Creating members-only website content
If you’re a VersionPLUS user, you can use site member groups to decide who can access any or all site content, like pages, photo albums or store products. Limiting access to site content to registered (and approved) site members is easy.
Managing site members
To manage site members, head to the Marketing > Members menu of the site manager. The site member management menu is split into 4 sections, each used to manage a different aspect of the site member features of your website.
You’ll create and manage site members from the Members tab. Each member account you create can be enabled or disabled at any time, and will be added to the default membership group you define from the Options tab: member groups are what you’ll use later on to decide which members can access which content of your site.
- When creating a site member account from the site manager, the member will receive an email containing their account IDs (username and password) once the account has been created.
- Members can also create their own accounts, from your website, using the member account registration widget.
Each member you create can belong to one or more member groups. When limiting access to site content, you’ll choose which group of members can access the page when connected to their account.
As an example, say you had a school website and wanted to limit the access to each “class” page on your site to the students of that class only. You might also want to create pages to which all students will have access.
To set up the necessary accesses, you’ll create one group for each class, and add the students of that class to their own group. You’ll also create another group for all the students, and add all students to that group.
You can then use the different groups to limit the access to the relevant pages on the site.
To add a site member to a group, first create the group, and then edit the site member, to add them to that group.
Site member options
The Options tab of the Site members menu enables you to set up important features of the way the site member features work on your site, like how to handle new membership registrations, personalizing the member sign-in page for visitors and the homepage of the site member area on your website.
The most important options to configure when first using the site member features for your website are:
- choosing whether or not to enable member account registrations for your site (if you disable membership registration on your site, you can still create member accounts from the site manager)
- choosing whether new member accounts created on your site should be approved automatically, or manually from the site manager
- which group new member accounts should belong to by default
Other options in the site member menu include site plugins (menu templates, social sharing features, etc.) to be used for “member area” pages on your site (member profile pages for example), whether to enable site member chat features, and how to display member profile information on the site.
Restricting access to site content via site member groups
Once you’ve set up your site members and groups, you can then use the member groups to limit access to site content. Site member access features are one of the site plugins, and like other site plugins they can be applied at various levels of your site, depending on what content needs to be access-restricted.
Using member groups via the Member access plugin settings, you can limit access to:
- The whole website, from the site plugins (Settings > Global settings > Plugins)
- All content of a site add-on (from the Options tab of that add-on)
- All items in a category of an add-on (from the plugin settings of its editor)
- An individual item of content (from the plugin settings of its editor)
You can also restrict other site features like comments (for the site, and add-on, a category or an individual item of content) to members only, by enabling the option from the relevant plugin.
Like other site plugins, member access settings are inherited from the top down. Setting them for the site means all site content will be limited, or by setting them for a category, all items (pages, blog posts, forum posts etc.) in that category will automatically inherit that setting.
Using member groups for other site features
Some site content, like blog posts or diary events, can be created from your website, by authorized site member groups.
Create member groups and use them in the add-on Options tabs of the Blog, Diary or Forum add-on to enable site members to publish blog posts or diary events, or to moderate content on your site forum.
Go even further !
This tutorial is just the beginning, we gave a few examples of how to use the member space, but in reality there are many more possibilities to offer your members.
You could create different groups of members, for example Bronze, Silver, Gold, you could also create groups that can help add content to your site giving editing privileges (for example, members who are authorized to post on your blog) or as a Moderator (members who can manage the messages of the forum).
So get started and make the members space that you want !