Do you need a subscription-based website that offers members-only content? With a WordPress membership plugin, you can easily create a website that has a login for your members and subscribers.
Beginners and pros alike can use these subscription plugins to improve their lead generation and increase revenue.
In this post, we share 14 of the best WordPress membership plugins, based on our testing.
But first, we’ll introduce the benefits of membership plugins before diving into our list.
- What Is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
- How Can I Use a Membership Plugin?
- How Do I Choose the Best Subscription Plugin for My Website?
- What Are the 14 Best Membership Plugins for WordPress?
What Is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
A WordPress membership plugin is a tool that creates login access to members-only content. When you install a feature-rich WordPress subscription plugin, you can offer your website visitors:
- Registration forms and login forms
- Exclusive content
- Recurring payments
- Free trials
- Tiered membership options
WordPress membership plugins differ from gated content marketing. Gated content often only asks users to sign up for an email newsletter. Meanwhile, member plugins let you charge membership fees and require more subscriber information.
What Can a Membership Plugin Do?
Membership plugins convert your website into a membership platform. They unlock huge potential for increasing revenue and subscribers. That’s because they provide precise control of your users’ customer journey. These plugins are helpful for eCommerce businesses, publishers, blogs, and online schools.
Here are some examples of how a website can use these WordPress subscription plugins:
- Share free content, such as blog posts, to build a following. Then charge a fee to access members-only content, such as in-depth courses.
- Restrict access to digital downloads.
- Offer member subscriptions at multiple price points. The price points can include a free option or a free trial period.
- Create email lists to send customers exclusive coupon codes, updates, and upselling offers. Use that email list to encourage subscribers to upgrade their membership.
In short, a subscription plugin also allows you to sell recurring or one-time access to digital content. This digital content could be in the form of specific posts, courses, newsletters, downloadables, or an exclusive membership area.
For a quick example of how you can use a membership plugin, take a look at Zombie Pumpkins, which offers printable stencils for carving Halloween jack-o-lanterns. The website offers a select number of patterns for free. However, most of their patterns require a membership payment.
Each of the three paid membership plans offers a different number of patterns you can download. Additionally, some patterns are only available to “Monster V.I.P” members, which is the highest tier.
Zombie Pumpkins has a strong sales funnel. The website offers some free patterns, so new visitors can see the quality and value of their digital products. The lowest price tier is very attainable at only $5, but the top membership plan offers exclusive content for its $20 fee.
With the right WordPress membership plugin, you can create a website that will encourage visitors to try your content and eventually pay your membership fee.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Membership Plugin
With all the WordPress membership plugins out there, how do you choose the right one?
There are 3 key areas to consider:
- Features: Determine how much you need from a login-based plugin. Do you only need the basics, or do you want to offer a full-fledged interactive experience? Of course, cost is a factor, as well!
- Compatibility: Your plugin must work with your WordPress theme and other plugins. You can check if your plugin is compatible with a staging site.
- Ease of Use: Be sure it’s easy for your team and customers to use. User-friendly plugins are especially important for beginners.
Best WordPress Membership Plugins for Your Subscription Website
We’ve tested the features, compatibility, and ease of use of all the top subscription plugins. Here are our favorite WordPress plugins to manage memberships on your website.
- Thrive Apprentice
- Wishlist Member
- WooCommerce Memberships
- Restrict Content Pro
- aMember Pro
- Paid Memberships Pro
MemberPress is an all-in-one WP login-based plugin. It streamlines the process building fully-featured WordPress membership sites.
You can create an unlimited number of customizable memberships.
It pairs with plugins like bbPress to encourage users to interact in forums. This feature can help you create a thriving community.
You can put members in groups and control upgrade paths. The plugin also lets you create dynamic pricing pages.
MemberPress also gives you control over coupons and payments. It supports payment processing options like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.
In short, MemberPress is the most robust and customizable WordPress membership plugin available.
But what is the easiest WordPress plugin? That’s also MemberPress!
With their ReadyLaunch™ feature, you can create a membership pricing page in as little as 1 minute. And you can have your entire site online and ready to sell in just 1 day.
- Integrations with Mailchimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, Easy Affiliate, and more
- Unlimited members and memberships
- Content dripping functionality
- Content restriction rules, including access end dates
- Powerful learning management system (LMS) features for online courses
- Customizable checkout
- Basic: $179.50 per year
- Plus: $299.50 per year
- Pro: $399.50 per year (includes 3 free months of OptinMonster and TrustPulse)
Thrive Apprentice is a powerful LMS plugin for WordPress that allows you to easily create and manage online courses, training programs, and membership sites. This membership plugin is a great choice if your website’s focus is online classes.
With its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can create professional-looking content without any technical skills.
Thrive Apprentice Features
- Easy student management and progress tracking
- Interactive quizzes to test your students’ knowledge
- Customizable certificates to reward your students upon completion of their course
- Accept payments for your courses and membership sites directly on your site
Thrive Apprentice Pricing
- Thrive Apprentice only: $149 per year.
