Are you wondering whether you need a WordPress membership plugin or if you can just use Formidable Forms instead? In this post, we'll take you through the reasons why you may need a membership plugin.
We get a lot of questions through our help desk about building a membership system with our plugin. Formidable Forms can certainly help with this. But in some cases, we feel that using a membership plugin is best. When our users are looking for more advanced functions, it always helps to use a plugin specifically designed for your specific needs.
In this blog post, we’d like to tell you a bit more about what a membership plugin is and go through the possible reasons why you might need one. We'll also talk a bit about how Formidable Forms can help too.
What is a membership plugin?
A membership plugin allows you to protect content and reserve it only for members, rather than the general public. With content restrictions, you can maintain the value of your content to use in marketing pushes or as a key benefit to signing up/purchasing a membership.
With a membership plugin, you can:
Control access to your content
This is the main reason why people look for a membership plugin. You can control and restrict access to your content, reserving it only for people who purchase or sign up.
If you're pushing content as a benefit or exchange to signing up, you've got to make sure users can't get that content without a membership. If they can find it elsewhere, why would they bother purchasing a membership from you? Protecting your content is vital to ensure you're not losing out on money and subscribers.
With a membership plugin, you can restrict access to individual pieces of content or downloads, posts or pages of your website.
Use drip content to keep subscribers
Drip content is a good marketing technique to ensure new users are receiving a lot of benefit over time rather than all at once.
Some people will sign up for a membership but realize they can get everything they need in one download. In this case, there's nothing stopping them from cancelling once they've got what they need.
Controlling your membership by introducing drip content can really help you keep your subscribers from falling off the list. If you want to use drip content, then a membership plugin could really help with this.
Accept membership fees
Now for arguably the most important part. Creating a membership subscription on your website allows you to easily collect payments from those who sign up.
A membership plugin will be able to seamlessly integrate with a payment processor like Paypal, to automatically collect payments.
That means less admin for you. You're then free to dedicate more time to creating the kind of content that your new members are looking for.
Offer discounts and coupon codes
If you offer open discounts on your website, you may very well be giving something for nothing. People who are not interested in becoming members, or ever buying from you, may be taking advantage of those handy discounts.
While you may be happy to give away stuff for free, you can instead use discounts to entice people to sign up as members. That way, you get the members you need and the fees they pay to become members. It means you're only offering the discount to people who are likely to buy something. This equals less loss for you.
If you’re handing out discounts to just anyone, it could end up costing more than you expected.
A membership plugin will give you full control of any discounts or coupons you want to offer. You’ll be able to control how many times they can be used, when they need to be used by, and who can use them.
Revoke user access or change user profiles
Sometimes you need to revoke access to a user who cancelled or let their membership expire. But if you're handling this all manually, it's going to take a lot of time out of your day to keep on top of.
With a membership plugin, you can revoke access to whoever you need to automatically. You can set the plugin to trigger an automatic access revoke once a membership has expired or cancelled.
You can even change the roles of your subscribers, based on tiered subscriptions. For example, if your user upgrades to a premium subscription, you may want to open up new, higher level content for them to access.
Doing this within a membership plugin allows you to automate all this hard work and keep your content open only to those who pay for it.
Can you use Formidable Forms as a membership plugin?
You can certainly do some of the things you may need a membership plugin for. Formidable is great for creating gated content that users need to pay a fee to access. If you wish to provide users with access to easy digital downloads after signing up, you can do that too.
In most cases, it’s best to use Formidable if you only want to work with pay per post memberships.
If you want a simple way to allow users to log in to your website, you can set that up easily in Formidable Forms. You'll need to use our User Registration add-on to set up login forms. It's easy to use Formidable Forms in place of MemberPress' profile form, if all you want is a simple way to allow user logins.
However, if you want additional features and control over your membership directory, a membership plugin might be your best bet. It will be more user friendly to more specific membership needs.
What is the best WordPress membership plugin?
MemberPress is a really simple membership plugin built for WordPress, that we'd recommend to any of our users. It's very easy to use and has a clean and clear interface and database structure. It never duplicates user data, which can lead to errors, and it performs extremely well.
MemberPress also works perfectly alongside Formidable Forms, so there's no need to worry about using two different plugins. It's ideal for anyone looking to create a more complex membership system, without the hassle and over complication you might expect.
If you need a membership plugin for WordPress, perhaps MemberPress will be a good fit for you. If you decide Formidable Forms best fits your needs, take a look at our plans or range of features if you're not already with us.