- Feb 13, 2017
- by Brad Litwin
WordPress’ default user registration system packs a lot of features, such as clear permission settings and the option for users to manage their own profiles. However, it also lacks some advanced functionality, such as support for paid memberships.
That’s where membership plugins come in. These tools enable you to restrict content to paid users only, supercharge profile customization, and more.
In this article, we’ll explore five of our favorite WordPress membership plugins. We’ll explain how they alter WordPress’ registration system and which types of sites might benefit from using each of them. Let’s get started!
The MemberPress plugin is an all-in-one solution that enables you to charge for access to your site, process payments, limit access to your content, and even sell digital products.
That’s an impressive list of features for any plugin to have, but MemberPress manages to pull it off quite well. Furthermore, the plugin boasts an impressive track record when it comes to updates, which makes it a good long-term investment.
- Charges new users for access
- Supports PayPal and Stripe payments
- Includes an add-on system for extended functionality
- Supports an unlimited number of members
If you’re a WordPress user looking for a robust member management solution, MemberPress will serve you well.
Furthermore, the plugin is very easy to manage, which means that you don’t need to be a WordPress professional to make sense of its settings. As long as you’re at least somewhat familiar with the platform, you’ll feel right at home with your new tool.
Much like our previous entry, Restrict Content Pro enables you to set up a full-featured membership website with ease. The team behind this plugin also created Easy Digital Downloads, and the two work together very well.
- Enables you to restrict access to paid members
- Supports several payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree Payments
- Integrates seamlessly with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin
- Comes with a powerful add-on system
Restrict Content Pro shares a lot of features with MemberPress, which makes choosing between the two particularly challenging.
If you’re on a budget, Restrict Content Pro could be an attractive option, since a basic annual membership will cost you nearly $50 less than MemberPress’.
Furthermore, the plugin comes with excellent documentation, which is always a boon, even if you’re an experienced WordPress user.
As its name gives away, WooCommerce Memberships is an extension for WooCommerce. It works much the same as the other tools we’ve covered so far, in that it enables you to implement a membership system and restrict access to your content.
However, having use of the WooCommerce platform does provide you with some interesting features, such as restricting access to products and rewarding members with discounts.
- Extends WooCommerce’s base functionality
- Restricts content and products to specific types of membership
- Grants memberships as rewards for purchases
- Implements a ‘perks’ system
If you’re a fan of WooCommerce, then this is an easy decision to make. This extension is not the cheapest option out there, but we think it’s worth it if you’re already familiar with the platform.
Furthermore, if you have an existing WooCommerce store, you can just go right ahead and implement a membership system on top of it.
So far, Paid Member Subscriptions is the only free plugin on this list, and it isn’t a bad option either. While there is a premium version available for this plugin, its free counterpart offers all the features you need to set up a simple membership website.
- Supports multi-tiered membership plans
- Integrates with PayPal
- Restricts content depending on specific criteria
Paid Member Subscriptions doesn’t offer as many features as the rest of the plugins we’ve featured. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
If all you need is a simple tool that will enable you to create membership plans, process payments, and restrict content, this plugin will do just fine. Furthermore, it integrates particularly well with our next pick, since they were both created by the same team.
Profile Builder is very different from the other tools we’ve covered so far. It’s not a membership plugin per se, but it does enable you to customize your login and registration pages to your heart’s content.
This can be helpful if you’re looking to find out more information about your subscribers, or just provide them with a different WordPress experience.
Finally, the plugin also enables your users to customize their own profiles using a front end menu. That means your members will be free to make their profiles unique, and they’ll feel more at home for that fact.
- Enables users to modify their profiles using a front end menu
- Adds new fields to registration and login pages
- Includes a user login widget
- Supports add-ons
Profile Builder is a good option for users who want a greater degree of control over their site’s registration and login process. The plugin enables you to add as many fields as you like to either page, which means you can ask for all the information you want from your new members.
On top of that, some of your users will surely appreciate the ability to customize their profiles, which in turn will have a positive impact on engagement.
The basic plugin is free, and the pro version starts at $69.
WordPress’ basic registration system will do just fine when it comes to most websites, but it’s not a perfect fit for all of them. If you’re looking to provide your users with more options when it comes to profile management, or you just want to build a private website, WordPress membership plugins may be just the ticket.
Let’s take one last look at the five outstanding plugins we covered in this article:
- MemberPress: This plugin will enable you to set up membership sites with ease.
- Restrict Content Pro: A robust membership plugin for WordPress with excellent documentation.
- WooCommerce Memberships: The perfect solution for WooCommerce users.
- Paid Member Subscriptions: An excellent (and free!) membership plugin.
- Profile Builder: A great plugin to customize your login and registration pages, as well as user profiles.
Do you have a favorite WordPress membership plugin that didn’t make the list? Let us know about it in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.