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5 Best WordPress Membership Plugins (Compared) – 2023

Are you looking to build a membership site in WordPress? Want to know which is the best WordPress membership plugin?

Choosing the right membership plugin is crucial for your business because a better platform means more opportunities for growth.

In this article, we will compare the 5 best WordPress membership plugins to easily create paid membership websites.

Best WordPress membership plugins compared

What to Look for in a WordPress Membership Plugin?

There are plenty of WordPress membership plugins, but not all of them have specific features that you may need for creating your membership site.

Some of them are good for selling subscriptions on a single level, while others offer more diverse membership levels and subscription management features.

Some plugins offer a drip content feature that allows you to slowly release new content to a user. While others are restricted to only offering hidden content.

You will also need to figure out which payment gateways you will use. Do you want to accept credit cards only, PayPal, or both? Your membership plugin should have support for your preferred payment gateways, either built-in or through an addon.

Having said that, let’s see what you will need to start a WordPress membership site.

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What Do You Need to Run a WordPress Membership Site?

Membership websites are resource intensive, and choosing the wrong host can be detrimental to your overall performance. That’s why the first thing you need to do is choose the best WordPress hosting that you can afford.

If you’re on a budget, then you can start with Bluehost. Their Business Pro plan comes with an SSL Certificate which you need to securely collect payments, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line.

If budget is not an issue, and you want the best performance, then we recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine.

If you don’t already have one, then you will need to choose a domain name for your website. Here is our guide on how to pick the right domain name for your membership site.

Lastly, you will need to choose essential business plugins such as OptinMonster, which helps you capture leads and boost subscriptions.

Now that we have covered what you need to start a membership site in WordPress, let’s take a look at our top WordPress membership plugins.

1. MemberPress


MemberPress is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins. It is also the easiest to use and the most robust when it comes to features.

Pros of MemberPress WordPress Membership Plugin

Easy to Set UpMemberPress makes it simple to set up a membership website with WordPress. It can automatically set up pricing, login, account, and thank you pages for your users. Adding membership plans is also very straightforward.

No Limitations – MemberPress allows you to create unlimited membership levels. You can set the price and decide what premium content is included for each level.

Content Access Control – MemberPress comes with powerful access control, which allows you to restrict access to any content, including posts, pages, custom post types, categories, tags, files, and more.

Content Dripping – Content dripping allows you to show restricted content to members after a certain time. This is a very useful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.

Sell Courses – MemberPress lets you easily create and sell online courses. It offers an interactive learning experience for users that focuses on course completion rates.

Integrations – MemberPress integrates with AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and MadMimi email services. It also integrates with Amazon Web Services, Blubrry for podcast hosting, and BuddyPress for building an online community.

Payment Gateways – MemberPress comes with built-in support for PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. The developer plan also adds support.

Other powerful features include a built-in membership management dashboard, customizable coupon codes, email notifications, frontend pricing and user registration forms, custom widgets and shortcodes, Rest API for developers, and more.

Cons of Using MemberPress Pro

Limited Payment Options – MemberPress only supports the three most popular payment gateways. This would be a deal breaker for site owners who live in countries not supported by these payment gateways.

Limited Integrations – While the plugin has enough support for popular services to run a membership site efficiently, it still lacks integrations with some other popular services. The plugin is easily extensible, and you can pay someone to integrate a third-party service you would like to use.

Pricing: The Basic plan starts from $179.50/year, and the Pro plan starts at $299.50/year.

We think MemberPress is the easiest WordPress membership plugin for beginners. It is quick to set up with tons of powerful options.

2. Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice is a popular all-in-one membership and online course builder plugin for WordPress. It comes with advanced features and easy access control settings.

Pros of Using Thrive Apprentice

Easy to Use – Thrive Apprentice has a school setup wizard that will guide you through the process of setting up the plugin. This makes creating an online course membership website quick and easy.

Member Management Dashboard – In the built-in membership management dashboard, you can easily grant or revoke access to courses, content, or membership products for specific subscribers.

Sell Online Courses – Thrive Apprentice allows you to easily create, sell, and manage online courses. It comes with 55+ course templates, a drag and drop course builder, customizable certificates, and more.

Content Dripping – It has powerful content dripping features that let you unlock content at consistent intervals for students. You can also create multiple drip schedules for the same content.

