Best WordPress membership plugins

Using a WordPress membership plugin to earn revenue through paid memberships is a fantastic idea. They provide you the option of restricting access to some or all content to subscribers only. Subscription payments can be one-time or ongoing, with the latter providing a stable source of income.


Types of membership sites

WordPress membership sites (also known as subscription sites) can be divided into 4 categories:

Drip subscription Part of the content is hidden from regular visitors and can only be accessed with payment.
Service-based Users subscribe to learn a new skill, watch private videos, etc.
Product-based Users pay subscriptions to download products such as games, ebooks, WP plugins..
Community-based Users pay to chat with other users, post in forums, write articles, etc.

What to look for in a WordPress membership plugin

ur needs will vary depending on the sort of website you’re creating, but here’s a rundown of the most typical features of WordPress membership plugins:

  • Front-end user profile and login management (for users)
  • Role management from the backend (for admins)
  • Support download of digital products
  • Accept one-time or recurring subscriptions
  • Multiple Payment gateways (Stripe, PayPal, etc.)
  • Multiple currencies (Why not Bitcoin?)
  • Content protection tool
  • Login via social media
  • Discounts, Coupons or even Affiliates
  • Email marketing

Best WordPress membership plugins

The following is a list of WordPress membership plugins that are currently available in [year]. Each plugin will help you in transforming your website into a membership site with free or paid subscriptions.

WP-Members

WP-Members Membership Plugin

WP-members is the original membership plugin for WordPress and the only free WordPress membership plugin that matches the functionality of many premium plugins, hence it deserves to be at the top of the list.

Its features include:

Need more features? Premium extensions are available

The plugin is easy to setup, translated in more than 20 languages and is in active development since 2013!


Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a premium WordPress membership plugin that was developed by Pippin Williamson and the great team behind EasyDigital Downloads plugin.

If you lack experience in setting up a membership site, Restrict Content Pro can help: the plugin provides comments to guide you through the setup process.

Features:

  • Different membership levels
  • Customer dashboard, so members can view and manage account details
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Unlimited subscription packages
  • Discounts
  • Send emails to subcribers

It provides a large number of payment integration options, including Stripe, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, PayPal, and PayPal Standard and Express. The plugin can also handle multiple payment methods at the same time.


Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro

For me, this is the WordPress membership plugin that is the most well-known and, possibly, the most widely used on the list.

The first order I received on Fiverr was for the modification of a website that was using the Paid Memberships Pro plugin.

The main features include:

  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Accept one-time or recurring subscriptions
  • Free memberships, trials, variable pricing, etc.
  • Payment gateway integration (PayPal, Stripe, etc.) and offline payment
  • Personalized content for each member
  • Ability to create a member-only interactive community
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Discount codes
  • Front-end registration, login, password recovery and configuration file editing
  • Dashboard for member account management, including import/export, reports, etc.
  • Member invoice and billing information
  • Custom fields for user profiles and registration forms
  • 20+ addons, covering courses, member exclusive activities and more.

There is a free version of Paid Memberships Pro, but there is also a premium version with extra features, frequent updates, and premium support. The pricing starts at $297/year and covers up to 5 domains.


Simple Membership

Simple Membership

Simple Membership is another free membership plugin for WordPress. It includes a lot of functions that are useful for subscription-based websites, but its major drawback (and advantage) for me is that it lacks design on the frontend.

Meaning that your active theme style will be used for the login form, user profiles, registration form, etc. Here’s an example:

Personally, I hate it, but the plugin has over 50k active installs, thus it must be popular with other Webmasters.

Features include:

  • Free and paid members
  • PayPal, Stripe and Braintree payment gateways
  • Customizable login widget
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Google reCAPTCHA is supported on registration, login and password reset forms (nice!)
  • Configurable redirection (registration, login, logout, etc.)
  • Compatible with any theme
  • Translated to over 30 languages

MemberPress

Member Press

Are you a big fan of conversion popups like I am? Then pay a visit to this website ?

I’m visiting their website for the first time to learn more about the plugin’s functionality, but the 4 popups are quite annoying.. i just had to screenshot it.

Features:

  • Unlimited access levels and customizable restrictions
  • Unlimited memberships and courses
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Automatic email reminders (nice!)
  • Self-service membership dashboard
  • Customizable registration form
  • Payment gateway integration (Stripe, PayPal)
  • Coupons

The plugin doesn’t have a free version nor a live demo available, but according to it’s G2 reviews it’s quite good.


WooCommerce Memberships

WooCommerce Memberships

This plugin is the way to go if you already have a WooCommerce store and want to add subscriptions.

The most notable feature is that you can grant users memberships based on purchased products. So, for example, when someone buys a particular jar of honey, you can let them get discount coupons for other products.

Features include:

  • Configurable limits and protection
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Memberships when purchasing products
  • Member-only products with limited visibility
  • Better shipping options for members, for example offer free shipping for members, while non-members must have a minimum order amount or discount coupons for free shipping
  • Import and export members to CSV
  • Add notes to member profiles
  • Email reminders and renewals
  • Integrate with WooCommerce subscription plugin to extend functionality

Restrict User Access

Restrict User Access

Completely free WordPress membership plugin that honestly has more features than most premium alternatives.

Features:

  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Automatically assign features to users based on triggers, for example, when they made a purchase, whether they logged in, etc.
  • Configurable membership periods: days, weeks, months, etc.
  • Hide navigation menu items or widget areas according to the user permissions
  • Redirect unauthorized users to any page
  • Shortcodes and developer-friendly API for advanced users

I quite like their Description on wp.org: “Restrict your content in minutes, NOT hours.


LearnDash

LearnDash

LearnDash is a learning management system (LMS) designed to let you create a comprehensive membership-style website where you can sell your courses online.

Features:

  • Drag and drop course builder (unique feature on this list)
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Quizes, Leaderboards, badges and certificates
  • Forum access for subscribers
  • Group and job management
  • ProPanel addon – detailed reports on registration, progress and performance

MemberMouse

MemberMouse

This plugin is unique in that it charges for licenses based on the number of members: The Builder plan is good for up to 5,000 members, the Advanced plan for up to 50,000, and the Premium plan for up to 100,000.

If you have a sufficient budget, and want all the goodies, then MemberMouse is the right choice.

Features:

  • Free and paid members
  • Content dripping (subscribe to unlock part of the page)
  • Sell ​​digital products, physical products or services
  • A range of billing and subscription options, including one-time or repeat purchases, free and paid trials, limited time plans, etc.
  • Multiple payment gateways and currencies -no Bitcoin(yet!)?
  • 3D Secure 2.0 and reCAPTCHA v3
  • Integrated with MailChimp & AffiliateWP plugins
  • GDPR compliant

Best Free and Premium membership plugin

I’ve listed the best WordPress membership plugins in this article based on my own preferences. And, as you might have guessed from my witty comments, I’m not promoting any specific plugin.

So far, I’ve used the LearnDash and Paid Memberships Pro plugins on a handful of websites, so I’m familiar with them and quite satisfied.

If you want a free WordPress membership plugin that has all of the functionality you need in a membership website, WP-Members is the way to go.

And if you’re prepared to spend a few bucks to get the greatest deal, MemberMouse is the way to go.

What is your favorite membership plugin for WordPress? Do you already have a subscribers-only site, or do you plan to create one in the future? Please join us in the comments below!

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