Using WordPress Membership Plugins To Create Your Own Website Membership

Posted on May 15, 2014 by in Tips & Tricks | 92 comments

Using WordPress Membership Plugins To Create Your Own Website Membership

The default version of WordPress includes a user system that allows people to register for an account, manage their profile, leave comments, and more.

Plugins such as User Role Editor allow you to change what users can see and do. Other plugins extend the functionality of the user system. For example, you can create a community using WordPress plugins such as bbPress, BuddyPress, and Simple:Press.

In this article, I would like to speak about the membership plugins that are available for WordPress. These plugins can be used to restrict content to paying members. Many plugins also include additional features such as drip feeding content to paying members, integration with discussion forums, and integration with shopping carts.

I hope you find the list useful 🙂

Membership (FREE / $19)

Membership is a plugin from WPMUdev that allows you to restrict access to posts, pages, categories, comments, galleries, downloads, and more. It also integrates with BuddyPress and you can restrict widgets and plugins to subscribed members.

Finite or recurring subscriptions can be set up to expire and renew after X amount of days. You can also tease content to visitors to entice them to subscribe.

The free version of the plugin allows two membership levels and two types of subscriptions. The pro version of the plugin retails at only $19 and allows unlimited memberships and subscriptions.


The free version of Membership is perfect for a basic membership website

Paid Memberships Pro (FREE)

Paid Memberships Pro is a great membership plugin that lets you easily set up multiple subscriptions and membership levels. In addition to free and paid subscriptions, it allows you to offer trial memberships to visitors to encourage them to sign up. Discount codes can also be offered. These codes can be set to expire by date or when a certain number of people have used them.

Despite using the word “Pro” in its name, Paid Memberships Pro is 100% free to download. The developers do, however, offer a membership at $97 for those of you who need support and additional tutorials and documentation.

Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is a feature rich membership plugin that is 100% free to use.

Members (FREE)

Members is a versatile plugin that I have referred to in previous blog posts. With its built-in role editor, the plugin is a great alternative to User Role Editor.

As the name suggests, Members also offers membership functionality. It allows you to restrict content and add a login form to your sidebar via a widget.

Sadly, that is as far as the membership functionality extends. There is no way to set up membership levels, no way to offer different subscriptions, and no way to accept payment from members. The plugin is therefore suitable for a small private website, but not a commercial membership website.


Members offers limited membership functionality

Restrict Content (FREE / $42)

The free version of Restrict Content offers the same kind of membership functionality as Members. Posts and pages can be restricted to certain user groups via an option box in the post editor. Parts of your content can be restricted using a shortcode and you can customize the restricted message displayed to unauthorized users via the settings area.

Just like Members, the free version of Restrict Content is too limited to be used for a commercial membership website. Thankfully, the pro version of the plugin is packed full of features. Retailing at $42 for a single website, it offers unlimited subscription packages, PayPal and Stripe integration, discount codes, analytical reports, and data export.

There is very little that the pro version of the plugin cannot handle. It is almost unrecognizable to its counterpart on and offers everything you will need for a membership website.

Restrict Content

The pro version of Restrict Content is perfect for a commercial membership website.

WP-Members (FREE)

WP-Members is a free membership plugin that allows you to block all posts and pages by default. Visitors are shown a teaser of your content when they view a restricted page and encouraged to register. The length of excerpt that is used for a teaser can be defined in the settings area.

It allows you to easily add custom fields to the registration page and specify whether those fields are required to complete registration. You can also add a CAPTCHA field to cut down on spam.

Unfortunately, the plugin does not include membership levels, subscriptions, or the ability to charge visitors for a membership. Therefore, it is not a good option for a commercial membership website.


WP-Members is a good option for a basic membership website.

Memberful (FREE / $25 Per Month)

Memberful is a membership plugin that places an emphasis on simplicity. To get started, all you have to do is create a subscription plan, add a buy button to your website, and then select the content you want to protect. You can restrict access to posts, pages, videos, and podcasts. There is also an option to protect pages from BuddyPress and bbPress.

You need to sign up to Stripe in order to use the Memberful service as it is the only payment processor they support. The free plan allows two subscription plans and charges 9.9% plus 30 cents for every transaction.

Their Pro plan retails at $25 per month. This plan drops the transaction fee down to 3.9% plus 30 cents. It also adds additional features such as coupon codes, ability to create accounts for staff, support for Campaign Monitor and MailChimp, and an option to build custom applications.


Memberful is a simple way of restricting content on your website.

Digital Access Pass ($167)

Digital Access Pass is one of the most feature packaged membership solutions available for WordPress. It does everything that you would expect from a premium membership plugin such as unlimited membership levels, unlimited subscriptions, full and partial content restriction, file protection, and payment processor integration with over a dozen major companies.

Its additional features are what sets it apart. It is, in essence, a complete marketing solution. Content can be dripped to members to encourage them to keep subscribing. Upsells, downsells, and one time offers, can all be offered to members to increase revenue even further.

Email broadcasts can be sent directly through the plugin, or you can integrate the plugin with a third party email service such as GetResponse, MailChimp, or Aweber. Auto-responders are also supported and it features forum integration and a two-tier affiliate program.

