Help > Forum > Paid Access > Requiring users to pay to access the forum

Requiring users to pay to access the forum

With Paid Access, you can easily charge users a one-time or recurring membership fee to access your forum.

Please follow the directions mentioned below to enable paid access on your entire forum:

  1. Log in to your Website Toolbox account.
  2. Click the Settings link.
  3. In the Settings menu, select the Paid Access link.
  4. Provide your PayPal Email Address.

    Note: Make sure that it is a Verified PayPal Business Account. This is the PayPal account email address where funds should be sent when a user makes a payment. If you do not have a Verified PayPal account, you will need to create a new PayPal account and connect it to a bank account. Because PayPal verifies that you have connected an active bank account, it may take up to 48 hours to become verified.

  5. Provide the Cost to access the forum.
  6. Provide the Message.

    Note: This message is shown to users when they try to view a page that requires paid access.

  7. Set the Permission option to Entire Forum.
  8. Save the changes.

Now when a user tries to view your forum, they will be shown a page with the Paid Access Message you specified in your settings along with a PayPal payment button. Once the user makes the payment, they will automatically have the Paid user group added to their Additional User Groups and will be given access to the forum. If a user cancels their subscription through PayPal or one of their subsription payments fails, they will automatically be removed from the Paid user group and access to the forum will be restricted until the payment is successfully processed.

To give additional permissions to paid users only, restrict permissions for the General user group and give permissions to the Paid user group.

Making your users pay to view your forum will make your forum private. This means that search engines will not be able to index your forum content, so you'll receive significantly less visitors from search engines. Therefore, if your goal is to grow your forum, making users pay for access to a specific category may be a better approach.

You'll need to become a trusted authority and provide a lot of value to uses to encourage them to pay for your forum content. Therefore, paid access on the whole forum should only be setup after you already have an established forum with a few members and some activity, or once you are already a trusted authority known to provide great value. It may be easier to have a lot of great public content throughout your forum and then encourage users to pay for premium content in specific categories. If they get a lot of value from the content in the public areas of your forum, they'll want to pay a fee to access premium content categories with even more valuable content.

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