What will we be learning?
In this video, I will be showing you to create a Membership Site in WordPress from start to finish. Specifically, the membership site will be a free membership site to increase our email list serve. We will be integrating many plugins together:
1. Members Plugin – is the core of our membership site and is what allows us to restrict post content and accept members for our wordpress site
2. My WordPress Login Logo – Changes the original WordPress logo in the login area of our WordPress site
3. Peter’s Login Redirect – forwards new logged in members to our members area dashboard
4. Hide Admin Bar from Non-admins – hides the toolbar for wordpress subscribers and regular members
5. WP Courseware – is the best learning management system and course builder for WordPress. It is what we will use to create our actual course.
Why is having a membership site important? How can I benefit from this?
Membership sites in WordPress are great because they provide a new source for traffic and building email leads. We will be creating a free membership site for our wordpress website, so they will be great for building leads and organizing our WordPress course.
Alright so in this video what we are going to be looking at is how to create a membership site. And so I am going to try to keep this as quick as possible. But it is a fairly in depth tutorial of how you actually make a membership site and what are the membership plugins to use.
But a very general overview of what we are going to be learning about in this video is, first off why are we even making a membership site, how can we benefit from creating a membership site. What are the best membership plugins I guess.
Some of the different reasons why we make a membership site, there is different plugins that work better for each one of them. And just a very general setup or overview. I will try to make that part quick. But that part would probably take a good amount of time. But we will try to make it quick.
So why would we even want to create a membership site? And I think that it’s definitely very specific for the individual. I will just name three, you know some of the more common reasons why you would want to create a membership or more specifically a course. That’s kind of what we are going to be showing is ultimately how do we create a membership course.
And so the first reason is just by obtaining email leads. Having a membership site, if you have certain specific content, that you say is for members only but in order to access that, they have to give you your email address or sign up, something like that.
Make a new user account. Or you can obtain a new email leads and we have talked why you would want to build a email list serve. Second is obviously to get paid, I mean if you have something that’s very very specific that you think is very very valuable for an individual. That you want to be paid for either that course or that specific content, then you can easily do that.
The third is having some type of personalized learning. For example if you are using a course or creating a course, actually what we will be doing is we will be creating a course. And that is very personalized learning. It allows an individual to track their progress, it allows, also the admin will be able to track the progress of the user.
For example through creating an online course that requires quizzes or it requires people to actually take exams or finish certain parts of the course before they can move on. So that’s obviously why would create a membership site or a course.
And so these are just 3 basic examples but you definitely can go more into depth. You can definitely be more creative than that. And so in terms of the best membership plugins, like I mentioned before, for different things what you want to make, there is different plugins that are better for it.
The one that we are actually going to be using is the first one. It’s the members plugin. It’s literally called members plugin. I have the link in description box below. But ya, members plugin is great if you are trying to create a free course. Something that is simple and easy to use that literally everything that you give them access to.
It’s going to be free. They don’t need to subscribe for a certain plan. They don’t need to pay anything. It is very basic, very simple. It just restricts contents to certain member levels. And it will tell them that they need to log in or register or whatever it is.
The second one being paid membership pro and it’s called a pro plugin but it’s actually free. So both these plugins are free, members and the paid membership pro are both free plugins.
The difference is that the paid membership pro plugin in my opinion is very good if you have multiple subscription types. And what I mean by that is that if you have a free account and then you may have a paid account for a certain plan and then you have another paid account for a certain plan.
One thing that’s great about this plugin. We are not going to be using in our example is that it has so many different options. Has so much different things that it can do in regards to subscription plans, the type of credit cards or payments they can accept in my opinion is the best for making a paid members site, just because it has so many options and it allows different types of subscriptions.
But the reason why we are not using it for a free membership course is because when I used it, when I tried to set everything up initially for my website, what I found was that it required the user to click too many buttons. I think an extra two buttons they had to press.
