How To Make Your Membership Site Look Awesome (Part 9/12)

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How can you make your membership site look professional and customize it for your brand. In this tutorial I show you how to make your membership site look awesome.

Hey! Welcome back to How to create a membership site with zero coding. This is part number 9 – How to make your membership site look awesome. We are going to take this plain, this very boring membership site, we’re going to beautify it, fix it up a little bit and make it look something more like this one at On Property Plus where it’s just a little bit more professional.

In order to do this tutorial, I’m assuming you’ve first created a website that’s based off WordPress. So, first, I wanted to give you an introduction into themes. Now, when it comes to WordPress and when it comes to our membership site, the way this membership site looks, you know, it’s got this side bar here. It’s got a grey background, it’s white, it’s got a certain font that it’s using.

The links are all black with an underline. Compared to this one that has the black header and it’s organised like this showing a featured image of each of the properties. These are called Themes – the different looks of these websites are called Themes. And now, there are hundreds of thousands of different themes.

Basically, you can change the look of your website by changing the theme of your website. I’ll walk through how to do this step-by-step in a minute, but basically, you go to Appearance > Themes and you can have a whole bunch of themes here and we can add new ones.

If I go ahead and click on Activate Theme, then my membership site instantly changes from this old theme to this one. You can see it looks completely different, but you’ll notice that the content is still the same. So, the content will stay the same on your site, but the theme will change the overall look of your website.

That’s an introduction to themes. What we’re going to be doing in this lesson is I’ll be talking about how you can find themes, how you can add themes and then we’ll be going into detail on premium themes that I recommend and how you can customise that to give your website a great look. So, I figure we better start with the free option – how to find and install free themes, because this is a good place to get your feet wet.

It’s a good place to understand how themes work. It’s a good way to understand that no theme is ever going to be perfect and exactly the way you want it. So, you may as well find that out with free themes where it’s not costing you anything than paying $100 for a theme and finding out that it doesn’t actually look exactly right for your website. I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on themes that I just never use because I couldn’t customise them properly and I learned the hard way.

So, let’s learn how to find and install free themes. The easiest way to do this is to actually find them within WordPress. So, first, you need to login. So you go to yourmembershipsite.com. In this case, it’s my.melee.co/wp-admin. After you login, you’ll be brought to the dashboard and we want to go to Appreance > Themes. Once we’re in Appearance > Themes, we’ll see this Add New Theme button up the top. So, let’s go ahead and click Add New. And this will now show us a bunch of themes that are in the WordPress repository. They’re just free themes that you can go ahead and download.

You can look at featured ones or popular ones or the latest ones. Or, you can actually go and filter. Let’s say I want a light theme that has one column, full width template. And so, I can go ahead and apply these filters. You can also search for themes if you want to search for white or pink or real estate themes or whatever it may be.

Basically, it will bring up a whole bunch of themes and you can look through these and say, “Oh, yes! That one is very nice!” or you can say, “No, maybe not.” Let’s just go with this one for now. I could pick any, but just click on the Install button and then, go ahead and Live Preview your theme. It will show you what the theme looks like on your particular website. There’s likely going to be some customisation that you need to do. For example, we’ll to go ahead and put in our menu at the top. So, we can see our menu up there.

Actually, let’s make it the Main Menu, not the Top Menu. And so, we can see the changes live as we do them. And you might want to go in and change the logo and stuff. Let’s say I’m pretty happy with this theme, I can go ahead and click Save & Activate and that is now saved. And this is now my website. So, what used to look like this and then looked like this now looks like this.

So, that’s the easiest way, you can find them within WordPress. However, this is going to be limited as there’s a lot of themes that are available online but not within that WordPress repository. The better way to do it is to actually google it. And the great thing about google is we can get super specific. So, let’s say I want to find – let’s start with free WordPress theme and let’s go purple. What we’re likely to get is some purple free WordPress themes. 30-plus purple WordPress themes. 70-plus free feminine WordPress themes 2015. Okay, let’s decide I want a feminine WordPress theme. I probably don’t, but let’s say I do.

