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Do you want to earn money online using your skills? If your answer is yes, then you’re thinking right. Whether you’re a professional cook or a music teacher, these days, generating passive income by creating a membership website is one of the most reliable methods. And platforms like WordPress allow you to do that very easily.
If you’re thinking or already got WordPress for your website, then educating yourself on WordPress Membership Plugin is essential.
And for your aid, this blog post is all about that.
We’ll discuss 23 of the best membership plugins for WordPress you can use in 2022 and beyond. And the list includes both free and premium.
Yet, before further learning about the plugins, let’s first understand what they are and how they play an essential role in ensuring passive online income.
If you’re ready, then let’s get started.
What is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
A WordPress plugin for membership helps you to create a paywall for the content. Simply put, for users to access content, they need to subscribe and log in. Using this type of plugin, it is quite simple to: create email lists for consumers to receive coupons or updates. Share free information to build an audience and more.
Here are a few illustrations of the different membership sites, individuals create,
- Product or service.
- Online courses.
- Online communities.
What Does a Membership WordPress Plugin Do?
Whether a free subscription plugin or paid, they solely aim to assist you in setting up and managing your membership website. And the following points will allow you to learn more,
- Limit Who Has Access to Your Content
The primary motivation behind individuals like you searching for a WordPress plugin for membership is this. You may manage and limit who has access to your content, making it available only to those who pay for it or join up.
- Accepting Dues From Members
This section is likely the most crucial one.
You can quickly collect fees from users by setting up a WordPress membership plugin with a payment gateway. For example, PayPal and Stripe. You will have to do less administrative work as a result. You may devote more time to producing material that appeals to your new members.
- Use Drip Content to Maintain Readers
Using drip content is an excellent marketing strategy to ensure new customers gain many advantages gradually. It’s also a great way to prevent subscribers from unsubscribing. The top WordPress plugins for membership will integrate with email marketing platforms. This aids in automating the drip content release.
- Change User Profiles or Revoke User Access
Accessing the website by users who canceled or let their membership expire must occasionally be revoked. But if you manage everything manually, it will consume a significant amount of your day.
However, by using a membership plugin, you can automatically deny access if the membership has expired or been canceled.
- Offer Coupon Codes and Discount
You might be giving anything away if you give open deals on your website. Those convenient discounts can be utilized by people who have no interest in signing up as members.
It can end up costing more than you anticipated if you’re giving discounts to simply anyone.
But, thanks to WordPress membership plugins, you can have complete control over any deals or coupons you want to provide. You can decide who can use them, when they must be used, and how frequently they can be used.
Benefits of Using a WordPress Plugin for Membership Websites
The creation of a membership site that supports many elements has numerous advantages. Your online business can grow quickly with the aid of a membership plugin, taking it to new heights.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main advantages of using a membership plugin for WordPress.
A Reliable Income Source Can Be Produced
By using a membership plugin, you can easily turn your simple site into a membership website. Then, you can enjoy a more stable source of income on a recurring payment basis. Your members will pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee in exchange for access to your products or services.
Advantage of Upselling
Membership websites are particularly effective for Upselling. Members who are prepared to pay more for higher-level plans may prove to be more deserving of membership on your site. You can send them notifications or alerts to sign up for those plans to get more. If they like what they see, they’ll join. And using the plugin, it’s done easily.
Advantages of Affiliate Solutions
An affiliate program is one of the reliable ways to increase your monetary income.
You benefit from a new customer who has subscribed to your site because an affiliate receives a commission on each referral. And using the plugin, it’s pretty simple to run an affiliate program.
23 Best WordPress Membership Plugins You Can Use in 2022 and Beyond
Now you’ve learned what WordPress membership plugins are and how they benefit the users. Let’s look at the best membership/subscription plugins for WordPress.
1. Youzify: BuddyPress Community and User Profile Plugin
Youzify (formerly known as Youzer), one of the WordPress plugins for membership on this list, gives community pages and user profiles extra attention. Using this, you can ensure that users can edit their profile and community pages in a manner identical to Facebook.
It offers a responsive design and complete ad functionality. So, you may make some extra money by running advertisements on your user’s profile.
With this, you get BbPress, WooCommerce, GIPHY, and Mailster integrated by default. Thus, allowing you to make the most out of your membership website quickly.
- Live URL preview.
- Post types visibility control.
- Style and organize headers.
- Set Prohibited Words for activity and comments.
- Set cover and default group avatar.
WordPress: 5/5 star ratings based on 109 user reviews.
Codecanyon: 5/5 star ratings based on 690 user reviews.
2. Ultimate Member
Ultimate Member is another powerful WordPress plugin with many features to build a membership website. It offers conditional logic for fields to customize the registrations and login page. Thus, making the process easier for both you and your members.
