Best membership plugins for WordPress

If you’re looking into building a membership type of website using WordPress, it’s important to choose the right platform that will grow and scale your business properly.

There are tons of membership plugins around, but they vary vastly in features – some offer basic membership management, some provide advanced features such as drip content, some only offer PayPal while others provide multiple payment gateways.

In this article, we’ll provide our insight into the top 5 WordPress membership plugins, so you can choose the right membership platform for your website and business.

Let’s start!

 

LearnDash

LearnDash is not a membership-only plugin per-se, but rather an LMS (Learning Management Plugin); however, it has powerful membership modules, lots of integrations, and it’s very flexible and straightforward to use. With it, you can:

  • Organize your membership tiers into levels or groups
  • Create and sell online courses
  • Restrict content based on roles or groups
  • Access various payment gateways
  • Create an online community by using badges, forums, certificates and quizzes
  • Use integrations to popular plugins or services such as WooCommerce, MemberPress, Slack, etc.
  • Use Drip Content to provide content to your members over a period of time

The downside of this plugin is that it’s not very suitable for simple membership websites, so unless you’re selling courses online – you might want to look into other solutions.

Link

Price: Paid (no free plans available)

 

Paid Member Subscriptions

This is an excellent plugin that allows you to manage member subscriptions, restrict content (categories/pages/posts) based on the subscription plan, integrate  with WooCommerce, and much more. The setup process is a breeze, and all you need to do is input your PayPal address (to receive payments), configure subscription plans, and then restrict content using meta boxes for each post, page, or custom post type.

Link

Price: Paid (no free plans available)

 

MemberPress

MemberPress is one of the best WordPress membership plugins because it’s very straightforward to use and packs a bunch of features. Creating membership plans is quick, and the plugin can automatically set up all necessary pages for you (login, profile, thank you, and pricing pages).

The plugin comes with the following features:

  • Integrations with all major email tools, such as MailChimp, MadMimi, AWeber, as well as AWS and BluBrry if you’re doing podcasts
  • It has a powerful content restriction mechanism, and you can protect posts, pages, tags, categories, files, etc.
  • Supports PayPal and Stripe by default to accept payments
  • Has a content drip feature

In the future, the plugin plans to see integrations with more services but if you need extension you can hire the plugin’s developer to build it for you), same thing with adding new payment gateway beyond PayPal and Stripe, in case you want to accepts payments from people who use different payment gateways.

Link

Price: Paid (no free plans available)

 

Restrict Content Pro

This plugin is fully integrated with WordPress’s interface making it very easy to use. It supports multiple payment gateways for free (PayPal, Stripe, Braintree), and you can purchase additional options such as PayPal Website Payments Pro, Stripe Checkout, 2Checkout, and PayPal Express if needed. The team behind this plugin also developed the Easy Digital Downloads plugin, so if you sell digital products – these two are the perfect combination.

Apart from that, the plugin integrates well with WooCommerce, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, AWeber, and other popular third-party services, and has advanced features such as Drip Content, Past Content Restriction, Hard-set Expiration Dates, etc.

A free option is available, but you will need to purchase one of their plans to have access to the advanced features and integrations.

Download

Price: Free (paid plans available)

 

Teachable

Teachable is not a WordPress plugin by itself, but rather an online service that can integrate with WordPress via links or subdomains. It’s a Learning Management System (LMS), forum, membership website, analytics, and email marketing in a single package. It’s effortless to configure, and you can easily create membership content using built-in tools (video and pdf uploads, textual content, etc.). You can encourage user engagement via quizzes, forums, certificates, contact forms, or use a drip content feature to provide content based on course completion or level of the subscription. It’s perfect for teachers or online educators looking to build their own online business.

Link

Price: Paid (no free plans available)

 

S2Member

This free plugin is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins, and it also offers the pro version. It has a very loyal user base  and an excellent knowledge base to get you started, and if you’re a Pro user – you also gain access to email support.

The free version of the plugin supports PayPal as a payment gateway, while the Pro version also adds Authorized.net and Stripe as options. In addition to the drip content feature (available on the Pro plugin), it’s very well integrated with other plugins and services such as bbPress, BuddyPress, and MailChimp.

The downside of this plugin is that you only have four membership levels on the free version, and it’s not very straightforward to use.

Download

Price: Free (paid plans available)

In our opinion, the best overall option is the MemberPress plugin, but if you want to create and sell courses on your membership website – we recommend the LearnDash plugin.