How to Set Up a Powerful Membership Site on WordPress

There are a lot of options available for creating membership sites with WordPress. Restrict Content Pro is on the top of my list.

Restrict Content Pro for WordPress

Let’s start off by looking at the plugin settings for your site.

General Settings

Several pages are automatically created for you when you install the plugin, so you can go in and add any other content to each RCP-specific page. You can also create your own page if that is your preference by using shortcodes and selecting the page.

You can add generic messages for both members and non-members. The latter is especially nice because you can explain to anyone who has landed there that it is not only is a member-only page and you can place an upsell link in the text to get people to join—or a landing page with an incentive to join, such as a preview, or free lesson.

general settings RCP

Payments Settings

Here you will set up the payment gateways you are using (and see the standard ones that are available).

payment settings RCP

Email Settings

There is just about every email that you would conceivably need and an option to customize that email. Also, for a handy resource, all of the available tags you can use in the member-specific emails as well.

email settings RCP

Invoice Settings

This is a nice feature. I know from experience that many businesses request an invoice, especially the ones outside the US. Why not make it easy? You can add the info for the invoice here. Admins can view an invoice at any time, and if you add a shortcode to your the members account page, they can also download the invoice themselves. This saves both you and your customer time.

invoice settings RCP

Misc Settings

There are several important settings here and most of them are self-explanatory. Sometimes people don’t explore the Misc settings because they are often used very little, but there’s some good stuff in here you will want to be aware of.

misc settings RCP

Creating Subscription Levels for Restrict Content Pro

Having a membership site will likely involve levels of membership based on content access. You can easily add as many levels as needed and set the appropriate restrictions.

subscription levels for RCP

One interesting option of RCP, the access level setting,  that helps you control what members are able to access. It is based on numbers 1-10. It is a tiered system, based on the numbers 1-10.  For example, if a member has level 7, they are able to access all levels of 7 or less. It’s a cool way to select the access you want to give any specific level.

subsciption level control in RCPL

Members and Adding Members

As members join, they are listed here. You can also add any new subscription manually.

members in RCP

As an admin, you can view or edit membership details.

member details

Or you can edit their user account in the standard user profile in your WordPress dashboard.

In addition, members will be able to access their accounts on their account page. Of course, if this was a real member and site, there would be much more information here. But you get the idea of what they will see and their options to renew, upgrade or change their subscription.

member account page in RCP

Discount Codes for Subscriptions

You can easily create discount codes for any level of memberships to be shared with existing members or upgrades or time-sensitive sales you may want to push out.

discount codes in RCP

Reports and Export Options

You will be able to view reports based on earnings, refunds and signups for all levels or any specific level and time period.

reports in RCP

As well as export any needed data into a CVS file.

export option in RCP

Restricting Posts, Pages and Other Post Types

This is very simple, with four versatile options:

Restrict Everyone

restrict everyone in RCP

Restrict Members of Certain Levels

A bit more control and ,if the third one is selected, Members of specific subscription levels, all levels will be displayed for you to toggle as needed.

restrict members of subscription levels in RCP

Restrict Members with an Access Level

Based on the level, restricting them to that level and higher.

restrict members with an access level in RCP

Restrict Members Who Have a Certain Role

You can also restrict based just on their role.

restrict certain members with a certain role

At the bottom of the last three, you have some additional options. These are a nice added touch, as you can show the excerpt to members that do not have access to that specific content. Again, not only is this custom to existing members, but also a great option to recommend a level upgrade.

Plus being able to use a shortcode to show a partial view of the content:

additional options in access settings on page or post

Add-ons for Restrict Content Pro

To meet your own specific needs, whether it’s to extend functionality of RCP or to integrate with another WordPress plugin, there are add-ons to help you in most cases.

These are the official free add-ons you can access.

free add ons for RCP

And here are the pro add-ons. These can be purchased separately or are included in the Professional or Ultimate License package.

pro add ons for RCP

Membership sites continue to grow and if you are using WordPress, it’s best to grab yourself a solid plugin that will cover all your bases. The integration with Easy Digital Downloads is slick and with both coming from the same company, they make a great combo. But it also works well with any site for content restriction and has a helpful add-on that you can use with WooCommerce.

I would recommend you check this out if you are moving into the membership realm or looking at ways to improve your current membership site. You can learn more about Restrict Content Pro here.

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