Conditional Display – You can show personalized content for different users to boost engagement and sales. For example, you can display a different course overview or login form for visitors and members.

Detailed Reporting – You can learn valuable insights, like where students are dropping off in your course, with Thrive Apprentice’s advanced reporting engine.

Cons of Using Thrive Apprentice

No Built-in Payment Support – To accept payments online with Thrive Apprentice, you need to connect it with a checkout plugin like WooCommerce.

Limited Integrations – While the plugin integrates with many popular apps, it still lacks some integrations with other popular tools and WordPress plugins.

Pricing: Thrive Apprentice starts at $147/year. You can also get access to Thrive’s entire suite of plugins, which includes Thrive Quiz Builder, Thrive Architect, and more, starting from $299/year.

Thrive Apprentice is a powerful and easy-to-use membership plugin. It comes with all of the features you need to protect and sell access to any type of digital content, including online courses.

3. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is one of the top eCommerce plugins for selling digital products. It’s easy to use and gives you the ability to accept recurring payments.

Pros of Using Easy Digital Downloads

Sell Digital Products – You can use Easy Digital Downloads to sell any type of digital product in WordPress, including eBooks, PDFs, audio files, videos, and more.

Built-in Shopping Cart – It comes with a built-in shopping cart system that allows your customers to purchase multiple downloads at once. Plus, you can create discount codes to increase conversions.

Accept Recurring Payments – You can accept one-time payments or easily set up automatic recurring payments on any product, including daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.

Unlimited File Downloads – You can allow customers to download their purchased files endlessly, or you can restrict file downloads by time and/or attempt.

Payment Methods – With Easy Digital Downloads, you can accept credit card payments from Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other popular payment gateways like Braintree, with no additional monthly fees.

Addons – A variety of addons are available to extend your site’s functionality. There are extensions like Purchase Rewards, Wish Lists, Multi Currency, Conditional Emails, and more.

Cons of Using Easy Digital Downloads

Fewer Membership Features – You can sell ‘members-only’ digital products with this plugin, but you can’t hide your WordPress posts and pages from non-members.

Limited Integrations – While Easy Digital Downloads connects with some popular tools like AffiliateWP to create an affiliate program for your products, it lacks integrations with other popular services.

Pricing: The Personal plan starts at $99.50/year for a single site license and 1 year of support and updates.

Easy Digital Downloads is the best plugin for creating a membership site that sells digital products. It comes with a built-in shopping cart system, recurring payments, and a library of addons to grow your business.

Related: Here’s how to sell digital downloads on WordPress with Easy Digital Downloads.

4. MemberMouse


MemberMouse is another powerful, flexible, and scalable membership plugin for WordPress. It has many advanced features for protecting your content, selling products, creating courses, and maximizing revenue.

Pros of Using MemberMouse

Dynamic Content Protection – You can use MemberMouse SmartTags to display personalized content based on member attributes, no coding required. This gives you complete control over how you protect and display content on your site.

Advanced Reporting Suite – Easily keep track of important business metrics like lifetime customer value, retention and churn rates, member engagement, and more.

1-Click Purchase Links – You can create upsells and cross-sells that your members can purchase in 1-click, without having to re-enter their credit card information.

Free & Paid Memberships – You can offer both free and paid memberships, which is a great marketing strategy to attract new users to your membership site.

Overdue Payment Handling – MemberMouse will automatically handle overdue payments for you, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on revenue.

Built-in Push Notifications – You can easily create and send push notifications to members or specific WordPress user roles based on actions like new member added, membership cancelled, payment received, and more.

Cons of Using MemberMouse

Fewer Design Options – MemberMouse is dependent on WordPress and the theme you have installed, which can limit design options.

Limited Integrations – While MemberMouse seamlessly integrates with many popular payment gateways and email service providers, it offers fewer integrations compared to other membership plugins.

Pricing: The Basic Plan starts at $199.50/year, the Plus Plan starts at $299.50/year, and the Pro Plan starts at $399.50/year.

MemberMouse is a powerful membership plugin for businesses that are serious about growth. Once you get it set up, it’s capable of powering even the biggest membership sites around.

5. WishList Member

WishList Member

WishList Member is another flexible WordPress member subscriptions plugin. It comes with powerful features to protect members-only content and it offers tons of integrations.

Pros of Using WishList Member

Unlimited Membership Levels – You can create as many membership levels as you want. You can offer free memberships, premium memberships, or pay per post content.

