If you have just installed the demo content for the Business Networking starter site, congratulations! Your membership site is almost ready to go. Follow the steps below to customize your site…
Once you have run the demo setup wizard, you can use the WordPress Customizer to add your logo to the site and update the site’s color palette to match your branding.
Update logo: From your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance >> Customizer >> Site Identity to upload your logo.
Update site’s color palette: Go to Appearance >> Customizer >> Theme Options >> Theme Colors – here you can set the site’s colors to match your brand.
Update banner image: Go to Appearance >> Customizer >> Header Image. You’ll want to use an image that is at least 1200px wide.
Setup membership features
Create membership levels: From your WordPress dashboard, go to Businesses >> Membership Levels – update at least one membership level to include cost. You can then use this level to test your membership form.
Connect to Paypal: Go to Chamber Dashboard >> CD Settings >> Payments – to enter the email address for your Paypal account.
Activate members-only feature – Go to Chamber Dashboard >> CD Settings >> Payments >> Membership Form Fields.
- Activate the member-only feature. (more info on members-only setup)
- Set the Member Account page to ‘Member Account’.
- Add logout link to the secondary menu.
- Save your changes.
Test new member payments
- From the front-end of the site, click on Join >> Membership Form & complete the membership form with test data.
- Be sure to use a membership level with a cost assigned.
- Go to your site’s dashboard >> Businesses, open and then publish your test Business.
- Go to >> People, open and publish your test People record.
- Go to >> Invoices, check to see that an invoice was created & connected to Business.
- Log out of your site as the admin user. Click on the member account page and login as your test user.
- The test user should see their Business name.
- If payment was completed, the renewal date should show.
- Click on ‘show payments’ to see test invoice.
Test renewals form
- From the front-end of the site, test the renewals form.
Publish People Record
When you completed the membership form, a Business listing was automatically added to your Directory. As well, a new People record and WordPress user were created.
- People records can be displayed on ‘Meet-the-Board‘ page on the front-end of your site.
- From your dashboard, go to >> People and select the ‘board’ category for your test People record. Update the record to save your changes.
- Add a featured image & email address if desired.
- From the front-end of the site, visit the ‘Meet-the-Board’ page – your new People record should be displayed.
Test members-only content
With the members-only feature activated, you can restrict access to selected pages based on membership level.
- From your site’s dashboard, go to Pages >> Member 2 Member Deals.
- At the bottom of the page, select all available membership levels – this way all members can access when logged in, but logged out visitors will not have access.
- Update the page to save your changes.
- Log out as the admin user.
- From the front-end of your site, click on Member Deals
- Before you login: You should see login form.
- Login as test user: Test user should be able to see the M2M deals page.
If you want to display maps on individual Business and Event listings, you will need to setup a Google Maps API keys BEFORE uploading Business listings.
- Follow these step-by-step instructions to setup your Google Maps API keys.
- Go to Chamber Dashboard >> CD Settings >> Directory >> Other Settings to enter your keys.
Add your own Business listings
The Business Directory plugin includes a free option to import Business listings. To upload your organization’s data:
- Go to Chamber Dashboard >> CD Settings >> Import.
- Download a sample CSV file.
- Delete the sample data and enter your organization’s data – Do not add columns or change column names – Re-save as a CSV file.
- Go to Businesses to delete the existing demo Business listings or use the WordPress bulk edit feature to switch all demo Businesses to draft status.
- Go to Chamber Dashboard >> CD Settings >> Import to import your data.
Home Page Settings
Home Page Edits
To update the home page:
- Go to Pages >> home.
Welcome New Members
- The 3 members who joined most recently will be automatically displayed here.
If the Upcoming Events section is not showing on your home page:
- Go to Appearance >> Widgets >> Home Page Featured Events and re-save the Event List.
Connect to Mailchimp
There are a variety of ways to encourage new members to join your Mailchimp mailing list.
First point of contact: One option is to install the Mailchimp plugin so your member can join right when they register on your membership form.
Add sign-up form in footer or sidebar of site: Another option is to add a sign up form to your site. Create a new Formidable form, connect the form to your Mailchimp account, add your new form to a sidebar or the footer of your site. (Appearance >> Widgets)
General WordPress Settings
- Time Zone: Settings >> General
- Comments on/off: Settings >> Discussion
- Set Pretty Permalinks: Settings >> Permalinks
Set a custom home page for WordPress
WordPress defaults to set your blog page as your home page.
To select a static page to be your home page instead:
- Create a new page that will be your home page.
- Go to Appearance > Customize > Home Page Settings.
- Set your home page to display a Static Page.
- From the drop-down, select the new home page you just created.
- The content from this page will now be displayed as the home page of your site instead of your blog posts.
Before going live with your website, here is a quick list of things to double check:
- Update content: You’ll want to update the content of every page to best represent your organization. Demo content can be set to draft or deleted.
- No misdirected links: Check EVERY link on your site to make sure they open the correct content.
- Complete a test payment: Be sure to test membership form to make sure payments are setup correctly. More info on testing online payments.
- Member Benefits: Update membership levels, pricing and benefits to encourage new members to join your organization.
- Add upcoming events to your event calendar to bring additional traffic to your site.
- Share member news: reach out to your members and post member news on your site, this will also bring in additional traffic.
- Check Contact Us form to be sure new entries will be sent to the right person. (Formidable Forms >> Contact Us >> settings >> actions & notifications)
- Update social media links: Check to be sure you have update the social media links in the header of your site. (Customizer >> Theme Options >> Social Links)
Our best advice before releasing your site is to ask a friend or colleague to run thru the site with a fresh pair of eyes and give you their feedback.
More questions? Login to your My Account page anytime. Our support team will get right back to you.