Using WordPress with WildApricot

The Challenge

After working with hundreds of small associations and clubs, we noticed that many organization struggle to brand and differentiate themselves in a sea of crowded choices. Many organizations unfortunately cannot afford and simply do not have the luxury of marketing experts on staff or as volunteers. With WildApricot Press, a suite WildApricot-powered WordPress plugins, the days of plain-looking, unfriendly websites are over.

It is no wonder many organizations have outdated-looking websites. They rarely have a set style guide that contains standard colours, fonts and other branding assets. And even if they did, applying those changes to a WildApricot-powered website is a huge technical and planning challenge. Personify’s outdated WildApricot Login plugin just does not cut the mustard! After many years of struggling to create a modern and beautiful, easy to use website, many organizations come to NewPath wondering, “Why does our website look like it was designed in the 1990s?!

Today our answer is: “You can make a nice looking website with WildApricot, and you should use WildApricot Press and WordPress to do it quickly, painlessly and inexpensively.

With a WildApricot Press-powered website you get the best of WildApricot and WordPress:

  • Many people already know WordPress since it runs 40%+ of the websites on the Internet
  • WordPress themes are search engine optimized and mobile friendly
  • You can generate a color palette for your theme based on your organization’s logo with 1 click
  • WildApricot Press makes integration with WildApricot, super simple!

Our Solution: WildApricot Press

In 2020, we helped several customers attach WordPress to their WildApricot site. However, we were disappointed by the design and capability of WildApricot Login from Personify. WildApricot Login had not been improved in 5 years! So, we decided to write our own suite of plugins to connect WordPress to WildApricot. The result? WildApricot Press!

Key features include:

  • Easy installation and configuration
  • Allow sign in right from any WordPress menu or page/post, branded with your look and feel (rather than WildApricot Login’s plain popup window)
  • Ability to restrict content to membership levels and groups (WildApricot login only supports membership levels)
  • Synchronizing any custom common or membership field as well as system fields to the WordPress database
  • An add-on architecture that will replace the use of WildApricot’s website system entirely and replace all the widget iframes.

WildApricot Press is now available to the whole WildApricot customer base. You can also install it right from your WordPress dashboard.

What does WildApricot Press do?

If your organization already has a WordPress site, you can setup your WildApricot site and integrate the two together without having to move all your content into WildApricot. And if you don’t have a WordPress site, you can spin one up at any webhost for less then $10 per month. Once your site is running, you can install WildApricot Press.

Single Sign-on

Any WildApricot contact or member can now login directly to a WordPress site with their credentials. A login screen can added to any WordPress page or menu, and WildApricot Press doesn’t force you to open a non-descript window to login. That’s a bonus!

A contact or member’s WildApricot data including their membership level, status and membership group participation will be automatically synchronized into WordPress. You can also select any custom common or membership fields to sync. This data will always be kept up to date, so that any WordPress plugin can use this information.

Synchronized WildApricot Common and Membership Fields in WordPress

Access Restriction

All WordPress pages and posts can be restricted for access. So if you have a set of member’s only blog posts or set of pages, you can easily restrict them using the page options.

Settings Page and Post Access Restrictions

Members with any membership status can be restricted to access content. This can be customized to your specific policy in your organization.

Restricting Access by Membership Status

You can also set a global restriction message as well as custom page/post-level restriction messages. If someone tries to access a page or post they can’t access WordPress will present a message that you can customize and ask them to join as a member!

WildApricot Press Add-ons

We didn’t stop there! WildApricot Press features an add-on architecture, that will enable us to add a variety of blocks that can be used to add dynamic functionality of WildApricot into WordPress. By leveraging the fantastic WildApricot API, the WildApricot Press add add-ons will eventually replace the use of WildApricot’s website system entirely. For now we are proud to announce the availability of 2 WordPress ‘blocks’: Member Directory and Member Profile. These blocks will allow anyone without technical skills to embed a fully customizable WildApricot membership directory and a native single contact/member profile block.

NPC’s Two WordPress Blocks: WAP Member Directory & WAP Member Profile

WordPress blocks can be used to insert text, images, videos and now dynamic content from WildApricot. Our plans are to add WildApricot event calendars, event registration, membership applications, a full member profile editor and online donations native to WordPress. And of course, you will be able to customize all these interactive blocks without any requirement for programming.

We also have an easy to use legacy iframe block available to use with existing WildApricot widgets, that also require no programming expertise. WildApricot iframes can be embedded without any knowledge of code and resized appropriately into any post or page.

WildApricot Press Themes

And we aren’t stopping there… We have created a new theme for WordPress that takes advantage of WildApricot Press functions. Our theme gives you a great starting point to design your new site or revamp your existing WordPress website, should you want to do that. Our first theme is free and can help you get up and running quickly with WordPress. One absolutely fantastic feature allows you to upload your logo, place it into the site and automagically change the colour scheme based on your logo, without knowing any of the colour choices. It’s like magic!

About the author

Alex is a pioneer in using the cloud to meet the needs of small and medium sized business (SMBs) and membership-based organizations. He has a BSc in computer science from the University of Michigan and has worked as a product manager at two Internet startups. Alex is a father of 2 and plays the trumpet for fun. He is the founder and the president of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Toronto.