If you’re looking for a way to make money using your talent and creating excellent unique content, you’ve probably already thought about creating your membership site. Well, or your client wants it. In this article, we’ll figure out how to build a fully-fledged membership website with JetEngine.
What is a membership website?
I added this paragraph just in case for those who are out of the loop. If you are well-versed in this subject, please, feel free to skip to the next section. 🙂
I want to say that if you start researching the web trying to figure out what a membership site is, you will come across quite conflicting information. For example, some sources equate memberships and subscriptions, some state that membership is a type of subscription, and vice versa. And someone even confuses the membership website with pricing plans of any cloud-based solution. It’s time to figure out where things stand for real.
A membership site is a community where you grant users access to any premium content for money. By content can be meant anything from educational course to nudes. The primary condition is that the content must be unique and shouldn’t be placed elsewhere.
Pay attention to the word “community,” as this is the key point that distinguishes the membership model from the subscription one. Within a subscription, you just provide content, product, or services users must pay for, and in the case of memberships, you build a community of like-minded people to share experiences, interests, and more.
Memberships can be disposable/monthly/partial/any – there are no restrictions here and let’s not go too deep. The main conclusion that can be made is that memberships are a relevant and cool phenomenon. Here I see advantages only: you make money from your expertise and added value, and users receive first-class content and pleasant communication.
Now let’s get down to business and figure out what you will need to do to build a membership website with Elementor, JetEngine, and other plugins by Crocoblock.
How to develop a membership website
Building a membership website on WordPress is not an easy task. Such a site assumes that members will be able to register and view the account dashboard NOT in the /wp-admin directory; it requires roles of different access levels, restrictions on different content groups, the ability to connect different payment systems, and so much more.
To make a membership website perform the way it’s supposed to, you will have to use a combination of different plugins. However, most of the necessary functionality can be implemented and configured using JetEngine.
Step 1 – Installing the plugins
Of course, you will need JetEngine. Its widgets will cope with most of the tasks faced when creating a membership site, and the only exception is creating new roles in WordPress.
Long ago, we decided not to duplicate the functionality that can be easily implemented with free plugins in our products. That’s why, to create new user roles, you will need to download one of the free user roles manager plugins available on WordPress.org. While choosing a plugin, we recommend you pay attention to the number of downloads (the more, the better), ratings, the time of the latest update, and reviews.
Step 2 – Creating new user roles
There are five default user roles on WordPress (Subscriber, Contributor, Author, Editor, Administrator), but none suit the membership website.
Imagine that you want to create a closed community to publish yoga video tutorials there. You want to post your video and also invite other yogis to contribute. Thus, you will need to create two new user roles with slightly different functionality for teachers and students. And here, you will need the abovementioned third-party plugin.
Step 3 – Creating registration forms
Any membership site requires a convenient front-end registration form. And most likely, these forms for your students and teachers have to differ from each other.
JetEngine Forms is the widget you need to create a custom front-end post submission form. It’s up to you whether to create a single form type for every user role or different ones for different roles. With Forms, you can create:
- Create a custom login page
- Create a custom registration page
- Edit an account page
Here’s the tutorial on how to build the forms and implement them on your website:
What else JetEngine Forms can help you with is integrating your membership website with 3rd party services like Zapier and Integromat for exceeding automatization but first, your own comfort. How to integrate 3rd party services, you can find out from this tutorial.
Step 4 – Setting up accounts for different user roles
You probably want to create subscriptions of different levels. For example, the first level will grant only exercises; the second – exercises and meditations; the third – exercises, meditations, literature, and your personal feedback. Users of different access levels must have different account dashboards with variable information, aren’t they?
And now it’s time for JetEngine Profile Builder. With its help, you will set up the pages that your Account will contain, build a structure for your future Account page and adjust its settings. Learn more about Profile Builder and how to use it here, and also in the latest User Profile Builder tutorial by WPTuts.
Step 5 – Setting up payment methods
Sure, you want your new project to bring you money, so you need to implement a payment system. Currently, JetEngine is integrated with the PayPal payment system, and this tutorial will tell you how to add a payment gateway to the form.
Step 6 – Building a pricing page
Of course, your site will need a page that clearly describes how much the subscriptions cost and what they include. There are different ways, including various plugins, to build pricing pages. Probably the most common way is to use the Elementor Pricing Table widget. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make a pricing table with its help:
After creating a pricing table, you need to put it into the form integrated with the payment system. To make this, you have to:
2.Attach a popup to the pricing button in the pricing table. Read the how-to.
3.Integrate the form into the popup via JetEngine forms. The how-to guide.
Step 7 – Restricting the content
And now, straight to what you will publish. As we already know, the content must be of different levels and restricted for some groups. Here you will need JetEngine’s Dynamic Visibility. This module allows you to determine who will see any of the website’s blocks and under what circumstances.
You can customize the content for different user roles of the entire page, or some part, or show different content to different roles on the same page.
A website built with JetEngine allows you to hide not only text content but any files published on the site. For example, you have created different subscription levels of your yoga site – Basic with video tutorials only and VIP with various additional materials. You can have full control over what content each subscriber group will see thanks to the file download restriction option via dynamic visibility by roles.
In this article, you will find out how to adjust the dynamic visibility. Also, take a look at this nice video-tutorial by WPTuts:
Step 8 – Adjusting the details
A little more about what JetEngine can do for your membership site:
- Uploading your members’ data in .csv format
- The ability to moderate the members list and the content they post. The site admin can close access to the page account for some roles and limit the number of publications. You can also enable the approval of new posts by the admin.
In this article, we wanted to show that Crocoblock has already developed all the necessary tools to create a complete membership site. As always, if you have any additional questions, our Support team will be happy to answer them.
Good luck with your new membership adventure!