One-Click Content Protection – When you create pages or posts, you can click the ‘Protect’ button right in the WordPress editor to quickly set your content to members-only.

Drip, Schedule, and Archive – You can drip content to new members and schedule posts to go live. You can also archive content to encourage members to maintain their subscriptions.

Sneak Peaks – It allows you to show ‘sneak peak’ snippets of your content to non-members and invite them to sign up to see what they’re missing.

Built-in Course Features – WishList Member has a built-in course builder called CourseCure. It lets you easily build lessons, quizzes, and certificates.

Payment Gateways – You can accept payments from over 20 of the most popular payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, WooCommerce, 2CheckOut,, and more.

Cons of Using WishList Member

Fewer Integrations – While WishList Member integrates with many popular payment services, it offers fewer integrations with other marketing tools.

Overwhelming Amount of Options – Beginners may be overwhelmed by the amount of membership features and options that WishList Member offers.

Pricing: Starting from $149.50/year for a single site license. This includes unlimited members, membership levels, and courses with CourseCure.

WishList Member is a powerful plugin for creating members-only posts, pages, and files in WordPress. It offers many advanced features that you can enable when you’re ready to take your membership site to the next level.

Bonus: LearnDash


LearnDash is a super flexible and extremely easy-to-use WordPress LMS plugin. It comes with advanced membership modules and tons of integrations.

Pros of Using LearnDash

Easy to Setup – LearnDash is quite easy to set up and adding content to it is much simpler. It also comes with advanced tools to easily organize your membership content into levels, groups, and more.

Easy Content Restrictions – LearnDash allows you to easily hide any content and restrict it to different membership groups.

Sell Courses – It allows you to easily create and sell online courses. It has advanced modules that allow you to better manage learning material than other WordPress membership plugins.

Drip Content – It comes with a powerful drip content feature allowing you to roll out content to users at regular intervals or upon completion of levels.

Built-in Community Features – It comes with tools to create highly engaging membership sites with quizzes, user badges, course-specific forums, certificates, user profiles, and more.

Integrations & Payments – LearnDash offers an amazing set of integrations and payment gateways. You can even connect it to MemberPress, WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, and more.

Cons of Using LearnDash

Lacks Some Membership Features – If you are trying to build a membership website without selling courses, then some of LearnDash’s features may not be useful to you.

Pricing: Starting from $199 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

LearnDash is the perfect solution if you want to sell online courses on a paid membership website. Its extensive set of addons and integrations allows you to build a highly-engaging platform. It’s also WordPress multisite compatible.

Bonus: Teachable


Teachable is an all-inclusive online course builder. It packs a membership website, LMS (learning management system), discussion forum, email marketing, and analytics, all under one dashboard.

Pros of Using Teachable

Ease of Use – Teachable is easy to set up and does not require any technical skills at all. Creating membership content is a breeze and includes built-in tools to quickly create and upload videos, text, PDFs, and more.

Drip Content – It includes a flexible drip content feature, which allows you to roll out content based on a user’s progress or subscription level.

Built-in Engagement Features – It offers discussion forums, quizzes, contact forms, certificates, and other features to boost user engagement and build powerful online communities.

Cons of Using Teachable

Not a WordPress Plugin – Teachable is not available as a WordPress plugin. Instead, you can integrate it into your WordPress site by adding links or a sub-domain.

More Expensive – Teachable includes everything, which makes it more expensive than other WordPress membership plugins.

Pricing: Basic plan starts at $39/month, and the Pro plan starts at $119/month.


We believe that MemberPress is the best option for a WordPress membership plugin. It has all the features that you would need to create a membership site and sell online courses, along with great documentation and support.

If you want a MemberPress alternative, then Thrive Apprentice is a great option. It’s a powerful and easy-to-use membership and online course builder plugin.

If you want to sell digital products on your membership website, then we recommend using Easy Digital Downloads. It comes with powerful features to create and sell digital downloads.

WordPress Membership Plugin FAQs

Having helped over 400,000+ WordPress users start their websites, we’ve answered a ton of questions over the years. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about membership plugins.

What is the best membership plugin?

Our top 3 choices for the best membership plugin are:

No, this question is not a joke. We seriously get this question even after referring people to this guide.

What is the best free membership plugin for WordPress?

