If you want to use Thrive Apprentice for your courses but don't like the idea of using SendOwl, here's an option for you.

You need two things:

  1. a Membership Plugin to protect your content
  2. a Payment Processor that talks to your Membership Plugin

My membership plugin of choice is WishList Member (affiliate link to AppSumo where there's an AMAZING LTD going on). WishList Member can protect your content because Thrive Apprentice has an awesome integration with WLM in their "Access Restrictions" section. It's literally 2 clicks and you're done.

I use Stripe for payment processing, so I just connect my Stripe account to WishList Member and I'm all set. I've made a video showing how this is done, and for those of you who prefer to read, continue on.

Set Up Membership Levels

First thing you want to do is set up your Membership Levels in WishList Member.

WishList Member > Setup > Levels

Using this method I'm going to teach you below, you really do not need to do much to the settings of the levels. There are additional options you can play with such as custom registration forms (where members goes after they pay) but I'll leave that for another tutorial.

Create Your Courses in Thrive Apprentice

I'm assuming you already know how to use Thrive Apprentice and have your courses built. 

New to Thrive Apprentice? Let me know if a Thrive Apprentice walkthrough / tutorial would be helpful to you and I'll make one!

We'll come back to these courses in just a moment. Now it's time to set up WishList Member.

Configure Wishlist Member's Stripe Integration

Navigate to WishList Member > Advanced Options > Setup > Integrations > Stripe

Wishlist Member stripe setup

Now add your API keys (you can use Test or Live keys) and save.

how to set membership level price in stripe with wishlist member

Next, you have to click the Products section within the Stripe integration. You'll see the Membership Levels you created. Click the pencil to edit and set a one-time payment or Stripe plan (a subscription you can set up in Stripe).

Where to Find the Stripe Payment Button Shortcode in WishList Member

Now click the "< >" symbols below "Button Code" and copy the shortcode you'll now use on your sales page, landing page, or "error page" when someone tries to access a course that's protected.

Wishlist Member stripe button shortcode

In the video (and the image above) I'm placing this shortcode within the "Error Page" found in WishList Member > Advanced Options > Global Defaults > Error Pages. This page will be shown by default to someone trying to access your course if they're not a member (or not logged in). 

You can also set a different default page or URL (which I recommend) that acts like a landing page or a sales page for your course. Now that you have the button shortcode, this can be placed anywhere you want on that page. 

Note: The button shortcode inherits your theme's button styles. If you want to edit this and do not know how or can't edit your theme buttons, you can use CSS. Each theme is different, so if you need help figuring out the styling feel free to leave a comment with your link and I'll give you a few pointers.

Wishlist member stripe modal

When the button is clicked, you'll see a very nice looking modal / lightbox with membership level, price, credit card form, and your logo.

Registration After Payment

Once your new member has paid, they'll automatically be redirected to the registration form. This is controlled by WishList Member in this configuration, so you'll be able to use a WLM's custom registration forms and other settings we skipped over earlier in this tutorial.

Restrict Access to Thrive Apprentice Courses with WishList Member

Now that you have Stripe configured for WLM, head over to your courses that you want to protect. Click on the course to edit and select the "Access Restrictions" tab.

thrive apprentice wishlist member access restriction to courses

Thrive Themes did a great job with this particular integration. Simply toggle on Restrict Access, choose Wishlist Member, then choose which membership level gets access to this course. Click add rule, save, and you're done!

Your courses are now restricted to specific membership levels that are sold entirely through your website's integration with WishList Member and Stripe. 

There are many other customization options for this process inside of WishList Member. If you'd like me to create more tutorials for WishList Member, let me know!

    • This particular example is completely independent of ThriveCart. Using ThriveCart simply makes the entire process ‘better’ by streamlining and providing structure and a customizable process.

  • Hi, Doug,

    I just finished reading all your blog posts,learned a great deal in every one of them, and has really become a fan of your content. Here I just wonder if I could get your insight on how the Wishlist member works behind the scene to restrict access to the “Premium Thrive Apprentice course”.

    Here are the context of my question: I already set up two courses using Thrive Apprentice, one course is a “free course” that any registered WordPress user can access. The other one is the premium course that is set up using Wishlist member and Stripe as you showed in your video.

    Now assuming one student registered for the free course, so obviously he already got a login credential to my site as a subscriber. Now comes my question: Since he can already login to access the free course, what is the mechanism of Wishlist member that restrict him from accessing my Premium course ?

    Sorry about my beginner question here. I understand that membership plugin is designed to restrict content. But how does Wishlist member “know” whether this user had paid for the content or not ? My guess is that Wishlist member applies some kind of “tag system” to identify which user has paid for which level. Again I apologize for the long winded question. But I just want to learn from you how the fundamental works inside a Membership plugin so that I can use it effectively in the future.

    Many thanks again!


    • Hi Alec, thanks for the kind words. I’m working on getting my content calendar more in sync with my daily workflow. I get inundated with requests for client work, so I sometimes slack on the content. Glad you found value in what I current have up on the site!

      In your example, you’d simply have two membership levels: Free and Paid (name them what you want).

      You then go into each of your courses and choose which level gets access. For your free course, check the free membership level. For your paid course, check the paid level. This mechanism / integration between WLM and Thrive Architect.

      If a user tries to access the paid course, they’ll be prompted to join the paid membership. The paid membership is linked to a payment method (Stripe) that ensures someone is only added to the paid membership level when they’ve completed the necessary transaction.

      Hopefully that makes sense! Let me know if you need a tutorial video or further clarification.

  • Hi, Doug,

    I really appreciate you took the time to share your advice here despite being tied up with client work. Your explanation is very clear, I will go ahead and set up two Wishlist member levels for my courses as you suggested.

    Here I just have another quick question about the registration and login pages for my Thrive Apprentice courses:

    Your other blog post showed a great way of making a custom good looking registration and login page using Thrive Architect. I just wonder if I could still use those custom registration and login pages made by Thrive Architect for my user even after I use Wishlist member plugin to manage my Thrive Apprentice course access. I do not quite like the default registration and login pages provided by Wistlist member. Maybe there is a way inside Wishlist member that would allow me to use custom login and registration pages made by external page builder like Thrive Architect.

    Many thanks again! I hope I would have an opportunity in the future to possibly become your client so I can get your detailed guidance on the project we are working on 🙂


    • No problem at all, really! This is exactly why I started Convology.

      You can totally customize the registration form experience using a really neat Thrive Leads integration. I’m making a video today that will walk you through exactly how to set this all up. It’s super simple. If you want to get a jump on making it work, drag a Lead Generation element onto a page. Then click on Add Conection for API connections. Connect WordPress as the connection. This lets you use the fully-customizable Lead Generation element as the WordPress registration form. Build this on any page you like, then go into General Settings in Thrive Apprentice and choose that page you created with the custom registration form and you’re all set.

      Look for the video to come out today.

  • I have just started setting up this exact workflow. How do I add coupon/promo codes to the stripe checkout?

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