There are plenty of membership plugins, but not all have features needed for creating every membership site. Some are good for selling B2C subscriptions while others have more diverse membership levels and subscription management features. Some plugins give you drip content allowing slow release of content to users. Few others are restricted to only offering hidden content.
We have to figure out which payment gateways to use. Want to accept credit cards only, PayPal, Paytm, CCAvenue, or all? A membership plugin should have support for your preferred payment gateways either built-in or via an addon.
Things needed to start a WordPress membership site?
Membership portals are resource intensive, and choosing the wrong host can be detrimental to your overall performance. That’s why the first thing you need to do is choose a best WordPress hosting provide.
If you’ve low budget, then you can start with SolutionPoint, they offer SSL Certificate which you need to securely collect payments, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support team. For the very best performance, use a managed WordPress hosting provider. Choose a domain name for your website. Here is our guide on how to pick the right domain name for your membership site.
Finally, choose essential business plugins which helps you capture leads and boost subscriptions. Next, take a look at top WordPress membership plugins.
1. Membership: Popular, easy to use and the most robust when it comes to features.
Easy to Setup – Automatically setup pricing, login, account, and thank you pages for users. Adding membership plans is also very straight forward.
Content Access Control – Allows you to restrict access to any content including posts, pages, categories, tags, files, etc.
Content Dripping – Show restricted content to members after a certain time. Useful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.
Payment Gateways – Support for PayPal
Limited Payment Options – MemberPress only supports the three most popular payment gateways. This would be a deal breaker for site owners who live in countries not supported by these payment gateways.
Limited Integrations – While the plugin has enough support for popular services to run a membership site efficiently, it still lacks integrations with some other popular services. The plugin is easily extensible, and you can pay someone to integrate a third-party service you would like to use.
Pricing: Business Edition $99/Year, Developer Edition $199/Year
We think MemberPress is the most easy to use WordPress membership plugin for beginners. It is quick to setup with tons of powerful options.
2. Simple Membership: Comes with advanced tools to easily organize your membership content into levels, groups, etc.
Content Restrictions allows you to easily hide any content and restrict it to different membership groups.
Allows you to easily create and sell online courses. It has advanced modules that allow you to better manage learning material than other WordPress membership plugins.
Connect it to WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, etc.
3. Teachable: Membership website, LMS, discussion forum, email marketing, and analytics all under one dashboard.
Ease of Use Teachable is easy to set up and does not require any technical skills at all. Creating membership content is a breeze and includes built-in tools to quickly create and upload videos, text, PDF, and more.
Drip Content It includes flexible drip content feature, which allows you to roll out content based on user progress or subscription level.
Built-in Engagement Features It offers discussion forums, quizzes, contact forms, certificates, and other features to boost user engagement and build powerful online communities.
Not a WordPress Plugin Teachable is not available as a WordPress plugin.
4. Restrict Content Pro: A powerful contender for the title of the best membership plugin for WordPress.
Easy to Use – Restrict Content Pro beautifully integrates with the WordPress user interface. This allows you to easily figure out how to use it.
Built-in Integrations – Unlike other membership plugins, Restrict Content Pro comes with built-in integrations that other plugins ship as paid addons. It has Stripe, PayPal, MailChimp, MailPoet, email manager, CSV export, and many more features.
Payment Gateways – Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree come as free addons. Other supported payment gateways include 2Checkout, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal Express, and Stripe Checkout.
Works with Easy Digital Downloads – If you are running Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products, then Restrict Content Pro is the perfect companion for that.
Excellent Support – Free documentation and professional support by email with very fast response times.
Fewer Integrations – It has fewer integrations with third party services such as email service providers than some other plugins on this list.
5. S2Member: Popular free WordPress membership plugin with pro version available as well. It has been around for quite a while and has a devoted userbase.
Free Base Plugin – The s2Member base plugin is free. Anyone can download and give it a try. It is limited in terms of features and support but gives you a good starting point.
Content Dripping – S2Member Pro comes with content drip feature.
Payment Gateways – Supports PayPal.
Documentation & Support – S2Member has an extensive KW available to all.
Not very user-friendly – We found s2Member to be a little more difficult to use than other membership plugins.
Free Version Limitations – Free version only supports PayPal, limits to only 4 membership levels, and does not have drip content feature.
We hope this helped you find the best WordPress membership plugin for your site.