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How to Setup a Basic Membership Site to Offer Free Memberships

While we do have several videos about various OptimizeMember settings over at, we have had some questions about how to setup a basic membership site to offer free memberships.

This guide will help you with setting up what is necessary to make this happen.

Step 1:  Install OptimizeMember

Assuming you already have OptimizePress installed (either as a plugin or theme), the first thing that should be done is to download and install the OptimizeMember Plugin.

To do that, just go to, sign in, and go to your downloads section. There you will find the download link to OptimizeMember.  Then, install it just like any other WordPress plugin by going to Plugins > Add New and then choose the option to upload a plugin, choosing the file you just downloaded, and then activate it.



Step 2: Create a Members Welcome/Home Page 

The Members Welcome/Home Page will be the first page your members will see once they login, and should allow access to the members only content.

Once you have that page created and published, please go to OptimizeMember > General Options > Members Home Page / Login Welcome Page and select this newly created page from the drop down menu, and click the green "Save all changes" button at the bottom of the page to save your settings.


OptimizeMember will automatically protect this page.


Step 3: Create a login page

All membership sites must have a login form. You can always just direct people to the standard WordPress login form by linking to

If you would like to make your login page look more like your site, we suggest creating a new page using the Page Builder, and once the live editor loads, you can add the Membership Login Form element to the page, along with any other non member content.

When using the Membership Login Form element from within the Live Editor/Page Builder, please make sure when you do that, in Step 3 of the login form element, choose login welcome page under where it says Redirection after login.

This will make sure that after logging in, your members will be redirected to the page that you created in step 2 above.


Once you have the login page created, you will want to go to OptimizeMember > General Options > Membership Options / Redirect Page and set the login page as the page for this (don't forget to click the green "Save all changes" button at the bottom of the page.


Step 4: Create a Free Registration Page

You will want to have a page on your site that you can send people to to register for the free membership.  We do have a guide that can show you how to create a free registration page.  Once you have created this page, you now have what you need for setting up a free membership level on your site.


Step 5: Protecting Your Content For the Free Member Level (Level 0)

When you create a page that needs to be protected under the free membership, just make sure to setup the Membership Settings which can be found in the live editor, on the left hand menu. Once in the live editor, click on Membership Settings and then choose Membership Page Restrictions and do this: Under page level restrictions select the Require Free Subscriber option.

Under Redirect to if content not available select a page from the drop down if you want to redirect non members to a different page other than what you setup for the members home page in step 2.

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