by Adam Preiser updated February 24, 2020

MemberPress Review – Create A Membership Website With WordPress

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One of the best ways to build a solid business online is by creating a membership website. You can charge a one time or reoccurring membership fee for access to your content.

In fact, it's so popular that there are many large online communities that are dedicated to creating and running successful membership websites. It's a hot topic!

I have even covered creating an online course and membership website with WordPress in a free videos series. I also created a course on how to create a course.

With that, there are many online membership platforms and membership plugins for WordPress that enable you to sell and protect your content.

WARNING: There are many WordPress plugins to create membership websites, but the vast majority of them are very poor and not well thought out. Also many are just outdated, built on old code, and will cause you many problems as your membership site grows.

This is why my best advice is to use the best tool upfront. Many times you can get by with a free plugin, but when it comes to membership website, you are asking for trouble if you want to go cheap.

Video Transcript

MemberPress Review 2017 – How To Create A WordPress Membership Website
This is going to be a review and walk-through
of using a powerful awesome membership plug-in
called MemberPress hi my name is Adam from
WPCrafter.com were I make WordPress videos
for non-techies and if you like the content
in this video would like you to please consider
clicking on the subscribe button and if you
want notifications when I upload videos is
a little bell next that subscribe button just
go ahead and click on that and you too will
send you notifications so were talking membership
plug-ins and this one is going to be all about
member press here is the MemberPress website
and in fact I actually made a review video
on MemberPress else a year and 1/2 ago or
so and it was about time to take a fresh look
at MemberPress and see what is going on in
the MemberPress world since I left that review
there been many many updates and MemberPress
is going strong and if you did watch that
video I highly praised MemberPress in the
awesome thing is today I would give it
even more praise for what it does now membership
sites there usually membership sites going
to make money right you have a membership
site you’re selling access to some content
that you have and so you want to use the tools
that are GNU make your life a little easier
from a user management standpoint and also
are going to enable your membership website
to be as profitable as possible now what I
like about MemberPress is it also throws in
the simplicity of protecting content and selling
access and managing the access to that content
now the reason I’m bringing this up is you
is if there’s one plug-in you want to pay
for it’s going to be something like this okay
and I don’t advise anyone to go into that
I want to have a membership website kind of
path and say how can I do it for free where
I’m not paying for anything because you’re
going to get a you can end up with a shoddy
website you’re into an Apple with the website
where today you might not know all the little
nuts and bolts of what you’re going to need
in six months or 12 months plus any of the
free plug-ins that I’ve seen. They just not
that easy to set up and use their kind of
these old archaic beasts that haven’t really
evolved or changed or had any improvements
in the code this is something that you really
want to go with a rock solid solution and
MemberPress is one of those rocksolid solutions
and also when it comes to membership website
you don’t want just a rocksolid solution in
terms of code you also want a company that’s
cannot get your back that’s going to be there
for you that your your paying for support
and they’re obligated to give you the support
because were talking mission critical money
out of your pocket if there is a problem type
situations that’s why upfront you want to
go with the company where not only do you
know that the products can be good but that
you also know that the support is going to
be there at those crucial times when you need
it the most and you know nothing is more important
than support in those moments where you need
it right you can have a support contract and
you never need support so you know you’re
not thinking I want to have a company with
great support but the moment when something
goes wrong that’s when you see which is the
best solution which companies can provide
you not only the code but the quality of support
and that is MemberPress I have built membership
websites using MemberPress and I have contacted
their support because typically something
like setting up a membership website you’re
going to need some support at the very least
in the beginning. I need some support and
there might be a random thing here there that
you have a question on or you might need some
help on and I gotta tell you every single
time I needed support from MemberPress they
have responded with thoughtful and personal
and answers back I mean it’s not like a standard
form email every time Mike I contacted them
they they actually took the time to read what
