Membership websites allow marketers, bloggers, and businesses to restrict content, create subscription-based membership levels, build forums, and even incorporate a paywall. To build a successful membership website, you’ll need a good membership plugin. In this post, we’ll explore some of the best WordPress membership plugins, both free and paid, so you can decide which one is right for you.
Let’s get started.
- 1 What is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
- 2 6 Best WordPress Membership Plugins
- 3 Best Free WordPress Membership Plugins
- 4 Which WordPress Membership Plugin Is The Best?
What is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
A WordPress membership plugin restricts content to certain posts, pages, and other types of content. In addition to being able to password-protect or gate content, it uses WordPress user profiles and allows you to create new user roles for membership tiers. Also, they can be subscription-based, which can control the amount of content a user can access at the membership level.
There are many membership plugins with different features. They usually have member levels, directories, gated content, forums, courses, and a paywall system.
6 Best WordPress Membership Plugins
We have listed popular plugins with good features for any membership website. Our suggestions are mostly paid options that give you more value with a few free options for those who don’t need as much power. At the end of the day, the best plugin for you depends on what you need for your site.
MemberPress is one of the more popular membership plugins for WordPress. It also functions as a learning management system (LMS) This allows you to launch a comprehensive online academy without the extra cost of an LMS plugin.
Key Features for MemberPress:
- Paywall & ability to drip content
- Bill for subscriptions
- Create courses and quizzes
- Download digital files
- Works well with Divi
MemberPress has paywall functionality on board and allows you to create paid membership levels and accept payments via Stripe, PayPal, and others. The MemberPress Divi Add-On integration provides added benefits for Divi users by allowing them to limit access to modules, rows, sections, or pages within Divi using the MemberPress tab in the Visual Builder.
Plus, you can create multiple membership levels to suit your needs, set up community forums without the need for more plugins, and harness the power of Zapier. If you have custom post types on your site, you’ll be pleased to learn that MemberPress supports Advanced Custom Fields and Toolset, which also integrate with Divi.
With MemberPress, you also get the ReadyLaunch™ page maker to create pricing, login, and registration pages with your images and company brand styles. Plus, you can discount courses or subscriptions with coupons, launch affiliate programs, and set up member emails.
However, it doesn’t have chat built-in, which is a drawback of MemberPress. Chat software can enhance engagement with potential members who are considering your site. To address this, there are several good chat plugins that can easily integrate with your MemberPress site.
MemberPress is for your if…
- You want to create online courses with ease.
- You want responsive, no-code custom landing pages.
- Need compatibility with Divi.
MemberPress Pricing: starting at $179.50 per year.
2. Paid Memberships Pro
Up next, Paid Memberships Pro offers many of the same features as other membership plugins – but with a couple of cool additions. First, it allows for content to be hidden based on post type, including posts, products, categories, or tags. Second, it provides a dedicated theme for those starting from scratch.
Key Features for Paid Memberships Pro:
- Dedicated theme, or seamless integration with page builders such as Divi
- Restrict custom post types
- Drip content
- Custom member home pages
- WordPress multi-site support
Plus, Divi users get seamless integration with Paid Memberships Pro. You’ll have the ability to restrict content to pages, as well as sections of pages or posts using Divi’s Visual Builder.
Additionally, Paid Memberships Pro offers several distinctive features, such as content dripping, which schedules the release of content based on a member’s start date. It also provides a dedicated theme and allows for the creation of custom member pages based on membership level. Plus, thorough documentation is available through the Paid Memberships Pro website.
Lastly, if you opt for the plus price tier, you can gate content and manage memberships over a network using WordPress multi-site installations.
Paid Memberships Pro is for you if…
- You want a highly customizable membership site.
- A free theme is a must.
- You need premium-level documentation and support.
Paid Memberships Pro Pricing: Starting at $247 per year.
3. Wishlist Member
Next on our list, Wishlist Member is a powerful membership plugin for WordPress that you may not be familiar with. It enables you to establish a complete membership site, equipped with various membership levels, subscription-based offerings, and payment integration options. Additionally, it functions as a complete Learning Management System, allowing you to create and administer courses and quizzes.
Key Features for Wishlist Member:
- Seamless integration with Divi
- Functions as an LMS
- Comprehensive configuration wizard
- More than two dozen payment and email integration options
- WooCommerce integration
- Customizable member pages
As an added bonus, the first-time configuration wizard in Wishlist Member is an excellent tool that makes it easy to set up your membership levels, integrate with payment and email providers, and generate important pages such as the registration page, sales page, login page, member welcome page, and member dashboard.
Next, the configuration wizard leads to the membership dashboard where you can manage email providers, customize member pages, view member metrics, use shortcode tools, backup data, and access tutorials.
Wishlist Member is for you if…
- You need an easy process to set up your membership site.
- You want a dashboard for user metrics.
- Payment and email provider choices are needed.
Divi users will be pleased with the robust integration with Wishlist Member. Content can be assigned at the module level, assigned to various membership levels, and is easily visible in the content tab for any Divi element.
Wishlist Member Pricing: Starting at $99 per year.
4. Member Mouse
As one of the more expensive options on our list, Member Mouse is geared towards those who want to build a complete sales-based membership site. Rather than yearly billing, you’ll be billed monthly, which makes the cost easier to swallow. Plus, you’ll get a 14-day free trial, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide if it’s right for you.
