Right now, it is trendy to set up a membership site because it gives you control over the influx of your income and profit. On top of that, you won’t have to worry about your affiliates bailing out on you or losing an advertising deal.
Having this membership option for your most valued subscribers is crucial for your company’s growth and expansion plans.
With so many WordPress membership plugins available in their library, you are spoiled for choice.
Let’s go through the best of the best with this discussion of the top 10 membership plug-ins available on WordPress today:
|Plugin (click to learn more)||rating||Price||Link|
|Restrict Content Pro||$199/year||LEARN MORE|
|Paid Member Subscriptions||Freemium||LEARN MORE|
|Paid Memberships Pro||$97||LEARN MORE|
|Magic Members||$97||LEARN MORE|
|WooCommerce Memberships||$149||LEARN MORE|
|WP Members||$59/year||LEARN MORE|
This is one of the most popular membership plugins because it offers so many features with a starting price of $129 annually.
With MemberPress, you can create various kinds of membership levels with their different trial offers and payment schemes. You can even craft “Membership Groups” from different levels so you can tailor fit from a predefined upgrade path.
This comes with unlimited coupons and a built-in affiliate program. There are also several options for you to restrict content. You can choose to be broad and restrict entire categories, you can restrict only parts of your post or page, and you can limit access to specific files to help you your site’s downloading management.
MemberPress will let you drip down your content with your own selected predefined schedule. They give you frequent reports so you can see how your membership site is doing. Furthermore, this comes with MemberPress Reminders to aid you in sending out notification emails for certain events.
Member Press is also a leader when it comes to integration. They have a partnership with most email services, along with major payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.Net. This plugin is perfect for those who run an online course because it can integrate with LearnDash.
2. Restrict Content Pro
One of the big names in the industry is Restrict Content Pro as it was developed by Pippin’s Plugins, the team behind Affiliate WP and Easy Digital Downloads. This allows you to create unlimited subscription levels. For newbies, they can choose a free trial offer of this WP plugin. For those who want more access to features, they can select a premium subscription that begins at $199 annually.
This membership plugin will allow you to play around with your membership pricing. To illustrate, you can opt to charge a fee for a specific period or you select the one-time fee. You are the king in this area because you can choose the pricing structure that is most suitable for your niche.
It is important to note that this Restrict Content Pro allows users to move between plans easily. They can choose to downgrade or upgrade anytime they want at their own convenience. This feature is not offered by most membership plugins.
This WordPress membership plugin will let you restrict your content on a per post basis. You can also opt for restriction via a shortcode in your post or page. This plugin works well with most email service and payment gateways. This also integrates well with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
3. Paid Member Subscriptions
Paid Member Subscriptions seems like a light version when compared with the other plugins, but it is still a flexible WordPress membership plugin that comes free, along with two premium levels that stack on a lot of extra perks for an added cost of $69 and $149.
The free version is still functional and great for those who are still newbies with a strict budget. This allows you to create multiple membership levels, charge for these levels via Paypal (though the free version does only one-time payments), restrict access to content based on the user level, and create a member registration/ log-in form.
Paying extra will let you drip out content over time, along with creating global content restriction rules depending on your type of post. This also provides more payment methods and gateways, while providing more discounts. You can also choose to automatically collect recurring subscriptions while members have multiple types of membership.
4. Paid Memberships Pro
This membership plugin’s core version is $97, but it still remains a very popular choice for many users because of this key feature: it allows you to display an excerpt of your restricted content to non-members. Apart from enticing them to sign up, you also move up in ranking in your SERP because your restricted content can still be indexed by various search engines.
Paid Membership Pro’s highest tier has its own dedicated and exclusive WordPress theme, which is a nice touch because everything can be seamlessly integrated. Unlimited membership levels with flex payments can be crafted. You can opt for one time, recurring bill cycle, free trial, reduced-price trial, and more.
By adding a meta box to your post or page, you can restrict each post/page on an individual basis or you can opt to limit whole categories. You can also choose to restrict ads for your highest tier members if you like. On top of this, your Paid Membership Pro plugin incorporates many email services and payment gateways.
Those who are looking for plenty of features can play with the MemberMouse plugin, which starts at $19.95 per month for 1,000 members. This allows the creation of both bundles and membership levels. The latter, of course, is expected, but the bundles component is a unique touch that will permit you to sell posts/ pages on a one-chance basis.
This plugin will let you drip out restricted content based on your preference. They also have this unique feature that lets you browse your site as your beloved member would. On top of that, you can also stake your site akin to a newly registered member, so you can get the real feel of your site.
MemberMouse comes with a widget that gives a preview of restricted content to your subscribers, so they know what they can look forward to. As for the restricted content, you can do so via posts, pages, categories, and customized post types. Furthermore, when it comes to customization they have various neat tools for upselling and down selling that are built-in.
This comes with various coupon codes and can be integrated with other popular email services and payment gateways. It even includes an API which you can sync to. However, the caveat is MemberMouse is not GPL (general public license), so you cannot personally tweak its code.
6. Magic Members
The only downside of Magic Members is its interface is old fashioned and outdated. However, this is forgivable because they do offer several cool features for $97 for a single-site license. You can do a free 7-day trial without risking any money.
This WordPress plugin allows you to make standard unlimited membership levels, coupled with various trial options and pricing. You can manage all of these in their helpful but outdated looking dashboard.
When it comes to content restriction, whole categories, individual posts, and pages can be restricted. You can even use shortcodes to restrict a portion of your content. All of this can be released via a drip schedule.
Apart from membership, there is also a “pay per post” functionality, so those that don’t want exclusive membership don’t have to commit to a year-round thing. You can play with this and charge per view or how many views are included with the price.
This comes with its own download manager that will deter unauthorized users from downloading files. It also deters multiple people from using the same account. Integration is not an issue with many email services and payment gateways.
s2Member is a very popular free WordPress membership plugin. And who doesn’t love freebies? However, the caveat is this free plugin limits only up to 4 paid membership levels, along with the incapacity to make coupons and drip content.
As with most membership plugins, you can restrict posts/pages, custom post types, and categories. Specific restriction features such as limiting BuddyPress, specific URL fragments, and other pockets of content within full posts can be done. Streaming media and file downloading can also be restricted.
This comes with helpful tools such as a custom login welcome page, IP restrictions, email templates, and brute-force protection. Most of these added restrictions are available in the full pro version with a starting price of $89.
8. WooCommerce Memberships
This is not a stand-alone plugin, but it is built on the WooCommerce platform, which in itself is free. But if you don’t want to tie your site to another membership plugin, you may want to reconsider this option. However, if you are already an active WooCommerce user and you are selling their products, picking this WordPress plugin is definitely advantageous for you. Add-ons start at $149.
WooCommerce Memberships will give you several nice options for your membership offerings. You can choose to sell memberships alone or tie them up as a bundle with a purchase of an item. For instance, you can give someone access to a standard membership with bonus items if they buy your course.
Just like the others, restricted content can be dripped out over a period of time. Special coupons and promos can also be given to entice new clients. The only drawback is if you want a recurring bill option, you have to purchase a subscription option for almost two hundred dollars. This plugin is not fit for normal memberships that are not tied up to WooCommerce.
This membership plugin is free but you will need to pay for a lot of extras to get full functionality, so technically the word free is a let-down. However, all of these add-ons are available for an affordable price of $59 a year. The unique thing about this plugin is that it restricts all your content by default. Then you’ll just have to mark what you want to make available. You can also choose to reverse the restriction by changing the settings.
WP-Members makes it easy for you to put in an added customized registration and login form for your site. You can even use their tools to craft specific URLs for this registration that can con-currently act as a landing page for all your advertisements.
This WordPress plugin can be further personalized if you know how to code. Purchasing premium added features will add to your subscription choices, integration options, and more. Overall, this is not as powerful as the other plugins but developers may enjoy it the most because of the customization aspect.
- Restrict or hide posts, pages, and custom post types
- User login, registration, and profile integrated into your theme
- Login widget
- Create custom registration and profile fields
- Notify admin of new user registrations
- Hold new registrations for admin approval
- Create post excerpt teaser content automatically
- Shortcodes for login, registration, content restriction, and more
- Create powerful customizations with more than 120 action and filter hooks
- A library of API functions for extensibility
Choosing a membership plug-in may need a tiny bit of financial investment compared to the other WordPress plug-ins. You have to be careful what product you choose because you need to spend a great deal of time setting it up. Even those plugins that have a great interface will need a lot of human input and manual encoding to create the best membership platform for your site. That’s just how it works!
The most important component of picking your plugin is to find one that has all of the features you want, and one that can fit your budget. After all, you will spend so much time configuring your site membership levels and limiting your content through restriction, so your membership plug-in should be something that can give you the best performance.
Tyler Horvath is an SEO Expert with over 15 years of experience in search engine optimization, popular blog author and WordPress SEO expert.