Paid Membership Pro is a fantastic bespoke WordPress membership plug-in that provides an out of the box solution to setting up your first membership site.
You can set up unlimited membership levels and provide restricted access to pages, posts, categories, videos, forums, downloads, support and much more.
Paid Memberships Pro is flexible enough to fit the needs of almost all online and offline businesses. It works great out of the box, but is easy for developers to customize to fit your needs.
Step 1. Download the Plug-in
You are signing up for the FREE DOWNLOAD Option. The other 2 options you will see on this page are a “done for you installation” and “1 year support” which you can take advantage of if you wish but are not required.
You will need to create an account and enter your email and main site URL and your download installation link will be on the next page. Please click “Download Paid Membership Pro Plug-in”
Step 2. Installing to your Site
From your dashboard select “Plugins”
Select “add new”
Click “Upload” and locate the plugin you saved.
Click “Install” when you find the plugin zip file
Once installed click to “activate” the plug-in, this is what you should see once activated
Step 3. Add a new membership level
On the dashboard, go to Memberships and select Membership Levels.
Name: The name of your Membership level (public)
- Description: Optional content shown on the checkout page.
- Confirmation Message: Optional content shown on the checkout confirmation page.
- Billing Details:
- Initial Payment (This is what is charged at checkout. E.g. $10.)
- $10 per 1 Month
- No payment limit
- No trial
- No expiration
- Content Settings: If you have any Categories that should be locked down for members, you can check them off at the bottom of the edit level page. This means that any post in a restricted/Members-Only category will be locked down for members of this level.
- Save Level
Important: At least one membership level must be open to signups (“Allow Signups” = Yes) or your customers will be redirected to your membership levels page when they try to register or checkout.
Step 4. Setting up PM Pro Pages
The next Step is to set up some pages that Paid Memberships Pro needs to get the job done.
Click the Pages Tab. (From the dashboard, go to Memberships and select Page Settings)
- Paid Memberships Pro can Generate these pages for you: Click the link that says “let us generate them for you”.
This step sets the WordPress pages assigned to each required Paid Memberships Pro page.
Step 5. Payment Gateway & SSL Settings
The plugin supports 10 different payment gateways. For ease of use Paypal is a good choice to select.
Select “Payment Settings”
Select “Paypal Standard” unless you have any other version set up
Select “sandbox” to test and when you have tested the set up swith this to “live production”
Select the currency you wish to use for billing
Sales tax optional (Please check this out with your accountant)
Force SSL select “No”
IPN Details If you wish to connect your membership site directly to Paypal this URL is required.
If you wish to use any other payment please refer to this page for help
Step 6. Email Settings
Click the Email Tab. (From the dashboard, go to Memberships and select Email Settings)
- From Email and From Name: Use these fields to change the email address and name used WordPress sends email communications to your members.
- Send the site admin emails: Keep all boxes checked so you receive email confirmations about membership activity on your site.
- Save Settings
Step 7. Advanced Settings.
Click the Advanced Tab. (From the dashboard, go to Memberships and select Advanced Settings)
- These fields are best left untouched, but from here you can:
- Change the message shown when logged out or non-member tries to access membership-only content.
- Change the message shown for membership-only content in your site’s RSS feed.
- Show or hide excerpts to logged out or non-members. It’s a good idea to show excerpts on member pages since it entices new members to sign up and keep reading!
- If you are running ads on your site, you can hide them for members (required additional configuration).
- Requiring a credit card is the best spam prevention. But if you have a free level, you can turn on reCAPTCHA to add to the plugin’s built-in spam prevention.
- If you have a Terms of Service page on your site, you can choose it here. This will show a textarea on your checkout page and require the registrant to accept you terms prior to registration
Step 8. Protecting your content pages
To protect any page or post on your website just requires you to select the level you wish to view the content. If you have multiple levels and you want all your members to view the content make sure you select all the levels in the tick box which is located at the bottom right of your page or post.
If you want just 1 level to access just select the level you require.
You must select a level on all pages to grant access.
Step 9. Thats it now go and test it
After you have successfully set up the plugin, try the experience from start to finish from your user’s perspective.
Navigate to a members-only piece of content, try a blog post in a locked-down category.
- Click on the register link.
- From the Membership Levels page, select a level to checkout.
- After successful checkout, return to your members-only piece of content and enjoy!