After you install the membership plugin, you need to create a membership level. You can create as many membership levels as you want.
Membership levels allow you to easily control and assign what content your members CAN and CANNOT see on your site. When a visitor becomes a member, he/she is assigned to one of the membership levels you create. The member will then have access to the site’s content based on the permissions you defined in the membership level.
Creating a Membership Level
Go to the “Membership Level” menu from the admin interface then click on the “Add New” button to add a new membership level:
Lets add a free membership level with the following details (you can edit these details anytime)
A value of “No Expiry” in the subscription duration field means that this membership doesn’t expire.
Lets create another membership level which will be a premium membership (users will need to pay to access this level).
This membership level is for 6 months. Users who pay for this membership level will have access to the “Silver” membership level content for 6 months. The membership will automatically expire after that time.
Each of your membership levels will have an ID that the plugin auto generates (you can see it in the “ID” column of the membership level list interface.
In the next section of this documentation, I will show you how you can apply protection to your content using the membership levels you just created.
Applying Content Protection
Now that you have created some membership levels, you can start protecting your content for those levels.
Take the following steps to apply protection to your content so only members can have access to it.
- Edit the Post or Page that you want to protect in WordPress editor.
- Scroll down to the section titled “Simple WP Membership Protection”.
- Select “Yes, Protect this content” option.
- Check the membership levels that should have access to that page’s content.
- Hit the Update/Save Button to save the changes.
Go ahead and apply some content protection to some of your posts and pages. You can protect some test pages to start with (if you just wanted to see how it works).
Example Protection Message
The following is an example of a protection message that your visitors see:
After your membership levels are in place, you need to go to the settings interface of this plugin to do some basic configuration.
Click on the “Setting” link from the “WP Membership” admin interface.
The plugin automatically creates the required pages when you install it. So just make sure that the following pages were created in your install and the URL of those pages are saved in the settings:
- Login page (this is where users will go to log into the site)
- Registration page (this where users fill in a form to register/create account)
- Join Us Page (this is where a user goes to find out all your membership options)
- Edit profile page (your members can go to this page to edit their details)
- Password reset page (used for resetting a member’s password)
The plugin needs the above pages to function properly so don’t delete these pages. If you have accidentally deleted these pages then use this documentation to recreate them.
Enable Free Membership Option
For now, lets enable a free membership option on your site (you can disable it anytime if you want to).
Check the “Enable Free Membership” checkbox and fill in the free membership level ID field (in my case the free level ID is 2). You can find the level ID in the “Membership Level” menu.
Payment for Membership
If you want to charge for access to some membership levels on your site then you can do that too. If you only want to offer free membership then skip this section.
You can charge an “one time” fee to give access to a membership level. You can also create a PayPal subscription button to charge recurring fee for access to a level.
The following documentation will show you how to create payment button for membership:
- Create a PayPal Buy Now Button for a One Time Fee
- Create a PayPal Subscription Button for a Recurring Fee
- Create a Stripe Payment Button for a One Time Fee
- Create a Braintree Payments Button for a One Time Fee
Lets say you want to charge $49.95 for the silver membership level. The silver level will give users access to content protected under that level. The access will expire in 6 months (from the date of payment).
Go ahead and create a PayPal buy now button with a price of $49.95 (or any other price to test it). Then add the payment button to your membership “Join Us” page.
Next, lets take a look at the “Email Settings” tab:
Most of the basic email configuration items should be already in place so you don’t have to do anything in this tab right now. Once you get to know the plugin a little more, you can customize some of the email messages.
How the Membership Signup Process Works
Once you have finished setting up your membership site, you can expect the following:
- Visitors land on your website and sees that you have some protected content.
- The users click on the “Join Us” link which takes them to the “Membership Join Us” Page. You have explained all the different
types of memberships you offer on your site.
- From the “Membership Join Us” page, the visitors can decide which membership option they want to go for (Example: Free,
Silver, Gold etc).
- If they choose the “Free Membership” option, then they just follow the link and sign up for a free membership. Remember, the free
membership sign up is only possible if you have enabled this option in the settings of this plugin.
- If they choose a “Premium Membership” then they make a payment by clicking on the payment button.
- Once the Payment is confirmed (at this point the plugin knows which paid membership this member wants), the plugin will create
a membership account entry for this visitor.
- The user will receive an email that contains a “unique” link. The user will need to click on this link to activate the account.
- When the member clicks on that link in the email it will let them choose a “username” and “password” and complete the
- At this point the member can log into the site and enjoy the premium content.
The membership registration process documentation has more details on the user signup process.