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12 WordPress Membership Plugins For Building Membership Websites

Update: MemberPress has now been added to this list of WordPress membership plugins.

WordPress grows more popular every year and it’s now not only known for being a blogging platform but also a very powerful CMS, with that comes the demand for WordPress to do more things and have more features.

One of the most popular alternative uses for WordPress is building membership / subscription based websites, with this demand a few great WordPress membership plugins have popped up.I my self just recently launched my membership website Mixtapes.TV with one of these plugins and it’s been great. Before I chose my membership plugin I researched for a couple weeks to see which plugin best met my needs, below is the list of plugins I came across.

aMember

Amember

The originator of this whole membership website software thing. Way before WordPress became the most widely used Blogging and CMS platform and over a dozen WordPress membership plugins popped up, aMember was the go-to software for powering membership websites.

The veteran aMember software has kept up with the times and has made many changes, one of the biggest changes it’s made is that it’s now a fully integrated with WordPress by default so there is no need to buy an additional plugin. So it’s a membership website software and  WordPress membership plugin at the same time, the only of it’s kind and it’s also the only one that supports both Plimus and Authorize.net with the CIM feature.

Read our full review of aMember: Need a Membership Website Software? aMember is Still The Best Solution

MemberPress

MemberPress Wibe

This is the newest addition to the list of great WordPress membership plugins out there, at one point I was going to create my own membership plugin and I was actually going to name it MemberPress, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board for me.

Read more: MemberPress – Making WordPress Membership Sites Even Easier

WishlistMember

The now very popular WishlistMember plugin was not even around when I first started looking for membership plugins, but when I later ran into it, making the choice to purchase it was a no brainier because before it came along none of the other plugins at the time were that great. Some of the features that stood out were Sequential Content Delivery, Multi-Level Access, Secure RSS Feeds, Control Viewed Content and features that just weren’t available at the time with other plugins, just by watching the videos on the site you can tell that the plugin was built by someone who actually has a membership site and understood how they worked. I bought WishlistMember a while back but I just started using it last month to launch my membership website MixTapes.TV which is a niche music subscription based service.

WishlistMember is also frequently updated, there next update will be a big one where there going to have new integrations with Mailchimp.com, file protection, infusionsoft integration and more. Another great thing about WishlistMember is the fact that it has a API which makes it easy to integrate with other plugins and 3rd party services in fact. I’m using a in-house media plugin that is fully integrated with WishlistMember and I’ll be releasing that plugin in the future for FREE! WishlistMember most likely will have what your looking for in a membership plugin and would be a great choice for your project.

MagicMembers

MagicMembersHonestly If this plugin was around before I purchased WishlistMember I would have purchased it because even though I love WishlistMember there were some key features that are not available yet.

Most of these features MagicMembers had because now that they had a blueprint like WishlistMember to follow so all they had to do is copy them and then add more features. Some of the key features include download manager, integration with Authorize.net and WorldPay, member only RSS feeds and more.

One of the things that allot of people want from a membership plugin is the ability to run an affiliate program, MagicMembers solves this problem by offering a another plugin called MagicAffiliate which is fully integrated with MagicMembers and WP Ecommerce plugin.

Many people would argue that this is better than WishlistMember, and it’s a valid argument. It depends on what exactly your looking for, they’re both the same price so the decision solely depends on features.

WP-Member

WP MemberWhen I first ran into this plugin I wasn’t impressed with it mostly because of it’s pricing at the time witch was subscription based, it was one of the first WordPress membership plugins and didn’t really have much features to begin with. As the competition grew they stepped there game up and rolled out all the features expected from a membership plugin and I like the fact that they support Google Checkout which MagicMembers and WishlistMember do not.

The best thing about wp-Member is how much you can customize your member registration page, something that is not as flexible with WishlistMember and MagicMembers. This is very important for a membership website and I’m glad to see wp-Member put so much work into it, below are some screen shots of a different types of registration pages.

