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Best Membership Plugins for WordPress Compared

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

A quality membership plugin for WordPress can help you to refine your site’s performance and monetize your site, but that plugin needs to be the right fit for your site to be effective. To choose the best plugins, we used certain criteria and carefully reviewed the most popular plugins and their overall performance. Our top choice, MemberPress, is the best for most because of its versatility and the precise control that it gives you. We’ve also included four additional plugin options that are ideal for different situations. 

The Best WordPress Membership Plugins for Most 

MemberPress logo

MemberPress

Best Membership Plugins for Most

MemberPress is more than a plugin, it’s an all-in-one membership platform that blends rich functionality with flexible customizations. It also integrates with most third-party payment apps at no extra cost, and has some of the best user support on the market.

MemberPress allows you to control digital download sales and membership access to your site, but it goes beyond that. This plugin allows you to decide which users can access nearly every element of your site, so you can protect forums, blog posts, videos, and more, driving your revenue earnings. 

This easy-to-use plugin is intuitive and accessible to the average website owner who might not be a site developer. It works with any WordPress theme and the subscription plans include integrations, so you don’t have to worry about expensive add-ons. Whether you’re looking to build and sell courses or want to create password-protected forums, this versatile plugin is an ideal choice for most site owners. 

The Best Membership Plugins for WordPress Options to Consider 

  1. MemberPress – Best for Most 
  2. Paid Memberships Pro – Best for Businesses on a Budget
  3. MemberMouse – Best for Users With Limited Tech Skills
  4. LearnDash – Best for User Engagement
  5. WooCommerce Memberships – Best for Adding Memberships To A Product-Based Online Store

When It Makes Sense to Invest Into a Membership Plugin for WordPress

A membership plugin is a wise investment when you’re ready to monetize a blog, sell courses, or otherwise restrict portions of your WordPress site and require visitors to pay to access them. This might be a decision you make at the very launch of your site, or you might choose to build up an audience over years before transitioning to offering paid subscription content. 

A membership plugin could be worth the investment if you have a large blog with a significant following and you want to bring in additional revenue by offering paid members access to premium content. 

A business might offer a membership subscription to drive interest in premium products. By offering certain products only to paid members, a business can create enhanced excitement and desire around those specialty products. 

Membership plugins are essential to businesses that specialize in selling education courses. By charging money to access these courses, a business can cover the substantial cost of the course creation and bring in profits. 

When deciding to invest in a membership plugin, you’ll want to make sure that the potential revenue you could bring in through your memberships will justify the plugin’s expense and your investment in the items that you’re offering to members only. If you’re creating a brand-new membership site, then you may need to budget for significant marketing to bring in leads and generate those memberships and sales. 

#1 – MemberPress — The Best for Most 

MemberPress logo

MemberPress

Best Membership Plugins for Most

MemberPress is more than a plugin, it’s an all-in-one membership platform that blends rich functionality with flexible customizations. It also integrates with most third-party payment apps at no extra cost, and has some of the best user support on the market.

Described as the “all-in-one” membership plugin for WordPress, MemberPress is a highly versatile option that offers the functionality that most businesses need. 

This plugin can help you manage membership subscriptions to your site and sell digital downloads. You can also use MemberPress to control which members have access to different elements and areas of your site, including: 

  • Pages
  • Posts
  • Videos
  • Tags
  • Feeds
  • Communities
  • Digital files

You can filter and adjust this access based on each user’s membership level, giving you precise control over how your site functions and allowing you to leverage your content for profits. 

Even more importantly, MemberPress is easy to use, so it’s a practical choice for website owners who don’t have a tech or coding background. Customers with a support license can submit a support ticket online and will receive a response within one to two business days. MemberPress also offers a knowledge base full of detailed information, and you can also opt to hire a MemberPress expert designer. 

MemberPress integrates with some of the most popular third-party apps, including PayPal, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Stripe, allowing this plugin to make a seamless addition to your existing site’s setup. These integrations are included, so there’s no need to worry about paying extra for the integrations that you need. 

MemberPress plans range from $179 to $449 per year. The Basic plan can be used on one site and supports unlimited members and unlimited courses, so it’s a great choice for most smaller businesses. Upgrading to the Plus or Pro plans will let you use the plugin across multiple sites, and you’ll have access to perks like premium support and additional integrations. 

All subscriptions are backed by a 14-day no-risk money-back guarantee, so you can confidently try out this plugin and make sure that it’s right for your business. 

Paid Membership Pro logo

Paid Membership Pro

Best Membership Plugins for Businesses on a Budget

Businesses who need the most power and versatility for the lowest cost will love Paid Memberships Pro. This plugin’s free plan has all the helpful features and functions to get a membership site started, plus 19 free add-ons and six major payment gateways.

Paid Memberships Pro proves that a plugin doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. In fact, this plugin’s free plan offers plenty of functionality that can help smaller or new businesses get started with no investment required.

This versatile app gives you control over your site’s accessibility. You can customize access for pages and posts based on a user’s membership level. You can also use this plugin to process recurring subscriptions, offer discount codes, and access customizable reports and member dashboards to review and improve your site’s profitability. 

This plugin is unique because of how much the free version includes. You’ll receive the plugin download, a video to walk you through the installation process, and 19 free add-ons. The plugin works with six payment gateways, including Stripe and PayPal. This gives you more than enough capacity to start implementing paid memberships and permissions on your site. 

Upgrading to the Plus or Unlimited plans (for at $267 and $537 per year, respectively) will get you 65 additional premium add-ons, unlimited support tickets, and plugin updates.

The free plan offers excellent value, making this plugin a great choice for a new or growing business looking to get a membership option up and running. 

#3 – MemberMouse — The Best for Users with Limited Tech Skills

MemberMouse logo

MemberMouse

Best Membership Plugins for Users with Limited Tech Skills

If the idea of installing a plugin gives you anxiety, MemberMouse is the one for you. It’s the most user-friendly on our list, takes only a few minutes to set up, and has a rich library of resources to help users get started headache-free. Plus it starts at only $29 per month!

Implementing a membership plugin when you have a limited tech background can be a bit overwhelming, but MemberMouse is one of the most user-friendly plugins you’ll find. Installing the plugin takes just minutes, and the robust getting started resources will guide you through the process of setting up your site. 

You can use this plugin to both sell products and protect content. It gives you all the options you need to maximize sales, including the ability to offer free and paid trials, one-click upsells, members-only pricing, and both free and paid memberships. 

You can also protect content with protected members’ areas, protected posts and pages, and the ability to auto-lock shared accounts. These features provide flexibility so you can customize your site’s performance to meet your performance and revenue goals. 

MemberMouse offers three plans. The Builder plan starts at $29 per month and will get you core features, while stepping up to the Advanced plan for $79 per month includes full analytics and reporting, priority email support, and social signups and login options. The Premium plan costs $199 per month and includes both phone and email support. The Builder plan is suitable for most businesses, and it offers great value. 

MemberMouse offers a 14-day free trial. 

#4 – LearnDash — The Best for User Engagement

LearnDash logo

LearnDash

Best Membership Plugins for User Engagement

If you sell courses, LearnDash is a fantastic choice. It includes a drag-and-drop course builder, multiple payment options, and a huge range of engagement options for course takers, from quizzes to awards to certificates.

LearnDash helps you to develop and sell courses. This learning management system goes beyond your typical membership site plugin, and it gives you valuable tools that can help you to leverage your content for increased profits. 

LearnDash comes complete with a course builder, and its drag-and-drop design is easy to use. You can create branded content and structure courses so users get access to the next module only after completing the previous one, creating structured guidance for optimal learning. 

Online learning can easily get dull, which is why this plugin includes tools to make it more engaging. You can create membership quizzes, forums for each course, award certificates upon course completion, issue user badges, and more. This makes for a more engaging learning environment and can encourage users to continually enroll in future courses. 

Additional features like the ability to implement automatic renewal reminders and to choose the pricing model that works best for you can help to drive sales. LearnDash pairs with PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout for easy payment processing. 

LearnDash offers three subscription packages, with the main difference being the number of sites you can use the plugin with. The Basic package costs $159 per year and includes usage for one site. The Plus package costs $189 for 10 site licenses, while the Pro package costs $329 for up to 25 site licenses. 

Keep in mind that the plugin also includes a course builder, making it a great value for any business that wants to focus on selling courses. Most businesses will do just fine with the Basic plan, though you can step up to the Plus package for a nominal price increase. LearnDash offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

#5 – WooCommerce Memberships — The Best for Adding Memberships To A Product-Based Online Store

WooCommerce Memberships logo

WooCommerce Memberships

Best Membership Plugins for Adding Memberships To A Product-Based Online Store

Already have a WooCommerce store and want to add membership content? WooCommerce Memberships lets you sell digital products, content access, and membership enrollment as products in your store without building anything new. And it’s only $199 per year.

With WooCommerce Memberships, you can not only enhance a WooCommerce store, but you can also turn any WordPress site into a membership site. 

This plugin also lets you leverage your existing store in different ways. You can limit product viewing and purchasing to members, encouraging site visitors to become members so they can gain access to these products. You can also offer shipping discounts or special discounts to members as incentives for users to enroll or renew their memberships.

WooCommerce Memberships also functions as a membership enrollment and management platform, which is useful if you want to sell content access instead of physical products. You can sell a stand-alone membership and then give users access to a members-only area of your site. You can also drip content, scheduling when it’s released to members.

This plugin easily integrates with your existing content or products, so whether you have a WooCommerce store or a content-based business, the plugin can help you to customize your site’s performance. 

This plugin is priced at $199.00 per year, and that pricing is straightforward – there are no upgrades or enhancement purchases to worry about. WooCommerce Memberships offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and each subscription includes one year of updates and support. 

Methodology for Choosing the Best Membership Plugins for WordPress

There are many membership plugins for WordPress to choose from, and it’s important to select the plugin that’s right for you and your website. 

To narrow down your choices, you’ll want to think about certain criteria that the ideal plugin needs to meet. We’ve used the following criteria in choosing the best membership plugins for WordPress. 

WordPress Theme Compatibility

A WordPress plugin is only useful if it’s fully compatible with the theme and plugins that you’re already using on your site. Many plugins are designed for maximum compatibility, but it’s always important to verify that the plugin will work with your site. 

Free trials are one way to accomplish this. Some plugins do offer 7- or 14-day trials so you can test the plugin’s functionality. You may also be able to find documentation verifying that the plugin works with your site’s theme and plugins. 

Ease of Use

If you aren’t a website developer, you can still use many of these plugins. We’ve highlighted plugins that are user-friendly and that don’t require a coding background. 

When choosing the plugin that’s right for you, consider your level of familiarity with coding and site development, and look for a plugin that’s appropriate for your skill level. Some plugins feature videos and guidance that detail the installation and startup process. Many have highly detailed guides available to help you through this process. 

You’ll also want to consider how the plugin’s editor works. A drag-and-drop editor tends to be a user-friendly option, and this type of editor can let you easily make changes and control your site, even without strong tech skills. 

Availability of Support

If you run into trouble, you’ll want to be able to access support for a plugin. Consider how much support is available, and how that support is delivered. 

Some plugins limit their support to online tickets and email correspondence. This can add time to the support process, and that’s not ideal if you’re in the middle of a launch and have run into trouble. Phone support is often best, but it’s also important to consider the support availability hours, too. 

In addition to the availability of support, you’ll want to make sure that any app you’re considering is also regularly updated. These updates can help to keep it compatible with your other plugins and themes, and can be important in keeping the plugin secure from hackers and security threats.

MemberPress logo

MemberPress

Best Membership Plugins for Most

MemberPress is more than a plugin, it’s an all-in-one membership platform that blends rich functionality with flexible customizations. It also integrates with most third-party payment apps at no extra cost, and has some of the best user support on the market.

Summary 

When choosing the right WordPress membership plugin, it’s important to consider factors like compatibility and the availability of support. There are plenty of versatile plugins that can accommodate ecommerce stores, help you to monetize courses, and more. While MemberPress is the best for most thanks to its versatility and ease of use, be sure to choose the plugin that solves your challenges and that will perform in the specific way that’s best for your site. 


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