I wrote look at the link I might’ve given
them and write out a thoughtful response and
I appreciate that because with you have a
membership website your time is money it’s
business time is money and then it’s just
how much do you value your time okay so I
know I just went into just kind of like the
mindset you need to go into when it’s wet
when it’s time to choose which membership
site solution to go with also it’s important
to note if you’re gonna build a membership
website using WordPress you want a respected
WordPress developer that’s providing that
solution and that’s what MemberPress is there
are some very old very archaic membership
site solutions that don’t really do things
the WordPress way the kind of pack jobs that
were put together when they never really shifted
gears to be more mainstream and you know I
I’m so tempted to start listing off product
names because there are a ton of them there
are 81 of these products that you do not want
to go near at all but I’m not into that I
want to keep this one positive is just put
it this way MemberPress is going to be a real
solid route for you to go okay him it essentially
is going to do everything you needed to do
just know that right off the bat I can start
listen off bullet points in the different
ways you can take payments in the different
email integrations and all that I think him
and to save that for when I show you the plug-in
but you can come here and read about it let’s
take a quick look at the pricing I know the
prices gone up a little bit since my first
review video about a year and 1/2 ago it’s
got up about 20% which is reasonable because
they know how much support they want to provide
and it’s okay to pay just a little bit more
so you have a single site licenses 119 a developer
license can be 239 I own the developer license
for 239 paid with it paid for it with my own
money and these are to come with a variety
of add-ons one important thing to note is
that and I actually really like this about
MemberPress it integrates with a lot of third-party
solutions but they also provide solutions
direct one of them is if you want to have
an affiliate program for your membership website
while it includes a perfect affiliate program
called affiliate Royale they used to sell
this separately but they’ve integrated it
and it communicates and it works perfectly
with MemberPress but if you don’t want to
use this there’s other solutions that they’ll
be more than happy to integrate with one of
those being affiliate WP okay so this is the
cost you can come here take a tour frequently
asked questions I have a link to this but
down below obviously I’m an affiliate with
them and I’m trying to think of a good bonus
package if you did purchase it through my
link I think I might put together a course
on creating membership websites so if you
did purchase MemberPress through my link down
below what I’ll do is when you click on it
also need to page on my website about the
offer and does essentially by MemberPress
semi cup with a receipt and I give you access
to the course but until I build that coarsening
of access to one of my other ones if you did
happened to purchase MemberPress just to sweeten
the deal there so let’s go ahead and take
a look at my WordPress website now I have
MemberPress installed I did that are ready
just to save a little bit of time and I wanted
to go in and activated first thing what it
does is it adds this nice widget right here
that gives you a snapshot of the stats for
your membership websites just you know some
money stats and kind of snapshot of the transactions
there are really good reporting capabilities
and actually one of the projects I had done
with MemberPress as I move someone from an
existing membership platform and they were
also on some other affiliate platform they’re
paying a lot of money for both the solutions
and I was able to work with support to figure
out how to import all that stuff into MemberPress
so that it would be a seamless transition
process we were even able to link up the different
dub came out PayPal processing so that it
was a smooth transition because it was a reoccurring
cost of the membership let’s just say maybe
go through the different option page set up
process so I didn’t go through it so I’ve
had this message it says MemberPress hasn’t
been configured yet but I can click on this
link to go through it so typically with a
plug-in like this or maybe WooCommerce any
of these these more involved the plug-ins
all have this nice little set up process so
the first thing they’ll do is there any need
to set up some unique pages that they’re going
to use for the plug-in so with MemberPress
they want to thank you page your account pages
with the account page for your members and
a login page and we don’t have to touch this
when I go through the options and then click
update options this can automatically create
these for me on that we could use our slugs
a we can leave these default as well here’s
some options on how to deal with unauthorized
access by default right here it’s saying to
show a login form on those pieces of content
that are restricted and you can also choose
a message however for me I think it’s better
to choose redirect to a specific URL so this
could send them to a URL to either join the
membership or to log in and the reason why
