How to create a members only area in WordPress [VIDEO]


By Web Designers Academy

Going above and beyond for your client is a sure way to success.

What if… you could build something that would not only help her/him get their business message out there… but also help manage the business?

What if… you could do that using nothing but free plugins and a little ingenuity.

Today, we’d like to show you how.

It’s a combination of 2 free WordPress plugins that work together to create a members area!

What is a members area?

A “members area” is a place that only logged in users can access which will usually include documents (PDFs, spreadsheets, etc…), instructions, forms, etc…

People that are not logged in will not be able to access the information, sorta like this silly kitty –>.  People that are logged in (aka: members) will be able to see that information.

A “member” can really be anybody that the particular business needs to get unique information to, usually that will be employees or customers (maybe even vendors).

Now let’s be honest… some businesses have no need for something like this, however a lot do.  There is no limit to what is possible here but below are some examples of businesses that can use this type of thing:

  • Small Insurance Company = can now distribute claim forms and downloadable brochures to customers.
  • Contractors Supply Company = can provide special price lists and request forms for their best customers.
  • Mobile Sales Associates = if the company has people that go around selling their widgets (yay, I love widgets!), the mobile sales associates can have access to the latest prices, latest inventory and even submit orders while working remotely.

It’s that last type of business scenario that we’ll be building today!

Get It Done in 3 Easy Steps

Creating a members area in WordPress is pretty simple and the best part is that you can do it without any paid plugins.  This means that you can bill your client for something that you can build for free.  Cha-ching.

Watch this 7-minute video to see how it’s done.

Here is a quick video review:

  1. Create your members area page – add the content you want members to be able to access.
  2. Install and activate Page Restrict and Peter’s Login Redirect 
  3. Edit the page you want to protect (your members area page) and check the “Protect this page” checkbox and save the page
  4. Go to Settings > Login / Logout Redirects and redirect Subscribers to your new page (the one that you made in step 1)
  5. Setup a new user and make sure the role is set to Subscriber 
  6. You are done!  Now the members page is protected from all non-logged in users and when that user logs in she will be directed to the members only area!  BOOM!

OPTIONAL STEPS: Install a login customizer and WP Admin No Show to stop users from accessing the WP admin area.

Your friends,
Amy & Ian Anderson

PS: Please do not put super-sensitive information (like nuclear codes or offshore bank account numbers) in these member areas. While this method will keep most nosey people out, hackers are a clever bunch and will gain access to anything if they try hard enough.

PSS: Thanks to Jack for the great post idea!