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7 Powerful WordPress Membership Plugins – Build A Thriving Online Community

Best WordPress Membership Plugins

Note: this post has been rewritten as of 24/10/2014.

Have you ever wanted to run your own membership site?

You’re not alone.

There are countless examples across the internet of membership sites that are helping their owners earn a substantial recurring income.

And it’s all made possible thanks to a number of different WordPress plugins.

These plugins will help you put together a membership site with relative ease. No need to get a developer involved.

In this post I’ll show you some of the best membership plugins on the market and give you a rundown of all of their features.

7 Powerful plugins to help you create a membership site with ease

I’ve put together a combination of free and paid membership plugins below.

An important thing to consider is that membership plugins offer a huge range of functionality so paid versions are at a higher price point than most other plugins.

It’s worth considering what functionality you really need but the feature lists below will give you an idea of the kind of features you can expect.

S2 Member

S2 Member

 

If you have searched for membership plugins in the past then I’m sure that you’ve probably seen S2 Members mentioned a number of times.

For a free plugin S2 Members has a great feature set and a bunch of different customisable options – you can change things like email templates, login welcome page, high level security and the ability to choose exactly what content you’re protecting along with protecting your file downloads.

S2 Member makes it easy for you to incorporate external affiliate systems such as iDevAffiliate and ShareAsale but doesn’t come with its own system.

There are some limitations because membership levels are limited to 4, you can’t use free registrations and the payment methods do come with limitations too – but considering it’s free, you do get a lot!

To lift these limitations there is a pro version available.

Features:

  • WordPress multisite support.
  • Compatible with iDevAffiliate, Shareasale and other affiliate management applications.
  • Compatible with BuddyPress and bbPress.
  • PayPal support.
  • Various customizable options.
  • Various options for protecting posts, pages, categories, tags and specific URI’s.
  • Protection against IP spoofing and account sharing.
  • Various solutions for protecting file downloads.

Price: Free with paid options available to give additional features.

More Details

OptimizeMember

OptimizeMember From OptimizePress

If you’re looking to get more “bang for your buck”, then this is the membership plugin for you.

OptimizePress 2.0 is a plugin designed for creating high converting sales pages, landing pages, webinar pages, membership sites and more.

It comes with a WordPress theme version and its own membership plugin.

While the membership plugin isn’t as feature packed as some of the others that I’ve mentioned, you still get the important functionality and most importantly – you get a tool to help you create the sales pages/landing pages to promote your membership site.

Features:

  • Powerful IP address restrictions.
  • Download restrictions.
  • Your own coupon codes.
  • Completely customise your membership levels.
  • Supports 6 different payment gateways (including PayPal, Clickbank and Authorize.Net.
  • Integration with ShareASale, iDevAffiliate and other affiliate tracking solutions.
  • Drip feed content to your members.

Price: $97.

More Details

MemberMouse

MemberMouse

MemberMouse is an incredibly comprehensive membership platform.

What I like in particular is that upon installing the plugin, a number of default pages that you will need to use your membership. This includes the likes of a home page, checkout page, account page, confirmation page and more.

The features you get access to are extensive.

MemberMouse is designed to make things easy, not just in the install stage but also with supporting your customers. Your customers can manage their account by themselves meaning that you will spend less time offering support.

There are also helpful reporting & analytics reports that will give you a variety of helpful insights.

The only downside to this membership plugin is that the price is a recurring monthly amount that varies based on features and how many members you have.

Features:

  • 1-click upsells.
  • Protect your content within a few clicks.
  • Setup split tests for prices.
  • Lock out members who share their logins.
  • Trial offers and discount coupons.
  • Drip feed content to your members.
  • Overdue payment handling.
  • Integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Clickbank and more.
  • Integrates directly with iDevAffiliate.
  • Integrates with popular email providers such as AWeber, MailChimp and GetResponse.
  • API support.

Price: Starts from $19.95/month.

More Details

Digital Access Pass (DAP)

Digital Access Pass (DAP)

 

DAP has been around since 2008 and has shown that it can stand the test of time – the creators continue to push out updates to keep the plugin current and includes the following features (amongst a lot more).

You can also use DAP on HTML/PHP sites as a stand-alone script and the developers behind the plugin also offer free installation – which is awesome!