is some page builders might give you some
trouble the content that you put in the page
builder might be outside of what MemberPress
or any of its on a MemberPress issue with
any membership plug-in would see as the actual
content area and it’s because a lot of these
page builder plug-ins and some wonky things
so I’ve found it to overcome that I would
just use this option right here and redirect
them to a specific page family this as default
let’s keep moving on on this set up processing
is actually very quick by the way you shouldn’t
feel overwhelmed at all with the set of processes
like a five minute thing to be longer with
me because I’m in a be explaining some of
these options so Nexus take a look at these
permissions so right here is a really nice
feature and it’s it you know what I like about
going through his options there choosing like
what I would choose except that one setting
just a second ago the really choosing what
I would choose in going through a set up process
and so this one right here is perfect this
is disable the WordPress admin bar for members
have you ever been to a website where you
got a login and now that you’re logged in
you have this WordPress bar at the top it’s
kind of confusing usually only see that when
you’re the administrator of your website and
then you can actually click into like the
backend of WordPress doesn’t have all the
options but you’re still in this area that
you probably have no reason to be and there’s
no benefit for you to be in there right here
these these options here it prevents that
from happening in fact there is this a developer
I was talking to the other day he actually
custom coded a plug in for a different membership
plug-in for WordPress and it only did that
one feature and I think charges like 15 or
$20 for it and he says he’s made so much money
off of that but it should be added to the
core plug-in but you get this with MemberPress
because their experts at this and they thought
through everything already it’s a mature platform
they thought through everything that you’re
gonna want and need and they’ve put it here
as an option for you at some the other things
a thought through right here is to allow your
members to manage their own account this is
good and bad right if you wanted to allow
them to cancel their own subscription here’s
an option if you wanted to let them pause
or resume their subscription which you probably
wouldn’t really use but it’s there because
this membership plug-in MemberPress will cover
pretty much 99.9% of the membership site scenarios
that anyone could or would have so it’s nice
to allow your members to administer things
on their own because that’s less work that
you’re going to have to do some and wants
to cancel and you make it so they if you go
to solution where they can’t do it in on their
own and then now they’re contacting you and
I have to do all this admin work so really
cuts down to give your your members the opportunity
to do that them selves now here are some options
to control the registration process and set
that up there here are some log in options
this would force someone to go to a specific
login page that you might have designed or
created that’s probably what I would do is
have them go to a specific login page and
then you can choose what happens to them after
they log out while this is login this right
here these two options are where they go on
a login where they go when they log out soaring
when they login you might want them to go
to an update page a remember dashboard or
whatever like that that you might’ve set up
for them and after they log out you might
want to send them onto your blog or your homepage
or something like that so these are our account
options let’s take a look at fields and this
is actually very simple it’s just the information
you want to get from someone when they register
so you know like the address stuff if you
didn’t want the address stuff you would leave
this unchecked and you wouldn’t require it
just like that if you wanted their name which
you probably do you would show it in then
require it but a lot of kiss situations you
might want additional pieces of information
maybe you want some information about them
that’s not your address and your name type
of information and you can actually add these
custom fields right here in the settings is
you don’t need some custom field solution
to add that in you can grab it all right here
I really like that they’ve done that us let’s
take a look at payments so right now I didn’t
actually activate the add-ons for all the
various payment processors so were probably
knocking to see them right now so by default
it’s given me I think there’s other ones in
this add-on option thingamajig are here that
were to take a look at a minute so by default
it’s given me authorize.net PayPal express
checkout PayPal payments Pro and what I like
is a also offer PayPal standard people standard
you don’t really have to go through all these
weird hoops with PayPal just you put your
PayPal email address there and you set this
thing called in IPN and all of these connecting
into these payment processors it’s all documented
on the MemberPress website and then we have
stripe of course so what I don’t know if you
realize that but you can actually have multiple
multiple payment methods so if I wanted this
