How to Make a Membership Website with WordPress: A Beginner’s Guide

Tuhin Bhatt

Co-founder of Intelivita

  Published on July 2, 2024

  5 min read

If you want to turn your blogging passion into profits, creating a membership website is a great choice.

The strategy is pretty simple: first you need to attract visitors by publishing free blog posts.

Once you’ve gathered a loyal community of readers, you can then offer members-only content for a certain monthly fee.

This model is used by websites of all types and sizes, from big news publications like The New York Times to personal blogs like Baking for Business.

But, can people without any coding knowledge create a membership site? The answer is yes, thanks to easy-to-use site building platforms like WordPress.

Advantages of WordPress for Site Creation

For beginners looking to create a website from the ground up, the options boil down to two platforms: website builders or content management systems like WordPress.

Website builders are much easier to use, but they tend to have limited customization options.

In contrast, WordPress might require some learning, but it offers endless possibilities for growth.

Here are some advantages of WordPress that website builders don’t provide:

  • Wide range of themes: Thousands of free and premium WordPress themes are available on both the WordPress official directory and third-party marketplaces. You can easily install and customize each theme to match your brand identity.
  • Extensive plugins: With plugins, you can add functionality beyond the core features of WordPress. This includes adding contact forms, creating image galleries, integrating gated content for subscribers, and much more.
  • Scalability: As your website grows, you can easily add new features through plugins or custom WordPress development. WordPress will adapt to your website’s evolving needs.

Types of WordPress Websites

WordPress is a powerful and versatile platform that can be used to create a wide variety of websites.

Here are some of the most common types of WordPress websites:

  • Business website: Used to showcase a company’s products or services, contact details, and other information about the business.
  • eCommerce store: With plugins like WooCommerce, you can create a full-fledged online store to sell physical products, digital downloads, or even subscriptions. However, this type of site is usually complex, so you need the help of WordPress eCommerce development services.
  • Personal blog: One of the oldest types of sites out there, blogs are typically used by individuals to share their thoughts, experiences, or expertise on a particular topic.
  • Online portfolio: Freelancers, artists, designers, or photographers can use WordPress to create a portfolio website showcasing their work and qualifications.
  • Membership website: As discussed earlier, a membership site offers exclusive content or services to paying members. Plugins like MemberPress can be used to manage membership levels, subscriptions, and access restrictions.

The cost of creating a WordPress site will depend on its type and complexity.

However, expect to spend between $5,000 to $30,000 for a bespoke WordPress site.

While it seems expensive, custom WordPress development services ensure that your site will be fully unique, separating it from others in your niche.

Moreover, you can request any design and features that you need without relying on themes and plugins.

How to Create a Membership WordPress Website

That said, not everyone has the budget for custom site development.

If you really want to create a membership WordPress site yourself, simply follow this step-by-step guide:

1. Set Up Your WordPress Site

Start by signing up for a web hosting service, which is basically a server you rent to host your site’s files and launch your membership site online.

Hosting brands like GoDaddy and Hostinger also offer a free domain name with their yearly plans, so you can secure a professional address for your site (like

Once you’ve purchased a hosting package, you should be able to install WordPress from your hosting account.

During the setup process, you will be asked to create a new WordPress username and password.

If your web host doesn’t offer any installation feature, you can download the content management system manually through

After that, visit to access your WordPress admin area.

Here, you can install themes and plugins to customize your site.

2. Create Membership Content

Develop valuable content (articles, videos, or downloadables) that will entice users to become subscribers.

Then, install the Members plugin to restrict access to specific content or areas of your website based on membership level.

This ensures that only paying members can view the exclusive content.

Furthermore, create a user-friendly membership area where subscribers can access exclusive content, manage their accounts, and interact with the community.

3. Integrate Payment Getaways

Last but not least, integrate secure payment getaways, so users can complete their membership purchases.

Popular payment plugins include Stripe, PayPal, and WooPay.

The last one enables your site to accept credit and debit cards, as well as direct bank transfers.

Don’t forget to define your preferred currency and include any applicable taxes.


WordPress is a powerful platform for building a membership website.

That said, using plugins to create exclusive content and a members-only area might be too complicated for first-time users.

In that case, then you need to hire a WordPress development agency like Intelivita.

We’ve developed 320+ WordPress sites for satisfied clients across the globe, so we know exactly what to do.

Contact us today, discuss your requirements, and we’ll build the perfect membership site you’ve always dreamt of!


Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of Intelivita, a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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