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How To Set Up A Membership Site Using OptimizePress 2.0 And OptimizeMember

In this post, I’m going to show you the process of how to use PayPal with OptimizePress 2.0 and OptimizeMember to create a secure members’ area, take payments, and deliver your content. There are basically 5 main steps involved in the entire process:

  1. Creating the relevant membership pages
  2. Configuring the OptimizeMember settings
  3. Securing the membership pages and files
  4. Integrating PayPal as payment processor
  5. Adding the order button to the sales page

Note: You need to have OP 2.0 and OM activated in order to follow the steps below.

#1 Create The Membership Pages: If you are just starting out and want to get things up and running quickly, I’d recommend you begin with 3 pages – Home, Lesson, and Login.

For home page, you can use the Membership Home Page Clean Style template. For lesson page, you can use the Membership Lesson Page Clean Style template. For login page, you can use the Simple Login Page template (you can find it in the members area).

Make sure you select the proper “Membership Page Type” for the templates you use. In this case, home page belongs to Product, lesson page belongs to Content/Lesson.

You can add the login form to your login page via the Membership Login Form element.

I’ve written a post previously on how to set up the membership framework and organize them correctly using the standard OP 2.0 templates. You can find the post here.

#2 Configure The OM Settings: Once you have your membership framework ready, it’s time to configure the functionality. Go to OptimizeMember → General Options → click on Define Membership Levels And Packages. Give a suitable name for Level #1 Members.

Keep in mind the membership level access in OM is incremental. What that means is that anyone who has a Level 2 access will also be able to access Level 1, and then anyone who has a Level 3 access can also access Level 2 and Level 1. If you don’t want members to access other membership levels, just use the Packages function.

Tick the option for Hide links to protected content for non-members. Once you configure the membership level, you can go to the bottom of the page and click Save All Changes.

  • Click on Define Mailing List/Autoresponder Configurations, select the List Provider and List you wish to add Level #1 Members to (you must already have your autoresponder set up in OptimizePress → Dashboard → Email Marketing Services)
  • Click on Membership Options/Redirect Page and assign Login page for this
  • Click on Members Home Page/Login Welcome Page and assign Home page for this
  • Click on Email Configuration and select Yes for New User Email Configuration. Then fill out all the fields for Email From Name/Address, and Email Support/Contact Link
  • Click on Open Registration and select No (do NOT allow Open Registration)
  • Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save All Changes

You can also customize a range of other settings in the OM General Options like the Login Page And Registration Form Design, Registration/Profile Fields And Options, Member Profile Modifications, One-Time-Offers (Upon Login), etc. I’ll leave it to you.

#3 Secure The Membership Pages: To protect your members’ area, launch LiveEditor system for the page you wish to protect, go to Membership Settings → Membership Page Restrictions → Page Level Restriction?. Select the required membership levels needed to access this page. You can include the product packages option if you want.

Make Sure ALL* The Membership Content Is Protected

*Note: The membership homepage will be automatically protected from public access.

To upload and protect your downloads from non-member access, you can simply add the Membership Files Download element via LiveEditor and choose your preferred download style. Here is where you customize the access required to download the content.

You Can Also Use An External URL (Add Media → From URL) For The File

If you want to add more downloads, you can click the Add New button at the bottom.

#4 Configure The PayPal Options: You need to have a Business account for this. Go to OM → PayPal Options → PayPal Account Details. Fill out all the fields correctly.

Choose No for Developer/Sandbox Testing?, Enable Button Encryption?, and Enable Logging Routines?. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save All Changes.

In your PayPal account, make sure you have the Block Non-encrypted Website Payment option turn Off. (Go to Profile → My selling tools → Website preferences → Update)

Once you have saved your PayPal Account Details inside OptimizeMember, the next option you need to configure is your PayPal IPN Integration. Follow the on-screen instructions to turn On the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) in your PayPal account.

If you see a URL in the Notification URL field, it means you are already using PayPal with another platform to receive payments. In this case, you may leave it as it is as long as you use the PayPal Standard button and check the Receive IPN messages (Enabled) function. If you are using Payflow Pro, you need to insert the IPN URL.

Then you need to configure the PayPal PDT/Auto-Return Integration in OM. Follow the on-screen instructions and make sure you enter the PayPal PDT Identity Token precisely.

As before, if there is already an existing URL in the Return URL field, you can leave it as it is as long as Auto Return: On and you are using PayPal Standard integration.

The last thing you want to configure is the Signup Confirmation Email (Standard). This email is sent to new members after they return from a successful purchase at PayPal. You can customize the message further and also use the special replacement codes in it.

Click Save All Settings once finished. Your PayPal account is now integrated with OM.

#5 Configure The Order Button: To grant access to the membership level you have just created, you need to insert a payment button on the sales page. You can simply add the Membership Order Button element via LiveEditor and choose your preferred button style.

