Now that we have your site all set up you will either want to add some products or services. In this first tutorial lets look at membership sites.
There are many ways you can set up a membership site and we will look at the four of the most popular.
Membership Site 1 – Password Protect
This is the simplest and easiest to set up. Basically once you create a page or post you can adjust its visibility under the publish tab and choose a password to lock it down. To see it work visit our Mals Commerce training page at http://malsecommercetutorials.com/video-tutorials/introduction/ Password is mals77
If you want to make money then you can sell that password like we do on that site.
Password Protecting Many Posts and Pages
WordPress stores this password in a browser cookie so readers don’t have to re-enter passwords if they visit the same page multiple times. Furthermore, if multiple posts use the same password, the reader will only have to enter the password once to access every post (see caveat below).
WordPress will only track one password at a time. Therefore, if two posts use two different passwords, entering the password for post A, then entering the password for post B means that revisiting post A (or any post which shares its password) will require the user to re-enter the password for post A.
Membership Site 2 – Restrict Content
This allows for a little bit more control over your content by using a plugin called Access control. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-access-control/
Now with shortcodes and post/custom-post-type support, as well as a comprehensive admin interface for setting plugin defaults
WordPress Access Control is a plugin designed to integrate into membership sites where certain pages, posts and custom post types should only be available to members of the site. The plugin offers fine tuned features for this purpose, including the ability to set site wide defaults and override these on a per-page basis.
You can easily set a page to be accessible only by members of your site, or even a specific role. You can also set pages to be accessible only to non-members of your site, useful for registration pages.
Lots of good tutorials and documentation.
Because this is not a specific membership plugin and only controls who can see content we need to lock down the WordPress registration page. To do this I use a plugin called Register Plus Redux.
The main use is to add a invitation code to the registration page which is what you sell.
Register Plus Redux enables the user registration (or signup) process to be customized in many ways, big and small. Is there another field you want users to complete when registering? Do you want to change the message your users receive after they register? Do you want users to have to verify their email address is legitimate? Do you want to queue up new users to be approved or denied by an administrator? Register Plus Redux can do all that and more.
You can then customize the whole process by using another plugin called Theme my Login.
This plugin themes the WordPress login, registration and forgot password pages according to your current theme. It creates a page to use in place of wp-login.php, using a page template from your theme. Also includes a widget for sidebar login.
Membership Site 3 – Paid Membership Pro
We use this one a lot. Set up unlimited membership levels and provide restricted access to pages, posts, categories, videos, forums, downloads, support, single “a la carte” page access, and 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. Lots of documentation and help available.
Membership Site 3 – Sensei
Teaching coursework has never been easier, all within WordPress. With the Sensei plugin you can create courses, write lessons, and add quizzes. Set lesson and course pre-requisites, allow user registration and even charge for your course content if you want. Sensei is the ultimate WordPress learning management system!
This one is not free however a very powerful tool for anyone wanting to provide corse ware which is trackable.