Wondering how to build a membership site on WordPress? There are several plugins available to help you get it done, but you have to know the right ones to install. Using the right membership plugins will ensure a smoother business and provide better room for growth. When picking your membership plugin, you have to take into account what features you need and what the plugin provides. For instance, some plugins are great for selling subscriptions on a single level, while others provide different membership levels and more complex features. Let’s take a look at the 10 best membership plugins for WordPress we’ve picked out for you.
What is a membership plugin?
A membership plugin allows users to register on your website. If you are selling some services or products, especially something that requires a user account, allowing them to purchase different levels of access to the sections of your website, a membership plugin can be extremely useful. They essentially create users with different capabilities, extending the default roles and permissions available on WordPress by default. You can control these permissions based on the level of access you want to give to every member of the website.
How to choose the best membership plugin?
Choosing a membership plugin will completely depend on the different requirements of the webmaster. Based on the type of website and service you are running and providing, only you will be able to decide what functions and features you will require. Most of the membership plugins utilize the default WordPress user creation and management features. So oftentimes, even if you decide to change the plugins, you will be still able to access and manage the members on your website.
There are a few things that you should keep in mind while choosing a membership of plugin.
- Make sure that The membership plugin has all the necessary features you might need now and in the near future.
- Go for a free plugin first, and then only upgrade to the premium version if you are satisfied with it.
- It’s also a good idea to try the plugin on a local development environment, instead of directly installing it in the production.
- Carefully check for the migration features the plugin offers. And if they use any custom tables or database functionalities, which will prevent you from migrating to other plugins.
List of the best membership plugins
Based on our research and findings so far, these are the 10 best membership plugins available for WordPress websites.
MemberPress is used by a lot of WordPress membership sites. Its popularity is based on the fact that it is easy to use and has so many features not found in other plugins. Once you register with MemberPress, it can automatically set up your login, account, and pricing pages for your users. Although it has limited options (PayPal and Stripe), which means it caters only to users who live in specific countries, it integrates with other services such as Amazon Web Services, MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber, and MadMimi email services. The pros of using MemberPress far outweigh the cons. The Basic plan is $129 per year, while the Plus Plan is $249 per year.
- Schedule the release of content over time.
- Create dynamic pricing pages.
- Restrict access to specific pages, posts, or custom post types.
- Integration with popular email marketing services.
- Powerful rules and permissions.
- Coupons and discounts to members.
- Track member activity
- Generate reports.
- Payment gateways integration.
- Automate member upgrades and downgrades.
Do you want to sell online courses on your WordPress site? LearnDash allows you to do this easily. With this plugin, you can offer an exciting learning experience to your members. When you install this plugin, you gain access to different ways to sell your courses, which include a shopping cart where your visitors can buy individual courses, a membership option that provides them with access to all your online courses, and a subscription-based selling.
To make users more engaged in your courses and increase their willingness to complete them, LearnDash allocates points to learners as they complete courses. Those points are then used to unlock new courses. For a single-site license, the pricing starts at $199 per year.
- Gamify the learning experience with points and achievements.
- Create interactive quizzes and assessments.
- Drip-feed lessons to deliver content gradually.
- Set prerequisites for course progression.
- Integrate multimedia elements.
- Offer certificates upon course completion.
- Discussion forums for learner engagement.
- Integrate with popular payment gateways.
- Customize the course layout and design.
- Generate detailed reports.
Teachable is another membership plugin for creating online courses for your users. This platform can be accessed alone. So, you can choose to integrate it into your website or host your courses on Teachable subdomain. Teachable lets your customers gain the best out of your courses by making it easy to create quizzes and discussion forums. After the course is completed, you can issue certificates of completion to your students. With Teachable, you can create affiliate programs, advanced pricing options, and coupon codes to boost your sales. Teachable starts at $29 per month and is billed annually.
- Easily create and manage courses.
- Discussion forums for students.
- Customizable course curriculum and structure.
- Create quizzes and assessments to test student knowledge.
- Provide certificates to students.
- Offer flexible pricing options and payment plans.
- Integrate with popular email marketing tools.
- Track student progress and engagement.
- Built-in affiliate marketing program.
- 24/7 customer support and assistance.
4. aMember Pro
aMember Pro is not a native WordPress plugin. So, you may experience some compatibility issues with your plugin and your theme. This plugin is packed with so many features, and you can use it to create any type of membership you want. Some of its interesting features include the ability to manage all your subscribers, i.e. you can add, edit, or delete customers and subscriptions, and creating unlimited membership levels and product categories.
aMember Pro gives you access to dozens of payment gateways. In addition to this, the plugin has 6 translations (German, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Chinese, and French) for ease of use in different countries. To register, you have to make a one-time payment of $149.36, and you can use it on as many sites as possible.
- Manage and track subscribers and subscriptions.
- Integrated affiliate management system.
- Multiple membership levels.
- Offer one-time and recurring payment options.
- Customizable registration and login forms.
- Protect digital downloads and restrict access.
- Content dripping (timed release of courses).
- Integrate seamlessly with popular payment gateways.
- Multi-language support for international students.
- And robust reporting and analytics.