All of these features come at a price. Their cheapest option retails at $167. This limits use to one website and does not offer additional features such as social media pop ups and social media shares to unlock content. Their full featured membership plans retails at a whopping $497, however you can choose to pay monthly at $39.99 instead. The monthly plan offers several features that are not even included in the $497 plan; which indicates that they want customers to choose that option.

Digital Access Pass

Digital Access Pass is a fantastic membership and marketing solution; however its functionality comes at a price.

Amember ($179.95)

Amember is the membership software that I am currently using to handle memberships on Rise Forums; so I have a lot of experience in using it.

Amember works as a standalone script, however it integrates with your WordPress website. It can also integrate with other platforms such as forums, affiliate scripts, help desk software, email systems, and image galleries. It supports unlimited membership levels and subscriptions and allows you to promote your website using discount codes. Content can be dripped to members and there is an option to protect files too.

The software also supports every payment processor you can think of and has a built-in affiliate program to help promote your website.

A license for Amember retails at $179.95 and comes with six months of updates and support. Subsequent updates and support can then be purchased at a price of $80 per year.


Amember is a great membership script that has fantastic integration with other platforms.

s2Member (FREE / $69)

s2Member is developed by the same people who released Quick Cache; a useful caching plugin that I reviewed recently. Their s2Member plugin has a similar interface with each individual setting having a long explanation about what it does.

The plugin allows you to restrict posts, pages, tags, and categories. A complex download system is included with the plugin to ensure that unauthorized users cannot download restricted files. Audio and video files can also be streamed privately.

It uses PayPal to accept payments and can also be used in conjunction with bbPress to create a premium discussion forum. The free version of the plugin supports four membership levels, however s2Member Pro allows unlimited membership levels. The only other major difference between the two versions is support.


Apart from membership levels, the free version of s2Member offers the same functionality as the pro version.

Wishlist Member ($97)

Four or five years ago, I ran a WordPress theme store, and we used Wishlist Member to handle memberships. I recall us having some difficulty integrating the plugin with our website as we wanted permissions set up in a specific way; however on the whole we were pleased with what it could do.

The plugin can be used to create unlimited membership levels. Customers can be offered free, trial, or paid memberships. Content can be dripped to members slowly through their sequential content delivery feature and you can use popular payment processors to charge for memberships.

Wishlist Member retails at $97 for a single license and $297 for use on unlimited domains. Both licenses come with a year of updates and support.

Wishlist Member

Wishlist Member allows multi-level access, trial memberships, and sequential content delivery.

Magic Members ($97)

Magic Members is a premium membership plugin that offers unlimited membership levels and full control over subscriptions. It integrates with email marketing services to allow you to set up an email auto responder. Every major payment processor is also supported.

Content can be drip fed to members and you can reduce the price of memberships using coupons. It also comes with a download manager and allows audio and video to be streamed privately through Amazon S3. Forum integration is available with Simple:Press and Mingle forums too.

A single license for Magic Members retails at $97. The plugin can be used on unlimited domains if you spend $207 on their unlimited plan.

Magic Members

Magic Members has everything you need from a membership plugin.

Member Mouse ($19.95 Per Month)

Member Mouse is a powerful membership plugin that allows you to protect content, files, images, videos, and software. It can automatically lock accounts that have been shared with other people and you can drip feed content to members to discourage them from cancelling their subscription.

It also supports upsells, downsells, trial offers, coupons, email marketing, split-testing of prices, and an option for members to gift memberships to others. Most popular payment processors are supported as well.

Email notifications are automated to save you from having to email clients directly. It also allows you to create accounts for employees who handle sales and support.

Member Mouse is one of the few membership plugins that charge exclusively on a monthly basis. Their basic plan retails at $19.95 per month and allows up to 1,000 members. This increases to $39.95 per for 5,000 members, $59.95 per month for 10,000 members, and $99 per month for 50,000 members.


MemberMouse is one of the best membership plugins available.

MemberPress ($99 Per Year)

MemberPress is a membership plugin that lets you restrict access to posts, pages, categories, tags, and files. Content can be dripped to members and you can integrate the software with most WordPress forum plugins.

It integrates with all major payment processors and with email marketing services such as Aweber, GetResponse and MailChimp. Coupons can also be offered to customers. The developers of MemberPress also developed Affiliate Royale and have included the affiliate platform with the MemberPress package.

A single license for MemberPress retails at $99 per year while their unlimited plan retails at $199 per year. Both licenses come with one year of updates and support.


MemberPress comes packaged with its own affiliate program.

WP-Member ($47)

WP Member is a premium membership plugin that offers unlimited membership and subscription levels. It allows you to protect all your content, including posts, pages and downloadable files.

Content can be teased to visitors to encourage new subscriptions, and you can display an error message or redirect unauthorized visitors. You can also drip content to members over time. The plugin allows you to receive payment via PayPal or Google Checkout and it can be integrated with bbPress.

A single license for WP-Member retails at $47 and includes one year of updates. A multi site license retails at $97, while the developer license at $147 offers lifetime updates and support.


