How to use a Page Builder to create a custom Membership Level Pricing page.

The landing page for your levels is the primary place your site will attract and sell its membership products. Our plugin includes a few options to design this page, including the default [pmpro_levels] shortcode and the enhanced options when using the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode Add On.

What if you need more control over this page and would like to design a completely custom page for your levels? In this article, I will take you through the process of building a new membership levels page using the Elementor Page Builder, an open source plugin available in the WordPress plugin repository.


Did you know…

You do not need to use the default plugin-generated Membership Level page for your membership site. In step 2 of the plugin setup process, a page named “Membership Levels” is automatically created with the shortcode [pmpro_levels]. You can customize this page depending on your preferences, skill level, and the needs of your membership site.

A few ways you can customize the levels page include:

  1. Use Custom CSS to adjust the default layout.
  2. Create your own custom Page Templates for the levels page layout.
  3. Replace the default shortcode with the options included in the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode Add On which includes column-based or comparison-type options.
  4. Use a Page Builder or your theme’s included “pricing page” layouts to craft a totally custom page.

In this article, I’m focusing on the last option above and will demo how to use the Elementor Page Builder to create a Membership Levels page.


Video Demo


1. Choose the method that works for you.

Your skillset and goals will generally determine the method that you choose to build your membership levels page.

You do not have to use a Page Builder and might find that using your theme’s included layouts or theme’s shortcodes to create your membership level page will be easier. Chances are, you already have an idea of what will work for you. I chose to use Elementor in this article because it is a popular page builder plugin that many of our support customers are using.

Screenshot of the Elementor Plugin Homepage


2. Develop your membership levels page.

Now that you have chosen the tools needed to create your levels page, it is time to start building.

These steps assume you are working on an existing membership site and want to create the new design without affecting the current site’s levels page. If you are setting up a brand new membership site, you can directly edit the generated page for your Membership Levels. Just remove the [pmpro_levels] shortcode from that page and begin your work.
  1. Navigate to your Dashboard > Pages > Add New.
  2. Enter a title for your new membership levels page (mine is “My Level Page”).
  3. Start creating the layout exactly as you need it. Feel free to get creative here. Enhance the page with images, comparison tables, testimonials and more. This is the primary page your potential customers will visit to explore your product and, hopefully, convert to members. It’s important to make the page as compelling, clear and attractive as possible.

Screenshot of admin developing a membership level page using a page builder.

Pro Tip: Keep this page as concise, clear and simple as possible. It can be tempting to add a whole lot of detail to this page, but remember that confusion often leads to “cart abandonment”.

3. Link “buttons” to the level-specific membership checkout page.

As you can see from my screenshots, I created a membership level page that gives a little more information on the two membership levels that I want my users to sign up to. One level is free; the other is a premium membership.

I will now need to link up my membership checkout page to each of my “Sign Up” and “Buy Now” buttons in the layout.

In most cases, the URL for membership checkout will be something like this:
https://SITEDOMAIN.com/membership-account/membership-checkout/?level=1

This URL is primarily the same for each level checkout page—you just need to update the last attribute of the URL with the appropriate level’s ID.

  1. Navigate to the default Membership Levels Page and click the button to membership level that you want to link.

    Screenshot of default Paid Memberships Pro levels page


  2. Copy the URL of the checkout page. Notice that each URL will include the membership level’s ID. In my case, I am linking my “Gold” Membership Level (which has a level ID of “18”). You should see something similar to /membership-account/membership-checkout/?level=18

    Screenshot of admin copying the URL of a Paid Memberships Pro Checkout page

    Pro Tip: You can automatically include a discount code in the URL by adding the attribute &discount_code=CODENAME at the end of the button’s link to checkout.

  3. Add the copied URL to the appropriate button/link that you created on your custom membership levels page. Repeat steps 1-3 for each Membership Level you have added to your custom page.

    Screenshot of Admin pasting in a link to redirect users to the checkout page


4. Last Step: Set your newly created Membership Level page as the default.

This last step will ensure that every generated link to your membership levels page will direct users to your new/custom page instead of the plugin-generated page. If you have inserted a link to the membership levels page within your post content, you will need to manually update those links to this new page.

  1. Navigate to your WP Dashboard > Memberships > Page Settings > Level Page > Select your new membership level page.

    Admin seeting Paid Memberships Pro Default Levels Page


Pro Tip: As a clean up step, you will also want to delete the old (plugin-generated) membership levels page and redirect that deleted page’s slug to this new page. You can alternately update your new page’s slug to match that of your previous page.

That’s it – and that’s alot.

If you have any questions about using this process to create the membership levels page of your dreams, please share a comment below.

Notify Members of Upcoming Recurring Payment / Automatic Renewal for Membership

Our Recurring Payment Email Reminder Add On allows you to notify members that their membership renewal payment is processing soon. This recipe shows you how to use the pmpro_upcoming_recurring_payment_reminder filter to modify when that notification is sent.

View the Add On


About The Code Recipe

By default, the Recurring Payment Email Reminder Add On will send a notification 7 days prior to a member’s recurring payment date. In the example below, we are modifying that default to send the notification 14 days (or two weeks) prior to renewal. Annual plans may want to adjust this to 30 days prior (roughly 1 month) or another value that best fits the needs of your membership program.


The Code Recipe

This code recipe requires a Plus Account or higher.

View Membership Options

How to Set Up Your Membership Level Pricing

This guide covers some of the most common pricing models for membership sites and how to configure level pricing for your site. It’s a useful guide if you’re just getting started with Paid Memberships Pro and would like to learn the different ways you can potentially charge members.


How to set up your Membership Level Pricing

Paid Memberships Pro enables you to charge your members in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Set up a one-time/one-time “lifetime” payment for membership.
  2. Bill members on a recurring monthly subscription.
  3. Charge members on a yearly basis.
  4. Set up a trial for your members before having them commit to a full membership.

You can offer all of these pricing models and more using Paid Memberships Pro. Below are a few of the most common pricing options we have seen.


Once Paid Memberships Pro is installed on your site, the following settings can be configured in your WordPress Dashboard under Memberships > Membership Levels > Add New Level:


Video Demo


Setting up a once-off payment.

Here are the steps to create a one-time payment that will charge members when they signup for a membership. The membership can last indefinitely or for a specific amount of time.

  1. Set the amount you want to charge immediately at checkout in the “Initial Payment” field.
  2. If necessary, add a Membership Expiration to this level by clicking on the Membership Expiration checkbox (more on this later). If left blank, members will be able to access members-only content indefinitely.
  3. Save your Settings
Default: Change link appears (before CSS)
Pro Tip: Sell access to individual pages or posts, or sell a la carte items for a flat fee by using our AddOn Packages Plugin.

Setting up a monthly payment.