Restrict Content Pro is another membership plugin that lets you create any type of membership site you’re interested in. It has both free and premium versions. The free version which is found in the WordPress plugin store comes with limited features. So, if you want to create a fully functional membership site, you have to get the premium version. Restrict Content Pro offers built-in payment integrations like Authorize.net, PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, and Stripe.
You can either use it to create Magazine Subscription for your online Magazine, create private forums, and even club memberships. Pricing for the premium version starts at $99 per year for a single site.
- Easily restrict access to any content.
- Multiple membership levels and pricing plans.
- Set up recurring payments and subscription-based models.
- Provide discounts and coupons to members.
- Built-in payment gateway integrations (PayPal, Authorize.net, etc.).
- Drip-feed content to control access.
- Compatible with popular WordPress themes.
- Generate detailed reports on membership activity.
- You can restrict content by categories, tags, or custom taxonomies.
- Developer-friendly with extensive hooks and filters.
S2 Member is a popular WordPress Membership Plugin with free and premium versions. If you want to see how it works before getting the premium version, you can download the free base plugin and give it a try. The free version supports PayPal alone, while the Pro version also supports Authorize.net and Stripe. S2Member works with MailChimp, bbPress, and BuddyPress. The main problem with S2Member is that it isn’t user-friendly; it is difficult to use compared to other plugins on the list. But, it works well, and you get enough features with the free version to support a basic site. The Premium version license for a single site is $89.
- Content access based on membership levels.
- Offer one-time and recurring payment options.
- Content dripping for the gradual release of content.
- Advanced user import/export functionality.
- PayPal-integration (free version), Authorize.net, and Stripe (Pro version).
- Integration with MailChimp, bbPress, and BuddyPress plugins.
- Extensively customize membership options and access levels.
- Support for custom login/registration forms.
- Protection against brute-force attacks.
- A developer API for advanced customization.
When you get the WooCommerce plugin, you also get WooCommerce Memberships as an add-on. With this plugin, you can limit your content to only users who register. To accept recurring payments using this plugin, you have to install the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin. This plugin is useful for those who are already selling digital products and also want to sell membership on their sites. With WooCommerce Memberships, you can provide a discount for premium members. Pricing starts at $149 per year.
- Create membership plans with different pricing and benefits.
- Integrate with WooCommerce Subscriptions.
- Provide members-only discounts and promotions.
- Content dripping for gradual access to the material.
- Manage members directly from the WooCommerce dashboard.
- Sell and manage digital products with ease.
- Restrict access to specific product categories or tags.
- Offer trial periods and free memberships.
- Integration with payment gateways.
Paid Member Subscriptions is another membership plugin that comes in both free and paid versions. The lite version is available in the wordpress.org plugin store. As expected, it has only a few features to manage a basic membership site. But, the premium version packs a lot more features and is still affordable. With the free version, you can only charge for one-time payments via PayPal, create multiple membership levels, create registration and login forms for users, and restrict user access to specific content based on membership levels.
With the premium version, you can integrate with bbPress and WooCommerce, use more payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal Express, and also create global content restriction rules for taxonomies and post types. There are various features available to you. The premium version starts at $69 per year. For all features, you pay $149 per year.
- Create unlimited membership levels.
- Set access rules based on your requirements.
- Flexible payment options via PayPal (free version).
- Integration with Stripe and PayPal Express (premium version).
- Restrict access to specific pages, posts, or custom content types.
- Offer free and trial memberships.
- Registration and login form customizations.
- Works flawlessly with popular WordPress themes.
- Member management with user profiles and subscription details.
- Content restriction based on custom taxonomies and post types.
- Restrict access to downloadable files and resources.
One of the major problems you experience when creating a membership site on WordPress is compatibility problems. Many themes don’t agree with membership plugins. Paid Membership Pro is unique because it comes with its WordPress theme. With this plugin, you can create as many membership levels as you want. You get to specify all your terms including price, membership term, and billing cycle. If you want to restrict particular content from users based on membership, Paid Membership Pro has added a meta box to your post and pages which allows you to restrict them individually.
You can also restrict by category. This plugin also has advertising options. For instance, you can choose to display ads to users on free membership while hiding ads for premium membership users. The pricing starts at $97.
- Create unlimited membership levels and pricing options.
- Control access to content, pages, and posts.
- Flexible payment options with PayPal and Stripe.
- Drip-feed content to members over time.
- Offer discount codes and coupons.
- Generate detailed reports on membership statistics.
- Content restriction by category, tags, or custom taxonomies.
- Integration with email marketing services.
- Built-in advertising options for different membership levels.
- Compatibility with a wide range of WordPress themes.
MemberMouse has a lot of features for you to use to create your WordPress membership site. With this plugin, you can sell individual posts or pages or even as a group on a one-off basis. You also get a widget that tells subscribers all the content they have access to and the restricted content that will be made available to them soon. You can restrict content by pages, posts, and categories. Also, the plugin integrates with so many third-party services, including payment gateways and email marketing services. The pricing starts at $19.95 per month.
- Quickly create and manage membership levels and subscription plans.
- Sell individual posts, pages, or bundles.
- Content dripping for gradual access to the features.
- Restrict access based on different membership levels.
- Track member activity and generate analytics reports.
- Integrate with payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe.
- Offer one-click upsells and down sells.
- Customizable member dashboards and profiles.
- Built-in affiliate program and tracking.
- Integrate with email marketing services for member communication.