"If you spend some time in the add-ons section, you’ll discover a lot of features hidden there. It’s pretty awesome how much stuff is there."
"Membership 2 is amazingly versatile and solid in its implementation."
"With Membership 2 Pro and the programming hooks, I have a solid foundation for site development. I recommend it to anyone from novice to master."
"The Membership 2 interface is by far the easiest of any membership plugin I've ever used. This is perfect for anyone who needs a straightforward membership plugin."
Design and build any membership system you can dream up with Membership 2 Pro.
Set up everything from a basic membership site for exclusive access to your chocolate brownie recipes or even try your hand at creating the next Facebook with one of a kind Multisite integration.
Simpler, Intuitive and Even More Powerful
Membership 2 Pro is the successor to our hugely popular Membership plugin, completely re-written from the ground up with even more features – including the ability to manage content across an entire network from one place.
Membership 2 Pro is the most user-friendly membership plugin for WordPress and Multisite.
Smart Setup Wizard
There’s no guesswork with Membership 2 Pro. Our setup wizard will guide you through configuring your membership site.
It even includes simulation mode to quickly verify everything is working before pushing your site live.
Four Membership Types
Choose from four flexible membership types, which you can then further customize to suit your site’s goals.
Make your content available to members and hidden to logged-out users.
Dripped Content Membership
Release your membership content in timed intervals.
Starts with content available to all users. Great for limiting access to only a few items.
Content is available to all logged-in users who have not yet joined your site as a member.
A Money Making Machine
Members Only Content
Limit access to just about everything: pages, posts, categories, videos, audio, images, PDFs, digital downloads, forums and even specific words and links – You control who sees what on your site.
Create as many memberships as you want with specific rules for what content your members can access.
Four Reliable Payment Options
Protect your content behind a membership login and offer automated processing.
Choose from four payment options in 25 currencies. Get paid with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, or good old fashioned manual payments.
Easy Member Management
The overview screen displays recent news, stats, new members who have joined your site, along with a list of the content available to your logged in members.
Quickly find your members from the dashboard and view their membership type and when it expires, and any pending payments.
Even More Functionality With Add-ons
Membership sites can get pretty complicated, and not everyone needs the same things. Membership2 Pro offers features as add-ons so you can add only the functionality your site needs, making it easier to manage.
- URL Protection
- Multiple Memberships
- Admin Side Protection
- Advanced menu protection
- bbPress Integration
- BuddyPress Integration
- Custom Membership Attributes
- Category Protection Coupon
- Individual Custom Posts
- Individual Posts
- MailChimp Integration
- Media Protection
- Member Capabilities
- SEO Protected Content
- Protect Special Pages
- Redirect Control
- Shortcode Protection
- Taxamo (EU VAT laws)
- Trial Period
- Additional Automated Messages
- WPML integration
- Customize Registration Form
Extra Time For Things That Matter
True Multisite Protection
Membership 2 Pro includes special controls for Multisite network administrators.
Now you can configure content protection from one location – even on large networks. It’s WordPress SuperPowers for your network.
Automatically Create New Pages
Membership 2 Pro automatically creates the pages you need and lets you choose which pages to include.
Pages created by the plugin are marked so you can quickly spot and manage them from your page list.
Control Site-Wide Content Protection
Easily toggle whether you want content protection turned on or off, either from the easy-to-spot notification in the admin bar or directly in the Membership 2 Pro settings.
Encourage visitors to your site to sign up for exclusive access to members-only content.
Display a carefully crafted message to logged out users, along with details or how they can join your site.
Automated Email Messages
Email new members automatically when they sign up to your site. Thank them for taking the time to join as a free member and even offer them a coupon for discounted membership.
Integration With WPMU DEV Plugins
Take full advantage of your WPMU DEV membership by pairing other plugins with Membership 2 Pro. Give members exclusive access to an appointments calendar or create an online course network like lynda.com.
Plus, Membership 2 Pro includes special integration with Affiliates, Custom Sidebars Pro, Events+, PopUp Pro and Appointments+ for advanced membership feature protection.
Membership 2 Pro offers advanced settings for power users and developers.
An extensive library of shortcodes allows you to do everything from simply displaying a membership type to protecting specific content from users on certain membership levels.
More advanced settings allow you to reset the plugin’s settings to the factory default, lock subscriptions so they never expire, and restore a previous snapshot of your membership database.
Membership 2 Pro comes with an API module that makes it simple to integrate it with other plugins and find new ways to extend your membership site.