To charge monthly for your site’s membership, do the following:

  1. Set your initial payment to the amount you want to collect immediately when a member completes a checkout on your site. This can be the same amount you plan to charge on a recurring basis or it can be a higher or lower amount.
  2. Select the “Recurring Subscription” checkbox to open up more billing options.
  3. Set the Billing Amount and the Billing Frequency. If you want to bill clients monthly be sure to set your frequency to “1” per “Month(s)”
  4. Save your Settings.
Default: Change link appears (before CSS)

Setting up annual payments.

To set up a yearly pricing model for your membership level, do the following:

  1. Set the amount you want to charge immediately at checkout in the “Initial Payment” field. Again, you can set this first payment to be a higher or lower price than you plan to charge for subsequent years.
  2. Select the “Recurring Subscription” checkbox to open up more billing options.
  3. Set the Billing Amount and frequency. If you want to bill clients yearly be sure to set your frequency to “1” per “Year(s)”
  4. Save your Settings.
Default: Change link appears (before CSS)

Setting up a membership level with an expiration date.

In some cases, you may want to add an expiration date to your Membership Level, if you would like to add an expiration date to your level, do the following:

  1. Navigate to Memberships > Memberships Level in the WordPress Dashboard
  2. Select a Membership Level to edit.
  3. In the Membership Level Settings, check the “Membership Expiration” checkbox to open up the Membership Expiration options.
  4. Set the duration of the membership access. For example, “3 Month(s)”
Default: Change link appears (before CSS)

How to improve your sales funnel and grow membership by giving something away for free.

Your prospects and leads are a group of potential customers that have an interest in your business and products, often referred to as your “list.”

In this article, we tackle the problem of building and growing your list. We’ll show you how to leverage a Free Membership product as the first phase of your business’ sales funnel and (ultimately) help you convert list members from prospects to lifetime customers.

Free Giveaway Graphic


Grow your list by giving something away for free.

One of the most popular growth models that you can adopt is to give away content, services, and/or products for free. We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so in return you ask the user to share their contact details in order to access this free item.

Some of the products we have seen leveraged for this model include:


Helpful Blog Posts

Instructional Videos

Free Trials


15-minute Video Consults

Limited (but useful) Feature Software

E-book Downloads

The idea is not based in tricking people into signing up, but rather to demonstrate that you have something truly valuable that they can use and benefit from now. It’s a way to introduce yourself to a potential customer without asking for payment right away. It’s a way to enrich someone’s life and create a relationship with a customer who may have otherwise overlooked your business.

Essentially, any time you are deciding what content to distribute free of cost, it needs to be a strategic decision. You need to be thinking three steps ahead. Because by giving away something for free, you’re looking to create leverage that allows you to eventually do something for profit, right? Right. So figure out what kind of content will get you what you want, and who needs to see it for that to happen.
— Gary Vaynerchuk, Why You Shouldn’t Charge For Your Best Work


What happens next?

After these customers have used and (ideally) enjoyed and benefited from whatever you gave them, then you can start to actually sell. Now is the time to share something else that customers can pay to see, use or experience. Because you have established trust, your users will be more likely to pay you for some of your premium content.

Every user that joined as part of your “free” promotion is now part of a database that you can use to further interact with—even if it is much later on. This is the crux of how to grow your sales funnel using this model.

It can seem counterintuitive to focus your efforts on a strategy that is not designed to get you paid. Picture this: you could spend a small fortune on advertising via social media, Google Adwords, and other platforms, adding you to the sea of ads constantly bombarding users for their attention (ads the average person has gotten really good at ignoring). Or, you could direct market to your personal list of thousands of existing (free) customers to let them know about your premium membership offering. If they liked your free stuff, they are going to simply LOVE your Premium goodies.


Giving away something (of value) for free is a great business model because:

  • People love getting free stuff. If it is free and valuable you can gain popularity quickly.
  • It gets people using your service or product which should increase feedback—helping you make a better product or service.
  • You can build an invaluable customer base full of customer contact details to use for ongoing promotion and marketing efforts.
  • It makes marketing more successful because you’re talking to your own user base. It is a known fact that there’s a higher return on investment when marketing to existing customers.

Building a Customer Database.

Among all the other benefits and goodwill you create by giving away something for free, building a customer database (sales funnel) is the primary benefit of this growth method. Even if you aren’t ready to sell to this audience today, you can start building a database of potential customers immediately. Yes, it is great to have thousands of social media followers. Yes, social media is still a great way to interact with and build relationships with your audience. Just know that you don’t control a social media platform or how your followers use that platform. At any given time your chosen social media platform may change. Dramatically. You can’t rely on a third-party to maintain your “list.”

If you have built your own list of customers email addresses, you have complete control over how and when you interact with (market to) them.

Remember to be considerate with your user’s data, taking care to provide choices for unsubscribing or modifying to hear from you and how frequently. Having access to all of these email addresses gives you great power…and we all know what comes with ‘great power’, don’t we?


Let’s explore how to use Paid Memberships Pro to build your customer database. The same primary steps apply no matter what your “free” promotion is. We’ll also cover a few methods to deliver your “free” item in the steps below.


Use Paid Memberships Pro to build your customer database.

To do this, you will need to:

  1. Create a Free Membership Level using Paid Memberships Pro and have some content linked to this free level that will help your members.
  2. Set up an email marketing platform that you can use to send out emails to those who sign up for your membership. We have an integration for a couple of them, for this article, I am using MailChimp as my example.
  3. Connect your email marketing software to your Paid Memberships Pro Level using an integration, like this MailChimp Integration

1. How to set up a Free Membership Level.

Once you have Paid Memberships Pro is installed and activated, the next step is to set up a Membership Level. To do this head over to the “Memberships” tab that should now be accessible from your WordPress Dashboard and select the Membership Level option.

Membership Level Set up Screenshot - Step 1


Now, navigate to the top of the next page and select the “Add New Level” button.

Add new level button screenshot

Give your membership level a name, description, confirmation message. Under the Billing Settings, make sure to leave it blank (it’s a free level). Save the level.

Membership level set up for free level

Now you can now navigate to your “Membership Levels” page and view your Free Membership level.

membership-level-page

Note: If you are looking for more information on how to install, activate and set up Paid Memberships Pro, I would recommend taking a look at our Initial Setup Video, for a general walkthrough of plugin setup.

2. Set up a MailChimp Account and the MailChimp Integration for Paid Memberships Pro

If you haven’t already set up a MailChimp Account and need to do that you can get started here. I am not going to cover how to set up MailChimp in this article but there is an abundance of online resources to help you out with this.

We have developed a MailChimp Integration Add On that allows you to add members to MailChimp lists depending on their membership level. The integration also merges in the user’s membership level as additional contact information. This allows you to segment your members by level and send specific marketing emails to each group.

