The alumni network is the best way to keep in touch with your seniors and peers after graduating from college or school. Especially through an alumni website.
Everyone is connected through the internet. That is why creating an alumni website is a great way to stay connected and get all the info about your classmates and seniors. Moreover, you can charge a small fee to register as alumni and use that fee to conduct meetups and get-togethers.
And when you are dealing with a full-fledged alumni website, flooded with a large number of visitors, you can quickly charge a fee. Wondering how? Well, by simply adding a paid membership feature or a subscription feature to your website.
Just like creating a membership website, you can create a paid alumni website. In this article, I will show you how to build an alumni subscription site using WordPress with easy steps.
But first, let's start with-
Advantages of Creating a Paid Alumni Membership Site
We have already said you can use the subscription fee to organize meetups, etc. But other than that there are quite a few advantages, like-
- Turn your visitors into paid customers
- Charge your visitors on a monthly or yearly basis
- Let your visitors post their articles on your website
- Let a group of people connect with each other
- Allow members to post content on the website
- Let the Members get exclusive online access
- Build a strong network among your users which is necessary for their career.
- Allow your users to reunite with each other easily and more
But the biggest advantage of creating an alumni website is, bringing back the good old college days to a group of college friends.
Why You Should Choose WordPress to Build an Alumni Site?
The reason is simple! WordPress is the most popular CMS that will let you build an alumni website easily with the power of its plugins. You don't even need to use a single line of code which will save you effort and precious time.
Other than that, there are quite a few advantages of creating an alumni website with WordPress-
- Ease of Use
- Flexible Content Management
- Membership Plugins
- Community Building with BuddyPress
- Plugin Ecosystem
- Responsive Design
- Customization Options
- Support and Resources
- Data Ownership.
These factors will help you greatly to manage your alumni website with ease.
How to Create an Alumni Website Using WordPress
It's easier than easy! You can not only build an alumni site but also you can create subscription fees for every member of the site.
We are going to choose the WP User Frontend plugin to create the alumni website. It is one of the best front-end management plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. The plugin has more than 20000+ active installations and 339 five-star reviews.
Want to know more about this amazing plugin? Then you can read our guide on why WP User Frontend is the best-selling WordPress frontend plugin.
Now you need to follow these simple steps and you are good to go!
Step 1: Download and Install WP User Frontend
Assuming that you have your WordPress site up and running, go to the WP Admin Dashboard → Plugins → Add New.
Now search for WP User Frontend and install and activate the plugin.
Step 2: Get the WP User Frontend Pro version
An alumni website is actually a user directory website. And as the user directory feature is not a free feature in WordPress, you will need to download the WP User Frontend Pro plugin to this end.
Go through this quick and precise documentation to learn how to purchase the Pro version.
Step 3: Activate the Stripe Payment and the User Directory Module
Now go to the WP Admin Dashboard > WP User Frontend > Modules.
Step 4: Create & Publish a Registration Form
Now, you need to create a registration form in the WP User Frontend Pro. Go to the WP Admin Dashboard → WP User Frontend → Registration Form → Add Form.
Create a registration form for alumni users.
Now, copy the shortcode and publish it on your site's Membership form page. Finally, hit the publish button.
Now, you have to set this registration page from the WP Admin Dashboard → User Frontend → Settings → to log in/Registration page → Registration page (Dropdown).
Save the changes.
Step 5: Turn on ‘Anyone Can Register' So that Users Can Register
Navigate to the WP Admin Dashboard → Settings → General. Check the box from the Anyone can register option:
Save the settings.
Step 6: Configure User Listing Page
In this step, you will need to go to the WP Admin Dashboard → User Frontend → Settings → User Directory.
Here, you can set the Profile Image Size, Avatar Size, Profile Header Template, and user listing template.
Step 7: Configure Meta Fields
Go to the WP Admin Dashboard → User Frontend → User Listing. Then, change the Label and select meta keys for each label. Make sure to save the changes.
- If you can not find any meta key for a field then create a user and register using the registration form for once. After that, you will find the necessary meta keys.
- You can also show these fields in the user listing table by just checking the “Show in user listing table.
- You can also check the “Search by this meta in user listing table” option so that a user can use it to search for a user from the user listing table.
- Use the Image/File item to show the profile image.
Step 8: Publish The User Listing Page
Finally, it's time to publish the User Listing page. This step is important to see the alumni members from the frontend.
Go to the WP Admin Dashboard → Pages → Add New. After that, copy and paste the shortcode [wpuf_user_listing]. Now, hit the publish button. Voila!
And you are done!
How to Monetize The Membership Form
In case you want to monetize the membership form, you have to create a subscription pack and also have to enable the payment gateways:
We will show you how-
Step 1: Creating a Subscription Pack
As we are building an alumni website, it will be wise to create a subscription pack that has an expiry of monthly or yearly. You can set any expiry time with the WP User Frontend.
Navigate to the WP Admin Dashboard → User Frontend → Subscription to create subscriptions for your users.
Step 2: Enabling Payment Gateways
You can use either PayPal or Bank Payment or Stripe. We will be using the Stripe payment system.
To use the Stripe payment go to the WP Admin Dashboard → User Frontend → Settings.
Now, check the credit card option, and after that insert your Stripe Secret Key and Publishable key. Then save the changes and you are done with monetizing the Membership form.
Note: If you do not know how to get the Stripe keys then you can give a shot at this documentation.
How a User Will Be Able to Register as a Member?
After logging in to your website, a user will click on the “Registration page” to get the Registration form.
Now, your user will be able to see the WP User Frontend subscription pack before registering.
On clicking on the “Sign Up” button, he or she will get the registration page:
After, filling out the form with the necessary data, the user has to hit the ‘Register‘ button.
Next up, the user will get a payment form for his Stripe credit card:
Finally, the user needs to click on the ‘Proceed‘ button to complete the payment and get registered on the user directory.
Now, everyone can see the newly registered users on the user listing table:
You can also select the View Profile button to see a user's single profile:
Here is the single profile of a user:
You are ready to accept members on your alumni website.
Wrapping up on Alumni Website with WordPress
This is the simplest way to create a paid alumni website with WordPress. The best part is that you can use pretty advanced form fields to collect your user's data.
Finally, if you do know an easier way to create a paid alumni membership site than the way I showed here don't hesitate to mention that in the comment section below. I would love to learn that with great enthusiasm!