Looking for the best WordPress membership plugins? This list has the 13 best plugins, so you can decide on your WordPress membership site plugin today!
Approximate read time: 10 minutes
Whether an all-access site or an exclusive product site, a website membership plugin can make your life much easier.
But, finding the best WordPress plugin for memberships? Not so easy.
This list has the 13 best membership WordPress plugins for your website so that you can create exclusive content today!
Let’s get to the list.
13 Best WordPress Membership Plugins
If you are serious about your WordPress membership website, MemberPress is the best plugin for memberships on WordPress.
It has all the features you need, plus many more you didn’t know you needed!
Not only does it have all the features you expect in a WordPress membership plugin, but it comes with an easy-to-use interface. Installing the plugin is easy too.
Among its significant features, you’ll find content restriction. This feature allows you to restrict access to different types of content based on a user’s membership. With this feature, you can set up tiered memberships with ease.
As far as integrations go, MemberPress has loads of them. All the big ones are here: MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, and more. It also integrates seamlessly with our form plugin, Formidable Forms, and payment systems like PayPal and Stripe.
For ease of use, features, reliability, and value, MemberPress is our top choice among WordPress membership plugins.
MemberPress is a premium-only option. Plans start at $359/year.
2. Formidable Forms
Here's the deal: the best WP membership plugins have a WordPress form builder inside them.
The trouble is that those form builders can only sometimes do what a full-featured, dedicated form builder can.
Why not use a form builder instead of a membership plugin? Actually, you can do that! You just need to be sure what kind of membership features you need.
If you want to speed up WordPress, use as few plugins as possible. So you need to ask yourself: what do you need more? A form builder or a membership plugin?
If all you need is gated content and User Registration, Formidable Forms is a great choice. You’d also have access to all the form builder features that membership plugins usually lack.
If you need advanced membership features, you should get a membership like the MemberPress plugin.
Formidable Forms offers a free and premium version. Premium plans start at $ 79/year.
MemberMouse is another fine choice for a top WordPress membership plugin.
One feature that makes it stand out: membership bundles. Membership levels are standard in most of the plugins on this list.
A bundle is a refreshingly different approach that allows for more possibilities.
Membership levels usually allow members “all-access” to specific membership levels. Bundles, on the other hand, will enable you to sell different “groups of content.” This way, you could get targeted with your offers.
For example, you could sell a high-value bundle to your lowest-level members.
This way, they don’t need to pay for the highest membership level, but they can still get a taste of the action. You can even give away these bundles for free.
Another cool feature within MemberMouse is allowing you to create a membership for testing.
This way, you can experience membership just as a paying member would, making testing a breeze.
One downside of MemberMouse is that it’s not a GPL plugin. Essentially, developers won’t be able to tweak any of the code in the plugin.
Besides that, still a solid plugin.
Membermouse is a premium-only option. Plans start at $29/month.
4. Thrive Apprentice
Thrive Apprentice is a perfect solution if you run an educational membership site.
Featuring an easy drag-and-drop course builder, easy course and module formatting, and easy media sharing, you’ve got everything you need to get your membership site going.
Whether you want complete control over your website or something that gets you started quickly, Thrive Apprentice has it. Plus, it has marketing features, so you’re creating and spreading the word about your course!
And it doesn’t hurt that you have access to the Thrive Suite, which has many options to help you expand your business.
Thrive Apprentice is a premium-only option. Plans start at $149/year.
5. All Access from Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is a popular name for WordPress, and the same is true for their All Access memberships.
In addition to the rest of their suite, you can easily set up gated content — blog posts, products, or more. And that makes for a better customer experience.
One of their more popular features is the ability to set up recurring memberships. No manually messaging people for payment or sending out invoices. Just set it to recur with EDD automatically.
So, if you need memberships plus a ton of other features, EDD is a solid choice.
All Access by EDD is a premium-only option. Plans start at $199.50/year.
6. Restrict Content
Restrict Content Pro is a great WordPress membership plugin for free but has amazing features in its paid version.
It allows you to create unlimited subscription levels, including free, trial, and premium models. Since restricting content is the central feature of this plugin, it will enable you to restrict whatever you want easily.
It also allows you to charge signup and monthly membership fees, giving you creative control over your pricing model.
Beyond that, it comes with many of the membership features you’d expect: coupon codes, digital downloads, email marketing integrations, plus more.
