Are you looking for the best WordPress membership plugin?
WordPress membership plugins let you restrict access to certain parts of your website and use paywalls to monetize your content.
Good membership plugins are incredibly comprehensive and include capabilities like building courses, creating digital downloads, and restricting access based on membership levels.
In this article, we’ll explore the best membership plugins so you can pick the right one for your site and turn it into a successful business.
Best Membership Plugins for WordPress
We’ve created a quick comparison table listing our favorite plugins for WordPress membership sites.
Click any link to jump to a detailed review of each plugin.
|1. MemberPress||from $179.50/yr|
|2. Thrive Apprentice||from $149/yr|
|3. Restrict Content Pro||from $99/yr|
|4. WooCommerce Membership||from $199/yr|
|4. LearnDash||from $199/yr|
|5. s2Members||from $89|
|6. Paid Memberships Pro||from $247/yr|
|7. MemberMouse||from 199.50/yr|
We’ll start with one of the most popular membership plugins for WordPress.
MemberPress is the best membership plugin for WordPress. We had to put this one at the top of the list for its ease of use and range of features, making it ideal for beginners.
MemberPress covers all the basics you need from a membership plugin. But it’s an all-in-one membership plugin that has some advanced features that’ll help you generate extra revenue.
For example, there’s a course builder built right in. This lets you turn your site into an LMS and create a full course with dedicated modules and lessons. To keep members motivated and engaged with your courses, you can easily add quizzes and certificates.
And we had a fantastic experience building courses with MemberPress. It fully integrates with the WordPress block editor, allowing you to develop your course page using appropriate blocks.
We were amazed to see the sleek and modern appearance of the course page that we built in only a few minutes. Courses built with MemberPress look great in any WordPress theme.
Apart from courses, MemberPress also includes a variety of useful features, such as content restrictions. You can use this feature to add a paywall to any section of your site and monetize your premium content by allowing access to paying members based on their membership level, WordPress user role, or custom post types. In fact, you can restrict partial content by using a small piece of shortcode too.
MemberPress is also one of our top recommended PayPal plugins for WordPress because of its excellent PayPal integration that lets you collect recurring payments for subscriptions.
You can also use MemberPress to:
- Automatically generate your members-only areas
- Take payments from your members via Stripe and other popular payment options like PayPal and Authorize.net
- Sell digital products and individual downloads
- Boost member subscriptions and upsells with discount codes
- Automatic email notifications to send reminders about retention events like renewals
- Create an unlimited number of membership plans and control the content members can access based on their membership level
- Build your email marketing list with AWeber, MailChimp, and GetResponse
- Integrate your site with bbPress
- Create drip content, which means that content is made available to members on a predetermined schedule rather than immediately when they join.
Pricing: MemberPress starts at $179.50/year for the Basic plan for a single site. It also has a $299/year plan that comes with two site licenses and Zapier integration.
Thrive Apprentice is a powerful course builder that also has every feature you’d need in a membership plugin.
Right off the bat, we were glad to find various customizable templates to get started. You have templates for various types of important pages associated with your course including templates for your school’s homepage, course overview, lessons, sidebars, and more.
We had a blast with the user-friendly visual editor to select and edit pre-built templates. When you first install Thrive Apprentice, there’s a very handy setup wizard to guide you through some of the important tools available in the editor for creating your perfect course-related pages.
Because it’s so versatile as an LMS plugin, you can also use Thrive Apprentice to release your course content in “drip” fashion. That’s a powerful strategy where you use time delays or user actions as triggers for slowly releasing different modules or courses. Your customers will remain engaged and intrigued for a long time with this approach.
We also liked the reports available in Thrive Apprentice. It allows you to easily track members enrolled in your courses and various other metrics highlighting the completion rates and success of your courses.
To highlight the main features, here’s what we love about Thrive Apprentice:
- Easy visual editor to build and edit courses
- Various templates for important course-related pages
- Create intrigue and boost customer retention by releasing drip releasing content over time
- Measure performance with easy-to-understand analytics reports
- Motivate customers to continue progressing with assessments.
Pricing: Thrive Apprentice starts at $149/year.
Restrict Content Pro is a powerful WordPress membership plugin managed by the same team behind iThemes Security. It includes all of the features you’ll need to run a successful membership website, and it’s mainly known for its content protection features.
- Take payment from members via Stripe, Braintree, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and PayPal
- Create an unlimited number of subscription levels, including free tiers and trial memberships
- Let customers upgrade or downgrade their membership
- Integrate your email marketing list using ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp.
Pricing: Restrict Content is a free WordPress membership plugin, but you need the Pro plan for more advanced features starting at $99/year for a single site license and dozens of free addons.
WooCommerce Memberships is a WooCommerce subscriptions plugin that allows you to create a membership site on top of a WooCommerce store.
You can use this plugin to sell memberships as a stand-alone product or grant membership access as part of product purchase on your eCommerce site.
- Content dripping and scheduling based on specific triggers
- Restrict WordPress posts or pages
- Offer certain products exclusively to members
- Provide free shipping and special discounts to members
- Exclude members from the minimum order requirement for your store.