While there are free membership plugins available, such as Paid Memberships Pro and WP-Members, they often come with limited features and additional transaction fees.

But, with a premium membership plugin like MemberPress, you get all of the features you need to build a successful membership site. Plus, there are no hidden fees.

MemberPress also offers a 14-day free trial period so that you can test it out first.

How do I create a successful membership site?

Simply follow this tutorial on how to create a membership site with MemberPress for step by step instructions.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress membership plugin for your site. You may also want to learn how to track visitors to your WordPress website, or see our picks of the best WordPress page builders.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclaimer: We could have included many other membership plugins in this list, like Restrict Content Pro, SureMembers, S2Member, aMember PRO, WooCommerce Memberships, Ultimate Member, and so on. But, we decided only to include the very best membership plugins to help you avoid choice paralysis.

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167 CommentsLeave a Reply

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  2. Which of these is the best option if it is critical that my members are able to make selections in multiple categories? Also, since I am looking for something very specific, I know I will need to add extra code to add some features. Which of these is most flexible when it comes to adding features? Thanks.

  3. Struggling to find the right member plugin. Am trying memberpress but it wont allow my members to sign in and membership pro is too complicated. Restrict content pro sounds OK but nervous to try another plugin as it doesn’t help my popular site. I don’t want to do downloads either. Any suggestions.

  4. Another review site states this about Restrict Content Pro, “Limitations: The plugin lacks content dripping feature which is surely a fundamental feature for a membership site.”

    That’s not mentioned here.

  5. Am looking to be able to manage contact information in a not for profit that has 3800 members. Would want them to be able to login and update their own information.

    Also would want members to be able to login and be able to search (access) normally restricted information.

    Any thoughts?? You all are the go to place for getting objective information!!

  6. Thank you for such a comprehensive and informative review of the membership plugins. Your recommendations have definitely helped me make a decision.

  7. I am a newbie to wordpress. I am using bbPress for my site. I have an existing form that doesn’t have any approval process. I am manually adding the users after receiving the forms. I did some digging and found the “New User Approve” plugin. I went ahead and installed the plugin. But not sure how to link/connect the plugin to my form so that the new user registrations can be moderated (approve or deny). Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  8. Hi guys! I’m hoping you (or someone here) can help me.
    I’m using MemberPress and WooCommerce to set up a site that sells annual memberships to a local brick-and-mortar archery club. In order for someone to become a member of the club, they have to watch a safety video and pass a quiz on the video content (if they miss more than 2 questions it’s a ‘fail’, but they can re-take the quiz until they pass). Do you know of any plugins or add-ons that will add this functionality to MemberPress or any of the other membership plugins? Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Taylor,

      GravityForms would work great for this scenario.

      The easiest implementation would be to present the video before collecting payment for the membership (if user passes => redirect them to the checkout).

      But if you want to collect payment first you can restrict content until they pass the test, and then make it available. This method would be a bit more technical.

  9. We’re looking for a plug in or theme that includes a search function (several fields as well as scattershot search) for the directory of members. would any of these work in that way.? Thank you.

  10. HI

    Im looking for a membership plugin that makes the members upload insurance certificates every time there existing one expires. I run a therapy practice and the therapists need to be insured. Having the membership expire if they dont upload a new certificate would really help.

    Any ideas??

    • @Bob

      You would need to use something like GravityForms (for the upload component) plus a bit of custom coding.

      I assume every member has a different expiration date that is NOT relative to when they joined? If that’s the case it makes it more complicated because you’ll need a way to set the expiration date and sync it with the content protection.

      If the expiry date is relative to when somebody joined, then you could conceivably make a membership level or bundle called “certificate”, and use that to restrict access based on whether or not they’ve renewed.

  11. Which of these plugins allow management of users restricting them to only be logged in from one location at a time, preventing the sharing of passwords?

    • Hi Dwayne,

      You could use Prevent Concurrent Logins, which is a free plugin that attaches to the core WordPress log in script. All of these tie into the core WordPress log in script, so it will work with them.

      As for sharing logins, there is nothing you can do for that. Accept it as part of being in the membership business and move on. It will happen far less than you think.

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for the excellent review. I am looking for a wordpress plugin that with help me with managing membership service for members of association I am volunteering. I look for basic features such content restriction, and sending e-mails to members like 1 week after joining, 1 month, and so on; and before theirs renewal date. However, one important things is that I’ll have an external list of members (basically they are renewing or buying their membership via external site and all I have is a members’ list with their e-mails, join and expiration date). No need to have payment gateways. Thanks for your help.