WP-Member supports content dripping, file protecting, and partial content restriction through shortcodes.

WarriorPress ($77)

WarriorPress offers unlimited membership levels and subscription plans. It supports content dripping and integrates with many popular email marketing services. Five payment processors are supported including PayPal, JV Zoo, and Clickbank.

It is a popular choice with affiliate marketers as it is optimized for upsells and autoresponse sequences.

WarriorPress retails at $77 for a single license and $247 for an unlimited license. Both licenses offer free updates and support for life.


WarriorPress is used by many affiliate marketers.

Fast Member ($97)

Fast Member is a premium membership plugin that promises to create your membership website in minutes. It has an impressive list of features including content restriction, content dripping, and coupons for offering members discounts. Visitors can also sign up for a free membership so that you can sell upsells to them.

The plugin supports multiple payment gateways and comes packaged with an affiliate program for promoting your website. Email marketing services can also be integrated to allow you to send email broadcasts to members.

A single license for Fast Member retails at $97 and comes with one year of support and updates. The plugin can be used on up to five websites for $197 and an unlimited number of websites for $297.

Fast Member

Fast Member is a premium membership solution that has many great features.

MemberWing-X ($139.95)

MemberWing-X is an interesting membership plugin that offers content restriction, unlimited memberships, an online store builder, and auto-responder integration through Aweber and MailChimp. It allows you to accept payments through a number of payment processors such as PayPal, ClickBank, E-Junkie, Google Checkout, and

The plugin is available from $139.95 for a single license and $199.95 for an unlimited license. They also let you test a full working version of the plugin as an evaluation. The only restriction is that it only works with ten members or less and displays advertisements.

I tested the plugin on my test website and was surprised at what it offers. Firstly, I was surprised by how many features and configuration options the plugin offers. Secondly, I was surprised at how ugly the settings area was. It is awfully unfriendly. Technical users may feel right at home with the way Memberwing-X handles things, but most WordPress users will struggle to find their way around the interface or the manual that complements it.


Memberwing-X has many great features, though configuring the plugin is an unnecessarily complicated process.

WP Member Champ ($97)

WP Member Champ is a basic member plugin that can restrict content to part or complete posts and pages. It allows you to offer subscription trials and can charge members a one off free or a recurring subscription. Payments can only be accepted through PayPal.

It is quite limited in many respects. For example, it can automatically add members to your Aweber email list; however it does not support other email marketing services. Likewise, it does not offer multiple membership levels.

If you use Aweber, it is worth checking out for its email marketing opt in feature; however at a cost of $97, there are better alternatives out there for restricting content.

WP Member Champ

WP Member Champ has some good features, though it is very expensive for such a basic plugin.

InstaMember ($47)

InstaMember is a membership plugin that has been designed with affiliate marketers in mind. It comes packaged with its own two-tier affiliate program and upsell and downsell functionality so that you can push offers to members. It works out of the box with popular affiliate services such as JV Zoo, DigiResults, and Clickbank. Payments can also be accepted via PayPal and Warrior+.

The plugin can handle unlimited products, subscriptions, and membership levels. Posts and pages can be added to your private member area, and the plugin comes with its own unique membership theme to get you started.

A single license for InstaMember retails at $47, while an unlimited license will set you back $97. Worth checking out if you are looking for a membership plugin that handles upsells and downsells.


InstaMember has many great affiliate marketing features.

PrivateContent ($17)

PrivateContent is a WordPress plugin that can restrict part, or all of your website, from non-members. Multiple subscription levels can be set up so that members can access different areas of your content.

This is a basic membership plugin that does not allow you to charge for subscriptions. It is therefore better suited to small membership websites. You can purchase the plugin from CodeCanyon for $17.


PrivateContent is a simple membership plugin that can restrict content at the click of a button.

WordPress Premium Content ($35)

WordPress Premium Content lets you protect all of your content, or only certain parts. It features a built-in registration form that lets visitors sign up using one-off payments or recurring subscriptions.

Multiple membership levels and subscription plans can be created. The plugin lets you accept payments via PayPal, however no other payment processors are supported. It is available from CodeCanyon for $35.

WordPress Premium Content

WordPress Premium Content is a simple membership plugin that accepts payment via PayPal.

WP Premium Members ($20)

WP Premium Members is another membership plugin from CodeCanyon that exclusively accepts payments through PayPal. It allows you to protect content and configure one-off payments or recurring membership plans.

The plugin can work in conjunction with the developer’s other plugin WP Pre Post Advertising so that advertisements are not displayed to paying members. WP Premium Members retails for $20, while WP Pre Post Advertising retails for $10.

WP Premium Members

WP Premium Members is a basic membership plugin that allows you to restrict content to paying members.

UserPro ($30)

UserPro is a community plugin that offers stylish member profiles, login, and registration forms. It lets you create unlimited custom fields for profiles and has great social media integration. It also offers members file uploading, badges, photo uploading, and more. MailChimp and bbPress are also supported.