If you’re in need of a simple membership plugin, Restrict Content is a great choice.
Restrict Content has a free and premium version. Premium plans start at $99/year.
Remember earlier when we said that the best WordPress membership plugin for your site depends on what kind of site you are running?
Here’s a great example of that in one of the best WordPress paid membership plugins. If you run a WordPress site that sells online courses, LearnDash should be your top choice.
The beauty of LearnDash is that it’s more than a membership plugin. It’s a full-featured LMS (learning management system). Their drag-and-drop course builder allows you to create courses from top to bottom.
That means you can build lessons, topics, quizzes, exams, projects, and everything you would expect an online course to feature.
LearnDash is also known for its ability to function well within most WordPress themes. Their support team is recognized as top-notch as well.
Top it off with all the membership features you’d expect in the best WordPress membership plugins, and you’ve got a real winner.
Integrations, payment gateways, user profiles, drip content, plus more.
LearnDash is a premium-only option. Plans start at $199/year.
8. Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memberships Pro is the best free membership plugin for WordPress on this list that could work for you totally free.
The free features included are very generous.
The downside to this plugin is its steep learning curve. That’s why their premium plans feature support prominently as a central selling point. Still, it’s worth checking out for the “try before you buy” approach common among WordPress plugins.
As with other plugins, you’ll find great features like reporting, drip content, email notifications, and much more.
Paid Memberships Pro is a free and premium plugin. Plans start at $247/year.
9. WooCommerce Memberships
If your WordPress site relies on WooCommerce, then WooCommerce Memberships is your obvious choice for the best paid membership plugin for WordPress.
However, it also requires WooCommerce Subscriptions to accept recurring payments.
Since many membership websites operate on a subscription model, that’s a bummer. Despite this, the WooCommerce Memberships add-on is easy to use if you already work with WooCommerce.
For example, if you already have an online store but want to extend your offerings to include memberships, this option would work well.
You could even sell your existing customers access to the content they find appealing.
This plugin features content dripping, member rewards, and many of the usual membership features. Just don’t expect it to function well on its own.
Another point of consideration: it costs $199 for just a single site license, which is quite expensive.
WooCommerce Memberships is a paid plugin. Paid plans start at $199/year.
WP-Members is yet another of the WordPress best membership plugins.
It works differently than others in one fundamental way. Instead of restricting some content on your site, it restricts everything by default.
Although you can reverse this setting, it might be annoying if you spend a ton of time unlocking your free content piece by piece. You’ve been warned!
If you’re a developer, you’ll be more at home with WP-Members than the average user. That’s because this plugin is intentionally designed to be modified and tweaked.
While that may leave beginners out in the cold, it will make this plugin desirable to the code masters in our midst.
Still, it has some nifty features, like custom landing pages and login forms. So, try out its free WordPress membership plugin, then give the pro version a try.
WP-Members is a free and premium plugin. Plans start at $125/year.
11. Paid Member Subscriptions
Variety is the spice of life!
With that in mind, here is another ultimate membership plugin to try. It's a decent one too.
Sometimes you need to try a few plugins until one feels right. This might be the one for you, especially if the above ones have yet to strike your fancy.
Paid Member Subscriptions is another plugin offering a free and premium version. The free version can get your membership site going at no cost. You'll be able to register users and accept one-time payments with PayPal.
If you want advanced features, you'll need to go pro. This includes drip content, advanced payment options, and more payment gateways like Stripe.
Paid Member Subscriptions is a free and premium plugin. Plans start at $75/year.
12. Magic Members
Magic Members is another decent choice for a WordPress membership plugin.
Before checking this one out, there are pros and cons to be aware of.
As far as the pros are concerned, this plugin doesn't limit you. For example, you can make unlimited membership levels instead of the standard three. And you can include trials and as many pricing combinations as you want.
One issue that many users have pointed out: the dated interface.
If you can get over that, this could work well for you! Even though it's not pretty, everything is handled from one dashboard, which is a plus.
Like other plugins on this list, you can restrict content by post or page. You can also release content drips based on membership level.
It also allows you to set content to pay-per-post rather than putting it behind a membership paywall.
Magic Members is a premium-only plugin. Plans start at $97 one-time.
Are you still looking for your dream WordPress membership plugin?
Well, here's another one to test out! It's no dud, either. It can do everything you need to create a fully functioning membership website with WordPress.
