Do you want to make your WooCommerce store more profitable?
Setting up a paywall can help you increase revenue and make it harder for competing businesses to access and steal your content. It also allows you to offer exclusive access to premium content to customers who are interested in it and willing to pay extra.
In this article, we’ll show you how to set up a paywall for your WooCommerce site with a step-by-step guide.
What is a WooCommerce paywall, and why should you use it?
Before we jump into setting up the paywall, it’s essential to understand what a WooCommerce paywall is.
A paywall is a system that restricts access to content until users have paid for it. For example, you can sell access to exclusive video tutorials, audio, and documents on your WooCommerce site. Similarly, you can also sell access to premium features in an app or plugin by setting up a paywall.
A WooCommerce paywall also works great if you’re an ecommerce store looking to sell digital products, offer free trials, and charge extra for premium content on your WooCommerce site.
Let’s dive deeper into how using a WooCommerce paywall can benefit your business:
- Increase sales and revenue. Setting up a paywall on your WooCommerce site allows you to restrict access to certain parts of your site. As a result, you can generate more sales and revenue by charging users extra to access exclusive “members-only” areas on your site, which would otherwise not generate any sales or revenue.
- Encourage recurring membership payments. Regular users will become registered members if they know that they get more valuable content or exclusive products from your site. If they know that they can keep benefitting as a member, then they will likely renew their membership often. Regularly adding new member-only products is a great way to retain your current members, for example.
- Improve customer loyalty. Setting up a WooCommerce paywall also helps improve customer loyalty by allowing users to sign up for unique membership benefits, such as being able to give feedback on upcoming products, or getting member-only discounts they can redeem on checkout.
Introducing membership plugins
WooCommerce, by default, doesn’t have any built-in features for creating a paywall, but many WordPress plugins can help you create one easily.
One of the best ways to restrict content on your WooCommerce site is by using a membership plugin. A WordPress plugin is the easiest way to create membership sites, as it integrates with your site automatically and takes care of all the technical requirements for you. Thanks to this, you can easily decide what content you want to be exclusive and set up different customer journeys for registered and non-registered members.
This is why we recommend using the ultimate membership plugin: WooCommerce Members Only.
The WooCommerce Members Only plugin offers an all-in-one solution for creating a full-fledged membership site that restricts users’ access to content depending on their user role. It also lets you sell members-only products on your WooCommerce site.
The paywall plugin lets you choose which content is publicly accessible and which is only for members. This way, you can let members access premium content while regular site visitors only get to see the publicly accessible content.
WooCommerce Members Only gives you complete control over what parts of your membership site can be restricted behind a paywall. This means you can restrict content to specific parts of your WooCommerce site, including posts, categories, and specific products or entire sections of your online store. This way, you can create the membership experience you want for your customer base.
Another great feature of the WooCommerce Members Only plugin is that it lets you create membership tiers and custom user roles on your site. This way, different members can access different parts of your WooCommerce site. For instance, you can create two membership levels, “Gold” and “Bronze”. You can then create an exclusive “Gold Members” area on your site that’s not accessible to people with the “Bronze Members” user role on your site. This is a great way to upsell your membership plan and encourage registered members to upgrade their plans.
In addition, you can restrict specific payment gateways like PayPal and shipping methods on your WooCommerce site by user role. This can be a great opportunity to offer exclusive payment methods to members only while encouraging regular site visitors to become paying members.
The WooCommerce Members Only plugin also lets you set up other types of restrictions on your WooCommerce site, such as restricting content by passwords. This way, you can either set a global password and hand it out to users who subscribe or create specific passwords for different posts, products, and categories on your WooCommerce site.
Additionally, this WordPress plugin gives you the functionality to sell memberships as a product on your WooCommerce site. This allows you to create a paywall for member-restricted content and only let paying users access the premium content on your site.
How to set up a paywall on your WooCommerce site
Here, we’ll show you how to set up a paywall on your WooCommerce site using the WooCommerce Members Only plugin.
For this, you’ll need a WordPress site with the WooCommerce plugin installed. You’ll also need the WooCommerce Members Only plugin to set up a paywall and restrict access to specific products on your online store.
Step #1: Install and activate the WooCommerce Members Only plugin
To get started, download and install the WooCommerce Members Only plugin on your site. You can download the plugin’s .ZIP file using the link given to you at the time of purchase and navigate to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel to install it.
Upload the paywall plugin on your WooCommerce site and make sure to activate the plugin before continuing.
Finally, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Members Only and paste your license key in the Licence key field. Click on the Save changes button to continue.
