How to Create a Membership Site with aMember and WordPress Part – 1

by Suresh Karuppaiya

A couple of articles back, I shared with you about how to create membership websites with Wishlist member plugin, along with the integration of Aweber auto responder and ClickBank Payment gateway system. Clickbank.  Now we will going to how to create membership website with aMember membership software and WordPress along with PayPal or ClickBank and Aweber or Mailchimp.

In this series, I’ll show you how to create a membership website using WordPress and a membership site software called aMember. Now a days many websites are creating membership site with premium content that is available only to their valuable subscribers.

There are a number of web hosting providers out there that make use of PayPal. However we might prefer a more control over our membership content and the setup than a hosted solution offers. Also, many of Hosting solution services limit bandwidth. So depends on the membership content type we may choose our hosting company for our membership site.

aMember Membership Software

The membership content may be image, text or Video files need more bandwidth in order to use of faster buffering even many members access the same video in same time. Especially if you decide to work with video we need to have more care about the hosting solutions check out the hostgator hosting solutions for your membership site setup.

Keep in mind that aMember is not a completely free software for members only area setup in WordPress But it will come up with 30 day trial period with full feature access once we have satisfied with the membership site setup we can purchase the license for the aMember software. It’s currently on sale right now for $179.99.

What you will get in this Membership site setup series Post?

In this article, we’ll look at some of the pre requirements to setup membership websites for delivering quality content to the subscribers. We’ll also examine the different components and how they interact with the setup. In Part 2, we will walk through protection methods of our content using aMember and specific WordPress plugins. We’ll also look at how aMember and WordPress handle authentication and user roles.

In Part 3, we’re going to see how to integrate various components needed to launch our membership sites like payment system, auto responders. In Part 4, we’ll explore some of the advanced features of aMember and product launch funnel setup with WordPress and aMember. And finally, in Part 5 we will test the setup with various angles and integrations used in the setup.

How to Build a Membership Site an Overview

To understand the complete setup of the membership site we might need a diagram so we can easily setup the membership website.  So let’s talk about what we’re trying to accomplish in the membership site before we talk about how to actually set it up.

Consider our ultimate goal is to create a membership website with both free and premium content. There are a few different ways to set this up, but I want to have WordPress content management system to setup membership website.

This setup will includes the content we will provide for free as well as the content we will provide for paid members. And also we want to do this using a single installation of WordPress on the same domain. This was our ultimate goal so we need to find out the requirements to setup the membership site.

  • WordPress
  • Content Protection software (aMember, Wishlist member plugin)
  • Auto Responders (aweber)
  • Payment Gateway (Clickbank)
  • Product launch funnel Setup (OptimizePress) which includes the sales page setup.
  • Testing the membership site setup with our goal

These are the ultimate requirements for the membership site setup with respect to our goal which was explained earlier.

For example I have clear explanation I need a landing page in my domain homepage. http://myuniquemembersarea.com so when a visitor lands on this page he will have the options to go to the free membership content area with a sign up process using aweber auto responder system.

Also in this landing page we need to have proper link or details for the paid members’ area content access and its signup details should be available on the domain homepage. The domain home page should be visible for all visitors from various traffic sources like search engines, social media, referring sites and etc.

We need to add the landing page for search engine indexing so it will not be protected. The other URLs of the domain should be protected and they will be accessed only by the subscribed members with respect to free or paid subscriptions.

For paid membership area they will also be presented with an option to sign up for access to the membership portion of the website for $20 per month. We want them each to use their PayPal account or credit card to make payment for the member access.

To make easy update of the content for paid members, we need to have all the paid members content in a single category within WordPress that we called as ‘Members’.  So we want to protect content that appears in this category only. If a paid member is logged in, they will see the content within that category. If the user is not logged in, they won’t see the paid membership protected content.

These are the requirements from the membership site owner side. Now we need to found the software and theme, auto responders and platform needed to setup the actual requirements of the website owner.

Best Membership site Templates

Behind the scenes, aMember will create the accounts, manage the program, and handle the payment interactions for payment. It will also work closely with a couple of WordPress plugins to manage the authentication and security of our members-only content and auto responders. OptimizePress WordPress theme offers templates for membership content delivery and product launch funnel pages for the membership setup.

Fundamentals of create a membership website in WordPress

There are a few things we will need to do to prepare for this tutorial, as well as some technical requirements to keep in mind during the membership site setup.

  • To create a membership site with aMember and WordPress, we will need to have a self-hosted WordPress site. If your WordPress site is hosted with WordPress.com, we will not be able to setup aMember to create members area in the WordPress website.  We can setup WordPress website using this tutorial.
  • Hostgator is the best hosting Company for I would prefer for the membership site setup. When we choose the hosting plan for the membership site we need to have consideration on the type of the content in the membership site. Especially video content needs more bandwidth for good performance.
  • We will also need FTP access to upload the aMember files and a few plugins to the server In order to make the membership area setup completely.
  • Our FTP client will need to support binary mode uploads; aMember has to be uploaded in binary mode. If you’re on a Mac, check out Cyberduck. For Windows users, I’m sure most FTP clients have this option available for file transfer. If not, we may have to search Google for a free FTP client.
  • We need to use OptimizePress WordPress theme for the membership site it have 19 different squeeze page templates, 29 unique sales page templates, various membership page templates like login page, content delivery page and it has product launch funnel setup for the launch of the membership site.
  • If we decide to use the evaluation version of aMember for this tutorial, note that the files are encoded with ionCube and/or Zend technology. You have the option to download the version your server supports. If not sure, there is a testing script we can download from the aMember site. We’ll walk through this process in the next step.

