Premise: Membership Sites from Copyblogger Media

If you want your business to grow, make sure you can easily grant access to members only content for your customers and clients, in addition to your blog posts and other public content.

My review of Premise

Premise is a deceptively simple, but feature rich, tool.

If you use WordPress, Premise works with your existing theme. You can keep your web site design, and also quickly get set up to sell your products or services, password protect video or downloads, or set up membership sites and online classes, so only members can log in and see your password protected content.

Premise quickly took over the space from players like WishList Member and Digital Access Pass.

You can’t buy Premise now, (see below,) but if you already own it, pat yourself on the back for being so smart and go ahead and use it. If you decide to switch to Rainmaker later, you’ll be able to do do pretty smoothly

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Premise can add your buyers or subscribers to your AWeber or MailChimp email list — to a specific list of your choice.

Premise supports vBulletin 5, and you can also use bbPress forums.

Premise will work with PayPal (and others) to take payments, so you can sell your services and downloadable products. Premise serves as the storefront and shopping cart, assigns member access, tracks recurring payments, and even adds members to the AWeber or MailChimp email list for that course or product, and, optionally to your private vBulletin or bbPress forum.

You can easily add new products and new password protected pages, or downloads, that can only be seen by your members.

Premise also makes it easy to create good looking landing pages, useful for your email opt in page and much more.

I’ve upgraded to Premise 2.5.3, and so far I’m very happy with the new features. This is what I’ve used here at The Good Girls’ Guide and for clients since Premise first came out.

I’ve already updated several client sites to include the new AWeber integration that I think will be the most popular feature of this release.

Features in Premise include
  • Google Ecommerce tracking support
  • Product specific Thank You pages
  • Multiple currency support
  • Price column protection, for insiders-only pricing on sales pages


  • You select exactly what pages, products and downloads are available to your members or clients.
  • Automatically publish content to your members, on the schedule you select
  • Take recurring payments
  • Password protected, secure downloads for your digital content, from ebooks to software downloads.
  • Take PayPal and payments
  • Clickbank integration
  • Works well with Scribe from Copyblogger
  • Sales reports

Membership Access Settings, in Premise

Premise is a WordPress plugin, built to work with any WordPress theme, and easy enough to use that you can set it up yourself, even if you do need to look at the tutorials.

And in my experience as a customer, the Copyblogger Media folks take support seriously, so their help staff really are helpful.

Custom Landing Pages

Premise makes it easy to create the special page layouts that make good landing pages, for your email opt-in page, special offers, featured content, video, social sharing campaigns, sales pages and more.

Because, of course, landing pages convert better — they take out distracting elements, the usual headers, navigation and sidebars on your site. Without that distraction, your landing page visitors are focused on the content — on that one key thing you want them to do.

Landing Pages include plenty of options, all with easy to change fonts, styles and colors, plus custom arrows, buttons and other graphics. Premise makes it possible for ordinary humans to set up nice looking, optimized pages that do their job well. 5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversion Rates: #2, Using your regular site design

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Members – Only Access to Your Products

Password Protected Pages. You can set up password protection on any or all pf your products, from digital downloads (pdfs, ebooks, classes, plugins, and more,) to your various membership options. You can easily see all your products and set up new ones, including price, when the buyer will have access to the product, settings for an email receipt, and for access levels. You can also see all the orders, everything purchased on your site, including reports of products sold, date, price and sales totals, for the time period you select.

Members Only Forum

You can use bbPress forums or, now, Premise will integrate with the very feature rich vBulletin to set up private forum threads for your members, for customers or clients. Buyers can be automatically added to a Registered Users group with access to your forum area for people taking your latest class, or product support, for instance. (vBulletin is a separate purchase.) Now since the Premise 2.03 update, it also adds members to vBulletin & to your discussion boards for free memberships also.

File Protection

Protected digital downloads, just for your members or clients. You can protect your digital files and also keep them available for download only by your customers or members. Premise protects the digital downloads you put in a specific folder on your web server. (You can set the name of your “secret” server folder in Premise Member Access Settings, under File Protection Settings.) Because this method doesn’t work to protect files downloaded from other locations, for instance, if you use Amazon S3 for file storage, you’ll need to go on using your existing setup to protect those downloads. Again, you can protect the content or link on a page, but to protect the actual download link, the files do have to be on your web server in your special folder. I have confirmed this with support — and you may want to put in a feature request asking them to add a way to protect downloads stored elsewhere. However, the same is true for WishList Member, protected content is whatever is in a folder on your web server, not including files in other locations like Amazon S3.

Take Money

You can accept payment from Paypal or That’s what you probably want for a membership site or coaching program, for instance, with monthly payments. You can also use Braintree, 2Checkout, Stripe or ClickBank.

Check out the step-by-step tutorial video. It shows exactly how to set up a membership manually, how to move existing members from WishList Member into Premise, and give them membership access.

Video Tutorial: How to Set Up a Free Membership in Premise

  • How to set up a free membership,
  • How to move existing members from WishList Member into Premise and
  • How to give access to your membership site and password-protected content.

Click play and watch this step-by-step tutorial now.


Yes, now you can set up Coupons, and the latest 2.5.3 update includes fixes for the coupon features.

You can set:

  • Type of discount (percentage or dollar amount,)
  • Make the coupon valid only for new or only for existing customers, or both,
  • Coupons for your Trial Payment or Subscription Payments,
  • Start and ending dates and times for your coupon,
  • Set up coupons for a single product, a few products, or all products
Seminars Included

Beyond how to use the tools, seminars include copywriting, conversion, and on-page suggestions for each kind of landing page – very helpful reminders of what to consider including in your own pages. The included educational materials? I think they’re worth the price of Premise all by themselves.

Split Testing and Other Geeky Stuff

Wondering if your landing pages really do convince visitors to click, buy or subscribe? Premise makes it easy to find out, with easy split-testing (from WordPress) and SEO tools, plus a series of seminars about conversion optimization. And, Premise now includes support for Google Ecommerce tracking.


Useful! Easy to use, strong support, with great education on how to get the most out of the tool. My conclusion? If your small business uses WordPress and you need to turn more of your visitors into subscribers and buyers, this is a tool that will support  you now and help your business grow. If you sell downloadable products, offer classes, want file protection or have customers or clients you’d like to have password protected access to your work,  I’d say if you already own Premise, use it.

Premise isn’t for sale now. If you don’t own it? Get on my email list and discover your options, including the new Rainmaker, from Copyblogger Media.

Premise is no longer for sale…What does that mean for you?

Can you still use Premise?
Yes. If you already own Premise, you can go right ahead and use it.

What happened to Premise?
Brian Clark wrote that Premise is retiring so that a “grander vision will come out to play. He also said that they will “continue to improve functionality and upgrade owners at no charge.”

And: “Just to be clear, taking Premise off the market won’t affect those who own it.”

Need help?
Sign up for my email list and you’ll be invited to my next webinar

New Rainmaker

The new Rainmaker, from Copyblogger Media is a very powerful option to help you connect with your audience.

The new grand vision is New Rainmaker, from Copyblogger Media.

For more on Rainmaker, membership sites, and Premise, read MembershipSites-101.

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About Kathleen Craig

Online business helper, writer, teacher, tech-junkie. Serving strategic online engagement. Seeking great coffee.


  1. Hi,

    You have provided a great review of Premise 2.0.

    However, I have a few questions and hopefully people will ask and answers some questions as well.

    I am considering buying Wishlist, but I would buy this plugin instead if it was as easy to setup as Wishlist is.
    Does anyone have any experience or input on this issue and comparison?

    From you review, it appears we need to use Paypal Express Checkout and not our usual Premium account.
    What is the difference and what are our additional costs?

    Also, I would like to use SimplePress Forum plugin, but Premise only uses VBulletin which is an additional $197 cost or more for one site.

    Are there any specific tutorials available for the complete setup of a membership site? It appears to be confusing how to create a workable integration with the specific tools we are required to use instead of our own tools.


    • Kathleen Craig says:

      Hi James,

      Ok, here goes, thanks for all your great questions!

      Premise Setup vs WishList Member Setup

      Premise 2.0 setup is not harder than WishList Member.

      I think you could do a basic setup of WishList Member pretty easily, but in my own case, WishList Member was more complicated to set up than Premise 2.0. But, I’ve been using WishList Member for more than a year, and I also use several special plugins to make it do lots more than the basics.


      Payment and Membership Management Options

      Premise has to have a gateway, a secure method to process payments, so you can use the advanced payment processing features. When you do, Premise will even take recurring payments from your members and then manage access for them, automatically, even after each recurring payment, but it will also block access for a person who cancels or doesn’t pay.

      Premise itself becomes the shopping cart, and you set up your checkout page in Premise.

      So, you do have to have a merchant account to use these advanced payment and membership management, but if you’re using Premise 2.0, you don’t have to pay for shopping cart software. Premise does the checkout, tracks sales and gives sales reports.

