Customer Portal Using WordPress Theme

The Cart66 secure customer portal has gotten an update! The sign in page is now skinned with your WordPress theme. This makes for a really nice, seamless experience for selling access to content on your WordPress site.

What Is The Customer Portal?

Cart66 comes with a suite of secure, connected services to make ecommerce easy. Your customer’s order history, saved shipping addresses, and saved billing information are all locked down and securely stored on your slice of the PCI compliant Cart66 cloud server. So, if your WordPress site is ever hacked, none of the sensitive customer data is exposed to the hackers.

If you sell subscriptions, your customers can access the secure customer portal to update the credit card used to pay the monthly subscription. Even if you don’t sell anything with a recurring payment, you can offer to let your customers store their billing information for faster checkouts in the future. If your customer chooses to save their billing information, the next time they buy something from your website they can just choose to use the card already on file rather than having to enter all the credit card information again.

Selling Access To Your Content

If you are selling access to content on your WordPress site, you can configure your sign in page to redirect your customers to any page of your WordPress site. The page your customers see after signing in is called the member home page. For example, if you are selling access to premium content on your blog, you may want your blog to be the member home page. That way, immediately after logging in to your site, your customers will be presented with access to the premium blog posts they are paying to see.

You can sell access to any page, post, or even custom post type on your WordPress site. So, feel free to be creative with how you configure your member home page. With the sign in page for the secure customer portal being skinned with your WordPress theme, you customers will have a completely seamless sign in experience.

Example Selling Access To Premium Posts

Suppose you wanted to sell access to premium content on your blog about traveling. You have some posts that are available for free and other posts you want to sell access to. Here is what your blog might look like.

showing free posts

The posts that are available before you sign in are just the free posts.  We’ve got a sign in link over in the right sidebar. To see the premium content, your readers will need to sign in to their account and have an active membership to your site.

secure sign in page

While you host your entire WordPress site, the sign in page is hosted securely on your slice of the Cart66 PCI compliant secure cloud. The sign in page looks exactly like the rest of your WordPress site because it is skinned with your WordPress theme – just like your secure hosted checkout page is.

After successfully signing in, your readers can be sent directly back to your WordPress site to read the posts they have paid to see. As you can see in the next screen, in addition to the free posts, the premium posts are now available. Your customer is also welcomed by name in the right side bar une My Account.

showing premium posts

WordPress Settings

Let’s take a quick look at the settings in WordPress that make all this happen. There are just a few quick things to note.

WordPress Post Categories

We’ve set up two post categories; free and premium. You can have as many different categories as you want to organize your content. You can require any of your subscriptions to view whichever post categories you want. In this example, however, we’re keeping things simple and we just have two categories.

WordPress post categories

Note: I just renamed the “uncategorized” post category to “free” so if I don’t assign the post to a category it is automatically marked as free.

Next, specify which memberships (subscriptions) your customer needs to have to view each of your post categories. In our example, we just have to categories. We won’t require any memberships to see the free content. To see the premium content, you will need either a basic or a gold membership.

restricting access to certain post categories

Just click the memberships that are required to view the blog post categories for your site. If you select more than one category then the customer only needs to have one of the selected memberships. In other words, if a customer is currently subscribed to any one of the checked memberships then he can see the posts in that category.

The Member Home Page

The member home page is the page where your customers will be sent after successfully signing in. Usually, you want this to be a page on your WordPress site if you are selling access to premium content. Since we are selling access to premium blog posts, let’s set the member home page to be our blog.

setting the member home page

Now, after signing in, the customer will be redirected back to the blog on our WordPress site and the premium posts will not be available. The customer will also be greeted by name in the sidebar.

Seamless Experience

By having the sign in page of the customer portal skinned with your WordPress theme, the entire round trip is a seamless experience:

  1. Visiting your site before signing in
  2. Signing in
  3. Getting access to the premium content after successfully signing in