Finally! How To Create a Membership Website With Wishlist Member In 7 Steps

Bonus: Get The First Six Videos In My Professional Web Development CourseĀ  for FREE

You have made up your mind to join the Daily Income Business gang and start something that wouldn’t just make you money but also keep customers repeatedly paying for your product or service.

Starting a membership website could be the biggest deal breaker that would be the business model of your dream if you know how to run it well.

Memberships have one thing in common with Subscription-based businesses like Netflix subscriptions, Newspaper subscriptions, Amazon subscriptions, or Cable Tv subscriptions; and that’s the fact that they get customers to pay you on a recurring basis, either monthly, quarterly, yearly, or as you deem fit.

Membership websites however are different from just mere subscription businesses for the fact that the business model revolves around an active community which also ensures the owner of the membership websites gets involved in the community.

 

This business model gives you a major advantage over others models because :

  1. You get to keep your members as long as you’re providing value to them. This ensures you keep getting paid recurrently by your customers rather than having to find new customers for new payments the next month or year.
  2. You’re able to provide lasting value and contribution to the members of your community which as result also builds you up and creates a bond between you and your community that affords you the right to recommend great products that will benefit them and make you money too.

In today’s post, I’ll show you how to create a membership website in WordPress with the Wishlist Member pluginĀ  that will get you to run this business model effectively anywhere you are.

Of course, there are other membership plugins or platforms out there I’ll show you later in this post that can effectively do the same job

However, in today’s post, I won’t just show you the steps it takes to create a membership website, I’ll also create one from scratch, For this reason, I have chosen a plugin that’s both effective and very easy to use and that is the Wishlist Member plugin.

So here is what you’ll learn in today’s post:

  1. What Is a Membership Website?
  2. Steps To Starting a Membership Website Business
  3. How To Create a Membership WebsiteĀ 
  4. Steps To Setting Up Membership Functionality With Wishlist Member

 

What Will I Learn?

What Is a Membership Site?

A membership website is a website that runs a continuity program where members or subscribers have some community privilege to in-house perks like tutorials, blog posts, courses, and other benefits that could also be offline events, gift cards, etc., and that are exclusive only to them

Of course, the membership site can have different levels which could be Free or Paid.

Most membership websites incorporate Free levels and Paid levels subscriptions.

When you create a membership website, the benefit it running it goes beyond the monetary value which of course gives you some kind of guaranteed monthly or yearly earnings as long as you keep your members.

The fact that you can raise a loyal following in your own managed community making you the leader people want to keep hearing from and following is an added advantage as it affords you the opportunity to help your audience in a greater way by allowing them to find answers to their questions within the community sometimes even without your own input.

If you begin to find out that you really can not afford to be answering every question your audience keeps asking you without spending too much of your time, and you really want to solve their problems in a manner that would help every one of your audience while you also benefit monetarily from having to solve those problems, then the solution you have always sought for could be to create a membership website.

As mentioned earlier, the beauty of a membership website is the community privilege it grants to the community and which also eases your work as a leader of your audience, giving each member of the community opportunity to interact and solve each other’s problems also.

 

7 Steps To Starting a Membership Business

The steps to starting a membership business are:

  1. Understand your audience and the journey you want to take them
  2. Decide on the membership model you will employ
  3. Decide on the membership platform you will create your site on
  4. Create your membership website
  5. Create your contents for your community
  6. Promote your membership website
  7. Launch the website and plan to retain your members

 

Understand Your Audience And The Journey Through Which You Want To Take Them

Before you set out to create a membership website, you must first identify and understand the audience you want to serve and what their journey from frustration to personal success to becoming an advocate of your business would look like.

Your membership website should serve the particular purpose of helping your audience move away from pain and towards pleasure.

Therefore, you must come to know the pain, frustrations, questions, curiosity, problems, desires, aspirations, dreams perceptions, and goals of the audience you want to serve.

Then you can progress to identify their demographic characteristics like their age, sex, race, religion, marital status, etc.