They had to subscribe and they had to navigate another area into their members area and do a couple of other steps. And it may not sound like much but you have to remember that for somebody who is just signing up for something free, even if they have to pay for it. The less amount of clicks that they have to make is better.
You just want to kind of prevent them from getting tired or getting confused. So ya, just very basic plugin setup. Kind of how it’s going to work for us. I have listed quite a few plugins but only one that is required is the first one, the members plugin.
It’s the only one that’s going to be required and it’s going to actually give the functionality to our website to create a membership site. The rest is all just aesthetic. Just a functionality. Just add these, a few extra added benefits and I will show you how we utilise it on our main site at wpforall.com.
We will show you how we have utilised all five of these plugins in addition to a couple of other ones but we won’t discuss them here. But pretty much you will need the members plugin. The second one being, this is optional, my wordpress login logo and I have links to all these in the description below.
But pretty much what that one does is, imagine if you had, we are going to be using the basic login and registration on the actual wordpress login area. So if you go to your website.com/wp-admin, you will see the normal login area unless you change the URL.
And so what this plugin does, it just makes the logo different. Normally you have the wordpress logo, now we are going to have our own special logo. Peter’s login redirect and it’s not going to make too much sense why we are using this right now. But pretty much what we are doing is we are creating a membership area.
And so as soon as they login I want them to be redirected to the login area rather than going to the backend and get confused. Don’t know where to go or just stay on the login area.
You know, it going to be confusing for the individual. I want to be so specific as to where should they go to reduce that confusion. So that’s why we are using the login redirect. As soon as they login they are going to go to a members area page or like the dashboard that you see in typical websites.
We are going to use the hide admin bar for non admins. And this is just you know entirely dependent on the individual. Like I said very optional. What it does it just hides that toolbar at the top form people who are not admins.
So the role that you are going to be giving for these new members are subscribers so they won’t be able to see that. And you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it or not. For me since it’s up in the air, since I am teaching wordpress, I don’t mind having that admin bar at the top because they know that I am using wordpress to make my website.
But if you are not using, for example if you are making a real estate course, you know, how to buy real estate or something like that, probably chances are you don’t want them to see that admin bar. You want to make it as white labelled as possible.
And the final plugin and this is the only one that costs money and it’s only specific if you want to make an actual course that can track users’ progress, take quizzes and things like that. It’s called wp courseware. And we will see how all of this works. But ya it’s a course learning management system plugin.
So the general setup, this is very, a general for how our website is actually going to look or work is they are going to register and login using the typical wordpress login area. So wordpress is going to handle all of that.
The actual logging in, the actual register of the users, setting the emails, to the individual for them to get a password and things like that. All are going to be handled by wordpress itself. As soon as they login they are going to go to a membership area and they are going to have this access to this membership area.
And that’s where the course is going to actually be. It’s going to be kind of like a typical dashboard that you would see but it’s going to be just like a typical page. You can make it as complex or simple as you want. And we will kind of see how that all works.
So right now you maybe a little bit overwhelmed just because there are so many plugins that are working together. You cannot really visualise what this may look like. So I am going to show you actually a real world example of how we utilise these different plugins on our main website.
And I will try to make this as brief as possible. But at our main website wpforall.com, the core of our website or the core of our YouTube channel is in our actual course on our website. And so this is just the landing page or the front page of the website. We will kind of describe what you learned, very structured course.
But it requires them to register because it kind of tracks their progress using the course wp courseware plugin. And so when they click on it, there is many different options for them for them to register. As you can see up here, login, register and things like that.
Just trying to make it easy for people to kind of figure out what they need to do. I open up this registration page once I click register. And it will just go for the username, email and a password will be emailed to them.
And that’s just ensures that everything is kind of. It allows everything to be real, you know their email. A lot of people tend to use fake emails. If they can just enter a password in right below it. So things like that. So this is the registration page as you can see using the different logo.