MemberWing

This plugin is like MagicMembers and WishlistMember on steroids, they take all the best features from both of them and then add 10x more features, I mean damn near overkill. If you can’t find what you want with this membership plugin you might as well just build your own. They support more payment processors than any other membership plugin which include Paypal, 2Checkout.com, ClickBank.com, PayDotCom.com, e-junkie.com, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, and even TrialPay. if you want to run your own affiliate program MemberWing can be fully integrated with the number one affiliate management software iDevAffiliate.

They also have this really cool feature called First Click Free that allows better promotion of membership site on search engines. Implemented according to Google First Click Free Specs.

Other features include a powerful file protection feature as well as being fully integrated with TraceFusion that finds out exactly who steals, illegally shares and distributes your premium materials on internet. Detect, Trace, Terminate and Prosecute members who are involved in illegal sharing of your premium digital content. TraceFusion is like CCTV security camera with night vision and recording – but implemented as a software to protect your digital property against crooks, giving you the power to protect your online business like never before.

And that’s just the beginning of the features that they offer If this was around in the early days of membership plugins, this would most likely be my choice.

The only downside to MemberWing is that they only support 4 different membership levels but for 90% of people that’s more than enough.

WP-eMember

Along with purchasing WishlistMember I purchased WP eMember not because I wanted it but they offered an Affiliate Software that was compatible with WishlistMember, they offered a packaged deal so I ended up buying them all.

Judging by the price I didn’t think this plugin would have much features but I was wrong. It comes with all the features that you would expect from a membership plugin and it’s compatible with a list of other plugins including their list of in-house plugins which includes Affiliate Software and WP eStore.

Digital Access Pass

This is another great WordPress membership plugin with features that rival MemberWing. Payment processors supported include 1ShoppingCart (and all private labels), ClickBank and Paypal Standard, for shopping cart Digital Access Pass directly supports Authorize.net, Paypal Express Checkout and Paypal Payments Pro. No need for 3rd party shopping carts. Digital Access Pass itself becomes your Shopping Cart.

Key features include:

Digital Access Pass has a built in affiliate program that supports both Pay-Per-Lead and Pay-Per-Sale, this is a big deal!
File protection for .mp3, .zip, .flv, .zip, .exe. .pdf, .doc. .xls, .mpeg. .swf, .js.
Pay As You Go Subscriptions, Pay-Per-View, Pay-Per-Download.

They are at least a dozen other features that make this plugin incredible, this is worth checking out.

EasyPayPal

This is a very basic and simple membership plugin that allows you to run a simple membership website using PayPal for payments. If your not looking for crazy over the top features for your blog then this is the plugin for you.

Your Members

One of the original WordPress membership plugins and just like wp-Member it didn’t have much features to begin with but it has improved it’s specs and now functions like a premium WordPress membership plugin. They also have a API in the works for easy integration with other plugins.

CMS Members

A new comer to the WordPress membership market with a few stand out features like being the only WordPress MU compatible membership plugin and easily integrated with self-hosted or online affiliate marketing systems. They also have a cool built in HTML E-Mail newsletter feature for mass mailing your members.

InfusionWP

I don’t know much about this plugin except that it’s a “WordPress membership plugin that will turn a normal WordPress site into a full featured membership site, with all the imaginable protection controls at your disposal, yet drawing its data from your Infusionsoft application. You guys will have to do your due diligence with this one. “

That last one was quoted folks….

Well I gave you the list, the hard part is now finding the one that best fits your needs. Remember the best membership plugin may not be the best for your site, Digital Access Pass and MemberWing both beat out WishlistMember as far as features are concerned but they didn’t offer a API and WishlistMember did which was something I needed for my project, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Good Luck, Chozen…….

There are 19 comments .

Denisse

Thank you! I just found this post while researching membership plugins for a client. This helped.

