Membership sites are a stellar way to increase revenue and improve client engagement over the long-term, but setting one up can seem overwhelming and time consuming. However, plugins such as Restrict Content Pro make the process a breeze, and offer you almost all of the features you need to get started.

In this post, we’ll offer you an in-depth overview of Restrict Content Pro. This will include a look at how restricting content can be good for business, as well as a tour of the features and benefits that can help you on your own site. By the end, you’ll have all of the information to decide whether this solution is right for you.

Why Restricting Your Content Can Increase Your Income

First, let’s explain the concept of content restriction. Simply put, it’s a way to block access to certain content on your site. In order for a visitor to get access, they’ll provide something in return, such as an email address or cold, hard cash. There are also different implementations. For example, some websites choose to restrict all content, requiring a membership before access is granted:

A membership website example.

However, other sites (such as Copyblogger) choose to restrict specific content based on your subscription level:

Copyblogger's restriced content membership area.

You don’t need to be part of a particular niche to benefit from content restriction, either. As long as you have content that visitors are willing to pay for, a membership site will be an option to consider.

For many site owners, the concept of content restriction can seem like a horrible idea. It seems almost counterproductive – after all, how will visitors become invested in your site if they can’t read your content? However, it’s actually a valuable tactic for potentially increasing your readership and income, and there are numerous benefits to content restriction. For example:

  1. It could offer recurring revenue for your business.
  2. You have the ability to create highly-targeted content to fit subscribers’ needs.
  3. There’s a ready-made market for your business’ products and services, as well as a way to increase affiliate income.
  4. You have protection against plagiarism or other forms of content theft.
  5. There’s an increased connection with readers and the ability to communicate in a more direct and personalized manner.

In short, restricting your content is great if you want to maximize your income by selling your site’s content. Let’s take a look at a tool that can help.

Introducing Restrict Content Pro

The Restrict Content Pro WordPress Plugin homepage.
Restrict Content Pro is a premium WordPress plugin that enables users to create membership sites and manage content within a few clicks. There’s also a free version, but it’s almost unrecognizable when its functionality and quality are compared to the premium version.

You can create an unlimited number of subscription levels (including free, paid, and trial) with which to restrict your content, track payments and signups, offer discounts, and more. Restrict Content Pro even integrates seamlessly with dozens of third-party apps and themes, and what’s more, it also plays nicely with Divi.

Key Features:

  • Offers unlimited subscription levels with full customization.
  • Integrates with PayPal and Stripe, and enables you to add your own payment gateway.
  • Provides the ability for end users to upgrade or downgrade subscription levels at any time, receiving prorated credit or paying the difference.
  • Enables you to send welcome emails, payment receipts, and upcoming payment reminders.

Pricing: Starts from $99 | More information.

How to Set Up Restrict Content Pro on Your WordPress Website

Once you’ve installed and activated Restrict Content Pro, you’re ready to start exploring what it has to offer. However, you’ll first need to tweak its settings to your requirements. Find the Restrict tab on your WordPress dashboard, and navigate to the General Settings tab:

General settings page for Restrict Content Pro.

Most of the options here relate to setting some necessary pages (which have already been created for you), but one that will need your immediate attention is the License Key box. You’ll need to add yours by following the simple instructions in order to receive automatic updates and support.

Moving on, there also other tabs that may require your attention, and taking the time to set them up as you prefer will benefit you in the long run. Throughout, you’re able to set payment guidelines, configure emails for various subscriber actions (such as sign up, cancellation, expiration, or payment confirmation), access and download any created PDF invoices, and customize various other settings.

Once you’ve set the plugin up, it’s time to explore its other capabilities – let’s take a look!

5 Elements of Restrict Content Pro You Should Get to Know

As we’ve alluded to, Restrict Content Pro has a wide range of features. Let’s take a look at five of the most important ones, along with a brief look at how to best use them.

1. Subscription Levels

Subscription levels enable site members to join at their preferred level, and it’s the base around which your membership site will be built. You can add as few or as many levels as you’d like by navigating to Restrict > Subscription Levels:

Subscription levels settings page for Restrict Content Pro.

Here, you’ll have the ability to set up your levels, price them accordingly, and set a subscription duration. To add a new membership level, simply enter the details into the given fields, then click the blue Add Membership Level button at the bottom.

Of course, members can sign up for membership levels on their own, but you can also add them manually. This requires the creation of a user in your site’s WordPress admin settings. Once they’ve been created, head to Restrict > Members, scroll to the Add New Subscription (for existing user) section and fill out the fields, making sure the usernames match:

Add New Member manually

Finally, click Add User Subscription and the new user is all set.