Welcome to M2! It’s the new, improved version of our Membership and Protected Content plugins, and it’s the best version yet.
Installing M2 will depend on where you’re starting from, so this part of this guide is divided into three sections; Upgrading from Protected Content, Upgrading from Membership, and First-time install. Read the section that pertains to you before you jump in.
Upgrading from Protected Content
Upgrading to M2 from Protected Content is the simplest option. M2 will show in your admin as an available update for Protected Content, which means it will quietly replace Protected Content when the upgrade is complete.
Congrats! You’re done!
Upgrading from Membership
Important Note: You must upgrade from your WPMU DEV Dashboard, rather than via FTP or Plugins > Add New > Upload in order to import your Membership settings to M2.
1: Make sure the latest version of the WPMU DEV Dashboard is installed.
2: Make sure latest version of the old Membership plugin is installed (188.8.131.52).
3: You’ll see a button to unlock the update under Membership2 > Settings and/or WPMU DEV > Updates.
4: If you don’t, you can click the link in your WPMU DEV Dashboard to force it to check for updates and repeat step 3.
Once M2 is active, go to Membership2 > Settings > Import tool.
You’ll see two radio buttons, one to import via file, one to import WPMU DEV Membership settings. You’ll chose the second button, then Preview Import. Once you’re satisfied with how things will import, hit import.
M2 will import membership levels, subscription information/data, and member data from Membership.
However, M2 will not import shortcodes or content protection settings. So after upgrading, you will need to add in all your content protection settings for each membership level, and find and replace any Membership-generated shortcodes with M2 shortcodes. Tip: use a handy plugin like Better Search Replace to make that more of a cheer than a chore.
Important: In some cases, WordPress cannot replace the plugin files automatically and will display an error during update. When this happens, please deactivate and delete the old Membership plugin before installing Membership 2 Pro.
Congrats! After this, you’re done too!
If you’ve never used Protected Content or Membership before, you’ll install the plugin just as you would any other. You can visit the Installing Plugins section in our comprehensive WordPress and WordPress Multisite Manual if you are new to WordPress.
Congrats! You’re ready to set up M2.
Creating a Membership Site with M2
If you’ve already used Membership or Protected Content, using M2 is going to be very familiar to you. M2 allows you to control, down to the tiniest detail, what content you show to which members. With free and paid membership options, you can choose to protect content behind a paywall, or just create a private space for your free members. Let’s start building your site now.
Step One: Make a Plan
Creating a content protection plan is your first step. Jot down a diagram or outline of how you want your site to work. What membership levels do you want? What content do you want users on each membership to see or not see? Do you want your content to be always protected on some memberships, yet made accessible on others over time or on specific dates? If you’ll charge for access, how much will it cost and how will you accept payments? Yep, M2 can handle all that & more!
If you have installed M2 or upgraded to it on a multisite network, part of your plan should be to decide whether you want your content protection rules to apply site-by-site, or if you want to leverage the network-wide protection features of M2.
If content should be protected site-by-site, simply activate the plugin on the site where you want your content protected and continue with the setup as detailed in the rest of this guide.
But, if you want to create content protection rules network-wide, you’ll need to first add the following constant to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'MS_PROTECT_NETWORK', true );
You can then set up protection rules from your network admin for every site in your network. Woot!
Important note: the above constant will only work if added to wp-config.php before you start creating your memberships. Any existing memberships on any site in your network will not be recognized by the network settings. A future release of M2 will allow for pre-existing memberships to also function network-wide.
When you’ve got a rough sketch of your plan, it’s time to start building your content protection.
Step Two: Create Memberships
If you are not redirected immediately to the Setup page after installing the plugin, click the Setup menu item in the Membership2 menu.
Memberships are the heart of M2, and you’ll use the memberships you create to complete each additional step in the set up process. To start, we give you a default “System Membership.” All current members will be in this Membership until they choose or they are moved to a different plan.
With M2, you can create four different types of Membership.
1. Standard Membership: Most typical memberships will be Standard. Standard memberships can be free or paid. You can create as many standard memberships as you’d like. If you want to created a tiered system, such as Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans, you’ll create a standard membership for each tier you want to offer.
2. Guest Membership: A guest membership sets rules for non-logged in visitors to your site. If you’d like visitors to have unique access rules, you’ll need a Guest Membership. You’ll only be allowed to create one guest membership which will apply to all guests.
3. Dripped Membership: This membership is used when you have content you want to grant access to one piece/group at a time. The settings for this membership will allow you to set dates or time spans for when content is to be revealed or hidden.