The plugin also allows you to restrict content to members. While UserPro does not come with functionality to charge visitors for memberships, it does support WooCommerce, therefore you could set up premium memberships through that. A license for UserPro retails at $30 from CodeCanyon.

 UserPro - User Profiles with Social Login

UserPro has many fantastic community features.

User Profiles Made Easy ($28)

User Profiles Made Easy helps you create enhanced profiles for your website. It allows unlimited custom fields and beautiful login and registration forms. Content can be restricted in posts and pages using a shortcode and you can restrict the viewing of profiles to certain user roles.

Like UserPro, User Profiles Made Easy does not allow you to charge for memberships directly; however the plugin supports WooCommerce, therefore you should be able configure it that way. The plugin can be purchased via CodeCanyon for $28.

User Profiles Made Easy

User Profiles Made Easy is a beautiful profile plugin that also allows you to restrict content.

Final Thoughts

I have used three of the plugins discussed in this article on live websites and tested all available free plugins on my test website. Due to the nature of membership plugins, it was not practical for me to test all plugins on a live website.

All of these plugins have their strengths and weaknesses; and these do not usually become apparent until you have used the plugin for a number of weeks on a live website.

It is also important to note that everyone is looking for something different from a membership plugin. I have used certain membership plugins that were perfect for my own project, but would never have worked with another website I owned.

I hope that this article helps you locate the most suitable membership plugin for your project, however it is still your responsibility to do diligent research beforehand. This means extensively testing the plugin if it is free to download and asking the developer of a premium membership plugin important questions before you buy. Do your research and ask as many questions as you can and I am sure you will choose the right plugin.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this article, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them. And if I have missed out any great membership plugins, please feel free to share them below 🙂

Article thumbnail image by Jane Kelly /

Premade Layouts

Check Out These Related Posts

Splice Video Editor: An Overview and Review

Splice Video Editor: An Overview and Review

Posted on May 7, 2019 by in Tips & Tricks

Video is a valuable form of content for social media. Unfortunately, creating quality videos is usually a long process that involves moving mobile footage to a desktop app for editing. However, mobile editing is on the rise. Apps such as Splice Video Editor make it possible to efficiently create...

View Full Post


  1. Massive list! I have been looking into this for and bought a single license of UserPro. It works pretty well, but eventually I decided to quit focus on a membership system because it was eating a lot of resources.

    Never heard of about 75% of this list though, so maybe I should try it a bit more 🙂

    Thanks for another great list of plugins Kevin! Keep ’em coming!

    • Nice site Sietse. I remember seeing it awhile back and I can see you have made some great progress using the Divi theme. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Sietse. Glad you liked the list 🙂

      • Hi Kevin,

        Thank you so much for including (DAP) in your list.

        We very much appreciate this exhaustive list, and for being considered to be a part of it. I’m sure your readers will appreciate the extent of your research.


        – Ravi Jayagopal

      • Big THANKS for this list.

        one question though… i need something that allows specific content (such as galleries/images, documents, etc.) assigned and accessible to individual users.

        for example, i would like a client to create an account and under their profile, have the ability to upload photos and documents, which then can be viewed and/or by either that user or the admin (me).

        do any of these membership plugins allow something like that to occur?

        BigTHANKS for your help!!!

        • Did you get answer to your question? I am also looking for a plugin to solve same. Moreover I want to put a slideshow of all subscriber’s image on home page.

    • I used Paid Memberships Pro in a recent project. Has many free addons, the pricing is fair (free to download, pay for support) and the plugin is easy to use. PMPro is modular so is lightweight. Give it a go. I think you will like it.

      Like your site too. Nice to look at.

  2. This is the most comprehensive list I’ve seen of WP membership plugins. Thanks for including Paid Memberships Pro.

    • Thanks Jason. I tried to include every major membership plugin I could find. Several were not included as they have not been updated in a while, though I think I listed the majority of them 🙂

  3. Great articles Kevin – always looking forward to the next one.

    Is there a place where we can suggest topics for your consideration ?


    • If you post a suggestion here, I will add it to our suggestions list 🙂

      • Thanks Kevin. Maybe you’d consider a typography related article: eg best use of typefaces, recommended tools/plugins to integrate fonts in ET themes (not just Google fonts), resources for font mining etc. 🙂

  4. Wow. This list was a lot to take in. Very Comprehensive, indeed. I once tried creating a membership site for a client using buddy press and a membership plugin, although I cannot remember which. The site was extremely slow no matter what I did and we ended up ditching WordPress for another platform altogether. My guess is that their hosting couldn’t keep up with the demands. What type of hosting do you recommend for WordPress membership sites?

    • A membership website does not have any major requirements. Therefore, it will run efficiently on any hosting plan that can host a WordPress website (i.e. all of them).

      For the record, I’m hosted with KnownHost 🙂

    • While Kevin is right that most membership plugins will run anywhere WordPress runs, there are some things to take into account when running a membership plugin.

      FWIW, here are our suggestions for hosting for Paid Memberships Pro, which should be applicable to any of the plugins on this list.

      The main thing is to avoid “shared” hosting. And the major complications are (1) inability to cache ALL THE THINGS with membership sites, (2) the need for an SSL certificate and probably a dedicated IP address and (3) the general horsepower needs of a membership plugin… they do more than your average plugin.

