Set-up A WordPress Membership Site In Minutes With WishList Member

A membership site is one where users have to register in order to access protected content.

As you can see from the above video you can set up a membership site in 10 minutes. All you have to do is set up a membership level (you can have multiple levels but I only chose to have one), let WishList Member set up all the default pages and settings for you, create a login box in the sidebar with the WishList Member widget and create links to the registration page. And that’s it done!

Why set up a membership site?

There are many reasons why you may want to consider starting a membership site:

  • To protect your content – if it contains sensitive information on your business or clients
  • To monetise your content – you can charge monthly or a pay per post basis
  • To collect email addresses – your site’s members can be easily promoted to both through the site and through email

One of the biggest challenges on the internet is to turn a “visitor” into a “subscriber”. A membership site puts a “wall” around content so that people have to register to see. They create  communities – it’s the ultimate form of website “stickiness”.

The traditional way of gathering email addresses and subscribers has been to offer an e-book as an incentive to sign up to an email list. However, the PDF e-book may well have seen its best days. When was the last time you read a PDF e-book from cover to cover on your laptop?

This is why I believe that providing incredibly useful content that can only be accessed by “subscribing” or “joining” is the way forward.

This is what I’m hoping to do with my new site – it is a collection of social media image editing tools that can only be accessed once you sign into the site. I still have a long way to go with this but I really think it’s a great way of collecting email addresses and … building a brand.


Why WishList Member plug-in?

I’m going to tell you right off the bat that I’m an affiliate for the WishList Member plug-in. It’s not the only WordPress membership plug-in out there and it’s not perfect. However, I’ve used it on four different sites and, I’ve got to say, it’s that definitely the easiest membership plug-in out there.

It doesn’t have every feature you’d want from a membership plug-in but it does have most. Here are some of the advantages of the WishList Member plug-in.

  • Easy to set up (you can have your membership site up and running in 10 minutes, see above video)
  • Perfect protection of content, passwords, lost passwords, logging in, logging out
  • Integrates with email marketing platforms (such as Aweber, Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, iContact, etc.)
  • Integrates with shopping cart systems – you can use PayPal or Clickbank or a host of other payment processors
  • Has multiple membership levels if needed – so you can have gold, silver and bronze membership level, for example

But it’s not all wine and roses, here are the cons:

  • Clunky registration process – solved with WishList Registration Widget
  • Expensive ($97 for single license, $297 for a multi-site license, and there’s a $47/year charge if you want updates :( )

Even with the disadvantages, WishList Member is a long-established premium WordPress plug-in with a decent development and support structure and therefore can be used without concern.

You can do it

You can create a membership site and earn passive income. I will be writing more on the subject soon as I continue to develop

Have you ever created any sort of membership site? Would you consider doing so in the future?

Did this help you? If so, please share!

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  1. says

    Hi Rob,
    Love to have your feedback on – the easiest way to create a memberhip club online. It is free to create a club (no upfront fees) and you keep 70% of all membership fees for paying members.

    Interested in reviewing it?

    • says

      I’m a bit busy at the moment, Keith. It’s a good idea. However, people on Udemy are a bit cross that they’ve suddenly decided to take a bigger cut so they’re suspicious of platforms now and wanting to set up their own.

      It’s an interesting model, Keith, and I wish you all the best in the world.

  2. says

    So far so good, Rob. Guess this is great if you want to just sell more content in your blog via membership, or sell some webinar of some sort. I will out this post on my Ever note. Thank you for sharing us your nuggets!

    Have a great week!


  3. says

    Great timing Rob! I’m in the process of setting up a membership site for my local chamber of commerce and you have once again provided valuable info to get me started on the right foot!

  4. says

    Hey Rob, thanks a lot for the WLM review man!

    I actually own a 1-site license which I’m going to use on a WP training membership site I’m putting together but my installation and configuration was a lot harder (and a lot longer as well) than yours!

    I followed a training from a respected marketer and well, to make a long story a short one it was very, very difficult to follow up and set everything correctly.

    Next time I’m just going to use the wizard instead of doing everything manually and see what I end up with.

    Thanks for the video anyway, this reminded me I STILL need to tweak some stuff inside WLM and I’ll definitely look into upgrading for a multisite license.


    • says

      Hey, Sergio, my pleasure.

      I’ve set WLM on a few sites now and it does take a bit of getting used to. It certainly took me ages the first time. Yes, I definitely think it’s best to go with their wizard the first time as they create all the default pages for you and you can change them any time or go through the wizard any time at WLM >Settings > Wizard.

      If you want to buy the multi-site license be sure to email them as, if I remember correctly, they gave me $50 off the price as I’d also bought the single site license.

      Cheers, Sergio. :)