Set up for membership site using WordPress Network, S2Member and BuddyPress


I am having trouble figuring out how I should set up WordPress, S2Member and BuddyPress to get the desired functionality for my membership site.

I am creating a membership site where users can either: (1) register for free and later add products (one-time or subscription based) or (2) register for paid membership for access to subscription based products.

Upon registration confirmation, I would like to automatically create a child site for the registered user. These child sites will be administered by the WordPress network admin (plugins, theme, page templates etc.), but would allow the user to manage their profile, subscriptions and product purchases.

Users would register and login via the main site and then be redirected to their corresponding child site, upon authentication.

I would like users to be able to see each other's profiles ( and later, add each other as friends and set up groups), but I don't want them to see their dashboard and account pages.

I have few questions about how to achieve this:

(1) What is the best way to set this up? I am not new to WordPress or php development, but I am new to WordPress Network, S2Member and BuddyPress. I don't mind coding and custom extensions, but I'm not quite sure where to begin.

(2) Is WordPress Network necessary for this setup? I originally went with a network install because a few of our products will create custom posts for the user and I wanted these posts to be easily segmented by user.

(3) If I use WordPress Network, is it possible to have the users login to the main site ( and then be redirected to their corresponding child site (i.e. something like:[user_id]/)? And how would I protect this custom URL from other users? I'm open to suggestions if this is not the best way to set this up.

I apologize for the hugemongous question, but my research into setting this up has only raised more questions.


  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there Erica,

    I hope you are well today, Welcome to WPMU DEV!

    1) This depends on the exact outcome, in effect, you want to charge them for access to their own site on a multisite network of WordPress correct? Or have I misread that?
    If that is the case, you may want to take a look at our Pro Sites plugin

    2) Yes if you want your users who purchase a subscription to have access to a site, you will need a multisite network, I would personally recommend a sub domain network and not a sub directory one, which other products/subscriptions will you have?

    3) Yes that would be possible to on login redirect to their own dashboard/site, would you be happy to code this or would you prefer a plugin? Just so I know to point you in the right direction :slight_smile:

    I apologize for the hugemongous question, but my research into setting this up has only raised more questions.

    It's not a problem at all, we're here to help and feel free to ask as many questions as you want :slight_smile:

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV member!

    Kind Regards

  • erica_stanley

    Thanks for the quick response, Jack!

    (1) Regarding your response to question #1: This is not quite what I'm trying to do. A user could also have a free membership and therefore have a free child site. They would be able to add on products and subscriptions later, if they choose.

    (2) I guess a better question is: do I need WordPress multisite if: (a)I want users (subscribers) to have their own account/admin area (just custom themed pages, no changes to the WordPress admin) and (b) I want any custom posts for that user to only show up in that user's admin area? Is multisite the best way to accomplish this?

    (3) I looked into the Login Redirect and Logout Redirect plugins and they could be exactly what I need, but it depends on the settings allowed. For instance, if I could give the Login Redirect a parameter/variable to indicate the location of the current user's dashboard this would be great. As this URL would be different for each user, if it only allows a static URL, this would not work for me. Open to coding, but not one to reinvent the wheel, so plugins work just as well.

  • Jack Kitterhing

    Hi there @erica_stanley

    I hope you are well today, first of all I'd like to apologize about the extreme delay on this, I missed your reply, It was only as I was just going through some old threads I saw that this one was awaiting my reply, I do apologize about that.

    1: I would personally then still recommend Pro Sites, as that way, a user could have a free site and upgrade to a better plan later on, with extra plugins/themes/more space etc, as the membership plugin doesn't allow for that sort of control over it.

    2: Multisite would be the best way to accomplish that, but then each users posts would show up on their own child site/site, rather than showing up on the main site/blog, though yoy could perhaps mirror the content onto the main site if that's what you wanted?

    3: I believe this plugin here will do what you would like, as it has the dynamic variables etc, :slight_smile:

    Thank you! Sorry again about the extreme delay.

    Kind Regards

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Erica!

    Just in-case you haven't already heard, I'm going over some past related posts to let you know we've released a brand new powerful, super easy to use membership plugin. Offering a different approach and logic when compared to our already existing feature packed Membership plugin.

    Check out the full details here:

    Protecting content has never been easier :slight_smile:

    If you have any questions we are more than happy to help!

    Have a great rest of your day.


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