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How WordPress Membership Plugins Work | 5 Top Samples

At its most basic, through WordPress membership plugins web owners can now provide a way to track members and provide private content to them. They are inbuilt add-ons, especially, to manage the private member areas for premium content.

As an example, once you have connected Jetpack to WordPress, you’ll need to visit the Appearance » Widgets. Whereby, you’ll drag and drop the blog subscriptions (Jetpack) widget to a sidebar. And then click on the save button to store your widget settings.

You can also enable the subscription option below your site comments form. Only allowed members can access your website premium service solutions, help, and support, blog articles, products, etc. And most important, the key feature of the WordPress membership plugins is the ability to put some if not all of your website content in a restricted area.

How is Creating a Membership Site important?

First of all, a membership site helps you create a highly engaging email list. You can create a content library and make it accessible only to your registered users. Also, you can add these users to your email list as well. This way you can collect the email addresses of hyperactive users.

Secondly, they allow you to demonstrate authority in your specific niche. By creating a site that provides great content behind your paywall. It also helps you foster a good relationship with your members. And even lay a foundation for a loyal customer base.

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Again, you’ll earn a recurring income. Eventually, you’ll persuade users to pay for the subscription while generating recurring income. But, although there are plenty number of WordPress membership plugins out there, not all of them have key webmaster features.

And as specifically as I will elaborate later on, some miss features that you may need for creating a good membership site. Some of them are good for selling subscriptions on a single level.

While others offer more diverse membership levels and subscription management features.

What do I Look for in WordPress Membership Plugins?

Of course, if you don’t want to hire a developer to set up your membership site, then you’ll need a plugin that is easy to use.

However, some plugins come with a complete set of features out of the box. While this might sound good at first, the downside is that the user interface will be bloated with too many options that you’ll never need.

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But, there are a lot of lightweight plugins out there that won’t bloat your interface by providing only the important features out of the box. If you want additional features, you can easily install the respective add-ons.

In simple terms, choosing the right WordPress membership plugin can be a daunting task. So, before you dive in, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Particularly, when choosing the right WordPress membership plugins for your site like;

1. Plugin Design Features

Before you install the membership plugin on your production site, make sure the plugin is compatible with your existing WordPress theme and plugins by testing it on a local WordPress install. If everything goes smoothly, then you can install the plugin on the production site.

Membership plugins often come with a lot of pricing page templates and other features to make your site look unique. Take a note of the important features you’ll need on your site and figure out if the membership plugin you’re considering can meet your needs.

2. Easy Setup Access 

The plugin you choose must make it simple to set up a membership website with WordPress. As well as to automatically set up pricing, login, account, and thank you pages for your users. At the same time, adding membership plans should also be very straightforward.

The plugins must come with powerful access control too. Allowing you to restrict access to any content including posts, pages, categories, tags, files, etc. While also providing you quite an easy way to set up and add content to your site content much simpler.

3. Site Content Dripping

Apart from the above two key features, they also should easily allow content dripping. With advanced tools to easily organize your membership content into levels, groups, etc.

With powerful drip content feature allowing you to roll out content to users at regular intervals or upon completion of levels. In short, the content dripping feature allows you to show restricted content to members after a certain time. This is a very useful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.

4. WordPress Integrations

With these plugins, you should be able to integrate with other WP Addons like AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Madmimi email services. Also, they should allow you to integrate with Amazon Web Services and BluBrry for podcast hosting, etc.

Through built-in community features, they must also come with tools to create highly engaging membership sites. For instance, with options for quizzes, user badges, course-specific forums, certificates, user profiles, etc.

5. Payment Gateways

Some plugins come with built-in support for PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. Not to mention, allowing your web developer to plan well as well as add support among others.

As such, you can even connect these plugins to other related addons like MemberPress, WooCommerce, bbPress, Slack, etc. Good plugins also work well with Easy Digital Downloads.

As an example, if you are running Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products, then Restrict Content Pro is the perfect companion for that. The team behind this has a proven track record for producing excellent products.

Which are the Best WordPress Membership Plugins?

As I mentioned, creating a membership site allows you to limit access to your site downloads. As well as online content, forums, and support to your registered users only.  Some plugins offer drip content features that allow you to slowly release new content to a user.

While others are restricted to only offering hidden content. You’ll also need to figure out which payment gateways you will use. Do you want to accept credit cards only, PayPal, or both? Your membership plugin should have support for your preferred payment gateways either built-in or through an addon.

