Lesson 3: Protecting and Delivering Your Content with MemberPress Rules

Once you have your membership levels in place, you'll want to create a strategy for structuring, protecting, and delivering the content you're selling.

First, think about what type of content you're selling. Are you selling courses? Downloadable eBooks? Premium blog content? Software? What you're selling will likely determine how you structure your website.

As you plan the structure of your website, think about its different sections. Will you have free and premium areas of your site? Will you have separate courses that are available to specific memberships?

Once you have the content figured out and a concept of how you want your content structured, WordPress has several different mechanisms for putting it all in place on your site. Some of these mechanisms include Pages, Posts, Custom Post Types, Child Pages, Tags, Categories, and Custom Taxonomies.

No matter what combination of these WordPress tools you use to structure your free and premium content, MemberPress' content protection Rules can be set up to protect your premium content.

In this lesson’s video, we’ll cover how to create Rules and the different ways you can deliver your content to your members.

Creating Content Protection Rules

1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.

2. Navigate to MemberPress > Rules and click the “Add New” button at the top of the page.

3. Configure the Rule content type. This is what tells the rule how to identify your premium content. Here's a list of the ways MemberPress will enable you to protect content:

  • A Single Post – This allows you to protect one individual post.
  • Categories – This allows you to protect any posts that have been assigned a certain category. Using categories in WordPress is a great way to keep your membership content organized.
  • Tags – This allows you to protect any post which has been tagged with a specific tag. This is similar to the categories rule but utilizes WordPress tags.
  • All Posts – This allows you to protect all posts on your site at one time. Be sure to use this option with caution, as it can conflict with other Rules you may have set already such as A Single Post, Posts Categorized As, or Posts Tagged.
  • A Single Page – This allows you to protect one individual page.
  • Child Pages Of – This allows you to protect all child pages of the selected page. A child page in WordPress is any page to which you assign a Parent value when creating/editing the page.
  • All Pages – This allows you to protect all pages at once. Also be sure to use this option with caution, as it can conflict with other Rules you may have set already, such as Child Pages Of and A Single Page.
  • Partial – Select this option if you only plan to use this rule to hide partial content with the use of a shortcode or PHP snippet (see here).
  • Custom URI – Allows you to protect files and pages by the URL. This is the type of rule you'll use to protect standalone files such as PDFs. Read this page for more information on protecting files.
  • Custom Post Type – Any custom post types that you've created will appear in the drop down menu when selecting Rule type. You'll have the option to protect any of the custom post types based on all custom post types or one individual custom post for the one you've selected.

4. Under Access Conditions, specify which membership tier or member should have permission to view this content.

5. Set up drips and expirations. (Optional)

You can set a time for the Rule to drip (become available) or expire (become unavailable) based on any “X” amount of days, weeks, months, or years, after a trigger has been activated. The triggers you can select are (1) when the member registers (meaning on your site), (2) after a fixed day in the future, or (3) after they purchase any or a specific membership on your site (all created memberships will appear as options). 

For example, let's say you have 12 protected posts, and you want the member to have access to only one post per month after they sign up. Enabling drips and expirations will allow you to do this easily.

Also, if you want to have multiple drip periods, for example, 1 week and 2 weeks, you’ll need to create multiple rules, one for each dripping period. 

▶️ Learn more about enabling the drip feature in our video here: https://youtu.be/RwR3bN78jcQ

Important Note: Administrators can always access content, regardless of the Rules, so be sure to test your content protection Rules after you log out or when logged in with a non-administrator user account.

▶️ For a more in-depth look at MemberPress Rules, check out our more extensive video here: https://youtu.be/jfApsiOFORM

Delivering Protected Content

With MemberPress there are several ways content can be delivered when a membership is purchased. We've left this process open-ended so you have the flexibility to deliver content in a way that makes sense for you. Here are a few patterns we've found to be very effective:

  • Landing Page: This is perhaps the most common way content can be delivered. It entails putting together a landing page in WordPress for your premium content. Say, for instance, you've created a course. You may want to create a landing page for the course with links to each individual lesson. Then, you could create a child page of the landing page for each individual lesson. If you create a Rule that protects all child pages of the landing page, then each lesson will be protected but the landing page doesn't necessarily need to be.
  • Email: Email is a great delivery method for premium content largely because you can control when a user will get an email (like after they've purchased something from you). Say you're selling an eBook that's a PDF download. You could just enable your Membership welcome email (found in Membership Options when editing a membership) and include a link to the eBook. If you ensure the link to the eBook is protected with a Rule, you can make sure the user will have to login before downloading.
  • Dashboard: MemberPress gives you full control over where the member will be redirected after login. In your WordPress admin area, go to MemberPress > Settings > Account > Login & Logout > URL to direct members to after login. There, you can enter the URL to a page you'll use as a dashboard for your users. You can list links to your protected content on this page.
  • Account: MemberPress generates an Account page for each of your members. From this page they'll be able to view their subscriptions and payments. You can make the title of each of their subscriptions link to specific protected content if you set the URL in your Memberships. While editing your Membership, just navigate to Membership Options > Advanced > Membership Access URL.