Do you want to create a membership site in WordPress? Do you want to know which WordPress membership plugin is the best? Choosing the best membership plugin for your business is critical because a better platform means more opportunities for growth. In this article, we will compare the top 5 WordPress membership plugins for creating paid membership websites quickly and easily.
What Should You Look for in a WordPress Membership Plugin?
There are numerous WordPress membership plugins available, but not all of them include specific features that you may require when developing your membership site.
Some are good for selling subscriptions on a single level, while others provide a wider range of membership levels and subscription management features.
Some plugins include a drip content feature that allows you to gradually release new content to users. Others are limited to only providing hidden content.
You’ll also need to decide which payment gateways to use. Do you want to accept only credit cards, PayPal payments, or both? Your membership plugin should support your preferred payment gateways, either natively or via an addon.
Having said that, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to get started with a WordPress membership site.
What Are the Requirements for Running a WordPress Membership Site?
Membership websites require a lot of resources, and picking the wrong host can hurt your overall performance. As a result, the first step is to find the best WordPress hosting that you can afford.
If you’re on a tight budget, Bluehost is a perfect way to start. Their Business Pro plan includes an SSL Certificate, which is required to securely collect payments, as well as a dedicated IP address and a dedicated support line.
If money isn’t an issue and you want the best performance, we recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider such as WPEngine.
If you do not already have one, you must select a domain name for your website. Here’s how to choose the best domain name for your membership site.
Finally, you must select essential business plugins such as OptinMonster, which assists you in capturing leads and increasing subscriptions.
Now that we’ve covered everything you’ll need to get started with a WordPress membership site, let’s take a look at our top WordPress membership plugins.
Amongst the most popular WordPress membership plugins is MemberPress. It is also the most user-friendly and feature-rich of the three.
Pros of MemberPress WordPress Membership Plugin
Easy to Setup – MemberPress makes it simple to set up a WordPress membership website. It can set up pricing, login, account, and thank you pages for your users automatically. Adding membership plans is also very simple.
Content Access Control – MemberPress includes robust access control, allowing you to restrict access to any content, including posts, pages, categories, tags, files, and so on.
Dripping Content – Dripping content allows you to show restricted content to members after a set period of time. This is an extremely helpful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.
Sell Courses – MemberPress makes it simple to create and sell online courses. It provides users with an interactive learning experience that focuses on course completion rate.
Integrations – MemberPress integrates with the email services AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and MadMimi. It also works well with AWS and BluBrry if you want to host podcasts.
Payment Gateways – PayPal and Stripe payment gateways are built into MemberPress. Authorize.net support is also included in the Developer plan.
Cons of Using MemberPress
Payment Options are Limited – MemberPress only supports the three most popular payment gateways. This would be a deal breaker for site owners who live in countries where these payment gateways do not operate.
Limited Integrations – While the plugin supports enough popular services to run a membership site efficiently, it lacks integrations with some other popular services. The plugin is easily extensible, and you can hire someone to integrate a third-party service that you want to use.
Pricing: The Basic plan starts at $129 per year and the Plus plan starts at $249 per year.
We believe that MemberPress is the most user-friendly WordPress membership plugin for beginners. It is simple to set up and has a plethora of powerful options.
LearnDash is a highly customizable and simple-to-use WordPress LMS plugin. It includes advanced membership modules as well as numerous integrations.
Pros of Using LearnDash
Setup LearnDash is simple to set up and even easier to add content to. It also includes advanced tools for easily organizing your membership content into levels, groups, and so on.
Simple Content Restrictions LearnDash makes it simple to hide content and restrict access to different membership groups.
Sell Courses – LearnDash makes it simple to create and sell online courses. It has more advanced modules than other WordPress membership plugins, allowing you to better manage learning material.
Drip Content – It includes a powerful drip content feature that allows you to roll out content to users at regular intervals or upon level completion.
Built-in Community Functions It includes tools for creating highly engaging membership sites complete with quizzes, user badges, course-specific forums, certificates, user profiles, and so on.
Payments and Integrations LearnDash has an incredible set of integrations and payment gateways. It can also be linked to MemberPress, WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, and other platforms.
