In the past few years, I’ve built what seems like my fair share of membership websites. In my opinion, I define a membership site to include any website that protects part of its content and only offers it to a select group of users. Sometimes is in the form of a protected page for board members where they can log in and see announcements, other times it’s selling access to any users for exclusive content such as posts or listings. In both settings, it’s important for me to understand the client’s objectives and provide a clear way for users to access the content.
1. Restricting a single page
Sometimes clients only need a single page restricted and this is by far the easiest application. WordPress has a native password protect function built-in by default under the page publish settings. This is great when a group of users need to access a single page with announcements or videos.
2. Restricting content per user
Other times, content is restricted per user. This could be useful if in instances like seeing invoices, or possibly project documents that only pertain to one user. In these cases, we need to set up individual user accounts with a username and password as well as individual pages with the information for each user, making the process more involved.
3. Restricting large sections of a website
There are other instances where you might want to restrict an entire area of your website. Perhaps to an exclusive group of users or maybe to users to purchase access. Usually, this level is protection is easiest when using a membership plugin to help manage users and content.
Hopefully, this helps you understand the differences in membership websites. Of course, there are outliers in between these situations and we build each website differently based on the client’s needs. Membership sites can be a great way to monetize your content or be a great tool for your users and your business. If you’re interested in getting more information about integrating a membership portion into your site fill out our form. We’d be happy to talk with you! Chat soon!