We don’t have the normal wordpress logo here, it’s our own logo. So that’s kind of takes care of that. The login logo plugin. So once they get their password, they can just redirect them to the login area. And they will just put in their username and put in their password as well.
And so as we recall, what the redirect plugin did. We have a redirect plugin so that, normally when you login to wordpress you go to the backend of wordpress, you will see the dashboard. But in this case it will redirect them to this membership area.
So as you can see this is our membership area. You can customize this however you may like. I am kind of just starting off. I still need to figure out what’s the best way to display everything. But this membership area kind of just describes what everything is, kind of as your dashboard, you can navigate.
Because eventually we will have many different courses, many different lessons, but for now, this is what I have added so far. And so they can access the course and so just take a quick look at what this membership plugin is even doing.
Because right now it’s working on here. is that if we look at, when we have logged out, this is what the page looks like when we have logged out is that there is this membership area and this is the same page if we look at the URL. It’s the same thing, but now we are not logged in.
So it kind of is telling us it has this kind of customized that you can put. You can put whatever you want. So must be logged in to view this content. So they log in now and they can register below. And I used this registration page or registration button simply because I wanted to try something different. This is using the gravity forms plugin.
It’s actually a paid plugin. So I am not going to show you how to utilise that here. But ya, we are trying to see which one works best in terms of registration. And so that’s kind of what the membership plugin does. It kind of makes everything just so it’s a lot more simple and it makes things so that you can kind of restrict access to certain things.
So once they have actually access the course, once they want to view the course, they can click on the various different courses and they will be redirected to the actual course layout or course dash board. And so they can click on whatever lesson in this specific course, it’s just the getting started course.
Say they wanted to learn how to install a wordpress theme, how they go about doing that? And so it will just redirect you to another kind of like a course, they call it a course unit. And so here, you can have a video. You can have text.
Whatever you really want and then they can mark it as complete and go to the next or previous unit and things like that, watch a video and this is also is like their dashboard to kind of see what classes or units they have completed or haven’t completed.
And it will even give you a certificate if you complete, if that’s what you want to do. So we have actually been able to see all five plugins in action. The only one that I didn’t mention was we don’t see this admin bar at top and that was one of the plugins did. And I have it installed right now.
And I will figure if I want it later. So you can kind of get an overview or an idea of how you can utilise these 4 or 5 onto your website, which ones you want, which ones you don’t need and things like that. So now that we have actually kind of seen how all these plugins interact in a real life example.
What I am going to do is kind of explain, kind of a very general overview of how all these plugins actually work. Kind of the settings of it. I did some of it already just because some of these were very trivial. I did not want to kind of focus too much on those details.
I just want to go over the big picture. And you guys can very easily figure out everything on your own. So what I am going to do first is simply just what I did is I installed all these different plugins.
I installed the members plugin, the my wordpress login logo, the login redirect, the wp courseware and hiding the admin area. And you can pick and choose which one you think you may need. So the first thing that we are going to do is simple go into the members plugin. Because that’s the one that’s is the core of the website.
That’s the one that probably most people are going to be using. So one thing that I really like in comparison to other membership plugins is that it’s actually very simple. There is no options and this could be good and bad depending on what you are trying to make.
But if you are just trying to make a free course, something that is very simple and easy to use, you want them to, pretty much just be able to register and login, this is exactly all you need. And so pretty much the settings can kind of stay as they are ready.
The only thing that kind of I wanted to mention is that you can change the message. You can change. If they access a page or a post, whatever it may be, that is restricted based on the different user roles, and you can have a specific message. You can just customize this in HTML. It accepts HTML and short codes.
So that’s kind of good and so you can say whatever it is that you want. All I said was kept it simple. Sorry but you do not have permission to view this content. Please login. And I guess you can also mention if it’s free, something that is free, registration is free, mention that as well.
Any comments people want to know. And so you can customize that how do you want in that regard. They also have a login sidebar widget and a user’s widget. I guess it’s kind of like a user profile. And so you can also redirect, other various options of redirecting people when they log in and things like that.
