Memberships give you recurring payments and is one of the most underutilized ways of monetizing your website. It’s not a one-time purchase, like an ebook or a training course.The members send money to your account every month.
Obviously, a customer who pays $20 over a 12-month period is preferred over the customer who will pay $240 there and then. But most business owners think short-term and therefore choose the customer who pays on the spot. This is one of the reasons why most business owners avoid having membership programs.
Another reason is that it is difficult to set up and run such programs. Well, not when you are using WordPress.
One of the best things about the open-source CMS, WordPress, is that you have solutions to all your needs in the form of plugins. Thousands of plugins are submitted daily to the WordPress repository which fulfils one purpose or another. So if you are looking to setup a membership website on WordPress, they have got plugins for that as well.
The best part about these plugins is not the utility, it’s the easy installation. Some of the plugins mentioned in this article are free and are as good as the paid ones. But if you want to up your game, you have to get your hands on the paid ones because of the premium features.
Let’s get started!
MemberPress – Membership Plugin
MemberPress is one of the most popular membership plugins out there with a long list of features. The plugin is user-friendly so you can create subscription intervals, pricing and user requirements with a click of a button. Adding different membership plans is also very easy to setup.
The Content Access Control lets you restrict all types of content on your website including posts, pages, categories, tags, files, etc. Also, the The Content Dripping allows you to restrict content and show it to members after a certain time.
MemberPress also integrates MailChimp, AWeber and GetResponse email services. It also comes with a built-in PayPal and Stripe payment gateways.
The plugin has two pricing plans, the Business Edition, $119/year, and, Developer Edition, $239/year.
Restrict Content Pro
The plugin comes from the house of Pippin’s Plugins, which I am sure you have heard of. The plugin is very easy to use and it gets easier after accessing the helpful documentation so that you can get started as quickly as possible.
Restrict Content Pro does a lot more than just restricting content. The plugin is filled with amazing features and is a full-fledged membership plugin. If you have a website with tons of content that you want to restrict for your members as paid content, then Restrict Content Pro is for you. Limiting content to a specific group of users has never been easier.
The plugin comes with built-in graphs that displays your growth in terms of memberships and earnings. All you members data can also be exported in CSV.
The pricing starts from $99/year which includes basic configuration and goes up to $499/year.
RainMaker is unlike all the plugins mentioned in this list. This plugin takes care of almost anything. You don’t need to worry about hosting, email service providers, site builders and many other things.
The plugin is not free but it sure is value for money. If, as an entrepreneur, you do not want to take up the pain of managing your website across different platforms, then this plugin is for you. It is the ultimate one-stop solution not just for a membership website, but many other needs.
RainMaker Platform allows you to restrict content effectively in a simpler way. Also, you can integrate various affiliate programs to your website. You also get unlimited number of members and sell an unlimited number of digital products.
Since it is more than just a membership plugin, the pricing is slightly higher than other plugins in this list. Rainmaker costs $145/month (billed monthly) or $125/month (billed annually).
Paid Member Subscriptions
The plugin is the end-to-end solution that your membership website needs. Paid Member Subscriptions will help you easily set up a membership website. The plugin comes free but if you want premium features like content dripping, you will need to upgrade to the paid plans.
Paid Member Subscriptions lets you have a trial to test the features on your website so that you can see how the plugin works. It also lets you limit content by post, page, tags, or categories. You can accept payments with PayPal Pro, PayPal Express Checkout, and Stripe.
After you are satisfied with the demo you can easily install the plugin into your website and restrict access to content by post, page, tags, or categories.
Apart from the free plans, the plugin has two other plans, Hobbyist, $69/year and Pro, $149/year.
The plugin is a perfect solution for delivering online courses. If you are looking to drip content to a specific group of users rather than making it available in one go, then MagicMembers is the plugin for you.
MagicMembers falls in the same league as MemberPress when it comes to content dripping capabilities. The WordPress membership plugin comes with tons of other features as well like multiple payment gateways and integration with email newsletters such as Aweber and MailChimp.
There are three pricing plans for MagicMembers which starts from $97.
OptimizePress 2 – WordPress Membership
The plugin makes it extremely easy for you to customise your landing pages where you are displaying your membership offerings. OptimizePress 2 comes with a range of templates for your membership website and is the perfect plugin to optimize sign up pages for your site.
If you are looking to customize sign up pages, login forms and membership lesson and module listings, then this plugin is the ultimate solution. Along with these amazing features, the plugins is also very easy to use.
The plugin is ideal for any kind of registration page and not just a membership website. The pricing starts from $97 and goes up to $297.
Wishlist Member Plugin
This plugin is famous for giving its users control over how your content is restricted and made available to their members. This also means that users have to spend a lot of time tweaking the settings and configuration which can be a little hard to digest for the new users.
