WordPress Membership Plugin Review

We’re planning on doing a series of four to five shows back to back. These will cover what you need to know when selecting the right WordPress membership plugin for your new membership website.

Here’s our full article on all seven membership plugins!

There must be over 25 WordPress membership plugins available at the present moment. So how do you choose the right one for a particular project? Here are nine key points that you must make a judgment call on, plus some additional points to consider, depending on your specific project.

At the end of this post I will give some advice on what I think are the best membership plugins for different scenarios, and I will choose a couple that I feel are overall winners.

Ten key questions to help you choose the right plugin for your project

1. How easy is the plugin to use on a day-to-day basis?
2. How good are the support and training materials?
3. How easy is it to learn and use?
4. How is its payment gateway diversity?
5. Does it have good e-commerce support?
6. Does it allow sequential delivery/drip content?
7. Does it provide multiple/concurrent accounts (e.g. for an office with 3 to 20 users)?
8. What are its options for upselling and down-selling?
9. Does it allow for prorating charges?

I will give much more information on these 10 key points in the first of a series of four podcasts we doing on WP-Tonic, discussing WordPress and membership plugins in 2015.

Here a list of some of the things your plugin might NOT do!
1. Create a directory of members.
2. Create a special page for each user.
3. Offer an import feature for your 2MM members.
4. Integrate with your payment gateway.
5. Support pro-rating or pausing of a membership.
6. Provide event management.
7. Support a downloads area.

Also the end of this post I will give some advice on what I think are the best membership plugins for different scenarios and I will choose a couple of from the our list of seven that I feel are overall winners.

Paid Membership Pro:

This membership plugin has a limited number of payment gateways that it works with. However, it has a number of free and paid micro-plugins that somewhat extend the functionality of the product and gateways. Despite some limited gateway options compared to others on his list, if you are looking for a rock solid solution with great support and a large user community, you can’t really go wrong with this plugin.

By the way – if you are a bit of coder, Paid Membership Pro offers a large list of hooks and filters that allow you to do some amazing stuff.

I’ve used this plugin on a number on personal and client projects, and found it to be flexible and powerful. On the free plugin, the documentation is limited; but the company does its best to provide support on WordPress.org plugin forums. In truth, if you are using this on a semi-basic membership website, you really shouldn’t need that much support: the setup and key functionality are comparatively easy to use.

Prices Free but support is $97 per year.


Restrict Content Pro:

Has a limited number of gateway integration options for the standard plugin. However, you can buy a number of micro-plugin extensions that increase the gateway choices. This is a similar situation as with Paid Membership Pro: even with these micro-plugins, the number of gateway providers is still limited compared to some of the other plugins in this review. Micro-plugins come with a yearly subscription.

Restrict Content Pro comes from one of the most respected WordPress coding shops, and from a really respected chief developer, Pippin Williams, who has published over 100 WordPress plugins.

Personally, I’ve used this plugin on a couple of client websites and it’s been rock solid. It’s a really well coded plugin that has some excellent extensive documentation.

Prices: Single $42, 2 to 5 site $86, unlimited $132.



This plugin has limited gateway integration with the standard version. The developer version has more choices, but compared to some of the membership plugins on this list the choices it is still slightly limiting.

That said, this is a very powerful and flexible plugin with an excellent, stylish and easy to use interface. It has great coupon functionality, and reporting that’s built into the core of the plugin.

I personally have never used this plugin myself on client projects, but it looks like an excellent plugin with a number of powerful key features that some of the other plugins don’t offer—as an example, it has an built-in affiliate program.

Prices: Business Edition $99 or Developer pack at $199 per year.


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