Members only areas or client only areas can be useful ways of providing privileged information to a select group of your site visitors. This can allow you to create better relationships with these people and use your website to present or distribute information privately with a guest list that you directly control. It’s one of the features that makes WebEden unique among other website builders, and extremely powerful.
We’ve also been asked about ‘paid membership’. By using Groups to create a set of VIP members it is possible to charge a fee before adding a member to that group, though this has to be done manually. So here’s how to do all of these things.
Members only pages
Creating members only areas is reasonably easy and very powerful. It also means that anyone who joins your site will immediately get access to that page so there is no manual work to update the permissions with each new member.
Once again I’ll be using my favourite and highly ranked taxi website www.joeslondontaxis.com. (some of you will remember this from our series of SEO Guide articles).
To create a members only area first click on ‘People’ in the Toolbar and then the ‘Permissions’ tab. Here you will see a list of all your pages on the left, and the permissions settings of the selected page (or pages) on the right.
Every page can have its permissions set individually, or you can change the permissions for multiple pages as once (use the ‘control’ or ‘shift’ keys while selecting pages to select several at once).
I’ve created a page called ‘members welcome page’ which allows me to give a special welcome to my members. If I position this top of my pages list, then this will actually replace the normal ‘welcome’ page for members when they visit the site. Clever eh?
To make the page members only select the page from the list on the left, then change the ‘view’ settings for that page to ‘members only’. And that’s it.
Client only areas
Creating and managing Groups is the key to client only areas. Groups can have permissions set as a whole, and any member who is part of that group will get those permissions. You can add or remove members from Groups at any time.
If you don’t have any Groups you will need to go to the ‘group’ tab first and set one up. I’ve created two groups, one called ‘Clients’ and one called ‘Drivers’.
Next go back to the ‘Permissions’ tab and select the page that you wish to edit from the list on the left, then change the ‘view’ settings for that page to ‘Group’ and you can then choose which Group can see that page, e.g. Clients. I’ve done this for my ‘clients’ page, and also my ‘drivers’ page.
You can then add or remove individual members from that Group to control which ones can see that page. Here I have added 2 of my clients into the ‘Clients’ group, and selected the third in preparation to add him too (or her ;-). This would be the same process if you were creating a VIP section of selected members only.
You can also create members directly for clients by going to the ‘members’ tab and clicking ‘create member’. You can then define a username, password and email for the this client when you create the member. Once the member is created you can add them to a Group on your site so they have the correct permissions. Finally you can email your client with their username and password and a link to the login page. The ‘create member’ function makes it easy to setup client only areas without the client having to do anything themselves.
There are numerous ways you can use this kind of functionality, so have a go and let us know what you think!
To give you a helping hand we’ve put together a video tutorial that shows you how to add members to your website.
And here’s one that shows you how to send membership invitations.
And finally, here’s how to send updates to Facebook and Twitter.