Features:

  • Unlimited members.
  • Unlimited products.
  • Sneak peek teaser content.
  • Built in affiliate system with 2 tiers.
  • Forum integration.
  • Easy to use shortcodes.
  • Trial products.
  • Advanced content dripping system.

Price: One off pricing starts at $167. $39.99/month will get you unlimited access to all plugins produced by the creators of DAP (and more).

More Details Read Review

Magic Members

Magic Members

Magic Members has been a popular favorite for a while now and comes with some great features.

You only get updates for the next year and while this sometimes puts people off, it’s important to remember that it would be difficult for any company to continue to provide continuous updates and ensure the long term viability of the plugin.

Magic Members also comes with 3 bonuses, some social icons (these aren’t that amazing) but you do get the Magic Kicker plugin and a 20% discount on the Magic affiliate plugin.

Magic Kicker stops multiple people from logging into a single account which is an essential security feature and Magic Affiliate will turn your membership area into an affiliate power house that will allow your site to be promoted by other people.

All in all, a very powerful plugin, but a few of the important things seems to be missing from the core plugin.

Features:

  • Unlimited membership levels.
  • A huge number of payment integration modules including PayPal, 2CheckOut, Authorize.net and many more.
  • Amazon S3 support.
  • Easy coupon creation (you can create unlimited coupons too).
  • Drip fed content system.
  • Powerful import and export features.
  • Pay per post access.

Price: $97.

More Details

WishList Member

Wishlist Member

WishList has been a long-time favourite within the internet marketing community because it’s a solid plugin with a great feature set.

Similar to Magic Members, you get 1 year of unlimited updates and some great support guides and tutorials to help you build out your membership site.

WishList Member also has a customer centre packed with resources and tips to help you in addition to the regular support guides for the plugin.

For those who purchase the multi-site license, you will get access to two custom built WordPress themes designed specifically for use with WishList Member along with some additional resources.

Features:

  • Unlimited membership levels.
  • Paid, trial or free membership levels.
  • Drip fed content.
  • Subscription length control.
  • Custom error pages.
  • Teaser content.
  • Secure RSS feeds.
  • Integrates with a number of affiliate networks and payment gateways including; PayPal, 1ShoppingCat, Clickbank, QuickPayPro, Ultracart and more.
  • Integrates with popular email providers including AWeber, iContact, GetResponse, Mail Chimp and Infusionsoft.

Price: $97.

More Details

WP Members

WP Members

WP Members is a free plugin that makes it really easy to restrict access to particular pieces of content or just create a straight forward membership site.

One of the things that I like about this plugin is that the login and registration options can easily be added to the sidebar with a widget and they also appear in line with the content, as opposed to on the usual WP login page which opens up some extra possibilities.

Overall this is a straight forward plugin to use that makes it really easy to just restrict your content.

You won’t get the same level of functionality as other membership plugins, but it provides a straight forward option to protect your content.

Features:

  • Display a sidebar login widget.
  • Protect access to posts and/or pages.
  • Add custom fields to the registration widget and profiles.
  • Shortcodes support enables you to create special pages like user profiles, registration pages and login pages.

Price: Free.

More Details

Over to you

You’ve seen some of the plugins available and all of them have the ability to help you create a membership site.

Now it’s a case of understanding exactly what features you want – this will help immensely when making a decision.

About Adam Connell

Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard. Previously managed a marketing agency. Adam now helps others to become more successful online. Get more from Adam on Google+.

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  • https://selz.com/ Geoff

    Adam, thanks for this posting this list, only the other day someone was asking for suggestions on membership plugins. Wish I had seen this first. Have you come across MemberMouse? Sorry a left field question do any of them work on platforms other than wordpress?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      No problem Geoff.

      MembershipMouse is on my list to look at more in depth although what puts me off is the monthly cost and limitations that other platforms don’t have.

      Digital Access Pass will work on PHP/HTML sites so that could be an option.

  • Scott

    Thanks Adam, cleared some things up and given me some ideas.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      No problem, Scott.

  • Iris

    Hi! Adam,

    I have a question,

    How to integrate Magicmembers with Optimizememer ?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Iris,

      Optimize Member is the membership plugin offered with Optimize Press.

      You cannot use Optimize Member with another membership plugin, but the Optimize Press plugin and theme both support certain external membership plugins.

      I checked the list of systems on their home page but it doesn’t say Magic Members.

      It’s possible that they may have added this option but to be sure you would need to ask the Optimize Press support team.

      If the plugin isn’t supported then it’s worth putting in a request – Magic Member is a very popular plugin so it’s in their best interest to add it (if it’s technically possible).

      Thanks,
      Adam

  • Oscar

    Hi Adam and all,

    Firstly its such a great work that you re trying to help out people here. Secondly I have this question: I m gonna build a casting agency site with WP, so film producers can search actors online. So obviously actors should be basic member first to my site, then if they want to create their profiles (upload photos and info about them) they need to be paid member using paypal payment gateway. 3 user levels:

    1.NonMembers public: Can view few random actors’ 1 thumb photo and just the name of his/her on homepage, can not do actor search.

    2.Paid Members (actors): Filled a short form then paid on paypal or paid on paypal first then Filled a long form to be member of the site and uploaded photos to create profile,

    3.Producer members: They dont need to pay but admin needs to manually authorise them, so they can browse and fully search all actors, and can see everything on their profiles.

    I only need paypal payment. No credit cards or check or etc.

    And would be useful if a plugin have this function too: On the same page partial protection like this plugin does:

    http://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/wordpress-membership/how-to-protect-a-section-of-a-post-or-page-88

    So please tell me which membership plugin would suit me best?

    Thanx.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Oscar,

      Most platforms support PayPal payment gateway, fortunately it’s one of the most popular integrations.

      Most platforms would also support your different user levels.

      As for the partial page protection, off the top of my head this can be done by Magic Members, Wishlist Member and the membership plugin bundled with Optimize Press (e.g. https://optimizepress.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/200820067-OptimizeMember-Shortcodes-Library)

      I like Optimize Press purely because it comes with a plugin & theme that can be used for creating marketing pages (landing pages, sales, squeeze pages etc) – whether that would be useful for your niche is another thing entirely though.

      The best thing for you to do would be to list all of the other features that you want to be in the plugin and start there. Then find the plugin to fit the features you want.

      Fortunately those that you’ve mentioned above are pretty common features.

  • http://profitblitz.com/ Marc Andre

    A few others that I would add to the list: Member Mouse, Restrict Content Pro, and Cart66. Member Mouse is the most feature-rich of the membership plugins that I’ve tried. Restrict Content Pro is efficient and easy to use. Cart66 includes traditional ecommerce functionality as well as membership, so it’s kind of a unique option.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Marc, thanks for a great comment – some really solid suggestions there.

      I’m going to update this list with more in the future when I get some time, some good suggestions from you to include there and Cart66 sounds very interesting.

  • http://clearhealthcosts.com/ Jeanne (clearhealthcosts)

    This is completely amazing!
    Wonder if you can make a suggestion for us over at clearhealthcosts.com. Here’s what we’re looking for:
    1. Not a full paywall, but a “support us — become a member” request on the nag screen that pops up as you visit our custom-themed WordPress site. We don’t want to be members-only paywall restricted, but we do want to be able to invite people to support us.
    2. You can dismiss the nag screen if you want, and go ahead and look around anyway
    3. The nag screen can pop up, say 2-3 times during your visit, and then not pop up again during this visit — but if you leave and come back, it will pop up again
    4. several payment levels (9.99 monthly, $100 annually, more if you love us)
    5. lets anybody come in from a social link
    6. lets google crawl us a lot b/c we get a lot of SEO traffic–i have heard terrible things about some of these membership plays destroying your SEO, and We Cannot Have That Happen Ever
    7. ideally stripe rather than paypal.
    8. collect emails and ideally play well with Mailchimp.
    9. it would be great if it’s easy enough for me to set up myself with minimal work from our webmistress. i’m pretty handy with WordPress.

    i had been looking at TinyPass, another NYC startup. But I am intrigued by your thorough research and the suggestions you make–what would you recco for us? Prefer free (of course) but realize that paid often has tremendous value.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Jeanne,

      Thanks for your kind words about the post.

      Based on your requirements, it sounds like a specific ‘membership’ plugin may not be the best thing and a specific ‘Pay-wall’ type service like the one you mentioned (TinyPass) may work better for you.

      Although I haven’t done much research into pay-wall plugins so probably won’t be able to offer you too much advice at this stage.

      Usually membership plugins will work best when you have clearly segmented free content and members only content.

      A lot of the plugins allow for ‘teasers’ for some content, but if you rely on a lot of traffic from Google then membership plugins definitely won’t be the option for you.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more help for you!