to be striped and then I can just go ahead
and click on this plus and then right here
I could use PayPal standard or something like
that and you can go ahead and it’s it’s it’s
so easy if I wanted striped just go to striping
get your secret and the publishable key right
here you just copy and paste those right in
and bam you are good to go with accepting
payments already through stripe it’s that
easy to do and there’s some various options
here as well same thing for PayPal I chose
standard which only really requires the email
but then here is the the IPN that you would
need to paste into your PayPal account what
that is is someone makes a purchase through
PayPal PayPal pings the website right back
to say okay we did actually get the money
because you don’t know what happens when someone
leaves the website and so that’s with the
PayPal IPN is you should be familiar that
nexus take a look at emails you’re obviously
going to want to put in here you’re from name
and these are the emails what’s going to be
sent out from the system so right here you
will deftly want to put your name and the
email that would be tied to your website and
there’s all these prewritten emails right
here for all these different events and you
can go here you can send a test email to see
what it looks like and you can click on the
edit to change the text of any of these emails
but you can just when you read the different
emails that it has you can see how like well
thought out this solution is how they really
covered all of the bases was right you might
not be thinking I need to have a positive
subscription notice email but MemberPress
is already thought of that for you and and
that’s what I like and right here credit card
expiring notice to see these are things you’re
not getting when you use one of these hokey
Nokia free solutions plug-ins that you’re
getting off of the WordPress repository unit
you’re not getting these things they don’t
have credit card expiration notices that you
know they they are not as deeply and well
thought out as a paid solution like MemberPress
is right here we have some admin notices as
well now you for sending emails out from WordPress
you absolutely have to have one of the SMTP
plug-ins for WordPress they’re all free and
looking to make it so you can choose where
the emails go out from if you don’t do that
probably emails and end up in the spam folder
such as a little side bonus let’s take a look
at the marketing tab and essentially what
this is going to do is allow MemberPress to
integrate with some of your email marketing
platform providers number not seeing the list
of integrations right here because I haven’t
enabled any of them would have to show you
that but then you come here you can connect
into a lot of the biggest most well-known
1/3 party system subordinate take a look at
that moment so you get your convert kit your
active campaign and all of these various services
dripped I think is also in that list but will
will take a look at that moment also if you
know me I’m big on Mautic they don’t actually
have an official Mautic solution but there’s
1/3 party one available a second look at info
this is your info that you would put in here
that would be used for various purposes that
we have these general options right here which
is language currency things of that nature
here is interesting if you want to have a
blog posts that are behind a pay wall and
there’s options here for that so let’s move
on and then we have taxes I tell you if you’re
you’re going to have these little solutions
that are free that don’t factor in taxes and
all this kind of stuff this is the one solution
that will fit 99.9% of the scenarios let’s
see what happens when I hit update options
let’s see how it’s given me a warning because
I tried to add those payment processors but
I didn’t set them up properly so it took those
out which makes it easy now I do that great
so now we have our pages to set up my thank
you account login and all this stuff is set
up so now let me actually try to find that
at on page I think I can go to activates right
here this is where you would have activated
it and then right here’s the add-on tab so
here’s all the little add-ons that are included
with MemberPress now what’s beautiful about
this is you don’t want to just bog down your
website with a ton of add-ons and plug-ins
and all that big heavy plug-in because it
will over time it could cause some performance
issues so the model that MemberPress as is
you just install the core plug in and then
you just install what you need and it’s all
right here so let’s just go through these
requests you really know what you’re buying
so we got that active campaign integration
that’s a very popular auto responder marketing
automation platform affiliate or Royale that’s
the complete affiliate platform one button
and you have that installed the Avent affiliate
program now for your membership website we
have a Weber we have Amazon Web services so
this is to allow you to use Amazon’s a server
to protect your contents you have your content
there and then when you’re using it in your
site it keeps it more secure it has all the
information right here buddy press integration
never been a fan of Buddy press Re: campaign
Monitor constant contact convert kit these
are all email autoresponder services this
