Do you want to enable user registration on your WordPress website? There are many reasons for which WordPress users would want to allow registration on their site.
For instance, if you want to build an online forum or an education website, you would want a means to allow your users to register on the website.
With WordPress, this can be done with relative ease. In this guide, we will show you how to enable user registration in WordPress.
In addition, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to create a custom registration page using user registration form plugins.
- Why Allow User Registration
- How to Enable User Registration in WordPress
Why Allow User Registration?
Below are some use cases for which WordPress users may want to enable user registration on their websites.
Allowing Multiple Authors on your Website
Most WordPress sites that allow guest posts usually allow user registration on their site. This helps in displaying the users’ biography below the article they wrote.
Delivering Members-only Content
If you want to monetize your content, you can enable user registration on your website and then restrict some of your content to registered users.
Using a registration plugin, you can add a subscription plan to your registration page so users would pay before they access your content.
Building your Email List
The WordPress registration form has an email field where users will be required to enter their email addresses before they sign up on your site.
You can use an email subscription plugin to import all incoming emails from your registration form into your email list.
However, unless you have other needs for user registration, you are better off using email subscription plugins for this purpose.
Having an online forum on your website can help you connect with your users. It also allows your audience to share their thoughts through the posts they create.
If you want to have this feature on your website, you need to enable user registration on your website.
How to Enable User Registration in WordPress
WordPress comes with an inbuilt user management system. Although this feature is disabled by default, activating it can be done with ease from your admin dashboard.
To enable user registration, go to Settings >> General. Under “Membership”, tick the checkbox “Anyone can register”.
Next, set the role for new users under “New User Default Role”. We recommend leaving this at the lowest level (subscriber). But if you are enabling user registration to add authors to your site, you can set the user role to “Author”.
You should never set this role to “Administrator”. This would give anyone on the internet permission to delete your site pages, posts, themes, and pretty much everything else. Please check this guide to learn more about user roles in WordPress.
After setting the default user role, scroll down and click on Save Changes.
With these settings, your users will be able to register on your site.
Note that after enabling this feature, you still need to make the link to the registration page visible on your website so users can access it.
You can access the default WordPress registration URL using the link below.
WordPress also has a meta widget that contains links to register and login to a website. Usually, the widget should be added below the header or the sidebar section of your website.
Default WordPress Registration
To add the widget, go to Appearance >> Widgets. Next, go through the available widgets and locate the Meta widget.
After that, click on the widget and then select the placement from the dropdown menu. Select Add Widget once done.
Now, visit the frontend of your website, you should see the meta widget visible on your site. If you are logged in, the widget will display the site admin and logout link.
New users on your website will see the login and register link when they visit your site.
Your users can now register by selecting the register link. Let’s run you through the registration process for a new user.
Log out from your site as an administrator, and then click the Register link. On the registration page, you will see a form field to enter your username and email address. Click on Register after entering your details.
The default WordPress register page requires that users confirm their email addresses before completing the registration.
When you click on the email confirmation link, you will be taken to a page to set your WordPress password.
Next, click on the Save Password button.
Once that is done, you will be able to login to the website using the link on the next page.
WordPress User Login Page
You can access the login link from the homepage of the website or simply add “/wp-login.php” at the end of your site address.
So if your site is available at example.com, the login URL should be example.com/wp-login.php.
On the login page, your users need to enter the email and password they used during the registration process to login to your site.
Upon login, users will be redirected to the admin panel of your site. The information they will see varies depending on the default user role you set on your sites’ settings page.
This dashboard works if you are allowing authors to register on your site. But for a regular wp user, the admin dashboard is not intuitive and may confuse them on where to go next.
Another downside to using the default WordPress user registration is that you are not in control of the redirect URL.
For instance, if your WordPress blog requires users to register before commenting on a post. After registering, the user should ideally be redirected to the page they were viewing initially.
Instead, WordPress will redirect them to the admin dashboard which can be a bit confusing for someone that just wants to comment on a post.
To solve this, you can use a plugin to customize your registration, login and user profile pages.
Custom WordPress User Registration Using Plugins
There are many WordPress user registration plugins you can use to customize your registration pages. Plugins such as User Registration and Ultimate Members offer this feature out of the box.
If you are using a contact form builder plugin such as WPForms, you can simply install the User Registration addon. You can use this add-on to customize your user registration form. However, the feature is available on the premium version of the plugin.
For this guide, we will use the Ultimate Member plugin to enable user registration in WordPress.