Furthermore, you can integrate JobBoardWP and ForumWP. Then manage the membership system alongside forums and job board functionality. Both of these extensions make it simpler to increase your membership site’s functionality and user benefits.
- Drag-and-drop form builder.
- Member directories.
- Developer-friendly workspace.
WordPress: 4.5/5 star ratings based on 1356 user reviews.
3. Simple Membership
Simple Membership is a user-friendly, free WordPress Plugin for Membership. And it comes with all the necessary functionalities in simplicity. Even beginners without previous WordPress skills can easily create a membership site.
You can establish many subscription tiers for both free and premium membership plans.
Besides, the membership options of Simple Membership are likewise adaptable. You can charge a one-time fee or accept recurring payments. This plugin allows you to do both.
- Multiple payment channels.
- Limitless member access tiers.
- Teaser campaigns.
- Membership can also be manually approved.
- Protection of Custom Post Types.
WordPress: 4.5/5 star ratings based on 325 user reviews.
4. Restrict User Access
Another free and top-notch WordPress membership plugin with many features as a premium plugin is Restrict User Access. It offers the drip content option that allows you to distribute content regularly for new users, which makes it simpler to retain members.
Restrict User Access is ideal for selling online courses and other digital goods. Why? Because it also allows you to set membership expiration dates.
Plus, it will support the taxonomies and custom post types of any plugin or theme you have installed.
- Unlimited membership levels.
- WordPress sync for user access control.
- Restrict content with Shortcodes
- Protection for contextual content.
WordPress: 4.3/5 star ratings based on 88 user reviews.
5. Thrive Apprentice – To Build an Outstanding Online Business!
Thrive Themes is popular in the WordPress domain for developing out-of-the-box plugins and themes. Yet, they have done something more amazingly by building a WordPress plugin for membership websites that want to sell courses.
And not only courses but building outstanding online businesses.
And that plugin is Thrive Apprentice.
It’s an LMS with every feature required to create straightforward online courses. If you want to design, charge and market your courses, Thrive Apprentice is an excellent choice.
Using this, you can limit access to content other than courses. Thus, allowing you to monetize different types of content.
Thrive Apprentice is one such LMS plugin that provides design freedom to make your online course look more user-friendly and attractive. If you want to customize them, you can do that easily with the help of the visual editor. Also, many pre-built templates are included for lessons, course overviews, and module pages. So, you don’t have to spend more time, yet have a fantastic design.
Furthermore, you can change your website’s color scheme with just one click. And all it’s done due to Thrive Apprentice’s intelligent options.
- Fantastic user experience.
- Complete visual personalization.
- Course creator with drag and drop.
- Flexible guidelines for content.
- Options for flexible monetization.
- Adding resources is convenient.
- Use custom header and much more.
CUSPERA: 4.12/5 star ratings based on 454 user reviews.
G2: 4.1/5 star ratings based on 25 user reviews.
TrustRadius: 8.1/10-star ratings based on 16 user reviews.
6. WP-Members Membership Plugin
WP-Members Membership Plugin is another free plugin that offers simple yet comprehensive capabilities.
It can censor content; represent user profiles based on the installed theme, and create teaser content on its own. Website owners can create a custom registration page and approve registrations manually.
Shortcodes and API methods allow web developers to modify plugin features to meet their requirements.
- Restrict or hide: Posts, pages, or CPT.
- Allow access to logged-in users only.
- Integration of user login, registration, and profiles.
WordPress: 4.6/5 star ratings based on 240 user reviews.
Codecanyon: 4.5/5 star ratings based on 80 user reviews.
If you’re looking for another free WordPress membership plugin with many features, then you can consider ARMember. It’s a powerful and modern plugin to build membership websites on the latest trends.
It allows you to add different membership tiers. For instance, free, fixed/infinite paid plans and subscriptions with auto-recurring payment capabilities.
Use the one-click content restriction option to limit access quickly.
Plus, a page builder for creating material-style and spam-free forms. Use those forms for signups, login, profile editing, password changing, and other functions.
- Upgrade, cancel, renew, or downgrade memberships.
- Awards and badges.
- Pay-per-post option.
CodeCanyon: 4.8/5 star ratings based on 324 user reviews.
8. Membership for WooCommerce
WooCommerce, by default, doesn’t allow subscriptions. And if you go for its official plugin, then for some users, it’s quite expensive. But this free subscription plugin for WooCommerce by WP Swings simplifies everything.
It includes all the options you need to build a membership website using WooCommerce.
Membership for WooCommerce allows you to create content restrictions and recurring or one-time payment schedules. With the help of this tool, you can create a buying group. This implies that the user must register and log in before purchasing.
- Places for members that require invitations
- Content Dripping
- Provide Several Membership tiers
- Simple interaction with members
A well-liked and supported membership plugin is MemberPress. It has all the typical features you’d expect as well as a few clever gimmicks. You can block entire categories or sets of child pages. You can also be more specific and merely restrict specific sections of a post or page.
To manage downloads, you can also limit access to specific files.
To track the performance of your membership website, you can view a wide range of information.
Further, it offers a useful function called MemberPress Reminders.
It enables you to send emails responding to specific situations, such as a pending membership renewal.
- 3rd party integrations.
- Brand adaptable.
- Blended Education.
- Asynchronous Education.
Capterra: 4.8/5 star ratings based on 331 user reviews.
G2: 4.6/5 star ratings based on 219 user reviews.
Trustpilot: 4.7/5 star ratings based on 223 user reviews.
10. Paid Membership Pro
If you wish to build a feature-rich subscription website, Paid Membership Pro is a perfect plugin. You may establish an endless number of membership levels with adaptable payment periods.
Furthermore, it adds a meta box to your posts and pages to enable content restriction individually. Or you can decide to exclude entire categories.
The plugin also offers many integrations with payment gateways and email marketing services.
- Login and user registration frontend.
- Recovery of passwords.
- Edit profiles on the front end.
- Dashboard for a membership account
- Limit WordPress dashboard access.
- Hide WordPress Toolbar.
WordPress: 4.3/5 star ratings based on 544 user reviews.
With LearnDash, you can establish a complete learning portal and sell online courses more quickly. It offers many fantastic eLearning capabilities to build an excellent environment for online studies.
Tools like group management and thorough reporting make managing an eLearning site easy.
The plugin also enables you to drip-feed courses, create a grade book for students, assign, comment on, and grade assignments.
- Logical course creator.
- Focus mode.
- Capabilities for quizzes and assignments.
- Drip-feed instruction.
G2: 4.3/5 star rating based on 41 user reviews.
12. WishList Member
WishList Member is one of the established WordPress membership plugins that compete by providing a robust and reliable membership management system. You have complete control over the number of membership tiers. Plus, automate many operations using a logic-based system.
Further, build customized promotions for a particular member subscription.
Apart from this, you get many payment options and integrations with WishList Member. Thus, allowing you to build an extensive membership site.
Capterra: 4.7/5 star rating based on 36 user reviews.
With a quick activation procedure and an easy member import tool, MemberMouse makes it simple to transfer data from another membership platform. You can personalize your login and registration pages and turn on the “forgot password” feature.
In addition to enabling content restriction, MemberMouse also enables you to upsell unique content for increased income. Members can excerpt their favorite content and share it on social media, increasing brand visibility.
- Sell both physical and digital goods.
- Safeguard your content.
- Member administration.
- Click-through upsells.
- Automatic account locking
Capterra: 4.7/5 star rating based on 40 user reviews.
Based on membership levels, the plugin enables you to restrict access to both downloaded and published material. The pay-per-post and pay-per-view options also enable non-members to access your material without paying a subscription.
In order to preserve the system’s subscription retention rate, MagicMembers features a built-in subscription expiration reminder tool. You can also create an endless number of coupon codes to draw in new customers.
15. Restrict Content Pro
Restrict Content Pro is a plugin for content hiding, but it also has membership management and subscription options. And it’s the 2nd plugin in this list that’s developed by the same team of LearnDash.
Restrict Content Pro’s many built-in integrations are the reason why so many people find it to be useful. You get theme integration, Action hooks & filters, Editable template files, and more.
When compared to other WordPress membership plugins, the pricing is about average. And it’s great that there are four different subscriptions available.
- Supports multiple subscription tiers.
- Easy track subscribers.
- Self-service account administration.
- Supports Ad hoc memberships.
GetApp: 4.4/5 star ratings based on 61 user reviews.
ProfilePress is a sleek and straightforward WordPress membership plugin. It allows users to take both one-time and recurring payments.
Plus, you get a robust content protection function to limit access to any content.
Besides, there are several add-ons available on ProfilePress.com. You can use them to increase the functionality of your membership site. One is Social Login, which makes it simple for users to sign up for or log in using their social media account.
- Multiple payment processors.
- Effective payment options.
- Discounts and coupons.
- Custom frontend forms.
WordPress: 3/5 star ratings based on 802 user reviews.
17. Paid Member Subscriptions
Paid Member Subscriptions is a powerful plugin yet simple to set up.
You can manage unlimited subscription plans, restrict content, and immediately receive payments. The pro version includes Invoices and Content Dripping. Plus, more sophisticated payment channels like Stripe and PayPal.
Thus, allowing you to complete your membership site from all angles.
- Restricted Content.
- Easy refunds.
