You may have heard that WordPress is the best platform for hosting your very own download area or protected membership site where you can charge a one-time fee or a multi-fee for access to content. You can use WordPress and install it as is and use any WordPress plugin and easily manipulate, add any content the way you would with any WordPress blog but you have the added benefit of charging for your information. The pieces to get this all set up are to install your WordPress blog, to install a membership plugin and protect it and then set it up to make it work with a payment processor such as PayPal, Click Bank or One Shopping Cart.
The very first thing to do to set up your own membership site is to first of all, install WordPress. I highly recommend you use a web host that has cPanel such as HostGator or BlueHost. What you’ll do is go to whatever your site’s web address is, /cpanel and now you will be in the back end of the control panel. Then click on an icon that says fantastico. And then on the site, click WordPress. This will allow you to set up a WordPress blog wherever you want. I recommend setting it up at your site/members. That way, people can go to whatever your site is, name/members and have access to that membership site.
Now we have set up a brand new, blank WordPress blog with nothing on it at your site site/members. And now we have to protect it and install a membership plugin. I recommend WishList Member. This will install right into WordPress and protect your content.
So now what we have is a WordPress blog that’s set up but now, no one can access it. You need a way for people to be able to pay us money to then get access to our membership site. But this is very important. You don’t have to charge a monthly fee to have a membership site. You can charge 1 single payment and that gives someone lifetime access to your protected download area. And it’s actually very easy.
First, you have to get an account at a site like paypal.com. They will allow you to accept payments over the web and your money will now be placed into this online PayPal account. And once you have accrued several thousand dollars, you can then transfer it out into your bank. So you don’t get paid right away. The money doesn’t end up in your bank account immediately. It gets put into this PayPal account which you can then transfer. So sign up with a business account for free at paypal.com and they will take a percentage of every sale you make but that is how it is done on the internet.
Once your account is set up inside WishList Member, click on the Integration tab and they will give you some very simple, about 5 or 6 steps of instructions to configure WishList with PayPal. Once you’re done, you will end up with a link. Now when someone clicks on that link, they will be sent over to PayPal to pay you a one-time or recurring fee and then redirect it back to your membership site where they will have the account set up for them. Now if they refund or cancel, they will lose that membership access. But if they remain a member in good standing, they will keep that membership access as long as they need it.
And that is how you set up WordPress as a membership site. Install your WordPress blog. Install your membership plugin and configure with a payment processor.