Installing the PMPro MailChimp Add On

  1. Upload the ‘pmpro-mailchimp’ directory to the ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory of your site.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Navigate to the ‘PMPro MailChimp’ admin page in the WordPress dashboard Settings Menu (WP Dashboard > Settings > PMPro MailChimp) to configure your MailChimp API Key and Lists.

Locating your MailChimp API Key

  1. Log in to your account at MailChimp.
  2. Click your profile name in the upper right corner to expand the Account Panel, and choose Account.
  3. Click the Extras drop-down menu and choose API keys.
  4. Copy an existing API key or click the Create A Key button.
  5. Name your key descriptively, so you know what application uses that key.

Copy and paste your MailChimp API key into the “MailChimp API Key” field under Settings > PMPro MailChimp.


3. Add Free Members to MailChimp lists.

Once your API key is loaded into the integration options, you should see a list of MailChimp lists available in your account. Select the appropriate lists for members based on their level. If you need to create a new list you must do so in your MailChimp account dashboard.

pmpro-mailchimp-settings

With this integration, you can also offer “Double Opt-ins” for members. This is especially important for customer in Europe focused on recent GDPR laws that are now in place.

pmpro-mailchimp-levels-lists

Remember that in addition to assigning members to lists based on level, you can also segment users directly in your MailChimp account based on our default contact merge fields for a user’s membership level. This is sometimes a better approach because MailChimp will charge you double for a subscriber that is on two separate lists.


4. How to deliver your “free” content to your members.

It is important to make it easy for free members to access the content they were promised. Here are a couple of ways you can make it nice and simple for your members to get their hands on the free content you are offering them.

  1. Set up a “welcome” autoresponder email for all new member signups in your email marketing program with a link to read your eBook. You can also include a couple of other useful links pointing to different parts of your site. Just be sure to make it easy for your members to see and download the eBook as this is the main reason for them signing up.
  2. When a new user signs up add a link to view your instructional video to your level’s confirmation message and on the membership account page.
  3. Add a link to the special free members-only blog category to the members-only menu using the Nav Menus Add On
  4. Set up a service like Calendly and share a link for members to create an appointment to chat.
  5. Use our Download Monitor Integration to offer members-only downloads of eBooks or other content.

The way you deliver the promised “free” content will vary based on what you’re giving away (surprise!). If you have a specific type of item and would like some feedback on how to deliver it, please post a comment below.


Share your recommendations with us!

Have you already built an amazing ‘freemium’ business and have some tips and tricks? If there’s something you feel I missed in this article, please share in the comments below. I would love to see what you are building and how you are using Paid Memberships Pro to #GetPaid.

Recent updates to the Theme My Login plugin and how they will affect your membership site.

We have long recommended Theme My Login as a very useful plugin for sites running Paid Memberships Pro. With features including themed login, frontend user profiles, and simple redirection rules, we found TML to be a great addition for any membership site. We recommended it to 100% of our users and included it in our WordPress bundle.

With the release of version 7.0+ of Theme My Login, several key features that were once included in the WordPress.org repository version of the plugin are now offered as premium extensions. This post details some short and long term options for membership site owners concerned about the changes and the best steps to take.


Themed login pages are still part of the free plugin.

If you were only using Theme My Login to show your login form on the frontend of your website and not using any of the “modules” that came with the plugin, then you are fine and can continue to use Theme My Login as you were before. Make sure that you are upgraded to the latest version of Paid Memberships Pro as well, which included a fix so PMPro will still redirect the registration page to the PMPro levels page and handle login redirects properly.


If you can afford it, purchase the Theme My Login extensions bundle after upgrading.

Theme My Login is a solid plugin maintained by a great developer, Jeff Farthing. Support Jeff and your site by purchasing the premium extensions you need.

Currently you can purchase extensions a la carte for $10 each or a bundle of all 6 legacy extensions for $49.99. Jeff has kindly given us a discount code to share with our members to receive 20% off any extension purchase, including the bundle. Just type in “PMPRO” on the checkout page to apply the 20% discount. This code will work through the end of July 2018.

You can purchase the Theme My Login extensions here.


After upgrading you may have to redo some settings.

We purchased the bundle ourselves and were able to get our themed login and profile pages back online in a few minutes. We did have to redo a few of the settings though. Here are a few notes we took during the upgrade that might help:

  1. When we installed the Redirections extension, all of our redirection rules all migrated properly upon upgrade.
  2. When we installed the Themed Profiles extension, our settings were reset to the default. We typically recommend checking the box to theme profiles for the Subscriber role and checking the box to keep Subscribers out of the dashboard.
  3. The default Login, Register, Password Reset, and Profile pages are no longer editable as pages. However, we were able to take our “your-profile” page, keep the [theme-my-login] shortcode on the page, and then change the slug in the main TML settings to “your-profile”. Now the profile page has the template, sidebar, and other settings we want for that page.

The PMPro Member Homepages add on is a good substitute for the TML login redirect module.

One of the TML modules allowed you to select a different page to be redirected to after logging in based on the user’s role. This way you could have subscribers redirected to one page and admins redirected to another.

If you don’t need to redirect users based on roles, you can redirect them based on their membership level instead using our Member Homepages add on.

In the short term, you can keep using version 6.4 of TML

While its always smart to keep your WordPress plugins up to date for security considerations, in the short term you can keep version 6.4 of TML active. The plugin won’t allow you to update in the WP dashboard unless you read the notice on the settings page and change a setting to approve the upgrade to version 7.0.

Version 6.4 TML is likely to work for a while until a core update to WordPress changes something about the login system that breaks it. We highly recommend upgrading to TML 7.0+ as soon as possible, but you have some time to figure things out.


Improving Paid Memberships Pro with Added Profile Features

The new business model for Theme My Login is a good move for Jeff and will help him to build a business around the plugin that will ensure the plugin continues to be maintained and supported. We like plugins that do their one thing really well, and we’ve been happy with Theme My Login over the years. I’d rather not use our limited development time to build functionality covered by other competent plugins. On the other hand, the cost of the extensions are going to keep some PMPro users from installing Theme My Login. This factors into our decisions around what features we build into the core PMPro plugin, build into our Add Ons, or reserve for third party plugins.

In the long term, we are looking into moving the themed login and profile page features into the core PMPro plugin or possibly an Add On of our own. We are in the early stages of discussion and will start from first principles to figure out what kind of solution will be best for our users.

In the short term, you can purchase the extensions you need using the PMPro discount code, use some of the workarounds mentioned in this post, or continue to use TML 6.4 until a core WordPress update breaks the plugin.

How to make video tutorials for your membership site.

Instructional video can be a key component of any membership website, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share my experience creating setup tutorials and video content about our Add Ons. I hope you can use the step-by-step guide below to make more powerful videos for your membership site.


