The advantages of a WordPress CMS are huge – you can easily upload new content, categorize it in your page structure, and organize pages and posts via tags. For premium content delivery, you can protect your best content from the general public by creating a membership site with WordPress. Membership websites create a members-only section of your website, where only your customers and registered users can read, watch, and download your best content.

Membership Website WordPress Overview

If you have a WordPress website, you know how to login to /wp-admin – you enter your username and password, and gain access to the back-end of the website.

There are many different permissions levels in WordPress. The 4 standard levels are:

  • Admin
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Subscriber

Each of these permissions levels gains access to different levels of functionality within your website. Admins can do anything and everything, including creating new users, changing core theme files, and more. Editors can publish content to make it live on the website, while Authors can create content, but cannot publish their changes.

You can use the Subscriber level to protect your premium content, or create another level for ‘Customer’ or ‘October Mastermind’ or ‘Community Member,’ and assign access to specific pieces of content in your website based on the user’s permission level.

What this means: You can designate any WordPress post or page as ‘private,’ meaning it is only accessible to logged-in users. You can designate which user levels can access certain pages, meaning that if you have a different user level for every product in your library, you just need to assign a specific user level to an account after a product is purchased in order to unlock access to that content.

How To Build Membership Websites

The easiest way to create membership websites is to download a membership plugin. Here are three good ones:

  1. MemberPress
  2. Paid Membership Pro
  3. WooCommerce Memberships

These out-of-the-box solutions allow users to register and gain access to select areas of your website, but they do not integrate with your shopping cart right away. It takes some work to get a specific membership level to co-ordinate with a specific product purchase, and getting the plugin to automatically generate a username and password, that already has the right login level, is the tricky part of the automation.

Easy Membership Website Trick

Do you have some premium content you would like to protect?

There is an easy way to make membership websites, baked into the WordPress CMS itself. It won’t create logins for users, but it will protect your content with a password.

Publish your premium content on your WordPress website as a standalone page. When you publish it, under Visibility don’t select Public (the default) or Private, select ‘Password Protected.’ Enter the password that users need to enter to access your content.

Now, if you want to deliver some premium content to your email newsletter subscribers, for example, you can send them the link and the password. It won’t be available to everyone on the internet, but only to those with the password.