Creating a membership website can be a great way to develop a strong community, increase engagement and conversation on your website, and restrict access to your content by member level. However, there is a lot more to creating a membership website than just restricting access to your content based on membership. You need to decide on how much of your content you want to make exclusive to only paid members, which needs to be looked at on a case by case basis. It also depends a great deal on the industry your website specializes in.
The potential gain for your readers from the subscription needs to be financially quantifiable and significant enough to make it purchasable. People will never buy your content if they do not think it is absolutely necessary. Some hard questions you’ll need to answer include: Can I find a replica of my content or similar content for free anywhere else on the web? Does the potential gain for the user outweigh the costs of purchase? Pricing it far too high will not only result in fewer subscriptions, but you’ll be in a lot of hot water if you cannot deliver real value to your subscribers.
If you feel that you will not likely make much by introducing a subscription-based membership model on your website, you can trade your content’s accessibility for social shares. However, if you do choose to restrict access to your content based on membership, there are various plugins available that can help you do so.
One of the best plugins for restricting access to content is Restrict Content Pro. This plugin allows you to choose which of your posts/pages or portions of your pages/posts are accessible to different levels of members. You can set any number of subscription levels and assign them different levels of content access. This permits you to work on a range of prices for different levels of access. Once you create different subscription levels and allow for public subscription, the payment mechanism comes into play. The plugin works with PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree.
Another great plugin for restricting access to content is PrivateContent. You can protect pretty much any type of content on your website, including posts, pages, menus, and entire categories. There’s even a one-click website lock down that prevents any access to content on your website. The plugin helps organize your users and sort them with internal searches and category filters. An integrated shortcode wizard makes your job of hiding the contents a lot easier.
CM Restrict User Account Access is a premium plugin that features options that you can use to restrict the front or back end of your WordPress site, limit access based on the number of times they access your site, automatically restrict or delete accounts after a set amount of time, and more. The plugin is also fully compatible with CM Registration and Invitation Codes as well, for more advanced user registration and management tools as well as invite codes.
MemberMouse is another powerful membership management system for WordPress websites. This membership management system helps sell digital products, software as a service, act as a portal for an online retail store, and also works well when selling subscription content. It has been created to help you get rid of time-consuming non-value addition processes. While it provides support automation, customer management, and reporting and analytics for your business, we’re interested in its ability to protect content.
MemberPress is yet another powerful Membership Management plugin for WordPress websites. Easy to set up and get started, MemberPress has been engineered to provide fine control over access to content based on membership level. With MemberPress, you can restrict access to pages, posts, child pages, custom posts, tags, categories, and every other file or content hosted on your website.
Paid Member Subscriptions is a freemium plugin that includes easy options to set up your registration page, subscription plans, custom login, restricted content, and more. It even integrates with WooCommerce to offer your members exclusive products or discounts.
Restricted Site Access is a simple plugin that limits access to your site to visitors who are logged in or are accessing site content from a specified IP address range. Visitors who lack access can be redirected to a different page, including a login page, or alternately, you can display a message.
Ultimate Member is a simple yet effective plugin to make it possible to create an easy registration form and to build new communities online. You can create custom user roles and also engage in content restriction on a global scale and on a per post/page basis. It discriminates between three categories – logged in users, logged out users, and everyone.
Creating a membership-driven content restriction plugin for your WordPress site can be a great way to develop a strong community, increase engagement and conversation on your website, and restrict access to your content by member level. With the various plugins available, you can choose the one that works best for your website and start building your membership community today.