How to Make a Membership Website With WordPress

by Elaine on January 26, 2011

I received an interesting request yesterday asking me – How to create a membership website.   The request also included the need to create different membership levels and to be able to control if members were allowed to post or see partial or full articles.  Joomla and Wordpress both have functionality to create different membership levels like basic, standard, full or platinum, silver, gold, or whatever you want to name your memberships.  Each have customizable subscription options and payments gateways built in so users can pay via paypal, Amazon Payments, and there are many other options to choose from.   After weighing both options, I would recommend using WordPress plugin WPMU Membership, more info here.

Features of the WPMU membership plugin:

1.  You can create a membership website like a forum website, downloading website, video website, or a Craigslist website.

2.  You can control groups and blogs security levels.  Members can join for free and upgrade later to higher membership levels to gain access to view different parts of your site.

3. WPMU controls access to all elements of Wordpress including:

  • Downloads
  • Categories
  • Pages
  • Posts
  • Comments
  • ‘More’ tags -can control how much of the article they can view.
  • Galleries
  • BuddyPress groups
  • BuddyPress blogs
  • any content or functionality using different shortcodes, just like forums

4.  Free teaser content which is accessible to everyone and is used to entice potential new members into subscribing.

5.  Members only content which is accessible to members who have active (paid) subscriptions.

6.  You can control and create unlimited number of membership levels easily.  Create your own membership names.  Free membership levels can turn into paid after x number of days.  You can configure renewing subscriptions or subscriptions that will renew after x number of days.   A fixed membership that is free or paid for life.   There is no limit on how you want to configure your membership levels.

7.  The membership plugin is extremely easy to configure, with an easy to use control panel.  Everything is drag and drop.

8.   There is excellent support from WPMU.  Length of support depends on your membership level.

I would recommend to purchase the WPMU Membership plugin – 1 month subscription because it’s $39/month.  You can still use the plugin even after your subscription period is over.  You just won’t have access to the support and any plugin updates that come through after the month.  Sorry I couldn’t find any free membership plugins for you.    Once again, the link for the WPMU Membership plugin is here.  You could combine this with their classified plugin.  Check out the details of their Classified Ads plugin here.

At a very high level, how to create your Wordpress membership website:

1.  Purchase a webhosting here - I recommend fatcow.com.  It includes a free domain name, unlimited space, unlimited emails, etc.  Current promotion is 40% off.

2.  Install WordPress.

3.  Download the WPMU Membership plugin.

4.  Go to the Plugins, add new, and select the WPMU plugin zip file.

5.  Configure your membership.  WPMU has great support.   Use them if you have any problems.

Hope this helps you, let me know how it goes.

 How to Make a Membership Website With Wordpress

Elaine

Elaine is the founder of CmsMind, an online blog providing Joomla and WordPress tutorials. Elaine lives in Toronto and when she is not online, she is either Marathon and Triathlon training or travelling and racing somewhere in the world. Find her also at: Save Money, Premium Themes and Templates, and at Webhosting Tips.

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