  • Ray

    Adam,

    Do you know of any Member plugins that can assign download credits to member levels and issue new credits each payment period? I thought Member Mouse would do it but their support says no.

    Thanks, Ray

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Ray,

      I’m sure there’s one that does it but it’s a while since I wrote the post so can’t remember off the top of my head.

      There is a separate plugin that DAP launched called ‘Credit Store’ but it’s not something that I’ve looked at so I’m not sure how it ties in with the main membership plugin (that’s if it does at all).

      You can find more about it here: http://www.digitalaccesspass.com/blog/2013/12/credit-store-launch/

  • pinheiroadvogados

    Good post!

  • http://shawnhartwell.me/ Shawn Michael Hartwell

    Hey Adam,

    Thanks for sharing this list of membership plugins. I’m sure I will find one of these useful when I develop my membership site and the pricing isn’t a problem — you’ve got to spend money to make money.

    What are your views on Premise, which is no longer available, designed by Copyblogger? I bought it last year for 100-200$(i forget exact amounts) and I’ll be honest I wasn’t that impressed – I found it was terribly complicated to do the most simplistic of things.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hey Shawn,

      No worries. That’s so true.

      I bought Premise too a while before they took it off the market.

      I thought it was ok but left a lot to be desired. Was hoping to use it to create landing pages at the time but I gave up on that pretty quick.

      Like you mentioned, it really was far too complicated to do simple things.

      Now I use a combination of LeadPages and OptimizePress. LP for straight forward pages and OP when I need to do extra customization.

  • http://www.internetjetstream.com/ Mike Seddon

    Nice round up Adam. I spent a long time evaluating which membership plugin to go with. I’d already got Optimisepress as my blog theme and sales page creator so I started with testing out their member plugin. As you say it’s basic and I very quickly realised it would not do what I needed.

    In the end it came down to Wishlist or Membermouse.

    I decided on Membermouse as they had some extra features and in particular the one click up sell option which is great.

    So far I’ve been very happy with the combination of Optimsepress for the website and membermouse for the membership.

    Mike

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Mike! Very true about the OptimizePress membership plugin, although it can be good if you don’t need much in the way of advanced features.

      Great to hear how well you’ve been getting on with Membermouse!

      • http://www.internetjetstream.com/ Mike Seddon

        Agreed. AS a basic membership plugin, it was fine. I don’t recall now what the showstopper was that meant I had to get Membermouse but I think it was to do with multiple levels of membership. I have a membership program and also sell standalone products which people access through the membership as I usually bundle trial membership with the standalone products. I think the basic OP membership offering went into meltdown when I tried that :)

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Sounds like Membermouse really was a perfect fit for you. I like your approach to bundling trial memberships with stand alone products :)

  • http://profitblitz.com/ Marc Andre

    Member Mouse is a really nice plugin. I’ve never used it on a live site but I tested it pretty extensively and it would be my choice if I were starting a new membership site.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Awesome to hear, Marc!

  • http://www.christiankonline.com Christian Karasiewicz

    Great post @adamjayc:disqus. One that I really like is ZippyCourses.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Christian, did you grab yourself a copy of ZippyCourses?

      • http://www.christiankonline.com Christian Karasiewicz

        Yes. Currently implementing it into one of my businesses.

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Awesome – let me know how it goes.

  • vagu91

    Many thanks for compiling amazing list Adam!

    I am on the lookout for a plugin which can be used for an association website. So basically, the site would:

    1. Register new members under different plans (paid)
    2. There would be a members list page. This would show names only for basic members. But for members with the ultimate membership plan, it will show more details and a backlink to their website.
    3. Allow members to login to the site and change their membership plans, view other members.
    4. Forum features for members
    5. Member resources (knowledge posts) which would be viewable only to the paid members of the site.

    …and perhaps some more features.

    I was checking out this plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/memberfindme/

    What do you think? Can you suggest some other ones which may match?

    Thanks Adam!
    V

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      My pleasure :)

      I haven’t found a plugin that would do all of that unfortunately. Most would do 1/5 and allow members to change their plans (upgrade) but I’m not sure on the rest of the features (mainly because they’re features I haven’t specifically looked for/needed myself).

      What I’d recommend is creating a complete list of what you’re after and sending out some pre-sales inquiries to some of the main plugin developers.

      Memberfindme looks like an interesting plugin, thanks for mentioning it!