Businesses and professional bloggers are using membership sites in innovative ways. Some use them to promote new ideas for their community to try out and promote. Many leverage them as part of their affiliate marketing programs, while dedicated forums and membership access to premium content are popular among professional services and for thought leadership missions. The key to a productive membership website experience is, of course, choosing the right plugin for your needs. Here is a look at the 4 best WordPress membership plugins to help you with the vetting process.
Filter between free and paid
An extremely popular plugin, MemberPress makes it super easy to restrict access to pages, post types and custom posts, as well as tags and categories. The software is easy to set up and you have the option to create any number of premium memberships.
- Easily configure PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net
- Subscription management
- Content dripping and content access expiration
- All add-ons are free to use
- Up to 11 autoresponder services, including Constant Contact, AWeber and MailChimp
- Integration with bbPress to develop community forums
- A premium Affiliate Royale plugin with tracking software
- Coupon creation
- Business reporting
Restrict Content Pro
One of the best WordPress membership plugins, Restrict Content Pro from the Pippins Plugins stable is available for free but you should go for the premium version for its outstanding features and functionality. You can choose from three payment plans, with the entry-level $99/yr offering all core plugin features, 12 official free add-ons and email support.
- Unlimited subscription levels
- Highly customizable
- Besides six payment gateways, you can add your own merchant processor
- Flexibility to scale subscription up or down anytime by paying different in amount or using prorated credit
- Free add-ons include download monitor, unlimited discount codes, welcome emails, payment receipts, data exports, payment reminders and more
Rainmaker is a fully-featured platform for marketers that takes care of hosting, landing pages, autoresponders, podcasting tools, site builders, email service, forum set-up and a lot more. If you’re looking for a one-stop solution that saves you the time looking at several plugins and consolidating your tech all by yourself, this is for you. However, you will be billed on a monthly basis and have to be content with ceding some control and flexibility over your site, such as not being able to install other WP plugins.
- Integrated affiliate program
- Unlimited membership levels
- PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net and Braintree integration
- Content dripping
- Simple user interface – build a sophisticated membership website without any technical know-how.
- Point-and-click customization
- Keyword research and SEO
Fourth on the list of the 4 best WordPress membership plugins is WP-Members, that restricts the specified WP content to registered site members. The free plugin restricts all posts by default, so it is up to you to tweak the default settings to set access privileges to pages or posts, and unblock unregistered people. WP-Members is a good entry point to a simple membership site.
Here are some pf WP-Members’ features:
- Membership payments via PayPal
- MailChimp integration
- Custom menus for registered members
- User registration, profile and login is integrated
- Easy to use
- A number of additional user-requested fields to extend the settings page.
Make a list of the priority features you must absolutely have, and assess each of these WordPress membership plugins in detail to park your money and trust in the right solution. Creating a membership is usually a lot of work but thanks to these featured plugins, it turns the whole process into a breeze.