11 Best WordPress Membership Plugins for 2021 (Free + Paid)

Best WordPress Membership Plugins

If you’re looking for the best WordPress membership plugins for your website, then your search ends here. 

If you’re a website owner with valuable content on your site, then you may have probably heard a suggestion or two about membership websites. And also, how it’s simple to create membership sites with WordPress plugins.

Thus, we’ll start with a short overview of what a membership site is, just in case you know very little about it. 

Then, we’ll explore 11 different plugins that’ll enable you to create a membership site in WordPress easily. So, make sure you read till the end.

What is a Membership Website? Why Create One?

A membership site is a website that offers gated digital content like research papers, e-books, online courses, and webinars via a free or paid subscription/ membership model.

In simple words, the website’s main content is hidden behind walls, and a user has to become a member to unlock the main content. 

For example, Copyblogger Pro is a popular community providing online content marketing training. You need to subscribe either monthly or yearly to get access to said training.

Now, you might be wondering whether you should create a membership site at all. If so, here are a few benefits of making one that might change your mind:

  • Sustainable Monetization: Monetizing your site’s content through paid subscriptions provides a steady source of income, especially if you use a monthly or annual fee model.
  • Build a community: With a membership site, you’ll be building a community of loyal members who have similar interests, start essential discussions, and share feedback. 
  • Establish authority: If the exclusive content you provide has genuine value, it increases your site’s credibility and establishes authority in your area of expertise. 

The bottom line is that you should consider creating a membership site if you have insightful content to offer. And the best tools to help you achieve that are WordPress membership plugins.


What features should you check out in a Membership Plugin?

There are plenty of choices when it comes to WordPress membership plugins. However, getting the right plugin is what matters. So, here are some vital features you should be looking for in membership plugins:

  • Multiple Membership Levels: If you plan to sell several subscriptions, prioritize plugins that offer multiple membership levels. This way, you can offer varying content to users based on what they pay.
  • eCommerce Support: For those planning to sell digital products like e-books or physical products, eCommerce support is a must.
  • Payment Gateways: Choose plugins with access to a convenient payment gateway like PayPal for online transactions if you’re offering paid memberships on your site.
  • Content Dripping: Content dripping is when you divide the content and create a schedule so that users get the full content slowly over time. So, look for plugins with this feature to retain members and for recurring income.

Having said that, let’s finally move on to our list of the 11 best WordPress membership plugins we’ve curated for you.


11 Best WordPress Membership Plugins for Premium Content Creators

1. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress is a name you’re bound to hear in a discussion about WordPress membership plugins. It’s no surprise considering its powerful membership features like content dripping and easy subscription management.

Likewise, you can restrict access to specific pages, posts, categories, tags, and more based on membership plans. 

However, the highlight of this plugin has to be its Courses add-on. It enables you to quickly build online courses that members can access after enrolling. So, you can enjoy the features of both membership and LMS (Learning Management System) in MemberPress.

Key Features:

  • Simple payment gateways integration
  • Unlimited and customizable coupon codes
  • Compatible with forum plugins like bbPress
  • MemberPress reports on revenue, popular products, etc.
  • Connect your membership site to other services with Zapier

Price: $279/year for a single site license


2. ARMember

ARMember WordPress Membership Plugin

ARMember is a robust WordPress membership plugin that offers impressive features along with many free and paid add-ons. Using these add-ons, you can build a membership website that collects recurring payments from your members rather than just depending on a passive income source.

And it’s just as easy to retain members with scheduled content for a long period of time using its drip content feature.

Best of all, ARMember allows you to build your dream membership website without even worrying about the coding stuff. This means, even if you have zero knowledge of coding, ARMember has all the set of features that’s accessible to any non-tech savvy person.

Key Features:

  • Content Restriction for different membership plans
  • Let users delete their membership accounts
  • Built-in support for prominent payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net
  • Send custom automated “Email Notifications” to the admins and users
  • Pay Per Post feature to sell a page, post, or custom post type separately

Price: Free or $49 for lifetime purchase (With 6 months free support)


3. Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro

If you want to offer multiple membership levels to your users, try Paid Memberships Pro. You’ll find that this plugin has plenty of pricing options like one-time payments, trials, recurring payments, and discount codes. And this flexibility in subscriptions can be a selling point for your membership site.

Furthermore, the front-end login, registration, password recovery, and profile editing add to the pleasant user experience. But contrary to what its name suggests, you get most of these features in the free version! 

Key Features:

  • Restriction on members-only content
  • Payment options include popular gateways like Stripe and PayPal
  • View reports on sale, revenue, and more
  • Keep track of users and orders
  • Comes with 15 WordPress blocks

Price: Free or $279/year (With support and updates for 1-5 sites)


4. Ultimate Membership Pro

Ultimate Membership Pro Best WordPress Plugin

Ultimate Membership Pro is one of the best WordPress plugins you can use to create a membership website with free or paid subscriptions. Along with multi-level membership, it also introduces a multi-subscriptions system to your users. This means that a member can subscribe to multiple membership plans if needed. 

Moreover, member management is rather easy from the admin dashboard. You can track user activity; their membership plans and generates reports. Aside from that, it’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant to ensure your members’ personal data safety. 