    • Hey Mateusz,

      1. “I am looking for a wordpress plugin that with help me with managing membership service for members of association I am volunteering. I look for basic features such content restriction, and sending e-mails to members like 1 week after joining, 1 month, and so on; and before theirs renewal date.”

      You can do that with most of the top membership plugins on the market right now including MemberPress, MemberMouse and DAP, plus Zapier.

      You can even make the emails look like they’re coming directly from your Gmail with Zapier, which is a nice personal touch I feel.

      The only difficult part is sending an email before the renewal date. You’d have to use a 3rd party script for that or some Zapier magic to ‘calculate’ the date since it’s different for each member.

      2. “However, one important things is that I’ll have an external list of members (basically they are renewing or buying their membership via external site and all I have is a members’ list with their e-mails, join and expiration date). No need to have payment gateways. Thanks for your help.”

      This part is easy. Just connect your membership plugin to Zapier and hook it up to Google Sheets or Airtable (my preference) and you’ll have a synced external database of members.

  13. I’m looking for a plug-in compatible with a WP-designed website that can take annual subscription payments for a PRINT magazine and generate a mailing list for the magazine labels etc. It should also be able to handle individual copy sales and sales of magazine binders and be easy to use and able to look like the actual website. Any ideas please?

  14. I need a membership website for elders to store their legal documents, login and a email contact. basic 3-5 clicks any recommendation. I have been stuck at idea for 2 years

    • “store their legal documents”


      You need specialized servers that cost upwards of $1500 a month. A 24 hour a day 7 day a week Security Operations Center, huge amounts of liability insurance, and really good attorneys.

      Doing that in WordPress by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing is a hackers dream.

      You would be legally liable, possibly criminally liable to every single one of them when your site gets hacked.

      • A vps can be rented fairly cheap and with a ssl cloudflare mod sec and a bit of pci scanning tweaking for compliance it is perfectly affordable and safe to host legal documents. There are also some things like the blockchain that could provide a robust secure no hosted solution.

  15. I’m trying to set up a weekly meal planning service, which will have different levels of membership. Each week, the members will have access to new menus (different ones depending on membership level) that I post. I can’t figure out which plugin would be best. Any ideas?

    • I believe Paid Memberships Pro can be a good choice for implementing your idea. You can try the basic version though before you purchase. I have used it and it’s great!

  16. Could you recommend a membership plugin for a website which aims at delivering content free to all its members and non members?
    The idea of membership is to help them keep track of the content liked by them in the past, or downloaded by them in the past.

    • Hello, thanks for another great article. I tried to some of these solutions but none of them suit for my purpose.
      Could you please recomend me some other ?

      I need to use payment by bank transfer (or cheque), so i need to be able add some instruction to thank you page.

      I need to use it in czech language (later english, german….) I am using qtranslate plugin for my sites, so it should be ready for multilang or could be easily translatable to czech.

      Thank you very much for any idea

  17. Hi,

    We would want to create a paid education platform in chinese and english which will be the best services for us?

    We need the platform to display in chinese.

    Thank you.

    • @IVEY

      You can internationalize several of the top membership plugins including MemberPress and MemberMouse.

      They have documentation on their respective websites that will guide you through the process.

      If you only need the content to display in Chinese, and you’re fine with the membership back end displaying in English, that makes things even simpler. :)

  18. Thanks for this very handy information. I’m about to start using a membership system on site and this has helped sort out what I need and given me a much clearer idea of what additional features I need for best results.

    Yet another really useful article so do keep up the brilliant work and thanks again.

  19. Great article! However, I’m still not completely sure of what I need. I have a project which is a website where people can register to place car ads and manage their ads. I’ve found a template which is great and also has built-in functionality for payments. These are pretty limited and are missing the most important ones which are common in my country.

    That’s the reason I would like to use the WooCommerce functionality for payment methods. Which of the above plugins would you recommend in this scenario? Any tips or comments are more then welcome.

  20. Very good and useful article – thanks!!

    I need to create a number of membership sites that allow members to have a Profile Page which they can update themselves.

    Any ideas what would do that?

    I have heard Memberpress works well with BuddyPress?

    Also potentially connecting Ultimate Member with Memberpress for a powerful solution?