      WishList Member does not do recurring payments.

      If you aren’t ready to have a merchant style account, you can still use Premise to protect your content and membership site area. You would just add folks manually, (see the video, above.)

      You’re right, you can only use Premise right now to take payments using Paypal Express Checkout or PayPal Website Payments Pro, or (Tony Clark wrote that they’ll add more gateways depending on how many requests they get.)

      These are ways to take credit cards — merchant accounts and gateways. Paypal Website Payments Standard is the basic PayPal account that people tend to start with, when they start selling online. Check the links to compare the different PayPal services. (You may also need an SSL security certificate, Eugen Oprea wrote about them in his Premise 2.0 review and recommends how to do it for around $20.)


      Simple Press vs VBulletin or BBPress

      If you prefer to use SimplePress instead of vBulletin, make sure that if you do buy Premise, you log into the help desk and let them know you’d like to be able to use SimplePress. In the Copyblogger announcement of Premise 2.0, in the comments, they do mention that they plan to add other forum options in future updates, depending on requests.



      There are tutorials included in the educational materials for Premise, updated for Premise 2.0, but I haven’t yet had a chance to see how extensive they are.


      I hope this helps, please don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions!

  2. Thank you for your explanation. you are very helpful and through.

    After much homework, I concluded what I was going to buy before I found Premise.

    I was going to buy the following to create my membership and product selling site.

    Genesis Premium Theme with Lifestyle child theme.
    Wishlist for membership area.
    SimplePress for my forum
    Adrian Ling’s Easyclickmate for my affiliate management system.
    Sam Stephens DLGuard for my secure downloads and shopping cart.
    Paypal Premium for my payments and credit card payments

    Now that I have discovered Premise with your help, I am trying to conclude if Premise and Genesis Theme will do all the things and easier than my choice above.

    What do you think?


    • Kathleen Craig says:

      After much homework, I concluded what I was going to buy before I found Premise. I was going to buy the following to create my membership and product selling site.

      Genesis Premium Theme with Lifestyle child theme.
      Wishlist for membership area.
      SimplePress for my forum
      Adrian Ling’s Easyclickmate for my affiliate management system.
      Sam Stephens DLGuard for my secure downloads and shopping cart.
      Paypal Premium for my payments and credit card payments

      Now that I have discovered Premise with your help, I am trying to conclude if Premise and Genesis Theme will do all the things and easier than my choice above.

      What do you think?


      Hi James! You’ve really been doing your research, that’s great!

      If you did decide to buy Premise, here’s how I think you could change what’s on your list:


      • Genesis Premium Theme with Lifestyle child theme.
      James, you already know this one, of course, but let me spell it out for readers who might not: Genesis plus a child theme is the way you’ll set how your WordPress site looks, and how it works, and your choice there does not really much matter in terms of your WishList vs Premise question.

      But, the Genesis framework and the Lifestyle child theme are made by the same company that makes Premise, so you can safely assume they’ll all work well together, which can matter.


      • Wishlist for membership area.
      If you buy Premise, you don’t need to also buy WishList Member.


      • SimplePress for my forum
      Right now, Premise is only integrated with vBulletin.

      If you already have or prefer to use SimplePress, just make sure that once you buy Premise, you log in at and send them a note so they know you’d like them to integrate with StudioPress.

      The Copyblogger folks said they planned to integrate more forums, but I’m sure that which ones and how soon depends on how many requests they get. I’d expect that the top few most popular forums will be integrated, over time.


      • Adrian Ling’s Easyclickmate for my affiliate management system.
      So as you probably already know, James, this particular affiliate management system is for Clickbank. I haven’t used it, so I can’t comment directly, but if it works with WordPress, it should work with Premise, although there’s no direct integration.

      You might want to consider using an affiliate management system that you can use with other affiliate programs, not just restricted to Clickbank, but that’s your decision based on your own affiliate program.


      • Sam Stephens DLGuard for my secure downloads and shopping cart.
      I don’ t think you would need this.

      But it depends on what features you wanted to use.

      Premise will serve as your shopping cart, protect secure downloads, and most of the rest of what DLGuard says it does.

      Premise doesn’t let you set up coupons, yet – request this feature if you want it, I have done so, they’ve said they’re getting lots of requests and are considering adding this feature. WishList Member doesn’t have a coupons feature either, (but I have a special WLM plugin so that I can offer coupons now for WLM.)

      Premise and WishList Member do not sign people up to your email list, the way DLGuard says it will, although both will email buyers with a receipt, and you can use to invite buyers to join your email list.

      I don’t know DLGuard, but I’d assume if you want to use it you’d probably have to use it for your shopping cart, in order for the email feature to work, and that could mean that you could not use features you want from Premise, like automatic membership management.


      • Paypal Premium for my payments and credit card payments


      I hope that helps!
      — Kathleen

      • Hello Kathleen, thanks for a great video and some great information. I have already purchased Premise and I am just learning how to set up the membership part of this product (not used it before even for landing pages).

        Can I please ask you to clarify the PayPal options. From the information in the post it would appear that the Yes and No options for PayPal are:
        Paypal Express Checkout
        Website Payments Pro PayPal
        Paypal Premium

        Basic PayPal, Website Payments Standard

        However – you then go on to say:

        ‘These are ways to take credit cards — merchant accounts and gateways. Paypal Website Payments Standard is the basic PayPal account that people tend to start with, when they start selling online’ – so do you mean that you can use the basic Website Payments Standard?


        • Hello Kathleen, I have just noticed that on the PayPal website:

          It appears that the PayPal Payments Standard is included in the Express Checkout – the website states:
          Express Checkout: Accept PayPal on Your Site
          (Also included with PayPal Payments Standard)


          • Hi June,

            I hope my last comment helps, but again, the key here is that to use the automated processing features of Premise, you need to hook Premise up to a gateway payment system that communicates between your web site and your merchant account.

            You do also have to go to your bank and apply for a merchant account.

            This isn’t for the person who sells just a few items. For that person, it probably makes sense to take your payments in a simpler way and then manually process your buyers.

            But when you sell lots, and need the system to automatically set up your buyers and keep track of them, — for instance if a person did not make a recurring payment and therefore should stop having access to your member site — it helps to have Premise taking care of that.


            — Kathleen

        • Hi June!

          Great questions.

          Here’s how payments work with PayPal and Premise:

          1. You can use either of PayPal’s two most advanced payment systems. The names PayPal gives those services can be confusing, but the key is that they both allow you to accept credit cards, acting as a gateway between your web site and your bank.

          Premise integrates with those services so that you can create and sell a product – but the point isn’t just selling, it’s being able to use the more advanced selling features within Premise. Premise will act as your checkout page, will track the purchase, assign buyers to your membership levels, bill them for recurring payments, add them to the correct level in your forums, etc.

          There are ways to sell without using an advanced payment system, and you can distribute things for free also.

          What that changes, as far as Premise is concerned, is that you have to then manually manage your buyers, sending them what they buy, assigning them manually to membership levels and so on.

          You certainly can do this. But you give up a bunch of the automated processing that Premise takes care of when you do have all that enabled.

          2. People tend to start with basic PayPal, so that when you sell something that payment is processed on the PayPal web site, by them. That basic service does not allow you to use the features in Premise that automatically assign buyers to membership levels, etc.

          I hope that helps!

          But let me know if you still have questions.


          — Kathleen

  3. Wow, thank you so much for this great post! Lots to take away here. I can’t wait to start using the membership site feature of Premise 2.0.

    Would you happen to know if Premise can integrate well with Emma email marketing (

    • Kathleen Craig says:

      Thanks, Bianca, I’m glad this review is useful for you!

      Premise does not integrate with Emma — but you can probably use it anyway, for landing pages, because you can paste the email form code from any email provider, right into your Premise page.

      To be clear, though, no email provider is integrated into the membership site features directly (the same is true for both Premise and WishList Member) – they don’t sign up your customers onto an email list.

      But they will send an email to the buyer, when the purchase is made, and you can use that email to invite them to sign up for your list.

  4. Hi Kathleen,

    You have been so helpful and generous with your time and info.

    I really appreciate your great explanations and clarification of many questions I had.

    I will consider Premise and if and when I do, I will tell you about it.

    Thanks again,

  5. Hi Kathleen
    Fabulous post on the use of Premise 2.0 new features.

    Love the video and the rest of the post, screenshots and text, is very good.

    Interesting to know that Copyblogger are going to use Premise for their own member sites and will probably add some sort of batch processing.

    Enjoyed listening and… learnt lots.

  6. Hi Kathleen,

    Have you heard any guesstimate when they will be upgrading to a new version?

    I was hoping it would be soon with more options such as SimplePress Forum or others?

    Have you heard when they will be using Premise 2.0 on their membership sites?

    Also, have you been using Premise 2.0 for any of your membership sites yet? If so, how was your results?


    • Hi James,

      I can tell you that the Copyblogger Media Product Team are already working on Premise 2.1, and that anyone who owns Premise 2.0 will get the new version, for free.

      Premise 2.1 should include more options for recurring payments and also work with more payment gateways.

      Plus, they’re working on adding coupon codes, which are great for making special offers.

      I don’t have any specific answers about their planned release dates for that or for transferring their own sites, it’s a good question and I’ll see what I can find out.

      I know they’ve had lots of folks ask about SimplePress, so I personally assume they’ll add that at some point.

      I’m using Premise for some free and some paid things – and you can expect to see me post more video, showing some of the behind the scenes of those member sites.

      Personally, I appreciate that it is easy to set up, especially for drip content!

      — Kathleen

  7. Courtney says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    I am very interested in getting Premise 2.0, but the content I am selling includes a couple of fitness videos that are 45-minutes in length. My questions are:

    1) Can Premise provide adequate storage data and content distribution, with fairly heavy traffic?

    2) If not, can I use Amazon S3 in conjunction with Premise? And how would that work?

    Thanks! I’m looking forward to buying it, hopefully. And I will definitely use your affiliate link ;)

    – Courtney

    • Hi Courtney,

      Premise would let you set up a membership site where you sell your (let’s say) 12 week fitness program, with a page for each week, with video plus whatever other content you want.

      You can use Premise to sell the product (the membership site) and to grant access to each person who buys, and “drip” out the content so that your members get access to each new week of content right on time.

      Premise is set up to protect downloadable content that’s on your web server, and/or parts of your web site. That could be pages, blog posts, comments, forums — any special members-only content, even if that’s only on one part of a page that also includes content everyone may see.

      I use Amazon S3 for my video and audio content, managing access to member-only areas by member – that part is the same as in the video on how to set up a free membership, at the top of this review.

      I’m using EZS3 for my video players, (and I do get added security and stats on things like how often each video is played, and for how long, which is pretty nice to see – but there are lots of video players you could use.)

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have other questions.

      — Kathleen

  8. I purchased Premise the end of November, and haven’t installed it yet. Is it Premise 2.0 with membership site?

    • Hi Meredith,

      In November it would still have been Premise 1, you do need 2.0 to get the membership features, (but that should not cost you anything, the upgrade is included in purchase price for the unlimited version.)

      You can either install the copy you got then, and upgrade via the plugins panel in your wordpress site, or you can log in at and download a more recent version from your Account area.

      I hope that helps?
      — Kathleen

  9. Thanks for a great review, Kathleen. I bought Premise not long after it came out, to use for landing pages, and have been basically happy with it, except for a few frustrations

    (Frustrations: 1) pages are indexed by title, rather than slug, which makes it impossible to tell in the index page which one is which if you have split-test versions with the same title..; 2) I WISH you could set landing pages to redirect — it would make launches so much easier to be able to set a page to redirect when the price increases, for example; 3) I cannot get my social media share buttons to disappear on my Premise landing pages — very annoying…)

    I was very excited when I heard they were adding the member module! I have not managed to get it completely set up yet, and am currently stalled while I suss out what affiliate system to use, as I will be inviting affiliates for an upcoming launch. I’d be curious if you have any suggestions. I’m especially intrigued by Premium Web Cart (which has its own membership functionality, and also acts as a shopping cart).

    Thanks again for a helpful review.

    • Hi Melissa!

      Thank you! You’ve inspired me to try to figure out some answers for you, because I know it can be frustrating to make the details work.

      For the moment, I’d try using social sharing buttons that you can paste in on a page by page level, into the page code. Some plugins, like the Share Buttons by Lockerz / AddToAny, have a settings area where you can elect to have the buttons show up or not on pages, posts, landing pages, your home page, etc – but it’s all or nothing.

      I haven’t personally used Premium Web Cart, but if you do use Premise for selling content, for what it’s worth you won’t need a shopping cart – Premise lets you make check out pages and the payment processing happens via the gateway with PayPal or

      I’ve heard lots of positive feedback on iDev, and of course ShareASale is great, though not inexpensive.

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! Please don’t hesitate to let me know how it’s working for you or if you have other questions.

      — Kathleen

  10. Hi Kathleen,

    Great resource! Thanks for putting this together.

    I use the JW Player WordPress plugin. The way it’s set up for me is that it takes a video stored in Amazon S3 and then plays it on my site. So that works fine, no problems for many .mov/mp3 files.

    But here’s the weird thing. When I restrict it to member access, it will work fine in my desktop browser. Meaning, after logging in, I can watch the video.

    But on an iPad, after logging in, I can get to the page…but not watch the video.

    Was there something I needed to do as far as “allowing” it to view an Amazon S3 hosted video?

    Weird thing is that why is it fine on my desktop browser and not the iPad?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Jan,

      One question about your process – if you’re using .mov format for your movies, that may be the issue, you need to save them as .m4v so they’re more compatible.

      That could be the problem because your desktop computer will play more file formats than an iPad will…

      (You do need to set your Amazon S3 hosted content to be able to be seen by others, but I doubt that’s the problem here if you haven’t changed what you’re doing, I don’t suggest you mess with that unless you know it’s the problem.)

      I hope that helps!

      — Kathleen

      • Hi Kathleen,

        Thanks for the reply. Well…turns out it was a simple oversight of not assigning a product to the user. I set a user and gave it “complimentary product”. But failed to type in the product before saving.

        I guess is played on my desktop because I was an admin there. While in my iPad…I was logged in as a user, but not admin.

        For reference though, all the videos are .mov, but because JW Player is the player used…the source file didn’t matter. At least that’s my understanding.

        Anyway, thanks again.

  11. Kathleen … nice review. I’m going to watch the vid again later to take it all in.

    Regarding the vids playing on iPad & iPhone, my understanding is you need to have a player that can switch over to HTML5 since those devices don’t do flash.

    I’ve been “getting my hands wet” on a membership site using DAP (Digital Access Pass), and I’m curious if you have any insight on how this would compare with Premise.

    I’ve sort of gone hook, line and sinker with CopyBlogger – bought their developer’s package for Genesis and Premise. However, I have to say I find their instruction seriously lacking (which is odd, especially given that they also put together the course “Teaching Sells”, which is about TEACHING). <—- And I bought that course too. I need to preface by saying I've found few VIDEO tutorials put out by StudioPress. Written stuff is fine and all, but there's nothing better than watching a video of how to do it step-by-step.

    Also, I find that Prose, which is their most flexible child theme doesn't have nearly as good an interface as WooTheme's Canvas theme. So at this point, despite my investment with the CopyBlogger folks, I find myself using WooThemes plus DAP. The only downside to WooThemes – and it's a big one – is that the code doesn't seem to be nearly as efficient as StudioPress/ Genesis – it requires 2-3x more database calls, hence takes noticeably longer to load.

    But, to me at least, the flexibility, ease of use, and GREAT tutorials at WooThemes have won me over. Same with DAP. Not the prettiest site, but their instruction is clearly laid out, and their support is awesome.

    Anyway, if you decide to do a test comparison with DAP, I'd sure like to see that.

    And again … nice article. I'm going to bookmark your site, and sign up for your list.


    • Hey Doug,


      I haven’t worked with DAP as much as I have with WishList Member and Premise, I’m sure it would be interesting to compare them all.

      I totally understand how you might want more tutorials from the source of the software tools.

      I have felt that frustration, for sure.

      I guess I’d say that most of the software tools I use on a daily basis do focus on the tools, not on tutorials, and leave others to write the books, publish classes and so on. Adobe stopped really doing training long ago, for instance, and now sends people to places like In projects I’ve been involved with, the video tutorials are generally focused on showing new features, for instance, not on being a comprehensive tutorial.

      Of course, you should work with the tools that make sense to you, and there are some great, popular tools I don’t use, just because they don’t have the right feel, somehow.

      For me, the strong code, the SEO features, the reliable support folks – those kinds of things keep me with the Copyblogger Media tools.

      For Premise, one thing I do suggest you check out are their very extensive tutorials, some written, some audio and some video. It’s true they don’t have a lot of detailed video on how to set up Premise, but they do have a fantastic set of classes on how to get a lot out of using it.

      And for Prose, you might want to look at the Prose class and tutorials from Pamela Wilson and Wendy Cholbi, who really have taken the time to do a step-by-step tutorial for every detail.

      I’d love to hear back how DAP is working for you, let me know!

      — Kathleen

  12. I should add, I’m a “content guy”. I’m interested in setting up instructional/ teaching sites, and so all this tech stuff isn’t my strong point, though I can wade through CSS and all the other stuff. But I’d much rather be spending my time working on the content side. I get annoyed when the user interfaces are poorly designed and instruction is lacking. Unfortunately, I find that to be the case with Genesis and Premise.

    • james horn says:

      I concur with Doug.

      I find the of theme. and theme choices fantastic with Genesis themes and with Premise.

      However, Doug is right. Genesis and Premise tutorials are very limited and offer very few choices compare to the tutorials available Woo themes, or even Thesis themes. OptimizePress theme provides a lot of tutorials, which gives them a big edge or Premise.

      First I found it shocking that Genesis and Premise doesn’t provide a lot of quality tutorials for beginners, because the quality of their themes and plugins are first class.

      But then I realized Genesis and Premise is assuming everyone is highly experienced with theme and plugin or is a developer.

      But, It appears they are not interested in providing more extensive training and tutorials for beginners. Of course that is their choice to deal with developers and experienced people as opposed to beginners.

      I just wish they would of been more clear about this before I bought this theme and plugin.

      When I talk with people in the forums, it appears this attitude is seriously hurting their expansion, future sales, and loyal customers, not that they need anymore and they obviously fee the same way.

      Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not complaining because I really like Genesis and Premise and they are definitely my first choice.

      But if they don’t start listening, catering, and helping beginners, they will lose a lot of potential and future customers.

      • Hey James,

        I’m sorry to hear you’ve been frustrated by wanting more beginner level training and tutorials!

        For Premise, at least, I hope you’ll find my work helpful to you – if you’re on my list you’ll get a series of free lessons, including video, very much step by step.

        I’ve always gotten outstanding support from the Premise help folks, I hope you have the same experience.


        — Kathleen

        • Kathleen,

          I appreciate all the help you have provided and I thought your membership video was great.

          I will ask more questions on the support site and will see how helpful they are.

          I don’t know if I am on your list, but I will fill in the optin info. i have not received any email from you yet. But I will be looking forward to your ongoing tips and tutorials.

          Thanks again for all your help,


        • I just wanted to add that I’m glad you created a video series on how to set up a membership site with Premise 2.0. I bought the plugin in when it first came out but not being a developer, I’ve been a little lost. Just watched your first video and can’t wait for the next in the series. Thanks for your help in using Premise:)


    • Hey Doug,

      Sure, as a content guy, you want tools that are easy to use, that makes sense.

      We’re talking about these tools like they’re all from the same source, but actually the partnership between Copyblogger Media and StudioPress is relatively new, and Premise and Scribe were each created by separate teams, I believe.

      Do you notice improvement as the newest versions of themes are being released from StudioPress? I feel like I can see changes going on behind the scenes, or maybe revealed as they revise their site, come out with responsive theme designs and so on, that might reflect the new partnership between.

      Again though, you have to use tools that you’re comfortable with, no doubt. I like working with the Genesis widgets, the plugins that let me customize sidebars, things like that.

      — Kathleen

  13. Hey Kathleen,

    Thanks for making this. I found the link at 3T and appreciate it.

    A friend is looking into membership systems and I’m reminded how awesome Copyblogger has been in other areas. Hopefully Premise memberships will continue that awesomeness.



    • Hey David,

      Thanks for visiting from ThirdTribe, welcome!

      I hope you and your friend are happy with Premise for memberships – and if you have questions, let me know.

      Personally I appreciate how responsive the Copyblogger support folks all are, when I have questions, I appreciate their fast answers.


      — Kathleen

      • It would be interesting to see a “shoot out’/ comparison between Premise, WishList, DAP and AMember. Personally, I like DAP and have used it on several sites.

  14. Kristen says:

    Kathleen, I think I understand how to set up ONE individual member for complimentary access, but it sounds like as of this video it isnt possible to automate this? Have they added this feature yet?

    • Hi Kristen,

      You’re right, Premise does not yet have an automated process for giving free access to multiple members all at once. My understanding is that this feature will be added, but is not available right now. (Of course, paid members are different, when they make a purchase each person is added automatically, that’s part of the process.)

      — Kathleen

  15. Hi Kathleen,

    I am enjoying your email tutorials on the new Premise 2.0.

    I noticed Premise 2.0 was released 4 months ago and there has not been any upgrades or any suggestions of upgrades anytime in 2012.

    Since they have not provided any upgrades for 4 months, do you think they will be providing any updates in 2012. If so, what is your guesstimate or are they just promising “some day”? I have become excited about other product releases only to find out there isn’t much interest of improving the original releases.

    I really like the overall concept of this plugin and I would seriously consider obtaining this plugin for setting up memberships when it is stable and improved.

    However, it appears to be so limited pertaining to membership setup and they don’t have any regular updates. For example, Is it true, that there is a problem automatically adding free membership customers to your auto-responder, but it is not a problem with paid membership customers?

    Do you know if Premise 2.0 plugin still have the following limitations? You can only use Vbulletin forum plugijn and no other forum plugins? Only use Paypal Express Checkout or Website Payment Pro? Can’t use WarriorPlus Pro, DigiResults, JVZoo, Clickbank, or eJunkie?

    I know you stated they will be using Premise for their membership sites, but it doesn’t appear to be any time soon or in the 2012. Are they having problems with the Premise Plugin or creating stable upgrades? I’ve asked these questions a few times on the support desk, but I never received any responses to my tickets.

    I have read about how they received a huge amount of suggestions and feature request through their support desk. However, they don’t appear to be responding to the requests or adding anything new. However, I understand they are very successful with their other business and this product is probably a low priority.

    Can you share any insight to what you have hear about any promised future feature features or time schedule or are they not sharing any info about the future?


  16. Hey James,

    Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying my email tutorials!

    And boy, I can see why you might feel frustrated, thinking there haven’t been any updates, but there have been, so I hope that’ll leave you feeling better! Actually, Premise has been updated a couple of times already since the major upgrade to 2.0 when the membership site features were released, it’s up to 2.04 now.

    It looks like pretty active development to me, for instance there were about a dozen new or updated features just in 2.03, including things like automatically adding a free member to a vBulletin forum and the appropriate boards.

    I’ve always gotten thorough responses to my questions from the support folks within a reasonable amount of time, for what it’s worth. They don’t publish a dev schedule, but honestly I think that’s a good thing – I want features on time, but also when they’re ready.

    I do think you’ll see the features they have said they’ll release, but if you have specific questions you’re struggling to get answers for, let me know and I’ll try to help. Of course I don’t know if they’ll add specific integrations or features except as they’ve said, but my impression is that they’re hard at work.

    — Kathleen

  17. Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks for the quick response.

    As always, I appreciate your help explaining and clarifying Premise info and details.

    I am trying to be patient and I trust your opinion, so I will continue to follow your blog for future updates and info.

    Thanks again,

    • Hey James,

      Just wanted to say, I personally expect that we’ll be seeing a new version of Premise very soon.

      a) anyone who buys Premise 2.0 now (or has it already) will also get a free upgrade to the new version, and,

      b) Should you wait? It depends what you’re waiting for – If you’re ready to launch a membership site project, I don’t recommend waiting for upcoming features in any software package – find what will work for you and keep moving forward, either using existing features in Premise or moving to another solution.

      Good luck! And don’t hesitate to ask, if you have questions.
      — Kathleen

  18. Hi Kathleen

    You’re in danger of becoming Premise’s unofficial support site, because your advice is so much more detailed, helpful and better than their’s! They should be paying you and I hope they are.

    Sorry to bug you with this but I was wondering if you had heard of anyone having similar problems to me with Google Website Optimizer and Premise to a/b test landing pages. I followed all the instructions (which are straightforward anyway). I have an original page, a variant page and a confirmation page. I get the javascript code from Google, paste the right code for each of the three pages, which Premise then parses to turn it into a single string of numbers, which I assume is what is meant to happen.

    I then click the Google ‘validate pages’ button and get the message “Tracking script not detected on test page” ; “Tracking script not detected on variation page” and “Tracking script not detected on conversion page”. Have tried this several times, double checked the Premise tutorial, tried ritual sacrifice, gone to an empty warehouse and screamed into the void, and even as a last resort sent in a ticket to Premise support.

    Anyone else come across that?

    • To be fair, the Premise support people are looking at this now and responded pretty quickly, and I had forgotten about the time difference. I’ll let you know the resolution when I have one.

    • Kathleen Craig says:

      Hi Dan,

      I’m always glad to answer questions, thank you!
      And I’m glad to see you got this figured out, it’s a great example of the details that are so easy to trip over!

      — Kathleen

  19. a / b landing page test issue now resolved.

    Because Google had sent me a message saying that Optimizer had now become a part of Analytics, I assumed the Analytics code would work (the UA-nnnnnnn-n number). I was wrong. So Google couldn’t match the code it was generating with the tracking code I had given Premise.

    I take back what I implied about Premise support – they were quick and efficient. I jumped the gun because of a bad experience with Copyblogger / Genesis support a couple of years back, but they seem to have really improved.

    • Hey Dan,

      I’m so glad to hear that it turned out to be a Google Optimizer issue and not something with Premise.
      I do understand how frustrating it can be when things just don’t seem to work! But in my experience the Premise help desk really is helpful.