is actually very interesting corporate accounts
so if you have a membership website and you
want to have a like a corporate package for
company and all their employees you can do
that in this actually very unique well thought
out solution that is kind of rare and I think
there’s only one other membership plug-in
that provides this delightful downloads not
familiar with that developer tools drip that’s
your another marketing automation platform
get response help scout that could be good
as well to provide support importer that’s
the move data in and out mad Mimi MailChimp
meld the new MailChimp integration so they
say this is why you want a membership solution
that you’re paying for because you have these
providers they change things drip change things
MailChimp change things so you need a developer
that is on top of re-doing things when these
integrations stop working because of the other
company mail poet math captcha mail relay
send a sensei that’s a learning management
platform and WordPress user roles all these
integrations are all right here for you now
be honest I haven’t set up a membership site
with MemberPress in quite a while and so I’m
going to try to do right now to show you how
easy this without looking at the documentation
but I may stumble along the way and only have
five minutes to do it because I need to wrap
this video up and go to memberships were going
to go ahead and click on add new and I’m just
gonna call this the gold membership there
it is I got my name here I would go ahead
and pop in a price so let’s make this $50
per month so I popped my 50 in on the billing
type election I need to change the access
right here to expire and I think I need to
make it expire okay billing type now I can
make a reoccurring so it’s can be $50 or reoccurring
in the interval is going to be every month
like that now you can offer a trial. If you
wanted a one dollar trial for 10 days or something
like that we can do that and we can also limit
how long someone’s going to be paying for
this so if it’s 50 bucks a month per year
we can just click on here and we can put 12
in and then what happens at the end whether
they keep their their access or they lose
it when we get rid of that and so let’s scroll
down so here is some of our membership options
so we can create some or link this up to some
custom pages and we can also have certain
payment methods only work with this membership
if you wanted here is where we would configure
our permissions and this is really who can
purchase this membership right here is the
price box option we can actually use MemberPress
to create a whole price grid if you wanted
and if you had a group of different plans
for the same access you can group them together
and have different pricing tables side-by-side
actually it would probably look something
like this right here okay so moving through
it that’s the price box and then here’s an
advanced tab were we can pop in some terms
and some redirect URL some to go ahead and
click on publish like that and there you go
I’ve got my first membership that I don’t
really have a pretty looking theme right now
which is the default theme up there it is
gold membership my term and everything perfect
all right so we have that now what we do is
we can actually have a several memberships
and we can group them together so right here
like these are two memberships that are grouped
together to actually purchase the product
but I’m knocking to do that right now but
this is how the security works with MemberPress
it is so simple to secure content we do it
based on rules which makes so much sense to
me so let me go add new and let’s take a look
at what these rules look like looks like in
order for them blue work I need to change
a setting in the options which is fine I can
configure this right now so we can name our
rule right here and here are our rule options
can be all content and we have all these these
different options so for example if you just
wanted posts with a certain posts security
you can do based on tag so if you want to
create a a post for your membership you created
you can maybe have a tag that’s called secure
and if any content has that tag it’s only
to be viewable if you are logged in and have
access to the membership the same thing goes
for categories it can be particular posts
on a one-off basis but that’s a little hard
to manage really you really would want to
use some kind of a option of categorization
or tags in order to identify automatically
which content you want protected another powerful
option if your contents could be on pages
what with WordPress you can have a parent
page and then child pages you can have the
parent in all of the children to be protected
in that’s how I’ve implemented this several
times in the past you know any new page that’s
a child of the parent page is going to be
protected in this membership have so many
options now what you want to do though is
you want that you want to choose the option
that’s good to be the easiest to manage moving
forwards you’re not having to tweak the rules
so the tagging option the category option
the parent-child option these are the options
that you’re going to want to choose to go
with a single page right now because I am
trying to do this quick and the only page
I actually have is probably the excellent