Pricing: WooCommerce Memberships pricing starts at $199/year for a single site license.
LearnDash is a popular learning management system that can also be used to create a membership site. You can use it to create and sell online courses.
The plugin is easy to use and comes with integration with many popular marketing tools. LearnDash offers strong membership management capabilities – you can create user profiles accessible from the frontend to allow enrolled members to log into their dashboards and track their own progress with ease.
- Build courses with drag and drop
- Add lessons, topics, assignments, and quizzes
- Drip content or provide it in a specific sequence
- Offer badges and certificates
- Generate reports
- Integrate with email marketing tools and payment gateways.
Pricing: LearnDash starts at $159/year for a single site license.
s2Member is a freemium plugin that includes all of the features one requires to run a successful membership website.
- Restrict content or lock a part of it for members only
- Drip and schedule content
- Create unlimited membership levels in the Pro version
- Integrate with email marketing tools like Mailchimp, AWeber, and GetResponse.
- Take payment with PayPal in the free version. The Pro version of the plugin supports Stripe and Authorize.net as well.
Pricing: s2Member has a free version. The pricing for the premium version starts at $89 one-time payment for a single site license.
Paid Memberships Pro is another popular membership plugin for WordPress websites. It has paid plans that include access to 65+ addons to help you publish gated content and take payment.
The interface is arguably less intuitive than some others on the list but it offers a decent amount of features to run and manage your membership site.
- Create flexible memberships with different pricing levels: free, one-time payment, or a recurring subscription (annual, monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly)
- Restrict pages, posts, blocks, and categories
- Hide full content or offer a sneak peek to non-members
- Offer members-only discounts codes or coupons.
- Use it with WordPress multisite to manage everything with a single user login
- Integrate your site with 6+ popular payment gateways.
Pricing: Paid Memberships Pro is a free plugin. You can extend its functionality by paying $267/year for access to 65+ addons.
MemberMouse is a premium membership plugin that allows you to create memberships with different levels of access.
You can also use it to sell individual or groups of posts or pages for a one-time fee.
Apart from the standard membership features, MemberMouse also offers some super useful features that can make your admin tasks easier. For example, it supports push notifications that you can set up to display information like new member signups, bundle purchases, and other checkout actions.
MemberMouse also has some of the most comprehensive reporting. You can drill it down really deep if you want to see important data like membership revenue, average order value, and more.
One of the downsides of using this plugin is that it has restrictions on the number of members you can have, so that might not work for a fast-growing membership site.
- Offer one-time payments or recurring subscriptions with 7+ payment integrations
- Set up the custom login page and member account page automatically
- Give access to limited content by offering free trials and coupons.
- Integrate with email marketing providers to build an email list for your members.
Pricing: The MemberMouse pricing starts at $29/month for the Builder plan. The plan is limited to 5,000 members.
Which Is the Best WordPress Membership Plugin?
After checking out the features and benefits of each option, we found that MemberPress is the best membership plugin for WordPress.
MemberPress includes all of the features you’ll need to set up a full-featured membership website. And it integrates with a wide range of email marketing services and payment gateways.
We love the fact that you can restrict content in multiple ways, including tags and categories. And the fact you can also sell courses gives you new ways to add income streams to your site.
FAQs on Best Membership Plugins
Do you have more questions about membership plugins? The answers below may address some of your queries.
How Do I Choose the Right WordPress Membership Plugin for My Needs?
When looking for the right WordPress membership plugin, make sure to consider the following:
- Membership management features (access restrictions by user roles, membership plan, etc.)
- Integrations with reliable payment gateways that support recurring subscriptions
- Support for creating digital downloads
- Addons for extending functionalities to support courses and other types of membership content
- Ease of use in configuring membership access and other site settings
- Pricing plans and money-back guarantees
Can I Use a WordPress Membership Plugin to Sell Digital Products?
Yes, WordPress membership plugins are typically excellent tools for selling digital products. MemberPress includes an addon for allowing you to create and sell digital downloads. You can even create coupon codes to boost digital sales. Similarly, Thrive Architect can be used to sell any kind of digital product – it’s not limited to just courses.
Can I Use a WordPress Membership Plugin to Create an Online Course?
Yes, you can use WordPress membership plugins to create an online course. The best examples of membership plugins that include course builders are MemberPress, Thrive Architect, and Member Mouse. These tools also offer excellent automation capabilities, such as content drips for capturing user interest for longer.
Next, Fix Your Membership Site Emails
Are your members having difficulty receiving important emails from your website? If they’ve paid for a subscription, this could be a huge problem.
Check out our guide to MemberPress not sending email to find out how to fix it.
Want to learn how to offer membership discounts? Check out our tutorial on how to add coupon codes to WordPress forms.
- Best Affiliate Program Plugins
- Best Calendar Plugins
- Best Content Locker Plugins
- Best GDPR Plugins
- Best Ways to Fix Email Delivery Failures
Ready to fix your emails? Get started today with the best WordPress SMTP plugin. WP Mail SMTP Elite includes full White Glove Setup and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.