4. Default Membership: This is similar to the System Membership that is added by default. It’s a membership for any registered/logged in user that is not currently the member of any other membership plan. Like the guest membership, there can only be one default membership on your site.
Creating a new membership is very simple.
1. Go to Membership2 > Memberships
2. Click “Create New Membership”
3. Choose the type of membership from the grid of four.
4. Name your membership.
Create each of the memberships you’ll need (you can add/edit/remove them later, as well) and we’ll move on to the next step. Don’t worry about setting up billing or payment gateways at this time, we’ll add those later on.
Step Three: M2 Pages
Next up, a quick and easy step; setting up the necessary pages M2 will need. Go to Membership2 > Settings > General
- Make sure you have a Memberships, Register, Account, Protected Content, and Registration Complete page set up for M2.
- Decide which items you want to appear in your main navigation menu.
- Decide whether you want the black admin bar that will usually show on the top of each page on your site (the one that says “Howdy, you”) to show for members. You’ll likely want to wait until you’ve finished getting everything set up before clicking the Content Protection toggle though.
- If you’re using a plugin to create a custom registration page, like BuddyPress, Pie Register, or Gravity Forms, be sure to select THAT registration page here, rather than the default one created by the Membership2 plugin.
- If you are using another plugin for registration, be sure to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file so the Membership2 plugin knows about it (this is not required for BuddyPress, but it won’t interfere if you add it anyway):
Step Four: Content Protection
Membership 2 > Protection Rules is your home base for choosing who sees what content, all in one beautiful and easy to use page. You’ll see your content protection options in a vertical list of tabs. Clicking any of these tabs will allow you to set content protection for that particular content type.
With no Add-Ons active, M2 allows you to protect pages, custom post types, comments and the “more” tag (see below for more about the available Add-Ons). It also provides settings for basic menu item protection.
You’ll see the default mode is for everyone to be able to see everything. If you hover over any content item’s current access, you’ll see a “modify access link.” Click this to restrict this content item to only members of the membership(s) you assign. A colorful pop up will appear with each of your memberships listed. Click the memberships you want, and move through the content items, and tabs, one by one until you’re satisfied with your settings.
Step Five: Billing, Subscriptions, and Payment, Oh My!
M2 comes packed with several payment gateway options.
You can choose whichever gateway or combination of gateways meets the needs of your an your members. You can set up your supported gateways via Membership2 > Settings > Payments.
When payment gateways are set up, go back to Membership2 > Memberships, and edit each paid membership to include the gateway, the cost, and the duration of the membership.
If you’re planning on accepting recurring subscription payments, you’ll need to use either PayPal Standard or Stripe Subscriptions to manage the payments.
Now that your memberships, content protection, and payment information are all in place, all that’s left is adding a few more personal details and checking your levels to ensure everything is working as expected.
Step Six: Final Steps & Pulling it All Together
You’ll notice there are still a few more settings in M2 you can adjust. Let’s take a quick look.
Protected Content Messages – You can change the text (and even add images and fancy styling!) when a user is trying to view content they don’t have access to. You’ll find these messages in Membership2 > Settings > Protection Messages.
M2 also comes with a very handy “Membership Simulator” tool that allows you to view your site as if you were a member of any (or none) of your Memberships. Before you call it a day, take a few minutes and run through each of your Memberships to make sure they see what you want them to see.
To access the Simulator, click the Test Memberships button in the toolbar in your admin or on the frontend of your site. You’ll then see the Simulator window in the top-right corner on every page of your site.
Reward yourself with a pat on the back, you’re getting there!
The real magic in Membership2 is in the Add Ons. All the Add-Ons are included, but only those that apply to your individual set-up can be enabled so you don’t need to deal with any items you don’t need. For example, if you do not have BuddyPress installed on your site, that Add-On will be greyed out with a message informing you that BuddyPress needs to activated before you can use it.
The following Add-Ons are included:
Additional Automated Messages – this add on allows you create custom auto-messages for members.
Admin Side Protection – Want to extend your content protection to your Admin area? This add on will do just that.
Advanced Menu Protection – This Add-On has three options to allow the ultimate control over access to your navigation menus. Click the Details link in the Add-On to select the option you want.
- Protect Single Menu Items (default)
- Replace Individual Menus
- Overwrite Contents of Menu Locations
The option you select will determine the additional settings that will become available at Membership 2 > Protection Rules so you can tweak the access rules for your menus.
bbPress Integration – If you’re a bbPress user, you can protect your bbPress forums with this add on.
