8 July 2022
Running a WordPress website can be a terrific way to make money. One of the most popular methods to monetize a website is by turning it into a membership site.
This method is great for content creators who want to be entrepreneurs but do not want to run an eCommerce business. Instead of selling products, you can offer unique content that is maintained through a membership system.
If that sounds interesting, this article is for you.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best WordPress membership plugins that you can use to create your membership websites.
A membership site is a website that sells digital content such as e-books, online courses, and webinars through a free or paid subscription/membership model.
In other words, the website’s main content is hidden behind walls, and a user must become a member to see it.
You may be considering whether you should develop a membership site. If so, consider the following advantages of creating one:
In conclusion, if you have valuable content to share, you should think about creating a membership website. And WordPress membership plugins are the perfect tools to help you do that.
There are many membership plugins available, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection:
Having said that, let’s finally get to our list of the top WordPress membership plugins we’ve hand-picked for you.
Below are some of the best WordPress membership plugins (free and paid) you can use to create the membership website of your dreams.
MemberPress is one of the best WordPress plugins. It offers all the features you’ll need to create a powerful membership site easily.
Unlike other plugins, MemberPress allows you to convert your existing website into a fully-featured membership site. It also works well with all popular WordPress themes.
The plugin makes it simple to create your membership site. All you have to do is install the plugin, provide your payment gateway information, and add a few products, and your site will be ready.
With MemberPress, you may create an unlimited number of memberships and set powerful access rules for your premium content. You may restrict access to pages, posts, custom post types, categories, tags, etc.
Furthermore, it has a content dripping option if you want to deliver content over time rather than all at once. This feature is great for e-learning sites that sell online courses.
It also offers built-in support for major payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Similarly, you can use popular email marketing services such as AWeber, MailerLite, and GetResponse. It also works with other popular tools like bbPress, Easy Affiliate, and others.
For more, check out our complete MemberPress Review.
MemberPress plans start from $179.50 a year for a single site license.
LearnDash is a super flexible and most popular WordPress LMS plugin. It’s the perfect plugin for creating and selling online courses.
The plugin includes an intelligent course builder to help create highly engaging courses. Then you may sell access to your classes as a one-time fee or as subscriptions, memberships, bundles, etc. You can also drip-feed lesson content on a set schedule.
The plugin allows the users to send automatic email reminders to their learners based on their activities. To keep your users informed, you can link to popular email marketing tools like Mailchimp.
It allows you to use PayPal, Stripe, and over 300 others as payment gateways. Additionally, It also supports useful plugins such as bbPress, Slack, and others.
LearnDash plans start from $199 a year for a single site license.
Another top membership plugin for WordPress is Restrict Content Pro. It allows to create an all-powerful membership site and earn money by selling different membership levels.
Furthermore, it allows you to build an unlimited number of subscription packages, including free, trial, and premium subscriptions. It has a simple member administration interface where you can see all of your active, pending, expired, canceled, and free users.
Additionally, It allows you to send automatic emails to your members to keep them up to date. For example, a welcome email when a new member joins, when payment is received, when a subscription is about to expire, etc. It also provides a great customer dashboard from which members can view and manage their account information.
It also integrates with WooCommerce and multiple payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
What makes Restrict Content Pro different from the competition is its “proration feature.” Members must pay the price difference between membership levels if they decide to upgrade. It allows you to develop strong relationships with users because you only charge for the information consumed.
Further, Restrict Content Pro also offers detailed reports on monthly site performance, revenue, transaction tracking, etc., in an easily understandable manner.
Plus, It also provides a selection of great add-ons for more functionality.
A free version with limited functionality is available on WordPress.org. The premium membership plans start from $99 a year for a single site license.
Paid Memberships Pro is a robust membership plugin suitable for those looking to build feature-rich subscription websites.
The best part about this plugin is that it comes with its own WordPress theme. This is a good touch because certain themes don’t work well with membership plugins.
Further, it also allows you to create unlimited membership levels with flexible payment terms. You can select a price, recurring billing cycle, membership period, and free or discounted trial periods.
With its AffiliateWP integration, you can create an affiliate program and turn members into partners. It allows you to reward members who refer new members with coupon codes and discounted membership rates.
Finally, Paid Memberships Pro supports other great plugins that make it easier to create a membership site. For example, Mailchimp integration allows you to create an email list for email marketing campaigns.
A free version with limited functionality is available on WordPress.org. The premium membership plans start from $247 a year for a single site license.
WooCommerce Memberships is an extension of the popular WooCommerce plugin. It lets you limit your content to only registered members of your site. Every new member will be granted user access and special permissions to the premium version of your site.
Remember that there is no single plugin option for developing a membership site. To list your products with cart and checkout options, you’ll need to install the free WooCommerce plugin. Additionally, if you want to accept recurring payments, you’ll need to install the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.
This plugin is ideal for online magazines, e-learning sites, membership sites, and forums.
It offers a single plan that costs $199 per year.
