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How to Add Automatic Drip Content in Your WordPress Site

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Do you want to automatically drip content in your WordPress site?

If you’re running a membership site or selling premium content, then you may want to set up drip content instead of showing all your posts, pages, and other content right away.

In this article, we will show you how to add automatic drip content to your WordPress website.

How to add automatically drip content in your WordPress site

Why Add Drip Content in WordPress?

Drip content is where you gradually release posts, pages, videos, and other content instead of giving it away all at once.

If you have a membership website then releasing content automatically at regular intervals can keep members engaged over a longer period of time.

If someone buys a membership then they may assume that all your previously-published content is old and outdated.

By releasing this content slowly, you can make old material seem new and exciting, particularly if you let members know about these ‘new’ releases using automated drip notifications or personalized email marketing.

You can also use drip content to sell more online courses. Instead of giving students access to the entire course, you can release lessons across a scheduled training period so your students don’t feel overwhelmed.

With that being said, let’s see how you can automatically drip content to your customers, learners, and members. You can use the quick links below to navigate through this tutorial:

Step 1: Install a Membership Plugin With Content Dripping

To start, you’ll need a WordPress membership plugin with drip content functionality.

This is where MemberPress comes in.

It is the best WordPress membership plugin on the market. It allows you to create paid subscriptions and set rules about who can access your content, and when. This makes it easy to create an advanced drip content schedule.

For more information, see our complete MemberPress review.

First, you need to install and activate the MemberPress plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit MemberPress » Settings and enter your license key into the ‘License Key’ field.

Adding the MemberPress license key

You can find the key by logging into your account on the MemberPress website. It’s also in the email you got when you purchased MemberPress.

After entering the license key, click on the ‘Activate License Key’ button.

Step 2: Add a Payment Method

Next, you need to add a payment gateway so you can easily accept credit card payments in WordPress. To get started, select the ‘Payments’ tab and click on ‘Add Payment Method.’

The MemberPress payment gateway settings

MemberPress supports PayPal and Stripe payments under their Basic and Plus plans. You can also use by purchasing a MemberPress Pro plan.

Simply open the ‘Gateway’ dropdown and select the gateway that you want to use.

Configuring a Stripe payment gateway

MemberPress will then show all the settings you need to configure in order to use this payment gateway.

These settings will vary depending on the gateway, for example in the following image we’re adding PayPal payment to WordPress.

Configuring a PayPal gateway

Once you’ve configured the gateway, click on ‘Update Options’ to save your settings.

You may be able to get more sales and improve the customer experience by allowing users to choose a payment method. To add multiple gateways to your site, simply click on Add Payment Method and repeat the same process described above.

Step 3: Create Your Membership Plans

Once you’ve added one or more payment methods, it’s time to add a membership plan.

Simply go to MemberPress » Memberships and then click on the Add New button.

Creating a new membership subscription

On the next screen, you need to type in a title for your membership plan. This will appear in your WordPress dashboard and will also be visible to the people who visit your site.

After that, you can type an optional description into the main post editor.

Configuring a MemberPress membership level

Next, type how much this membership will cost into the ‘Price’ field.

After that, open the ‘Billing Type’ dropdown and choose whether this is a one-time or recurring payment.

Creating a recurring membership level

If you choose ‘Recurring’ then you can use the settings to charge members on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

By accepting recurring payments in WordPress, you can automate the billing process. This can save you a ton of time and generally leads to fewer payment delays and errors. It also means you don’t have to send invoices manually.

The MemberPress recurring payment settings

The other option is a one-time payment, which can improve the user experience by giving members full control over whether they renew their subscription.

If you choose ‘One-Time’ then open the new ‘Access’ dropdown and choose between expire or fixed expire. ‘Expire’ lets you set how many days, months, weeks, or years the membership will last.

Adding an expiration date to your content dripping schedule

Meanwhile, ‘Fixed expire’ allows you to set a calendar date when the membership will expire.

‘Fixed expire’ may be useful if you want to keep all members on the same schedule. For example, all your memberships should expire on the 1st of the month.

Adding a fixed expire date to your content dripping schedule

The final choice is ‘Lifetime.’ Content dripping encourages people to renew their subscription, so you may want to avoid offering lifetime membership.