The plugin automatically creates all the necessary pages and forms you need upon installation. It also has an intuitive drag and drop builder that you can use to create unlimited forms.
Aside from the user registration feature, the plugin also has additional functionalities such as WooCommerce integration, password reset, custom login, and logout pages.
The plugin also allows content restriction for registered users. This is a great feature for building a membership site.
Additionally, you can add custom user roles and assign capabilities to the role. The plugin also has free and premium add-ons you can add to get more functionalities.
Installing Ultimate Member Plugin
To start, go to Plugins >> Add New. On the search box, enter “ultimate member”. Click on Install Now next to the plugin. And activate the plugin after the installation completes.
Upon activation, the plugin will prompt you to create some pages such as the register, login, account, and forget password pages.
These pages will be automatically created for you with the click of a button. Click on the Create Pages button to complete the step.
You will be redirected to the plugins settings page. Here all the pages are mapped to their respective functions. Click on Save Changes to set the pages.
The plugin can function properly with these basic settings. Later on, we will show you how to add some custom settings such as restricting content to registered users.
Adding WordPress User Registration Pages to Navigation Menu
After creating the login and registration pages, you need to make the link visible on the front end of your site. You can simply add them to your navigation menu.
For this, go to Appearance >> Menus. Then tick the pages you wish to add to the menu.
After that, click on Add to Menu. This will add the links to your navigation menu. You can drag and arrange them how you want.
Once done, select the Save Menu button.
Now your users can access the links to registration and login forms on the frontend of your WordPress site.
The WordPress user registration page should look like the one below.
You can navigate to the login page by selecting the Login button.
Upon login, your users will be taken to a user-friendly dashboard where they can manage their accounts. The profile page lets them edit user data and also supports file uploads for changing user profile pictures.
Custom User Roles
With this plugin, you can create custom user roles and assign role-based functions to the role type. To see all the roles on your site, go to Ultimate Member >> User Roles.
Here, you will see all the user roles your site supports. To add a new role type, click on the Add New button.
On the new role page, enter the title of the role. Below that, you can set the permissions for the user role.
After setting the permissions, click on the Create Role button.
Ultimate Member Forms
Although the plugin creates the forms you need for your registration and login pages, you can also use their drag and drop form builder to create custom user registration forms in WordPress.
The plugin lets you create unlimited forms on your site. To see all the default forms, go to Ultimate Member >> Forms. Here, you will see all the forms the plugin is currently using on your website.
Click on the Add New button if you want to add a new form. This will open up the form builder dashboard.
First, add the name of the form. Then select the type of form you intend to build under “Select Form Type”. You can make registration forms, login forms or user profile forms using the profile builder.
On the form builder, you can select the number of columns you want to display in each row. After that, use the plus icon to add widgets (input fields) to your form.
Choose the field you want to add. The plugin comes with some basic predefined fields which you can use to easily build your forms.
After adding all the form fields, click on the Create button.
You can find the form you just created under Ultimate Member >> Forms. To use this form, copy the shortcode that is automatically generated and insert it into a page on your website.
For this, go to Pages >> Add New (if you want to edit an existing page instead, go to Pages >> All Pages and click on the page). Then click on the Add Block (plus) icon and select the “Shortcode” widget.
Paste the code from the form you just created and then hit the Publish button once done.
Now view the page on the frontend of your website to see how the new WordPress user registration form looks.
Side note: If you are using the old classic editor, simply paste the shortcode on the content area of your page.
Restricting Content on Your Site
Another cool feature about this plugin is that it lets you restrict some of your content to registered users.
To enable content restriction, go to Ultimate Member >> Settings. Then click on the “Access” tab.
Next, click on the dropdown next to “Global Site Access”. Then choose the “Site accessible to Logged in Users” option if you want to block your sites’ content.
Once done, click on the Save Changes button.
Conclusion – WordPress User Registration
Enabling user registration in WordPress is a means to connect with your audience, monetize your site, and grow your email list.
In this guide, we discussed some use cases where you would want to enable user registration on your site. We then showed you how to enable it on a WordPress site and how to customize your registration forms using a registration plugin for WordPress.
Now you know how to enable and customize user registration in WordPress. The next step would be to integrate it with an email subscription service such as MailChimp.
This will help you to grow your email list and to turn your regular users into paying customers. You can easily accept payments using this plugin by integrating it with WooCommerce.
For more WordPress tutorials, check our WP College for tips on how to manage your website effectively.