      I hope this helps.

      • I have PMPro running well with WooCommerce on a shared server from Namecheap (in a reseller package).

        Reading the linked article now. Thanks for creating PMPro.

    • Hi Adam,

      Hosting plays a very big part in how fast your site loads, whether it is for a first-time visitor or a returning member – especially on a membership site.

      With over 15 years of experience working with web hosts, and with almost 6 years of working with tens of thousands of client web sites, here are our recommendations for a web host:


      – Ravi Jayagopal

  5. Very useful post, thanks a lot for sharing, I have been searching for the Membership plugins for wordpress. Thanks again

  6. Thanks so much for the extensive research and list Kevin. You are a huge asset to ET and to all of us as well.

    I have a couple of projects that really need to integrate a member function.

    One project is for a client whose employees all work remotely. I want to to create a section for employees to be able to login to access corporate calendars, admin resources, HR materials, documents, forms, benefits, etc… In this case everyone will have access to the same info. Any thoughts on which of these my work best?

    I also have another client who is a Rental Information provider who helps people looking for rentals in unfamiliar areas. We want them to be able to login and have information specific to the individuals user name and password. Basically it would be customer specified rental stats for each individual user name and password. Do you think any of these might be a good fit to try out for this need?

    Thanks again for all your contributions to the killer ET community/family.

    • Thanks for the kind words Geno.

      Your first project sounds like something that most of the membership plugins can handle. Ideally, you would want one of the plugins I listed that handles file downloads, and perhaps even private video and audio streaming.

      I’m not 100% sure what the best set up is for the second project. I do understand what you are trying to achieve. That is, you want to provide unique information for each individual user.

      Perhaps this could be achieved with some sort of note plugin that lets you add notes to a members account.

      Though I’m just guessing.

      Most member plugins are set up so that groups of members see the same information e.g. basic membership, premium, gold etc. Though with this project, each member would see different content when they log in.

      I’m not too sure how this would be set up. Perhaps you would need a custom solution. I don’t think it is something that is technically difficult, though I don’t think there are any solutions for that available at the moment.

  7. Hey Kevin,

    Great list, man!!

    Have you ever head of a membership plugin that allows you to restrict content to non-registered-users based on how many posts they’ve viewed on your site in a certain period of time?

    The site does it quite well, though I don’t think they are using WP.

    • I have heard about some plugins out there that will limit how many impressions a visitor can view content on your website before they have to pay; though I haven’t tried any myself. A plugin such as that could be used in conjunction with a membership website to create a set up like that.

    • From recent research into ‘first click free’, I seem to recall that only 2 WordPress plugins offer the ‘first click free; feature: eMember and MemberWing-X. Maybe others will introduce the feature later.

  8. I often find myself with long lists of options after doing some short research. I personally don’t have a membership site nor have I used a membership plugin in WordPress before, but I have looked into it and have gotten too overwhelmed with the options which are available.

    Anyways, thanks for the extra info on the membership plugins I didn’t look into. I’ll add it to my list!

    • It’s sometimes better to just choose one and then go with it. Then if it doesn’t suit your needs, try another one. We can overthink this process by comparing all the pros and cons; when it practice some work better than others.

  9. Kevin, I really appreciate the great review. This is very helpful as I am currently trying to select a membership plugin. One of the other plugins to which I’ve been drawn is Cart66 Cloud, mainly because I would not need to worry about the security piece on the payment side (if I understand correctly). Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Scott

    • It’s not a plugin that I know of. Is it solely a payment plugin or is it a membership plugin?

      • It seems fairly feature rich, and possibly easy to use as a membership plugin and store as well. One of the reasons I really appreciate your post is there are so many solutions form which to choose, and once I install a membership plugin I’d rather not have to redo it. Anyway, I wanted to give you the link to the Cart66 folks.

        Thanks again! Scott

        • Choosing a membership plugin is certainly not a quick decision. Before choosing Wishlist five years ago, me and my partner (at the time) spent a long time looking at different membership plugins.

          Changing membership plugins at a later date could mean losing data or functionality; therefore it is better to get things right from the start.

  10. I really like the amember pro.
    However, the price is quite high.
    Do you also use it?
    ask an honest review of your

    • Yeah I use it actively on my rise forums website. I really like it. It is perfect for the set up I have on that website.

  11. Superb article Kevin !!! Very good collection and complete guideline for create WordPress based membership website. Valuable information. Go on & on….

  12. It would be very nice to come across the plugin (or any custom works) that Elegant Themes have deployed for its membership area. I love its features and easy navigation. Something which I’ve looking for my own website as well.

  13. Excellent list. I admit I didn’t know about a lot of these.
    I was looking through some recently because I was searching for something to use not so much for website content management as much as for a Non-Profit’s Membership Management.
    I am most likely going for AMember but I’ll check some more from your list.

  14. Great article, Kevin.

    I’m using the Groups plugin to restrict content for members on a couple of sites. Just wondering why you didn’t include it here. Do you not consider it a ‘proper’ membership plugin?