- Thrive Suite: $299 per year
Thrive Suite includes 9 WordPress plugins you can use to build your online business.
OptinMonster is a premium WordPress plugin and the world’s #1 conversion toolkit.
Using a WordPress subscription plugin is excellent, but only if you have members. That’s where OptinMonster comes in.
While OptinMonster isn’t a membership plugin, it can help get more users to your membership site.
For example, check out how Expat.com grows by 30,000 members monthly using OptinMonster.
You can use OptinMonster to create lead generation and conversion campaigns. With so many campaign types, you aren’t limited to 1 approach. Our software lets you add Exit-Intent® popups, Slide-In boxes, Content Lockers, and other campaigns. You can use these campaigns to collect email addresses and drive website visitors to your membership pages.
We also have tons of templates and a drag-and-drop visual builder. You can make your membership site your own in a matter of minutes.
Segmentation and targeting control when, where, and to whom your ads appear.
It’s no wonder over 1,000,000 websites use OptinMonster!
- Multiple campaign types to get you more members
- Over 50 pre-made templates that work across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices
- The most powerful targeting and trigger options on the market
- Native integrations with dozens of email providers
- Detailed analytics reporting
- Basic: $9 per month
- Plus: $19 per month
- Pro: $29 per month
- Growth: $49 per month
MemberMouse is one of the most powerful, customizable, and scalable WordPress membership plugins on the market today. Its advanced features are designed to help you maximize profits and grow your business.
You can use MemberMouse to protect content, collect payments, and manage members. Plus, their SmartTag™ features make it easy to create personalized experiences for your members.
MemberMouse has key integrations with many of the other tools you might want to use for your membership, like bbPress, ActiveCampaign, Clickbank, and more.
You can sell memberships, subscriptions, and even standalone products with MemberMouse. Plus, with their robust content protection features, you have full control over how, when, and where your customers can access the content they’ve paid for.
Speaking of payments, MemberMouse supports most of the major payment processors in use today: Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, Braintree, Sticky.io, and ClickBank.
- Dynamic Content Protection
- Personalization with SmartTags™
- Advanced Reporting Suite
- 1-Click Purchase Links
- Free & Paid Trials
- Automatic Overdue Payment Handling
- Integrations with MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, AWeber, GerResponse, iDevAffiliate, SegMetrics, Zapier, and more!
- Drip Content Scheduling
- Basic: $199.50 per year
- Plus: $299.50 per year
- Pro: $399.50 per year
- Elite: $1,199.50 per year
If you want an LMS, exclusive community, or private site, WishList Member can help.
If there’s a problem with this platform, it’s that there are too many options! You can do a lot of things with WishList Member, to the point where it may get overwhelming for beginners.
- Tons of integrations with email marketing providers, payment gateways, and other tools
- Drip content
- Developer tools like REST API and WP template tags
- Membership statistics at a glance
- Unlimited membership levels with flexible options
- Basic: $149.50 per year
- Plus: $249.50 per year
- Pro: $349.50 per year
- Elite: $1,199.50 per year
WooCommerce Memberships lets you lock content and set up one-time or recurring payments. This software lets you have a purchasing club, where only members have access to certain products. This means visitors have to sign up and log in before buying.
WooCommerce Memberships Features
- Integration with Constant Contact
- Member areas requiring invitations
- Content dripping
- Membership levels
- Easy communication with members
WooCommerce Memberships Pricing
- $199 per year
7. Restrict Content Pro (Free Plugin Available)
Restrict Content Pro promises a simple setup. Then, you get robust content restrictions, premium content capabilities, and more. Restrict Content Pro offers plenty of payment options. These include Stripe, Authorize.net, and PayPal.
After seeing so many premium plugins on this list, you may be wondering:
Is there a free membership plugin for WordPress? Restrict Content does, in fact, offer a free plan for their WordPress membership plugin. They also offer three paid plans, which range from $99 to $249 per year. Their Pro versions include upgraded features such as coupon codes, free trials, content dripping, PayPal integration, and more
Restrict Content Pro Features
- Unlimited number of membership levels
- Customer dashboard
- Stripe integration for free level, more payment options at paid levels
- Membership emails
- Autogenerated member pages
Restrict Content Pro Pricing
- Basic: Free
- 1 Site: $99 per year
- 5 Sites: $149 per year
- Unlimited: $249 per year
8. aMember Pro
aMember is a comprehensive yet simple membership plugin for WordPress. It uses PHP, but it still lets you connect with WordPress.
PHP has many great uses, especially if you’ve updated to the current version. But, it may cause compatibility issues with some plugins. The code is customizable, so aMember may be best for more experienced designers.
aMember has unlimited membership levels, 200+ payment options, and more. The one-time fee includes 6 months of updates and support. After that, updates and support are $80 per year.
aMember Pro Features
- Unlimited membership levels
- Robust membership management
- Several payment integrations
- Built-in affiliate program
- Compatibility with WordPress themes
aMember Pro Pricing
- Single License: $149 one-time fee
- Professional: $399 one-time fee
- Support/Subscription package: $80 per year
9. S2Member (With a Free Membership Plugin Option)
S2Member is one of the best free membership plugins for WordPress, and it also offers in-depth paid versions.
