Last weekend I spent some time really digging in and learning the WishList Membership Plugin for WordPress.  Don’t be fooled (like I was) by the name “Membership”… It doesn’t mean you have to use the plugin for a membership based program, product or website…. but you can.

We talked about the plugin on the Ask About WordPress for Artists call in June. (If you didn’t get your free mp3 replay of the call – head to www.AskAboutWordPressForArtists.com)  Many artists in art licensing choose to have password protected sections of their websites that they allow manufacturers to see but might not want the entire worldwide web looking at.  (Wonder why?  Read the blog post: Four Reasons to Consider a Password Protected Portfolio on Your Art Licensing Website)

I’ve been redesigning my art website, TaraReedDesigns.com, over the past few months with the help of Kim Beasley, from the Ask About WordPress for Artists call.  We installed the WishList plugin to handle the password protected section of the website.  As I got to really dig in and see how it works, I become more and more of a fan.

So here the Top Five Things I Love About the WishList Plugin

  1. Control.  I have decided that all Members (manufacturers) will be added by hand, by me.  Since I want to make sure I have control to who is accessing my portfolio, I have created an email form on my website that requires not only the person wishing access to give me their name and email, but also their company and company website, so I can confirm that they do license art.
  2. Visibility. I can see who has logged in and when.  How many times they have logged in.  This will let me know if I should be picking up the phone to follow-up – “I see you’ve been looking at art in my online portfolio, did you find what you were looking for?  Is there anything I can help you with?” etc.
  3. Automation. Before, if a manufacturer lost their password, they had to email me.  I had to look it up and email them back.  If I was out of the office, we were both out of luck.  With WishList, they can click on  “Forgot your password?” and instantly get an email with a link to reset it.  Any time of the day or night!  There are automated emails, I can send an email broadcast to all manufacturers who have access to my portfolio and more.
  4. Customization. When I sign up a new manufacturer, an email automatically goes out with their registration information.  I can leave it in the generic format that they have it set, or customize it to meet my needs. (Of course, I customized the message – that’s what good marketing and customer service is about!)  Ditto the email that manufacturers receive when they lose their password – it’s in my voice, refers to my online portfolio and is signed by me.  It’s automated but doesn’t seem like it comes from a robot.
  5. Choice. There are features in the plugin that I don’t need. So guess what? I don’t use them!  I don’t feel like I have to fit a round peg in a square hole – this plugin is giving me all the options I need and more.  To quote McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ in!

SO… if you want to have a password protected portfolio, hosted on a WordPress site, I can whole-heartedly recommend the WishList Plugin*.

If you want Kim Beasley to help you install and implement, I highly recommend her services as well.  www.ProMembershipServices.com*

Now I can get back to creating lots of art to put in my online portfolio!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed