Notes from my talk at Wordcamp PDX

This Saturday I had the opportunity to speak at Wordcamp PDX. I spoke on my experience running Paleo Plan, a subscription website using WordPress. Below are my notes.

Running a subscription site on WordPress

  • First of all, running a subs site on WP isn’t that different than anywhere else.
  • We’ll be talking about subscription sites in general, with a small focus on opportunities explicit to WP.
  • I’ll be speaking out of personal experience, but obviously, your results may differ
  • If you’ve heard me speak before, you’ll recognize a few themes. These are things I find especially valuable.

If you only take away two things, here they are. (after this you can take a nap)

  • First: Just get started
  • Second: Avoid PayPal

You’re ready.

What I’ve learned:


  • People are willing to pay for convenience
  • People believe they need customization, many don’t
  • Get creative
  • Rethink older business models
  • Give away custom/special content
  • Look for partnerships
  • You don’t have to cater to all of your audiences desires


  • Merchant accounts are worth it
  • Find somewhere with good service, and online capabilities
  • PayPal’s website is super slow and terrible, but at least everything is possible.
  • I hate using it, but it does function
  • Chargify is awesome. WP-Chargify functions, but there’s more to do.

If you’ve ever heard me speak before, you know that I am a big proponent of figuring it out as you go. I believe in bare minimum upfront, prove the model, then improve.

Paleo Plan

Getting started

  • three weeks
  • hired out original content
  • wordpress theme (freshthemes)
  • campaign monitor
  • adwords


  • After 2 months, I went back and finished the design
  • I’m now working on third wave of design
  • I never did get a logo
  • Talk about requests for customization of menus


  • Partnering with CrossFit gyms
  • Current discussions with Dr. Cordain

Plugins I’ve used

Membership Plugins

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