The process of setting up a paid membership site is not as hard as it looks at first once you get started. After scrutinizing several CMS platforms, including Joomla and Drupal, I decided that WordPress was definitely the way to go. I could incorporate a blog, downloads and a forum without installing a bunch of additional plugins.
After choosing WordPress as the platform, I had to find a plugin that would work with CCBill. As a site that was to have some adult content, it was necessary to use a payment processor that is compatible with that type of content. Unfortunately, there were no free plugins that I could find for paid membership management that were compatible with CCBill without a lot of hassle. It’s not that I didn’t have the ability to install the workarounds. I just didn’t want to spend a lot of time doing it. As a result, I had to go on a hunt for an affordable paid plugin solution.
I stumbled onto aMember Pro. It not only allows me to charge for memberships but in the future when I start incorporating affiliate sales, I can do that as well from within a Member’s built-in features. It’s not only useful for sites that need high-risk payment processors. It’s compatible with PayPal, Moneybookers and other popular services. It does have a price tag of nearly $200, but it was worth it. Besides, it was paid for in the first few sign-ups. Other than that, I didn’t find it necessary to add any additional plugins.
It wasn’t necessary to worry about spam catching since it was a paid membership site and there haven’t been any issues with that. The only other expense was hiring a graphic designer with expertise in WordPress theming. Because I had a complex theme in mind, that expense was quite high, but the artist was great to work with. Finding an artist who is willing to work with you to get the right look and feel is imperative.
While there is some mature content, it is primarily an educational site. There are downloadable tutorials and manuals for paid members. With the exception of the mature content, which requires age verification through CCBill’s card processing, non-paid members can also download content for a pay-per-use fee. All in all, it was a relatively painless process.
Finding the target audience was the easiest part of the entire process. So many people receive shoddy education in dealing with relationships, with healthy approaches, and I saw a way to fulfil that need. It certainly helps that the target audience is vast and largely untapped. The back-end upkeep is possibly the hardest and most time-consuming part.
Many people are unfamiliar with Linux command line installations and upkeep. That’s where cPanel comes in handy. I have experience with Linux system administration, but not a lot of time. I find that using cPanel is far easier for many tasks. My host provides cPanel to me free of charge, but many hosts have it available for a small surcharge each month. It makes site upgrades, uploads, email and password management, and spam upkeep a painless process. All in all, setting up and maintaining a pay site is easy once you have a target audience and content.
Web Hosting Expert
@JulianaP16 on Twitter is a VPS Webmaster and associate at Los Angeles based InMotion Hosting. Check out more about Cpanel web hosting and find out if your host makes it easy for you to upgrade your software packages. InMotion Hosting is well known for their US-based technical support, and range of packages from shared to Virtual Private Server full incorporated with a CPanel license to install many of the CMS platforms to build your own membership site.
This article is contributed by Juliana and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,