How to Set Up a Simple One-Page WordPress Membership Site

Memberlite ThemeAre you setting up a membership site with one membership offering? Maybe you are selling an eBook download or event registration, or offering a recurring premium newsletter subscription or donation/sponsorship program.

This post covers how to set up a one-page website with a single landing page for membership checkout (homepage is the checkout page, no “levels” selection required!).


The Steps

1. Set up a new WordPress installation for your domain or subdomain.

Well of course you will need a WordPress site! I don’t want to gloss over this step, so here are a few good tutorials for a WordPress site setup. If your web host offers it, I’d suggest using a WordPress auto-installer and just follow the steps.


2. Download and Install Paid Memberships Pro.

Review our Download and Installation Documentation for the steps.


3. Complete the Initial Setup of Paid Memberships Pro.

Review our Initial Setup Documentation for the steps. You’ll only need to complete steps 1 to 3:

  1. Set up just one membership level (free or paid depending on your needs),
  2. Generate the plugin pages,
  3. Set up your payment gateway (if your level is paid). I’d advise using PayPal Express as the payment gateway if that’s an option for your business. This will eliminate the need for an SSL on the one-page membership site.

4. Install the PMPro Customizations Plugin and Set a Default Level

This plugin holds the customization code needed to streamline your membership checkout to a single landing page.

In the customizations plugin, add a single line of code to define your default level.

define("PMPRO_DEFAULT_LEVEL", "1");

Read more about creating this customizations plugin ».


5. Define Your Static Homepage

Under Settings > Reading > “Front page displays”, select the “Membership Checkout” page under “A static page”. Save settings.


6. Finally, Design, Style and Test Away!

If you visit your site, you’ll see the membership checkout form for your default level of membership right on your homepage. Your site will (most likely) use the default WordPress theme: Twenty Sixteen.

From here, you can begin to design your landing page. Find a WordPress theme with a landing page stye you like, or keep it really simple and just use the WordPress Twenty Sixteen theme (just delete the default widgets under Appearance > Widgets for a cleaner look).

If you navigate to the WordPress Admin > Pages screen it should look something like this:

pmpro_onepage-pages

I said this was a “one page” website, but in reality it’s a landing page and the core Paid Memberships Pro account management pages. These additional pages do not need any modifications – they contain shortcodes that display the necessary account and billing/invoice management components of PMPro.

Edit your Membership Checkout page to add content, images, video, and more above or below the [pmpro_checkout] shortcode (just don’t remove it!). You can rename the page to anything you want – it doesn’t have to be named “Membership Checkout”.


Screenshots of a Few Popular Landing Page Themes

I set up a one page membership site with a few popular themes – the screenshots below show a basic set up with a featured masthead image, some text and a testimonial (blockquote) before the checkout form.


Links to Download These Themes


Need to capture more information or integrate with a third party?

Here are a few commonly used add ons that would fit with the landing page membership site model:


I hope this tutorial gets you excited to set up a “pop up” membership site to sell a single membership item. Post a comment below if you need more direction for a unique membership model using this “landing page” concept.

Set Up a Landing Page to Capture Email Addresses

I recently created a tutorial video on how to set up a landing page in just 5 minutes using PMPro + Register Helper + the Memberlite theme.

Set Up a Landing Page to Capture Email AddressesThe landing page in the demo gives access to a video, but you could offer other freemium content like an eBook, White Paper, audio file, subscription to a newsletter, or file download.

Watch the Video


A landing page is a great way to ensure that you are capturing all possible leads on your site – and this tutorial streamlines the signup process as much as possible. We don’t want a single barrier to capturing that lead!

Note: The tutorial does not require Memberlite - it just makes it look nicer (IMHO).

You will still need to generate traffic to your website, but having a setup like the above will ensure that some percentage of people visiting your site will convert to mailing list members… that you can upsell later… wink, wink.

For Paid Memberships Pro, roughly 1,000 people visit our site every day, and about 50 of them convert into mailing list members. That’s 1,500 new subscribers every month or 18,000 new subscribers every year. Not too shabby.


Enjoyed the tutorial?

Let us know your thoughts below. What are some other ways you capture leads? What are some things you can give away as “freemium” content to build your list?