The Chargify WordPress integration allows you to grant members only access to your customers. This documentation assumes that you already have a WordPress website.
1. Download the plugin
Visit https://wordpress.org/plugins/chargify/ and download the plugin. You can also install it from your WordPress admin section by going to Plugins > Add New.
2. Connect or create your Chargify account
b. Create a “site” in Chargify. This is a container for all of your settings. Think of it as a business in a box. Chargify will walk you through this. If you need more info, check out the sites documentation.
c. Create a product family and then create your product(s).
3. Add Return Parameters and Return URL *IMPORTANT*
This step allows your customer to be logged in to your website after they subscribe to your product. Go to Setup > Public Signup Pages > Edit as shown below. Copy/paste the code below in the Return Parameters section and put only your domain in the Return URL field. Repeat this step for each product you have.
Note: Write only your domain in the Return URL field (even if this is not your exact return url). For this website, we used http://chargifywp.com. Please note, the actual return url that your members will get sent to will be created in a later step.
4. Get your Chargify API Key and Subdomain
In the Chargify app, go to Home > API Access > Enable API Access (if necessary) > Copy your API Key.
5. Put your Chargify API Key and Subdomain in the plugin
Open the Chargify WordPress plugin inside your WordPress Admin Section. Under “Chargify Account” – paste your API key in both “API Key” and “API Test Key”. Fill in your subdomain in both “Domain” and “Test Domain” as well. If you need help finding your subdomain, view the image in step 4.
Your Chargify account and WordPress site should now be connected. You can verify by clicking the products tab inside the plugin. If you see your products there, it’s working. Next, we will enable your products.
6. Enable your products in the plugin
Click the Products tab. Enable the products you want and save by clicking “Update options”.
7. Enable the order form
Choose a page to display the order page (this is the page where your customers enter their WordPress info before they continue to the Chargify checkout page). Make sure to have your Signup Type be set to Default.
8. Create your first private members-only page
Write the chargify-protected short codes shown in the image below and place your members only content between them. Then, edit your Chargify access settings. Checkmark the products that your customer must be subscribed to in order to access the page. Then, choose how soon they can view the page after they subscribe to your product. (You will most likely provide immediate access, but you can set it by day as well).
Tip: If you need to grant access to multiple plans, and you have different protected content based on the customer’s membership level, the return_url (the page your users arrive at after signing up – you will make this in step 10) must grant access to all plans. The best way to pull this off is to have a thank you page on your website. This thank you page should be a content protected page with all plans checked in the “Chargify Access Settings” (see image above).
If your members stumble on a page with private content, they will see the “please login or subscribe to see this content” message. You can add your own text to the page as well.
The “subscribe” link will send them to the sign up form where they can pick their plan. If you’d like to see the user experience, log out of WordPress (or open a different browser) and go here: http://chargifywp.com/members-only
9. Create a link for your sign up button
Now that we’ve done all of the key backend work, it’s time to put everything into action.
Somewhere on your website – most likely a pricing page – you will have a link where your customers choose which product they want to subscribe to. Let’s create the link for that button. There are 3 parts – the url, return_url parameter, and the plan parameter.
- The url should be www.domain.com/pagename (this page name will match the page you chose in step 7 – the “order form” tab in the plugin). For this demo, we used
- The return_url parameter will be whichever page you want to redirect your customer to after they submit their payment on the Chargify payment page. For this demo, we used
- The plan parameter will be the exact name of your plan. This is not case sensitive. (note: this plugin does not currently support plan variables with special characters. If you are experiencing trouble, rename your Chargify product with a name that does not contain a special character.) For this demo, we used
The final link…
10: Go live
Upgrade your Chargify account to live mode (Home > Billing & Plans). Then, switch the plugin to live mode.
Congrats! You have now connected Chargify and WordPress so you can provide instant access to your customers.
11. (Optional but Highly Recommended) – Enabling Chargify’s Billing Portal
One of the hardest things about running a subscription business, is allowing your customers to upgrade/downgrade, cancel, and most importantly update their credit card info. Luckily, Chargify makes this a breeze. Let’s enable the billing portal in Chargify.
Inside Chargify, go to Settings > Billing Portal > Enable. Select which functionality you want. (note: if you would like to see the billing portal for yourself, create a test account though this demo site and use your email. We have selected “bypass email verification for logins” so you can login easily.) If you’d like to see a video demo of it, go here.
The billing portal will look like this…
If your customers can cancel, that page will look like this…
If you prefer to have your customers contact you to cancel, you can uncheck the self-cancelation feature and give them some type of contact information. Then, you can cancel them manually from within your Chargify account.
You can also allow your customers to cancel from within their WordPress account. To enable this, just remove the dashes in the chargify.php code inside your WP Admin account.
Things to Know
When you are testing the plugin between your WP-Admin account and your test end user account, be aware that you need to be logged out of your WP-Admin completely in order to successfully log in to your test end user account. If you are experiencing issues, try closing all WP related browser tabs and try to create a test user account again. This will most likely never affect your customers because they will only have 1 WP login name.
This plugin fully supports sign ups and cancelations. In the rare event that your user wants to reactivate their account (a customer who signs up, cancels, then wants to sign up again), you will need to reactivate them from inside the Chargify app. This process is very simple and takes about 10 seconds.
If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.