Version 3.0.2 of Memberlite theme is out with handful of bug fixes and enhancements.
We are in the process of having the theme reviewed for the WordPress.org Theme Repository, but in the meantime we are still serving theme updates from our PMPro servers. We also posted about this update at PaidMembershipsPro.com. Future updates will be posted only at Memberlite.com, with maybe a link from the blog at PaidMembershipsPro.com.
An import file containing demo content is now available for sites using the Memberlite Theme. The demo content covers basic theme features as well as the shortcodes available in the Memberlite Shortcodes plugin.
Downloading the Demo Content
The demo content file (.xml) is available on the Memberlite Theme website. We’ll continue to update and enhance the demo file as more features are added to the theme or as requests for a demonstration of specific theme features are made.
Convert more site visitors into members with these three sample callout banners for Memberlite.
There are many creative ways to display an advertisement for membership throughout your site (once I get started coming up with layout ideas I find it hard to stop). I find that an ad at the bottom of your page is a great place to start—it’s a catch all when the reader has reached the end of your content looking for the next page to view.
Banner Sample 1: Membership Callout for Site Visitors and Members of Level ID 1
This demo is designed for a site with two levels: a free level and a support level for $10. The example checks to see if the page bottom banner has already been set; if it is not set, the visitor sees a callout and link to sign up OR upgrade to level ID 2. You can update the recipe with your own messaging and level IDs.
Banner Sample 2: Advertise Membership Signup for a Single Level + Login Link for Existing Members
This demo features a signup link for a single level as well as a link for existing members to login. The logic checks to see if there is a logged in user or if the page bottom banner has already been set; if neither is true, the visitor sees a callout with a link to sign up for level ID 1 or a link to log in. You can update the recipe with your own messaging and level IDs.
Sample 3: A Full 3-Column Levels Display for Site Visitors and Existing Level 1 or 2 Members
The final demo shows a full Membership Levels comparison for a site with three levels (or more). We use a model similar to this for our site here at Paid Memberships Pro. There’s a main heading to identify the section, the three levels compared side-by-side, and a link below for existing members to log in.
If you’re using the Memberlite Theme and have a company logo or inspiration image, here’s an easy way to generate your site’s primary, secondary, and action colors.
Pictaculous is a free image analyzer tool brought to you by MailChimp. It’s simple: upload an image (or your logo), and the tool identifies the dominant HEX colors. The tool will show you the image’s used color palette, as well as some suggested color schemes that introduce complementary colors.
Memberlite has several customization options for the color scheme. The main colors used on the site are defined as “Primary”, “Secondary”, and “Action”. Below are some guidelines for assigning your color scheme to these fields:
The “Primary” color is most widely used throughout the site: for headings, every page’s masthead background and the footer widget area background.
Select the logo or image’s most dominant and pleasing color.
Your “Secondary” color should complement the “Primary” color but be different enough to create contrast. This is the second most dominant color in your logo/image but should not be bold or attention grabbing (don’t select a color that detracts from the “Action” buttons/callouts).
Use a vibrant, bright color for your “Action” setting. This color is used for buttons and highlight areas—so it needs to drawn the eye’s attention and encourage clicks!
The color is used sparingly but packs a maximum effect when well selected.
Let me know what you think!
If you give Pictaculous a try, let me know in a comment below how it works for your site. You may not have a site logo, but if you have a photo or stock image that really speaks to your membership site’s message, give it a try in the image analyzer.
The Membership Account page is a commonly linked-to landing page for members – both as a redirect from other areas on your membership site or on log in. This page can be enhanced with more than just the default [pmpro_account] information to become a true Member Dashboard.
Below are a few Member Dashboard concepts based on the common membership site types we support here at Paid Memberships Pro.
Click on the tabs below to view screenshots of each dashboard type and a guide to set up the dashboard for your Membership site.
Save the upload the functions.php file to your server.
If you do not want to use a child theme, you can place the code recipe in a helper PMPro Customizations plugin. Just note that the recipe as-is will only work for a site using the Memberlite theme.
Now go make a cooler Member Dashboard!
The ideas in this post are a starting point to creating the BEST member dashboard that fits your membership site model. You can pull from all of the concepts or start with your own. If you have components of the dashboard that vary based on the member’s level, use the [membership] shortcode in Paid Memberships Pro to reveal specific sections to the member. There are many, many possibilities if you spend a bit of time considering the user experience of your membership site.
If you aren’t using the Memberlite theme, you can still make use of the proposed ideas — but you’ll need to work within the confines of your theme’s shortcode and layout options.