You can scroll through these and you can have a look at them and you can say, “Yes. This one’s awesome.” or “No. It’s not.” Let’s say I love this “Sugar and Spice” one. I can go ahead and click on the details. I can go ahead and download it. So, that will now download. If I wanted to now upload this theme, it’s really easy to do.

We go back into our Appearance > Theme section. Again, we click on the Add New button. But this time, rather than searching through the repository here, up the top we’re going to click on the Upload Theme button. We then choose our file, so I’m going to choose the Sugar and Spice, click Open. We’re then going to click Install Now. That will now upload and install. We can then Live Preview it if we want. We can make some adjustments to our live preview. For example, let’s change the menu. I really want my website to look like that, so I’m going to go and activate it. Oh, beautiful, darling!

So, now, my website looks like this. Don’t you absolutely love it? Truthfully, I hate it. I’m more like – I like the clean sort of stuff, none of this flashy-girly sort of things. But each to their own, okay? You might love this theme and that’s totally okay. So, go ahead, play around. Search for themes, find as many themes as you want. Install them, customise them. Have some fun and see if you can find one that you really like to launch your membership site on.

Here’s just a couple of search terms to get you started. So, always try and include “Free WordPress themes” in your search. There’s a lot of great free themes out there. And truthfully, you can build your entire membership site on a free theme and it can still look absolutely great. However, you may want to purchase a paid theme. And why would you actually pay for paid themes? Well, they can often delivery faster codes, so your website loads faster – which is very important.

They provide you more support. It looks more professional. The website’s almost guaranteed to be responsive, which means it’s going to look great on a mobile phone or a tablet or a website. And also, a lot of the paid themes have a lot more in-built customisations that you can do without knowing any code.

Now, if you’re looking for a great paid theme, then the one that I recommend and the one that I use on most of my websites is called “Themify”, which you can get if you go to pelt.co/theme – that’s my affiliate link for Themify. They’ve got a whole bunch of themes that you can go through and you can look through and you can demo.

My favorite one is the “Ultra” one, because it’s just so customisable. Here’s a demo of Ultra – you can do all cool things like these fade-ins and things like that. You can have your header just hover above things and they’ve just got so many options, which I absolutely love. Here’s another example of their “Landing” theme. Which, again, I really like and they’ve got a whole bunch of landing pages – you can build with it. They’ve got so many different themes.

The cost for that, you can purchase a single theme for $49 or you can actually join their “Theme Club” and pay $79 and get access to all of their themes. Like, every single one for just $79. So, that’s for a year and that’s the option that I go with and that I recommend to everyone as well. I built my website, onproperty.com.au, I built that on the Ultra theme. My membership site, On Property Plus, is also build on the Ultra theme. So, I highly recommend Themify. Again, my affiliate link for that is pelt.co/theme if you want to go ahead and check it out.

That completes this tutorial – How to make your membership site look awesome. It may take you some time to go through a bunch of bad themes before you find the theme that you love, but stick with it because I’m sure you’re going to find something that your members absolutely love.

Before you go, I do want to impart some Mr. Miyagi wisdom on you, and that is “Function before form”. When we’re looking at themes, when we’re installing themes and trying to create the look of our site, it’s really easy to get fixated on tiny little changes.

This image needs to be on the left, instead of the right. The blue’s not quite the right color. We can get so fixated on trying to make these little tweaks to our site. But just remember that your members care more about getting to the information and the tools and the things that they’re paying for than they care about whether or not you’re using the exact shade of blue that you want to use. So, when creating your membership site, when choosing a theme, remember – function before form. Get a membership site and a theme that works well and then, worry about whether or not it looks perfect down the track.

The golden rule that I try abide by is to give my customers easy access to all the stuff they’re paying for and to make them not have to guess where that stuff is hiding. So, really clear menus that they can access all the content. A home page that’s a portal where they can access to everything. Just make it really simple for them.

So, yeah, that completes this tutorial on how to make your membership site look awesome. In the next lesson, I’m going to show you how to create a sales page for your membership site so you can convince people to sign up. You can start collecting payments and making some money from your membership site. If you want to see all the course materials, or if you have questions that you need answered, simply head over to pelt.co/ms, which stands for “membership site”. Or, if you want to hire our services and get us to help you setup your membership site, go to pelt.co/services to see what we have to offer.

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