Using SureMembers for Courses

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use SureMembers for courses, workshops, and any sort of private content–including video and non-video content on your website.

  • Sell access to SureMembers access groups with SureCart
  • Create pages you want to protect (and put anything on them, including courses)
  • Protect videos using Presto Player and host your videos on Bunny Stream (epic combo)

Full Transcript of the Tutorial for you to follow along:

Introduction to Course Platforms

Do you really need a course platform? That’s the question that I’ve been getting a lot lately and one that I’ve been thinking about myself as I look at my tech stack going into this next year. Depending on the type of content that you’re looking to protect and to sell, you may not need one of these bigger and often more bloated and more complicated to both set up and use course platforms. Instead, you can use something simpler, something that provides a login experience, a sales experience, and a registration experience.

Simplifying Setup

But then focuses more on protecting content rather than providing a learning environment or like a learning management system, something like a Thrive Apprentice, which I highly recommend for those that want a full blown course platform. However, it’s not right for everybody. So the focus of this video is going to be on providing a simpler setup, something that protects content, allows you to sell it, allows your users to log in and to access videos much in the same way that they would if they were looking to take a course and in fact, you really can use this for a course, but you can also use it for things that are much simpler and it’s much easier to manage.

Tech Stack Overview

So let’s dive in and get started. So our tech stack is going to be very simple. We’re going to use SureMembers that protects our content. We’re going to use SureCart that sells access or gives access to the member access groups in SureMembers. We’re going to use PrestoPlayer to make some neat video playlists, which can be used for courses and things like that.

Setting Up SureMembers

And from there, you can really use any theme or page builder that you want. In this particular video, I’m going to use Astra and Spectra, something that I’ve been playing around with and really enjoy lately. So pretty easy to dive into. Let’s get started with this. I’ve gone ahead and added all the plugins already. So I have SureMembers here and that’s really where I want to get started.

SureMembers Configuration

So when setting up our membership, usually we have these really complex and bloated tools. And I say that and then it sounds like a negative. It’s usually not right. Something like thrive apprentice is I wouldn’t call it bloated, but there’s a lot of steps to set up that learning platform. Something like SureMembers, when you go to SureMembers, you go to the upper right hand corner, it’s a very little icon, it looks like a, they look like little faders on an audio device. But if we click on that, that’s going to bring up our settings.

Protecting Content with SureMembers

SureMembers gives you all of the settings that you need to effectively manage something that you’re trying to protect on a WordPress site. So first thing under admin settings, you want to decline admin access, meaning you don’t want people to access your admin area if they belong to certain user roles. You may decide to add more user roles in the future. Just come back in here and add them.

Customizing Login Experience

You can see I’m blocking subscriber and members from being able to access. If I create a course user role, I’ll want to come back in and add that as well. And SureMembers lets you create those user roles here under create user roles.

Redirection Rules and Branding

Under redirection rules, here’s where we handle the very simple login and logout redirection. So for example, if you had a membership dashboard and somebody logs in on your website and you want them to auto redirect to the membership dashboard, you use that right here. We have the login customizer.

Protecting Content

I’ve gone ahead and made a few tweaks to this. You can customize that login URL. So for example, instead of it being slash WP admin or WP login, you can do something like slash login.

Adding Downloads and Restricting Access

Here we can set our brand colors and then we can set our logo, little things like that. I’m gonna maybe say, we’ll make the same link color there and then I’ll add a logo, uploaded my custom logo, my logo width. Maybe I’ll make the background white and then we can click save settings. Now let’s take a look at what this looks like on the front end.

Creating a Workshop Page

With just a couple of little tweaks and toggles, I was able to make this still generally look like your traditional WordPress login, but really your members won’t care what this looks like. This looks I think pretty good. And of course there are other options like enabling a background image where you can further tweak and design this. And also you don’t have to use this login form by the way. If you have another plugin that you like to use to customize it, maybe you’re using something like the Thrive Suite and you like to use their customizer which gives you a little bit more control. Go ahead, use that. That’s totally fine. This is optional, but if you’re looking to go lightweight and super streamlined, this is how easy it is to just get up and started.

Building a Workshop Page with Presto Player

And then there’s a really neat feature called login restrictions. I won’t go too deep into this, but you can basically disable people’s ability to log in multiple times from different locations to kind of eliminate a little bit of that password sharing little features like that. I think are neat text labels, etc.

SureCart Integration

You can dive into a little bit more. Let’s take a look at what this looks like. So I’m going to do the backslash WP admin and log in and see what this looks like. And boom, this is what we’re greeted with. You can see it looks really nice and clean. It’s got our brand colors. It’s got our logo. And if I were to go to my site, let’s see if I were to try to go to like the dashboard or something like that. Let’s see what happens.

Finalizing Setup and Testing

I was just there. It doesn’t let me access it, which is exactly what we want. So we’ve done that. Now let’s protect some content and I’ll show you how easy it is to protect a page.

Protecting Content with SureMembers

So let’s say we have a workshop page that we want to protect. I’m going to go to Pages > Add New and I’ll just call this Workshop. And I’ll just put some random content in here. This is our workshop content. You can put whatever you want. And then over on the right, we have SureMembers options. You can see I’ve already set up a member access group and I’ll show you how to do that in just a second. But for now, I’m just going to select member access group one, which I’ve already created. And I’ll click Publish.

Configuring Member Access Groups

Now let’s talk about these member access groups. I’m going to go over to SureMembers > Member Access Groups. And you can see here I have member access group one. I’m going to add a new one just to show you how easy it is. I’ll call this Workshop Access. And then I can select the access levels. You can have multiple access levels, but for now, I’ll just keep it simple and select member. You can also choose to expire access after a certain number of days if you want. And then I’ll click Save Changes.

Assigning Access Levels

Now back on the Workshop page, I’ll edit it again. And under SureMembers options, I can select Workshop Access as the member access group. And then I’ll click Update. Now if I go to view the page, you can see it prompts me to log in. And once I log in, I have access to the workshop content. It’s as simple as that to protect your content with SureMembers.

Setting Up SureCart

Now let’s move on to setting up SureCart for selling access to our content. I’m going to go to SureCart > Products and click Add New. I’ll call this Workshop Access and set the price. You can also add a description and upload an image if you want. Once you’re done, click Publish.

Integrating SureCart with SureMembers

Now we need to connect SureCart with SureMembers so that purchasing a product in SureCart will give the buyer access to the corresponding member access group in SureMembers. To do this, I’ll go to SureCart > Settings > Integrations and select SureMembers. Then I’ll enter my SureMembers API key and select the member access group that corresponds to the product I just created. Finally, I’ll click Save Changes.

Testing the Setup

Now let’s test everything to make sure it’s working correctly. I’ll go to the front end of the site and try to access the workshop page without being logged in. As expected, it prompts me to log in or purchase access. I’ll go ahead and log in with a test account I’ve created. After logging in, I’m redirected to the workshop page and I can see the content. Everything is working perfectly.


And there you have it. We’ve successfully set up a simple course platform using SureMembers and SureCart. This setup allows us to protect our content, sell access to it, and provide a seamless user experience for our members. Remember, you don’t always need a complex course platform. Sometimes, a simpler solution like this is all you need to get started.