    Anybody else gone through this process?

    • Hi Neai, i also want to create a membership site where members can update their account with their personal information and uploading photos.

      Like you i have the idea of connecting memberpress with Ultimate member, because the account section of the first is very poor.

      Have you already tried this solution?

  21. Is it possible with any of these plugins to restrict content based on hours? For e.g., I want to give hourly membership to my registered users. after completing the no. of hours, user should be dsiabled/deactivated if not renewed.

  22. Fantastic list of membership wp plugins. Which of them have the functionality to make monthly content available to each user. Example: course (12 parts) of 12 months and each month is released 1 part of the course.

    Barros Moura

    • That’s drip content. Since you’re selling courses, LearnDash should be the best option on this list.

  23. I’ve been looking at comparisons for 3 weeks now. This is the most clearly articulated one I’ve come across so far. Thank you.

    However, I was hoping for a comparison that includes Rainmaker, since I’m considering switching my hosting. Rainmaker is an entire platform for marketers with done-for-you hosting, membership functionality, email autoresponder, landing pages, podcasting tools, forum setup and security. It eliminates a thousand and one plug-ins, and would help me to focus, but it carries a price-tag.

    I also would like to see Optimize Press and Wishlist member included, since these are the two most widely used membership plugins for WordPress.

    Would you consider such a comprehensive comparison? There is no such comparison available yet. You’d keep your #1 Google rank for a long time.

    • Hi Rodney,

      Rainmaker is definitely a good choice for those who’re looking for a one-stop solution and don’t mind paying the extra $$. Also the time it saves is worth it as well. However losing control and flexibility that you get with controlling everything is a decision that you’d have to make.

      We don’t have Wishlist or OptimizePress in this list, but definitely open to adding them in the future.


      • How many people registere my WordPress website???? I am using Ultimate Member plugin!! Plz… Help me

    • Excuse me if I dare. OptimizePress isn’t a membership plugin. It is useful to create high converting pages without having any coding knowledge. It comes both in theme or plugin version.
      OptimizePress use OptimizeMember to limitate the access into specific areas of a website. This is a revisited version of s2member Pro plugin.

      Those two plugin works separately, but if you need a membership plugin you should talk about OptimizeMember.

      Considering that this article already talked about s2member, you already know the most about OptimizeMember.

  24. Will a membership plugin like you reviewed above allow me to create two paid services (yearly & lifetime) and then send email to specific users or should I be looking for a different type of plugin?

  25. what membership plugin do you suggest for a site that caters to ADHD patients and their loved ones to a site and basically help them and educate them on certain content and it would have content dripping but basically it would be a membership site to educate the community about the challenges and potential treatments for people with ADHD and have access to a community of people who also have loved ones or are themselves ADHD patients ?

  26. Hi, I am planning to use MemberPress for my new association website. Can you use any WordPress website theme design with this plugin? Or are there restrictions? I am totally new to this! Thanks.

  27. first of all : belive it or not: i never ever would buy paidmembership pro.
    NEVER – NEVER – NEVER – !!!!!!

    i really like the participants database for its powerful features.
    i run the wordpressplugin participants database – and i must confess i love it for its powerful features.
    one question: can i arrange the access to the list via a gate that every one that gets access to add new entries into the list have to pay for his account?

    i need a kind of a paidmembership – but without pro.

    Love to hear from you

    • What have you got against Paid Membership Pro? I’m considering buying but you are not saying why you will not buy it?

  28. I run the WordPress website for a club. We use MailChimp for newsletters, so integration would be great. We also need something to manage memberships (Accept PayPal, are they paid up, when did they pay, etc.) and also create a member directory. We have an annual banquet event and random,extra cost workshops throughout the year. Suggestions on the best plugin to cover these requirements?

    • I’m looking to do pretty much exactly the same thing. Is there a reasonable solution for this? Right now, we have an online form and are adding members manually to a spreadsheet. It works, but it would be good to have access to all the pertinent data without having to re-enter everything by hand.

      • Steve or Mikki,

        Did you ever receive any information? I am trying to do a non profit organization as well. Looking for a yearly membership that maybe can be tied into an additional membership from another company, but looking for a form that would allow me to have all of my contacts in one place instead of doing it manually. We also have a yearly banquet that would be used for payment. Any help is appreciated on this from you or anyone who can help with this.