Cons of Using LearnDash
Some membership features are missing – If you are attempting to build a membership website without selling courses, some of LearnDash’s features may be ineffective.
Pricing begins at $159 for a single site license that includes one year of support and updates.
If you want to sell online courses on a paid membership website, LearnDash is the ideal solution. Its extensive set of addons and integrations enable you to create an engaging platform.
Teachable is indeed an another shop for setting up online courses. It combines a membership website, an LMS, a discussion forum, email marketing, and analytics into a single dashboard.
Advantages of Using Teachable
Ease of Use Teachable is simple to set up and requires no technical knowledge. Creating membership content is simple, with built-in tools for quickly creating and uploading videos, text, PDFs, and more.
Content Drip It has a flexible drip content feature that lets you deliver content based on a user’s progress or subscription level.
Built-in Engagement Functions It provides discussion forums, quizzes, contact forms, certificates, and other features to increase user engagement and help build strong online communities.
Cons of Using Teachable
This is not a WordPress Plugin. Teachable does not have a WordPress plugin. You can instead integrate it into your WordPress site by adding links or a sub-domain.
Teachable is more expensive because it includes everything, making it more expensive than other WordPress membership plugins.
Pricing: The basic plan is $39 per month, the professional plan is $99 per month, and the business plan is $499 per month.
4. Restrict Content Pro
Restrict Content Pro is a strong contender for the title of best WordPress membership plugin. It was created by the same team that created the well-known Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP plugins.
The Benefits of Using Restrict Content Pro
It is Simple to Use – Restrict Content Pro integrates seamlessly with the WordPress user interface. This makes it simple to learn how to use it.
Built-in Integrations – Unlike other membership plugins, Restrict Content Pro includes built-in integrations that other plugins only provide as paid add-ons. Stripe, PayPal, MailChimp, MailPoet, email manager, CSV export, and many other features are available.
Payment Gateways – Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree are all available as free add-ons. Other payment gateways that are supported include 2Checkout, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal Express, and Stripe Checkout.
Works with Easy Digital Downloads – If you use Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products, Restrict Content Pro is an ideal companion.
Excellent Support – All users have access to extensive free documentation. You also get professional email support with lightning-fast response times.
The disadvantages of using Restrict Content Pro
Fewer Integrations – It integrates with fewer third-party services, such as email service providers, than some of the other plugins on this list.
Pricing is as follows: $99 for 12 addons and a single site license, $149 for 5 sites, and $249 for all addons and an unlimited number of sites. There is also a $499 lifetime plan available.
We discovered Restrict Content Pro to be one of the most user-friendly membership plugins. It is also developer friendly and comes with a fantastic set of features that are ideal for all types of membership websites.
S2Member is a well-known free WordPress membership plugin with a pro/paid version. It’s been around for a while and has a strong following.
Pros of Using S2Member WordPress Membership Plugin
The s2Member base plugin is completely free. Anyone can download and try it out. It’s limited in terms of features and support, but it’s a good place to start.
Dripping Content – S2Member Pro includes a content drip feature.
Payment Gateways – PayPal is supported in the free version. The plugin’s pro version also supports Stripe and Authorize.net.
Adaptations – It is compatible with MailChimp, bbPress, and BuddyPress.
Documentation and Support – S2Member provides a comprehensive knowledgebase to all users. Pro users also have access to email-based support.
Cons of Using the S2Member WordPress Membership Plugin
Not User Friendly– We found s2Member to be a little more difficult to use than other membership plugins.
Limitations of the Free Version – The free version only supports PayPal, has only four membership levels, and no drip content feature.
Pricing: The base plugin is free, but the Pro version for a single site license costs $89 USD. The pro version costs $189 USD for unlimited sites.
We believe MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin option. It has all of the features you’d expect, as well as excellent documentation and support.
Restrict Content Pro is an excellent choice if you want something simple and adaptable. The team behind has a track record of producing high-quality products.
If you want to sell courses on your membership website, we recommend LearnDash, which has powerful features for creating and selling online courses.
We hope this article has assisted you in locating the best WordPress membership plugin for your website. You might also be interested in our step-by-step WordPress SEO guide for beginners.
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