We’ve worked with quite a few different membership software plugins in WordPress over the years. If you’re in the market for a premium plugin to start and manage your membership site, here are three strong options.
Memberpress is an easy-to-use and powerful membership plugin to create and manage subscriptions, as well as access to digital downloads. It integrates well with payment processing services like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, among others. MemberPress also integrates incredibly well with autoresponders like MailChimp, Aweber and more. It’s a very good cost-effective solution to creating a protected site within WordPress. MemberPress will give you fine grained control over what content your users can see based on what membership or digital products they’ve purchased. MemberPress allows you to restrict access to pages, child pages, posts, custom post types, categories, tags and almost any other files existing in your WordPress installation. Pretty awesome. It will also give your members the ability to create, update, and upgrade or cancel their subscriptions directly from your website. This was big for us personally – after working on some pretty big membership sites, we noticed that a lot of the time being spent was on subscription and customer maintenance. A basic license for a single membership site will cost you $99/year. The Developer license is currently $199/year, which allows you the ability to install it on unlimited sites. If you haven’t noticed already, we use Memberpress for our own membership site (sign up for free to check it out!)
WooCommerce Memberships is a fantastic solution that brings your content and eCommerce together. If you are using the WooCommerce WordPress plugin to run an online store on your site, their Membership add-on will integrate seamlessly. From there you can do a lot of neat things – like offering members special discounts on products or services that you’re selling with just a few clicks. That is huge for a lot of membership sites, and while it can be done manually by simply creating two product links (one the general public sees, and another that your members see), that involves some extra steps – extra steps that are eliminated with Memberships.
We have to say, there is a bit of a learning curve with this one, but once you get to know the system, you’re golden. While WooCommerce is free, the Memberships add-on is a premium plugin that will cost $149/year. If you want to take recurring payments, you’ll probably also want to get their WooCommerce Subscriptions premium plugin which runs about $199/year.
WishList Member is another powerful, yet easy to use membership solution that can turn any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site within minutes. They have a great setup wizard that guides you through creating system pages and protecting content. We’ve used it for years on client sites and it’s very good for small to medium-sized membership sites. Additionally, we think it’s great on membership sites that don’t have much to them other than protecting content and managing access. If you’re building a full platform that ties in multiple things such as a online shopping, courses, etc in addition to a membership, you may find WishList Member to be a little limiting. Their support infrastructure is good with forums, documentation, training courses, and more to support clients. A single site license will run you about $197/year.
There are dozens of other membership plugins out there, some better than others. Hopefully this quick list of the particular solutions we prefer will get you started on your membership site project. As mentioned above, we’ve created quite a few membership sites over the years. If you need further assistance setting yours up, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help!
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