When you identify these characteristics about your audience, in relation to what you’ve got to help them with, then and only then can you understand the journey through which you’ll take them via your membership website.

This is requisite to really make your website the go-to place for your members and keep them as members because they know that your website is the solution center to their goals and aspirations.

 

Decide on the membership model you will employ

Now that you have identified your audience, it’s time to devise how you’ll set up your audience website and the system through which you’ll take to help your audience via your membership website

Would your membership website be completely free?

Or would you also have paid membership website?

Would the membership website have different levels of memberships?

And would the membership subscription be just yearly or would it include monthly and maybe quarterly subscriptions?

What would be the perks exclusive to the members at each level?

Tutorials?

Exclusive Podcast episodes?

Courses?

Exclusive Blog posts?

Exclusive Newsletters?

How will you deliver these perks?

How would you reward loyal members?

How would you keep your members so they always renew their subscriptions?

And so on and so forth…

 

Decide On The Platform You Will Create Your Membership WebSite On

Now that you have identified the audience you would like to serve and decided on your membership model, the next thing you want to do is to decide on the membership platforms to use.

Depending on your needs, finance, and membership model, you can choose your preferred membership site platform from the ones above.

 

Create Your Membership Website

Once your membership platform has been decided, the next thing you want to do is to then create the site and incorporate the model you decided on in step 2 of this membership site creation process above.

In the next section of this post, I’ll take you through how to create a membership website using Wishlist Member in conjunction with BuddyBoss from scratch just like I used them for this website.

However, ensure you have created different membership levels if they are more than one,…

Ensure your members have a way to subscribe and make payment and renewal payments to access their contents

If possible, ensure your members have their own member dashboard

See to it that you incorporate community focused learning in your membership. You can make use of the BBpress and BodyPress plugins to enhance the social interaction of the website if you’re using WordPress for your membership site

You can also use the BuddyBoss platform theme and plugin which gives far better social interaction and enhancement to your WordPress membership website.

Once you’re done creating your membership website, just before you start promoting the site, you want to go to the next step which is…

 

Bonus: Get The First Six Videos In My Professional Web Development CourseĀ  for FREE

Create Your Contents For Your Community

Your want to have some pre-created content ready for your prospective members to land on and consume as they join your membership.

You don’t want them joining your membership and realizing there is nothing for them to see and become remorseful and angry for buying into your membership or even asking for a refund.

Therefore, before you ever promote your membership, you want to have some content ready for your subscribers, whether those at the free or paid level.

Of course, the content you’ll create would have been determined when engaging steps 1 and 2 above.

When you have at least 5 to 10 contents ready for each level you created that you want to promote, then you can move to the next step

 

Promote Your Membership Website

Your membership website and your contents are ready.

The next thing you want to do is to vigorously promote your business to your prospective customers, stating what they have to gain if they join your membership.

Your job at this point is to presell your membership to your existing audience and also begin to find a new audience for your membership website via organic traffic generation and paid traffic generation strategies.

 

Launch Your Website and Plan To Retain Your Members

As you promote your website, you can set a fixed launch date when you will open your membership for massive sales.

You should have developed a launch strategy during the Step 2 stage.

Depending on your plan, you can choose to start preselling the membership before the launch date.

You can even make your launch period somewhat of a 7 days launch to give more people a window to buy into this membership which they might have raised their hands to buy by joining your waiting list earlier during the promotion period.

You could also discount the price for those that will join your membership in the launch period and remove the discount after the launch period. This could effectively help you to retain your first set of members as they wouldn’t want to cancel only to come back to pay a higher fee.

Nevertheless, ensure you have developed an effective launch strategy long before you’re done creating the website and implement the strategy accordingly as you begin the promotion of your membership website.

If you go through these 7 steps laid out accordingly, you should have your membership business set up effectively and for great profitability within a few days or weeks or even months depending on personal previous knowledge of business creation and marketing.

