- WordPress Membership Plugins for Any Site
- Setting up a Membership Site with Cart66 Cloud
- Setting up a Membership Site with Exchange
- Creating a WP eCommerce Membership Site
- Wrap-up: Membership Sites with eCommerce Plugins
- Using the Paid Memberships Pro WooCommerce Add-on
- Restrict Content Pro Review
- Building a membership site with WooCommerce Memberships
Are you in the market for an easy-to-use membership solution that takes security issues of your mind, but still allows you to sell products other than memberships? Cart66 Cloud is probably a great fit for you. If you’re starting the process of setting up a membership site, you can also check out our overview of WordPress Membership Platforms for Any Site. However, many people want the ability sell other products, or are already tied into a platform. If you’re tied into Cart66 Cloud already, you’re in luck. Membership site setup is easy and well-done, and security is top-notch (we have a full review of Cart66 Cloud if you’re interested).
You won’t need extensions / add-ons for Cart66 Cloud to get your site up and running; everything is included in the $25 per month cost. Content restriction and recurring billing is handled for you by using Cart66 Cloud with the integration plugin for your site. There are over 50 payment gateway integrations included with Cart66 Cloud, and each can handle recurring billing without add-ons from your processor. For example, if you use Authorize.net, you won’t have to pay the extra $20 a month for the CIM service to manage subscription billing since Cart66 does it for you.
So how do you get off the ground with your membership site? We’ll walk through the process of setting up a membership site with Cart66 Cloud and how it relates to our checklist for membership sites.
We went through general store setup in our Cart66 Cloud review, so if you’re new to the platform, you should check it out for some insights. Once you’re ready to start setting up memberships, you should take a look at the Cart66 > Members settings in your WordPress admin and change where members are redirected when they’re logged in. Instead of redirecting to “Order History”, which will log users out of your site (which is the one thing I really dislike, as I don’t think this should be the default setting), you’ll want to redirect them somewhere else.
Each membership will be set up as a new product, so you can have an unlimited number of memberships and can restrict content differently for each product. Members can purchase more than one membership type if you’re using a content-based membership (access to certain topics) rather than tiered-memberships (access that increases with each membership level). You can also set memberships that expire after a number of days, or memberships that have ongoing/recurring billing for a number of cycles or until the customer cancels.
You can create a membership product or a subscription product. Membership products will be one-time purchases that expire after a certain number of days (for example, a one-year, one-time purchase). Subscription Products are memberships that are ongoing, and can be billed per a number of weeks or months. You can set a number of cycles for the subscription to run, or it can be continuous (until the customer cancels).
In order to offer your products, you’ll have to insert them via shortcode into pages or posts on your WordPress site. There’s a button to help you with this in the page/post editor:
Once you have all of your membership products set up, you’ll want to determine how you’re going to restrict content on your site. Cart66 Cloud allows you to restrict pages, posts, and categories easily for both membership and subscription products. You can set this up for all categories under Cart66 > Members > Category Restriction in your WordPress admin:
If you’re using a tiered-membership system, be sure to enable every membership that should have access to each category. If you’d prefer to do this for each post, you can also restrict content from the post editor:
You can similarly restrict pages from the page editor. However, you have a few more options while restricting pages, such as the ability to display a custom “access denied” page in order to use the opportunity to sell the appropriate membership.
Notice in both the page and post editor, you also have the option to “drip” content to your members (delay when they can view content). Dripping is great for those of you who are using evergreen content, such as tutorials or courses, so that members don’t get access to all content at once. This way, members can’t sign up, download everything, and ditch their membership. You can set a delay in days until the page or post is available to members. The only downfall is that you can’t change the drip rate based on membership.
Last in terms of protection: You can’t restrict logins for customers within Cart66 Cloud to prevent membership credential sharing.
Recurring / Subscription Billing
Cart66 Cloud hosts your shopping cart and checkout for you, so you don’t have to worry about billing or security. Any of over 50 payment gateways integrated with Cart66 Cloud can be used for subscription products (and you can use Stripe, which is a plus). Subscription products (not memberships) can include trial periods, sign-up fees, and variable billing cycles. You can set a number of weeks or months for recurring billing, and decide how many cycles will be in a subscription, or you can make a subscription ongoing / continuous. Setup is easy and done while you’re creating the product.
For both membership and subscription products you can sell digital content or physical products. Since Cart66 is an eCommerce platform, shipping options are built in and will be useful if you’re selling subscription boxes, other physical products, or rentals.
Customers can add cards or addresses to their accounts and view their order history, but cannot pause, resume, upgrade, or downgrade memberships (since memberships are individual products, you don’t have an upgrade “path” to follow). If customers want to change memberships, they’ll have to cancel the current membership and upgrade manually by purchasing the new one. Pricing is not prorated for this process, so you’d have to do a manual refund.
Other miscellaneous billing information? You can allow the use of discount codes for all products, but there’s no role-based pricing for different membership levels. You also can’t create a pay-per-post system, unless you’d like to create a new membership product for each post and restrict the post to only that membership level (and determine whether it expires, or make access infinite).
If you experience issues with your Cart66 Cloud site, the good news is that support is included with your purchase. You’ll have to log in to your Cart66 Cloud account and submit a support ticket for whatever issues you’re experience, but in my experiences with support, answers are prompt (within a business day), and helpful. There’s also a lot of documentation in the knowledgebase available to questions and offer setup advice.
Looking for More info on Membership Sites with Cart66?
Here’s documentation or other articles to check out for setting up a membership site with Cart66 Cloud:
- Want to know more about Cart66 Cloud or what you can sell with it? Look at their tour.
- Here’s more information on restricting pages vs posts and restricting post categories using Cart66 Cloud.
- Chris Lema has some advice and videos for setting up a Cart66 site that can be helpful.
- Cart66 has a collection of documents on subscription and membership products I’d look at for help as well.
Unfortunately one thing it can’t do in the membership department is prevent login credential sharing. One person can signup for a membership and share their login credentials with 10 other people and there is no way to prevent it. I’ve spent too much time and money creating my content to let that happen. Can’t use it…
Hi Michael, perhaps a solution that uses WP user accounts would work better for you, as you could then use the WP Bouncer plugin. We have a whole list here: https://www.sellwithwp.com/wordpress-membership-plugins/
Thanks for stopping by!
I have found another solution, I just though people might want to know this before they invest their time and money setting everything up and going through the learning curve. I would have never wasted my time with it if I had know this upfront. I’ve invested $150K and years of work on my content; I don’t want it passed around for free.
Understood; I have it mentioned in the article & am putting together a spreadsheet to compare these features among different platforms. Hopefully having this comparison will help people with this decision if they’re in a similar situation. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
So as of now, June 2014, what is the best membership plugin avail? Is Cart66 better than Membermouse? Right now I have DAP and we are not happy; the site has been broken for three months. DAP can’t seem to help. Are there any experts/consultants looking for a temp working arrangement as we migrate over to something better? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Gena, this really depends on what you need. We’ve got an article on general membership plugins as well as a series on using eCommerce plugins + memberships that I’d recommend checking out.
Are you selling physical products in addition to restricting content? Is a particular payment gateway needed? Do you need to drip-feed content, or can members gain access immediately? That should help us narrow down what you’re looking for.
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