How to create a free membership website (Easy Guide)

Want to create a free membership website?

If you are looking for an ultimate guide to create a free membership website, 

After months of intense research, interviewing some of the oldest WordPress veterans, and analyzing the best membership sites, our team of WordPress experts has put together an ultimate guide to create a members-only website. 

Our WordPress experts have accumulated every single piece of data starting from whatever you’ll need to put together an amazing membership site to some tips and tricks to boost your website.

In addition to that, they have answered some of the frequently asked questions related to creating and running successful membership sites. 

Let’s get started with some FAQs!



What is a membership website?

WordPRess membership website

A membership website is a site that enables the admin to restrict various content on their website and requires the user to purchase a membership to access the gated content.

These types of websites are mostly created by online course sites, clubs, nonprofits, associations, as well as businesses. The gated content makes the website more enticing and exclusive to the members. Further, this adds additional value to their website.

What is the best membership site?

membership site

It is quite hard to understand the definition of the best membership site unless you have an example in front of you. We can’t name a single best membership site, but here are a few of them:

  • Orchids Made Easy: A membership website by an orchid enthusiast. The site publishes premium content related to growing orchids. The site offers monthly membership subscriptions to the users.
  • The Game Changers: Another successful membership site that dives into the structures, systems, and mindset that fuel business growth. The site offers fixed fee membership to its users.
  • Smart Blogger: Last but not the least, Smart blogger is an amazing membership site that offers high-quality online courses.

How do I start a membership website?

Creating and starting a membership website isn’t that hard if you have the right guide by your side. Here is what you’ll need:

How much does a membership website cost?

The cost of creating a WordPress membership website ranges from $200-$6000. The cost depends on the features and functionalities you want to add to your membership site. Depending upon the features, there are various paid and free WordPress membership plugins and membership themes available on WordPress.

Do membership sites make money?

Membership sites are a boon for those looking for recurring revenue. However, membership sites do not bring overnight success. But they can surely add a dash of extra income to your business. A membership website can be extremely profitable for businesses offering software, online classes, or magazines.

How to create a free membership website?

Creating a membership website is far easier than the other available guides on the internet portray! It’s time that you ditch those lengthy and complicated guides and check out this one!

Things you’ll need to build a membership website

To create a free membership website, you’ll need a few digital tools that’ll help you set up the website. Here is a list of digital tools you’ll need:

  • Membership model
  • Hosting and domain name
  • Right WordPress (in this case
  • A WordPress membership theme
  • WordPress membership plugin
  • A step-by-step guide to create a free membership website

Membership Model

Member Area

The very first thing that you’ll need is a membership model. A membership model is a blueprint of your strategy on how and why users will join your website and what’s value they get out of it.

Make sure you have your strategy all laid out before you start building your website. You don’t wanna end up like just another membership site without any value or purpose.

Hosting and domain name

A domain name is generally the name of your store or your business. For example, is the domain name for Metagauss. And hosting is a space where your website lives.

Now, there are various hosting and domain solutions available online, but if you are looking for an affordable yet great solution you can check-out  SiteGround, BlueHost, and Inmotion.


create a free membership website

WP is one of the most popular CMS when it comes to creating any website. Be it a subscription website, a membership website, a dentist’s website, or, etc. A statistic by WordCamp site states that there are 75 million sites on WordPress. Here’s an interesting read on it.

Most of these websites are built on Comparatively, is more flexible, offers more features and tools for website builds than

WordPress membership theme

create a free membership website

Themes are an integral part of building any WordPress membership site. Themes provide the visual aesthetics, design, and skeleton of a website.

WordPress offers an array of WordPress membership themes that you can choose from. But if you are looking for the best ones, here is a list of handpicked best WordPress membership themes for your website.

WordPress membership plugin

create a free membership website

A WordPress membership plugin adds advanced features and functionalities to your membership site. It helps you add features like content restriction, membership area, email mapping, user profile, payment options, and much more.

There are various membership plugins available online, but ProfileGrid is the ultimate solution for any website. This dynamic membership plugin for WordPress comes in three versions, Core, Premium, and Premium+.

The free (core) version offers 13 free extensions. For example, WooCommerce Integration, bbPress Integration, User Display Name, User Profile Custom Slugs, Advanced Forms, Group Events, Login Logout Menu, Content Restriction, ProfileGrid User Activities, ProfileGrid Recent Signup, and much more. Further, the premium and premium+ versions are known for offering 90+ extensions.

Must Read:

Make your WordPress Membership Theme Ready for 2021 with ProfileGrid

Why is it the right time to switch your WordPress membership plugin?


A step-by-step guide to creating a free membership website

Once you have all the above-mentioned tools ready, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to get your membership website up and running:

Installing WordPress membership themes

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress backend and open Dashboard.

WordPress Dashboard

Step 2: Scroll down and go to Appearance > Themes, in the left menu bar.

WordPress Membership Theme

Step 3: Click on ‘Add Themes’ to add a new theme.

Add WordPress Membership Theme

Step 4: To upload your membership theme file, you can click on ‘Upload theme’ and upload the theme file. You can search for the theme as well in the ‘Search bar.’

Upload theme

Step 5: Once you upload the theme you can install and activate it. Else if you are searching for the theme in the backend, you can click on ‘Install’ to install and activate it.

Install theme

Installing ProfileGrid Membership Plugin

To install all the ProfileGrid membership plugin on your WordPress membership website follow the below-given steps:

Step1: Go to the ProfileGrid website and click on ‘Extensions’, or click the button below.

Try ProfileGrid for Free!

Step2: Select the Core plan that comes with 13 Free extensions and 90+ free features.

Step3: Click on ‘Download Now.’

Step4: It will redirect you to the ProfileGrid Memberships page. Click the ‘Download’ button to download the plugin file.

Step 5: Once you have the downloaded file, go to the WordPress backend and click on ‘Plugins’ below ‘Appearance’ on the left menu bar.

WordPress Membership website

Step6: Follow the same path as you did for installing a theme, i.e., Add New >  Upload Plugin > Activate. OR Add New > Search Plugin > Install > Activate.

WordPress membership website

Step 7: To start using the functionalities of ProfileGrid Memberships after installing check out these important guides given below:


WordPress membership site in a nutshell

Creating a membership website has become easier than ever. With every single piece of information available at your disposal, you can create a membership site within just 65mins. Now no more hiring a website developer, all you need is some spare time and a small investment. Let’s go over some of the important highlights of this guide:

  • Build a membership model for your website
  • Buy hosting and domain name
  • Register on WordPress
  • Choose an amazing membership theme
  • Download ProfileGrid membership plugin
  • Follow the step-by-step membership website building guide

Hopefully, our guide has helped you create a free membership website!


Try ProfileGrid for Free! 

Also Read:

Create WordPress Members Area – Complete Guide

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