Step #2: Define authorised user role
Now, with the WooCommerce Members Only plugin installed and activated on your WooCommerce site, it’s time to define an authorised user role on your site that will be able to access the exclusive products.
To do this, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Members Only and click on the User Roles link from the top.
Select Customer using the User Role dropdown menu and enter a name for premium membership users. For instance, this could be “Premium members” or “VIP members”. Once you’re ready, click on the Duplicate button.
This will create a new custom user role on your WooCommerce site that you can grant authorisation to for specific products or content on your site.
Click on the Save changes button to continue.
Step #3: Create a membership plan
Now, we’ll create a membership plan to grant access to the new user role we just created. This can be done by creating a simple WooCommerce product by navigating to Products → Add New.
Set the product title and short description, so users know what they’re actually purchasing. Next, set the price using the Product data meta box under the General section.
Now with all the basic product details in place, click on the Members Only tab.
Enter the new user role we created in the Assign user roles text field and click on the Publish button to continue. This will automatically assign the user role to customers who purchase your membership plan or the product from your online store.
To improve the overall shopping experience on your site, you can also display an additional message to customers who purchase your membership product. Using the WooCommerce Thank You Pages plugin, you can add an extra touch to products on your WooCommerce site and showcase custom messages to users who purchase your membership plan.
Step #4: Select products to hide behind a paywall
Now it’s time to select specific products from your WooCommerce site to hide behind a paywall. Start by navigating to the product that you wish to put behind a paywall from your list of WooCommerce products and proceed to the product’s edit screen.
Click on the Members Only tab from the Product data meta box and set the restriction method to User Role using the dropdown menu. Now set your newly created user roles in the Permitted User Roles text field and click on the Update button to save changes on the front-end.
You can go a step further and hide the product from all other user roles. However, this isn’t necessary if you only have one paid membership product on your WooCommerce site.
That’s not all! The WooCommerce Members Only plugin also lets you put entire WooCommerce categories behind a paywall. To do this, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Members Only and select User role using the Restriction method dropdown menu.
Under the Content Settings section, select Specific Categories using the Restricted Content dropdown menu and specify the categories that you want to hide behind a paywall using the Restricted Categories field below.
Using the If Restricted, Redirect To dropdown menu, you can redirect users to anywhere on your site if they don’t have access to the product or premium content. It’s best to customise the default WooCommerce “Register Now” page to something that lets users easily purchase your membership plan.
You can showcase your product image and include a Purchase Now button so users can quickly get started with your membership plan.
You can also select the Redirect from Add to Cart Button checkbox to send users directly to the paywall when they try to add a restricted product to their shopping cart and display a custom add-to-cart text using the Add to Cart Text text field. This makes it easier for regular users to register themselves and helps offer a frictionless shopping experience on your WooCommerce site.
In addition to this, you can also select the Hide Price checkbox to hide the price of premium products from non-members on your WooCommerce site. Once you’re ready, make sure to click on the Save changes button to continue.
Step #5: Preview
Now with a WooCommerce paywall set up for exclusive products on your online store, you don’t have to worry about unauthorised users adding premium products to their cart.
Customers will see a custom message for restricted products instead of the default “add to cart” button. To access products behind a paywall, they will have to register with your WooCommerce site.
The customised registration page will help users navigate directly to your membership plan product on your WooCommerce site.
This way, users can purchase your membership plan, become “Premium members” on your site, and successfully purchase premium products.
Setting up a paywall on your WooCommerce site is a great way to increase revenue by incentivising customers to pay extra for a premium membership plan. This way, you let members access premium products and exclusive deals once they subscribe to your membership plan. It’s also a great way to increase customer loyalty by letting them access restricted products, which imparts a sense of exclusivity.
In addition to this, a WooCommerce paywall can generate revenue for parts of your store that might otherwise not be profitable. For instance, by hiding them behind a paywall, you can charge for digital downloads, PDFs, audiobooks, and custom products on your WooCommerce site.
However, setting up a paywall on your WooCommerce site can be tricky, especially if you don’t have the right tools. This is why we recommend using the WooCommerce Members Only plugin as your paywall solution, as it gives you complete control over access to different content on your site. This is perfect for setting up paywall-restricted content on your WooCommerce site and lets you set up custom user roles with different levels of access. The plugin also lets you restrict specific payment and shipping methods based on the user role and use passwords to freely hide specific parts of your WooCommerce site.
Ready to set up a paywall for your WooCommerce site? Get WooCommerce Members Only today!