Using the right membership plugin for your WordPress site can make a huge difference in increasing your profit by recurring online income. With the help of it, you can build a members-only section of your website and be able to generate a steady, passive income stream, build out an email list and use the members’ contact information to send offers and deliver targeted ads.
There are many elements involved in building a subscription website, so you will need special plugins as many functionalities are not included within WordPress’ core offering. However, there is a wide variety of membership plugins for WordPress to have plenty of choices. If you’re still unsure about how membership plugins can help you and which are the most useful ones, keep reading. You will discover plugins for non-tech savvy people and site owners or freelance developers who need a high-end professional solution.
WordPress membership plugins are usually used to control access to the content on your site, but actually, they can do more than this. Therefore, aside from restricting access to files or particular pieces of content, these plugins allow you to collect membership payments and set multiple membership levels based on predefined criteria. For example, membership plugins automate various vital tasks, provide complete control over discount coupons, and offer paid or free content to your members.
The Benefits of Membership Sites
The main benefit of building a membership site is creating content and selling it or giving access to numerous people. If you’re planning to build a community of people with the same interests, you will find WordPress membership plugins very useful.
Thus, depending on your requirements, there are certain features to keep in mind when you need to choose a membership plugin:
- Multi-level subscriptions: you can set various dynamic prices for subscriptions, which gives you the opportunity to upsell and provide particular pieces of content or features to your highest-paying subscribers.
- Content drip tools: users can receive content over the course of a few days or months based on predefined criteria. It is also possible to drip particular posts or menu items.
- Course creating tools: it’s very easy to create and sell online courses by setting the price, delivering content automatically, according to a predefined schedule.
- Member management: it offers you the possibility to limit user access depending on their membership levels; you can charge various prices or you can offer free memberships if you want.
- Recurring subscriptions: they can transform into a passive income stream that can increase step by step, over time.
- Support for multiple payment gateways: these are a must-have as they allow you to implement access restrictions and payment options quickly and easily.
- Email marketing and communication tools: once visitors subscribe to your content or register, their contact details can be used to send them offers or to create targeted ads.
- Coupons and discounts: this feature is important as it offers you the possibility to create coupons and trial offers and have control over them. You can set an expiration date and when these coupons and discounts can be used.
- Support for live chats and forums: it’s an easy way to communicate instantly with customers and visitors, as well as finding solutions to their concerns. For example, an online course that you’re providing can have a forum created, so that the users registered for this particular course can talk with other users who registered for the same course. Participants can also be limited to the course they are learning.
This article will detail five membership plugins and their main features and advantages.
ProfilePress is a plugin suitable for amateur and experienced web admins alike. It packages many valuable features, but it’s still intuitive enough for less-trained users. You don’t need coding skills to use the entire set of features, which means that even non-coders can create engaging communities with ProfilePress. Walking through all the configuration options takes time, but testing all the elements will serve you well.
Rest assured that ProfilePress is an SEO-friendly plugin. A performant built-in caching system and clean code stay under the hood of ProfilePress. As a result, it doesn’t affect the loading speed of your site. Moreover, the content is ranked even though it is restricted to particular site visitors.
Profilepress is user-friendly, too. The plugin comes with a simple dashboard for settings management for registered users. They may use their images or built-in avatars. Registering is intuitive and straightforward. Use one of the ProfilePress templates or purchase the Social Login addon to write their social media profiles.
Other worth mentioning features are:
- Effective drag and drop page builder to create cool login and registration forms
- Searchable and filterable directories
- Customizable emails are generated automatically for email confirmation, password reset, account approval, and other operations
- Content restriction to unregistered and/or segments of registered users
People who like extra features should look at the premium addons for sale. For example, the Google re-CAPTCHA addon is excellent for combatting spam and bot attacks. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security, and Polylang is great for creating multilingual forms. Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor addons integrate with your Mailchimp, respectively, Campaign Monitor accounts. It helps you to send emails professionally.
Memberpress is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins that allows you to create various membership levels, various payment options, and trials. You can also restrict parts of a page or post, drip out content on a pre-established schedule, or create membership groups. In addition, it hooks up with many email marketing tools, payment gateways, and learning management systems, and it provides various reports and reminders. Other essential features are the following:
- Control over accessing any type of content
- Various types of reports about site performance
- Reminders for sending out emails when certain specific events occur
- Smooth user experience
- Set various rules and configure membership groups
Memberpress also allows you to build an unlimited number of membership packages. With every new membership package created, the plugin auto-generates a new registration page for that particular package and a new pricing box. Additionally, users can easily manage their subscription details billing information and edit the content. The Basic plan costs $149/year, the Plus plan is $249/year, and the Pro plan is $349/year.
ARMember WordPress Membership Plugin
ARMember is on the top of the list as it is an excellent WordPress membership plugin that can be used to build an effective membership site for WordPress.
There is a legit reason why it deserves the top stand, and that’s because ARMember is one such robust membership plugin for WordPress. The plugin not only helps you generate a passive source of income but could help you have a recurring income that you could rely upon!
Apart from that, the customer response is fantastic, with having a vast number of sales on the Envato market place (almost having 5-star reviews).
Unlike other WordPress membership plugins, this powerful plugin has some amazing set of features like:
- The most advanced content restriction feature where you can protect your content fully or partially for various pages, post, tags, products, users, product categories, and more by simply enabling Default Restrictions toggle from “Content Access Rules” for the selected plan.
- The Drip Content feature to schedule the content release for the members of your site. You can add Drip Rule for the posts, pages, user post, and custom content for the selected membership plans and select the “Drip Type” to schedule the content release (immediately, after a certain time of subscription, or from a specific date onwards).