Video Communicates Your Message Quickly and Effectively

Video is one of the most powerful forms of media used in today’s time to tell stories or get your message ‘out there’. After Google, people turn to YouTube to find answers to their search queries. Video is here to stay and some say that it will only get more and more important as we head off into the future of this ever-increasing ‘digital age’.  In this article, I will attempt to cover my entire video making process. You may find when making your own videos that your process differs slightly. This is totally fine and you should embrace the process that works best for you.
Travis Lima working on a video editing.

Watch an Example of our Screencast Video Tutorials


Quick-Start Video Making Points

Below are some quick points, aimed at those who just need some tips to get going on their video making. Below these quick points, you will find a more detailed blog elaborating each point.

The (Simplified) Process:

  1. Idea/Conceptualize – Write down an idea for a video, make a list of some of the main points of the video that you want to communicate to your audience.
  2. Research – Once you have a general idea for your video, you want to go and research your topic. While researching, be sure to jot down notes that are important to highlight in the video
  3. Dry Run – Similar to the research phase, try to do a dummy or test run of your video from start to finish. Take notes of anything you may want to include in the video.
  4. Script (1st draft) – Take your idea and start writing a script. Draw a line down the middle of the page. On the one side write down what you expect to see on the video, and on the other side write the actual words that will be said while that portion of the video is playing.
  5. Record video – This can depend largely on the type of video you are creating. In the case of a tutorial screencast style video, you want to record your screen using a program like  OBS Studio, ScreenFlow, or Camtasia. For a review of 2018’s best Free Screen recording software click here.
  6. Edit Video – Using a video editing software (I use Adobe Premiere) add your video and start trimming all the unnecessary pieces of the clip, or mistakes. Try to keep videos as short and concise as possible.
  7. Script (Final Draft) – Now that you have the video portion done, read your script and watch it alongside your video. Make any relevant changes to your script. Like your edited video, keep your script short and to the point.
  8. Record Audio – Find the quietest room in your office or home, grab your script, and start reading out your script as clearly as possible. Don’t be afraid to take more than one take on this. If you are confident enough, avoid this step and record the audio while recording the video by talking your way through the video recording session. Avoid using filler words like “um” or “like” while recording.
  9. Edit Audio – Add your audio file to your video editing program. Trim off all the mistakes, pauses and unnecessary audio clips and align the audio with the video, making sure the audio and video match together.
  10. Add Extras – If you have any graphics, animations intros, background music – add this in now.
  11. Export Video – Export your video with the relevant settings. Here is a video that I used to see which are best for my videos.

Software Recommendations


Hardware Recommendations


Before getting started – The most important factor of all!

Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash

Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash

Before diving deep into how to make videos for your Membership Sites, I want to make one thing clear: The most important factor to making videos (or anything that we want to make but have little knowledge about) is to just get started.

Anything worth doing is not easy and it is often the case that we see a metaphorical mountain in front of us when trying something new. In the case of making videos, it is easy for one to get caught up on little things that just stall us from actually sitting down to make a video. Don’t get stuck thinking that you can’t make videos because:

  • “I don’t have the proper gear.”
  • “I can’t make videos, I did not go to film school.”
  • “I don’t know how.”

Just get started. One step at a time. Use the power of Google and YouTube to hack your way to your first video. If it is anything like mine, it will probably be average – at best. But hey! Now that you have something out there, you can improve on it. Learn from it. Doing something (even if it is average) is better than doing nothing at all. So grab your smartphone and “Just get started“.


Now let’s get started making our video.


Step 1 – Idea and Conceptualization

This step is the very first step of the video making process but it is an important one. If you already have an idea or goal for a video, great! If not, don’t worry. This step is designed to help you find or craft an idea that you can use in the making of your next video.

For me, it is relatively simple in that I have a set of Add Ons or documentation pages that I need to make videos for. Once done with the one, I move on to the next. This step can be as elaborate or minimal as you need it to be. I would encourage you to be bold and really hack your idea out in this step, but don’t get stuck here. If you feel like there is not more to do here then needed, time to move on. We still have got a lot of work to do.

General video getting started photo of notepad and phone.

If you have an idea of what video you want to make:

  1. Write your idea down on a piece of paper or use something like Google Docs or Dropbox Paper 
  2. Explore your idea by brain dumping and sketching out a storyboard.
  3. Write out a very quick overview of your idea. Include all the key bits of information that you want to bring across in your video.

This step will help you to avoid forgetting or leaving out anything crucial that you want to appear in your video. It may be hard to believe, but it is really common to come to the end of your video making process and realize you forgot to include a crucial scene of your video.

If you don’t already have an idea for your video, try doing one of the following:

  1. Brain Dump all of the possibilities you can think of. Be sure to write any and all ideas; the right one will stick.
  2. Use Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms for ideas and inspiration.
  3. Check your competitors’ websites to see what they are doing for their audience. Use this for inspiration and not to ‘steal’ ideas.

Step 2 – Research

Once you have your idea and the general concept of your video written down, it is a good idea to research the topic of your video. Research can open up more ideas and information that you can use in your video. For example, when I am making an Add On video, I will go and read the documentation over to make sure I don’t leave out any vital details about the Add On. After that, I will search through our blogs and forum topics to see if I can find any useful information that can provide something extra to those who watch the video.

Use the internet to research your topic. Search forums, documentation, and videos to get as much information as you need to make a quality video. You may find new sources of useful information, analogies and other relevant information that you can include in your video. This is also a great way to open your mind on how to communicate your topic in a different and potentially better way to what you initially thought.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash
Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash


Step 3 – Dry/Test Run

At this stage, you should have a solid foundation of research and conceptualization of your video. Now it is time to do a dry run. In my opinion, this step still falls under the ‘preparation phase’ of the video making process. The idea here is to play out the exact video in a very rough, unrehearsed way. This is because sometimes the idea on paper doesn’t translate well practically. By trying your idea out first, you may realize missing information or a better way to communicate a particular message to your audience.

When making an Add-On Video, I will start up my local development environment (I use Local by Flywheel – recommended), log in to my Paid Memberships Pro test site, and literally go from the start to the end of installing and configuring the Add-On. I will generally make notes along the way, test all the features of the Add-On, refer back to the frontend to see what effect any particular setting it had on my site, and make sure I didn’t miss anything. Depending on the complexity of the Add On, I may do multiple dry runs so that I can get confident of what I need to do and where I need to navigate while recording my screen for the actual video.

Pro Tip – Video record your dry run to have an idea of what the video and process look like. This can help prevent re-shoots later on.