So that’s very simple how the actual membership plugin works. But kind of an add on of how it works as well, is that part of the settings. Actually how it works on the actual page restricting access to a page or a post. That’s what we are going to be doing here.
So what I did is created a very simple members area page, nothing to it. Just created the page for now. And all I want to show you is down below. So content permissions and this will show up on all the posts and all the pages. So you want to the limit the access to this post content to users of a selected role.
And so you want to limit the access to people who are subscribers. At least subscribers and above. Or subscribers at least if you click on that one only. And so you don’t want people who are just simply viewers that view the site. If they haven’t subscribed to your site and things like that.
They don’t actually have an account, they shouldn’t be able to access it. And we saw how that kind of worked. And you can subscribe, you can also have a custom error message. If you want a specific for an individual post or page that wasn’t the general one that we just looked at. Then you just update it.
And that would allow people who are only subscribers to be able to gain access. So that’s kind of the members plugin. Really that’s all it is. Very simple very easy to use. It does exactly what we need to do. Restrict access to certain content.
So what we are going to do now is we are going to see kind of how this login logo. And I don’t, it’s very simple to use. There is not much to it. All we are doing is uploading a logo and we are just going to specify the width and the height. And they have some other customization like a fade in.
And if you would notice it, you may not have noticed it. It’s like a fading effect. Really it’s just for aesthetics. If you want it sure, if not its perfectly fine. So the login logo, very simple, easy to use, not much to it but it makes your login page look a lot nicer in my opinion.
Next one that we are going to be doing is the redirect. This one I think is very important because if you don’t have this one, when users login they are going to be directed to this dashboard. They are going to see this dashboard.
They may not see all these different options but they will see this dashboard. And it’s going to be kind of hard in my opinion unless all your content is in the dashboard to direct them to say, head on over to the members area or head on over to this specific post or page.
It’s going to be quite difficult. So you kind of want to eliminate that confusion. You want to eliminate that even possibility that they are going to make that mistake. So what you do is you just specify a specific. So we wanted the subscriber roles because ultimately those are the only ones we care about.
The only type of other user that we have. So the subscriber role, when they login they are going to be redirected to the members area. When they logout they are also going to be redirected to the members area, simply. And the second part of that one is entirely up to you. They can be logged out anywhere.
They can go to the homepage or whatever you really wanted to because chance are that the only one that really matters is the login area. And we just wanted to go to that member’s area page that we just made. Because that was restricted content.
Now once they login they will gain access to it. And so the next things that I want to talk about is I guess the hiding the admin toolbar. That’s actually there is no settings to it. So there is nothing to talk about.
Really all you do is install the plugin, it will already know to hide that toolbar for anybody who is a non admin. So that’s definitely very easy for you. Nothing to really explain.
Then next thing I want to talk about actually is the this courseware this wp courseware plugin because that’s the core of our actual course. We have seen how we actually set up a membership page. You don’t necessarily need the wp courseware plugin if all you are trying to make is access to specific post.
You would do the same thing that you would do with our membership area page. You would just make a post and you would restrict the access to it. And you would kind of paste them all into that dashboard area. The membership area dashboard.
But let’s say you wanted to create an actual course. How would you go about doing that? And so pretty much what you would do is you just add a new course. So this is a sample course. I didn’t do much to it. And they have things called course units.
So this is a course unit right here. You just add new and it’s going to look exactly like. Let’s actually see what it looks like. It’s going to look exactly like a post or a page. You are literally just adding a new course unit. It’s going to look exactly like this.
So sample 3, this is a test post or actually it’s a course unit. So let’s not get confused. And we are just going to publish it. So once we publish it. Once we actually have all these courses, obviously you would want to actually have content within like you saw in our website, we had.
