In this screencast we take a little break from battling Vanilla Forums styling to work on setting up Restrict Content Pro (RCP), our WordPress plugin for managing subscribers to The Lodge, the private access area (that you are literally inside of right now!).
The first step is creating the membership "levels". We decide on an animal theme, because 1) it's fun and 2) it's a way to establish hierarchy kind of arbitrarily, like we've done in the past with alpha/beta/etc. We are able to create arbitrary levels in RCP, which is perfect for us. Members of different levels will have access to different things. We'll be able to test for those levels within our templates to reveal different things (e.g. download links for higher level members).
We're using an add-on plugin for RCP to allow us to use PayPal Pro. I happen to have a PayPal Pro account because I like it when checkout doesn't need to leave the site. PayPal Regular is free, but you force users to make the jump over to PayPal no matter what. If it was just for this, I'd consider going back to PayPal regular, but I use the seamless checkout thing on a number of Wufoo forms with the same PayPal account so overall I find it quite worth it. RCP needs the API credentials that I can go get from the PayPal website.
We keep going through the setup of RCP. We make a blank page template for signup. We use page hierarchy and put that page as a child of The Lodge homepage, making the URL /lodge/signup/ We then set the RCP settings for redirection after signup, and where the signup page is itself. The signup page uses a shortcode (i.e. those things in [square-brackets]) to insert the registration (signup) form.
The design of these pages may leave a little something to be desired, but this is a pretty sweet start. We have a totally functional signup/registration system that takes money and has the ability to lock down content. (!)