    • It was certainly not intentional. I don’t recall coming across it. Feel free to post the link here and I’ll check it out.

  15. I’ve been using Premise. Unfortunately, they’ve taken it off the market. Once you get used to how a membership plugin works and feel comfortable with it, it’s tough getting the motivation to jump into something new until you really have to.

    • Premise was a membership solution I would have included. Like you said, it is no longer available.

  16. Brilliant write up. We have used a few of the above and really like User Profiles Made Easy. It doesn’t have a membership option, true, but we use for that anyway. To see the login/register in action:

    The UX/UI of this plugin was a lot better than the other three I tested before too.

  17. Kevin, have been running an easy to use membership site building service since years.

    You point and click the site together and then publish it to the server.

    • Hi Mark,

      That doesn’t seem to have any sort of WordPress integration at all (but correct me if I’m wrong on this).

      This list focused on WordPress membership solutions. While Amember is a standalone script, it integrates with WordPress perfectly, therefore should be considered as a great solution for WordPress users.

  18. Wow, another home run with this article, Kevin! Your contributions are becoming just as valuable to the Elegant Themes community as the themes are!

    One question though. I’m sure you’ve seen the 24 hour auction groups on Facebook that are popping up for many cities. These are great ideas for reusing and recycling what would otherwise be items destined for landfills. However, these Facebook auction groups have many faults (doesn’t display the exact auction end time, not allowed to post items that are home made such as artwork, doesn’t give admins power to delete or ban items/members after too many no shows after winning an auction etc…)

    What I would like to do is create a WordPress site emulating these 24 hour auction groups on Facebook. Any idea or suggestion which plugin would be best to allow folks in my city to join and post their items and related photo(s) for auction without me having to post for them on my site?

    I could probably create a site with vBulletin to do this, but I’d really like to use WordPress and one of the themes here. I’d like to be able to post ads of my own artwork and canvas prints on the site to showcase in front of the large audience the site would generate.

    Keep up the terrific work! I always look forward to checking here for your blog posts, Kevin.


  19. Thanks, Kevin!

    I don’t know if the two plugins will provide me with what I need. I think they are plugins for me to list my own items for auction on my site. I’m looking for something that will allow users to register at my WordPress site and be able to list their own items for straight sale or auction within my WordPress site.

    The link you provided me to AuctionPress looks a bit more promising, although I don’t have time at the moment to fully research it. I glanced at it but unfortunately must leave to go out in a few minutes.

    And yes, it is a profitable niche with an audience of 20,000+ on the current Facebook groups. But unfortunately they will no longer allow me to list my artwork or canvas photo prints for sale because they are home made products which violates their rules of selling used items (much like an online garage sale).

    So, my idea to develop my own site started. That and the fact I won (or so I thought) an auction on an item only to be told someone else won when clearly I had the highest bid placed before the 24 hours were up, but with Facebook not having an official time stamp on these auction groups, I didn’t get the item.

    I want to take the idea of a 24 hour auction within the city, which was pretty good, and make it stellar. It also provides an instant audience of 20,000+ depending on city size, to pitch my products to. Rinse and repeat on other neighboring cities… I know you get the idea. 🙂

    Thanks again for the suggestions, Kevin. Keep up the great work.


    • Sounds like you have a lot of work to do. Best of luck with your project.

      Don’t understand why Facebook are not allowing you to list your items, though it is better to handle things your own way regardless.

      • It’s not Facebook that is not allowing my art and canvas prints to be displayed. The admins of the groups are the ones who are not permitting “home made” items to be listed within their created Facebook group.

        You’re right though, in the end it is better for me to handle things my own way regarding this.


  20. I’ve heard a lot about this plugin. Thank you for this information. It gives me more knowledge about it. I have personally done pretty well affiliate marketing on niche websites. You can use this free software to make your own unlimited amount of money making websites. Go here “thefreesoftwaredepot[dot]com/tracker/CashExtractorJoanWF/GetFreeSoftware/”

  21. Hi, I’m curious, what plugins does use to handle the memberships? Thanks.

    • I have the same question to, maybe they use their own script or plugin.

  22. Hello, is anybody home in your customer service department? Have been trying to purchase your themes package all day to no avail. I keep getting invalid login error messages no matter how many times I’ve had the password reset.

    Any nobody in your customer service department (if there is one) is replying to my inquiries. Think you guys might include an actual phone number for issues like this? Or at least a person at the other end of a chat box? Making a purchase should never be this dang difficult. Have credit card in hand and waiting…

  23. Hi,
    thanks you for your interesting article!
    But didn’t find my answer. I need a member WPplugin where admin create (and only him) the members.
    Then the member can log on his secure pages where he can change his info (like, adress, phone…) and download secure files.
    And on the front end this updated info had to appares. It’s like a members list on the front end.
    Someboday can help???

    • I don’t know of any plugin that offers this. Perhaps one of the ones listed in this article can be used to do it. I am not sure.

      My guess is that you will have to hire a coder to design a custom solution for you.