We had videos, text that accompanied the course. So once we have everything, now we are just going to go into training course, and what we are going to do is we are going to see if we can order everything. We can add our actual course units into our, from our course units into the actual course.
But as you can see, it says, no modules yet. So a module, it’s kind of like part1 and part2 and things like that. That’s kind of what a module it. It’s kind of just a breaking point so you can just select which course you want the module to be attached to.
And you can just name what the module you want. Literally just think of a module just like a part1, part2, just a breaking point. It allows people to kind of have a place where they can kind of just pause or rest. You can have a quiz right after each module and things like that.
So fairly simple, fairly intuitive in my opinion. So all we are going to do is go into sample course, we see that there is one module attached to it. And we are just going to go into quiz, units, order. And it’s just a drag and drop interface.
So all we are going to do is drag it and drop and you can specify which unit you want to add to each course. I just added them all but you can easily customize it to however you want. And you are just going to save it. And you are just going to have this training course right here
So this training course is complete. It’s actually done right now. So what we are going to do to actually embed or to embed this course onto out website is. The best place to put it is ultimately in the members area or your dashboard area.
Because you want to be able to kind of showcase what are these individuals who are signing up. Where they are going. You only have one course, it’s perfect to put it right there. And everything is just a short code. It’s just a short code.
And it will all be in the documentation of how you actually put it in. there is many different options. But very simple just put in the short code right there. And we are just going to update it. And we will kind of see how everything looks right after this.
So when the user registers for the course, when they do everything what will they see? Ultimately what will they see once they register for the course and they login and things like that. And so once they login to this, once they are able to login and redirected to the members area, they are going to see something like this.
And they will be able to click it but right now we are not able to click it. Why is that? Well, it’s because we are not granted access to the courseware. We specified in our settings was you can automatically add new users to all these courses or to the specific course.
But since we have already been a user, already a past user, it’s not going to show up. So we are just going to go users, and we can do those. We can manually add people to different courses. And so we are just going to click on our name because that’s the one that we are in.
And we can just allow the access. So just save those changes and we are going to refresh it. And just to mention though, you don’t have to do this for each individual.
You can, you can specify who you want to give access to. But since your new registered were already. They will come after the course is actually developed, then they will automatically be registered for this course and they can just view each of the different units.
And so it’s very simple, very easy to use. It allows them to be able to mark things as complete. It allows them to kind of have the more personalising experience of a membership site.
And like I mentioned before, instead of this you could easily have put just a list of different post right. If you wanted to make certain posts restricted content, all you would do is you would go into the actual page settings or the post settings, scroll down and change it from. Make sure that the subscribers are restricted access.
We saw how we did that before. And they would just be able to have this members area. Just like a dashboard. Just like a table of contents or navigation area where they can access maybe eBooks. They can access different posts, different pages and things like that.
So you can be very flexible. I showed you how to make a course specifically but you can be very flexible as to how you will actually want to customize your members area. And I don’t believe I actually mentioned this before.
What I just want to quickly just talk about. I don’t want to really even show too much, is how did I. one thing that I like is that you can add these login or register buttons in your menu option just so that. In case you don’t want to have a widget. You want to have just a menu item right here.
It will allow them to just have an easier time to find everything. You want to make it as easy as possible for your users to be able to find anything so that they don’t get confused and they don’t have to search around how to actually use your course or your membership site. They can just do it.
And so all we are going to do is we are going to find the menu that it is and what I did was add a custom link. So it’s this option right here. URL and the link text. And as you can see the login URL is wp-login.php and then the register one is a little bit longer.
All I did to find those things down was, I logged out of wordpress. I went to the typical user registration area. So this was the register area. We can see right there. And when you click login, you will be redirected to the actual login page and you can just copy and paste these URLs.
So it’s very simple as to how you add those things. Definitely a lot of customizability that you can eventually add. Or you can remove somethings if you find that you do not need them. So it’s fairly simple how to actually make a membership site and you know, what the plugins we use and also how you can specifically make a membership course.