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Create an app for your WordPress membership site

AppPresser allows you to use your WordPress membership plugin in your iOS and Android mobile app.

A membership plugin restricts access to website content based on membership level, and your app can do the same. If you have a membership site, you can create a mobile app that shows content based on what each member has access to.

The end result is that members only content will be hidden from your app users unless they login, and have the appropriate membership level.

In this article I’ll show you how to setup your membership app, using Restrict Content Pro, an excellent membership plugin by Pippin’s Plugins. (Using RCP is not required, most membership plugins should work with your app)

How it works

The membership functionality in your app will work just like it does on your website. For example, if you have some protected pages, your app users will not be able to access those unless they have the appropriate membership level. They will be required to login through the app before they can see any protected content.

All payments, registration, content protection, and other features of your membership plugin will continue working as usual. AppPresser only handles the display of your membership pages, it does not change how it works, or handle any back-end processes.

Building a membership app with Restrict Content Pro

To build your app, first you need at least the AppPresser core plugin and AppTheme installed. Next, you will need your membership plugin installed and configured, you can find Restrict Content Pro installation instructions here. I won’t go over configuring these products here, please set them up before continuing.

At this point you should have a website with the above plugins installed and configured. To turn this into a membership app, we need 3 things:

  1. Protected content
  2. A registration page
  3. A login page

If you have protected content, you need a way for members to login to view it. Registration is not technically necessary, but allowing users to at least sign up for a free level is a great way to generate more leads for your premium membership.

Free content is not required, but it’s nice to give people something to see before they commit to registering.

Protected Content

The pages you protect are controlled through your membership plugin. I’m going to add a membership page that has a video that only premium users can access.

In RCP (Restrict Content Pro), there are options at the bottom of the page edit screen that allow you to restrict based on certain conditions. I am going to require at least the “Silver” membership to view this video.

Restrict Content Pro options

You can configure other options as desired, and protect other pages and posts. This is a simple example, so I’ll stick with just one members-only page.

Login and registration pages

We need to create a way for our members to register and login, and add those pages to our app menu.

App Menu Membership

AppPresser has a built-in login modal that works great with membership sites. You can access it in the side menu, as pictured. This does not require any configuration.

You can also access this login modal in any post or page by inserting the following HTML:

<a href="#loginModal" class="io-modal-open">Login here</a>

That covers logging in, now we need a registration page. This is optional, and it should only be for free registrations.

To add a registration page, reate a new page and call it “Registration,” and add this shortcode:

	

Register New Account

Go to your Restrict Content Pro Settings, click the Signup Form tab, and make sure the page you just created is selected.

RCP register

Next, add that page to your app menu, along with any other pages you want displayed in your app. As you can see above, I have added a ‘free’ page that is open to anyone, the registration page, and a members only page.

Result

Now, as a non-logged in user, I won’t be able to see anything on the membership page. When I login, I can see the protected content.

Any content that you marked as protected will behave the same way. You can configure your app to hide menu items to non-members, and customize in other ways that are described in the RCP documentation. Anything you configure in your membership plugin should work the same way in the app and on the site. (Note that AppTheme uses ajax, which does not work with all plugin features, so it’s important to test)

Registration and payment in app

Allowing free users to register through your app is a great way to widen your audience. AppPresser has a built-in API based registration form that has email validation.

Taking payments for premium memberships is possible using in app purchases. If you take payments through your app, you may be required to use Apple’s in app purchase API, which gives them a 15-30% commission.

This requires extra setup, please see our documentation for instructions.

19 Comments

  1. Neil on December 22, 2015 at 4:17 am

    I am a publisher and am looking for a solution such as this but would like to check something. One of the main reasons people want an app from us is because when using our website on iPhones they have to log in very often due to browser settings they can’t be bothered to change. With your solution, will they remain logged in after they log in once (as long as their membership doesn’t end)?

    • Scott Bolinger on December 22, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hi Neil, the app login works the same way as normal WordPress login. WordPress uses a cookie that expires after 30 days, you can customize this with the auth_cookie_expiration filter.

      That way people can stay logged in to your app.

      • Neil on December 23, 2015 at 11:03 am

        Thanks, Scott. That’s helpful. I will give it all a try.



  2. Betty on January 16, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Hi Scott,
    So in a way, will the app serve as a sort of a “wrapper” to the wp site, and not be a true native app? (I mean I am thinking that’s it because of course a native app will cost a helluva lot $$$)…

    Let me know,
    Thanks,
    Betty

    • Scott Bolinger on January 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Yes, AppPresser wraps your site, which allows your plugins to function in the app. That would not be possible in a fully native app 🙂

  3. Janelle on March 30, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Do you have any knowledge of someone using this app with OptimizeMember or DAP? OptimizeMember does not always play well with others and I am trying to figure out the best tools for our membership site.

  4. Robin on May 30, 2016 at 5:24 am

    My requirement is that I’ve some groups. Each group has few users. Content to be displayed to the users will be based on the groups an user belong to.

    So, I’ll need login and then based on the username/email provided I’ll check user’s group and then content will be filtered based on that group.

    Can you please confirm whether it is achievable using apppresser?

    Thanks,
    Robin.

  5. rishi on July 5, 2016 at 7:02 am

    HI we are new to apppresser, we build the app and are successful in deploying it in Play Store, but we dont have any knowledge about iOS and how to make the app live on it.

    Can you please share any video or guidelines so we can make the app live in iOS.

    Thanks
    Rishi

  6. Gianluca on September 23, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Hi Scott, in this article you said “Taking payments for premium memberships is possible, but not recommended.” Is there a plugin or a tutorial on Apppresser about In-App Purchase (in general or for membership) or it is a totally custom not supported implementation? It’s a key feature for many business model especially for ones who need App Store submission. It would be a great feature for your project, also because no one else actually offer it in a WordPress managed app.
    Thanks!

    • Scott Bolinger on September 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Hi Gianluca, we don’t have a tutorial or integration for in app purchases unfortunately. It all takes place through Apple’s API, so you’d just need to follow their documentation. We’ll consider writing something up about this in the future.

      • Gianluca on September 23, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        Thanks! I’ll keep following!



  7. Gun on November 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Can I confirm this would work with either Wishlist Member plugin or Zaxaa Member plugin? If yes to either we will probably move ahead.
    Second question, would we be able to make the video member content watchable offline, but still require a login or too complicated?

    • Scott Bolinger on November 7, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Hi, we have not tested with those specific plugins, but technically it should work. Most membership plugins just control user access on the back-end, they don’t do much with the display. That means it will work just fine in our apps, but you may need to customize it if necessary.

  8. Kevin on March 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Hello,

    We use Ontrport which has its own membership pluggin called Pilotpress.

    Does Pilotpress play will with appresser3 ?? thank you

  9. Trevor on June 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Does your plugin support MemberPress plugin?

  10. David on November 24, 2018 at 9:35 am

    If our restricted content is an audiobook of 29 mp3s, could members stream those tracks via the app? I don’t want them to need to download them.

    • Scott Bolinger on November 26, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Hi David, yes your users can stream audio without downloading.

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Scott Bolinger