Step 4 – Writing a Script

In this step, I take all the notes that I made in the first three steps and start writing up the first draft of my script for the video. There is a general format to follow when writing a script and that usually comprises of simply dividing your page into two parts. On the left side of your page, you write down roughly what will be happening on the screen and on the right-hand side, the text/audio that will be displayed at the same time the scene you described on the left side of the page is displaying. When writing your script keep in mind the dry run(s) you did; try to play it out in your head and put the scenes together verbally on the script.


Step 5 – Record Video

After having a decent script together it is time to go ahead and start recording your video. To record my onscreen videos I use the built-in software of my MacBook Pro – Quicktime Player but I have heard good things about Screenflow and I have previously used OBS(Free) with good results.

Take your script and, keeping your dry runs in mind, start recording your screen with your screen recording software. Don’t panic. If you make a mistake or do something incorrectly, you can just re-do that specific action or section (not the entire video) and edit out the mistakes. When recording your screen now, you will basically do the same sequence as your dry runs but this time you will try to do it as smoothly as possible.

Mac QuickTime Player Screen Recording

VIDEO RECORDING TIPS:

  • Make sure your mouse cursor is always easily visible.
  • Set the ‘click indicator’ to ‘on’ of your video recording software.
  • Do not hastily go through the process of your video. Move at around 70% of your normal speed (you can always speed the video up later).
  • If you make a mistake, no need to re-record the shot. Move a step back and do the sequence again. Edit out the mistake later.
  • Turn all devices into Airplane mode, and silence all distractions and notifications that can pop up during filming.

Step 6 – Edit Video

This may seem a little counterintuitive to jump right into editing the video after recording the video, but hear me out. In this step, you have the chance to put the content section of your video together, edit out all of the mistakes, speed up or slow down sections that are moving too quickly or too slowly, and get the video to a point where you are satisfied with.

The reason I do this is that I find it easier to finalize the script. This gives you a pretty good idea of your audio to video ratio. This is important because (extreme example coming up) let’s say you have an edited video that has a total length of 30 seconds but your script has over 5000 words in it. Chances are you are going to need to record a ‘little’ more video to cover everything you want to say. By having an almost complete video that is edited, I can record some B-roll footage in an event of me having too much to say and too little to show, or I can cut down on my very lengthy script and focus on keeping the script concise (this is almost always a good thing to do).

Travis Lima working on a video editing.

Pro Tip – Keep your video, script, audio short and to the point, especially if you are making a tutorial. Your viewers may not feel so enthusiastic about having to sit down and watch a 30-minute tutorial video. Of course, the length of the video you are making can vary greatly depending on the type of video you are making.

Speed up sections where you can, keep an eye on sections that involve filling out forms or boring tasks. No one likes to sit watching a video of a slow page loading or someone filling out a lengthy web form. Focus on short, punchy videos.


Step 7 – Finalize Script

Now I sit in front of my edited video and I read my script out loud to see if what I am saying matches with the video on the screen. I also see the timing as to whether I may need to cut out an unimportant sentence or two… or if I need to elaborate a little more on an onscreen sequence.

Once finalized, feel free to play the edited video and read out the script from the beginning to see how it compares with the pace of the video. No need to get it ‘spot on’ but the closer to the video pace the better. If you need to record some more B-Roll video sequences, do this now and add it to your edited video to see how your script compares.


Step 8 – Record Audio

Before starting, make sure you set up in the quietest room in your house (many uses a walk-in clothing closet), turn all devices that can make a sound off, including the sound on your laptop. With your script in front of you and your microphone set up (glass of water close by) start reading out your script aloud in a moderately paced and appropriate tone (this will depend on your business and audience). Try to keep your tone away from being too monotone. If possible, try to stand straight up when reading your script and feel free to ‘speak with your hands’ – this helps with the tone of your voice.

Travis Lima recording a video voiceover.

If you make a mistake, stop and pick it up from the last sentence you were happy with. You can edit out any mistakes later. This can be quite a nerve-wracking experience at first, but you get used to it the more you do it.

If you are confident enough, another option is to record your screen along with your sound at the same time, just like many Youtubers and tutorial makers do when recording a screencast. This is a great way to minimize editing and double recording. For me, I usually make a lot of mistakes and have this nasty habit of uttering the words “um” and “ahh” every few sentences when trying to multitask or record, so I have opted for a longer, more edited approach. 🙂


Step 9 – Edit Video with Audio

At this point, you should have an initially edited video and an audio file ready to go. Import your audio clip into your video editing software, and now pair up the audio file with the video. Cut out pieces of the audio file that need to be cut, slow down or speed up the video if you need to get a bit more video to meet the length of any of your sentences.

Pro Tip – To extend a sequence as long as you need, you can pause the video and take a snapshot of your screen. Then cut split the video file and put a ‘still frame’ in between the two video pieces.

Once done, watch the video from start to finish to make sure everything is paired up and timed well.


Step 10  – Added Extras

Add in any extras to your video (if necessary) like background music, graphics, subtitles, intro animations or posters etc. Once you have added in any extras, make sure to watch your video over again to make sure everything still lines up nicely.


Step 11 – Export Video

Once your video is ready to go, Export your video with the relevant settings. I used this video as a guideline to export my video, but based on your needs you may need something else. When your video is exported, you may want to compress your video. I use Handbrake(free) an amazing video compressor that has reduced the size of my videos drastically without losing video quality.

Pro Tip – when compressing your video, make sure to select the “Web Optimized” checkbox. This helps buffer your video as opposed to loading it entirely before displaying it.

Conclusion

To close, I would like to encourage you to get out there and make some videos. This guide is packed with a lot of information but is intended to be more of a guide that you can refer to rather than being a ‘set in stone’ process of making videos. In fact, I took a process from another YouTuber and the more I made videos the more I tweaked the process to suit my style and way of working. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take heart. You are not alone and every single content creator sat in the very same seat you are in now, feeling the exact same way.


Trav’s quick-fire, last-minute tips:

  • For your first video, try to make a quick, rough test video. This video needs to be unpolished and quickly made. Now that you have completed a video, make another, try to make this one a little better than the last one. Repeat process.
  • Get started with what you have. You may not enjoy making videos so don’t invest in gear until you are certain you will use it and it will provide value to your content creation endeavors.
  • YouTube and Google are your friends. Don’t know how to fade a video to black? Do an internet search for it!
  • Use online services (again) to buy music, graphics, animations for your videos. Learning how to do something from scratch is great. But some skills will require major time investment where you could spend $5 to get it done right now.

Getting Ready for GDPR

WordPress has released its latest version, 4.9.6, which includes privacy-related updates intended to help your site comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Continue reading for background information on these updates and to explore the three new GDPR-related tools in WordPress 4.9.6 and Paid Memberships Pro 1.9.5, including:

  1. Suggested Privacy Policy page language related to PMPro-captured data,
  2. Included membership information in the personal data export, and
  3. The membership data that will be erased or anonymized as part of the user’s right to delete their personal information.


