5 Best Membership Plugins WordPress – Comparison Guide 2017

Are looking to create a WordPress Membership website? Want to know which WordPress Membership plugins will be the best for you?

Selecting the best plugin is very crucial for your website because a good platform means more opportunity for your business growth.

With this article, I will compare best 5 WordPress Membership plugins to easily start paid membership websites.

best WordPress Membership plugins

What to Consider in a WordPress Membership Plugin?

There are so may WordPress Membership Plugin, but not all of them may have that specific feature/function
which you may need for your WordPerss Membership site.

Few are good for selling memberships on the single level while other plugins offer more advanced membership levels
and management of subscription level for members.

There are few plugins which offer drip content function which allows site admins to release their new content
slowly to users. while others plugins only offer restriction on content by hiding it.

You also need to check which are the payment gateways you will use for your Membership website.
do you want to accept only PayPal or you want to accept credit cards or you want to offer both?

The plugin you select should have the feature of supporting payment gateways of your choice either by default or
via an add-on.

With that said, let check what you need if you want to create a WordPress Membership website.

Let’s check what you need to run a WordPress Membership Website.

Membership websites are resource intensive, and picking the wrong host can be detrimental to your overall performance.

That’s why the first important thing you need to do is pick the reliable WordPress hosting that is affordable for you.

If you’re low on budget, then you should start with Bluehost. As they provide Business Pro plan that comes with
an SSL Certificate which you will need to collect payments securely, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line.

If budget is not your concern and you want the best performance for your website,
then I recommend you to use a managed WordPress hosting service as WPEngine.

if you don’t have a domain name and WordPress hosting, then you need to select one for your website.
Here is our guide on how to select the best domain name for your membership site

Ultimately, you need to select the necessary business plugins like OptinMonster which will help you to generate leads
and boost your subscription.

Now that I have covered what all you need to start a WordPress membership site.
Let’s take a close look at our best WordPress membership plugins.


1. MemberPress

memberpress

MemberPress is the most popular plugin among all WordPress membership plugins.
It also has the maximum number of features compared to other plugins. The best part is very easy to use.

MemberPress WordPress Membership Plugin [Pros]

Easy to Setup:  With MemberPress it’s very easy to setup a membership WordPress site.
The Plugin automatically configures accounts, logins, and thank you pages for new members.
Additionally, selecting a membership plan is very straight hassle free.

Integrations: The plugin can be integrated with MailChimp, AWeber, MadMimi and GetResponse email services.
It can also be integrated with AWS(Amazon Web Service) and BluBrry for hosting podcasts.

Payment Gateways: MemberPress by default supports payment gateway of PayPal and Strip And the developers
also planning to support authorize.net.

Content Acess Control: The plugin comes with a robust control panel and it allows you to add restriction to all
contents including, categories, posts, pages, tags, files, etc.

Content Dripping: Content Dripping is a great feature in this plugin,
as it helps us to show the content only after the desired goal is completed.
like;
After payment, after entering user details. This is also useful for selling digital products.

The Plugin is good but there are few cons of using MemberPress Pro.

Only Selected Payment Options: The Plugin has support for three most popular payment gateways.
This would be a bad deal for website owners who stay in those not supported countries by these payment gateways.

Restricted Integration: As this is open source plugin and it gives you the authority to add any third-party service
by paying someone.

By default, the plugin does support several popular services to run a membership site.
But it still lacks support for other popular services.

Pricing: The plugin is a bit costly for beginners as the Business Edition costs you $99 for a Year
and the developer edition costs you $199 for a year.

MemberPress - Price

I personally think that it’s very easy to use Membership plugin for WordPress Beginners.
As it gives you tons of powerful options and it’s quick to setup


2. Paid Memberships Pro

The next plugin in our list of best WordPress Membership Plugin is well known as Paid Membership Pro.

Let’s check out the pros and cons of picking this plugin for your membership site.

We will talk about Pros of Paid Membership Pro.

As we all like something which comes free:

Free Basic version: The plugin comes free with basic features and it is available to download from WordPress Repository.

But the basic version has limited features, the logic behind the free version is to give you a gist of
what the plugin can do for you before making a purchase.

More Payment Gateways: The plugin supports almost all popular payment gateways like;
PayPal, authorizze.net, Stripe, 2Checkout, Braintree and Cyber Source.

More Integration of services: the developer gave an option to select free or paid integration add-ons for Paid Membership Pro.

This helps you to connect with more third-party services like other WordPress Plugins, email marketing services (MailChimp, AWeber), CRM and etc.

Other Extension add-ons: A variety of extensions are available to download for Paid Membership Pro as add-ons.

These add-ons help you to get support for more advanced features which you want to add in your WordPres membership sites, such as link tracking, Variable pricing, affiliate program, drip content and more.

That all about Pros and we will discuss Cons:

Cons of using Paid Membership Pro in your WordPress Membership site.

Easy to Use: It’s very powerful plugin, but it’s not user-friendly for WordPress Beginners.

Hence, the configuration will take some time for WordPress beginners and first-time users.

Pro Plan Comes With No Additional Addons: if you want to use additional add-ons, then you need to purchase their PMPro Plus Plan.

This plan gives you access to 42+ addons and it only gives you access to some extra features and their support.

It comes with below plans:

Paid Membership Pro

We think this would be a great addition to your WordPress Membership Website.

it gives you a great set of tools like; add-ons, features and other integrations and it makes is a complete solution for a Premium WordPress membership website.


3. Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a complete membership solution for WordPress Membership sites.

It gives you the ability to create unlimited subscription levels, track payments, manage members, offer discounts, and more.

It is created by the team behind the popular Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP plugins.