Membership websites 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 the best WordPress hosting that you can afford. If you’re on a budget, then you can start with Bluehost.

Related TopicHow to Pick the Right Domain Name 

The Bluehost Business Pro plan comes with an SSL Certificate which you need to securely collect payments, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line. But, if budget is not an issue, and you want the best performance, then I recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine.

However, if you don’t already have one, then you will need to choose a domain name for your website. And lastly, you will need to choose essential business plugins. Such as OptinMonster which helps you capture leads and boost subscriptions.

So to speak, before we open up a nutshell of implementing any WordPress Membership Plugins to your site, it is important to consider various WordPress add-ons too. All those that come in handy with blog site designers, developers, managers, and even the users including;

1. MemberPress

In the first place, MemberPress is an easy-to-use WordPress Membership Plugins. Whereby, it will help you to instantly start charging your users for access to your content.

MemberPress will help you confidently create, manage, and track membership subscriptions and sell digital download products. All tiers provide the core MemberPress features, the main difference is the add-ons and integrations available.

In addition to the number of sites, the plugin can as well be licensed. However, its pricing has changed recently. And at the latest update of this post, its pricing was as follows: From their Basic Plan: $129 per year, Plus Plan: $249 per year, and Pro Plan: $349 per year.

2. bbPress

Secondly, bbPress is a free, open-source forum software built on top of WordPress. It can be installed as a WordPress plugin into a WordPress-powered website. Because it is a plugin, bbPress offers an easy way to add a forum to a WordPress website. It works with most standard-compliant WordPress themes.

Unlike older forum software, it is not clunky and doesn’t take up a lot of resources. This means it is easier to add a forum to your WordPress site and still keep the simplicity and extensibility of WordPress. It has the ability to create multisite forums, it has customizable templates, and built-in support for preventing spam.

3. BuddyPress

Equally, BuddyPress is an open-source social networking software package owned by Automattic since 2008. Further, it is a plugin that can be installed on WordPress to transform it into a social network platform.

As mentioned herein, bbPress is forum-oriented add-on software, while BuddyPress is a social networking plugin. While this sounds like something you need, bbPress is the plugin for you. However, if your requirement, is to have a platform, then BuddyPress is the plugin you need. For instance, where users can create groups and also exchange messages.

4. LearnDash

LearnDash was built for creating and selling online courses on your WordPress sites. It enables you to offer a robust learning experience. Especially to your members and supports the latest gamification, social learning, and micro-content trends.

Selling courses has never been easier thanks to LearnDash. They’ll offer you a few different ways to sell your online courses. Such as membership options to provide traditional access to all of your online courses.

They also have a one-time price to implement a shopping cart where visitors can buy individual courses. As well as subscription options to earn recurring payments through subscription-based selling.

5. Teachable

Teachable is an all-in-one platform for creating and publishing beautiful online courses. It’s a standalone platform, so you can integrate your online courses into your existing website or host them on the Teachable subdomain.

Teachable comes with a powerful editor that enables you to create and launch a stunning sales page to convert your visitors into paying users. In that case, there are a few features that set Teachable apart from its competitors.

Such as the learning tools to easily create quizzes and discussion forums on your Teachable site. You can also issue certificates of completion to reward your students. While through their integration options, you can import your content from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Onedrive.

Not forgetting, you can connect your website with any online tools that support Zapier. While their marketing tools allow you to improve your sales. Whereas, you can create coupon codes, affiliate programs, advanced pricing options, and much more.


In general, through my comparison, I’ve found that MemberPress is among the best WordPress membership plugins. That you can have on your WordPress site. Now that it’s the most comprehensive membership plugin for WordPress.

Additionally, if you want to sell courses on your membership website, that’s why I recommend using LearnDash. And as I mentioned, it comes with powerful features to create and sell courses online.

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Alternatively, if you want a plugin that focuses on retaining members by providing a robust learning experience, quizzes, and certification, then the jmexclusives team could be the right choice for you.

You can Contact Us for more help and support details. And above all, for more WordPress Add-ons, you can search for more through the Envato Marketplace main site directory.

See Also: The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Name For Your Baby

And now that you know where to start, I hope the above guide will help you find the best WordPress membership plugins for your website user needs. If you’re looking to create a learning management system, check out the best WordPress LMS plugins.

Finally, please don’t forget to Donatein order to support our blog articles, online research work, services, solutions, etc. As well as any other ongoing projects on jmexclusives to keep us moving with your speed.

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