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HomeOntraport for membershipsMembership sites > Giving users access
Home > Membership sites  >  Giving users access
Giving users access
Protect your valuable content. Learn how to grant members access only to content that corresponds to their membership level.
You'll learn:
  • How to grant membership site access manually 
  • How to grant site access using an automation 
  • Tips for splitting members into different membership tiers 
  • When and how to suspend and disable site access
Patrice Del Mundo
Giving users access
Protect your valuable content. Learn how to grant members access only to content that corresponds to their membership level.
You'll learn:
  • How to grant membership site access manually 
  • How to grant site access using an automation 
  • Tips for splitting members into different membership tiers 
  • When and how to suspend and disable site access
Course Instructor
Patrice Del Mundo
Related resources
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In this video, you’ll learn how to give your members access to your membership site, how to create different membership levels, and how to suspend and disable access to certain members.

Let’s get started.

First, let’s talk about how to give new members access to your membership site. There are two ways to do this: Manually and Automatically. 

Let’s start with giving access Manually. You’ll likely use automation to provide access for most of your users, but it’s easy to do it manually if you ever need to. 

This manual method is great for testing your site. With a fake contact, you can walk yourself through your customer experience and make sure everything’s working. It’s nice to do that manually, so you don’t have to mess with any automation along the way.

Here’s how it works:
First, find a contact and click into their contact detail screen. You’ll hit “Memberships.” From the “Membership Sites” section, select “+ New Membership Site Subscriber.” Pick your membership site from this dropdown, and select “Enabled” from the status drop down. You’ll notice that you can’t edit the username — this is because it’s tied to your contact’s email address. If you want to change this username, you’ll also need to change your contact’s email.

Once you’ve done all that, go ahead and save it. The system will send your contact a registration email with a link to set a password and start accessing your content.

That’s all there is to it! 

Now, let’s talk about how to make this happen automatically.

When you want to give your contacts access to your membership site using automation, you’ll use the “Update Membership Access” element.

Start by adding a trigger in your automation with this grey plus sign. Then choose whatever criteria you want people to meet before they get access to your site. Usually, it’s when a contact submits a form or purchases a product. If you have a subscription, you may use “open order is created.” For more details, watch our “Triggers” video.

Next, we’ll add our “update membership access” element. You’ll choose your membership site here, select “enabled” as the status, add an “end” element here, hit publish ... and that’s it! 

When contacts hits that element, they’ll get automatic access, receive their registration email and be off to the races.

Of course, as with all automations, you can get as fancy as you’d like — in fact, we’ll get pretty fancy with it in the “Bring it together: A members-only online course” video. Check it out to learn how to deliver drip access to a course over time.

But now, you know how it all works. Pretty simple, right?

Now that you’re up to speed on how to give members access to your site, you’re ready to learn how to split them into different membership levels.

If you want to create tiered memberships or offer different content to different members, you’ll need to do only two things: Create your membership levels and adjust the settings on your page.

First, we’ll create your membership levels using a custom field. 

To start, you’re going to add either a dropdown field or a list-selection field in the contact record. You can decide which field type makes the most sense here, based on how you want to organize your membership.

If you’re using membership levels — like silver, gold, and platinum — you’ll want to use a dropdown field in the contact record to determine access levels.

If, instead, your site isn’t organized by levels, but more like modules where different people will have different parts, then try using a custom list selection field for all of your membership levels.

Once you’ve decided which field to use, go to “Contacts,” then “Settings,” then “Field Editor,” and create your dropdown or list selection field. Then simply add each of your membership levels as options for your field, like this.

Once your membership levels are set up, you can set your page settings to “some logged in members” and create conditions around your membership levels. 

Let’s say you only want your content to be accessible to your “Platinum-level” members. Just choose the “some logged in members” display setting and add a condition for the appropriate membership level.

Or, if you’re using a list-selection field, you can simply add the field values, or membership levels, that should get access to this page. Separate each one with an “or.”

For example, if “cat” clients and “dog” clients should get access to this page, then you’d say:

“Membership access contains cat clients - OR - Membership access contains dog clients.”

That’s all there is to it! Again, we’ll do a deep dive for these settings later and provide a good example.

The last thing we’ll cover in this video is how to restrict access to your membership site altogether.

There are times when you’re going to want to take away users’ access. Usually, it’s when they cancel a membership or don’t pay their subscription bill. When that happens, you can change their membership status to restrict their access to your site. Whether you want to change a contact’s status through automation or manually, you have the same statuses to choose from.

The first membership status to know about is “Suspended access.” This is used when people don’t pay their subscription fees. 

When someone is suspended, they’ll automatically get redirected when they try to log in. You can set up a suspended redirect page for this and add it in your membership site settings. Typically, this includes a form where they can update their payment information.

For more details, check out the “Collections and dunning” video to learn how to set up a system to manage your past due payments.

The other membership status you’ll use is “Disabled access.” This is most common for contacts who have canceled their memberships or failed to follow up on missing payments. When you set a member’s status to “Disabled,” their login will no longer work at all.

That’s the whole enchilada, folks! You now know how to add people to your membership site in Ontraport. There are a few fancy tricks you can pull — take a look at the video on personalizing your pages with conditional content for some ideas — but you’re basically there.

Check out “Bring it together: A members-only online course.” You’ll watch us put it all together and create a tricky members-only online course that delivers a new lesson every week. See you there!
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