BuddyPress integration – If your site uses BuddyPress, this add on will let you protect groups, profiles, and more.
Category Protection – If you’d like to protect posts by category, this add on makes it super simple.
Coupon – Offer coupons for memberships.
Individual Custom Posts – If you’d like to control access to custom posts on a post-by-post basis, this add on will help. When enabled, the Custom Post Types tab under Membership 2 > Protection Rules will be replaced with Custom post Type Items where you can select the specific items you want to protect for each membership.
Individual Posts – Like the add on above, but for standard WordPress blog posts. When enaled, this Add-On will add a new tab under Membership 2 > Protection Rules called Posts where you can protect individual posts.
Mail Chimp Integration – If you’re a MailChimp user, this add on allows you to automatically optin your users to your MailChimp lists. There are 3 options available under the MailChimp tab in Membership2 > Settings where you can select which lists to use for Registered Users with no membership, Members and Deactivated Members.
Media Protection – Like Advanced Menu Protection, this add on has three options to customize how your media is protected.
Member Capabilities – This add on will allow you to grant permissions/access for individual members, outside of their membership level.
Multiple Memberships – If you need users to have more than one simultaneous membership on your site, this add on will allow that functionality. This Add-On doesn’t create any new settings for you to worry about though.
Important note: Members who are in multiple membership levels will default to the permissions of the most permissive level they belong to, if there’s a conflict. For example, let’s say you have a craft-based site where members can join any memberships they want, and each membership is based on a craft. If the Knitters have access to all custom post types, but Stitchers do not, and Bev is a member of both Knitters and Stitchers, Bev will have access to all custom post types.
Protect Special Pages – Special page protection covers archives, 404 Pages, and search result pages, to provide truly wall-to-wall protection for your site.
Redirect Control – If you want to control where users are redirected after logging in or logging out, this add on will be a big help. A future update will include the ability to set custom redirects based on memberships.
Shortcode Protection – This Add-On will enable you to protect the content that is output by shortcodes from WordPress, or even other plugins. Booya!
Taxamo – EU VAT regulations apply to you? We’ve got your back. This Add-On will add a new tab to Membership2 > Settings where you can set up your Taxamo stuff.
Trial Period – If you’d like to give potential paying members a free taste of how great a membership on your site can be, activate the Trial Period add on. A new option will become available in the Payment settings for each paid membership you have.
URL Protection – When none of the other add ons will do, URL protection will allow you to protect content by the page URL. URL protection includes regular expression support, so you can drill down into specific content as much as you need. Be careful with this one though; any rules you add here will override all other rules.
M2 includes all the add ons we included in Protected Content to make custom content protection as comprehensive as you need it to be. Now that you know what you can protect, it’s time to choose the add ons you need (if any), and start applying content protection rules for these as well as the default settings which were added above.
That’s it! You’re done!
As always, if you get stuck, or you’d like to try something not explained in the Usage guide, come visit us on the forums, we’re more than happy to help get your M2 site up and running.
Cache plugins can often interfere with plugin functionality. If your users are not being assigned memberships after successfully paying and logging into your site, check if you have object cache enabled in your cache plugin. If so, add the following to the non-persistent fields/groups
Membership 2 Features
Structure the perfect membership system.
- Standard Membership
- Dripped Content
- Guest Membership
- Default Membership
- Infinitely customizable
- Automate page setup
- Manual page creation override
- Easy configuration wizard
- Toggle pages in navigation
- Shortcode library
- Editable automated email system
- Delay message follow-up
- Membership importer
- Create a Custom Configuration
- Create as many configurations as you like
- Give each setup a name
- Users can have Multiple Membership
- Make your system public
- Build a private membership system
- Multisite protection managed from the network admin
- Global settings
- Free membership system
- Paid membership
- Accept manual payments
- PayPal Single
- PayPal Standard
- Stripe Single
- Stripe Subscriptions
- 25 default currency options
- Taxamo for EU VAT regulations
- Built-in invoice system
- Coupon system
- Offer a free trial
- Place content behind a paywall
- Protect pages
- Protect posts
- Content protect comments
- Protect content below "read more" tag
- Protect by custom post type
- Protect by category
- Protect specific menus
- Protect specific menu items
- Shortcodes to protect specific content
- Protect specific URLs
- Protect archive pages
- Protect any WordPress special page
- Protect content by user role
- Protect dashboard access
- Built-in BuddyPress integration
- Built-in bbPress integration
- Bulk actions for members admin page