      Glad you got this worked out, feel free to ask questions if you have more!

      — Kathleen

  20. It’ll be interesting to see how Premise matures as a membership site tool. Based on the experience I’ve had thus far with Genesis support, I’m holding off on Premise for awhile. In my limited (and admittedly frustrating) experience, they have some catching up to do with other solutions.

    Right now I’m working on a site with squeeze, launch, sales and membership pages. And I’m trying out a combination of Optimize Press (OP) + Digital Access Pass (DAP) + AWeber to do it. Two of the things I like a LOT about OP, DAP and AWeber are their detailed tutorials (both text and video) and their very fast support turnaround.

    Also, what pleasantly surprised me is – in addition to creating tons of different sales, squeeze, and launch pages – how OP makes a great looking membership site!

    It would be nice to have a tighter, more seamless integration between OP, DAP, and AWeber. But each is best-of-breed in what it does. I think you’d have to go to Kajabi or InfusionSoft to have a more seamless integration, and (with Kajabi, anyway) there are trade-offs in terms of features. Plus, with either of those solutions, you don’t own your platform – you’re just renting it.

    Meanwhile, once Prose 2.0 comes out, I’ll revisit Genesis. And after a few more revs of Premise I’d at least consider looking at it again as a sales/ squeeze/ launch/ membership solution. And I’m looking forward to seeing you how integrate all the StudioPress offerings.


  21. Hi Kathleen,
    I want to let you know how happy I am to have found your site. My client purchased Premise to use primarily as a membership site and it’s my job as her virtual assistant to get it going! I have been trying to find tutorials and training (step-by-step) to get things up and running with very little luck. There are many people promoting (affiliates) Premise, but very few seem to offer any sort of training (free or paid). I’m going to scroll waaaay back to the top and watch your video, opt in to your course, and browse through your site some more. There was great information just from the comments to this post. Thank you so much for your time and detail!!

  22. Hi Shelley,

    Welcome! I’m so glad you found my site! I’m very glad to hear that what you’ve already seen has been helpful! I look forward to talking with you, and I hope you enjoy the email course!

    — Kathleen

  23. Can premise handle multiple video content pages? I have a video tutorial that is a mamoth! It’s like 12 hours of content. Can Premise allow me to break that content into manageble chunks and create an easyway to access that?

    • Hi Tim,

      Sure, I have lots of video content being protected by Premise. You’d just place your video players onto however many pages / blog posts you need, and Premise will let you protect access to the pages and drip out access on the schedule you want. Make sense? If you’re subscribed to my Premise email list, (see the signup form, above) you’ll get a series of lessons that will show you one way to set that up.
      I hope that helps!
      — Kathleen

  24. Hey Kathleen – agreed with others about how helpful this site is, given the dearth of info anywhere else on the web – it seems most people talking about Premise are just hyping it from a sales angle as an affiliate rather than being actual users of the system who are trying to contribute back to the community. So, gracias to you!

    We’ve been using the Premise membership module exclusively (not the landing pages piece) for the past 2-3 months and we agree that they have some work to do, both in terms of how they handle support questions (won’t bore you with the details but it’s been frustrating) — but even more importantly, on the software itself. It just doesn’t seem like they tested it as much as they should’ve; we encountered some pretty glaring errors right off the bat, and many features are not working the way they’re supposed to. The standard functionality of setting up a new user and the PayPal payments integration totally works fine, no problems there – but it’s stuff around the edges in terms of user experience, administering the membership module, and display of content that either is rough, or outright buggy.

    The online documentation within the Support section for Premise is not bad but it’s also not exceptionally detailed. We do like Copyblogger’s products in general – we’re using Genesis as well – but we truly wish they had an open forum for support questions and feedback on the Premise side as they do with Genesis. It would be much easier to get answers and everyone could be pitching in to help each other out, like you are doing here.

    We’ve asked for some guidance in terms of when a new release will be available but haven’t gotten an answer yet – hopefully it’ll be coming soon! Our concern is that this membership side seems like an add-on to their main landing pages feature set, and we’d hate for our needs to be ignored or backburnered simply because they don’t consider this piece the core of their offering. Hopefully we’re wrong about that!!!

    So bottom line, jury is out at the moment – we’re in wait-and-see mode and hoping things resolve quickly.

    • I’m so glad to be able to be helpful, thank you!

      You’ve probably seen by now that Premise has updated to version 2.1. They’ve announced, “40 new features and enhancements,” and I’m sure that some of that is fixing issues – although it’ll be interesting to check out the new features, like new payment methods, too.

      My impression is that the Copyblogger folks do take the membership module seriously – but I’ll certainly go on sharing what I learn, and I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the update.

  25. Hi Kathleen,

    I found this info on the internet about the new premise 2.1 plugin upgrade. They are saying it is a major upgrade.

    However, I can’t find any specific details.

    You are the best person and most helpful person I have found pertaining to Premise.

    Would you be so kind to expand on the improvements below in more detail and more specifics? I know this plugin has been available for a long time and have received hundreds of input and suggestions. So, I would think if they have honestly listened to all the top suggestions, then they have created more options pertaining to Forum choices, such as SimplePress and other Paypal, CB, JVZoo, WarriorPlus, Digi, etc.

    Here’s just a few of the great improvements waiting for you now in Premise 2.1:

    – Overall simplification and reorganization of the dashboard
    – Offer your customers free digital products
    – Less hand-coding with easy to find (and use) shortcodes
    – Powerful subscribe/unsubscribe integration with Mailchimp (DOES AWEBER WORK WITH THIS AS WELL)
    – Offer your prospects a free trial period
    – Simplified membership options for your customers’ use (ANY FORUM CHOICES BESIDE VBULLETIN)
    – Allow payments from third-party vendors (with plugins) (WHAT PLUGINS ARE THEY REFERRING TO)
    – Easier PHP and CSS customization
    – Customizeable checkout buttons (ANY NEW PAYPAL OR OTHER 3RD PARTY CHOICES YET)
    – Multiple minor bug fixes

    These are only a fraction of the 40 new features and enhancements you’ll find in Premise 2.1. I hope you enjoy them all (and, as always, let us know what you think).



    • James … great questions. I have to say, even though I’ve bought the full Genesis package and Premise 2.0, I’ve ditched them in favor of other themes that come with much better documentation and video tutorials. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record (okay, looping CD?), but it seems like the StudioPress folks have gotten to the 90-yard line by creating some great products, but have failed to cross the goal line because they don’t have have the instruction to tell you how to use them.

      So I’ve decided to go with (probably) lesser products that DO show me how to easily get up and running with them. Really, really frustrating … especially when you consider that this is the same company that created a product called “Teaching Sells”. Go figure.

      • Doug,

        Regrettably, I must agree with you, and it is very strange they would have a product called “Teaching Sells”.

        As I have said before, StudioPress and Premise are the best products and design I have ever found in any products or themes. As I told Kathleen, I want to use only their products, especially the integration advantages, and eliminate all my other products for my business.

        For example, I have DLGuard as my download protector and cart. Sam (the owner) always provides excellent support very quickly and if you do not understand his answers, he will personally assist you until it is corrected. But, I would stop using DLGuard if Premise support and upgrades were half as good as his.

        I like StudioPress products better than Thesis, Flex, Socrates, etc., but the training and tutorials they offer are structured for the more experienced and not enough detail without having questions after the tutorials.

        For example, If they provided the great support Thesis provided. I would be buying more of their products and would become a very excited affiliate for them. But, service and customer support is my number one priority. I would damage my reputation and I would be a hypocrite if I sold products that didn’t match what I promise to my customers.

        My only solution for becoming an affiliate is providing a disclaimer and big notation that their products are not for new, beginners, non-technical people, and have limited tutorials and support. I can only hope in the future they decide they want this class of people for customers instead of just technical or experienced customers. I am sure they have a good reason for making this choice.

        I have never received any responses to any of my support tickets I have presented in the last seven months. I also mentioned this problem in my tickets and asked for a better resource for help if they are the wrong source and still no response.

        But Kathleen says she always receives excellent service responses and support. So, I would be happy if I had the same results as Kathleen.

        Unfortunately, I truly believe these products and tutorials are created for intermediate or advanced users for a good reason we don’t know.


        • James, I have to say, if you aren’t getting answers to support tickets, there’s something really strange going on. I’ve never had to wait longer than 24 hours, or 48 on weekends, and in my experience the Copyblogger / Premise help folks are very helpful, know a ton, and provide outstanding support.

    • Hi James,

      Thank you, I’m glad that I can help!

      I’m happy to go into more detail about the Premise 2.1 update – there are a bunch, so let me answer your specific questions.

      In Premise 2.1 there is a new level of integration for MailChimp. Part of creating a new product now includes the ability to add buyers directly into your MailChimp Merge Field(s). Yes, AWeber works with Premise, but I don’t believe it shares this level of integration.

      For now, vBulletin is the only forum that’s integrated with Premise – you can still use other forum software, but you’d have to manually add your users to the forum. “Integration” in this case means that with vBulleetin, new members are automatically also added to your forum.

      Taking payments from third party vendors, payment plugins and PayPal or other payment options? We’ll have to see exactly what is announced, but, and WooCommerce and GravityForms are all useful in this context.

      More soon,
      — Kathleen

  26. I use Canvas and (increasingly) OptimizePress. The video tutorials for both of these products are fantastic. They walk you through the use of their products step-by-step. How long would it take StudioPress to actually use their products and make some screen capture recordings? Certainly a lot less time than it would take to respond to (I’m assuming) tons of support requests they get.

    Here’s the Woothemes tutorials page. Everything in one place, easily labeled and easily consumed. It’s awesome:

    • Doug, thanks for your suggestions and professional opinion.

      I have heard many great things about OptimzePress and also how great their tutorials and support is. I know a few people who have been in the online business for many years and I respect their opinions greatly. All six people are using OptimizePress. Two of them are starting to use StudioPress and I had to ask why and for their honest opinions why they made that choice. I know both are technical and experienced.

      I asked them both why they started using StudioPress and they were completely honest with their answers. They said because of their experience with WordPress and they were technically able and/or had people to do the technical work. They love the framework and technical advantages and thought StudioPress and Premise were their better choices than OptimizePress and DLGuard.

      However, they said, If they were beginners or didn’t want to be a technical person, they would only use OptimizePress and DLGuard. They recommended to wait another 6 months to a year and hopefully they would modify their products to be advantageous for the non-technical people.

      Unfortunately, I don’t want to buy OptimizePress, but It appears StudioPress people are helping me make this decision and not providing me a solution. It appears if I want great support and great tutorials, I will be forced to buy OptimizePress and continue with DLGuard.


      • First I’ve heard of DLGuard. Looks intriguing. I’m using Digital Access Pass to control a membership site and I like it a lot. As with Woothemes and OptimizePress, the support is as good as it gets. And there are TONS of tutorials:

        OptimizePress will soon (approx 4-6 weeks) be coming out with a version 2. It sounds like it’s going to be a major overhaul and might address several of the concerns your techie friends have.

        I agree about the coding of StudioPress. I read an interesting blog post comparing the number of database hits a wide variety of themes require to deliver a web page, and StudioPress did really, really well. Interestingly, so did Thesis. In both cases, pages came up faster than most other themes.

        But then it goes back to that support gig … if the support isn’t there to the degree you need to get up and running with the product, then it might as well be vaporware.

        BTW … the “Teaching Sells” course wasn’t all that good compared to other courses I’ve seen or taken. I’m now sorry I ever bought it.

    • Hey Doug,

      Have you checked out StudioPress TV yet? It’s a great, new video series on using Genesis and StudioPress.

      As for Premise tutorials, I hope mine are helpful for you – and I have some new things in the works.

      — Kathleen

  27. I have heard great things about DAP also. DLGuard ( is creating a major overhaul this year and adding more extensive membership module and Sam and only Sam provides the best support I have ever received from any product owner.

    The really hope StudioPress and Copyblogger create better support and tutorials soon. I have passed on a lot of good products and services because of the lack of quality support and tutorials.

    This situation is a perfect example. StudioPress and Copyblogger provide outstanding products and are perfect for me. Also, my number one choice for integrating all my products and services. However, but it appears I must choose OptimizePress and DLGuard. Not because they are not good products, but because they provide excellent support and tutorials, which very few product companies do.

    I have learned and this situation reminds me, becoming too big of a company can work against you.

    If and when I decide to pay a technical person to constantly work on my product setup, I will begin using their products again.


  28. Kathleen,

    If I had your expertise with Premise, I would become an affiliate and I would fill the void and create extensive tutorial videos for this product and sell the package as my own product and as an answer to what Premise has decided not to provide. You would profit from the sales of premise and profit from your own product. You would be the number one authority everyone would come to for help and would be the only person who can provide a complete product and service in one package.

    Bottom line, you have a “built in audience” who loves the product, would buy the product, but can’t use the product only because of this void. You probably could include support with the tutorials for one price. Again, if I had your experience, I would take advantage of this
    opportunity which is “find a need and fill”

    It is obvious, they love creating the products, but have little interest in providing tutorials and/or support. I have known many companies like this over the years. There is nothing wrong with this philosophy, because it creates opportunity for others.

    Contact me if you decide to do this and I would be very interested in your product and service.


    • Hi James,

      Thanks for your interest and your kind words. I think you know I do have the email course, a series free Premise tutorials, with video.

      But since you ask, well, yes, I’m about to launch a class on Premise for Membership Sites.

      You can hear a little about it, and even sign up to get email about the class, in my recent Premise video on How to Protect Access to Content and Drip Out Content on Schedule.

      • Thanks Kathleen. No … I hadn’t heard a thing about StudioPress TV. Interestingly, they wouldn’t play on Chrome. But when I opened it up in IE8 it worked. So I’ll look at these. Hopefully they’ll expand beyond the 7 vids they currently show?

        Do you know if they have anything like this for Premise?

        • There are some great training materials for Premise owners, highly recommended, that you have to log into the GetPremise site to see. But for video like those? I’m not sure who is making a series of Premise tutorials, other than mine…

  29. I recently purchased Premise but have only used it for creating landing pages, not the membership piece. I wanted more time to play with the membership piece before considering moving from WishList for possible new site creations (like having one plugin that does all Premise does although I love WishList too) but due to their recent DDoS attack and the problems it’s causing me (my site is not working and their emergency fix seems to have a conflict in it that keeps taking all the content off my site on the visitor end – it’s still there, just not visible) and I need a solution now as I have a small class running and a new group starting that need this type of software to access content.

    My hesitation is I just built a forum using SimplePress and paid for their 2 months of support. It seems to be working well but Premise doesn’t integrate with it. WishList doesn’t technically either. I had to use the Member plugin for role creation and when I create a WishList level, I have to also create a member role level with the same name and then give that role level access in the forum. Do you see any reason this wouldn’t work with Premise as well? I know it’s a manual step but I’m already doing it this way and I need to get this fixed quickly so all the time I’ve spent looking for answers the last couple of days has really set me back.

    Your site is awesome and it was wonderful to look and see how helpful you’ve been!!

    • Hi Michele,

      I do think you can use SimplePress just the same way you’ve been doing with WishList Member, manually assigning members to your forum, with your membership site protections working separately on your WordPress/Premise site.

      You’re right, you wouldn’t be taking advantage of some of the automated features in Premise, but this is basically how you’d use any forum software other than vBulletin, (until whatever future date when Premise does integrate with other forum software.)

      Go for it! And let me know how it works for you. And thanks so much for your kind words, I’m glad to be able to help!

      — Kathleen

  30. Thanks! I’ve been setting up the Premise piece and will be working on that here soon so I will keep you posted and would be happy to share more and answer any questions if there are ay and it works:)

  31. Hi Kathleen,

    As usual, I appreciate all your help, responses, and posts. I look forward to your tutorials.

    When you submit a ticket to support, what is the email address or subject provided when you receive an answer to your support tickets? Also what is the URL address you are submitting ticket too. I presume you must sign into the membership area, is that right?

    Unfortunately, I have submitted over 6 tickets since January and I have not received one response to any of my tickets. Please share your secret how you are able to receive a response to your support ticket in 24 to 48 hours when I can’t receive a response in over 6 months.. Also, I would appreciate any tips on how you submit tickets, language you use, or how to receive a response in 24-48 hours.

    • I’m not Kathleen but thought our experience might be useful. :-)

      Responsiveness for us has been about the same as what Kathleen reported – 24-48 hrs (sometimes even get a reply on the weekend). Our challenge is that it often takes at least 2 or 3 back-and-forths before we get any real answer and many things have gone unresolved due to their inability to duplicate the error (apparently it’s our setup or something) — the back-and-forths means that actual time-to-resolution is often closer to a week. Regardless, we do ALWAYS get a response.

      We’ve submitted tickets in two ways: either by logging onto the membership area at or by going through the plugin itself – there’s a way to send a request for help from the Plugins page -> Premise -> Get Support link.

      Anyway hope this helps – we’ve also been frustrated with some issues but the Premise support team is most definitely responding to our requests.

      Separately: Has anyone upgraded to the new Premise release? Any feedback on how the membership module is working? We haven’t upgraded yet – we’re frankly a little nervous since our entire business is running on Premise – got it cobbled together with 2.0.4 and don’t want to break it with the upgrade (!). Any comments on how the upgrade went for others would be super appreciated!!

      • Your experience is very helpful, thank you!

        I certainly have had some back-and-forths with the Premise support folks, but it has always ended with a resolution I was happy with. I guess I’d say that it helps to include as much info the first time as possible, (within reason!)