Wishlist Member Plugin comes with a massive list of features. The plugin allows you to create unlimited membership levels. It also comes with sequential content delivery and auto-upgrades of membership levels. The plugin lets you easily hide or restrict individual pieces of content from non-members.
The pricing starts from $197, which includes 1 website, 30+ training videos, 1 year of updates and support. The other plan is $297, which comes with unlimited websites, 300+ membership icons, 1 year of support and updates.
The first thing that you should know about MemberMouse is that it is made for non-technical people. That means that it is easy to use and you can set up a membership website with this plugin in minutes. It is a one-stop solution for membership and ecommerce websites.
The built-in password feature lets you protect your website and restrict your content. The plugin helps you create a buzz among your members regarding what content will be available in the future for them. The SmartTags feature lets you dynamically showcase your content, member attributes, offers, upsells, downsells, and more using nothing but simple shortcodes.
With MemberMouse, you get four payment gateways; PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe, Auth.net CIM, Braintree, ClickBank, Lime Light CRM, and Coinbase. It also lets you sell digital and physical products while maintaining a membership website.
The basic plan will cost you $19.95/ month allowing you not more than 1000 members. You can upgrade your plan to get 5000 members in $39.95/ month.
S2Member is a free, yet powerful WordPress membership plugin. It allows you to restrict membership exclusive content based on user roles and capabilities. The plugin is compatible with PayPal payment gateway, which is also free by the way. You can restrict almost any type of content including post, pages or anything on WordPress.
Downloadable files on your WordPress website can also be restricted along with streaming material including videos and live streaming. S2Member is integrated with Cloudfront so you can either store your files locally or on Amazon S3.
The pro version lets you accept payments not only through PayPal but also Stripe and Authorize.net.
WP-Members: Membership Framework
With over 70,000 installs, WP-Members is probably the most popular free WordPress membership plugin. The plugin is an effective tool for newsletters, premium content sites, and much more!
WP-Members lets you modify the appearance of your membership website without making any changes to the themes. The installation is easy as it gets but it doesn’t effect the plugin’s effectiveness and scalability.
The plugin restricts all your content by default and lets you select the content that you want to restrict. It also allows you to change these default settings, giving you more control over your content and its limitation.
Yet another free and powerful WordPress membership plugin that is flexible and easy to use. The plugin is ideal for creating online communities and also lets you create beautiful user profiles on your WordPress website. Ultimate Member is also lightweight and highly scalable. This means that your website’s load time will not be affected and you will also be able to create any type of WordPress website.
The plugin comes with a wide range of features. Here are some of them:
- Front-end user registration
- Front-end user login
- Front-end user profiles
- Custom form fields
- Conditional logic for form fields
- Drag and drop form builder
- User account page
- Custom user roles
The pro version allows you to up your game with lots of advanced features such as:
- Instagram integration
- Lets you add a user tag system to your website
- WooCommerce integration
- Private messaging service on your website
- Real time notifications
With Membership 2, you can transform any website into a fully-functional membership website. The free WordPress membership plugin is an upgrade of the “Membership” plugin. The developers have added some more features and made the plugin faster, and more powerful. The plugin is easy to use and yet extremely adaptive.
Membership 2 lets you focus on providing value while getting income from your members as it includes set-and-forget automated recurring payments. The helpful setup wizard guides you through the installation and integration of the plugin making the process hassle free. With multiple payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net, the plugin is one of the best membership plugins out there.
The lightweight and free WordPress membership plugin is a powerful and a flexible solution for designing the perfect membership website. The easy-to-use interface and simple installation and configuration makes the plugin more attractive to beginner users.
Groups provide group-based user membership management, group-based capabilities and access control for content. Users can easily enhance the functionality of this plugin and can also make unlimited number of groups while assigning users to these groups is also simple. Some of the notable features of this plugin are:
Supports an unlimited number of groups
Provides a registered group which is automatically maintained
Users can be assigned to any group
Users are added automatically to the Registered group
The plugin doesn’t have the huge number of active installs but it has proven to be a handy membership plugin for WordPress websites. The plugin lets you convert your website into a membership website and also lets you accept payments through Stripe.
Memberful WP lets you sell content on your website to your members and restrict content that is exclusively for members. Some awesome features of this plugin are:
Automatic syncing of your Memberful membership data to WordPress.
Single sign on: Members are automatically signed into WordPress when they sign in to Memberful.
Create a paywall and restrict access to content based on membership level. Protect any posts or pages right from your WordPress edit screen.
A widget with links for members to sign in and manage their account (update credit card, cancel subscription, etc.).
Option to create Private RSS feeds and protect bbPress forums.
Creating a membership website can be a hefty task but not with WordPress. With a long list of WordPress membership plugins, it is has not been easier to convert your WordPress website into a full fledged membership website, until now.