Background Information

On May 25th, 2018 the grace period for the European Union’s resolution instituting better privacy standards will end. The GDPR demands that site administrators, as well as all parties involved in the production of a site, pay careful attention when handling user data, as well as make accommodation for a user’s data to be exported or erased upon request.

Whether or how this regulation applies to websites outside of the EU is a legal question being discussed vigorously right now, but my general understanding is that these regulations would apply to any site worldwide with EU visitors. And so unless you specifically target a certain geography or exclude EU users, this would mean the GDPR applies to your site. Even if you aren’t concerned with the legal implications, many of the GDPR-related suggestions offer a good way to be more transparent with your users regarding their data privacy.

Back in April, we published a blog post outlining the GDPR requirements from a high level. In this post we will review the recent changes in WordPress core to assist you with attaining compliance, how Paid Memberships Pro will integrate with those core processes, and discuss the implications of the new regulations for site owners, administrators, designers, and developers.

There are 3 new tools in WordPress 4.9.6 that PMPro is now integrating with to help you to update your privacy policies and attain GDPR compliance.


Privacy Policy Page

WordPress 4.9.6 introduces a setting to designate a specific “Privacy Policy” page. To set an existing page as the Privacy Policy page or create a new Privacy Policy page, go to Settings -> Privacy. When editing the designated Privacy Policy page, a link is shown at the top of the editor to a guide “for recommendations on what content to include, along with policies suggested by your plugins and theme”.

We have added a section to the guide with suggested language to include in your Privacy Policy. At this time, the default text includes the following:

Data Collected to Manage Your Membership

At checkout, we will collect your name, email address, username, and password. This information is used to setup your account for our site. If you are redirected to an offsite payment gateway to complete your payment, we may store this information in a temporary session variable to setup your account when you return to our site.

At checkout, we may also collect your billing address and phone number. This information is used to confirm your credit card. The billing address and phone number are saved by our site to prepopulate the checkout form for future purchases and so we can get in touch with you if needed to discuss your order.

At checkout, we may also collect your credit card number, expiration date, and security code. This information is passed to our payment gateway to process your purchase. The last 4 digits of your credit card number and the expiration date are saved by our site to use for reference and to send you an email if your credit card will expire before the next recurring payment.

When logged in, we use cookies to track some of your activity on our site including logins, visits, and page views.

You should make sure to update this default text based on how you’ve specifically implemented PMPro on your site, what your payment gateway options are, and which PMPro Add Ons your are using. If you are using Add Ons that integrate with third parties (e.g. email marketing services), be sure to mention what information is shared and how. If you are using Add Ons that collect additional information at checkout, be sure to mention what that information is and how it’s used.

The new regulations state that policies should be clear and easy to understand. Avoid using any unnecessary legal jargon. Your Privacy Policy should be easy to find on your site. Place a link to your Privacy Policy in your main navigation and/or footer area.


Terms of Service

In order to require members accept the Privacy Policy when checking out through PMPro, you must set a “Terms of Service” page on the advanced settings tab of the PMPro settings. This will add a section to the checkout page above the submit button that shows the full text of your Privacy Policy along with a checkbox that is required to complete checkout.

While we use the term “Terms of Service” or “TOS” in our settings, your page can be named “Privacy Policy” or anything else. On some sites the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service (or Terms of Use) are separate documents. We recommend combining them into one document or linking each document to each other.

Prior to PMPro version 1.9.5, the TOS checkbox was required but did not store any data to track that agreement. So if you added the TOS sometime after launch, there was no way to tell which of your users actually agreed to the TOS besides checking the date they signed up vs when you published your TOS.

As of PMPro version 1.9.5, we now store a “consent log” for each user marking the post ID and date modified of the TOS page at the time of checkout. This information is linked to and shown on the order in the WP dashboard and on the edit user profile page in the dashboard.

A way to require existing (pre-version 1.9.5 users) to agree to the TOS or require users agree to the TOS again after it has been updated would be a useful feature. We are working on a way to do this with PMPro, and will include it in a future release.


Export Personal Data

The GDPR includes regulations related to the “Right to Access”, which basically is the right for users to request a copy of all personal data a website tracks for them. In WordPress core, this has been implemented as a tool to “Export Personal Data” for any email/user on your site (with most WP setups, it’s possible to comment on a blog post without being a user).

By default, exporting a user’s personal data is a manual process kicked off by a WP admin. You enter an email address into the form to send a request. The user then needs to click a link in that request email to approve the export. Once the link is validated, the admin will have a button to click to send the user their data as a zip file in email, as well as a link to download the zip file directly.

There are some plugins coming out that try to make this process easier, so users can make the request from the frontend of your website without the admin needing to get involved. I believe that there should always be a manual admin step to export the data to enable you to confirm that the request is legitimate. One thing you can do is update your contact form/page to include a subject line suggestion for “Request an Export of Personal Data”, and then manage the rest of the process manually from the Tools -> Export Personal Data page in the dashboard.

Version 1.9.5 of PMPro adds all PMPro-related data into the export. This includes the user’s business address, the expiration date and last 4 digits of their credit card if one was used, their membership history, their order history, and the log of logins/visits/views that PMPro tracks.

Some information is notably excluded from this export. If you use Stripe or Braintree as your payment gateway, we do not share the user’s “customer ID”. In our opinion, this information was generated by your site for your site use and does not constitute “personal data”. We also do not include the “Notes” section of the orders exported. Traditionally the notes section is used by Add Ons for various tracking purposes (e.g. to note an affiliate code used) and may contain sensitive information written by the site owner not intended to be viewed by the customer.

Soon our Add Ons, including Register Helper, will also include their data in these exports.


Erase Personal Data

The GDPR includes regulations related to “Right to be Forgotten”, which basically is the right for users to request that their personal data be deleted from a website. In WordPress core, this has been implemented as a tool to “Erase Personal Data” for any email/user on your site.

Similar to the Export Personal Data tool, by default a WordPress admin must manually start the process to erase a user’s personal data. Again, we suggest adding a subject line suggestion to your contact form for “Request Erasure of Personal Data”, and then handling the rest of the process manually from the Tools -> Erase Personal Data page in the dashboard.

Version 1.9.5 of PMPro adds an “eraser” script. The script deletes some data stored in “user meta”, including the user’s billing address, the expiration date of their credit card, the last 4 digits of their credit card, and the login/visit/view tracking data.

The script does not delete the member history or any orders associated with the user. In our opinions, this information usually needs to be retained for business records. The GDPR does allow for information to be retained at the site owners discretion.

The script also does not cancel any memberships or subscriptions at the gateway. In most situations, you will probably want to do this as well for your members by canceling their membership manually from the edit user page or by deleting the user.