        • Evan,

          I haven’t received any responses with additional information. I have a test copy of our site to start trying plugins. Once I have a solution, I’ll post back.

  29. There are 2 earlier comments/ questions to which I’m interested in your reply, but I can’t see one.

    Have you answered these and if so could you repost the answer.
    Aug 3, 2016 at 10:40 am
    I would like to create a free membership site which stores the database of members and requires the id of an existing member to signup. Is there such a plugin or wordpress theme that fulfills such criteria?

    May 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm
    Great article! Listing the pros and cons of each plugin is very helpful. I’m wondering if anyone has some advice for me for the situation I have….

    I’m creating a site for a small organization (less than 50 members). The “front end” of the site is to provide information about the organization as well as “donation” and “store” areas for the public. The membership side of the site is strictly for members of the organization which would all be added by the site admin. These memberships are not paid so I have no need for a payment gateway. So what might be my best option for a plugin that can restrict content, has only 2 membership levels, and requires no public signup or payment gateway?

  30. I want to set up a fairly simple (to me) combination of membership and ad management that looks like this:
    Not a member – you see most content, you see ads, you can’t comment
    Free member – you see most (maybe all) content, you see ads, you can comment
    Paid member – you see all content, you DON’T see ads, you can comment

    I have read about twenty articles about membership plugins and ad management plugins, but have not been able to find a review that talks about creating an ad-free membership level. I’m SURE it can be done, but either my Google skills aren’t as good as I thought, or no one has written about both features in one review.


  31. I would like to create a free membership site which stores the database of members and requires the id of an existing member to signup. Is there such a plugin or wordpress theme that fulfills such criteria?

  32. My concern is the longevity of these membership plug-ins.

    If the company that creates the plug-in goes out of business, will their plug-in continue to function? Will then my protected website content be exposed to non-members?

    S2Member at least is open source and will continue to work even if its developer retires, and has a good following.

    • Definitely a worthwhile concern. I have an affiliate site that when I (accidentally) updated WordPress, the theme broke :)

  33. I would like to see a membership plugin more geared to managing organizational memberships, not just selling content. I think there would be a big market for it.

    • Kathy, what would it be included into that organizational memberships? can you maybe add some sample of it?

    • I absolutely agree!!!! They are all geared towards selling digital media. There would be a great demand for one that tracked officers, committees, etc, as well as track membership payments.

  34. great post. Restrict Content Pro has recently added drip content feature, so it seems not to be a Cons of the plugin.

  35. Hi Great article!

    What do you think about optimizemember from the optimizepress team?

    Thank you

  36. Great list but what plugin needed if i want only restrict access to content for visitors until they registered to collect email and then allow content.

    • You can create a Free Account that visitors have to register for so you can collect their email and get access to protected content.

  37. Great article! Listing the pros and cons of each plugin is very helpful. I’m wondering if anyone has some advice for me for the situation I have….

    I’m creating a site for a small organization (less than 50 members). The “front end” of the site is to provide information about the organization as well as “donation” and “store” areas for the public. The membership side of the site is strictly for members of the organization which would all be added by the site admin. These memberships are not paid so I have no need for a payment gateway. So what might be my best option for a plugin that can restrict content, has only 2 membership levels, and requires no public signup or payment gateway?

  38. Thanks for this list. Do this membership plugin have trial period? I am looking for membership plugin that have the functionality of trial period.

  39. Adding Custom User fields that then are added to the User Meta table, and show on the ‘Edit User Profile’ has been a requirement on most of the membership sites on which I’ve have worked. It would be interesting to know which of these supports this feature.

    • I know MemberPress custom fields are added to the db usermeta table and do show on the Edit User Profile.

  40. Thanks for sharing the insights. WordPress is a popular enterprise / web content management service that allows a developer to design and manage website for any business requirements. There are number of tools available for any required functionality, however it is important to identify the tools that are secured and provides rich functionalities.
    I believe WooCommerce membership is one of the most efficient multipurpose tool mentioned in the article. With its ability to carter enterprise level websites, personal or blogging sites or e-commerce websites, WooCommerce can be very effective.

  41. I’ve been using Magic Members for 2 years now and it works fine. There’s never been an issue, at least not with me. What do you know about that?

  42. Excellent review.

    Do you know which of the plugins easily integrates with Mailchimp GROUPS? I want to sign up members to a particular group within Mailchimp when they become a member.

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