How to Add Memberships to a WooCommerce Shop

Three years ago, I did a video overview of the Membership extension for WooCommerce. A lot has transpired over those 3 years, including as a substantial increase in the growth of membership sites.

So why use this extension when there are so many options out there? One simple reason. If you want to extend a WooCommerce store to include memberships, well, this extension integrates seamlessly with Woo. In fact, it’s built just for Woo.

There is a lot of opportunity for online shops to bring memberships into the mix, depending on what you sell. Building up that loyal customer base while creating recurring revenue for yourself is a perfect mix.

In fact I have known agencies who specialize in membership sites move to WooCommerce primarily because of its flexibility and power. And it certainly will add to your own services if you are able to start offering membership builds.

The WooCommerce Memberships Extension

If you are looking to create subscriptions for your members, the Subscriptions extension is perfect for the job and will be part of what I show you in this overview.

Creating a Membership for a Product

To use as an example, although this isn’t a physical product, I have a podcasting mastermind subscription on my site. And I want to turn it into a monthly membership.

I will find options to set that up. First, I need to create a new membership plan and then return to select it.

General Settings

Here is where I will start with setting access and membership length. Since I have a subscription already set up for this product, so I am choosing to go monthly and adding that product.

add new membership general settings

Restrict Content

Next I can restrict any content that may be part of the membership. For example, with this mastermind I might have several pages for resources and other information available to only my members. I can restrict those here.

add new membership restrict content

Restrict Products

I can do the same for products. Maybe I have other services or resources such as a video series that I want to restrict only for member consumption. Or perhaps I have a great deal on a microphone that I want to make available only available to members.

This is one of the benefits of this extension, the ability to restrict your WooCommerce store products seamlessly.

add new membership restrict products

Purchasing Discounts

If you have products that you want to still sell on your site but offer your members a discount, you can set those here. Again, you get the added benefit of seamless integration with WooCommerce.

add new membership purchasing discounts

Members Area

Here you can control what content will appear about the membership in the members/customer account page. Depending on what you are offering, this gives a great central spot where they are able to easily access their membership offerings.

new membership plan members area

Email Content

You can activate several emails directly tied into memberships. Once you have done that in the WooCommerce email settings, you are able to customize the content of each one of the emails you have activated.

add new membership email content

Assigning the Membership to a Product

When you are viewing a product, you can start to create your membership on that product page and then finish your membership plan later. Or as I have done, I have the plan already created and will assign it to the product.

You will see the options you have here on your product page.

The first option is to make this product forced to be public no matter any of the restriction rules. If not toggled, you can set the product as totally restricted.

membership settings on product page

If I toggle the first option on, all other fields disappear.

restrict content with disable restriction on

Next I have added the member plan I previously had set up.

grant access of product and member plan

And lastly, you can add discounts. But similar to the content restriction, you can toggle it on to exclude the product from any member discounts of any plan you might offer.

per product discounts

Membership Settings

The basic settings for the membership extension will be found in your WooCommerce > Settings. In the General options, you can set the global content restriction mode. As you can see, if I choose the Hide content only, that displays the excerpt and allows me to show a teaser.

Besides hiding it completely, you can have it redirect to a page, which could be the sales page on the membership side of your site or store.

And when members log in, you can control whether to send them to a specific page or not.

membership general and restriction settings

As far as products go, you can toggle some options on or off for these specific global settings around discounts, cumulative purchase, exclusion of products from any member discount and hiding restricted products on the shop page.

And for the restricted content, you can create a custom message based on the kind of restrict and also for discounts that will appear for non-members when landing on that page, post or product. Each option of course has its own distinct messages.

memberships settings for messages

Settings on Posts and Pages

For any of the content, you can add the content restrictions just as easily when you are on the post or page.

membership content restrictions on posts and pages

And you can also customize the message non-members will get if you have chosen to show it.

customize message for restriction

Free Shipping for Members

You can also add a free shipping option only for the members that will be available only if they have an active membership.

free shipping for members only

What Members and Non-Members Will See on Your Shop

Once someone has signed up and visits their account page, under the membership tab, they will see all the content they can access.

content access in account page

Also, they can view any of the discounts you are offering them as a member.

discounts in member account page

And if a non-member was to land on one of the restricted pages, and I had it set to show the custom excerpt, this is what they would see.

restricted page seen by non-member

Hopefully, this shows you how easy it is to integrate your WooCommerce store into a membership site, or even a part of the membership site. The sky is the limit. You can do simple or as complex as you want with both new and existing content and products. You can learn more about what the WooCommerce Membership extension can do, plus a lot of great resources to help you extend it here.

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