Key Features:

  • Social login for members
  • Add custom fields to registration and profile forms
  • Printable membership cards for premium users
  • Prevent account sharing among users
  • Integration with 9 email marketing platforms

Price: $49 for lifetime purchase (With 6 months free support)


5. Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro WordPress Membership Plugins

Another top contender among popular membership plugins is Restrict Content Pro. First of all, it helps you create a subscription system where users only pay the difference while upgrading or downgrading to another membership plan. 

Second, the admins can moderate every incoming member registration. Only approved members will be able to access the premium content on your site. There are plenty more such interesting features to explore with this plugin that you can test for yourself with the free demo.

Key Features:

  • Separate customer dashboard
  • Create unlimited membership levels
  • Export member data as CSV file
  • Restrict access to your WooCommerce products
  • Send automated emails to site members

Price: $129/year for a Personal plan


6. WooCommerce Memberships

WooCommerce Memberships

Already have a WooCommerce store where you want to lock products behind memberships? Then, WooCommerce Memberships is for you. This plugin will help you create a membership system to restrict access to content and products on your store to non-members.

On top of that, you can offer certain perks to members to entice them into buying a membership plan. Such as free shipping for members only, exclusive products, and special discounts. On the other hand, members can view what content they have access to and what perks they receive with their membership from their own accounts. 

Key Features:

  • Include membership with product purchase
  • Manual membership assignment for invited users only
  • Set content dripping rules
  • Import and export members in CSV files
  • Send reminder emails to members

Price: $199/year (With 1-year of support and extension updates)


7. MemberMouse

MemberMouse

If you’re looking for a WordPress membership plugin packed with features, MemberMouse is the best choice. It provides you much-needed flexibility in protecting content, managing members, and analyzing reports. Yet, the plugin is still fairly easy to use despite the abundance of functionalities. 

Most importantly, you can create a membership site offering several payment plans like recurring payments, one-time purchases, and trials. It’s also possible to integrate an affiliate system to your membership site thanks to MemberMouse’s affiliate support.

Key Features:

  • One-click upsells during checkout
  • Prorated upgrades
  • Issue refunds to users
  • Limit the number of login attempts
  • Social login available

Price: $39/month for Builder plan


8. s2Member

s2Member WordPress Membership Plugins

s2Member is a WordPress membership plugin with an advanced set of features built to take membership websites to a whole new level. For instance, it enables the admin to limit the number of unique file downloads during a specific time period. You can also prevent users from downloading video and audio streams.

Additionally, this membership plugin comes with multisite network support, which lets you run more than one website under a single WordPress installation and database. However, you’ll need to purchase the unlimited sites license to benefit from this feature.

Key Features:

Price: Free or $89/year for a single site license


9. WP-Members

WP-Members WordPress Membership Plugins

If you’re looking for a free and easy-to-use plugin that does the job, WP-members should be your go-to option. Basically, it blocks all the content on your website by default. So, you need to unblock select posts or pages that you want your users to access. 

Moreover, you can integrate PayPal to collect subscription fees from members. It also supports WooCommerce to help you sell membership through products in your online store. However, these features are only available as premium extensions. 

Key Features:

  • Limit menu items to users
  • Enable Captcha for registration forms
  • Send test emails to your email address
  • Enable admin approval for new registrations
  • Front-end login, registration, and user profile

Price: Free


10. Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member is a plugin that focuses on user registration, login, and user roles rather than multi-level memberships. So, you can restrict pages, posts, and menus based on whether a user is logged out or logged in. 

Better yet, it’s the perfect plugin for creating a vibrant online community of members on your site. These members can send friend requests, follow each other, send direct messages, and view public posts. But note that this can only be done using the premium extensions and not the free core plugin.

Key Features:

  • Drag and drop form builder
  • Customizable email templates
  • Multisite network support
  • Members directory available
  • User account with beautiful design

Price: Free or $249/year for premium extensions


11. Paid Member Subscriptions

Paid Member Subscriptions

Last but not least is the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin, which lets you create any number of subscription plans for your WordPress site. This plugin then displays content based on a user’s subscription plan or logged-in status. 

Since it’s compatible with WooCommerce, you can sell products exclusively to members and offer discounts. Moreover, you can integrate bbPress into your site and restrict access to forums and topics to non-members.

Key Features:

  • Accept payments with PayPal 
  • Users can renew, cancel, upgrade their subscription
  • Prevent sharing of a single member account
  • Collect tax and EU VAT based on member location
  • Content restriction for Elementor widgets and sections

Price: €69/year for a single site license (With 1 year free updates and support)


Wrapping Up

To summarize, if you have a website full of rich content, then locking it behind free or paid membership plans is a good idea. 

That’s why we’ve listed some of the best WordPress plugins you can use to create multiple levels of membership. This restricts access to posts and pages based on the subscription a member has.

Similarly, you can protect your online store behind a membership as well. If you don’t already have one, there are numerous eCommerce platforms and plugins to get you started in no time.

We hope this article was helpful. For more WordPress-related articles, feel free to visit our blog

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in the post may be affiliate links. So if you purchase anything using the link, we will earn affiliate commission.
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ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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