After choosing a billing type, there might be some extra settings you need to configure such as choosing whether to offer a free trial subscription in WordPress.

Most of these settings are fairly straightforward, so after completing them scroll to the ‘Membership Options’ box which has all the different settings for your membership plan.

The Membership Options settings

There are lots of different settings that you can look through, including a few that could improve the user experience.

To create a good first impression with your new members, we recommend enabling the custom thank you message and custom welcome email.

Adding a custom email and custom message to your members site

After checking these boxes, use the settings to create your customized message.

Pro Tip: If you click on ‘Send Test’ and don’t receive an email, then there may be a problem with your WordPress configuration. If this happens then an SMTP service provider can improve your email deliverability rates.

When you’ve finished setting up your membership plan, click on the ‘Publish’ button to make it live.

How to publish your member level

To create more membership levels, just follow the same process described above.

Once you’ve created at least one membership level, you’re ready to create drip content rules. However, there are still lots more features you can add to your membership website. To learn more, see our ultimate guide to creating a WordPress membership site.

Step 4: Schedule Automatic Drip Content Rules

MemberPress is a powerful plugin that lets you restrict access to your content in lots of different ways. For example, you can restrict WordPress pages by user role.

You can use these advanced rules to drip content and offer your members ongoing value.

To create a drip schedule, simply head over to MemberPress » Rules and click on the Add New button.

Creating a new content dripping rule

This takes you to a screen where you can create your rules.

MemberPress lets you restrict access to specific pages and posts. For example, you may only allow members to access a particular blog post after they’ve been a member for 10 days.

This may work well if you have a small amount of content, or you want to build a very detailed and precise schedule.

However, if you have lots of content then scheduling each page or post individually can take a lot of time and effort.

Thankfully, MemberPress also lets you create rules for specific categories and tags. This lets you release sets of related content. For example, you might give members access to all posts tagged ‘Beginner’s Guide’ during their first week of membership.

You might even go through your content library and label all the posts that you want to release together. For example, you might create a ‘First Week’ tag.

For more information, please see our step-by-step guide on how to add categories and tags for WordPress pages.

When you’re ready, open the ‘Protected content’ dropdown and choose the content that should use this rule, such as ‘A Single Post,’ ‘Posts Categorized,’ ‘Child Pages Of,’ or any other option in the list.

Creating protected content

Depending on what you choose, you’ll get access to some extra settings. For example, if you select ‘A Single Page’ then you’ll need to type in the page that you want to use in the rule.

If you select ‘Posts Tagged’ then you can type in one or more tags.

Dripping content using WordPress tags, categories, and more

Next, open the dropdown in the ‘Access Conditions’ section and select ‘Members.’

You can then simply open the second dropdown and choose the membership level this rule will apply to.

Adding a content dripping rule in WordPress

Next, you can tell MemberPress when to drip the content.

Scroll to ‘Drip / Expiration’ and check the ‘Enable Drip’ box to reveal some new drip settings.

How to enable drip content in WordPress

To start, use the dropdown to choose whether to release this content after a certain number of days, weeks, months, or years.

You can then type in a number. For example, in the following image, we’re releasing the content after 1 week.

How to drip content to your members

Once you’ve done that, use the ‘after’ dropdown to choose the event that should trigger the countdown. For example, you might drip the content 2 weeks after the member registers or 1 week after they buy a particular WooCommerce product.

If you’re working with time-sensitive content, then you can even choose a fixed specific date. For example, you might publish a new post on Black Friday or announce a New Year giveaway or contest on the 1st of January.

Adding an expiration date to your drip content campaigns

Optionally, you can set an expiration date by checking the ‘Enable Expiration’ box.

This can create a sense of urgency since the piece of content is only available for a limited time. It can also encourage more people to buy memberships, so they don’t miss out on the time-restricted content.

Automatically drip content in your WordPress site

Once you’ve done that, scroll to ‘Unauthorized Access’ and decide what MemberPress will show to visitors who try to access the content without authorization.

One option is to tease visitors by showing an ‘Excerpt’ of the restricted content such as the first 100 characters or the post excerpt.

Creating a custom unauthorized access screen for restricted content

If you don’t set a custom message, then MemberPress will show the default unauthorized access message to all users. For this reason, we recommend creating your own message by opening the ‘Unauthorized’ message dropdown and choosing ‘Custom.’

