One of the best ways to encourage visitors to engage with your site’s content and come back to read more is to create a membership website. A paid membership site is a great way of monetizing your content and generating an income that supports the website’s operating costs (the hosting plan, domain renewals, paid services or apps). All you have to do is collect payments so visitors can access the premium content on your website.
Another benefit of paid membership websites is a recurring passive income. In essence, if you already have a lot of content, you can restrict non-paying visitors from accessing premium content.
A membership website can also help manage payments for offline arrangements such as client billing or club membership fees. This way, you can manage everything through a central location instead of worrying about remembering to send the invoice regularly. You can set it on automatic and forget about it.
Luckily, if you’re using WordPress, creating a membership website is easy with the help of the right plugin.
How Membership Plugins Work
Out of the box, WordPress comes with built-in tools to manage free users and assign them roles with different permissions. However, if you want to create a paid membership site, WordPress doesn’t have native features that allow you to collect membership payments.
But, thanks to the numerous membership plugins you can give your users a way to pay for their membership account. On top of that, you can decide how you want to distribute paid content, giving you control over how individual pages and posts are displayed according to the user’s membership level.
WordPay is a popular paid membership plugin for WordPress that’s simple to use, yet has powerful tools you need to have great control over your membership website.
Some of the most important features of the plugin include:
- Content dripping so you can release content on a set schedule
- Discount codes for subscription plans
- Email reminders, which are sent to the members at specific intervals
- Menu filtering so you can create different menus based on whether the user is registered and logged in
- Recurring payments through PayPal Standard so you don’t have to worry about reminding your users to pay for their membership
Once you’ve purchased the plugin, you can install it by going to your dashboard and clicking on Plugins > Add New. Upload the zip file, activate the plugin and let the setup wizard guide you through the process of creating pages, setting the currency, and choosing your payment gateway.
Once the setup is complete, the plugin works out of the box and you’re ready to start selling membership packages.
Manage Paid and Free Members
WordPay comes with powerful membership tools that allow you to create paid and free membership accounts, display login and registration forms in the sidebar, and make it easy for your users to recover their password.
Your visitors can sign up for a membership account and choose a subscription plan (free and paid) that best fit their needs. Each member can also subscribe to multiple plans during the signup process or add additional subscription plans later on.
After your users have registered, you can view all the details related to their subscription plan and modify it manually, assign them a new plan, change the duration, or add subscription plans to multiple users at once.
When it comes to payments, you can choose to process your payments via PayPal or Stripe. In addition to that, you can opt for Website Payments Pro so your users can submit their payment directly to your website without being redirected elsewhere. If you’d rather collect payments by check or cash, you can mark them complete in your dashboard manually.
Create Custom Membership Levels
You can create custom membership levels very easily by going to Subscription Plans > Add New. You can set custom duration for your plan and assign existing user roles or create a new role. Once you’ve entered all the details, click Save subscription to enable it during the registration process.
Each plan can also offers several tiers, allowing you to create upgrades and downgrades with various benefits for your members.
Collect One-Time or Recurring Fees
WordPay allows you to create one-time or recurring payments for your subscription plans. Your users can then use their PayPal account or credit card. The users can even choose the express checkout to conveniently process their payments faster.
In your dashboard, each payment will be marked as pending until the payment is processed by your chosen payment gateway. In case the payment cannot be processed immediately due to funds not being available, members can log in to their account and click the Retry payment link where they are ready to process the payment again.
Powerful Automation Tools
WordPay makes it easy to drip membership content using a custom time interval. You can schedule different post types or content to become available after a user has been an active member for a certain period of time. Users on other plans will not be able to see content that hasn’t been associated with their plan.
You can also automatically send emails to your members in response to specific events. You can remind them that their subscription is about to expire or that it will renew on a particular date.
A great way to use this feature to recover lost signups as well as engage your members if they haven’t logged in for a while.
WordPay also comes with a useful set of shortcodes that allow you to build your membership site and insert registration or login forms, restrict content, display subscription plans and payment history at any page of your website.
Customize Members-Only Areas
Members-only areas are completely customizable. You can display different menus based on the subscription plans of the user, tailoring what posts and pages the users can access. You can also individually restrict content with built-in shortcodes or widgets and create a custom welcome page for newly-registered users.
If you want to show your visitors a sneak peek of all the benefits that come with one of your membership plans, you could setup a custom page to highlight all the benefits.
WordPay certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck and the developers are very confident that you’ll be happy with their product. In case you’re not happy with your purchase and decide that the plugin is not right for you, you can request a full refund within 30 days of the original purchase date.
The Deal (Coupon Code)
Right now, Cloudways users can save 30% off of the first year on any WordPay licenses. This offer also applies to the entire Ultimate License purchase (with free lifetime updates).
Normally, the Ultimate License is priced at $399, but for limited time Cloudways users can get it for a one-time payment of $279.30. Use the coupon code “CLOUDWAYS” at the checkout to claim this fabulous discount.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Ayla Toyokawa Cofounder ThemeBoy.com & SportsPress WordPress Plugin ⚽️ #womenintech #girlboss #startups. The opinions and ideas expressed herein are author’s own, and in no way reflect Cloudways position.
Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at email@example.com
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