        As for the new Premise release, 2.1 – I upgraded right away, and did so for my clients as well. I haven’t seen any related problems, and I’m happily using the new features.

        In your case, maybe it would help for you to submit a support request through your Plugin link, so they can review your particular setup, and ask them to tell you if they see any reason for concern?

        How about the rest of you, have you upgraded to 2.1?

        — Kathleen

    • I needed to contact them when I started having a problem and I did get a response within 24 hours but it was hard to have to wait basically another 24 hours for their reply to my reply and after a handful of days there was no resolve and they said they hadn’t seen the error before and it was probably a conflict with another plugin. I believe this to be the case and have managed to get rid of the error but unfortunately it has forced me to rethink my site structure but it isn’t their fault. I just need a forum and don’t want to pay for vbulletin at their price. I don’t mind paying, but just spent money purchasing the support package and setting up a simplepress forum prior to trying to use the membership piece in Premise so it feels like wasted money. I have found a solution – the one I posted about earlier in this thread did NOT work so don’t try it :) I have just decided, for now, to build a subdomain for the forum and input people differently who need access there.

      • Hey Michele,

        I really appreciate your update about your forum setup, I”m glad that you have found a solution that is working for you. I can see why you want to make what you have now work, that makes perfect sense, and I’ll be interested to hear how it works for you going forward.

        And thanks for sharing your experience with the Premise support team, it is helpful to be able to compare notes about that.

        Thank you!
        — Kathleen

    • Hi James,

      Thank you for asking this question again, how frustrating for you! I always have gotten timely responses. I do start by logging in at Under the Help link, at the bottom of the page, is a form where I enter any questions – it even includes a way for me to capture screenshots, if needed – and of course I do select the pulldown subject that indicates I’m asking a “How do I…?” question for the Premise folks.

      There’s a new method to contact the Premise help folks, introduced with 2.1 I believe, that I think is even better: You go into your WordPress dashboard, into your Plugins, and look at the Premise plugin. Right under the Premise name, you’ll see three links, one is to “Get Support.”

      If you click that link, a form opens right there in your Plugin screen where you can fill in your name and email and your question, or describe the problem you’re having, and click, “Submit Support Request.”

      That actually sends your question to the Premise support folks, with some useful information for them about your plugins, WordPress version etc – I’m sure it helps them figure out problems faster.

      — Kathleen

    • Hey James, I hope to hear back from you that you were able to submit a support ticket through your Plugins / Premise / Get Support link and that the Premise support folks replied? I’m looking forward to hearing that you got help!

      — Kathleen

  32. Kathleen: Wow, I knew you knew your stuff about Premise, but — wow!

    Everybody else: I thought I would add my two cents to this conversation because I’ve been learning from Kathleen as I set up a Premise membership site for a client, and also as Kathleen and I have been working together to integrate Premise with vBulletin for another client.

    We have run into many of the problems we expect you have, or will. And we have both been impressed by the helpfulness of Premise support. Like most of the other commenters, my wait for a response has been about 24 hours or a bit more.

    What impressed me most was that, when I strongly expressed a need for comments to be enabled on protected pages and posts, they wrote code specifically for me! I followed instructions to paste it into the functions.php file – and it worked. I assume that feature will be included in the next iteration. So, Premise support is definitely listening. It’s still a new product and there will always be bugs, but they are listening and responding.

    I agree that there is not enough documentation, and that Kathleen is smart to fill the vacuum. I’m excited to be helping her out with her upcoming Premise course. :)

    What I most want to see is a Premise forum… and if Copyblogger doesn’t want to provide one for whatever reason, gee, I wonder who could do that? Tech support forums with knowledgeable members who help each other are one of the miracles of the internet, imho. I think someone (coughKathleencough) had better start one for Premise!

    • Thanks for sharing the really outstanding support you’ve gotten from the Premise support team, LaVonne.

      I know I was really impressed when I heard about how much work they did to help you make sure that your project could go live!

      — Kathleen

  33. Kathleen … As the “heir apparent” go-to person for all-things Premise, perhaps you’d consider starting a Premise Facebook group? I just did a quick search and couldn’t seem to find any groups filling that niche. As its creator/ moderator, it would give you some great visibility, and you could certainly also direct people to your own website from there.

    I’m involved with one for OptimizePress and it’s been a great resource. Pretty active, and it’s been a great promotional strategy for the creator/ moderator.

    On another note, Studio Press should put you on their payroll. ;-)

  34. Does anyone know how to set up a Google Analytics “goal” on the checkout page using Premise? It doesn’t appear that there’s any way to set the onClick event thingie on the button that takes the user to PayPal. Anyone done this?

    • Kathleen Craig says:

      Excellent question! I haven’t done this yet, but I’m going to test it and see what I can find out! And I’ll be interested to hear what you work out, also. Anybody else?

      Thank you!
      — Kathleen

  35. BTW … Kathleen (or anybody) can you show us what a Premise Membership page looks like? One of the reasons I like OptimizePress is because it creates some good looking membership pages. I’m curious if Premise can do this and, if so, what they look like. I couldn’t find any examples on the Premise site, nor by doing a search on Premise Membership Site examples.

    • Hey Doug,

      A Premise Membership Page can look like any WordPress page, landing page or blog post you can make.

      You can see my video at the top of this page, for a very simple example, but basically, Premise makes it possible to protect the main contents of a WordPress page – what that page looks like is up to you.

      (There are defaults and starter templates and so on.)

      I hope that helps?
      — Kathleen

  36. Premise 2.1.1 is getting ahead of some of the issues, I hope. I came to StudioPress and Premise after several happy years with Thesis (I still use Thesis too). I have found the Premise support people to be responsive, but when we can accumulate enough users to keep a sharing forum that brings information such as this thread, it will be more efficient than bugging the support department all the time. I wish I could take short code apart because sometimes it doesn’t seem to work. I did find a few bugs early on and shared them with the support team. I use the forums at StudioPress and Thesis extensively.

    When experimenting for clients’ sites, (I don’t have a product”) it is frustrating to get things set up for a free product. I’m also ready to use Gravity forms when I need to.

    The Premise landing page can be ‘decorated’ as needed, but the simplicity reinforces what they are teaching — the savvy customers are working very well with a simple, easy to understand landing page.

    I feel like we are on the leading edge of this process which means there are some bugs and we’re all getting to be part of it my goal is to keep making the mistakes and get it down pat for a service to clients. I have 2 or 3 waiting in the wings and wishing I would get it in gear!

    • I’m glad to have you here working on all this stuff too, JudyAnn! I hope that’ll help you feel like you can get a real handle on using Premise. I do appreciate the release of 2.1, I appreciate seeing how responsive the team is when they find needed changes.

      — Kathleen

      • One small tip that may help many of us — it is one that i must remind myself of constantly. Create a map of your project. That seemingly oversimple checklist will help maintain sanity. These projects become chaotic enough with changes, trying to see what you’ve done in a different browser as a faux-person.

        Take notes. Keep practicing because updates are never retro- they are expansion. If you were able to control earlier versions, you’ll be able to work with the new toys.

        I will be elated when I can figure out how to create my first smooth site and truly recommend Premise to clients. All can be diffcult — I have a client using wishlist. As I come in doing ‘mop-up’ there is one weird little link I cannot find.

        • Kathleen Craig says:

          It’s true, it’s so important to stay organized while doing this work! And to double check each detail, when it seems like it just isn’t working.

          Keep up the good work!
          — Kathleen

  37. Hi Kathleen,

    I trust you are doing well.

    I was reading your info descriptions above and notice the following statement
    “File ProtectionProtected digital downloads, just for your members or clients. You can protect your digital files and also keep them available for download by your customers or members. (This one does mean you will need a techie friend or helper who can set up one file on your web server for you.) Premise protects the digital downloads you put in a specific folder on your web server. For now, if you use Amazon S3 for file storage, you’ll need to go on using your existing setup to protect that content. I have confirmed this with support — and you may want to put in a feature request asking that to be added. However, the same is true for WishList Member, protected content is whatever is in a folder on your web server, not including files in other locations like Amazon S3.”

    Has this changed in the latest Premise update?

    If not, how much does it cost to have someone put a “specific folder on your web server”?


  38. Hi Kathleen,

    I trust you are doing well.

    I just reviewed all the latest info you provide and I noticed the statement below pertaining to protecting Amazon S3 content (PDF,audio, and video content).

    What would it cost to have someone to “set up one file on your web server for you” Do you do this and how much? OR do you know of anyone who is well versed with this plugin or should I go to Fiverr?

    File Protection
    “Protected digital downloads, just for your members or clients. You can protect your digital files and also keep them available for download by your customers or members. (This one does mean you will need a techie friend or helper who can set up one file on your web server for you.) Premise protects the digital downloads you put in a specific folder on your web server. For now, if you use Amazon S3 for file storage, you’ll need to go on using your existing setup to protect that content. I have confirmed this with support — and you may want to put in a feature request asking that to be added. However, the same is true for WishList Member, protected content is whatever is in a folder on your web server, not including files in other locations like Amazon S3″


    • Hi James,

      Great to see your latest question, welcome back!