S2Member is the best free membership plugin for WordPress with a pro version. This plugin offers all the features to build a complete membership website, such as content restrictions and recurring subscriptions.
The plugin allows you to offer free memberships and synchronize user roles with the new membership system. Users who own a business can use s2Member’s file protection function to sell download keys for digital content like eBooks and online courses.
You can modify the content limitations using the plugin’s simple shortcode conditionals. This also applies to the design of the login and registration pages, the email marketing template, and the membership options page.
S2Member offers a free version that you can download from the WordPress.org plugin repository. However, the paid plan starts from $89 a year for a single site license.
Teachable is a robust online course builder platform that allows you to create and sell visually appealing online courses. Although it is not a WordPress plugin, you can integrate it with your WordPress site by adding links.
Teachable allows you to create multimedia lessons that include video, images, text, audio, and PDF files. You can also use quizzes, debates, and course completion certificates to improve your members’ learning experience.
There are advanced pricing choices for selling your online courses. You can create a pricing structure to sell individual or bundled courses, sell subscriptions, or charge a one-time cost. Payments can be accepted by Stripe or PayPal.
It also has an affiliate marketing feature, coupons, and promotion tools to help you with your marketing efforts.
Teachable offers a free plan that supports unlimited courses with limited features. Paid plans start at $39 per month (billed annually).
ARMember is a popular free WordPress membership plugin with lots of features. This WordPress membership plugin allows you to build unlimited membership tiers with a trial period and multiple payment cycles. This allows newcomers to explore what you have to offer before committing.
ARMember also allows you to feed content to members on a specified schedule. You can also earn money from visitors by using the content limitation and pay-per-post features. This allows you to monetize posts or courses that are not part of your subscription plans.
The plugin offers payment gateway integrations with PayPal, Authorize.net, and Stripe. There is also the option to accept payments using WooCommerce’s local gateways.
Furthermore, the plugin’s built-in security protections are as robust as its membership functionality. All installs include brute force login protection, a CAPTCHA anti-spam technique, and site access limits.
ARMember offers a free version that you can download from the WordPress.org plugin repository. However, the paid plan costs a $59 one-time payment for a single site license.
WP-Members is one of the best free WordPress membership plugins for restricting content. It’s easy to use and allows you to hide content from the front end.
You can use the plugin to build custom profiles, registration fields, and short teaser content to capture the user’s attention.
WP-Members also includes over 120 different filter hooks and actions to let you design your membership area. You may even use its security features to keep your members secure.
Overall, WP-Members is perhaps the best membership plugin for beginners who want to try out a membership system without risk.
WP-Members offers a free version that you can download from the WordPress.org plugin repository. However, the paid plan starts from $59.
MemberMouse is a premium WordPress membership plugin that allows you to create a membership site in minutes. The plugin was created with non-techies in mind, and it simply takes a few minutes to set up.
The best part about this plugin is that everything is built-in from the start, which is a huge part of what makes it so simple for non-technical users.
In addition to the ability to restrict content, MemberMouse allows you to offer special content for additional income. Members can share part of their favorite content on social media, increasing brand exposure.
In terms of security, MemberMouse allows you to limit the number of login attempts. Furthermore, the membership plugin can lock shared accounts to reduce security threats.
To make your job easier, MemberMouse provides several automatic member engagements, support, and marketing functions. Newcomers can also use their social media login details to access your protected content.
MemberMouse plans start from $199 a year for unlimited members.
After thoroughly analyzing the best WordPress membership plugins, MemberPress is the best choice. It offers all the features required to build a full-featured membership system. Plus, WordPress users will also love the interface since it’s very similar to the native WordPress admin dashboard.
If you want to build a membership site, especially for offering online courses, you can use LearnDash. The plugin includes extra features to engage your learners and improve their learning experiences, such as quizzes, awards, and certificates.
Restrict Content Pro is an excellent choice if you want something simple and flexible. The team behind it has a solid track record of developing high-quality products.
We hope this post helps you find the best WordPress membership plugin for your site.
For more, check out these other helpful resources:
Our top recommendation is MemberPress, which offers a comprehensive feature set, competitive pricing, and excellent reviews. Its built-in course system also functions as an LMS plugin.
Paid Memberships Pro is the best free WordPress membership plugin. It currently has 100,000+ active installations and 430 five-star reviews on WordPress.org.
To create a membership website with WordPress, you’ll need to install a membership plugin that offers the necessary features, such as member payments, content restriction, course creation, and digital downloads.
Yes, you can sell courses using a membership plugin. Membership plugins are commonly used on websites to manage access to content, including courses. By integrating a membership plugin with your website, you can create a membership-based system where users pay for access to your courses.
Yes, WordPress is a great platform for creating a membership site. It’s easy to use and scalable, and there are a number of membership plugins available that can help you protect your content and manage your members.
MemberPress does not offer a free version of its plugin. It is a premium membership plugin for WordPress, which means it comes with a cost. MemberPress offers different pricing plans based on the features and level of support you require.