It allows you to restrict the standard pages and posts while limiting custom post types, categories, media files, and even streaming media files.
Here's a bonus you won't find with many other membership plugins: security features. This plugin can actually prevent brute-force attacks on your WordPress site!
The free version limits you to 4 membership levels, but that may work for some users.
Give this ultimate member plugin a try if others aren’t doing it for you.
S2Member is a free and premium plugin. Plans start at $89 one-time.
Types of membership sites
Membership websites aren’t exclusive to one industry.
In fact, there are tons of ways you can use a membership plugin. Here are a few:
- Associations: Any type of free or paid association that requires a membership (think the American Automobile Association).
- Product or Service: A website that connects to a product or service (think Fitbit Premium).
- Content related: Content drip-feed is usually delivered through a paid membership subscription (think Patreon).
- All-Access Sites: Paid memberships that unlock gated content behind a paywall (think Netflix).
- Online Courses: Websites associated with an online course or educational program (think Coursera).
- Online Communities: Private community and/or forums with free or paid memberships (think niche community sites).
And there are even more ways you can use your imagination to apply it to your business.
So, don’t waste any more time! Get started!
What WordPress membership plugin will you choose?
As you can see, there are plenty of plugins to choose from.
It’s all about trying them out, finding what works best, and knowing when you need a membership plugin.
So, let us know in the comments which plugin you chose and why!
And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for more great WordPress membership tips & tricks!
Read more of our membership posts
Formidable Forms is one of the best WordPress form builder plugins available today. Upgrade your website with our free plugin or one of our full-featured premium plans.
Nat Miletic says
Another great plugin that I use is Groups by itthinx. I use it on several websites.
I use Formidable as my member plugin for a site and it works great. Being able to change the registration and login forms for users so they look better is key!
While we use Learn Dash for an e-learning site with WordPress and Woocommerce, our preference for databases that require different permissions on user level has always been a combination of Formidable and the Members plugin. We've created funcional user dashboards with member/client databases for service companies, schools and churches.
Sam Treadway says
I haven't ever used any membership plugin other than Formidable Forms. I haven't ever found a need to look into any alternatives.
[email protected] says
There was never an easier membership plugin than Formidable Forms. Easy and fast to use. Great stuff!
Thanks for this. We actually just started using LearnDash as a video tutorial platform for our staff and are fairly impressed by it!
Jameel Valli says
Formidable Forms is the best. User-friendly, unlimited applications, and extremely powerful. Your imagination is the limit.
Geej Mauriva says
I recently used Magic Members and it was a disaster. The plugin is outdated and when I used the widgets I received a number of WordPress errors so obviously they have not kept up with changes in WordPress. Additionally, their support is absolutely 100% unresponsive. I sent them 5 support requests over the course of 10 days and did not hear back from them at all. Also, their tutorials on their You Tube channel are so out of date it's hard to make sense of what they are referring to.
We sent in a request for a refund today and hopefully they will get back to us but we may have lost $97.
Thanks for letting us know about your experience with the Magic Members plugin. Sorry to hear it was not a pleasant one. Hopefully they get back to you soon.
We may need to remove them from our list if they aren't maintaining their plugin.
pktech guru says
Thanks for sharing the informative article
5 Best WordPress Membership Plugins in 2022
mj clouse says
you say "As far as integrations go, MemberPress has loads of them. All the big ones are here: MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, and more. It also integrates seamlessly with our form plugin, Formidable Forms, and payment systems like PayPal and Stripe."
Where / how does this integration work? I find no plugins on either tool (MP or FF). I realize that both use the wp-user -- but what if I wanted to use FF for the application vs MP?
Hey there, Here are a few resources for you. If you need additional help, our support team is standing by and ready to help:
mj clouse says
thanks -- I am quoting your documentation. and I cannot find a plugin related to formidable forms / MemberPress? does one exist? or should your documentation be updated?
There isn't an add-on/plugin to make these two systems work together. Once you are using both systems, the posts linked to above should work without an additional product/plugin.
Vivek Sharma says
This is the good informative list to consider while thinking about membership site, but I would like to suggest the writer to add ARMember plugin which is also inevitable.
Kyle Cash says
Thanks for the comment, Vivek!
We'll have a better look into ARMember and potentially add it to the list.
We appreciate the recommendation.