Your Members Quick Start Guide
Already have WordPress 3.2 (or above) installed? Good. (If you don’t, get to it!) Your Members has a ton of great features that make it easy to turn WordPress into a custom membership site.
And while Your Members gives you a number of different configuration and membership options, this guide focuses on only the more popular configuration options. Once you’ve installed Your Members, we encourage you to explore the other options available to tailor your site to your needs.
This guide covers the installation of Your Members v11 onto WordPress 3.2, but it will be relevant to other versions too. it is not a step by step how to build a Membership Site, though our How to build a WordPress Membership Site series is and you may prefer to follow that tutorial. This guide is for people who want to jump in at the deep end.
Before Installing Your Membership Plugin
Before you touch anything, backup your existing WordPress site (both the files and the database). You know, just in case something doesn’t quite go as planned. Problems during installation are extremely rare, but you should never install or change anything, without a reliable backup to fall back on.
Installing and Activating Plugin
To begin start by installing Your Members core plugin, you can install the other modules later.
Do NOT use the install plugins feature inside WordPress to install the Your Members WordPress plugin. Instead, unpack the zip file and copy the folder marked YM (normally using FTP) into your WordPress plugin folder (normally found in wp-content/plugins/). Once that’s done, log into your WordPress admin panel, click “Plugins”, scroll down to Your Members and click “Activate.” After a few seconds, a new Your Members tab should appear in your admin area.
Here, you’ll be prompted to enter the email address you gave when you purchased Your Members. Then, enter your email address again to confirm your acceptance of our End User License Agreement (EULA). That’s it.
Congratulations! You’ve just installed Your Members. Easy, right?
Did You Notice the Setup Wizard?
Don’t feel like reading through a big setup guide? Your Members has a handy dandy setup wizard built right into it that will take you through all the necessary steps and get you started. (It’s that blue bar at the top.)
Did you lose the setup wizard? Did you get rid of it and discover you now need it? You can reset the setup wizard on the plugin’s about page.
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a login system and decide is how you’ll let users sign up. Will you use the existing WordPress login system, or will you create custom login pages? Your Members does allow you to add users via custom login pages, but they’ll require a considerable amount of technical know-how to set up.
For the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume you’re going to use WordPress’ existing login system. To do that, go to your site’s WordPress admin panel, click settings, general, and under Membership, make sure the “Anyone can register” box is ticked. If you don’t, no one will be able to register!
Once everything is activated and installed, you should see the Your Members welcome page. You should get a short popup dialog explaining some of the features and a quick overview of your recent activity. This is also where we’ll notify you of any changes.
Setting Up Membership Packages
Next, set up packages and membership levels for visitors to choose from. Called packages and package types, these options can be found by going to the memberships tab, and then to “Packages”. Click “Add New Package” and define each package type.
They can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some sites just offer free and subscriber. Others offer gold, silver, and bronze, while some offer hundreds of alternatives. You’ll see that the guest and free membership levels are already set up for you and can’t be removed, but they can be disabled, if you’d like.
Want to make a new package type? Set it up when you create a package, manage package types, or select one from the drop down list.
Your Members supports a variety of subscription models. To configure standard subscription models, go to the subscription options section of the page. Your Members also supports more exotic subscriptions such as pay-per-post and post packs, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
Tip: For each package, make sure you define the duration, price and package type, as well as assign each one a unique name to identify the package by. This is also where you’ll find gateway-specific fields such as the Zombaio Price ID.
To set up more in-depth options and trial periods (if your chosen gateway is compatible), simply change the interface to Advanced or Basic with Trial using the drop down menu located in the top right of the tab.
Tip: Before moving on, make sure every package type has a package associated with it, or people won’t be able to join that type.
Now, it’s time to set up your site. Go to Content and Mass Content Setup. This will allow you to update or bulk update the post access permissions for existing posts by category (if you have any).
Once you’ve done this, go to Global Content Options to configure the posting defaults for each package type, as well as for individual purchase pricing.
Tip: If you have an existing download manager, you may need to change the shortcode Your Members uses under the download manager tab.
Set Up Your Payment Gateway
Your Members includes a number of different payment gateway options such as PayPal and WorldPay, as well as pseudo gateways such as free. To connect the payment gateway with Your Members, visit the payment gateways option under Memberships and only enable the payment options you wish to offer members.
When you activate them, you’ll be taken to the settings page for the appropriate gateway where you can then configure the keys/payment emails. You can also configure the VAT and site-wide currency here as well.
Tip: If using PayPal the minimum information needed is your PayPal email and setting to live, additional fields are for SSL
Protect Some Content
Now your basic membership site is up and running and those existing pages and posts you chose are protected. So, when you create new ones, simply add the appropriate shortcodes around the section of content you want to protect (normally just [private] [/private] ).
Don’t limit yourself by thinking you have to protect entire pages. You can protect any segment of content you’d like, allowing you to add SEO text and teaser information, visible to non-subscribers.
Congratulations! You’re done setting up. All you have to do now is start making content. Oh, and give yourself a pat on the back.
This guide hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what Your Members can do. Experiment with the options, check out our advanced guides, and pop onto the forums. Ask questions and do something new and unusual!
(Oh, and if you do, let us know about it. We’d love to see what you’re doing with Your Members.)