CMS, WordPress

Can WordPress Be Used for Membership? All You Need to Know

There is a lot of money-making potential on the internet. A simple online search will expose you to tons of wonderful resources...

WordPress Membership

There is a lot of money-making potential on the internet. A simple online search will expose you to tons of wonderful resources to show you how. And having a paid membership is another way to earn. And you can use the WordPress membership plugin for the same.

One of the best moves is to have a website. There are many avenues you can use to monetize the site. These include affiliate marketing, selling products, sponsored posts, and membership sites.

We will be focusing on membership sites in our article. We will share all you need to know on creating one in WordPress.

What Is a WordPress Membership Site?

Membership sites are subscription-based platforms. They give users access to exclusive content. The content you will not find anywhere else.

To unlock premium content, customers will have to pay a fee. It is up to you, as the website owner, to decide on payment structures. These are one-off payments, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

The trick to getting traction is to ensure premium, exclusive content or products, there is no limit to what you can do. It could be beauty-related content, education, mentorships, training and so much more.

Also note, running the membership site will be so much easier if you have a way to manage members. WordPress does have some plugins that can help with things like registration.

But, you will need a little more help with the day-to-day running of the site. Tools like association management software can be a lifesaver. Such third-party integrations take the load off the WordPress site.

The benefits of membership software are numerous including:-

  • Centralization of member data in one place
  • Accessibility on mobile sites, tablets, or the web
  • Easy member registration and management
  • Tons of engagement tools and member portals
  • Better management of websites, emails, events, and so much more.

What You Need to Know About Setting Up a Membership Site?

wordpress membership plugin

There are specific things you need to get right from the beginning. Let’s explore each a little bit.

Decide on the Type of Membership Site

Don’t go into setting up the site without knowing what type you want. Start by answering a few basic questions. These include: –

  • Will you require your members to pay for everything?
  • What are the subscription levels? WordPress.com has made it easy by offering different subscription plans. These are free, personal, premium, and business/eCommerce.
  • What are the benefits of signing on to any one of them?
  • What types of products or services will you be pushing on the site?
  • How will you deliver content? Will members get everything at once or in sequential order?

Once you have clarity on the type, go ahead and create the membership site. You will need a domain name, web hosting account, and membership add-on. An SSL certificate is also important because it is a badge of security.

WordPress comes with Bluehost already pre-installed. It will save you the hassle of looking for a hosting company. Now, go ahead and install WordPress.

The next part is to choose a membership plugin. It will depend on the type of site you want.

Other Critical Considerations

You will need to have the following on your membership site.

  • Payment methods to manage the collection of subscription fees. Some popular options include PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.
  • Membership levels with pricing, perks, and access.
  • A pricing page
  • Sign up or login forms
  • WordPress also has email templates that you can customize as you wish. But, with association management software, member communication is an ongoing process. You also get access to reports. These are critical for knowing how well the site is performing.

Why You Should Consider Having a Membership Website?

There are so many benefits to having a membership website. We can summarize them as follows.

  • A chance to monetize your website. It provides an excellent income source from the subscription fees.
  • Tons of marketing and upselling opportunities. You already have a willing audience, who are likely to buy what else you offer. Anyone willing to pay the membership fee values your products or services. With the right tactics, you don’ t have to do much convincing to get them to buy.
  • The opportunity to offer valuable content to audiences. Keep up with refining content to ensure audiences stay engaged. The constant push for better will help you grow as an individual and professional.
  • Membership sites will position you as an authority and go to a source of information. You can build a strong community of loyal customers off of such platforms.
  • Membership sites allow for scalability. You will, of course, need to work on your strategies to attract more subscribers. But, you can do all these without spending tons of resources, like you would with other business models.

Things to Watch Out for When Setting Up a Membership Site

  • User Experience

The user experience on the membership site must be top-notch. No one wants to pay for a service and have to contend with slow-loading pages and downtimes. You want your site to grow in terms of numbers.

But, can the website handle the demand of many members using the platform at once? Inadequate support from the hosting provider can result in poor performance of the site.

  • Sufficient storage

It is also important to have sufficient data storage space. The media you use to upload content will eat up disk space. Videos, for instance, are quite heavy.

And, you will also be collecting a lot of member information. 3rd party integrations like the membership management software can save you a lot of valuable storage space.

Hosting providers are also using cloud platforms. Such have better security features and more storage space.

  • Caching

Object caching plugins are important on your membership site. They store database query results. Anytime a user requires the same information, it comes from the cache and not the database. The result will be faster speeds on the membership site.

  • Monitoring and maintenance

Keep up with site monitoring to avoid things like 404 errors. Tools like the Google search console can help with this.

And, avoid neglecting database maintenance. Do not, for instance, let auto-loaded data or transients get out of control. Make sure you remove such to free up space.

There are plugins available on WordPress to help with maintenance. A good example is the WP Control plugin that allows you to control the WP-Croon system.

WordPress has tons of plugins that increase the functionality of the site. But, a word of caution here. Do not go overboard with the number you install. You could compromise the performance of the site. Remove or deactivate any plugins you are not using.

Final Thoughts

Can you use WordPress for membership? The answer is YES! And, we have shared salient points you need to know in our article.

A membership site provides an excellent way to make money. Setting up a WordPress membership site is not difficult. The platform has easy-to-follow prompts that will have your site up and running in minutes.

To find success, you must offer something different. Remember, you will be competing with free sites. Whatever you have should be enticing enough to get people to subscribe.

Is it easy to have a membership site? No, but once you get it right, you will see the rewards. The benefits are plentiful and growth potential is out of this world. 


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Written by Daniel Martin
Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. D

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