Now that we have gone through the various steps you could take in create a membership website business, in the section below, I’ll go through how you can effectively create a membership website from scratch using Wishlist Member and BuddyBoss

Ultimate Guide To Creating a Membership Website With WordPress and Wishlist Member

I’ll take you through the best tutorial you could ever find on creating your membership website using WordPress and Wishlist Member.

Why WordPress Though?

You might ask why WordPress and why Wishlist member of all other membership builders and platforms.

First of all, WordPress powers over 43% of all websites in the world.

The fact that you are not boxed into a particular platform that you must always continue to use for your membership website once you signed up with them, gives you the freedom of choice.

WordPress(.org) is free to use and with it you are free to use many of the membership plugins out there when creating your membership website.

With thousands of free and paid plugins, you have the liberty and more control in designing how exactly you want your website to look unlike when you use other hosted solutions.

So the freedom, control, and the fact that it could be less costly compared with other hosted builders make WordPress the most popular choice when it comes to creating a website.

Why Wishlist Member?

Of all the WordPress-based membership website plugins, one of the oldest among them is Wishlist Member.

Having evolved in the year 2019 from the old and not-so-great version, Wishlist Member has finally proven to be a top contender in the membership website builder space.

Its vast array of integrations made it stand out amongst its newest competitors and made it still the top choice for creating membership websites.

I particularly chose to use Wishlist Member because not only does it integrate with Woocommerce naturally, but it also had myriads of integration with other plugins and has very cool and appealing interphase.

Bonus: Get FREE Access to my Premium Professional Blog Website Creation course

With Wishlist Member, you also get to have more freedom on how you want to structure your membership website rather than being limited by a lack of integration or huge pricing expense some other builders have.

Now let’s take a dive into how you will create a membership website with Wishlist Member.

 

Create a Membership Website In 7 Steps

  1. Domain and Hosting Registration
  2. Install WordPress On Your Domain name In Your Hosting
  3. Install Wishlist Member and Other Plugins
  4. Set Up WordPress and Configure Your Theme and Plugins
  5. Set Up and Configure The Wishlist Member Membership Functionality
  6. Test Your Website Functionality
  7. Launch Your Website

 

Domain and Hosting Registration With Interserver

The first thing you want to get is your domain name and hosting.

Your domain name is your web address that people will type into their browsers to get to your website pages. It is that www.yourdomainname.com

You get a domain name by registering it with a domain name registrar that ensures it is secured for your website alone and no one else can use it.

There are many domain name registrars you can buy your domain name from and they include Namecheap, GoDaddy, Smartweb, Hostinger, Bluehost, etc.

Your hosting on the other hand is the server where your website files are stored and from where they are rendered to the browser of your visitors so they can get to your page.

The Nameserver you’ll be given when you register your domain name helps to connect your server to your domain name which your visitors input in their browser to access your web pages.

Most domain name registrars also host your website and they still include Interserver, Hostinger, Namecheap, Bluehost, Smartweb, ScalaHosting, Inmotion, etc.

While I do mostly use Namecheap to register domain names for my clients and host the website on Interserver (I prefer to buy a domain and hosting on different companies though that may change later), I have also bought both on Interserver.

Interserver is my first choice of hosting because of its Price Lock Guarantee.

InterServer Web Hosting and VPS

 

So aside from the fact that you’re given 65% off your first year(yes you pay just $2.50/month) like many other hosting companies do, but unlike others where you could start paying between $10-$15 per month when you want to renew, Interserver’s shared hosting currently renews at $7.

The sweet thing is that if you purchase your hosting right now, it doesn’t matter if the price then goes up to $10/month or $20/month in subsequent years, you are guaranteed to continue paying the $7 per month renewal amount you saw when buying it the first year.

This Price Lock Guarantee ensures that you don’t wake up one day to realise the cost of hosting has increased.

The hosting I bout at $5/month years ago renews at the same rate today even though it sells for $7 per month now.

So you can get both your domain name and hosting at Intersever here at the 65% discount price of $2.50 by clicking on the Buy Now button.

You can then choose the first option and input the domain name you want for your site if you haven’t bought it elsewhere or choose the second option if you’ve already bought it from another domain name registrar.

