Best WordPress Membership Plugins
Membership sites are becoming more and more popular on the web as time goes by and as everyone and their mum tries their hand at becoming an influencer. A membership site gives you full control over an entirely new kind of revenue stream. You’ll no longer have to worry about losing that sweet affiliate deal or losing that big sponsored post deal because you have your very own revenue stream. I should mention at this point it is not just “influencers” or “Instagramers” that are utilising membership websites to drive additional revenue. We have seen a huge uplift in these styles of websites following the pandemic as traditional businesses that once operated classes and in person services are now moving to an online and anytime content driven business model.
If you intend to have a WordPress membership website, keep it in mind that there are various WordPress membership plugins that you can use. Determining the right membership plugin is important for your business because a better platform will give you more functionality to grow your subscription base.
To transform your WordPress website to a fully functional membership site, you should have a WordPress membership plugin. You can create a premium content library and make it accessible only to your paying subscription based customers when you have a membership site plugin.
Whether you aim to generate recurring income, sell courses online, or just build a community of paying customers, this guide will help you decide the best membership plugin for your needs.Things to
Look for in a WordPress Membership Plugin
There are a lot of WordPress membership plugins, but they don’t all have particular features that you may require for making your membership site. Some of them are perfect for selling subscriptions on one level, and others provide more diverse membership levels and subscription management qualities.
Some plugins provide drip content feature, making it possible for users to gradually produce new content to users. Others are restricted to only providing hidden content.
As a business owner, you’ll have to determine the payment gateways to use. Whether you want to accept only credit cards, PayPal, Stripe or both? Your membership plugin should support your preferred choice of payment gateways.
Creating a Membership Site with a WordPress Membership Plugin
Building a membership site makes it possible for you to control access to forums, online content, downloads, and provide support to only your registered customers. To create a membership site, you’ll need almost the same tools used to create a website.
Some of the tools required are a domain name, strong web hosting, and a membership plugin. Some web hosting services provide a free domain name, free SSL certificates, and discounts on web hosting to users.
Uses of a membership plugin
- Create email lists, so you can send updates and coupons to your customers
- Share free content to have a loyal fan base
- Get paid for access to members-only content
Benefits of a Membership Website
There are several ways of making money online, but one of the most effective is by creating a membership website using a WordPress membership plugin. A membership site allows you to limit access to the content on your website, and only paid users can access them. This content can include forums, downloads, support, and so on.
Below are some reasons you might want to build a membership site:
- Have a highly engaging email list
With a membership site, you can make a content library and make it accessible only to your registered customers. You can also add these customers to your email list. By doing this, you can gather the email addresses of users that are not so active.
All businesses are looking for how they can make their email marketing strategies more efficient. All that starts with building a bigger email list. When you add newly registered users to your email list, the list will be full of active members that are more likely to engage with your brand.
- Show your authority
Creating a membership site and offering useful content helps you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. You can also create a good relationship with your members and even lay a foundation for a loyal customer base.
- Earn a steady income
When you have a membership site, you can convince users to pay for the subscription, thus generating recurring income. This consistent stream of recurring income will increases as more people register to your website.
- Deliver more value to users
The good thing about having a membership site is that the content you limit access to is of high-quality, this means that it will be valuable to people for a long time. It’s also found in one convenient location for all registered users to see. You can easily edit that content to make it more valuable for users. This will encourage them to continue paying you for access.
Even though you can keep on building on your content, you don’t have to. If you do all the right things upfront and make a membership site for your target users, you technically don’t have to do anything else. Unless you want to regularly update the content, the content will do the work for you.
How to select a WordPress Membership Plugin for Your Site
There are 3 key areas to consider when choosing a membership plugin for your website – ease of use, compatibility, and design and features.
- Ease of use
You can either buy a lightweight WordPress membership plugin or a full-featured WordPress membership plugin.
Most lightweight plugins are designed to be fast and provide the basics needed. These plugins also provide add-ons that can be easily installed to extend their functionality and provide access to more features.
A full-featured plugin will provide a crowded interface. However, you’ll have enough features at your disposal.