Easily add a front-end log in, log out, and password reset experience to your membership site by following the steps covered in this post. We’ll outline our recommended third party plugin for front-end login, as well as some “best practice” guidelines for placing these links on your site using your theme or Memberlite.
Our plugin allows the member account to be created in one step as part of checkout. But, returning members need to be able to easily access your login and password reset pages.
PMPro does not alter the main WordPress login functionality, so users will see the same WordPress-themed “Log In” page that you are probably familiar with. Use our recommendation below to add frontend login.
Note: Some themes include pages for a front-end log in experience. If this is the case, we recommend keeping that experience in place as it may be more trouble to unravel and put another method in place.
Theme My Login by Jeff Farthing creates a themed (frontend) login, password recovery, and user profile section. In addition, we recommend the plugin for login redirection settings and blocked “admin” access.
…or search for “Theme My Login” from the Plugins > Add New page in the WordPress admin.
Configuring Theme My Login
When you activate TML, the plugin will generate five pages: Login, Log Out, Lost Password, Reset Password, and Register. All of these pages except the “Register” page will be used in your membership site (we redirect all User Registration to the Membership Levels page for level selection and, hopefully, membership checkout).
There are no additional steps required at this point to make TML functional. You can certainly edit the generated pages to add additional styles, widgets, wording, etc. Just be sure you do not remove the [theme-my-login] shortcode from the page content.
Where to add your “Log In” links
Today’s web user has certain expectations about your site’s “Log In” links. Here are some best practices to consider:
The link is expected to be placed in the upper right corner of the page.
Consider placing a “Sign Up” (Join or Register) link in this same space as well.
The link should be present across all pages on your site.
Swap to a “Log Out” link once the member has logged in.
The “Log Out” link is often accompanied by a reminder of the logged in member’s display name that links to their membership account details or profile.
If your site is responsive, make sure that your “Log In” links are present in the smaller device views, either at the very top of the screen or in your mobile/responsive menu.
Memberlite does all of the above by default, excluding the “Mobile” view of your log in link. If you’re running Memberlite, I recommend using the TML plugin and adding the “Theme My Login” widget to the “Mobile Menu” widget area. The screenshot to the right shows how I have it configured for the Paid Memberships Pro website.
If your theme does not have a widget, menu area, or hook in place to add a log in feature in the upper right, open a topic on our members forum and we will help you find the best way to add this to your site.
We also include a “Log In” link in the default message that a visitor sees when trying to access members only content. Confirm that you have not removed this link by visiting the Memberships > Advanced Settings page in the WordPress admin.
Styling the Log In Page
TML is very lightly styled – the shortcode output on your generated Login and Password Reset pages will inherit your theme styling.
If you’re running Memberlite , here’s a little code to enhance the appearance of your Login/Lost Password/Reset Password pages. Set the “Page Template” to “Full Width” and replace the page content with the following:
I also checked the boxes to “Hide Page Title” and “Hide Breadcrumbs” in the Memberlite Settings box, then set the “Banner Description” to the following:
The Conditional “Log In” link
After activating TML, navigate to the Appearance > Menus area of your admin. Under the “Pages” section in the left column, you’ll see pages titled “Log In” and “Log Out”. Add these two pages to your menu. TML has background logic in place to only show the appropriate menu link based on the user.
Take this one step further and use the Nav Menus Add On for Paid Memberships Pro. This will allow you to use the same theme location to show a different menu of links based on the visitor/user/member status. We use TML in combination with the Nav Menus Add On on this site to link to our member support forums for Memberlite Support members using the “Member Menu” theme location of Memberlite.
Do More with Theme My Login
Theme My Login also has advanced logic for blocking the WordPress backend by “role”, as well as redirection on login based on “role”. You can read more about all the features of TML on their WordPress.org plugin repository listing.
This update prepares Memberlite for submission to the WordPress.org theme repository. One requirement for this is that some functionality needed to be moved into plugins. Most of the bundled shortcodes have been moved into the Memberlite Shortcodes plugin that we’ve added to the WordPress.org plugin repository. The memberlite_levels functionality has been merged into our Advanced Levels Shortcode addon. After upgrading to Memberlite 3.0, you will need to install these two plugins if you use any of the Memberlite shortcodes.Use the steps below to upgrade Memberlite and install the new required plugins.
As soon as the theme is accepted into the WordPress.org theme repository, we will push out a minor update to tell the theme to update through WordPress.org going forward.
Adhering to WordPress theme standards and best practices.
In preparation for the theme’s submission to the WordPress.org Themes Repository we’ve updated the code to fully adhere to WordPress’ standards and guidelines as outlined in the Theme Check plugin.