If you choose the first option and you input your domain name, you’ll get a notice to change the domain name if it has been taken or to continue if it hasn’t been taken

You can then proceed to register your account, log in, choose what plan you want to pay for, whether monthly, or quarterly, or yearly, and proceed to make payment afterwards.

 

It should be noted that making a payment with Paypal ensures your hosting is activated automatically.

I found out that if you make a payment with your credit/debit card, you’ll get to send your ID to them for verification before your account is activated.

Once that is concluded, then we go to the next step which is ….

 

Install WordPress On Your Domain name In Your Hosting

WordPress comes preinstalled in Interserver. Once you’ve bought your hosting, then you need to install WordPress on your domain name inside of your hosting.

You can as well install the WordPress on your subdomain name if you choose to.

Scroll to the Softaculous section of your hosting panel (or Cpanel) click on WordPress and you’ll be taken to the Softaculous installer page where you’ll install WordPress on your domain name.

Click on WordPress

Erase the “wp” choose the domain name you want to use if you have more than one in your hosting, insert your username, password and admin email, then click on the Install button.

Once it has been installed, you’ll be notified on the page that your installation has been successful

You can then click on your admin URL and get to your WordPress backend where you’ll begin building your membership website.

 

Install Wishlist Member, BuddyBoss, Woocommerce and Other Plugins In Your WordPress Admin

For our membership website, we will be using Wishlist Member.

So you’ll have to get to the Wishlist Member website and make your purchase here

 

Click on Get Started, choose your purchase option and make the purchase

Once you have the purchase made, then you can install Wishlist Member on your website.

For the theme, we’ll also pruchase the BoddyBoss Platform Pro and theme .

The Buddyboss Platform Pro plugin also has a limited Free version that you can download here. The plugin is a combination of the BBpress and BuddyPress plugins which gives a social media like and forum to your website.

Using the theme however also ensures that these features appear very appealing, organized and professional.

Just go here to make your BuddyBoss purchase right away

You can then install the BuddyBoss theme and plugin after the purchase.

The other plugins you may want to install are the Woocommerce plugin, Wordfence plugin for security, your Elementor(Or Thrive Architect) plugin to build your pages, WP Rocket and/or Autoptimize for speed and caching, Rank Math for SEO, etc.

 

Set Up WordPress and Configure Your Theme and Plugins

Before we go into configuring our Membership plugin, that is Wishlist Member, at this step, you should configure the BuddyBoss theme and every other plugin and see that they are all working well,

Go to the Theme Option of your BuddyBoss on the WordPress admin section and configure each section there including the BuddyPanel.

You should also set the website name and tagline in the General section of the Settings in the admin panel.

Then you should change the Permalink, create the home page and blog page and set them up in the Readings section of the Settings in the admin panel

Configure thtme option and every other theme settings
Set up WordPress name
Create and set the home page and blog page

You can set up the Menu by clicking on it fron under the Appearance section of the admin panel.

Set up the main menu and your BoddyPanel Menu also.

Main menu creation
BuddyPanel menu setting

Configure every other Setting in the BuddyBoss theme including the Components, Pages, and Integrations. Fo the sake of this tutorial however, I’ll import some selected demo data which includes the members, activity, forums, discussions, replies, etc.

Your homepage can however be built with elementor, uisng the dashboard template of BuddyBoss in Elementor.

With WP Fusion, you can set the homepage which is the members’ dashboard to be seen only by logged in users while you redirect other visitors or not logged-in users to a different homepage entirely..

However, I realised importing the page from elementor didn’t work until I had to activate BuddyBoss and Elementor integrations in Wishlist member, create a membership level in Wishlist and add my account to the membership level.

Either of or all the actions above made the import work.

Homepage before import from Elementor
Homepage after import from Elementor

As you can see, the profile image hasn’t been set up.

So you would need to conifigure the homepage/memberpage and make it exactly the way you want.

