Jack Wallen introduces you to a plugin that makes it easy to monetize content with WordPress.

Logos of the Web Content Management System WordPress on a heap on a table. Copy space. Web banner format.
Image: Andreas Prott/Adobe Stock

WordPress is one of the most widely-used website-building frameworks on the market, and with good reason. Although WordPress was originally designed for nothing more than blogging, it has since become a platform that can meet just about any need.

Case in point: membership content. Using WordPress and a simple plugin, you can create members-only content for your site. With the help of the Paid Membership Pro plugin, you can monetize content on your WordPress site with different membership levels, including:

  • Free
  • Monthly
  • Annual
  • One Time
  • Lifetime
  • Trial

With the Paid Membership Pro (which is free with paid add-ons), you can monetize content for courses and coaching, associations and professional organizations, physical and digital products, paywall content and paid newsletters.

SEE: Hiring kit: Back-end Developer (TechRepublic Premium)

There are also paid plans for the plugin, which are:

  • Standard: $247/year and includes everything in the free version with premium support, advanced customizations, 20 standard add-ons and automatic updates. One site license is included.
  • Plus: $397/year and includes everything in Standard and 30 + add-ons. Two site licenses are included.
  • Builder: $697/year and includes everything in Plus with five site licenses included.

Let’s get Paid Membership Pro installed on WordPress and see how to get started using it.

How to install Paid Membership Pro

Installing the plugin is the same as it is for any in WordPress. Log in to your site as an admin user and go to Plugins | Add New. In the Search area, type Paid Membership Pro (Figure A).

Figure A

Locating the Paid Membership Pro plugin within WordPress.

When the Paid Membership Pro plugin appears (Figure B), click Install Now.

Figure B

Installing the Paid Membership Pro plugin.

Next, click Activate (Figure C) so the plugin is made available to your site.

Figure C

Activating the Paid Membership Pro add-on.

How to create your first membership level

As soon as the plugin installs, you’ll find a new tab in the WordPress left sidebar called Memberships. Click that tab and you’ll be greeted with the warning No Membership Levels Found (Figure D).

Figure D

You must first create a membership level.

Click Create A Membership Level and a new popup will appear (Figure E).

Figure E

Creating your first membership level with Paid Membership Pro.

Let’s say your first membership level will be Monthly. Click that entry, and on the resulting page (Figure F), fill out the necessary information for the membership level.

Figure F

The configuration page for a monthly membership.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can limit this membership level to categories (Figure G). If you’ve not already created your categories, you should do so. You might even create a category named monthly, so it’s very easy to know which category to assign to your membership level.

Figure G

Assigning a category to the Monthly Membership Level.

Now, when you create a new Post on the site, you would assign it to the monthly category and only members that belong to the monthly membership will be able to view that content.

Before you continue, you will also need to generate the various frontend pages required by Paid Membership Pro. To do that, go to Memberships and click the Settings tab. In that window (Figure H), click Generate Pages For Me, which is the easiest method.

Figure H

You must generate the required pages for the plugin before your site is ready.

This will take you to a new page (Figure I), where you can customize the various pages.

Figure I

Customizing the page settings for Paid Memberships Pro.

Once you’ve configured the pages, click Save Settings. What this does is create all of the necessary pages that allow users to sign up for a membership level and manage their accounts.

After taking care of this final step, you’re ready to further customize Paid Memberships Pro to perfectly fit the needs of your WordPress site, your business and your products.

Hopefully, this plugin will help you monetize your content, without having to turn to a more costly, custom solution.

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