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Create a Membership Site with WordPress using Magic Members

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Create a Membership Site with WordPress using Magic Members

If you have surfed the web, then you must have seen at least one website that charges for premium content. Whether it is a high profile Sports Network (ESPN Insider) or one of the top blog network (Tuts+), you have seen premium content for paid members on numerous different sites. In this article, we will share a plugin called “Magic Members” that will allow you to create a Membership Site using WordPress and increase your blogging revenue.

Why Create a Membership Site?

Membership sites allow you to increase your blogging revenue, but more importantly it allows you to build another community of exclusive users on top of your main blogging community. In membership sites, you will have more interaction with your audience because it is a selective group of users. You can provide them instant support, reply to each comments, and much more.

People often wonder what is the point of a membership site. Well, when you are creating quality content, then you deserve to be compensated. Membership sites are a win-win for bloggers and users because it guarantees quality content to users, and bloggers are guaranteed a regular income which encourages them to keep blogging. There will always be users who are strictly against this idea of premium content, but when use in moderation, membership sites can be a very profitable venue. ESPN still provides quality content, but their insider articles are even better. If you are a design blog, you can provide a tutorial for free, and give source file downloads to premium members ONLY. This way you are still providing quality content and earning a steady income.

For example, if you charge $10 / month for a membership fee and have 200 members, you will be making a steady $2000 / month.

How to Create a Membership Site using WordPress

WordPress is a very powerful platform. When you combine it with Magic Members, it becomes a very versatile membership site platform as well.

Now most of you are probably wondering what is Magic Members?

Magic Members is a WordPress plugin that lets you create Membership sites. Just like almost all WordPress plugins, it is very easy to install. All you have to do is simply upload the files via FTP and activate the plugin (Step by Step Guide to Install a WordPress plugin). Unlike other WordPress plugins (which are mostly free), Magic Members cost $97 for a Single Site License and $297 for unlimited sites license. This might seem like a pretty expensive plugin, but if you hire a developer to create something at a similar level, you will end up paying thousands of dollars.

Overview of Magic Members

Once you activate the plugin, you will see a new menu option added to your wp-admin panel called Magic Members. Once you click on that button, you will see that Magic Members has it’s own version of configuration panel.

Magic Members Main Options

You can see that there are bunch of features starting from adding member types, to controlling your content, payment options and more. So many features can be very confusing for beginner level users, which is why there is a support video attached to each section. These videos are step by step tutorials on how to configure that specific section. If you are still having problems with something, then there is FREE unlimited support. You can see how the videos are attached in the screenshot below:

Magic Members Support Videos


Multiple Membership Levels

You can offer different membership access to different areas (such as downloads, tutorials etc). You can charge separate for each area and increase your revenue stream.

Easy to integrate with Existing or New WordPress Blogs

It is a WordPress plugin that is compatible with all themes. All you have to do is follow few easy steps and let it work it’s magic.

Flexible Membership Options

Aside from multiple levels, you can set different membership billing options (weekly, yearly, trimester etc).

Payment Integration Modules

You can allow your members to pay with Paypal,, ClickBank, and WorldPay. You can pick one of them, or you can pick all of them, it is entirely up to you.

Control Subscription Length

You can control how long memberships are valid with membership expiration. Set different expiration for different user type. This feature works great for trial memberships.

Unlimited Coupon Creation

You can create a coupon to offer a fixed price or a percentage discount on current or new subscription payments.

Login Redirection

If you have multiple membership levels, you might want to redirect them to different landing pages. This features comes in handy when you are trying to send different member updates, news, and/or welcome messages.

Sequential Course Delivery System

If you are a building a course system with your membership site, then this feature is extremely useful. You can control when the content becomes available for users to see. For example, you can have a new lesson / day for 30 days.

Controlled Content Access

You can control which content is visible to each membership level. For example, standard members can only see the basic tutorials whereas Gold members can download source files.

Partial Content Display

You can use the shortcode [ private ] [ /private ] to hide exclusive content within the post. For example a download link to the PSD source file or something else. This feature is particularly useful in providing “teaser” articles that give just enough information that will make non-members want to become members.

Pay Per Post Access

There are times when users don’t want to pay a monthly fee when they only want to see a few articles. This option allows you to charge per post access. User will pay for the access of a specific post.

Entire Blog Protection

You can completely prevent non-members from accessing any information. Anytime a user tries to access a page, they will be redirected to the login page.

Custom Error Pages

Maintain a consistent look and feel across your entire membership site by easily creating custom error pages.

Secure RSS Tokens

This feature allows you to send content via RSS feeds without worrying about non-members accessing it.

Download Manager

This feature allows you to protect downloads from being accessed by unauthorized members and guests. Only users with a specific permission level can access the file.

Simple Member Management

Magic Members allows you to see all of your members, their status, level and other information in one easy to read location. You can easily upgrade, pause, deactivate or delete a member with a single click.

AutoResponder Integrations

Magic Members has seamless integration with Aweber, GetResponse and MailChimp.

Simple:Press Forum Integration

This allows you to turn your regular Simple:Press forum into a paid subscription forum.