- Hierarchical subscriptions
WordPress: 4.7/5 star ratings based on 194 user ratings
This platform provides a fully equipped membership theme and plugin to set up a website that offers customization, online communities, and courses. The WordPress plugin for membership works with most themes. Or what you can do is utilize the BuddyBoss theme to start your membership site from scratch.
It has a more extended arm, charging a flat amount and allowing you to add any plugins or custom code you choose to your site. You can access recurring payment capabilities, gamification, and integrations.
- Unlimited members, groups, courses, etc.
- Student dashboard.
- Community dashboard.
- Easy to customize.
- Pre-built templates.
Trustpilot 4/5 star ratings based on 128 user reviews
19. aMember Pro
Although it’s a web-based membership management tool, you can also integrate it with WordPress. It provides easy options to manage clients’ subscriptions, customer profiles, content, and more.
Free installation is offered with your purchase and will help you integrate and launch your website. The key feature you receive is content security, and you also get drip feed content, recurring payments, and more than 200 payment processors.
- Unlimited membership levels.
- Members-only section.
- Administrate mailing list.
- Supports 22 languages.
Capterra: 4.4/5 star ratings based on 4 user ratings.
20. Memberful WP
Memberful WP provides the functionality required for selling memberships on its own. It allows you to configure membership levels, collect payments, and charge taxes. The plugin provides unlimited plans, coupon codes, staff accounts, and other benefits.
It’s also worth noting that the Memberful WP API is now open for integrations and extensions. The sleek interface and all-in-one feature-set make this WordPress plugin for membership a must-try.
- Paywall support.
- Membership widget.
- Single sign-on
- Automatic data sync.
- Build private RSS feeds.
WordPress: 4.6/5 star ratings based on 10 user reviews.
The Groups plugin provides a solid interface as well as a robust collection of extensions. You can build a membership site revolving around the idea of groups. It lets you create an unlimited number of groups, with users signing up via a form.
Furthermore, you have absolute authority over the access permissions. Hide content from members of chosen groups, provide inherent capabilities, and more.
- Allows for an infinite number of groups
- Provides an automatically maintained Registered group
- Any group can be assigned to a user.
WordPress: 4.8/5 star ratings based on 334 user reviews.
Grids are a good way to represent different web page elements, whether images or testimonials. And the same is true with profiles. Thus, to build stunning profiles and manage them in grids, you’ve got ProfileGrid.
It includes many of the same features as a membership plugin. Plus, it combines simplicity and extreme expandability. Creating groups, discussions, and profiles without being cluttered and clunky is the standout feature of ProfileGrid.
- Messaging system private.
- Name for free user display.
- Unique group properties.
- Notification timeline.
- Friends wall.
WordPress: 4.6/5 star ratings based on 169 user reviews.
23. SUMO Memberships
With over 700 sales and responses to 224 support queries, SUMO
Memberships are a comprehensive WooCommerce subscription plugin. Available since 2016, this plugin gives the perfect tool to easily convert a WooCommerce store into a subscription one.
You can sell memberships directly from your WooCommerce interface. Plus, grant access to members to view pages, posts, and content blocks and buy particular products.
Furthermore, you get the option to apply different content and product restrictions. For instance, they are Complete Restriction, Not Purchasable, Restriction in RSS Feed, and more.
- Transfer plans.
- Delayed or immediate access.
- Manual assign memberships.
- Master log.
- WPML Compatible and more.
CodeCanyon: 4.39/5 star ratings based on 224 user ratings.
Ways to Choose the Right WordPress Plugin for Membership for Your Website
While this appears to be a simple question, the ‘how’ of creating a membership site can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many different plugins available it can be difficult to choose.
So, here are a few things you should know before choosing your membership plugin.
- Fulfillment of the Purpose
The primary purpose of a membership plugin is to protect your content by creating a private members area. If the plugin is doing that effectively, you should go for it.
- Price Does Not Always Imply Quality
It is important to note that when it comes to plugins, more expensive does not always imply better. You also don’t want to spend less on something that will be used to generate income.
So, base your decision on how well the plugin fits your needs rather than its price.
- Look for the Features
There are so many WordPress membership plugins available, with many features and advantages. It will be better if you look for the plugin that comes with all the features needed to build a better membership website.
The Wrap Up
Membership websites are an excellent way to generate passive income or build an online community. And integrating a plugin, you can automate different processes. For example, accepting payments, sending welcome emails, planning end alerts, and more.
If you are looking for a WordPress plugin for membership that will help you to develop a website for online courses, then you can rely on Thrive Apprentice. It’s one of the best subscription plugins for WordPress.
It includes every feature that is required to build a user-friendly website. You get pre-designed templates and module pages which makes this plugin the best out of all.
In a nutshell, you only need to set up the system once, and it will do the rest.
I hope this post helped you to get the essential information for major free and premium WordPress plugins for membership. If you have any thoughts, please let me know in the comments.