How to Create a Paid Membership Website on WordPress

How to create a membership website.

Over the last couple of years I’ve had a number of requests to build membership websites.  I’ve also managed to build one myself due to the number of requests I get on how I managed to get to page 1 on search engines.  So they’re great for giving your customers and client access to a specific part of your website without you having to be around to do the admin work.

Membership websites aren’t actually that difficult to create or cost THAT much.  However, I WILL say that it took me a while to figure out the exact solution for this particular membership website, and I’m sure it can benefit you too.

So in this post, I’m going to show you the free, paid and advanced paid options to get a membership site or course created on your website.

  1. FREE – Pro Memberships Pro

    If you have a WordPress website and want to get an idea of how memberships would work, try installing this plugin.  It’s free and offers a paid solution as well.  It has limited features in the free version but if you’re offering a simple pay and get access to a page, pages or blog post

    Paid Memberships Pro – Content Restriction, User Registration, & Paid Subscriptions

    Paid Membership Pro.

  2. Restrict Content Pro

    It’s a very simple and adds seamless integrations with MailChimp, WP Job Manager, EDD Member Downloads, EE Wallet, Campaign Monitor, and enforces strong user passwords which is key for WordPress users.  I will say that I tried this plugin and found it to be too simplistic for what I was after.  It also requires custom CSS styling which was a pain.

    Their basic plan of USD $49 p/yr has free updates and email support.

    Membership site plugin wordpress pricing.

  3. LearnDash

    For about a year I worked at an eLearning company which creates online courses which is where I got the idea to Google a Learning Management System for WordPress. This is how I came across LearnDash.

    Some of the top course creators are using this plugin because it allows you to actually track user progress, offer incentives, quizzes and certification. I heard a statistic recently that said that of all online courses that are taken, only 40% are actually completed.

    Encouraging users to finish means they are more likely to get results and promote your course or membership site to others.

    Wordpress LMS.

All of these plugins are easy to install, as is most WordPress plugins.  The tricky part is configuring the login, dashboard and of course creating your membership content.

Using a sub-domain

If you aren’t using WordPress on your eCommerce store or website then I would recommend setting up a WordPress membership section on a sub-domain like which is a great way to keep your current CMS system but also have the ability to add a members section of your site.

All the best with your membership site, if you want to check out what I currently have on offer on my membership site, come on over to and check out my latest offering SEO Bootcamp.

Stay informed,

Tania Web Designer


10+ years as a product designer. Helping start-ups and organisations combine user research and design principals to deliver the best in online experiences.

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