- It allows you to manage members having multiple levels of membership plans and supports multiple payment cycles for recurring plans.
- Offers Built-In form builder to create stunning Signup/Login forms with a variety of ready to use form templates along with styling and customization options.
- It allows you to generate coupon code with discounts for selected membership plans for a specific time.
- Integration of Active Campaign, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Mailster, and GetResponse for ARMember to influence the email marketing.
- Offers more than 20+ Add-ons integration.
- Provides an inbuilt support for well-known payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and 2Checkout.
- Supports the most popular Third-party plugins like BuddyPress, WooCommerce, Visual Composer, and more.
Plus, you can also set redirection rules for pages/posts; IP-based restrictions, and set conditional redirection (to Block URLs for the selected plan). Besides, this extraordinary plugin can fit best even for the non-tech-savvy person who doesn’t have tech skills. Furthermore, if your members forget to pay for their subscription, then you can allow them to have relief with a Grace period for specific days so that your members can pay in the meantime during the grace period time! e Lite version is complimentary, while the paid version can cost $49 for a regular license.
Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memberships Pro is also very known and easy to set up. O e of its main features is that it comes with its WordPress theme. This is extremely useful as sometimes themes are not compatible with all membership plugins. Unlimited membership levels with flexible payment terms are also available. So if you need to set up recurring payment cycles, price trial periods, restrict content individually, or whole categories, maybe this plugin is the right choice for you.
What’s lesser-known about this plugin is that the restricted content can still rank in the SERPs by displaying an excerpt of it to non-members. Moreover, the paid version allows you to display ads differently, based on particular membership levels. If you’re looking for payment gateways and email marketing services, you will benefit from this type of integration as well.
Paid Memberships Pro is a very extensible plugin as it includes both free and premium addons. It include addons for many small features that provide you with a lot of flexibility. T e main features are these:
- Unlimited membership levels with flexible pricing such as trials, one-time payments, free memberships
- Integrated with many 3rd party platforms
- View reports on sales, revenue, signups, expirations, and cancellations
- Fully open-source, 100% GPL
Depending on your needs, you can choose the free plan, the Plus plan, which is $297, or the Unlimited plan that costs $597.
Restrict Content Pro is also one of the most popular plugins that provide unlimited subscription levels and flexibility as you can choose the free version, a trial, or premium subscriptions. In addition, u ers can move between plans or can choose a one-time fee.
If you want to try it before buying it, you can check Restrict Contents PRO’s live demonstration site. It is easy to install as it requires no coding knowledge. Moreover, the plugin provides many built-in integrations, and its main features are the following:
- Content dripping
- Membership emails
- Unlimited subscription packages
- An unlimited number of discount codes
- Easy to use reports
- Built-in integrations
- Members management
- Unlimited subscriptions packages
- Emails to new members, reminders, email payment receipts
Another helpful feature of this plugin is the built-in tracking that displays your sign-ups and earnings over a particular period, payment history, and your members’ data, which can be exported in CSVs. Plus, a custom dashboard widget shows you which memberships are the most popular with your customers. Their pricing plans vary from $99/year for the Personal program to $499/year, the Ultimate plan.
An ultimate Member is a free tool that allows you to create social membership communities where users can sign up quickly and easily. C content can also be restricted, and the dashboard is very well organized, which makes it a breeze to use despite its numerous features.
The plugin has the following benefits:
- Allows to add user profiles to your site
- It can become very extensible using paid add-ons
- Member directories
- User account page
- Conditional navigation menus
- Custom form fields and conditional logic for form fields
- Custom user roles
- Display author posts comments on user profiles
- User locations
- Infinite subscription packages with one-time payments, recurring charges or trials
With its premium extensions, you can add features like private messaging and social followers so that users will enjoy beautiful and detailed profiles. It is a versatile plugin that allows you to build a wide variety of membership sites as it’s packed with multiple features and functionality, but it’s still lightweight.
Moreover, if you want users to log in or register using their social networks, you can do this with the social login extension. You are free to choose the social media networks, and you can display the buttons on the login and registration forms or anywhere else on the site using shortcodes. There are two pricing options – the Extensions Pass, which is $249/year, and the Extensions + Theme Pass, which costs $299/year.
Wishlist Member WordPress plugin comes with many features and is used by approximately 47,000 sites worldwide. It’s user-friendly; it will quickly turn your WordPress site into a membership site. The main features include:
- Unlimited membership levels
- Sequential content delivery
- Shipping costs integration
- Multi-level content access
- Member management
- Free professional icons, themes, support guides, and free training
It provides a high level of control over how your membership site works, granted, and protected access. There are many settings and options available; it may seem challenging to use by someone who has just started with membership sites. Nonetheless, its core components are easy to set up, so everything will be ready in just a few minutes. You can choose from four pricing options: $147/year, $197/year, $297/year, and $397/year.
Recommendations on how to choose a membership plugin for WordPress
As of right now, the standard for membership plugins is to create unlimited membership levels; it’s essential to take into account other things such as how much flexibility over trial periods there is if a user can have multiple membership roles, and how much control you have once a user’s membership expires.
Other recommendations can help you choose the most effective WordPress membership plugin, such as ensuring the tool has the integrations you need. For example, if you need MailChimp, but the plugin doesn’t support it, you would need to choose a different one.
Although you shouldn’t switch membership plugins, sometimes you can’t prevent that from happening. That’s why it’s vital first to check if your membership plugin allows you to export member lists in a format that other membership plugins can import.
Aside from the above suggestions, it’s essential to understand the best mix of features, flexibility, and price. For example, do you want something that lets you get started for free? Will you need customer support, or are you a tech-savvy person who can solve any issues? The answer to all these questions will help you choose the most suitable membership plugin for your WordPress site.
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