You can check out my memberpage when you signup for Free and log in to my website at getdigitalpresence.com.ng and see how awesome it is.

Now, like I said before, you can restrict that page to logged-in members only and create another homepage where you’ll redirect your website visitors and not logged-in users whenever they attempt to browse your homepage or click on your logo.

WP Fusion can help with this in the page settings

Homepage for Not logged in users
Restricting homepage to logged in users
Home page demo design for Not logged in users

You can go ahead to create every other page of your website, design the website to suit your brand taste and create the content, courses, tutorials, training, etc . now or later.

When you’re done, you can then go ahead to the next step where you configure the Membership functionality.

 

Set Up and Configure The Wishlist Member Membership Functionality

It’s now time to create the membership functionality on your website.

Wishlist Member, although created with so many functionalities and options, is so easy to set up, with the many integrations that give it an edge over most membership plugins.

You’ll be met with the setup wizard that takes you through how to set it up when you first click on Wishlist in the WordPress admin panel.

You can follow through or skip it and just go ahead and create your first membership level.

Remember the membership model you decided on in Step 2 above of this TUtorial ?

 

Setup Wishlist Member In 8 Steps

  1. Create and Setup Membership Level
  2. Setup Pay Per Post 
  3. Add and Configure Integrations
  4. Manage The Members 
  5. Setup Administration Settings
  6. Setup Content Protection
  7. Setup Content Control
  8. Setup Advanced Settings

 

Create and Setup Membership Level

Here is where you now begin to implement by creating the membership levels you want for your membership website.

How to create a membership level
Add the membership level

Once you’ve created a membership level, it’s high time to configure how the level will function.

First, go ahead and decide on the ACCESS Expiration whether it’ll be Ongoing, Fixed Term on On a Specific Date.

I think you want to leave it at Ongoing and control access using Woocommerce payment gateways or any other payment gateways or you might actually set it up to expire on a fixed term after which your members can then renew after expiration.

It’s your call actually.

choose expiration option

 

After that, you’ll then go to the Registration tab to set it up.

Switch on Enable the registration form header/footer if you want to customize it

Switch on Enable custom registration form if you want to customise the registration form for the level

Switch on Enable Grant Continued Access if you still want members who have canceled their membership to have access to the content they previously had access to

Switch on Enable the Uncancel on Re-registration if the form is used for the registration so members who had canceled can reregister.

Leave Enable Simple Registration Url On after testing the level if you actually set up the level to be Free or for manual registration to still be done after payment in case the payment gateway isn’t integrated with Wishlist Member.

This is not advised because your registration form can simply be leaked if the level is a paid level and people could then register for Free if you set their registration to be active without admin approval.

Otherwise, just switch it off and switch on the Enable auto created account for Integrations while you make sure to use Payment Gateways integrated with Wishlist Member of which there are many of them available including many others through Woocommerce.

Membership registration tab

 

Now you then move to the Requirement tab and switch on any of the options there.

Requirements tab

In the Additional Settings tab, you have some intresting options there you want to take a look at.

The first option is the Registration Date reset. This has to be switched on if you chose Fixed Term or Specific Date for Expiration in the Access Tab

As for the Redirects options, you can switch them on if you want to redirect your members to specific pages upon registration, login and logout

Additional Settings tab

The next tab after this is the Email Notifications tab where you can decide to click on each of the options and edit the email body and the sender name and email address.

Email notifications tab
Edit notifications

Next is the Actions tab where you basically set up some automations like removing or adding a member from a level when he or she is removed from or added to or cancelled from another level

Actions tab
Actions automation

The last tab is the Woocommerce tab where access to the membership can be setup to be granted via a product created in woocommerce.

You can either create the product from Woocommerce and choose the membership level from the Wishlist Member tab of Woocommerce which will then automatically reflect in Wishlist Member or you can choose the woocommerce product from the Woocommerce tab of Wishlist Member and it will also reflect in the Wishlist Member tab of Woocommerce..

