*This post is part 1 in a series of posts that show you how to set up a WordPress membership site using Digital Access Pass (DAP) and OptimizePress.
Hosting and WordPress
If you haven’t yet purchased a domain and hosting for your site, this is the first thing you’ll need to do. If you already have hosting, feel free to skip this section.
The hosting provider I personally use is Bluehost. Specifically, I have the shared hosting “plus” plan.
I’ve been with Bluehost since my first day online and I’m quite happy with their service. Many of my clients are also longtime Bluehost customers, some of whom run very large and resource-intensive sites.
Because I have so much positive experience with Bluehost, I feel confident recommending Bluehost to my readers. That’s you! 🙂
Crucially, the shared hosting plan you get through Bluehost doesn’t cripple you with outrageous usage/storage limits like many of the other hosting companies. Speaking of which…
*Potty Mouth Warning: stay away from GoDaddy and HostGator. Why? Because they seriously suck big fat buffalo balls.
I’ve had so many problems with GoDaddy and HostGator over the years it’s not even funny. I didn’t have these problems personally, thank the sweet baby Jesus, but with dozens upon dozens of client websites. So just take my word for it and steer clear of these two “hosting companies”.
And on that note, be careful not to sign up for so-called “WordPress Hosting” which relies on aggressive caching techniques to improve site speed but which causes many kinds of conflicts with membership plugins like DAP.
This includes WPEngine, Pagely, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting solution, and others. Stick with shared hosting (what I currently use) or managed VPS hosting.
Bluehost gives you something called a cPanel, which is a central control panel to manage your sites and other ‘stuff’ related to your sites like email, SSL certificates, WordPress installations, etc. The cPanel looks like this.
(click the image below for full size and press the escape key on your keyboard to exit the full size image):[images style=”1″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vicdorfman.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F02%2Fcpanel-small.jpg” large_image=”http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vicdorfman.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F02%2Fcpanel-big.jpg” width=”469″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]
Relevant to your needs, you can install WordPress in literally a few clicks from within Bluehost’s cPanel. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to proceed with the rest of the tutorial.
If you’d like to use my affiliate link for Bluehost here it is:
Note: if you sign up for Bluehost through this link, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you. The commission amount is $65.
Please don’t feel any obligation whatsoever to use my link! It won’t cost you anything extra if you do. But if you don’t like me, if my face displeases you, or if you’re in a bad mood and need to take it out on a complete stranger, you can simply go directly to www.bluehost.com and I’ll get bupkis.
Then you can spread out in your chair, smile a devious smile, and mutter with great catharsis at the screen “take that! You off-the-cuff bloggin’, membership-site-settin’-up, Southeast-Asia-Livin’-In, unabashedly-womanizin’, degenerately-gamblin’ bastard!”
Just kidding about those last two. Maybe.
Once you’ve acquired hosting, purchased a domain name, and installed WordPress on your domain you’re ready to proceed to the next step!
Downloading and Installing DAP
To purchase DAP, go here.
You may be looking at the pricing page now and wondering “which version of DAP should I buy…?”
Well, I personally think the monthly plan is the best option because you get access to DAP itself plus all of their other plugins, which you’d otherwise have to buy separately. And if you find in a few months that your membership site isn’t working out as planned, you can simply cancel your subscription without having spent too much money.
*Note that the DAP team will do the initial installation of DAP for you after you buy the plugin. So make sure to take advantage of this free service!
Even though DAP will do some of this first part for you, I’m going to cover it all for the sake of completeness. Feel free to skip this section if you’ve already done this.
1. Log into your DAP account at www.digitalaccesspass.com/dap. (links in this tutorial open in new tabs).
You will have already received a welcome email from DAP after purchase that contains your login credentials to the members area.
2. Go to ‘My Downloads‘ and click the ‘DAP License Key’ link.
Copy your key into a blank text file.
3. Click on ‘DAP Downloads‘.
Download the following items to your computer:
– Digital Access Pass (4.7.2)
– DAP LiveLinks v 1.1.12
– DAP Easy Installer
4. Now click on the link that says “DAP Shopping Cart”.
You’ll be taken to another page.
Scroll to the bottom of this page and locate the free signup form.
5. Fill out the form and hit submit.
6. You’ll now receive an email from WickedCoolPlugins (which is a part of DAP) with login credentials to wickedcoolplugins.com.
7. Open the email and follow the link inside to the WickedCoolPlugins login page.
8. You’ll see a license key here as well (a different one than before).
Copy and paste this key to your text file.
9. Download the following items:
– WickedCoolPlugins Licensing Plugin
– DAP Shopping Cart
10. Log into your WordPress site and go to Plugins => Add new.
– Upload the DAP Easy Installer plugin file and then click Activate Plugin.
– Next, upload the WCP Licensing plugin and activate it too.
– Finally, upload the DAP Shopping Cart plugin but don’t activate it yet.
11. In your WordPress dashboard click on Settings => DAP Easy Installer
You’ll be prompted to enter in your DAP license key now (the first license key you copied to your text file).
Paste it into the license key field.
You’ll now be taken to the DAP Easy Installer settings page.
12. Ideally you want to see all green lights on this page.
If all lights are green, proceed to the next step.
If you have any red lights the DAP Easy Installer will actually tell you what you need to do to make them green.
Usually this means simply contacting your hosting company via Live Chat and asking them to make the changes indicated.
13. Once you’ve made sure all lights are green, follow the instructions in the easy installer to upload the DAP file (dap4.7.2.zip) then upload the LiveLinks file (DAP_Live_Links_v18.104.22.168).
Now click on ‘activate’ which will take you to the plugins screen.
Find the LiveLilnks plugin and click activate.
14. Important step: in your WordPress dashboard go to Settings => Permalinks. Now simply scroll down and click ‘save’. You don’t actually have to change any of the settings, you just have to click save on this screen after installing DAP.
If you don’t do this step you’ll have content protection issues.
15. Now return to the DAP Easy Installer settings (Settings => DAP Easy Installer) and scroll to the very bottom of the screen to step 4.
Follow the instructions exactly as written to set up the DAP CRON job.
16. Now navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on Digital Access Pass.
Go to Settings => Config and look towards the top of the page for the field that says License Key. Paste the first license key you copied to your text file into this field and save the settings.
19. Now click on DAP => Home. You should see an earnings summary screen that looks something like this:
We’ll come back to configuring DAP and setting up products later.
For now let’s move on to setting up OptimizePress.
Click here to proceed to Part 2 – Setting Up OptimizePress (coming soon).