The free plugin lets you set up custom pages for logins and membership options.
The pro version grants access to a comprehensive membership plugin. These features only scratch the surface:
- Security features
- Compatibility with several affiliate programs and caching plugins
- Subscription levels for free memberships or paid plans
- Monitoring for simultaneous logins
- Customizable pro-form templates
- Framework: Free
- Pro Single-Site: $89 one-time fee
- Pro Unlimited-Site: $189 one-time fee
10. Paid Memberships Pro (With a Free Option)
Paid Memberships Pro is used by over 100,000 sites and has been around for over 12 years.
It has a free version that includes the core plugin and 34 free add-ons. These add-ons include unlimited membership levels and restricted content, recurring subscriptions, LMS integrations, and frontend login.
The upgraded versions of Paid Memberships Pro offer added perks such as premium support, invite-only membership, drip content, and member directories.
You can have thousands of members, create communities, and more.
Paid Memberships Pro Features
- Can show “sneak peeks” of content
- Pay per post or view
- Personalized member homepages
- Thorough admin dashboard
- Many payment methods and gateways
Paid Memberships Pro Pricing
- Free: $0
- Standard: $247 per year
- Plus: $397 per year
- Enterprise: $5,000+ per year
WP-Members is a free WordPress membership plugin. You don’t even need to change your current WP setup for it to work.
They have a video and user guide to walk you through installation. It has a good number of features, but since it’s free, it’s a bit lighter than some others. If you’re a beginner who needs a free membership website plugin, WP-Members may be a good place to start. You only pay if you want priority support or premium extensions.
- No modifications to your WordPress theme
- Custom user registration and user profile fields
- Automatic post excerpt teaser content
- Customizations with 120+ action and filter hooks
- Robust integrations (Pro Bundle)
- WP-Members: Free
- WP-Members Priority Support: $59 per year
- WP-Members Pro Bundle: $125 per year
ARMember is a membership management plugin for WordPress with very flexible cost options. It offers a range of free features in the Lite version, plus a more robust Pro plan. Additionally, ARMember offers a wide variety of paid addons, so you can choose the exact features you need.
You can create unlimited membership levels, 1-click content restrictions, and more. It also has a form and signup page builder.
- Free and trial memberships
- Ability to upgrade, cancel, renew, or downgrade memberships
- Form builder
- Badges and achievements
- Pay-per-post option
- Add-ons including online courses, affiliate program, and advanced integrations
- Lite: Free
- Pro: $69 one-time fee
- Add-ons: $199 for all, $15-$40 each
Note: MagicMembers used to hold a spot here on this list. We’ve removed it for now because the plugin hasn’t received an update since January 5, 2021. MagicMembers still has great features for its one-time payment structure, but we can’t guarantee you’ll get full support or updates.
LearnDash is the #1 LMS (learning management system). It isn’t a run-of-the-mill subscription plugin. It specializes in letting you build a WordPress membership site for learners and students. LearnDash is a great choice for any WordPress website that offers a robust slate of classes, courses, or tutorials.
This login-based plugin is one of the best in the LMS industry. For instance, it lets you create a distraction-free online environment. This functionality is difficult to accomplish, and it is essential for many learners. You also control who can access courses and for how long.
LearnDash lets you set permissions for your videos, study materials, assignments, and more. Additionally, you can use this plugin to award certificates and badges, which can boost user engagement.
- One-time payment or subscription courses
- Integration with popular payment gateways and marketing apps
- Course and group management
- Detailed reporting on enrollment, performance, and progress
- Robust LMS capacity
- 1 Site: $199 per year
- 10 Sites: $399 per year
- Unlimited: $799 per year
14. bbPress (a Free WordPress Membership Plugin)
bbPress is a free WordPress membership plugin for online discussion boards. It is a forum software by the same team that made WordPress. This plugin requires WordPress users to log in. Then, you can redirect users to a custom URL.
You can add members to forums that you moderate. Your users get an online community where they can share ideas, while you keep an eye out for problems like harassment, bullying, or hate speech.
- Simple setup and installation
- Easy-to-moderate and clean forums
- Integrated admin area
- Multisite forms to divide the audience
- Translated into 54 locales’ languages
Which Is the Best WordPress Membership Plugin?
Through our testing and research, we determined that MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin.
MemberPress is the most comprehensive option, and it’s the easiest to use. It has tons of features and excellent documentation and support.
That said, our favorite may not be the right one for you. That’s okay! You know your business best.
Do you want to learn more ways to increase revenue on your member website?
Take a look at our list of 30 Ways to Make Money With OptinMonster! In that article, you’ll learn how our powerful popup software can help you make the right offers to the right visitors.
If you want to start with OptinMonster today, check out our affordable pricing plans.