Best Membership Plugins for WordPress
Last Updated on 14th September 2023 by Ajmer Singh
Are you looking to build a membership site in WordPress? This article on the best membership plugins for WordPress should guide you.
These plugins help in the process of building and creating a membership site, after which you grant them access to your content.
It allows you to create an email list where you share coupons, content, and updates with subscribers.
There are tons of membership plugins out there, but not all come with the specific features needed for creating a membership site.
Some can be used to sell subscriptions, while some can be used for content features.
What payment gateway do you intend to use for your site? Is it Paypal, credit cards, or direct transfer?
Your membership plugin should be able to give support for your payment gateway of choice either through built-in or integration of add-ons.
Having established that, let’s walk you through the features to look out for when choosing what membership plugin to go for.
How to choose between the best membership plugins for WordPress?
Considering the fact that there are tons of membership plugins out there.
There are certain factors you should consider when choosing a membership plugin for your WordPress site and they include:
Ease of use
If you won’t be hiring a developer or designer to set up your membership site, you should go for a membership plugin that can easily be navigated.
Some plugins come with features that are completely out of the box, while this may sound good initially, you might end up with a lot of features you will never need.
However, there are a lot of lightweight plugins that are easy to use, and it comes with the exact features needed to set up a membership site.
If you need an additional feature, you can simply install their respective addons.
Before installing a plugin, you need to ascertain if it is compatible with your existing WordPress themes and plugins to avoid installing a bug that will crash your site.
To check for compatibility, test your membership plugin on your local WordPress install first.
If it’s compatible with your WordPress theme and plugin, you can install it on your WordPress site.
However, Themify Ultra is compatible with every plugin I mention in this article.
I also recommend using this theme because of its speed, support, etc.
Design and features
While most membership plugins come with a lot of features that seem to be out of the box.
There are certain features you should look out for while choosing a membership plugin, they include;
What payment gateway will your members prefer to use? will they prefer to make payments using PayPal or direct transfer or credit cards?
You should consider a membership plugin that offers multiple payment gateways.
Another factor you should put into consideration most importantly is how you intend to share your content with members.
This is where the drip content functionality comes in.
Are you interested in creating courses?
Once you can provide answers to these questions, you can decide what membership plugin has the right features you need.
Now that we have discussed the factors you should consider whilst choosing a membership plugin, let’s take a look at our best membership plugins for WordPress.
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7 Best Membership Plugins for WordPress
Memberpress is one of the most popular and easiest to use WordPress membership plugin out there.
It also comes with a lot of features that integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
Firstly, it allows you to create unlimited membership levels that can be categorized into groups.
It also allows you to set up pricing, login, account, and thank you page for users automatically.
You can also add a membership plan where each member knows what to pay, how long a trial will last, the price to pay for an upgrade.
Memberpress gives you the power of restriction over your content.
You can restrict users’ access to some pages, posts, categories, tags, and much more.
It gives you control over what members can see based on their membership level/group or status.
Another feature that makes the memberpress plugin one of our best options is the built-in course addon it comes with.
This allows you to create, manage and easily sell courses online.
It is a drag and drop online course builder that can be easily used to create your course outlines.
It also allows for an interactive learning experience for users, and finally, you can keep track of learners’ progress.
When it comes to integration with email marketing services,
memberpress has a feature that allows it to be easily integrated with MailChimp, AWeber, Getresponse, and MadMimi email services.
It can similarly be integrated with the Amazon web services to organize and grow your business, as well as Buddy press to create a forum.
Finally, the Memberpress plugin has a built-in support feature for PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.
Its developed plan also supports authorize.net.
However, the disadvantage of using the Memberpress plugin is that it has limited payment gateways and limited integration.
But it still stands as one of the best membership plugins in WordPress.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $129 per year for a single site
LearnDash is a plugin that functions as both memberships as well as an LMS (Learning Management System) plugin in WordPress.
The plugin allows you to easily create and sell courses online.
It is an easy to use tool that comes with tons of integrations and advanced module that allows you to build a highly engaging membership site.
It also allows you to hide and restrict content to different membership groups.
One of the features that make the Learndash plugin unique is its drag and drop course builder which allows you to create and sell courses online.
Its advanced module promotes a robust learning environment for users.
The plugin also comes with a content drip functionality that allows for the easy distribution of content to users regularly
When it comes to integrations, the plugin allows integrations with some plugins like MemberPress, WooCommerce, Slack, and much more.
They also offer multiple payment gateways like Paypal, stripe, etc.
However, the only disadvantage that comes with using this plugin is that it lacks some membership features.
But it is good for people trying to build a membership site where they sell online courses.
If otherwise, most of the features the plugin comes with might not be useful to you.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $159 a year for a single site with support and update.
3. Restrict Content Pro
The Restrict Content Pro plugin is iconic and a contender when it comes to holding the title of best membership plugin in WordPress.