For example, you might let visitors know they can unlock this new content by buying a membership subscription.

How to add a custom message to an automated content dripping schedule

Finally, it’s a good idea to show the MemberPress login form just in case the unauthorized visitor already has an account with your website.

To do this, open the ‘Login form’ dropdown and click on ‘Show.’

Adding a MemberPress login form to your website

Once you’re done, scroll to the top of the page.

Here, click on the ‘Save Rule’ button.

How to save an automated content dripping rule

To add more rules, simply follow the same process described above.

Tips on Managing Drip Content in WordPress

When used correctly, drip content can keep members happy and engaged, and get you lots of new registrations.

Here are a few tips to help you get even more new members, and keep those people engaged for a long time.

1. Plan a Smooth Content Strategy

It’s important to plan your schedule carefully. You don’t want to give away all your content straight away, but there should also be enough content to satisfy new members.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to create different membership accounts and test the customer experience. You can then fine-tune your content dripping rules so you’re providing a good experience to all users.

When testing your site, it’s important to hide your WordPress pages from Google and other search engines. If your premium content gets cached by the search engines during testing then unauthorized users may be able to access it for free.

There are a few ways to stop search engines from crawling a WordPress site but when your site is still in development we recommend putting it into maintenance mode.

2. Create an Email List

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your drip content and get members back to your site. An email can also reinforce that this is new and exciting content that members should look at.

We recommend using Constant Contact to integrate your drip content strategy with your email marketing.

Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for small businesses and comes with easy automation tools that can help you set up automated email notifications for new subscribers.

These automated workflows can save you a lot of time and effort.

Constant Contact email marketing provider

For more powerful marketing automation tools, you can look at HubSpot or Omnisend.

3. Promote Products with On-Site Retargeting

To grow your business, you’ll need people to renew their membership, upgrade their plan, or buy digital downloads and other products.

This is where OptinMonster comes on. It is the best conversion optimization tool that helps you sell more to your existing customers.


You can use OptinMonster to show members targeted messages with lightbox popups, slide-in boxes, countdown timers, and more.

It even has gamified spin to win optins that you can use reward members with discounts, coupon codes, and other prizes.

4. Learn from User Behavior

Every site can benefit from tracking website visitors, which is why analytics is a must-have.

By monitoring what’s working and what’s not working on your membership site, you can continuously fine-tune your content dripping to get even more signups and renewals.

The easiest way to install Google Analytics in WordPress is by using MonsterInsights.

It is the best Analytics solution for WordPress and lets you monitor visitors and members from your site’s admin area.

Overview report in MonsterInsights

With this data, you can make informed decisions and adjust your drip content strategy to grow your business.

To learn more, see our step-by-step guide on WordPress conversion tracking made simple.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add automatically drip content in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress and our expert pick of the best live chat software for small businesses.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

9 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Dayo Olobayo says

    While drip content can be a powerful tool, it’s crucial to strike a balance. You don’t want to end up annoying your users. If users perceive the content flow as too slow or restrictive, it might backfire and lead to frustration.

  3. Mrteesurez says

    The post is informative and gives a detailed way to offer drip contents with Memberpress. If I understand you very well, assuming I have category A, and Category B. Then I want to show some posts (few) from category A and some from Category B to all users will keeping the rest post from each category exclusively for the members. Here, I think use tagged restriction functions will be helpful or how ?
    There should be a grouping or somehow ?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you do not want to limit access by category then you would add tags to specify which posts you want to limit access to.


  4. Moinuddin Waheed says

    Having a content dropping is must for membership websites.
    Giving access to all the content at once let’s the subscriber feel like consuming content all at once and doing enough practice to get maximum our of the course material.
    Content dripping helps in consuming content in a phased manner and complete all the tasks in a proper manner.
    Is there a way where we can give some lessons free to view before buying the subscription along with showing the premium course outline locked as we see on many online learning platforms?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It depends on the plugin you use but you should be able to set that up using MemberPress.


      • Moinuddin Waheed says

        Thanks for the guide.
        I am using memberpress and will explore to set this up.
        it becomes very easy for the potential buyers to make an informed decision because of free preview content.
        I myself have purchased after the seeing the free content.

  5. Chris Colvard says

    These are great tools and good ways to use them. I’ve got to read more posts now, thanks!

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