This post details how to create a resource library on a self-hosted WordPress website for free.
Step 1 — Create a New Page
From your WordPress dashboard, click Pages ⟶ Add New.
Add a title like “Free Resource Library” + click Save Draft.
Step 2 — Set a Password
On the Document settings, find Visability. Change this option from Public to Password Protected.
Choose a simple password that aligns with your brand + type that into the “use a secure password” box.
Step 3 — Add a Columns block
This gives you a grid-like structure for an organized view.
Step 4 — Create graphics
In a free design program like Canva (or its Pro version), you can create beautiful title images that match your brand in minutes.
I use the same image size for every horizontal image + the same image size for every vertical image. I’d recommend doing large images with large font sizes so they don’t pixelate when viewed on different devices.
Step 5 — Add graphics to your Resource Library page
Add an Image block into one of the Columns on your page.
Click Upload, then choose your graphic. Click “Select”.
Step 6 — Add download link to the image
When your graphic inserts into your page, the Image block settings will pop-up.
Find the “Link Settings” tab in the Image block settings, and choose Link to Custom URL.
Add the download link to your resource document in the Link URL box.
I choose to store all of my downloads in my Google Drive folder, so that they don’t take up space on my WordPress site. If I right-click over the resource in my Google Drive folder, I can select “Get Shareable Link” to find that URL.
Copy and paste that URL into your Link URL box.
I like to check-off the “Open in New Tab” setting, so that users can easily get back to the main Resource Library to download more.
Step 7 — Publish + Do a Test Run
Click “Publish” and do a test run of clicking the desired image to get to the download. If that works, great! Move onto the next step. If that doesn’t work, go back and troubleshoot from the beginning steps.
Step 8 — Create the sign-up form.
When people sign-up for access to your free resource library, you’ll need a way to deliver the password you created in Step 2.
The easiest way is to send it in an automated email that gets sent immediately after a person inputs their Name + Email Address.
I do this in MailChimp, which you can start with for free up to 2,000 subscribers. Here’s the MailChimp instructions on how to add a sign-up form to your website.
Step 9 — Write the delivery email.
Once you have the sign-up form on your website, you need to have your email provider send that automatic email to new subscribers.
Start simple — this email doesn’t need to be fancy yet, but you can elaborate this single email into a series that educates your subscribers over time.
For now, a simple “Thank you for subscribing! I’m Name, and I help X do Y by Z. The password to the Resource Library is ThisIsThePassword123!” is all you need.
Step 10 — Replicate the sign-up form.
There’s a rule-of-thumb that says it takes a person, on average, 7 times to see something or hear something before they take true action on it.
That means that having a single sign-up form for your Resource Library would mean little action. You’re going to want to replicate the opportunity for signing up at least 6 more times around your site!
Choose a few blog posts where you can embed the sign-up form in a relevant way. Add a link to the sign-up form to your social media pages. Insert a widget in your sidebar. Insert an option in your header or footer, or both.