You can easily take a WordPress membership plugin for a compatibility test drive by testing it on your local WordPress install. If it is compatible, install the plugin on the production site.
- Design and features
Although most membership plugins have all the features needed, always check before selecting one. Most membership plugins have multiple plans that come with various features and prices.
Some key features to look for include:
- Member management
- Support for live chats and forums
- Tools for email marketing
- Ease of digital downloads
- Course building tools
- Functionality of content
- Various levels of subscriptions
- Discounts and coupons
- Recurring bills
- Design features
Check Out The Best WordPress Membership Plugins
This is an all-in-one membership plugin that makes it easy for business owners to transform their current website into a fully-featured membership website.
You can use MemberPress to create an unlimited amount of memberships and customize them all, including prices to be paid by users, who can become a member and the duration of a trial period.
Also, with this plugin, you can put your users into various groups, control their upgrade paths, and make dynamic pricing pages. Also, you can easily send emails to members.
MemberPress gives you control over your coupons. You can control expiration dates, choose a discount percentage, determine the products users can apply to, and change coupon codes.
LearnDash was created for making and selling courses online on WordPress websites. It enables users to provide a concise learning experience to members and supports the biggest social learning and micro-content trends.
LearnDash has made it easier to sell courses. Some ways to sell your online courses include:
- Memberships: Give access to all of your online courses
- One-time price: Have a shopping cart where users can purchase individual courses
- Subscription: Get paid regularly through subscription-based selling
With LearnDash, users can unlock new courses, depending on the points they earn as they complete their courses. This makes it possible for you to increase retention and make users more engaged in the courses you’re offering.
You can award highly-customized certificates and badges according to the performance of a learner. You can also provide front-end user profiles where users can track their activities.
With Teachable, you can also create and sell online courses with a few clicks. It has built-in member management, payment gateways, and sales and marketing tools to help business owners grow their brands fast.
It has a powerful editor that enables you to create and launch beautiful sales pages capable of converting visitors into customers. Some features that set Teachable apart from its competitors include:
- Learning tools: You can easily make discussion forums on your Teachable site. You can also give certificates after users complete a course to reward their efforts.
- Integrations: Bring your content from Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive. You can link your website with online tools.
- Marketing tools: You can make affiliate program, coupon codes, and advanced pricing options to improve sales.
4. Restrict Content Pro
This WordPress membership plugin is popular. iThemes bought it on September 1st, 2020. Although this is a big change, iThemes is a very established company and plans to invest in Restrict Content Pro to make it better.
Restrict Content Pro is a strong contender for the best membership plugin for WordPress. It was made by the same team that created Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP plugins.
If you don’t feel confident about setting up your membership plugin, this plugin can assist you. It provides notes to guide you through the setup process. Additionally, the plugin comes with features that can regulate content access, and the developers are regularly updating new features.
Restrict Content Pro has various options for payment integration, such as 2Checkout, PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe, and Braintree. It can also handle different payment options at the same time.
- Various membership levels
- Has a customer dashboard for members to view and manage their account details
- Unlimited subscription
- Membership emails
- Discounts on membership subscriptions
This is a WordPress membership plugin that is fully packed with features. But it is not beginner-friendly. Once you know how to use it, you’ll see that it is a powerful membership plugin for selling digital and physical products. S2Member also has a pro version available. It has been around for a long time and has a committed user base.
The pro version gives you access to one of the most comprehensive membership plugins out there. It has features such as user roles, content dripping, one-step registration and checkout, unlimited paid membership levels, and so on.
- Can easily accept recurring payments
- Has PayPal integration
- Pro version has PayPal, Stripe, ClickBank, and Authorize.net integrations
- Can track coupon codes
- Gift certificate codes
- Pro-form templates
WordPress membership plugins are vital to making exclusivity and restricting content to only paid members. WordPress users have several options to choose from when it comes to membership plugins. Due to this, we have narrowed this post down to just a handful.
All the plugins mentioned above were excellently selected. They are easy to use and are equipped with all of the vital membership features needed to satisfy most users, such as the ability to lock content, monetize a website by selling premium memberships, and drip-feed content.