A membership web site might be required for a number of reasons. Your web site may be
- A club or organisation that only wants to share info with it's members
- You may be a commercial organisation that wants to sell content. i.e give paid access to certain areas of a website
There are a number of membership plugins out there that enable WordPress to be turned into a full membership web site. At Bay Web Design the main membership product we use is S2Member. The reason why we use this product is that
- It's reliable
- It contains a very useful range of options
- It's cost effective
How does a membership web site work?
Basically you designate certain areas of the web site to be available to certain login levels e.g.
If a member of the general public comes to the site wanting to have a quick look around, you can provide some web page content for them to view free of charge. If you wanted to provide more content to certain people, you could then create a special login for those people to login in with. This content might be paid content as outlined below.
S2Member has some powerful tools to handle a user signing up and paying via Paypal or other payment methods. Once the user pays they then get to sign up for a paid login (Level 1 for example) . The web site owner would designate certain web site content only be available to a Level 1 user. Once the user signs on with their level 1 login, they would then be able to see that content.
At it's simplest, the above describes how membership functionality works. It can be extended much further to other levels of login and other levels of functionality. However, for an understanding of the heart of how it works, the above should give an understanding of the basics.