Creating a membership site from scratch can be overwhelming if you’re going at it alone. You have to think about creating your content, building a website, collecting payments, granting and revoking membership access, marketing your product, and a whole lot more.

That’s why most small businesses get scared away from membership sites, even though they’re one of the most stable, recurring revenue sources out there.

Ontraport’s membership site platform and PilotPress plugin eliminates the confusing, technical aspects of creating your site, allowing you to launch without stress, a large budget or coding. It also integrates with a plethora of learning management systems (LMS) and plugins that allow you to easily manage everything from one account.

Gating Your Existing Content

If you have an existing WordPress website that you would like to turn into a membership site, or you are interested in gating parts of your website, a membership plugin might be your best bet. You can think of a plugin as an extension of a piece of software — like an app on a smartphone. A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that can be added to WordPress to increase or add functionality.

Ontraport’s PilotPress plugin for WordPress is available for free to all Ontraport users and is a great option for easily creating tiered access levels within your membership site. We’ve recently released a new version of PilotPress that decreases login issues for your customers and makes it easier to migrate to our platform if you are currently using another membership platform.

If you’re an Ontraport user, there are quite a few reasons why PilotPress is likely the most beneficial plugin for your WordPress site. According to Ryan Gromfin, creator of, Ontraport is the “most powerful and easy-to-use membership tool [he’s] ever seen.” The features of the PilotPress plugin are robust, so there’s no need for additional code or API connections.

Some of the most helpful features of the PilotPress plugin are:

  1. Ontraport Media: This allows you to easily integrate Ontraport media including forms, videos and images.
  2. Merge Fields: The same Ontraport merge fields available on emails and landing pages are available in the WordPress editor.
  3. Short Codes: These feature a number of short codes to show or hide content to members based on their membership level or tags.
  4. Custom Login Forms: These allow you to add compatible login forms that will not conflict with the access level protections you assign to your members.
  5. Membership Access Levels: These allow you to set the membership access levels for each page, the display of the post title in navigation menus for non-members, and where non-members are redirected when they try to access certain pages they don’t qualify for.
  6. Built-In Customer and Partner Center: In the Customer Center, your members can download invoices, update payment details, etc. Your affiliates can access promo tools, see approved commissions, and more.

There are also a couple of other membership plugins that integrate with Ontraport to consider if PilotPress isn’t right for your business model:

WPFusion: This WordPress plugin can protect pages via Ontraport tags as well as sync with your contact records. Some Learning Management Systems (LMS) also use the WPFusion plugin to integrate with Ontraport, so if you’re already using LearnDash, LifterLMS, or Sensei this might be a great option for you.

WPCourseware: This plugin is known for its robust quiz functionality. It offers advanced types of quiz questions, such as randomized answers, question banks, timed quizzes and more, that are not offered on other LMS platforms. It also lets you restrict access to subsequent lessons until a user has passed a certain quiz. It also lets you restrict access to subsequent lessons until a user has passed a certain quiz, and it offers short codes that let you display customers’ course progress on your site.

AccessAlly: This plugin also uses Ontraport tags to protect your content. It automates your members’ completion behavior, such as displaying a certificate when someone completes a course.

Integrating Learning Management Systems

Learning Management Systems (LMS) are independent softwares for the development and delivery of online educational courses or training programs. Ontraport integrates with a number LMSs that will extend the power and reach of your membership site. Integrating an LMS with Ontraport is like adding a subwoofer to your car’s speakers. You’ve already got all the basics; you’re just adding that extra oomph.

Some of the LMSs that offer Ontraport integrations are:

Avizr: Avizr is a corporate training software that enables you to organize your online courses, customize your content with your own branding, and host your content. The platform also includes gamification features that allow you to send your customers rewards, such as gift cards, when they finish their courses. Avizr also offers a mobile version, allowing users to access your courses via their smartphones or tablets. You can charge for your courses via Avizr as it integrates with Ontraport’s powerful ecommerce tools. You can use Ontraport’s order forms or order form blocks in Ontraport Pages to register students and have the transaction recorded in Avizr for immediate access by the customer.

ZippyCourses: Zippy Courses is a membership software that is optimized for both selling and creating online courses. The platform offers a course builder that lets you quickly upload your content, create access tiers to sell different levels of your product, drip scheduled content, and send automated follow-up emails to your students to keep them engaged. Zippy Courses handles the hosting of your course website; it will work with your existing website whether it’s through Ontraport Pages, WordPress or other sites.

Summit Evergreen: This platform allows you to create a content drip system that leads each new customer through a timed lesson plan. You can organize the timeframe to best suit your courses, which adds flexibility and perceived value to your content. Summit Evergreen also offers lesson follow-up features and white label personal branding so that your customers only see your company’s name and logo. The Ontraport integration allows you to use Ontraport order forms to sell your content and create campaigns tied to the course purchase.

About Tatiana Doscher
Campaign Strategist Tatiana Doscher is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a dual B.A. in Communication and Global Studies. After working with several small and local businesses, Tatiana joined Ontraport’s Marketing team. She loves running, hiking and enjoying Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches.