There isn’t a deficit of ways to construct membership / subscription based sites with WordPress. Of course, the first things you need are a place to host the site, a URL that will grab search engine attention and for the purposes of this course, Word Press installed. If you don't know how to install Word Press, look for a host that has Fantastico for an easy install.
The following thing you require for producing your membership site with WordPress is a great theme. They’re a few different WordPress theme developers that supply very flexible and highly customizable themes, some paid and some free.
The First Steps
Your site’s look is decided by your theme. A great theme will make the difference between a professional-looking website and one that isn’t.
You ought to pick out your theme straight away, as it does have an effect on how you produce your content (that is., two or three-column layouts, screen width, and so forth). In WordPress, content is generally separate from presentation, so you are able to always alter your theme later.
If you do this though you'll lose most of the work that you've put into tailor-making your theme, so it's better to begin right away with the theme that you'll be finally utilizing.
Themes are customizable to differing levels. All themes may be customized by altering the PHP theme files, but this may be technical and time-consuming. You're better off picking a theme that already has the functionality and the feel that you need.
You're likewise generally better off picking a Theme framework over a regular theme. This will be described further. A theme framework lets you customize options like the presence or absence of sidebars with the theme options page.
Here is how I get going:
Begin with WordPress most popular (free) themes (http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/browse/popular/) – you might discover a “home run” theme there, and if not you may acquire a few ideas. Recall that there are disadvantages to utilizing a regular theme vs. a theme framework, even if that theme is a “home run” from a visual viewpoint.
Think about Artisteer. This is a Windows software package that you are able to design the layout locally and has a lot of assorted options. When you're done you export the theme files and upload to your website with FTP. It produces visually rich sites, although a bit on the simple side. Likewise, works for Joomla and Drupal CMS.
All the same, recommended Theme frameworks:
• Atahualpa (gratis, install from your WP Dashboard) • Thesis • Studio Press • iThemes Builder or Flex The reason a theme framework is advocated, is that most anything that you wish to do later you'll be able to do thru customizing the theme options inside your dashboard, instead of modifying the theme files in PHP.
Remember: you are able to do almost anything you wish with WordPress – all the same, it will be more or less work depending upon whether your theme supports it (and/or whether you are able to discover a plug-in that supports it).
Choice of support is likewise a serious worry. In numerous cases paid themes to supply better support. The exclusion to this is Atahualpa.
Hybrid, WhiteHouse, Lysa and Thematic. These all install directly from your WP dashboard and have a clean uncluttered look and are free.
A couple of well paid ones you might want to check out include WooThemes, StudioPress, ElegantThemes, and SoloStream. They can be used for a lot of different projects. SoloStream specifically makes really plain looking themes that don’t have a lot of graphic elements to them but a lot of frameworks.
This makes the themes extremely customizable for users that are to a greater extent web design inclined. If you're not a designer and don’t have the time to learn all of that stuff then WooThemes, StudioPress, and ElegantThemes are better options.
Decide if you're going to require drop-down menus, as not all themes support them. If you've less than ten pages on your site, don't utilize drop-down menus.
If you're seeking a theme for a particular niche, try searching the WordPress theme directory site or Google for that particular keyword theme.
If you buy a commercial theme, you'll have to upload it to your site and activate it. The simplest way to do this is thru the appearance > theme > add new theme choices (WordPress dashboard), then use the “Upload” tab, and navigate to the theme zip file supplied by your theme vendor.
The 2nd way to this is to unzip the theme then upload it thru FTP. You’ll require an FTP client software for this, and you'll need to know your hosting account username and password.
How to alter a theme
The initial thing you'll commonly do is replace the banner and logo. You are able to make yourself a banner utilizing free image editing software. You'll have to upload your banner picture to your site utilizing FTP, and place it inside the right directory of your server (commonly ./wp-content/themes/your theme name/images).
The dearest themes and theme frameworks likewise give you control of the styling of each element of your website, like background color, font, margins, and so on. You have to know a little CSS to accomplish this, but this is really simple and you are able to Google “CSS background color” (or whatever) for the exact instructions.
One you've styled your site to your desired look-and-feel, you have to setup your sidebars. You can do this with Widgets.
• In WordPress admin go to Appearance > Widgets
• Choose the left or right sidebar (on the far right screen)
• Drag your selection onto the sidebar and edit it / tailor-make it.
• Save your settings, then look at your site
The most crucial widget to understand is the “Text” widget, which lets you put in customized html text to your side-bar.
WordPress Membership Plug-in
So you have got your theme put together, now let’s go into the meat of what you require for your membership site, a membership plug-in.
You can look through lists of plug-ins to decide which one is for you or you are able to just go with wp-Member, issue resolved. The main reason for its fame is due to its API and 3rd party extensions that make it simple to tailor-make for any sort of membership site you wish to build.
The most crucial features that apply to everybody is that it’s compatible with a lot of different payment processors like Clickbank, PayPal, 1ShoppingCart and more. You are able to produce unlimited membership levels and you are able to protect each part of your WordPress site.
Make sure to always test the site.