2. Content Restriction

Let’s now take a look at the core of the plugin – content restriction. With Restrict Content Pro, there are two ways: wrapping content with the restrict shortcode, or via the dedicated meta box found on the post or page editor. Shortcodes are best for restricting specific content on a post or page, although they can be used to restrict the entirety of a page’s content as well.

For full-page restriction, navigate to your desired post or page, then scroll down to the Restrict this content meta box. Here, the default option is set for everyone to have access, although you can dig in to the settings in order to refine your choice:

Restrict content with the editor meta box.

Additionally, you can restrict content by category. This means you can create a category for subscriber-only content without having to do so for each post or page:

Restrict content by category.

To set this up, navigate to Posts > Categories on your WordPress dashboard. Choose a category, give it a name and set a description, then tweak the settings to your liking. You can limit categories to premium subscribers only (by ticking the Paid Only? checkbox), or manually pick and choose which subscriber levels will have access.

3. Discount Codes

This is one feature that really shows how versatile Restrict Content Pro is. From Restrict > Discount Codes you can offer discounts to any members you choose. It’s going to be ideal for offering ‘test drives’ to your site.

Create discount codes with Restrict Content Pro.

You can restrict discount codes to specific membership levels, and even set expiration dates and a maximum number of uses. Creating discount codes follows a similar process to adding a subscription level – fill out the fields, then click the Add Discount Code button. Your new code will then appear at the top of the screen.

4. Payment Tracking and Reporting

It’s always a good idea to keep up to speed on your membership site’s earnings and signups. Knowing how well your current subscription levels are working for you gives you an opportunity to switch your marketing focus to a different (and potentially more lucrative) plan for your subscribers.

Restrict Content Pro makes it easy to manage subscriber payments, all from a comprehensive admin panel:

Restrict Content Pro enables users to track payments.

From here, you have access to the user, their subscription level, the details of the payment, their status and more. What’s more, there are also comprehensive reporting options found under Restrict > Reports:

Filter Restrict Content Pro earnings report by date.

From here you can filter your reports by date or subscription level, and from the Signups tab you can measure your new subscriber numbers:

Restrict Content Pro signups report.

Using this feature, you can see where lulls in earnings and signups are more likely to occur based on past history. With this information, you can create initiatives (such as trial memberships or discount codes) around those lulls in order to drive subscriptions.

5. Add-ons and Integrations

Last but not least, Restrict Content Pro has an array of additional add-ons and integrations that could potentially enhance its functionality.

A number of free add-ons are included for all users, but those with Professional and Ultimate licenses also get access to some premium add-ons (with more to be added down the line). What’s more, there are also third-party add-ons available.

To integrate an add-on, download and activate it as with any other plugin. You’ll then be able to find it under the Restrict tab on your WordPress dashboard, and clicking on it will bring you to its settings page. Here’s an example of what this will look like with the free MailPoet add-on:

MailPoet add-on

Integrating add-ons in this way makes them easy to manage, if you decide you no longer want to use an add-on, they’re just as easy to uninstall. Simply navigate to the Plugins tab and uninstall them as you would any other plugin.

Is Restrict Content Pro the Right Choice For You?

Ultimately, you’re looking for a content restriction plugin, and will need to make a decision on whether Restrict Content Pro is right for you.

Overall, the plugin easy to install, customize, and use, but it’s also full of features not found in the competition’s offerings (both free and premium). What’s more, it’s from a major WordPress plugin developer, so the codebase will be solid and support will always be on-hand.

Of course, only you can decide whether the plugin will meet your specific needs. However, we believe it’s a stellar contender for your cash. Restrict Content Pro also has a 30-day money back guarantee – so there’s plenty of impetus to try it out for yourself!

Conclusion

Creating a membership site doesn’t need to be difficult, especially when solutions such as Restrict Content Pro exist. From its arsenal of features – including full member management and variety of add-ons – down to its user-friendly interface, Restrict Content Pro is certainly a frontrunner in its field.

In this piece, we’ve offered a tour of Restrict Content Pro and showed you exactly what it can do. To recap, once you’ve installed and set up the plugin, you can:

  1. Set up subscription levels.
  2. Restrict your content (naturally!).
  3. Create discount codes.
  4. Track payments and pour over reports.
  5. Enhance its functionality through add-ons.

Are you impressed by Restrict Content Pro, and what will it do for your membership site? Let us know in the comments section below!

Article thumbnail image by ayax / shutterstock.com.

The post Restrict Content Pro: An In-Depth Overview appeared first on Elegant Themes Blog.

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