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Angella Lychwala

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Gary @ GGG Marketing

I also was researching membership plugins like Denisse and came across your site. Very informative information. I was looking at buying DAP but after reading your article I'm leaning toward the wp-emember. I am building my membership site with optimize press so I don't really need anything but the plugin that helps me transfer people from the sales letter to paypal and gives them a username and password and back to the membership site to log in. Is this the one you would recommend for thisj purpose. Can you email me when you respond please?

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Ravi Jayagopal

Hey,

Thank you for including DigitalAccessPass.com in your list of reviewed plugins.

We've added an incredible number of features over the last year or so. Take a look at our release history, and you'll certainly agree that we're the most well updated membership plugin on the market.

See http://DigitalAccessPass.com/changelog.php

So do take a closer look at DAP before you make your decision about a membership plugin :-)

Cheers!

Ravi Jayagopal

Founder & Co-Developer

DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP)

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Cedric @ Blog Com&#0

Thanks for the review of those plugins.

It is really hard to know if you'll get all you need for your membership site based on the vendors feature. This insight is invaluable – I was sure I wanted to buy whishlist member, but it turns out that it does not seem to work as well as advertised.

I'll go for Emember !

C.

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srivello —

Great overview. Another option, 'Wishlist Member' has many positives, but it shockingly lacks a some basics like – allowing your members to UNREGISTER! Wow. Read the full review… 'Wishlist Member' WP Plugin Reviewed!

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nwarren —

Hi – this has been a really useful post, and I've read and re-read it several times over the last few days. As you've been so helpful to other people I was hoping you might point me in the right direction as well.
 
I'm not really looking for a full membership site in the commercial sense – I want to be able to publish customer documentation on my site so that only the customer can read it (once they're logged in). Ideally, once the customer is logged in, they will see a custom menu to their pages and document downloads, and ideally they'd be able to see a full list of all their accessible "private" posts (generated automatically or by a category of their name?). I don't want anyone to see any customer documentation, pages or menus unless they're logged in and even then they can only see their own – it's particularly important that customer A doesn't know customer B is also working with us!!
 
It would also be nice if the customer is allowed to edit their own posts and upload new/revised documents.
 
I had thought a basic access control system would suffice, but I've been researching options intermittently for a week or so, and can't find anything that will really do what I need.
 
Oh, and ideally I'd like to find a free solution, although I will consider a premium plugin if necessary.
 
I appreciate much of this could be achieved using a service like Dropbox, but I really want to drive the customer traffic to our website.
 
Sorry if that's all a bit confusing, but thanks in advance for your advice!

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Jason Coleman

Your readers may be interested in Paid Memberships Pro, which is 100% open source and available for free in the WordPress repository:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/paid-membersh

PMPro compares favorably to the other WP plugin solutions you list. Using the plugin is completely free. Developers can get involved at GitHub.com. Support is available at http://www.paidmembershipspro.com.

Thanks.

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adir

thanks for sharing… i will use another one plugins in this list in my site: belajarservicehp.com … thanks

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membership training

Great set of plugins! I use Wishlist and s2member mainly, if I had to pick one that is consistently the best for me I'd have to go with Wishlist, great set of features and very user friendly… just my 2 cents

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Tharindu Kumara

Hello Glenton,

I don't know why you didn't consider adding WPMUdev's membership plugin to the list.

It's a pretty good plugin and provide some awesome features for it's free version.

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Website Designers

We purchased WP-Member this week and after a little bit of difficulty got it working exactly how we want it to. The Google Wallet payment gateway was what sweayed us to buy it in the end. Big plus.

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Bob Tolbert

Great review! Wishlist Member is definitely my favorite plugin for building my membership sites. The membership levels are very easy to set up and they have some cool features like the sequential upgrade and the content display "teaser". I highly recommend it!

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RaviJayagopal —

Hi Chozen, do you mind contacting us via our web site at DigitalAccessPass.com (see contact us page)? Have a couple of things to discuss. Feel free to delete this comment. Thanks!

Reply »

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