Creating a Membership Site with WordPress


Why create a membership website?

  1. Membership Sites Can Generate a Consistent and Reliable Stream Of Income
  2. You Can Deliver More Focused Value To Your Clients
  3. Membership relates tasks are easy to automate
  4. Improves cusomer loyalty leading to long-term Success
  5. Membership allows your business to become a reputable brand.
  6. Launching your next service/product becomes much easier & more profitable.
  7. Allows you to create your own business ecosystem

What are the main components of a membership website?

Entry Points: Well-designed login page, welcome page, content pages, sales page, registration page, checkout page, thank you page, members dashboard, members course page, members lesson page

Content: Articles, Video courses, Podcasts, Webinars, Tutorials, Counseling and coaching, or any combination of the above

Community: If your business has a strong community component, then a subscription site makes sense.

Membership Levels: Combine free and paid membership levels

Membership Levels

Automations:  Time-released email notifications for content delivery as well as to target new members, welcome email, cart recovery emai, post purchase email & customer reactivation emails.

Automations Time-released email notifications for content delivery

Integrations: 3rd party integrations makes business much easier.

Integrations 3rd party integrations makes business much easie

  1. Payment processors – Stripe or PayPal
  2. User Analytics – Google Analytics, Hotjar
  3. Advertising – Facebook, Pinterest, or GoogleAds
  4. Third-party code snippets – Sumo, Proof, Olark, ProveSource, or Deadline Funnel

Offers: Trials, discounts, and coupons. The ability to offer freebies, discounts, coupons, and trials is a must.

Affiliate Program: What better way to expand your membership than to have members themselves sell and advocate for your brand?

So here is simple overview of how to start planning to convert your existing WordPress site to a membership site. You will have to create a document of Functionality based on membership level. It will be great as it will saves you a ton of developmental time.

Basically it is very difficult to have a “Separate Members Area” as the site is already active and live. So we can implement membership functionality in WordPress site area with ease by following way.

We will have multiple membership levels. These are different from WordPress roles. For the initial discussion lets say we have Free Membership(FM) & Paid Membership (PM) We can have as many membership levels all with different access and functionality later to build on.

So lets start by creating Functionality Document. This table is just for an example. Create your own table with your own requirements. 

Condition Unregistered OR Logged Out Logged In & Free Membership Logged In & Paid Member
Feature 1 – Article Access Control Show limited articles like only 1, 2, ..5 Show article 1, 2, …,10 Show article 1, 2, …,10,11,….20
Feature 2- Function Access Control No download, or print to PDF Print to PDF type functionality PDF type functionality, Add to favourite
Feature 3 Cannot submit articles Can submit articles but will be reviewed before submission. Can submit articles & publish instantly.
Feature 4 – Menu Item access control Show menu item 1, 2..5 Show menu item 4, 5,..8 Show menu item 7, 8, 9, 10
Feature 5 – Mail Management Send email template 1 on signup Send  email template 2 on payment, send email  template 3 when membership about to expire, send email  template 4 when membership expires


So simply put since the site is already live, the functionality & content is already there on the site. We only have to create memberships with different rules for each. Like “Can Do XYZ” / “Cannot DO XYX”/ “Can Access XYZ”/ “Cannot access XYZ” This is a very simplistic view to allow you to get your thoughts put on document.


WordPress Feature List: List of Some features supported by WordPress + Membership to get you started thinking.

  1. On login user is redirected to specific page (this can act as their dashboard/starting page)
    6. Upgrade Membership to View “ARCHIVE”
    6. ARCHIVE
    1. Basic Dashboard page
    2. Premium Dashboard can have the following sctions and can be accessed on
  2. Allow/disallow Download PDF files or any other type of file based on memberships
  3. Allow/disallow access to application forms based on membership.
    1. display form 1 if free member
    2. display form 2 if paid membership
  4. WordPress has search feature. The search will show all article title & excerpts irrespective of membership. Once the user click the article link. If he has access to that article he can view it. If the user does not have access to that article he will be redirected to upgrade membership page.
  5. Each article will have related article links at the bottom. Again if the user does not have access to the related article he can still see article title & excerpts but will be redirected to upgrade membership page if they click on it.
  6. Secure messaging platform through which users can communicate with ‘Front Desk’ Check out Tidio for real time chat with support from any site page.
  7. Analytics will be for site wide traffic using google analytics. Not just membership users.
  8. Membership control is easy. Ability to extend existing memberships, show message for no credit card on file or whose card has expired or been  declined etc. Also we can send automated emails when specific conditions are meet. ie Send “Mail 1” if “Paid Membership about to expire”


Back end Management for Administrator

  1. Create an article and select access control within the article. Who to show this article and whom not to show this.
  2. Create one menu for all users. Put individual condition on specific menu items, It who to show the menu item and whom snot to she the item.
  3. Create pages and allow access from individual page
  4. Create upcoming events & webinars and allow access based on membership
  5. Create special offer boxes and allow access based on membership

wordpress membership site creation