Let’s talk about Pros of Using Restrict Content Pro

Easy To Use:  Restrict Content Pro integrates beautifully with WordPress’s user interface and this allow you to configure the plugin very easily.

Payment Gateways: PayPal, Braintree, Stripe is available as free add-ons and Payment Gateways such as
2Checkout, PayPal Express, Stripe Checkout, and PayPal Website Payments Pro.

Built-in Integrations: As compared to other membership plugins, Restricted Content Pro has built-in features that many other plugins charge you for. as it has PayPal, MailChimp, Stripe, MailPoet, CSV export, Email manager and more features.

As it has PayPal, MailChimp, Stripe, MailPoet, CSV export, Email manager and more features.

The Plugin Also Works With Easy Digital Downloads: If you’re already using easy digital download for selling digital products, Restrict Content Pro is the perfect Companion with it.

Excellent Customer Support: The developers made a detailed free documentation available for users. But you also get their professional support via email and they have got a really fast response time.

But you also get their professional support via email and they have got a really fast response time.

That’s all of about Pros and we will look into Cons.

Cons of Using Restrict Content Pro in your Membership site.

Less number of Integrations: The plugin has very less number of integrations with third-party providers like Email service providers compared to other plugins on this list.

Here comes the money!!!

Pricing: the price starts with a Personal plan which cost you $99 and comes with 12 free add-ons and supports single site only. The the next plan is PLUS with the price of $149 same as Personal plan but supports 5 sites, then we have Professional plan with the price of $249 with 11 pro add-ons and supports unlimited sites and the last one is Ultimate Plan for $499 with lifetime support, 11 pro add-ons and unlimited sites.

The the next plan is PLUS with the price of $149 same as Personal plan but supports 5 sites, then we have Professional plan with the price of $249 with 11 pro add-ons and supports unlimited sites and the last one is Ultimate Plan for $499 with lifetime support, 11 pro add-ons and unlimited sites.

Then we have the Professional plan with the price of $249 with 11 pro add-ons and supports unlimited sites

The last one is Ultimate Plan for $499 with lifetime support, 11 pro add-ons and unlimited sites.

We found that Restrict Content Pro plugin is one of the easy to use for Membership Websites and it’s also developer friendly.

It also comes with great features which are perfect for all types of WordPress Membership Websites.


4. LearnDash

learndash

LearnDash is a great plugin, extremely easy to use WordPress LMS plugin. it has some advanced modules and a ton of integrations for WordPress Membership site.

Lets Talk about Pros of using LearnDash

Easy To Setup: LearnDash is a very easy to setup plugin to add content to it and it has much simpler UI.

It also has advanced tools to organize your membership and content easily into groups, levels,  etc.

Restrictions on content: The plugin gives you an option to hide/lock the content and add restrictions to certain groups from viewing it.

You Can Sell Courses: The plugin gives you one of the best course management system to sell courses online and The plugin manages your learning material better than other WordPress Membership plugins.

Content Drip: It’s a great feature wich allows you set the events for publishing contents to users on intervals or on the completion of a certain level.

With Built-in community: The plugin gives you an option to create highly user engaging sites with user profiles, user, badges, certificates, quizzes and more. You can also create specific forums for certain courses.

Payments & integrations: The plugins offer you a set of integrations for all payment gateways and you can also integrate the plugin with WooCommerce,bbPress, MemberPress, Slack and etc.

That’s all about Pros. Now its time from cons.

Few Cons of LearnDash plugin.

Lack of membership features: it seems that the plugin is specially designed for selling online courses and if you create a membership site without selling online courses than the majority of features won’t be that useful for you.

The price of Plugin: The pricing starts from Basic $129, Plus Package $159 and Pro Package $299.

LearnDash -Pricing

This is a Great solution if you are planning to sell courses online with paid/free membership.
it has some great add-ons and integrations which give you the ability to create highly user engaging sites.


5. S2Members2member

S2Member is a well popular WordPress Membership plugin which is Free and also has a Pro version.
S2Member is a quite old plugin and has a great amount of user base.

Lets talk abuout Pros of Using S2Member WordPress Plugin.

Free Version of the plugin: The plugin is available for free on WordPress Repository, anyone can download and
use the plugin to check how it works.

The plugin has limited support and features in the free version for starters.

Content drip feature: The pro version of this plugin gives you the ability to use content drip feature.

Payment gateways: Free version of this plugin only supports PayPal, while Pro versions support Authorize.net and Stripe.

Integrations: the plugin works with other services such as BuddyPress, bbPress, and MailChimp.

Support & Documentation: In Free version, you can use only a huge knowledge base, while with Pro version you
can utilize email support and knowledgebase.

Now it’s time to talk about Cons of using S2Mmber WordPress Membership plugin.

Nonuser-friendly UI: The plugin is more difficult to setup while comparing to other WordPress Membership plugins.

Limitation in Free Version: The Free version of this plugin only supports PayPal and it only allows you to create
4 membership level and also no content drip feature in the free version.

The price of the Plugin: the basic version is free, then we have PRO version.

It gives you access to only 1 site and costs you $89, then it has Pro version with unlimited sites which cost you $189 USD.

S2membership-pricing


Conclusion:

The best plugin in all 5 Membership plugins is MemberPress as it has all the features you would require to
create a Membership site and it also has great support and documentation available to users.

In case you’re looking for a flexible and simple Membership Plugins then, I suggest to you to go with Restrict Content Pro as the team behind the plugin has a great track record of making excellent plugins.

If you planning to sell online courses on your WordPress membership website, then the best plugin would be LearnDash, as the plugin has really good features and specially designed for selling online courses.

I hope I managed to give you some insight on choosing the best Membership plugins for your site.
You may also want to see our How To Install WordPress and Search Engine Optimization Guides.

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