use post because I know I don’t have the content
but I know I have the hello world post right
who doesn’t there is hello world him to click
on that and then click on save rules open
actually got it tagged this sorry I forgot
I got a link it up to an actual membership
so I created multiple membership site have
them all listed here I have actually click
on the membership that I want let me go ahead
and click on save rule and just you know guys
I already have a membership website some can
come pay 50 bucks a month and it’s going to
automatically give them access to this content
it’s not really any more complicated than
that and also you can enable direct feeding
content just so you know you can issue out
coupons if you wanted to give coupons I’m
not a believer in coupons actually don’t like
coupons at all you can have the reminders
here that you can set up reminders for you
reminders for your members so if you want
to remind him that a payments coming up or
something like that you have these powerful
reminder options I’m not doing this justice
unfortunately here’s where you can manage
all your members right here you can see what
they are in what the lifetime value of them
are and the status here you can manage the
subscriptions and how they’re linked up with
your payment processors right here’s a list
of individual transactions right here we have
reports it’s a very nice reporting solution
gives you all the information that you need
and there’s a lot of it’s just very flexible
our options and our help so anyways I know
I just kinda blasted through MemberPress this
wasn’t meant to be an entire step-by-step
tutorial just kind of an idea of what it looks
like underneath the hood and why I think that
this is a really good solution for anyone
that is serious about building a membership
website hey I’m not going to hide the fact
that hundred $19 might be a lot of money for
you or if your developer 239 shouldn’t be
a lot of money for a developer because you
can implement the solution for multiple customers
and you’ll have that direct access to support
however if you’re just starting out in your
on a shoestring budget hundred and $19 might
be a lot but I’m going to tell you right now
don’t go with the free solution I I’m telling
you normally if there is a free solution that’s
rocksolid I’m in a say go for it if I’ve used
it I know it’s going to be good for you to
say go for it even if there’s other paid options
go with the free solution but this is one
reason you don’t want to go with the free
solution you just don’t want to do it because
you need support you need a well mature well
thought-out solution if you’re going to base
your business on this this is what you’re
building your business on it’s going to be
the foundation and this is not where you want
to coach but take it from my experience you
do what you know you don’t not want to go
cheap unless you want to end up like me with
no hair on your head when problems happen
don’t go cheap do not go cheap self anyways
this is MemberPress let me know what you think
in the comments section down below if you
have built a membership website using MemberPress
go ahead and link it if you wanted you can
leave a link down below so people can see
what you been doing in the creative things
that you’ve done with MemberPress if you own
MemberPress and you have any opinions about
it that I might have left out go ahead and
leave that as well down below and I will let
you know I’m going to be reviewing some of
the other membership plug-ins that I think
are really good there is another one that
I know is really good and I deftly want to
give it a chance and I’ll also compare the
two but those will be on later videos so anyways
I hope you enjoyed this video thank you for
watching

Adam
Adam
My passion is making the best quality video tutorial online, for non-techies. When I am not behind the camera, I am usually helping out one of my YouTube subscribers.

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    1. The best tool is WPFusion. I have a review coming out tomorrow on it with an exclusive discount coupon.

      1. This kind of sucks though. I checked WPFusion and looks like their prices are Uber rich. Plus the license is valid only for 1 year and you must pay 70% of current price to renew license every year. And current price could go up.

        I know you said membership sites is not where you wannna go cheap. But at this cost someone can easily buy amember pro and have it customized to their needs from the seller itself and still won’t end up paying as much as combination of memberpress and wpfusion will cost.

        Unfortunately WordPress has comes down to a point where it is no longer cheap to use. Or worst yet, it is more expensive when one starts to pay for all the premium plugin.

    1. Personally I no longer do any client work. But if I was to set up a membership website for a client it would completely depend on the complexity of the project. For something really basic with minimal design, $1,500. If you were asking for someone to develop it for you, I can connect you with someone.

  1. Hello, Adam I am Bangladeshi.
    I like this video and i see your tutorial in youtube.
    you are best making tutorial.
    so nice,

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