      The “one file on your web server,” needed to use Premise to set password protection on downloadable files is pretty basic, it is a folder that you would create on your web server, with a name you will remember.

      You could do it yourself easily, if you are comfortable with using either an FTP program, like Transmit, or by logging into your web host control panel, and opening the File Manager. With either, you simply need to create a new folder with a name you select and make a note of, since you will use it to store your protected files. It has to be placed in a specific location, /wp-content/uploads/yourfoldername

      If you are not comfortable using the File Manager or an FTP program, you should be able to hire someone to do it for you, and it is a very quick task, something they could probably do in one short work session. This is something I could do, but the person who could do it for you the fastest would probably be the person who set up or works on your web site, who may already have your FTP or Control Panel password, or a friend who is good with WordPress installations.

      (Premise can also password protected individual pages, paragraphs or even links on specific pages,)

      I hope that helps?
      — Kathleen

      • Hi Kathleen,

        Great to hear from you again and yest that helps.

        Thanks for the clarification. Now I understand what you were suggesting.

        Best of luck,


  39. A new alternative to Premise, DAP, Wishlist, etc., – is the new built-in membership software with OptimizePress v2.0. Haven’t read any reviews about it one way or the other. But the fact that it’s integrated with perhaps the popular WordPress marketing theme of all makes it noteworthy.

  40. Hi Kathleen,
    Great article.
    I am interested in purchasing premise but before I do, I have two questions.
    1. I am wishing to set up online classes using premise, sort of like an online learning centre. I want people to get to choose which classes they purchase and then set up an account where they can access these classes. Does premise suit this sort of system where there arn’t standard membership levels but each individual person chooses what class they will buy and then has access to this when they log in? Hope this makes sense:) &

    2. Does premise offer the opportunity or function of people being able to leave messages for me and receiving messages back from me. A sort of internal messaging system available for those that have an account/members? or even those that arn’t members yet?

    Thank you very much.
    Looks like a great plugin!
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Daniella,

      Thanks for asking!

      1. Yes, Premise works well for online classes. You can have people select one or more classes they wish to take, pay for those, and get access to the class when they log in.

      2. No, Premise does not have a built in messaging system. You can use third-party tools like Gravity Forms or a forum like vBulletin or bbPress for private messages – personally I use Gravity Forms for private messages.

      — Kathleen

  41. David Rahn says:


    Like everyone here, I’ll sing the praises of your quality posts.

    I teach entrepreneurship, I am having students build sites for their products. I am wondering if Premise provides a good Profile feature (think BuddyPress)

    One student is building a two sided platform that will have profiled people on one side and hiring folks on the other. Like Monster and others. We need to be able to build significant profiles.

    What do you think about Premise handling this?

    • MizGoodGirl says:

      Hi David, and thanks for your kind feedback!

      Premise does not provide the type of profile you describe, (there is a member profile but it’s only for the member, to see their own account information.)

      It might work to integrate with bbPress, the forum, which would then enable profiles, and then have “hiring members” be able to review “listings,” – or to use some custom codes to manually create profile pages that include the info you want on each profile page, again with your “hiring” members able to review these “premise protected” profile pages.

      Premise isn’t designed to do this, but I’d be happy to brainstorm with you how to do a trial setup to see if it would meet the needs of your student.

      I hope that helps!
      — Kathleen

  42. Kathleen,

    Thanks for your thorough post.

    The second bullet point of your post reads: “You’ll get the new “grander vision” product from Copyblogger when it is released”.

    However, the original Copyblogger post and comments seem to suggest that while support and updates will continue to be provided for Premise, the new “grander vision” will be a separate product (at least that’s how it reads to me: “Premise…is gone at the end of the week…we’re discontinuing sales of the product”, “…taking Premise off the market…”, “…we’re killing Premise on Friday the 13th…”).

    Just curious to see if you or others had any additional insight on the matter. I’m currently developing a website and am looking to use Premise to handle some major functionality, however, if Copyblogger is releasing a separate (apparently much improved) product soon, I’d like to know before pulling the trigger on Premise.


    • HI Aaron,

      Thanks for your great questions! I agree that it seems the “grander vision,” will be a separate product, but the way it reads to me is that they’re hinting Premise owners will get the new thing. I don’t know for sure! But that’s what I read, when they say that “taking Premise off the market won’t affect those who own it.” and “…we will..continue to improve functionality and upgrade owners at no charge.”

      Looking at it from the perspective of software development, a nerdy field I’ve spent some time in, if you’re improving function and upgrading for no cost, to me that sounds like you’re talking about the new thing that’s in development, not the old legacy thing that’s discontinued.

      My sites all use Premise, and it’s what my clients use too.

      Personally, I think you’ll be able to move forward without causing yourself problems. I’ll be here working out how to use the new thing when it comes out, so please feel free to ask any questions you have about working with Premise now and getting up to speed with the new thing as soon as it’s available!

      — Kathleen

      • Hi Kathleen,

        I have communicated with Premise support and asked many questions about what is happening.

        They only answered a few questions and as usual, very general and not specific.

        I have been watching the progress of this plugin for the last 2 years.

        Yes, they have upgraded from 1.0 to 2.5.
        Yes, they have added a few plugins, but, a few plugins are still in beta for the last year.
        Graphics pack has not been updated since March 2011.

        They have upgraded and been very consistent upgrading StudioPress themes and I f us thought they would take the same pride in this product. I was wrong.

        It appears Premise is a low priority just like it was when it released it a few years.

        I like the way Copyblogger uses Premise and I have always liked Premise because the code is so clean. But they are using a completely different format and total customized product.

        I asked if their new upgrade would be anytime soon or if it would be done in 2014. They had no idea which probably means maybe late 2014 or 2015.

        Copyblogger said they are going to reboot it as a new product line They just don’t have any idea or not willing to share or when that will be late 2013 or 2014. Also, will not say if the new product will cost us any money. It appears we will not receive a free update.

        • Hi James,

          I hear you, and like you I’ve been watching Premise develop since it was first released. I also like the way they’re using it at and MyCopyblogger, I am encouraged to see how they are customizing it.

          Personally, I draw different conclusions, and I can’t fault them for not wanting to tell us all right now about their plans. Even though I did ask for an interview and send in a set of questions of my own — including asking about the target release date — and I hope they’ll answer!

          But Brian Clark was clear in the blog post I quote at the top, writing, “We will continue to improve functionality and upgrade owners at no charge.” So I am not worried about that part.

          — Kathleen

  43. Hi Kathleen!

    I’ve been reading through these comments in search of information on short codes. You once mentioned to me that I could have a membership protected page (know how to do that) with content that shows up for those that don’t have access to suggest they join or some other short message (don’t know how to do that). Is that possible? Right now, if the page is attributed to membership at an access level, then the message is simply “Please login to view this content.”

    I know that I can mark no membership and then apply short code for what the member sees, but is there a way to edit the short code that non members see?

    I hope this makes sense. You’ve been very helpful in the past and I appreciate that!

    • Hi Kennita!

      It’s great to hear from you, thanks for asking!

      To add a message that non-members will see, there are special shortcodes, including these two:


      These should hide your message from members who are logged in, so you don’t need to worry that you will confuse or annoy them with your call to action for non members.

      I hope that is helpful! I’d be happy to go into more detail if needed,
      — Kathleen

      • Thanks, Kathleen!
        I tried this and maybe I’m not doing it right.
        Is it still within the [show_to] and [/show_to] tags?
        Or do I replace with [visible_to] and [/visible_to] tags?

        I actually tried both and with visible tags, the whole code showed up on the page.
        With show tags, the tags didn’t show but the content did, but not to public- just to the regular member protected page. What did I do wrong?

        thanks for your help,

        • Hi Kennita!

          Thanks for your patience! I struggled with this one at first too. Since “public” is a defined group, “member” also works as a way to refer to everyone other than the general public (in other words, to non-members.)

          To keep it simple, I would use a variation of the [show_to] and [/show_to] in this case.

          Let’s say you want to have a message for visitors who are not members, on your login page, a call to action, maybe an invitation to find out more.
          On the same page you would also have a login form, so that people who are members can log in and get to their members-only content.
          And if a member who is logged in sees the page, you don’t want them to see your call to action for non members.

          The following code should take care of all of the above:

          [hide_from accesslevel='member']Hello visitor, here is a Call to Action[/hide_from]

          [login-form welcome_text='Hello Member, here is your insiders-only content!' logged_in_text="Welcome member!"]

          (And by the way, one error that could keep it from working properly is using “curly quotes,” usually introduced by copying and pasting from a word processor.)

          I hope this works better for you, please let me know how it goes!

          — Kathleen


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