure G). If you haven’t already created your categories, you should do so. You can even create a category called Monthly so it’s easy to know which category to assign to your membership level.

Figure G

Assign a category to the monthly membership level.

Now when you create a new post on the site, you would assign it to the monthly category and only members who belong to the monthly membership can view that content.

Before proceeding, you also need to generate the various front-end pages required by Paid Membership Pro. To do this, go to Memberships and click on the Settings tab. In this window (Figure H), click Generate pages for me, which is the easiest method.

Figure H

You need to generate the necessary pages for the plugin before your website is ready.

This will take you to a new page (Figure I) where you can customize the different pages.

Figure I

Adjusting the page settings for Paid Memberships Pro.

After configuring the pages, click Save Settings. This will create all the necessary pages that allow users to sign up for a membership tier and manage their accounts.

Now that you’ve taken care of that last step, you can further customize Paid Memberships Pro to perfectly fit the needs of your WordPress site, business, and products.

Hopefully this plugin will help you monetize your content without having to turn to a more expensive, custom solution.

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