Step A: Setup membership site with aMember Trial Support

As we mentioned in the overview section, we need to have a hosting provider that gives us some level of control over our account. Assume that we need to ensure that we can run the trial version of aMember for this setup.

If you already purchased aMember, or if you want to purchase aMember and not use the trial version setup, you can skip this step A. (When you purchase aMember, you don’t receive encoded files, so you can simply move on to Step B.)

aMember Trial Download

To get the trail version or testing script, go to http://www.aMember.com/p/main/download/ and click the link labeled ‘testing script’ (shown below) to grab the zip file. It contains a PHP file named tester.php that you’ll need to upload to the root of your server available your hosting account.

Next, Go to your flexible browser and enter the URL in the address bar for run the tester.php file http://yoursite.com/tester.php, and at the top of the page you should see output that reads something like this:

Testing whether your system has ionCube Loader in php.ini…Failed
Testing whether your system has Zend Optimizer in php.ini…OK
Testing results:
No additional configuration required and aMember will work on your hosting using the following loading method: Zend Optimizer installed

Note that your output may vary a bit depending on the hosting company you use. The page will also return a bunch of other stuff that’s not really relevant. You’re just looking for the preceding lines, along with the encoding option you need to download from the site.After you know which version you’ll need, go back to http://www.aMember.com/p/main/download/ and grab the appropriate version of the download.

For now, set aMember aside so that we can set up WordPress first. aMember gives you the option to utilize the same database as your WordPress installation. I highly recommend choosing this option, as aMember will create the appropriate user accounts in WordPress as part of the setup.

Step B: Purchasing aMember for Membership site Setup

There is a huge easy way to purchase aMember Pro that will give more credit to us. During the purchasing process, it will give you the option of including the WordPress plugin for free with the aMember software purchase. That’s fine—go ahead and fill the requirements and purchase it here http://www.aMember.com/p/.

Purchase aMember Pro

 However, if this is not the correct WordPress plugin. I spent hours trying to get the WordPress integration to work with the plugin that came with the aMember Pro download, only to discover that it’s an older version that is no longer supported. Why it hasn’t been changed, I have no clue. You can find the correct version of the plugin here: http://www.aMember.com/p/integration/new-WordPress-plugin/ (shown below).

 Step 2: Installing WordPress for aMember support

Given that WordPress powers millions of sites on the Web, I’m going to assume that you’re already familiar with installing WordPress in a domain. I’m also going to assume that you know how to install it or,  If you don’t know how to install WordPress on a domain just use the tutorial for Hostgator. For other hosting provider the WordPress installation procedure can be varied slightly.

Keep in mind that HostGator offer one-click installations through their Cpanel it uses fantastico software for WordPress installation.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when setting up WordPress for aMember membership site setup just follow the below instruction before installing WordPress.

  • Install WordPress in the root of your domain should not in subdirectory or in sub domain. I will assume for the sake of this tutorial that your WordPress installation is located at http://yoursite.com/ and not http://yoursite.com/blog or http://blog.yoursite.com. Both aMember and WordPress are capable of working with those configurations (subdomain and sub directory), but using them will impact the setup steps and require you to deviate from this tutorial a bit.
  •  I suggest you to come up through these tutorial configuring things like I recommend first; then, you can familiar the installation and start from scratch using a different configuration if you prefer.
  • After installing WordPress, keep the following information handy because you will need it to set up aMember:
    • The host name of the server. Note: this is probably not localhost, so you may have to contact your hosting provider if you don’t know where to find it.
    • The MySQL database name that was set up for your installation of WordPress.
    • The MySQL database username and password—not your WordPress administrator username and password.

Step 3: Add Membership Content with aMember

To test the installation, you will need to create at least two posts within WordPress—one that will act as your “free” content and one that will act as your “member only” content. WordPress comes with your typical “Hello World” post already setup for you. We’ll use this as our free content.

Create a new post (not page) in WordPress by clicking Add New under the Posts section on the left side of the WordPress admin screen, as shown below.

Add new Post in WordPress

Create a title for your post and add some content. There’s nothing magical about this part, so put whatever you want in the title and body fields.

Before saving the page, find the Categories section on the right side of the page and click the link Add New Category. Create a category called Members, and add your post to that category by selecting the checkbox, as shown below.

Click Publish. When you visit http://yoursite.com, you should see both the “Hello World” post and your new post that you just created. Now we’re ready to walk through the process of protecting that new post while leaving the “Hello World” post free and open to the world. We will see the content protection in the next Part.

Get aMember Software now

Conclusions

This is the First part of how to create membership website with aMember membership software and WordPress along with PayPal or ClickBank payment systems and Aweber or Mailchimp auto responders.

The requirements to setup the membership site are WordPress content management software, Content Protection software (aMember), Auto Responders (aweber), Payment Gateway (Clickbank), Product launch funnel Setup (OptimizePress) which includes the sales page setup and finally testing the membership site setup with our goal.

This part of the series covers fundamentals we need to setup membership website. How to install trial version of aMember pro?. And WordPress installation process for the trail as well as paid version of aMember WordPress membership software.

Next part will cover content protection methods and part 3 cover the integration of various elements with membership sites, fourth and fifth parts contains product launch funnel and testing membership site respectively. Share your experience in comments section.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne Daigneault

I really like that one. Keep up the good work on your blog.

Reply

Mark Conroy

Great article, thanks heaps. My site is going to have two types of members. A. Members you can advertise on my site B. Members who can access premium content on my website. Is this possible with aMemeber?

Reply

bigcommerce

What’s up, yeah this paragraph is actually nice and I have
learned lot of things from it regarding blogging.
thanks.

Reply

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