Grant access to membership via a woocommerce product
Granting access to membership from woocommerce

Pay Per Post Setting

Now that we are done with the settings in the Level section of the Setup in Wishlist Member, we can also setup any content on a Pay Per post protection.

Any post that has been protected with Pay Per Post protection will appear in the dashboard as you can see below.

You can also switch on any of the options in the Settings option of the Pay Per Post section and control how you want the website to work.

You can set up your Pay Per post protection for each post, or page by clicking on the the Protected button in the Protection and Access tab of the Wishlist section at the bottom of the post/page

Then you go to the Pay Per Post Access tab and enable it as seen in the image below

Protected post
Pay Per Post settings

In the System Pages tab, you can configure the error messages people who do not have access to the post would receive depending on the reason they are not granted access. If not set, the Global Default will be applied.

Error pages set for the post

To connect with Woocommerce or any other payment integration you have setup, you would need to copy the SKU and use it when creating the product as you can see in the images below

copy the sku from the integrations section
paste it in the product sku section

Update the post and publish the product. Once done, do well to add the post/page in the Membership Level segment of the Wishlist Member tab of the Product you’re creating as seen in the image below.

add the protected post as the membership level

Now you can update the product again and your post is well protected. Just make sure to direct users without access to the url where they’ll purchase the product/post and have access to the post.

 

Add and Configure Integrations

You now can move to the next tab-Integrations.

Here, you’ll add your payment integrations, add and configure your CRMintegrations and add any other inegrations as seen in the images below.

add your payment integration
add your crm integrations
add other integrations

This post is already 4, 539 words long so in other to not write endlessly, I’ll summarize every other major tabs moving forward.

 

Manage The Members Tab

In the Members tab, you can see the list of all the members and manage them from there by adding them manually to a level directly or clicking on the member and editing their levels and various access in the website as seen in the images below

add directly to a level
edit various access

 

Administration Settings

In the Administration tab, you have the opportunity to set up email broadcasts and send to your members.

Setup email broadcasts
Create email broadcasts

You can also back up Wishlist Member, reset it, export your members record and even roll back Wishlist Member.

Backup Wishlist Member
Reset Wishlist Member
Rollback Wishlist Member

,

Content Protection, Content Control and Advanced Settings

These settings in themselves will have to take a couple of blog posts to cover fully because they are so powerful.

To summarize, in the Content Protection tab, you can set up total protection for each and every content of your website as seen in the images below.

content protection
set up ontent protection for each content

In the Content Control tab, you can drip contents, archive the contents so it can not be seen by thoe who joined after it was released, and also manage your contents well.

Content control

In the Advanced Options tab however, you can set up the different ssettings of the Global defaults sections, the Login settings and styles and every other settings of the Wishlist Member.

Advanced options login tab
Advanced Options global defaults tab

If you installed WP Fusion, you can also set up the CRM tags of Wishlist Member membership level in the main menu or .

You can do the same for the Pay per post in the Wp fusion tab of the Wishlist segment of the post.

This is only needed however if your CRM isn’t found in the Integrations of Wishlist Member or if you so decide to make use of WP Fusion as you main integration control for all plugins in your website, which is also cool.

Wp fusion Integration for WM and your CRM
WP Fusion integration in Pay Per Post

 

When Will You Create Your Membership Website?

You have read through this post and now have a perfect understanding of how to create a membership website with WordPress and Wishliat Member, using other plugins like BuddyBoss, WP Fusion, and Learndash to perfect the look and functionality of your membership website.

The question is ‘when will you get started helping your audience or prospective audience with their problems using your contents while making money at it?

If your answer is now, then go ahead and go through the 7 Steps to starting a membership website above and start your membership business also.

Go through the 7 Steps To Create a Membership Website also to create your own membership website right away.

And setup your Wishlist Member plugin using the 8 steps above.

However, If you really do not want to go through the stress of creating the membership website yourself, then I am available to help you with it speedily within the space of 7 days.

create a membership website with wishlist member

 

Bonus: Get The First Six Videos In My Professional Web Development CourseĀ  for FREE

 

 

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