Do you want to create a membership site? Congratulations, you’re already a step ahead by choosing WordPress as your website platform. With WordPress, you can find plenty of powerful plugins that will let you create a membership website easily, without having to hire a developer.
In this article, we’ll share the 6 best WordPress membership plugins to turn your WordPress site into a full-fledged membership site.
What’s a Membership Website?
A membership site is typically a website with gated content that only registered users/members can access.
In other words, it’s an online business which provides access to its content or its services only to the people who become its members. It works similarly to a gym or club that requires you to buy a membership to enjoy their services.
On the internet, there’re now thousands of membership sites that offer online courses, webinars, training, e-books, etc. and make good money by selling their memberships. Creating a membership site is now one of the most popular ways to make money online.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Membership Plugin
If you want to create a fully functional membership site and earn money, you’ll need powerful software to run your membership system.
Here’re a few major features you’ll need to consider when choosing the best membership WordPress plugin:
- Membership Management: Take a look at the membership levels, subscription types, trial period features, etc.
- Content Restriction Options: Check how the plugin handles content restriction options. You may need a content dripping option.
- Payment Gateways: Figure out if the plugin has integration with your favorite payment gateways or not.
- Email Marketing: Check if the plugin has the necessary integrations for the email marketing tools you’ll use.
Also, check if the plugin has easy options to create coupons and discounts.
With that said, let’s take a look at the best WordPress membership plugins you can use to create a membership website.
The plugin makes it super easy to set up your membership site. All you need to do is install the plugin, enter your payment gateway details, add some products, and your site will be ready.
With MemberPress, you can create an unlimited number of memberships and set powerful access rules for your premium content. You can restrict access to pages, posts, custom posts types, categories, tags, and any other files on your site.
It includes a content dripping option if you want to release content over time instead of giving access to the full content at once. It’s useful primarily for e-learning sites that sell online courses.
It has in-built integration for major payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. Similarly, you can use the most popular email marketing services, including AWeber, MailChimp, and GetResponse. It also supports other popular tools like bbPress, Affiliate Royale, etc.
Doubtlessly, it’s one of the best WordPress plugins ever made.
Pricing: $258 Per Year for Basic Plan (1 Site)
Restrict Content Pro is yet another full-featured membership solution for WordPress. It allows you to make an all-powerful membership site and earn money by selling different levels of memberships.
With this plugin, you can create an unlimited number of subscription packages including free, trial, and premium subscriptions. It has a simple member management interface to view all your active, pending, expired, canceled, and free users.
To keep your members updated, it allows you to send automatic emails to your members. For example, a welcome email when a new member joins, when payment is received, when a subscription is going to expire, etc. It also includes a beautiful customer dashboard from where your members can view and manage their account details.
Restrict Content Pro plugin has built-in integrations for Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, and 2Checkout to accept payments.
Pricing: $99 Per Year for Personal Plan (1 site)
LearnDash is the most popular learning management system (LMS) for WordPress. It’s the best plugin for creating and selling online courses.
The plugin comes with an intelligent course builder which helps you create highly engaging courses. Then, you can sell access to your classes at a 1-time price or as subscriptions, memberships, bundles, etc. You can also drip-feed lesson content according to a schedule.
The plugin lets you send automatic email notifications to your learners based on their activities. You can connect to popular email marketing platforms like MailChimp to keep your users informed.
It allows you to use PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, and 300+ others with WooCommerce as payment gateways. It also supports useful plugins like bbPress, Slack, etc.
Pricing: $199 for Single Site License
Teachable is a powerful online course builder platform that lets you create and sell gorgeous online courses. Although it’s not available as a WordPress plugin, you can integrate it with your WordPress site by adding links.
Teachable lets you create engaging multimedia lectures including video, image, text, audio, and PDF files. You can also run quizzes, discussions, and provide course completion certificates to enhance the learning experience of your members.
There’re advanced pricing options to sell your online courses. You can charge a 1-time fee, sell a subscription, or set up a pricing plan to sell individual or bundled courses. You can accept payments using Stripe or PayPal.
Additionally, it has a built-in affiliate marketing feature, coupons, and promotion options to boost your marketing efforts.
Pricing: $29 Per Month for the Basic plan
WooCommerce Memberships is a WooCommerce extension plugin to create a complete membership system on your WooCommerce store. With this plugin, you can create several types of memberships and sell them.
You can sell a membership as a stand-alone product or grant access to a membership as part of product purchase. You can also assign memberships manually for the invite-only members area.
It includes several other useful features like content dripping, special discounts, export/import members, etc.
The downside of the plugin is that it requires you to install another plugin, WooCoommerce Subscriptions, to accept subscription-based recurring payments.
Pricing: $149 for Single Site License
S2Member is another popular membership plugin for WordPress that offers both a free version and premium version.
The free version is excellent for anyone just starting out. It offers a detailed knowledgebase that has useful tutorials and guides. But it does lack in few features. For instance, with S2Member Pro you get content drip feature.
You also get more payment options in the Pro plan, which includes Stripe and Authorize.net along with PayPal.
The WordPress membership plugin integrates perfectly with different marketing tools like Mailchimp and BuddyPress. That said, it isn’t the most user-friendly membership plugin.
Pricing: $89 for the Pro plan.
WP-Members is a free WordPress membership plugin that you can use to restrict content. It’s very simple to use and lets you hide content from the frontend.
Using the plugin, you can create custom profiles and registration fields along with small teaser content to grab the attention of the user.
WP-Members also offers over 120 different filter hocks and actions to customize your membership area. You can even use its security features to keep your members secure.
That said, the free version features are limited, so you can also check out its premium version.
Pricing: $125 for the Pro bundle.
Which Membership Plugin is Best for You?
After reviewing the 6 best WordPress membership plugins closely, we see MemberPress as the best option available. It has all the features you need to set up a full-featured membership system.
Alternately, you can use LearnDash if you want to create a membership site specifically for selling online courses. The plugin has additional features to engage your learners and enhance their learning experience with fun elements like quizzes, awards, certificates, etc.
We hope this article helped you find the best membership plugin for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our handpicked list of the best WordPress SEO plugins to improve your website traffic and sales.