The plugin is a lightweight membership plugin that comes with all the features needed to create a membership site.
It was created by Pippin’s plugins, the same team behind the easy digital download and affiliateWP.
The plugin allows you to create an unlimited subscription level with the option to choose between free, trial, and paid subscriptions.
Unlike the other membership plugins, the Restrict Content Pro comes with a built-in integration that other plugins integrate as paid addons.
It has built-in integration with Stripe, Paypal, MailChimp, Email manager, MailPoet and much more.
The plugin comes with multiple payment gateways such as PayPal, stripe, and Braintree which comes as a free addon.
It supports other payment gateways such as PayPal website payment pro, stripe checkout, 2checkout, and PayPal express.
If you are looking to sell digital products on your website, the Restrict Content Pro is the best because it works well with easy digital download.
Also, they restrict content pro has top-notch customer service support that offers free documentation for their users and also provides email support for users.
The plugin stands as one of the best easy to use membership plugins due to the tons of features it comes with that makes it fit for all kind of membership site.
Finally, the only disadvantage of this plugin is that it comes with fewer integration with third parties when compared to the other plugins on this list.
Pricing: Restrict content pro starts with $99 for 12 addons and a single site license for a year.
4. WooCommerce membership
The WooCommerce membership is not a plugin but a built-in addon that allows you to place limits on the sales and purchase of products to the registered members of your site.
If your site is an eCommerce site, you will need to purchase the WooCommerce subscription plugin to accept payment.
The WooCommerce membership addon allows you to create a purchasing club where members will have to sign before they can make a purchase.
It also has a content drip functionality that allows you to drip content to users and to also restrict users’ access to your pages, posts, categories, etc.
They only have access to it if you want them to.
The addon has member reward features that allow you to reward your most loyal customers by offering free shipping services or special discounts.
One of the benefits of using the WooCommerce membership addon is that you are offered a 30-day-money back guarantee.
This means that if you are not satisfied with their services, you can request a refund.
The disadvantage of this plugin is that if you will be making recurring payments on your site, you will have to purchase the WooCommerce subscription addon.
The WooCommerce membership also has limited functionalities which may not make it the best fit for your membership site.
Pricing: The pricing starts at $199 per year.
5. S2 Member
The s2 member is a popular free membership plugin for selling physical and digital products in WordPress.
It has a pro version as well.
It’s been in existence for a while now and has limited features but it poses a good starting point.
The pro version comes with a content drip feature that allows you to place restrictions on the content displayed to users.
The S2 member free version supports one payment gateway which is Paypal while its pro version supports stripe as well as authorize.net.
It integrates well with MailChimp, BB Press, and Buddy Press.
The disadvantage that comes with using this plugin is that it’s a little bit difficult to navigate when compared to the other membership plugins on this list.
Its free version is limited to only 4 membership levels and it supports just Paypal as its only payment gateway.
Pricing: It has a free version, but the pro version costs $89 for a single site license and $189 for an unlimited site license.
6. Paid membership pro
The paid membership pro plugin stands as one of the best free membership plugins for WordPress with tons of great features.
It offers unlimited membership access levels with flexible membership pricing offers.
They also offer discount prices and coupon codes. The plugin comes with drip content functionality.
It has an interesting advertising option that allows you to choose what membership plugin should or should not see in your adverts.
Finally, the plugin can easily be integrated with plugins that offer email marketing services.
It has multiple payment gateways like (Paypal, 2Checkout, Paypal Pro/express, Stripe).
Pricing: It has a free plan, pricing starts at $247 per year for a single site license.
7. Amember pro
The Amember plugin is a PHP designed membership plugin that can be integrated with WordPress.
However, you might experience some compatibility issues with this plugin because it is not a local WordPress membership plugin.
With the Amember plugin, you can create an unlimited membership level, set up pricing options for products.
In addition to this, the plugin comes with all the features needed from a membership plugin
It has over 200+ payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, and much more.
This plugin allows you to easily manage members’ subscriptions by adding, editing, or deleting customers’ subscriptions.
It comes with the content drip function, has 6 different translations for both the admin and users Interface.
Finally, it comes with integrated modules such as the email newsletter, a shopping cart, and much more.
The disadvantage it has is the compatibility issues.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $149.36 for a lifetime license.
Which WordPress membership plugin is best for you?
We chose the memberpress plugin because it comes with all the features you need for a membership site.
It is easy to use, offers multiple payments gateway and integrations with plugins that offer email marketing services.
It also has the content drip functionality that makes it easy to restrict content to users.
However, if you are looking to create an advanced course online, the Learndash plugin stands as the best option for you because of the advanced module tools it comes with.
Looking for something light and flexible? The Restrict Content Pro is a perfect solution.
It allows you to create unlimited memberships, it can also be integrated with popular payment gateways.
In conclusion, the choice of which membership plugin is best for your WordPress site depends on how well the plugin meets your requirements.
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