Note that “erasing” a user is not the same as deleting them. Erasing will delete or anonymize certain data about a user based on rules implemented by WP and the plugins you are using. Deleting a user will be a harsher action that will delete all information stored about the user. When a user is deleted (vs erased), PMPro will delete the user’s membership history and will cancel their membership and any subscriptions stored at the payment gateway. Any orders associated with the user will be retained, but unlinked from that user.


In Summary

Update to WordPress 4.9.6. Update to PMPro 1.9.5. Take this time to create or update your privacy policy and designate that page as the Privacy Policy to WP and PMPro by going to Settings -> Privacy and Memberships -> Advanced Settings respectively. Update your contact form to mention it’s possible to request a data export or for personal data to be erased.

Let us know if you have any questions about these new privacy features, the GDPR in general, or other issues we didn’t address in this post. We will provide updates to our blog here as we update our core plugin and add ons as new features become available.

How to build a Video Membership website: School Tools TV Case Study

Look at how SchoolToolsTV.com  used Paid Memberships Pro to help build an educational online video membership website. They offers daily one-minute social skill videos to help teachers increase teachable time, reduce bullying, and improve academic results.

Screenshot of webpage


Making a membership only video library.

In order to build an effective video library that was only accessible to members, Schooltoolstv.com decided to use a really useful plugin called Vimeography. This plugin allows you to display videos hosted by Vimeo in a beautiful, modern gallery. This plugin is a simple solution for a membership site, portfolio, online course, or any other video collection.

Vimeography has a Pro version which unlocks an array of great features including hiding your videos on Vimeo but displaying them on your site, offer downloadable videos, and more.

In addition to Vimeography, Schooltoolstv.com is using Paid Memberships Pro to handle the membership side of their website. This includes restricting video and other content as well as handling the checkout process of the website. The WordPress theme that is being used on the website is Masterstudy, a premium WordPress theme by Stylemix themes.

Key components to creating a video membership website.

  1.  Install Paid Memberships Pro on your WordPress website.
  2. Create a Membership Level for your membership site and proceed to set up Paid Memberships Pro with all your relevant settings.
  3. Create a Vimeo Account and upload the videos that you want to include in your video library.
  4. Download and Install the Vimeography plugin.
  5. Use the Vimeography plugin to embed and display your videos on your WP page of choice.
  6. Use Paid Memberships Pro to restrict the page so that only members will have access to your video library.
  7. When users visit your video library they will be greeted with a login/register message encouraging them to either sign up for a membership level or if they are already a member, login to see your videos.

Top Tips for your video membership website

  • Select a theme with strong membership components like Memberlite.
  • Offer some free video content so that your visitors will have an idea of the type of content you provide.
  • Sync new PMPro membership signups with a MailChimp list. This will allow you to send out email newsletters, letting members know that you have released a new video(s).

Meet Rusty May

Rusty is a passionate educator and coach who is committed to helping teachers create caring working relationships with every student and giving them powerful tools that will help reduce negative classroom behaviors that rob them of their teachable time.

 

 

My web designer recomended Paid Memberships Pro, I found it easy to set up and use for my membership site. 

—Rusty May, SchoolToolsTV.com


About SchoolToolsTV.com

Effective teaching relies heavily on a healthy relationship between a teacher and the student. The better the relationship, the better the results. Schooltoolstv.com have made great effort to put together various videos and workshops for both teachers as well as students to help improve things like Social Skills, Classroom management and reducing bullying.  By subscribing to the School Tools TV membership, users will be granted access to daily educational videos, the SchoolsToolsTV community forum, and resources provided by subscribing teachers. Some of the benefits of being a subscriber and watching the SchoolsToolsTV show are:

  • Better Relationships
  • Fewer Problems
  • More Teachable Time
  • Improves Academic Results
  • Reduces Bullying

Visit SchoolToolsTV.com

Character Education Resources, Help against Bullying, Classroom School


If you have an interesting business that uses Paid Memberships Pro in a component of its technology suite, please submit an application and we will get in touch about preparing an in-depth showcase of your application.

 

The GDPR and How it Impacts Sites Running Paid Memberships Pro

The European Union (EU) has passed new regulation related to data privacy for its citizens called the “General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP)”. This regulation carries important considerations for anyone operating a website that uses Paid Memberships Pro and serves customers residing in the European Union.

Continue reading to see how the team at Paid Memberships Pro is preparing for this regulation and what steps you should take to better understand and comply with the GDPR.


What is GDPR

GDPR is a set of regulations will affect all companies that processes and hold personal data for people residing in the European Union. The regulations will begin to be enforced on 25 May 2018 and apply to all companies worldwide, regardless of location.

Failure to comply with the GDPR could carry huge penalties, regardless of whether you are located in the EU or not. While it may be possible for smaller non-EU companies in particular to fly under the radar of these regulations, it is our opinion that all businesses do their best to comply with the GDPR. Following these best practices to respect the privacy of your users is good whether it’s required or not, and it’s very likely that other jurisdictions will adopt regulations similar to the GDPR. You should review the full GDPR documentation and gain a firm understanding of how to comply fully. The home page of EU GDPR provides a great overview of the GDPR and links to additional resources for further reading.


WordPress Core Efforts for GDPR Compliance

There are updates we need to make to our Paid Memberships Pro plugin for GDPR compliance, and we plan to have those released before the May 25th deadline, and will detail them in more detail below. However, the GDPR requirements affect other plugins and WordPress core in general. And so we always knew that a full solution for GDPR compliance was something that impacted more than just our plugin.

For a while there, it was looking like GDPR compliance for WordPress was going to require one or many third party plugins to reach full compliance. I thought we might even have to create some of these plugins, not just for PMPro users but for all WordPress users.

This year a few plugins developed by other groups started looking very promising, with a lot of effort and functionality in place to meet the requirements of the GDPR in a way that was adequate but general enough for the wide range of sites (each with different models of data collected/etc) that run on WordPress. I started looking into what it would take for PMPro to integrate with these plugins, but then discovered that a group of veteran WordPress core contributors was working on GDPR updates to WordPress core.

The WordPress core developers have started a number of efforts to support Right to Access and other GDPR requirements, with a the target of including these updates into WordPress 5.0. These updates will add hooks and filters for plugins to use. We hope to release specifics soon (i.e. code on GitHub you can test), but our plan is to support these core updates and use the features, hooks, and filters added to make sure the PMPro plugin is compliant.


Data Subject Rights

There are 6 key areas of GDPR that outline a subject’s rights to their data. Below is an overview of each area and how we plan to offer compliance:

  1. Breach Notification

    The GDPR outlines that if a subject’s data is compromised (breached) in a way that is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals,” the company must notify their customers within the first 72 hours of their awareness of the breach.