Key Features for Member Mouse:
- Complete e-commerce solution for memberships and subscriptions
- 14 day free trial
- Multiple payment gateway options
- One-click purchase technology
- Extensive member management dashboard
Additionally, Member Mouse is a complete tool to manage paid subscriptions, memberships, and products. With a simple interface, setting up your offerings is easy. You can create multiple membership levels and offer one-click product purchases. Plus, the dashboard provides a complete membership management system, integration with email automation services such as Mailchimp, Active Campaign, and Constant Contact, and support for various payment options including Stripe, Authorize.net, and PayPal.
However, Member Mouse lacks the convenience of creating custom forms for your membership site, requiring knowledge of HTML and CSS. That being said, there are several form plugins available to bridge this gap and provide the functionality you need.
Member Mouse is for you if…
- You want a one-stop-shop for subscriptions and marketing automation.
- Want to track members’ purchase history, subscriptions, and revenue.
- You need a comprehensive subscription system for your website.
Member Mouse Pricing: Starting at $29 per month.
5. Restrict Content Pro
Next on our list is Restrict Content Pro. It comes standard with unlimited membership levels, membership management, Stripe payments, invoicing, and content restriction, to name a few.
Key Features for Restrict Content Pro:
- Coupon and discount codes
- Password sharing prevention
- Multiple payment gateway options
- Free trials
- Member email customization
- 34 pro add-ons and integrations
Additionally, the paid version of the product has extra features compared to the free one. You can create coupon codes to offer discounts to different membership levels, either just once or repeatedly. Plus, it also stops people from sharing passwords by limiting how many times certain content can be viewed. Additionally, you’ll have more options for payment, like PayPal and Braintree.
However, the best thing about the paid version is that you can offer free trials. This lets people try your products before they decide to buy.
Restrict Content Pro is for you if…
- You want to limit password sharing.
- Coupons and discount codes are necessary.
- You’d like to give your members the option of a free trial.
Restrict Content Pro Pricing: Starting at $99 per year.
6. Ultimate Member
The last plugin on our list is Ultimate Member, a user-friendly WordPress membership plugin. With its convenient shortcodes and intuitive drag-and-drop builder, you can effortlessly create stunning member profile pages and directories in just a few clicks.
Plus, Ultimate Member allows for customization of registration, login, and member profile forms using a drag-and-drop form builder with over 50 fields available, including options for member bios and social media profiles.
Key Features for Ultimate Member:
- Drag-and-drop form builder with conditional logic
- Private messaging system
- WooCommerce integration
- Multi-payment gateway support
- Mailchimp integration
- A system to
Additional notable features include a private message system, real-time notification system, social login, online user notifications, and the ability to limit the content to registered users. As an added bonus, Ultimate Member works with other plugins such as WooCommerce to create the subscription and membership-based products for the ultimate sales website.
Ultimate Member is for you if…
- You want to add a forum to your site.
- Custom forms are needed.
- You need something that works with WooCommerce.
Ultimate Member Pricing: Free to starting at $249 per year.
We’ve picked the top membership plugins for this list. However, we know that sometimes people don’t need such a complicated solution for their website. Therefore, we’ve also made a list of the best free membership plugins you can choose from.
Best Free WordPress Membership Plugins
The free plugins listed here are very basic in nature, mostly letting you gate content, add members, and in some cases, create membership tiers. Therefore, don’t expect to run a complex membership site with any of these. That being said, simple membership websites will work just fine using any of the following options.
- Members s a free version of MemberPress and is one of the most popular options with over 200,000 installs. It doesn’t have many features, but you can add, clone, and edit user roles, limit access to content using shortcodes, and make your site private.
- Ultimate Member Free is a light weight version of its paid version. It still offers custom forms, member directories, custom emails, and navigation menus based on user login status.
- Paid Memberships Pro Free provides basic features to limit content, create ongoing payments, and works with Zapier. Ideal for simple paid subscriptions.
- Simple Membership offers gated content with payment options through PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree. It also has email and subscription features.
- WP-Members is a simple plugin to gate content, show menu links based on logged-in status, and create custom fields for profile and registration forms. Bear in mind, this is a simple plugin that doesn’t have a ton of options, but it’s easy to use and will have your membership site up and running in minutes.
Which WordPress Membership Plugin Is The Best?
There are dozens of membership plugins available for WordPress. That being said, there is only a handful that has the features most WordPress users will need. Therefore, the plugin you choose largely depends on what you need it to do. However, there are a couple of entries on our list that are a complete solution for building a successful membership site.
|🥇||MemberPress||$179.50 per year||✔️||Visit|
|🥈||Paid Memberships Pro||$247 per year||✔️||Visit|
|🥉||Wishlist Member||$99 per year||❌||Visit|
|4||Member Mouse||$29 per month||❌||Visit|
|5||Restrict Content Pro||$99 per year||✔️||Visit|
|6||Ultimate Member||$249 per year||✔️||Visit|
MemberPress and Paid Memberships Pro tick all of the boxes when it comes to membership sites. Whether you need gated content, paid memberships or subscriptions, a paywall, or a robust learning management system, both have something for everyone.
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The best WordPress membership that I have found is Digital Access Pass and includes a host of other features that make it well worth checking out. Plus the customer service has been exceptional.