Creating subscriber-only pages


I’m new to all this and am getting confused about a particular aspect of web design.
I run a site which offers mp3s of interviews - - which, along with everything else on the site, are free.

Now I want to create a section of the site (that includes more mp3 files) which can only be accessed by paying subscribers and have absolutely no idea how to do this.

So the idea is that I offer premium content which is only available for a fee; I assume this means setting up automatic passwords as well as methods of payment. Does Dreamhost have anything that enables this? How do I make a link to a page that only people with a password can access, and how do I attach a payment system to it? What do I need?

Any help would be appreciated. And go slow, I don’t know all the terms.



I can only answer one part of the question and give you a few pointers on the other

“How do I make a link to a page that only people with a password can access?”

Easy… and there’s a lot of ways. You can code it with PHP sessions with a mySQL database storing your list of usernames with their passwords (hash the passwords, never store them in plaintext…I suggest using sha1 instead of md5 for security reasons)

Have a login page match the credentials provided against the database and when a successful login is made, set some session variables that allow the user to log in

“How do I attach a payment system to it? What do I need?”

Here’s the tricky part… never done this though, but you could try to use zencart (available in your control panel as a one click install) and provide means for users to buy a single product (i.e. subscription)… a successful purchase can now be used to generate a username/password pair to be inserted in your users table.
Need monthly subscriptions? easy… have a cron check every month that each user’s subscription hasn’t expired. If it has, then mark him/her as disabled so they cannot login again

I hope I made some sense… 3.30am here, heheh

good luck!


Thanks so much for this, I really appreciate it.

I can’t pretend to understand much of what you’ve said I’m afraid, as I’m a bit slow at all this. But I know someone who does understand it all and I’m hoping he’s going to ‘translate’ it for me!

I knew there must be a way - and I’m desperately trying to avoid spending money I haven’t got on getting someone to do it for me. I’m also eager to learn as I go. This maybe a step too far though…

Thanks again.


Is there a way of putting code into my Flash Players (that I use for my audio on the site) that stops people listening to the audio until they’ve paid for it?
So when people click on the player, it takes them to a payment page (with, say, Paypal); they pay, then get returned to the player and listen to the audio?

Or is that just ridiculously complicated?