    This area of GDPR does not have a specific effect on how Paid Memberships Pro works as a plugin on your WordPress site. We’re including it here so that you as the site owner are aware of the requirements related to your knowledge of a breach in your website data. This article on “Hardening WordPress” via the WordPress.org Codex is a good resource to review if you would like to strengthen your website’s security.


  2. Right to Access

    This portion of the GDPR provides subjects with the right to request a full report (electronically) of all data that the company is maintaining about them, what that data is being used for, and with whom that data has been shared.

    We plan to use new hooks added to WordPress for GDPR to add our own default report about the data that Paid Memberships Pro tracks for users and how that data is shared with third parties. This report would be editable for you to adjust based on your specific use case.

    As for what third parties may have accessed or processed data about the subject, we plan for the electronic report to also include a list of third party sources that our plugin recognizes may have received a copy of the data. These may include (but are not limited to) your payment gateway, email marketing services, CRM services, other integrated plugins, and analytics software.

    There will certainly be other sources that may have received some portion of a subject’s data that are outside of our awareness. We will leave this portion of the electronic report up to the site owner to add in any additional sources that may have processed data about the subject.


  3. Right to be Forgotten

    As the name states, this area of the GDPR allows a subject to request all of their identifying data be erased (also known as Data Erasure). The data controller must erase and cease to share all data about the subject, and is also potentially responsible for forcing any third party with access to the subject’s data to stop processing it.

    We will ensure GDPR compliance by making sure our Core Plugin and Add Ons completely clear identifying user meta and options saved about a user when the user is deleted (when the WP_User object is deleted). We already do this in our plugin, we’ll want to make sure it functions for GDPR-related deletions and covers all the data that it should.

    We will not delete related order data about the user as it needs to be preserved for accounting records. The order data does not include any identifying information aside from the User’s ID (which will be deleted and no record of the user’s ID will be present after the WP_User object is deleted). The fact that this data is retained for business reasons will be included in the Right to Access blurb generated by PMPro.

    This data erasure will include all captured fields about the subject that were added via the Register Helper Add On. If the subject has provided upload files as part of completing a Register Helper checkout field or profile field, this uploaded file must also be removed.

    Other requirements that fall under this section include anonymizing data, either up front or instead of deleting data when a user requests to be forgotten. We will evaluate our plugin for data that should be anonymized this way.


  4. Data Portability

    Data Portability refers to the regulation that a subject should be able to request and receive all personal data the company stores about them in a ‘commonly used and machine readable format.’ The subject should have the right to transmit this personal data to another controller.

    As it relates to Paid Memberships Pro, we will use the new hooks and filters added to WordPress for GDPR compliance to include PMPro-related data in any exports. Per the requirements of the GDPR, these exports will be in a digital and accessible format (CSV, JSON, or XML) that can be readily shared by the subject with another controller should they so desire.


  5. Privacy by Design

    A key factor of PCI Compliance, Privacy by Design outlines that a data protection must by a component of how you design your system, not an afterthought. This includes both the technical and the operation aspects of your systems.

    It is important for you as a membership site owner to only share a subject’s data with the people in your organization that need to process that data. You can do this by sharing a limited number of Administrator or Membership Manager Roles (which both have access to member data) among the core organization and remove access to this data for unnecessary user accounts (developers, test accounts, etc.). It is also important not to request and store data that won’t be needed for your operating activities.


  6. Data Protection Officers

    This regulation refers to how a data processor must share their data processing activity with officials in each member state of the EU. Former EU regulation required reporting of data processing activity to each individual member state’s appropriate offices. The new regulation as outlined in the GDPR removes this requirement in most cases. We suggest exploring the full GDPR resources for more information about whether or not you must report data processing activity.

    This is not a factor that Paid Membership Pro will create a system or integration for, but rather the scale and operating activity of your organization.


GDPR Resources for Continued Reading

Here is a list of other resources you can review for your protection and understanding:

This entry was posted by Jason Coleman in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Last updated: . Titled The GDPR and How it Impacts Sites Running Paid Memberships Pro

How a Custom Member Dashboard Streamlined Client Communications for We Manage Your Site.

We Manage Your Site helps their members with everything from mundane WordPress maintenance tasks, right up to custom development and design. Iwan Pieterse, “WMYS” founder, has built his online business completely around Paid Memberships Pro and has collectively used the plugin for close to 3 years.

We Manage Your Site


About We Manage Your Site

We Manage Your Site officially launched on June 15th, 2017. The business model behind WMYS is simple, yet effective. By offering their customers and members different website maintenance and development packages, Iwan and his team have built up an online recurring income business that offers quality digital solutions that can be attained by pretty much, anyone—regardless of their budget.

Some of the tasks that members can expect from their monthly subscription include: routine backups, updates, SEO Reviews, graphic design, and custom WordPress development. The higher the package, the more time and energy the team allocates to that site. This is a great way to offer quality, custom developed solutions at an affordable rate, regardless of the size of their website. For Iwan, it means having a more ‘predictable’ income flow and a more structured, sustainable and scalable business model.

Visit We Manage Your Site

Paid Memberships Pro helps us facilitate not only the recurring payments and user login functionality, but we also use the Paid Memberships Pro’s membership levels feature to offer various benefits for our different packages.

—Iwan Pieterse, We Manage Your Site


The Paid Memberships Pro Technology

Some of the specific Add Ons and customizations being used on WMYS include:


Other Plugins and Themes powering WMYS

  • Theme: The site is built on the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes (recommended by Iwan: “The Divi community is awesome!”)
  • Hosted on AWS, with Serverpilot as a management tool
  • Uses Wordfence for security and ManageWP for daily backups, performance monitoring, SEO rankings and an additional daily security scan. WMYS also performs daily database backups from the AWS server to our Hetzner server.

WMYS Custom Dashboard

One of the most impressive features that has been developed by WMYS is their Member Dashboard. This is a custom developed dashboard that masks the generic WordPress Dashboard and adds specific functionality to allow members to:

  • Log tasks and “to-dos”
  • Chat with the development team
  • Get an update on what has been done at any given time to their site
  • Get an update on how long development tasks have taken

This well-thought dashboard provides much needed clarity for both the developers and the clients. It is easy for the client to see how much work has been put in, what time is still available for new tasks. This solution creates transparency, prevents scope creep and streamlines member communications overall.

The WMYS team are now looking to include content writing, social media management and other more marketing-focused services to their dashboard.


Iwan Pieterse

Our entire system was built around PMPro, we depend on the levels and other properties of the plugin to do stuff within our own customer dashboard, so it’s an absolutely crucial part of our business. What I can say is that the support received from joining the PMPro premium offering has proved invaluable to us as we we’ve built this
—Iwan Pieterse, We Manage Your Site


If you have an interesting business that uses Paid Memberships Pro in a component of its technology suite, please submit an application and we will get in touch about preparing an in-depth showcase of your application.