    • Not 100% sure but if I understand correctly, you might be able to do this with Paid membership Pro by setting you member level so that no one can register (I think this will allow the admin to manually add subs). PMP lets users modify their account, and with the “hide my login” plugin your users will not see the WP dash. For downloading secure flies, perhaps I have not tested this scenario but it makes sense to me.

      • thanks for yours comments.
        I wil try to fix my problem.
        Think it was easy question with million of plugin… but not so 🙁

  24. It should be one of the most comprehensive membership plugin compilations. Thank you for the great article, it helped a lot.

  25. Great list!
    I’ve used S2member (free) for two years now on my business website and the support has been excellent. It takes members to their own page so they never see the WP Users area – only admin can. I can control an unlimited number of levels along with custom capabilities. It’s very powerful.

    • And I use a shared server. It takes Paypal, so I let them handle the security aspects of monetary transactions.
      Simple and free.

  26. Hello,

    Very informative article Kevin. A complete guide for create Membership packages for WordPress.


  27. I think this really is one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve ever seen of membership plugins. It looks like you’ve tried to include about every one that is still maintained 🙂 … which would have been a lot of research. And as the creator of MemberPress I just wanted to say thanks for going through all that work and including it in the list … if you’re ever needing additional info about MemberPress just feel free to hit me up.

  28. Thank you so much for this excellent list, Kevin. I’m trying to get my website going. I have been searching frantically for the right plugin for my website. I could not find a comprehensive list anywhere. But your article has helped me narrow it all down. So, thanks again.

    Any suggestions for what kind of plugins I should look for if I want to setup an online book rental store?

  29. Thanks a lot Kevin for this great list, but i’d like to know wich of this plugin it’s better for a woocommerce website??
    Thanks for reply.

  30. Very extensive list and well written review. We recently launched our own membership plugin called My Membership Plugin which includes unlimited membership levels and unlimited subscriptions as well as the ability to protect posts, pages and custom posts such as WooCommerce products, forums and a lot more.
    If you would like to review our plugin, please let us know and we will provide you with a license key.
    Thank you

  31. I really like Paid Memberships Pro. However, It would be nice if it protected projects like it does pages. I’m using DIVI and securing projects need to be included in an update.

  32. Thank you for the list! However, do you know a plugin where user can modify their profile? I mean, add more additional information on their profile like pictures, videos and etc. Also, I would like to have function where my subscribe can share their profile. Can I find that kind of Membership plugin? Anyway, I’m using Elegant Theme ( DIVI)

  33. Thanks for this giant list of membership extensions! I used to come to Elegant Themes for top-notch WP themes. Lately I’ve been finding the Elegant Themes site has also turned into an excellent resource for WP tips, tricks, advice, etc… as well. Thanks for doing my research for me. GL

  34. Thankyou so much Kevin for the extensive review. (!)
    I’m looking for a easy WP plugin/service that supports
    (1) recurring monthly payments (PayPal, Visa, MC, etc)
    (2) protected member only pages/content
    (3) SMS/emails to members

    I don’t really need a forum feature. Its a trading site so speed is a necessity.
    Any thoughts on what would be the top 2-3 candidates?
    Thanks again for the great article, best I’ve seen on the net.


  35. This is a very helpful article and I have bookmarked it for future reference.

    Sadly however, even with so many membership plugins you’ve listed here, there doesn’t seem to be even one that supports the fairly straight forward functionality that I need for my membership area.

    If I’m right, all of these membership plugins probably have a front-end membership area/profiles. I need to use the WP Admin area because I am selling a custom post type with custom fields.

    Basically, I’m desperately searching for a membership plugin that allows me to sell access to the WP admin back-end by creating new levels of subscription and ideally, allowing me to customize, rename, and re-brand the whole back-end for paying members only. (And of course, show the normal admin for regular subscribers.)

    Anyone have any advice?

  36. Thank you for this comprehensive list, but it can be a bit overwhelming too! I am creating a new site that will have a Member’s Area where people can access content based on what membership/products they have signed up for, and I plan to use the Divi 2.1 theme. I love how much control and options it allows someone in creating their unique site. I want to choose a membership plugin that will allow Divi to do what Divi does best. For example, I would like to use Divi’s page builder and modules, etc. to create the login forms and registration pages, product pages, member pages, etc. with Divi buttons, but then have the membership plugin doing its thing in the background. Some of the plugins I looked at seem to want to create their own pages, which I am afraid will look different and out of place with the rest of my Divi site. This may not be a question you can answer, but is there a membership solution that seems to work best with Divi specifically? Of course, ET could always come up with their own 🙂

    • Hi crystal, I’m wanting to do something like this too! Did you manage to find a plugin that does what you have outlined above? I’m thinking of using wp-members but I’m not sure if it’s compatible with Divi

  37. Big list, however I cannot find what i am looking for. Hoping you might be able to help: What I need is a plugin that allows users to have 3 membership levels. Active users will have their profile visible on the site (for everyone to see, even non-members) and depending on their level more or less info is shown on their profile. When their subscription period ends their profile is no longer visible.
    Any of these plugins offer this functionality (I cannot find it) or allow me to code it in. Thanks.

