Today, there are hundreds of automated website developing websites and CMS are available. WordPress manages to stand unique among them thanks to its powerful tools and versatility. Multiple type of websites can be developed with this powerful tool or website such as blog (most freaking common), online store, photo gallery, and much more. There are various plugins available for wordpress that allows one to turn a wordpress based website into a membership site (This feature is not typically used, anyways). Let us discuss some best wordpress membership plug-in.
Various free and paid membership plugins can be used in order to easily create or run a membership website with wordpress. There is no such “best of the best” plugin available that you can blindly select. No plugin is better than other since they all have their own traits and advantages. Your requirements will decide what plugin would suite you best. In this post, we are discussing some of the most used wordpress membership plugins, maybe you can find some among them useful for your purpose. Setting up these plugins is really easy so you can launch your membership website right away.
#1 WordPress Membership Plugin – WP-Members
This name strikes my mind first whenever someone talks about free wordpress membership plug-in. There is not a proof required for this statements since there are more than 60,000 active users of this free wordpress plugin. This membership plugin possesses some impressive list of features. This plugin is capable enough to provide you with all the required functionality that is required to efficiently manage huge number of members and define what data / content they can access and what they cannot.
Following are some features that one will never find in other free membership plugins:
- Inline login and registration page (does not requires additional WP login page)
- Fully customizable registration and profile fields
- Creates post excerpts automatically
- Many more!
Functionality of this plugin can be stretched further as far as you wish with plenty of extensions available out there.
Paid Membership pro
Paid membership pro is another famous free wordpress membership plug-in with 40,000 active users and still counting. There are hundreds of add-ons available too, for this plugin. Unlimited numbers of membership levels are supported in this plugin that too with a GPL ratio of 100%.
Paid membership pro is quite famous for its impressive integration options and various extensive features. Following are some most popular third party tools, with which this free wordpress membership plug-in can be easily integrated:
- Mail Chimp
- Constant Contact
- A Weber
- KISS Metrics
- Infusion soft
- WP Courseware
- Learn Dash
- Post Affiliate Pro
- Bb Press
- Woo Commerce
- (development is still on)
Various paid add-ons are available to integrate with this plugin so that advanced functions and features can be unleashed. PayPal Express Checkout and Affiliate tracking are some of the best examples of such add-ons.
Payments can be accepted using this plugin through Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree Payments and PayPal. These payment methods support two modes including direct / onetime payments and recurring payment as a secondary option. Trails with a predefined duration can be set in order to set corresponding payments directly in the system to avoid managing them yourself.
As the name implies, it is the most simple free wordpress membership plug-in. Other than the simplest user interface, it offers plenty of features that are quite sufficient for efficiently running a membership website. Some of the significant features are that unlimited levels of membership are supported in this wordpress plugin. Moreover, both paid and free memberships can be offered simultaneously with this plugin. This plugin would suite you best if you are intending to get as much registers as possible on your website since it would make you able to hide complete content until user registers on your website. Moreover, you can also let non-registered users see some limited content, acting as teaser content. It will prompt the users to register in order to unveil the full content.
Talking about the payment method, it supports only one that is PayPal. However, as you may know that most of the major debit and credit cards are accepted by PayPal, so it will never be a problem for your members. It would be all you will need. On the other hand, most of your visitors would also prefer PayPal since it is old, trusted, protected and popular. Dual payment mode is supported in this plugin including direct / onetime payment and recurring payments.
This plugin is highly recommended for those lads willing to launch an international membership website with no high or less preference to English language since this website supports about 20 different languages with full translation support. It is a big plus of Simple membership plugin.
Membership 2 by WPMU DEV
As the name already implies, this plugin is a successor or modified / advanced form of a previously launched wordpress membership plugin named Membership. It was some of the first membership plugins launched for wordpress based websites. With a limited number of active users (around 10,000, more or less), this is certainly not one of the most used wordpress membership plugins, however, it is still one of the popular plugins.
Two different versions of this very same plugin are available out there, free and pro. It is a certain thing that paid version offers extended functionality compared to the free one. However, it does not mean that a free version of membership 2 is totally worthless. Free version too offers enough features for efficiently running a wordpress based membership site and also including multisite support.