Configuring The Settings Of Membership Order Button Element

Here is where you can specify the memberhsip access that is created with this button.

  • Payment Gateway: Select PayPal
  • Membership Level: Select the membership level you have created in #2
  • Set the price you are going to charge
  • Currency: USD (US Dollar)
  • Success URL: Custom thank you page URL (optional) or standard style
  • Description: Your membership name
  • Packages: Is this level associated with any packages? (optional)
  • Once you finish, click the Insert button

Now your order button has been created which will grant access to the membership level that you have set up earlier. Bear in mind that the order button link cannot be treated as a URL, you need to actually create it via the Membership Order Button element.

I’d highly recommend you to run the OM Server Scanner to analyze your server configuration, WP configuration, OM compatibility, as well as OP 2.0 installation.

So there you go, I have showed you the whole process of setting up a secure and fully functional membership site using OptimizePress 2.0, OptimizeMember, and PayPal. I hope this step-by-step tutorial will help you in launching your membership website.

by KM Lee

KM Lee has been a self-employed geek since 2008. Currently he's working full-time from home online. You can also connect with him:

22 comments… add one
  1. Hi Lee,

    First of all thanks for nice stuff of OP 2.0. I just started with OP 2.0 and I’ve query whether can I add sidebar WP widget into pages?

    1. Hello David,

      I’m afraid you can add WP widgets to blog posts only, not pages created in LiveEditor.

      1. thanks for reply. just curiously asked question because i’m newbie of op2.

        1. You’re most welcome. No worries, every OP 2.0 user was once a newbie too.

          1. Hey Lee, Congrats dude for winning award….

  2. Hi there

    Glad I came across your site. It’s been really useful setting up OP/OM site for a client. Got a quick question if you don’t mind? New user email notification configuration: I’d like it to pick up not just Name and Email address etc but also the Membership Level they have purchased. I added in a %%Role%% code but it’s not picking up. Do you have any suggestions to get this working please? Many thanks, Tracy

    1. Hello Tracy,

      I’m not an expert when it comes to OptimizeMember. However, I don’t think there’s a %%Role%% replacement code. Can you please check with the support team?

  3. Hello Lee,

    I am currently stumped on what may be going on with a purchase using OptimizeMember. Do you do some consultant work? If so, is there a way I can email you?

    Kind Regards,

  4. Hey Lee, I’ve been trying to make up some time to learn all the ins and outs of OP2 for a very long time and haven’t done it just because of not having enough time.

    However, you inspired me enough to get back to it and check it out once again for my next product launch.

    Thanks for the cool tips man, I’ll be checking out the rest of your articles on OP2 for sure!


    1. Hello Sergio,

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I’ve been informed that there will be more new training coming out soon. Make sure you keep an eye out for the new videos.

  5. hi, where’s the login template that you’re referring? I couldn’t find!

    1. You can find it in the members’ area. At the navigation menu, go here…

      Tutorials → Membership Sites → Paypal Integration → Login Page Template

  6. I’ve converted my main site to the OptimizePress theme. I have almost 400 existing posts and pages. How do I protect my existing pages with OptimizeMember?

    Also, do you have any coordinated template packages that will provide a consistent look and feel for my site?


    1. You need to set up your Membership Levels (or Packages if it’s applicable) first. To protect your existing pages with OptimizeMember, refer to #3 above.

      You can also find the membership video tutorial in the OP knowledgebase.

  7. Hi – I have tried getting the signup confirmation email to send via WordPress and also via OptimizeMember and neither will work. I have used an SMTP plugin too. I’m totally stumped as to what’s stopping the emails from going out. Any advice?

    1. Have you tried the troubleshooting steps at here?

  8. GREAT! I’m looking for this solution for a whole time. Thanks Bro!!

    1. You’re welcome. Glad to know I could help a little.

  9. Hi KM

    Thanks for the great articles you post!

    With your help I have set up a lot of things in my membership site although its not operational as yet. And I will be starting out with a Level 0/Free membership first to gain my audience.

    Through reading the optimizepress articles I have learnt how to create a free membership registration form for my site. The only problem is that this form does not look nice in terms of its design, I have been trying to customize the form for the free membership level and I am really struggling to customize and beautify the registration page.

    Please help me, should I add custom css code to beautify the page and if so, do you have an article where you share that code


    1. I don’t have a tutorial on that. Have you tried the settings at…

      OptimizeMember → General Options → Login/Registration Page Customization

  10. Hi Lee thanks for this post.

    I was wondering is there a way to track the student progress with metrics and some kind of analytics using OptimizeMember or another plugin that works with OptimizeMember.

    Thanks a lot!


    1. I’ve heard of LearnDash plugin but not sure whether it works well with OM or not.


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