  38. BTW I love the article you created it was very helpful. I’ve used a membership plugin in the past and it worked but it looked horrible. Do you have any articles on additional plugins to help customize the membership page very quick? I’m new to everything…


  39. Great write up. I use woo commerce and groups etc… on a few sites and sometimes with Paid membership Pro. All of which is great but Im looking for away to have a common page devoted to each individual group/membership.
    thanks!, Dennis

  40. Nice collection of Plugins. I like Membership by WPMUDEV.
    This is awesome plugin as free which restrict category. simply create a premium category and you are done.

  41. Great post..kevin sir..

  42. Hi Kevin.
    I came across your post looking for a plugin to restrict access to my blog.
    I tried 3 different ones and it’s been a nightmare. 🙁
    I’ve installed Restrict Content to my blog, but I have one question: how do people join in?
    There are the join in and member log in pages, but one you click on them, only this comes up: [swpm_joinin_form]

    I don’t know what to do…it’s driving me mad.
    Any suggestions?

    Thanks a million.

  43. I want to make a membership site that each member can leave posts in the form of a blog. They could subscribe to other members as well. Are any of thes plugins good for that. I don’t care if it’s paid or free.

    I will allow anyone to read most content but will require membership to reply.

    I don’t really want a forum but maybe I’m stuck with it.

    Any ideas are appreciated.

    Thanks ahead of time.

  44. Great list…

    I have a client that wants to build a membership site and is looking to “build” out each members profile over time through additional online surveys. They would also want to be able to add data from other sources, say 3rd party testing sites.

    All I’m looking to do is set something up they can use as a MVP product as they are a startup and they want to use this to test a lot of assumptions.

    Your thoughts or others?


  45. Im looking for a membership plugin that will allow me to display different Widget content to different members, is something like this available?


  46. Setting up a website for our Home-owners Association. 36 Home-owners and community turnover is very low. There will be no open registration (only residents will see restricted content).

    The Home Page and About Page will be seen by any visitor and all other areas are limited to Resident members.

    At the outset we want to set up a User/Password for each resident, either by me as admin filling in the registration form for them or some other way within the software (they can change later).

    We would need to restrict the “registration form” in some way since we only wan the 36 residents as subscibers.

    What membership Plugin would work for this?

    • Mike, have you considered creating a private/secret Facebook group? I’ve done that for a couple of groups (all below 50 people) and it’s worked great. It takes minutes to setup and everyone already has a FB account. Plus it’s free.

      • Is this plugins works for only page that we decide to private? And how to set it ?

  47. Thank you for the comprehensive list.
    I am at the very beginning stages of designing a web site for training videos. I want part of the site free but much of it only for paid members.

    I am wondering; when I use membership plugins, will it allow me some flexibility to create some custom fields for members to fill in? For example, I want to ask their preferred language, which will allow me to make decisions based on this and other statistics.

    Thank you.

  48. Thanks so much for this article. I am interested in building a learning management system that has functionality to create reports based on forms and I would like membership access to different functionality. Can you suggest what might be right for me to use? I was looking at Paid MembershipsPro and wondering if I need an additional LMS solution. Thanks

  49. Hello, I must appreciate the exhaustive nature of your list. But looking through what you put together, it seems most membership plugins are about giving users access to posts. I didn’t find something that directly relates to my case, hence my hope that with your expertise, you can help me.

    I work for an NGO and we have decided to go the WordPress route in developing our site because of the simplicity in managing our content, as well as the robustness of the platform. We have chosen a theme, Philanthropy Theme by ThemeFuse, and even though they have a button call to action; Join Us, which is the reason we chose the theme in the first place, creating members is not a native feature of the theme. We were advised to look for a plugin to help with that feature; my reason for being here.

    What I want is a plugin that can help me register our members who believe in our cause and wants to join us, taking their details and updating it in our data base as well as giving them serial number which will become their Id. Then, sending a mail to their inbox thanking them for joining us and giving them some tips on how to be effective members.

    I know that you are more versed in all things WordPress than myself and I will appreciate the wealth of your experience concerning this matter. If you think that there is even a better theme that we can use which offers this feature natively, I am open to that, but my board all like the feel of Philanthropy, so I would benefit greatly if you can refer me to a plugin that can achieve what I have specified above. Thank you.

  50. Im looking for a membership plugin that will allow me to display different Widget content to different members, is something like this available?

  51. Hi
    I would like to build a few membership websites that I have ideas for ie lets say I want to build a website for photographers who don’t have a website at the moment. Is there a plugin that will let photographers register, create a profile, add an “about” and upload images to their profile for visitors to view and maybe purchase?

  52. I need a plugin that can work with Divi. That is it,

  53. Really good advice on this, thanks for the share Eleganthemes team do it again.

  54. I need a plugin that can work with Divi. That is it,

  55. I need a plugin that can work with some kind of code that will give access to the website. The code can be purchased in a shop to get access. It should be easy to print out hundreds of codes. One code per page.

    Could you tell me if you came across a plugin that can do this? It feels like looking for a needle in a haystack

Join To Download Today

Pin It on Pinterest