Gone are the days where membership plugins could afford to be clunky, difficult to integrate with third-party services or offer second rate support.
In 2021, with 30+ WordPress membership plugins on the market, it goes without saying that competition is tough. Plugin developers need to bring their “A-Game” or risk falling off the map.
All this competition is great news for website owners who are looking for a way to integrate memberships into their WordPress websites. Plugin capabilities and features are no longer the obstacles to your success as you look to grow your membership base and establish authority.
In most cases, success comes down to putting in the hard work. Most plugins are easy to set up which means you’ll spend less time messing around with settings and more time attracting new members and interacting with the ones who have already joined.
However, the question that remains is how do you decide which of the 30+ WordPress membership plugins is right for you? With so many options, it can seem overwhelming, right? Once you take a little time to sort through the features of each plugin, it becomes much easier to figure out which one is most capable of meeting your needs.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at 6 potential options. We’ll cover as many relevant points and features of each plugin with will hopefully save you a ton of time and research.
MemberPress is well established in the membership plugin space. Their claim to fame is a “ridiculously easy setup” that requires just a few steps to be up and running. If you’re looking for a plugin that offers plenty of features, this is a great place to start. You’ll have the ability to restrict access to specific pages, posts, categories, tags, specific files and more.
Other important features include:
In addition to plenty of great features, MemberPress also offers competitive pricing and a 14-day money back guarantee. The business edition of their plugin costs just $99/year and the Developer edition comes in at $199/year. The primary difference being that the Developer edition has the following additional features:
Restrict Content Pro (RCP) has been around since late 2010 so like MemberPress, they are not new to membership plugins or to WordPress in general (RCP is built by the team at Pippin’s Plugins). In the past, Restrict Content Pro was a great option if you were looking for a well-designed, easy to use plugin. However, it lacked some features that many users considered vitally important such as the ability to drip content. As of July 2016, RCP added several new features (including drip) that resulted in a more well-rounded plugin. Possibly going from good to great in the eyes of their users.
A few other important features include:
Restrict Content Pro offers 4 pricing options. It’s important to pay attention to the features included with each one because some of the most important add-ons are only available at the higher price-points. Here are your options:
If you rely on Infusionsoft to run your business and need a membership plugin, Memberium is probably where you should focus your attention. If you’ve used Infusionsoft, you’re probably familiar with how challenging it can be to integrate with WordPress. Creating and integrating attractive web forms is just one example of an area where Infusionsoft falls short. Memberium aims to close the gap by making it easy to build membership site that utilize WordPress and Infusionsoft.
Standout features include:
Several pricing options available that range from $47/month for a single domain (or $470/year) to $87/month for unlimited domains. It important to note that all plans include a single connection to Infusionsoft. As well, a 30-day money back guarantee is provided on all plans.
With WooCommerce being an Automattic Company, you probably have high expectations for their membership plugin. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. This plugin allows you to create a standalone membership website or integrate memberships into your WooCommerce store.
There are plenty of standout features including:
WooCommerce Memberships isn’t the least expensive option available but it is one of the most feature-rich options available (especially if you’re running an eCommerce store). There are three pricing plans available that range from $149 for a single site to $249 for 25 sites. All plans come with 12-months of updates and support.
S2Member is a membership plugin that is in use on thousands of membership websites. They also boast a community forum with over 50,000 posts. This plugin relies almost entirely on shortcodes which means it can easily be integrated into pretty much any WordPress theme.
Both the free framework and the pro version come with an extensive list of features including:
S2Member has a unique pricing structure in that the basic framework is free to download and use although functionality is somewhat limited. As a free user, you’ll only have access to PayPal Standard and you’ll discover that several content and security features are disabled.
In addition to the free version S2Member also offers two pro versions that are priced at $89 for a single site version and $189 for unlimited sites. Both options include lifetime updates and 12-months of support.
MemberMouse is the oddball in our list because although it’s a feature packed plugin, it’s also the only plugin that does not allow you to modify their software in any way. MemberMouse takes a lot of flack for this and almost all of the other membership plugins happily take the opportunity to point out that they provide access to their source code.
If you can look past this shortcoming, MemberMouse has a lot to offer including:
MemberMouse offers some unique pricing options. Although they use a recurring subscription model (which can get expensive), they do make it easy to get started by providing a basic plan that starts at just $29/month for 5000 members.
From there, they have Advanced and Premium levels available at $79/month and $199/month respectively. As soon as you can afford it, the $79 Advanced option offers what is probably the best value (especially for larger membership sites).
Keep in mind that we’ve only covered 7 of 30+ membership plugins available in this post. There are plenty more to pick from although we’ve definitely included some of the best options available.
Before deciding on a membership plugin, the best thing to do is write out a list of your unique requirements. Then, make sure that each of the plugins you’re considering will meet your needs. Be careful to consider more than just price. The ability to grow your business, features, customer support when needed and plugin updates are all important considerations.
Our top picks for the best membership plugins are:
If you’re currently using one of these plugins, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Please share in the comment below.
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