For this reason, all shortocdes have been extracted to a separate plugin: Memberlite Shortcodes. This is not only a requirement for themes in the WordPress repository, but also a critical consideration should a site using Memberlite decided to switch themes (all the shortcodes will still “work” regardless of your active theme).
Below are the step-by-step directions for upgrading to the new version and installing the companion Memberlite Shortcodes plugin. Before beginning this process we recommend taking a backup of your WordPress site.
If you are using a caching plugin, delete and rebuild your cache.
Custom Logo and Header Images
One known display update you may see after upgrading relates to your site logo and header image. This portion of Memberlite has been overhauled to use the new WordPress 4.5 Custom Logo feature. You can now specify a Custom Logo for your theme as well as a custom header background image.
We have put code in place to load your previous header image as the custom logo. You may still want to follow the steps below to update your custom logo or to add a new header image (background) to your site.
To set your custom logo:
Navigate to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity
Upload your Custom Logo (recommended size is 360px x 100px; smaller or larger images are acceptable. Smaller images will be displayed “icon style” to the left of your Site Name and Description)
Crop if necessary
Toggle the display of your “Site Title & Tagline” if desired.
Save changes by clicking the “Save & Publish” button.
You can also modify the header area’s column ratio under Appearance > Customize > Memberlite Options to make room for more landscape (i.e. “wider”) logo designs.
To set your header image:
Navigate to Appearance > Customize > Header Image
Upload your Header Image (recommended size is 1440px x 110px; smaller images will be tiled)
Crop if necessary
Save changes by clicking the “Save & Publish” button.
Please bear with us as we update the theme documentation for version 3.0. We've been holding back on updating specific guides so existing theme users could still get support.
We’ve added a few new features and worked through some hiccups.
v18.104.22.168 allows you to set a separate banner image and featured image. We’ve also added to ability to assign Custom Sidebars by CPT. Read on for descriptions of these two new additions as well as a full list of updates.
Banner Images and Featured Images
In practice, I found the featured image / banner image functionality to be a bit clunky.
v22.214.171.124 now allows for a unique Banner Image (separate from the Featured Image). This feature is an extension of the Multiple Post Thumbnails plugin by Chris Scott/voceplatforms. You must install and active this plugin in order to use this feature of Memberlite.
The specified Banner Image will be displayed in the post/page masthead. You can (and should) still specify a featured image, as this will be displayed in the meta og:image tag for social sharing purposes. You can also display the banner and featured images in the archive/search view. This is a setting in Customizer > Memberlite Options.
Without the Multiple Post Thumbnails plugin activated, you can still display a banner image. Just set the featured image for your post, then check the box to “Show as banner image”.
On the Blog/Archive/Search pages, you can still use the Customizer > Memberlite Options setting to show banner images, thumbnails, both, or none. The appearance is based on that setting as well as the images assigned to the post – it priorities the banner image first as banner, then falls back to the featured image if that is not set. Click the screenshot to the right to enlarge.
Assign Custom Sidebars by CPT
If you are using a third party plugin that adds a new CPT, you can now create and assign a unique custom sidebar at the CPT level. Just go to Appearance > Custom Sidebars to view available CPTs and assign the custom sidebar, either from the included widget areas or a new custom widget area you created.
For example, the Events Manager plugin creates CPTs for Events and Locations. You can assign a custom sidebar and set unique widgets for these custom sidebar areas. Previously, CPTs would default to using the “Posts” widget area.
In most cases, you are setting a global sidebar override at the CPT level, but can still change the custom sidebar at the single CPT level. For example, if you are using bbPress, you can assign a Custom Sidebar to all “Forum” CPTs, then change a single forum’s custom sidebar on the “Edit Forum page”. This may be true of other CPTs, it just depends on how your plugin displays the CPT publicly.
The full list of updates is below.
BUG: Updated sidebar registration order so default widgets of new WP install are placed in the Posts custom sidebar.
BUG: Fixed dropdown submenu menus at the third level/depth.
BUG: Fixed case where the member menu wouldn’t appear for a logged in member.
BUG: Fixed bug where the mobile menu icon would sometimes not show on mobile or ipad layouts.
BUG: Fixed bug where the wrong banner image would sometimes show on blog and archive pages.
BUG: Better handling of custom sidebars with quotes and other special characters in them.
ENHANCEMENT: Now falling back to primary menu (if set) if mobile menu widgets are not defined.
ENHANCEMENT: Now using the main navigation bar color for dropdown menus.
ENHANCEMENT: Added support for assigning custom sidebars to detected CPTs.
ENHANCEMENT: Added “lock” icon to membership-restricted post titles (requires PMPro v126.96.36.199 or higher)