If your WordPress site has a lot of traffic and you are looking to monetize the traffic by offering on-demand services, you need a reliable membership plugin. Now, there’s a bunch of membership plugins out there and even though each plugin has its own focus, philosophy and strengths, you’ll need to choose one based on your membership site goals and also specific customization needs. Here’s a list of the top 10 WordPress membership plugins with their unique selling points:
s2Member is an extremely powerful and versatile WordPress membership plugin. Best of all – it’s completely free! Unlike most of the free WordPress plugins out there, s2Member isn’t a “use at your own risk ” plugin – it is constantly evolving and has an excellent user rating on WordPress.org. It also has superb member management abilities and it adds new columns on its own to the WordPress users table that defined the registration date, number of plug-ins and also custom capabilities of each member. The access rights are dependent on the native WordPress roles. S2Member supports PayPal, Google checkout, Alipay, CC bill, authorize.net and also Click Bank.
The s2Member Pro – an extension module of the s2Member plugin, built on the same platform offers greater flexibility (of course for a small price), but most membership site owners prefer to stick to the free s2Member version because unless it’s a huge membership site, you don’t need the bells and whistles offered by the premium version.
2. WishList Member
Unlike S2Member, WishList Member is not free. The unlimited WishList Member license costs $97. This may sound like a lot but rest assured that this plugin is totally worth its salt. This premium membership WordPress plugin offers everything a membership site owner could ever ask for – the documentation is superb, the support staff is always willing to help you out, the user interface is intuitive and allows everything from accepting payment from almost all the top payment gateways to cancellation and refund requests just at the click of a button. The best part about WishList Member is its highly evolved user interface that offers a lot of flexibility and ease in using the advanced features that it offers.
3. Digital Access Pass
This membership plugin is comparatively pricier – $167, but the price is totally justified because of the huge array of features. It can easily handle different payment scenarios, support various types of registration flow and has a strong integration with almost all the payment gateways that you’ve ever heard of. The emphasis however is on content drip feeding, affiliate management, e-mail management and much more.
The major difference between this plug-in and the other ones is this one is actually a standalone script that is capable of functioning even without WordPress. Of course it does integrate into WordPress seamlessly, but because of its independent functioning capabilities, it could be a bit difficult for WordPress developers to work on extending its functionality.
EMember isn’t pricey, doesn’t offer too many bells and whistles and it doesn’t allow a lot of customization. But, this one is capable of achieving amazing feats. EMember is a unique combination of affordability, simplicity and power. The support department is very friendly and prompt and you wouldn’t mind paying $49.95 for this amazing plugin. Some of the few features offered include drip feed content, teaser content, e-mail management, affiliate management, protecting the RSS feeds, domain level lock down and e-store integration.
5. Magic Members
Magic Members is a well-rounded WordPress membership plugin and is definitely considered as one of the heavyweights by developers and users alike. It really gives its pricey counterparts a tough competition because this membership plugin is capable of doing just about everything that the more popular ones can do. The only drawback of using Magic Members is it doesn’t offer superb support for WordPress Multisite, bbPress forum and BuddyPress. The support staff is very friendly and they really care about the reputation of the plugin and priced at $97, this one deserves to be the heavyweight that it is.
6. Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memberships Pro is an excellent membership plugin and unlike the ones mentioned earlier, this one comes for a monthly membership fee of $10 (if you care about support and documentation). If support and documentation is not something you want to pay for, this one is available for free download on WordPress.org. It is an exceptional plugin, but it only covers specific use cases – if one of them fits your needs, you can definitely do a lot with this plugin. However, unlike its pricey counterparts, it doesn’t offer easy customization.
7. WPMU DEV Membership
This one offers a lot of content protection options and if you want to test the waters, it is available for free download on WordPress.org. The emphasis however is on Multisite protection and BuddyPress. The full version is available for $39 and it is not something newbies would want to use because it does not include documentation.
MemberWing is different from the other plugins on this list because it is has a huge array of features for the protection of your downloadable content. Traceable signatures and other complex tricks are used for protection of your downloadable content. Of course it offers drip feed content (it’s called Time Sensitive Information Delivery) and increases accessibility to a content as it gets older. It will first lock an article (available only to paid members) and then gradually the lock would be removed as the content gets older. Priced at $199.95, this one is better suited for large download websites.
9. Your Members
The membership features offered by Your Members are pretty similar to other paid membership plug-ins, but where it actually stands out is in its capability to accept Facebook credits as payment. This one is priced at $95, but the documentation is not always adequate and all the features are not completely tested and developed.
This one is the cheapest of all and as you would expect from a membership plugin priced at only $29.99, offers a relatively small number of features. There is only so much you can do with this plugin. However, even though it has limited features, it is robust and is an ideal choice for small WordPress membership sites.
That’s a huge list of WordPress membership plugins. You can take your pick based on your membership website goals and of course budget.
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