Are you thinking about turning your WordPress site into a full-fledged WordPress membership site? Choosing the right WordPress membership plugin is vital to your business and its growth opportunities.
Membership sites allow you to control who has access to downloads, forums, and online content. Only those who have registered as a member will have permission.
Other reasons for building a membership site (for example, to create an online course or community group) include:
- Help establish you as an authority in your niche.
- Earn revenue from paid subscriptions.
- Expanding and Engaging Your Mailing List
This article will describe and compare WordPress membership plugins to help you make an informed decision about which one is best for you.
Things to consider
When choosing the best WordPress membership plugin, consider the following:
- Is this plugin compatible with other WordPress plugins you use? It is well known that often plugins do not work together and can cause functions to stop working and even break the site. Test the plugin in a local installation or sandboxed environment before installing on your live website.
- What specific features and functions do you need? The WordPress membership plugin you choose should give you the ability to build and design a website according to your requirements.
- How easy is it to use the plugin? Unless you plan on hiring a programmer to run and manage your membership site, make sure the plugin is user-friendly and you understand how to use it.
S2Member is a feature rich WordPress membership plugin. The name of the free version is Framework. It integrates with PayPal Website Payments.
Other features include limiting content to posts or pages, categories and post types. You can also limit:
- certain portions of the URL;
- uploading files;
- snippets of content in posts;
- streaming media
Additional features include:
- Custom Welcome Pages
- Email Templates
- IP Restrictions
- Strong Security
While the S2Member Framework (free) comes with a robust feature set, it limits the number of membership levels to four.
For additional levels and additional features, choose one of the two premium upgrades. The Pro version costs $ 89 a one-time license for a single site. Pro for Unlimited Sites costs $ 189 at a time.
S2Member Pro versions include everything from Framework plus:
- Content rendering capabilities
- Custom profile fields, pages, and one-step registration.
- Coupon and gift registration codes.
- Other payment integrations such as Authorize.net, Stripe, ClickBank and PayPal Pro in addition to PayPal.
If this is your first time starting with a membership site, try the free version. If that suits you, you can always upgrade to the Pro version later.
S2Members have access to extensive documentation and support knowledgebase. Email support is also available for Pro users.
Compared to some of the other WordPress membership plugins, S2Member is a little more difficult to learn.
MemberPress is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins. It’s also easy to use and versatile.
If you are not tech savvy and want to create and manage your own membership site, then you should try MemberPress.
Some of the robust features include:
- Powerful controls to restrict access to any content such as categories, tags, pages, posts, and files.
- Simple and easy setup
- Automatically set up user accounts, prices, thank you pages, and login.
- Simple process for adding membership levels.
- Integration with email services such as MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber, Constant Contact, MailPoet and Mailster
- Content drips to show restricted content to members at specific times.
- Podcast hosting integration with BlubBrry and Amazon Web Services.
- Built-in support for payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal and Authorize.net (Plus and Pro plans)
No free MemberPress and no free trial available. However, they do offer a 14-day money-back guarantee. There are three price levels:
- Base $ 149 / year
- Plus: $ 249 / year
- Professional: $ 349 / year
- Unlimited Membership Levels
- Flexible Pricing Options
- Payment Integration with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree or 2Checkout
- Numerous content restriction options such as member-only posts, pages, videos, forums, downloads and support.
- Report Dashboard
- Email Notifications
- Custom Trial Periods
- Controlling and protecting access to content
- Collecting emails
- Allow new users to register on your site
- Allow members to register and log in from frontend
- Separate private from public content
- Upgrade or downgrade the plan and prorate the difference in cost.
- Limit content to specific messages or message types using shortcodes.
- Generate coupon codes and specify which membership levels can see them
- Integration with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, multiple payment gateways and multiple email marketing services.
- View detailed earnings reports and a comprehensive customer dashboard.
- Sending automated emails based on the behavior or actions of participants.
- Exporting member data to third party tools.
- Block old content
- Delete content on schedule
Since MemberPress only accepts the most popular payment gateways, if you live in a country that doesn’t support these gateways, this WordPress membership plugin won’t work for you.
Professional paid subscriptions
Paid Membership Pro is a free plugin designed for subscription products, premium membership sites and associations to add a new source of income to your site.
Customize your membership site to suit your business needs with features such as:
Set membership levels to suit your business needs, including recurring subscriptions and one-time payments.
Another valuable feature is the ability to display snippets of restricted content to non-contributors. This gives you the opportunity to rank on the SERPS and encourage others to join your membership program.
For more advanced features like affiliate tracking and membership approval process, Paid Membership Pro has over 60 free and paid add-ons
Some of the more complex functions require coding. So, if your business requires configurations such as adjusting ratings for updates, you will either need to be a programmer or have access to someone who understands the code.
This free WordPress plugin for membership sites is called Restrict Content. It is available in the official WordPress plugin repository.
A simple and lightweight Restrict Content plugin allows you to restrict access to content based on user roles. With content constraints, you can:
Professional Content Restriction
Restrict Content Pro is the professional version of Restrict Content for users looking for additional and updated features. It has four price ranges, from $ 99 per year to $ 499 at a time.
Create unlimited tiers, free and trial subscriptions, and flexible pricing options. This WordPress membership plugin also allows users to:
Restrict Content Pro is a feature rich, flexible and versatile product. This gives you maximum control over who has access to your content.
While the lowest tier of the pro version is a reasonable $ 99 / year, the cost can increase over time as your business grows and additional add-ons are needed.
What’s the Best WordPress Membership Plugin?
There are many WordPress membership plugins available on the market. Which one is best for you depends on your needs, budget and technical expertise.