This post is part 1 of 3 in the mega guide to setting up a paid newsletter on WordPress with Paid Memberships Pro. Read part 2, 3.
What is Paid memberships Pro and why you should use it?
Paid Memberships Pro is a membership plugin for WordPress that allows you to easily restrict content behind a paywall. It is simple to use and does not require you to know any code. It also integrates with multiple email service providers and payment gateways, giving you complete flexibility.
In this post, you’ll learn how to set up Paid Memberships Pro for your paid newsletter.
Create your first membership plan
To get started with creating membership plans on your website, you first need to install Paid Memberships Pro. The plugin is freely available on the WordPress plugin repository.
From your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for Paid Memberships Pro.
On the first result, click the Install button and then Activate it.
Create a new membership level
As soon as you activate the plugin, you will be taken to the plugin’s dashboard. Here, click the Create a Membership Level button under Initial Setup to start creating paid newsletter membership plan.
You will be taken to a new page where you’ll find fields for entering the details of your paid newsletter membership plan. Begin by entering the plan’s name and a brief description.
Next, you can add a confirmation message that shows up on your website after someone purchases the membership plan. To make it stand out, you can add images or graphics to the message. If you want to include the same message in the confirmation email, you can check the box below the message field.
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Add membership pricing
Next are the options for the billing details. To set the cost of the membership plan, enter an amount in the Initial Payment box. If you want to provide a free trial for the first billing period, you can enter 0 in the box. This allows your users to subscribe to your paid newsletter for free for the first billing cycle and then upgrade to a paid subscription the following cycle.
To set the recurring costs for the membership, check the Recurring Subscription box and enter the details. You’d want to keep the billing cycle limit to 0 to make the membership indefinite.
If you want to provide membership for a one-time fee, you can enter an amount in the Initial Payment box and untick the Recurring Subscription option.
Next, you can skip over the Custom Trial option if you only want to provide the initial period as the trial.
You can ignore the Other Settings and we’ll touch on the Content Settings in the later part of the tutorial.
Finally, in the end, don’t forget to save the changes.
Set up Paid Memberships Pro membership pages
The next step is to set up important membership pages such as the checkout, account, order confirmation, and profile page.
These are important pages that’ll let users buy the membership and manage their account.
Paid Memberships Pro lets you automatically create these important pages with a single click.
Under the Settings tab, navigate to the Pages section and click the Generate Pages For Me button. You will see a message stating that the pages were successfully created.
Below, you’ll find a list of all the pages it created along with edit and view buttons next to each one.
That’s it. Next, we’ll see how to connect with Stripe to collect payments for our paid newsletter.
Connect Stripe to collect payments
From the same page, go to the Payment Gateway & SSL section to find its settings.
First, select Stripe as the Payment Gateway and change the Gateway Environment to Live/Production.
After you select Stripe, a new button will appear to connect your Stripe account. When you click on it, you will be redirected to the Stripe website, where you need to enter your Stripe account credentials. If you do not already have an account, you can create one by filling out the form.
Once you’ve connected your account, you’ll be redirected back to your WordPress dashboard, where you should see a green connection status.
Edit currency and tax settings
If you scroll down on the same page, you’ll see the settings to choose the currency and set tax rules for US subscribers.
The currency will be pre-selected as US dollars, but you can change it by selecting one from the dropdown menu. Paid Memberships Pro supports a wide range of currencies from around the world.
Below the currency, you can select what types of credit cards you want to accept under the currency option.
Next, if the majority of your newsletter subscribers are from the United States, you can set up tax collection from them. In the first box, enter the state abbreviation, followed by the tax percentage in the second one.
Restrict access to the WordPress dashboard
When members log in to their membership account, a toolbar appears at the top. Your email newsletter subscribers can use this toolbar to access the WordPress dashboard, which is not something you want.
To restrict access to the backend, switch to the Advanced section in the Paid Memberships Pro Settings, and under Restrict Dashboard Access check the two boxes that you see.
Isn’t that simple? You’ve successfully set up Paid Memberships Pro on your website and created your first newsletter membership plan.
In the next part of this guide, we’ll look at how to add paying members to your email service and allow newsletter archive access to them.