Best WordPress Membership Plugins

Contributor, Benzinga

If you want to transform your WordPress site into a fully functional membership site, try using a WordPress membership plugin. Membership plugins empower you to create, manage and analyze membership subscriptions while controlling people’s access to your digital products and services.

WordPress membership plugins are instrumental in improving your sales, building a loyal customer base, automating emails, sending notifications and offering discounts or coupon codes. Take a closer look at WordPress membership plugins! 

What are the Advantages of Using WordPress Membership Plugins?

A membership plugin is designed to help you build a sales channel for your products and services. It also offers the following benefits: 

Manage access to your content

A membership site restricts unauthorized access to premium content and products. It also lets you manage your subscription services and subscribed members. By using a membership plugin, you can create detailed access rules as well as grant or revoke access to members for defined periods of time. 

Offer discounts and coupon codes

Discounts and coupon codes are some of the most effective ways to promote customer loyalty. WordPress membership plugins let you run and control promotional events by granting you the ability to define usages, set expiration dates and state membership levels. 

Automate membership tasks

Managing memberships is a crucial yet repetitive process. Membership plugins automate processes like creating new member accounts, resetting passwords, upgrading to new memberships and canceling existing subscriptions. The automated aspect that these plugins offer ultimately frees up more time in your schedule so you can focus on creating and uploading premium content for your members.

What to Look for in the Best WordPress Membership Plugins

Choosing a WordPress membership plugin can be challenging. You will have to find the plugin that delivers all of the functionality required to manage memberships. To find the best WordPress membership plugin, make sure the plugin you are considering has all of the following features:

Lightweight and easily integrates 

There are plugins out there that offer a seemingly endless number of features, and there are other plugins out there that only offer essential elements. A feature-packed plugin can put a load on your website and lower your website’s performance levels over time. On the other hand, a basic plugin might not be able to perform all of the functions you need. Choose a plugin that does everything you need without impacting your website’s performance.

Safe and secure to use

When you store sensitive data like credit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers or birth dates, you can’t overlook the need to safely and securely protect personal information. Ensure the membership plugin you will be using is compliant with both general data protection regulation (GDPR) and payment card industry (PCI) standards. Choose the plugin that lets you grant and revoke permissions with ease.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews should play a role in your decision process when comparing plugins on WordPress. Plugins that have positive customer reviews are often far more credible than plugins with either poor or no reviews. Analyze the reviews left by customers who have already tried out the plugin and take their experiences into consideration. Reviews are an amazing insight into the plugin’s features, pros, cons, customer support options, integrations and security measures.

Price for value

Price will likely be a key factor in your ultimate decision. Some plugins base their total cost on the number of members they allow you to have while other plugins center their prices around the features that are offered by the plugin. 

Certain plugins may also add hidden costs to cover the setup process and any maintenance services. Look closely at the fine print, and make sure you know what you’re paying for before you agree to download or activate any WordPress plugins. 

The Best WordPress Membership Plugins

WordPress offers plenty of powerful membership plugins that can help you turn your WordPress website into a full-fledged membership site. Here are the 5 best WordPress membership plugins to date: 

MemberPress

MemberPress is one of the widely used WordPress membership plugins that enables you to create a robust membership system in WordPress. It helps you create, manage and track membership subscriptions from a single dashboard.

Pros: Unlike other membership plugins, MemberPress offers a simple-to-use solution that you can integrate with your existing WordPress site easily. Once installed, it allows you to restrict access to pages, posts, categories, tags, feeds, files and more. It also includes content dripping and content access expiration options, which are primarily helpful for e-learning platforms.

Cons: While MemberPress has enough support for the payment gateways it offers, it only maintains 3 payment gateways: PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), Stripe and Authorize.net. It doesn’t provide a free version.

Best for: e-learning platforms that need an all-in-one membership plugin

Pricing: MemberPress has 3 annual pricing plans. Its Basic plan goes for $179, Plus goes for $299 and Pro costs $449.

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a leading membership plugin for WordPress. It lets you create discount codes and an unlimited number of subscription packages, including free, trial and premium subscriptions. 

Pros: It provides easy-to-use yet powerful and visually appealing reports to show you the performance of your membership site. It also automates email services such as welcome emails, payment receipts or reminders sent to your subscribers.

Cons: Restrict Content Pro has limited options for promoting your website and fewer integration options with 3rd-party services.

Best for: Creating unlimited subscription levels and providing granular access control over the content and members

Pricing: Restrict Content Pro’s pricing starts at $91 for Personal plans, $154 for Plus plans, $245 for Professional plans and $525 for Ultimate plans.

WooCommerce Memberships

WooCommerce Memberships brings your content, shop and memberships together. It is undoubtedly an excellent plugin for a multiproduct store with a large customer base that needs to manage everything from a single dashboard.

Pros: Using WooCommerce, you can tap into all other features like content dripping, special discounts, coupons, bundles, upsells, subscriptions and product restrictions. It also allows you to build a WordPress theme independent membership system providing flexibility to change your website design at any time.

Cons: WooCommerce Memberships don’t offer any integrations other than with Woo Products, and customizing WooCommerce Memberships can be complex.

Best for: All-around online store that needs to manage access with maximum flexibility

Pricing: While the core WooCommerce plugins are free, WooCommerce Memberships will cost you $199 annually. 

s2Member Pro

s2Member Pro is another feature-rich membership plugin that offers both a free and premium version. In addition, it offers state-of-the-art security features to prevent data loss and unauthorized manipulation.

Pros: s2Member Pro allows you to create specific Buy Now products to add to the membership levels of your choice. It also offers custom login welcome pages, file download restrictions, IP restrictions and brute-force login protection. You can also integrate it with email tools like Mailchimp, BuddyPress and AWeber seamlessly.

Cons: s2Member pro is not the most beginner-friendly system and can have a significant learning curve. Its free version is limited to 4 paid membership levels.

Best for: Highly secured membership site wanting highly extensible plugin

Pricing: s2Member offers a free version. You can obtain its single site Pro version for $89 and an unlimited site Pro version for $189.

Paid Member Subscriptions is a lightweight and versatile WordPress plugin that will help you set up a full-fledged membership site within minutes. It is easy to set up and beginner-friendly.

Pros: This plugin lets you manage hierarchical member subscriptions and grant, revoke or restrict access to pages, posts, categories or custom post types. It integrates perfectly with your existing WordPress site and doesn’t downgrade your website’s performance.

Con: Paid Member Subscriptions plugin lacks built-in integration with 3rd-party services. 

Best for: Website looking for an affordable, accessible and lightweight membership plugin

Pricing: Paid Member Subscriptions plugin offers a free version, letting you access the basic membership functionality. If you are looking for additional features, its paid pricing starts at $69 for a single site and $149 for unlimited sites.

Manage Subscriptions Easily with WordPress Membership Plugin

Membership plugins are an excellent way to create a new sales channel and expand your business. They also can promote customer loyalty and boost your brand credibility.

Unfortunately, finding a perfect plugin for your WordPress Membership website can be challenging. Before purchasing such a plugin, analyze your requirements and the features you need from the plugin. If you are a beginner, choose a well-regarded plugin. Then, try out the free or trial versions and start managing subscriptions efficiently.