Editorial Review

After playing around with the backend of Magic Members, we found it to be feature rich and extremely easy to use. It is worth every single penny it costs. We do not have any plans to make Premium Content on WPBeginner at this time, but it is something that we will consider in the future. If you want to increase the revenue from your blog, then Magic Members is the plugin you need.

Buy Magic Members Now

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Dick Raney says:

    I have been trying for a month to get Magic Members working. Big Problem: It is NOT compatible with the new Payflow version of Paypal Pro. Supposedly they are working on an update, but I can’t get a reply to my support tickets asking for an estimated delivery date. The product may be good, I can’t tell yet, but right now I would give them a very poor grade on their customer service.

  2. rogerlee says:


    Has anyone tried MemberWing?

    Seems to be a vet nice plugin with many exclusive features.

    Any feedback would be great!


  3. sherabchamma says:

    s2Member I find is the best for WordPress Membership Sites. Check them out.


  4. Rodrigo Medina says:

    I´ve installed also magic members for a website I´m planing to launch but I´m having the same problem the website takes hours to load I consider this a huge setback does anybody know how can this be solved

  5. Janus Perkins says:

    Magic Members is garbage. It is indeed better than other plug-ins, but that only makes it the lesser of all the evils. Despite claiming to “work seamlessly with CCBill” Magic Members never updates a member properly when a person is rebilled.

    I have had nothing but trouble and my support tickets are rarely answered. I’d be less annoyed if support wasn’t so awful.

  6. Terri MacMillan says:

    this plugin sounds interesting, especially the course content. I thought I’d share my experiences so far: I tried WPMUDev’s Membership plugin in release candidate form, and had trouble with restricting content access. It’s now a full release, so others my have a better experience with it: you do have to be a WPMUDev member to access it, though.

    Because this is a client project, I needed to get a reliable membership system up and running fast. I looked at Wishlist Member and S2 Member. Because it is free at the first level, I switched to S2Member , and I have to say, their support, clear instructions and their in-depth video tutorials have won me over. You can buy a Pro version, which I plan to do.

  7. Louise says:

    Any suggestions for free plugins that create membership-only content? I’ve tried several and nothing really seems to do the job very well. I don’t want to pay for a plugin when I’m not planning to charge for content–I just want some parts of my site to be membership-only.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Sometimes you would have to pay the money to get the best functionality. There are numerous tutorials that will allow you to create your own membership site, but if you want an easy way out. It is by paying the $97 for the license.

    • jay says:

      I know this is old, but didn’t you read the comment you posted under? S2member is free for an entry level. The only thing the free version is really lacking is the payment gateway options.

  8. Liza says:

    I used Magic Members to create a membership site for one of my clients. It has so many features and I love it! It’s almost impossible for us to setup a site and give it to the client and let him run by himself, but the best thing is the GUI that Magic Members has. Clients are happy, I’m happy and get paid good ;)

    On a side note, we haven’t experienced any speed problem like Jacques mentioned.

  9. Jacques says:

    I recently bought Magic Members and installed it on a site I’m developing. It makes my WP Admin section very slow and I have other problems with it aswell. I actually just today asked them for a refund. Their support section does answer my e-mails but then only request my WP Admin and FTP login so they can help or fix the problem. Not very happy with this way of supporting a product.

    Their answer on the slow WP Admin – “We have a new version which will solve your speed issue.
    If you can share your ftp details with us, we believe that we can solve all the issues you have in a timely manner.”

    • Adrien says:

      Hello Jacques and others,

      I have got the same problem: my website and my WP admin slowing down when I enable Magic Member plugin.

      Did you find a solution ?

      • Jacques says:


        Yes..I e-mailed them and gve them temp access to the admin and http://ftp..They fixed it for me..What I do not like is that everytime I have a problem they fix it but do not tell me what the problem was or how they fixed it

  10. FranchaseHighWay says:

    I tried the other membership plugins and had to request refund because of their terrible support. Thanks for the review, i will give magic members a try.

  11. Jason Pelker says:

    You’ve got to suspect any WordPress plugin that eschews the standard WP control panel in lieu of something more bulky.

    And along with @Ben’s comments, how do you review a plugin without providing any criticism and expect readers to take the review seriously? There is a trust gap here and I think the readers would appreciate some honesty more than a laundry list of features.

  12. Benjamin says:

    I wish someone would do a fair & non-affiliate linked review/comparison between this MagicMember plugin & WishList Member. Both seem to me to be the top of the pack for WordPress-based membership plugins. But they each have “additional” addon services/plugins that cost additional money. So I wish I could find a fair comparison between the two.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Benjamin, we do our commercial plugin reviews based upon the requests and sometimes paid comissions however our reviews are in no shape or form affected by the compensation we are receiving. Wishlist Member is a great plugin just like Magic Member. Yes, we agree that these two are top of the line for WP membership plugins just like Aweber and MailChimp are in Email marketing. We will take your request and try to do a comparison of these two plugins in a new post soon.

      • Benjamin says:

        Please note, I wasn’t directing the “affiliate-linked” review towards WPBeginner. I love what you guys do and include it in my list of websites everyone WordPress user needs to have on their reader. I was directing it to many of the puff pieces that come up in search results when looking for more information. Actually, your review of MagicMembers is what got me looking for a comparative review between the two plugins. Without your team’s open window into what MagicMember can do, I wouldn’t have given them a second glance.

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