There are four membership options offered in free version of membership 2 plugin as listed below:
- Standard Membership
- Dripped Content Membership
- Guest Membership
- Default Membership
Almost an content of a wordpress site including pages, posts, comments, content can be hidden using this plugin under read more tags, categories, menus, URLs, special pages, contents by users roles, media files, forums, downloads, videos, etc and almost everything.
There are four ways this plugin allows to accept payments. First three are standard methods including PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net. Last one is the manual method through which you can manually accept payments in 25 different currencies.
S2member is yet another popular and widely used free wordpress membership plug-in. however; there is also a pro / paid version of this very same plugin available out there that comes with extended functionality such as unlimited levels of memberships, coupon code acceptability, integration capability with more than one payment services, etc.
Some standard features offered by the wordpress membership plugin S2Member are protected pages, posts, tags, categories, etc. Moreover, this plugin also offers rare functionalities such as locking specified portion or content of the page, theme and other plugins. It can also hide, protect or lock downloadable files and online audio or video streaming.
Most of the user of this plugin praise the flexibility provided in the functionality of the plugin when one wants to give user access over a particular page. Most of the other wordpress membership themes offer various membership levels in order to restrict the user access over content. However, this plugin would allow you to lock content particularly for each individual user so that every user would be free to choose what content he wants to unlock and will pay only form that particular content.
As the name implies, this wordpress membership plugin would suite best for those who do not require a full-functional membership and accept a quick upgrade without any extended efforts. This one is best for such lads.
As described before, no power-packed features, integration options or modifiable configuration would be offered in this plugin. Attention! Those looking for a high end membership website, stay away! Thus, this plugin would suite best for people requiring basic functionality of a membership website. One should not accept anything from this plugin other than a simple feature of locking content for members / non-members, etc. since it won’t give you any.
More than a simple membership plugin, mini membership can also be used as a tool to determine or test if your website can perform well as a membership website or not. It will certainly allow you to do a quick test since the installation and removal process is quite simple as installing any simple plugin. After installing mini membership plugin, if you subscribers are growing quite fascinatingly you can simply upgrade to a more powerful plugin since mini membership holds basic features only and quite not designed for high traffic of members. Moreover, the features would not be sufficient to manage a high end membership website.
Groups plugin is entirely different in functionality compared to almost every wordpress membership plugin described in the list above. The main different is that it group membership functionality is offered with the plugin. With this plugin, members can be separated or divided into various groups. However, a single member is allowed to belong to more than a single group. These groups allow the website handler to treat a group of member as one entity. This concept may sound similar to multiple levels of membership. However, more precision is achieved in this method so that admin holds the full control of who accesses what.
Here are various extensions available for group plugin. These extensions are supposed to increase the functionality of the core plugin. However, you will rarely require any of them since the basic plugin itself is powerful enough for managing basic groups of users.
When comparing Groups membership plugin with other various traditionally functioning membership plugins, there are a lot of differences found such as functionalities, available features, etc. You are much likely to face difficulties if you are used to other membership site wordpress plugins. However, there difficulties would merely remain for a week of practice and you will soon start getting familiar with the plugin. One will require quite some time to get familiar with various operations done on a group. Things would get more and simpler as you will keep practicing and practically applying the features and functions.
WordPress Membership Plugin Summary
As this list clearly implies, when it comes to membership wordpress plugins, there are quite a lot of variety to choose from. Moreover, many of them possess fewer differences making it even harder to choose one of them. You will rarely require going to premium version of the plugin since the free version is capable enough of satisfying all the basic requirements for a general wordpress based membership website.
It is certain thing that many paid plugins such as member mouse, member press, restrict content pro offer much extended features. However, it is not always true. Thus, you can consider going premium only if the free version is failing to satisfy your requirements.
There are many plugins that are designed especially for certain niche. If you are looking forward to develop a membership website under a particular niche, you can consider looking for one such niche membership plugins. Zippy Courses is a great example of such plugin. It is a paid plugin that is especially designed for learning community and similar niche website. There are many more like that so just look for one that suits you best.