WordPress Membership Plugins Comparison

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Updated For 2015
This comparison is regularly updated to help you find the best plugins of 2015!
Last update on: 12.3.2015
Contents

  1. Search And Find
  2. Feature Comparison Chart
  3. Instructions And Suggestions
  4. Corrections And Comments

Welcome to the best comparison of the best membership plugins for WordPress! Let me help you find the cheapest WordPress membership plugin that is perfect for your specific requirements and budget!

To get started simply enter which features you will definitely need from your membership plugin in the form below. After pressing “Compare Now” you will instantly get your individual comparison results and can see the top alternatives that offer all the features you require at the best price! Go here for more details on how to use this comparison.

Search And Find A Great WordPress Membership Plugin

Get Individual Results

How many blogs do you own?
What features do you need?

Membership Features:
Payment Processors:
Email and Other Integrations:
Misc. Features:

Top Membership Plugins, ordered by

The Big Membership Plugin Feature Comparison Chart

The search form above is meant to give you a personalized comparison and let you compare prices of the different WP membership plugins. The chart below on the other hand is meant to give you a quick overview over which kind of features you can find in all of the membership plugin alternatives. If you find this huge table too confusing you can also use my heads up comparisons between two specific WordPress membership plugins instead.

Features marked with free in the chart are available in the free version of the plugin. Features marked with addon are sold as a separate extension. Hover over the text to see the starting price of the extension.

WishList Member s2Member Magic Members MemberPress Memberwing Paid Memberships Pro WP-Member Restrict Content Pro Digital Access Pass
Listing Data Verified?
Membership Features
Unlimited Membership Levels (free) (free)
Manage Members (free) (free)
Content Protection (free) (free)
Download Protection (free)
Coupons and Discount Codes (free)
Drip Content (free)
Affiliate Program Integration (free) (free)
Pay Per Post / View (free)
WishList Member s2Member Magic Members MemberPress Memberwing Paid Memberships Pro WP-Member Restrict Content Pro Digital Access Pass
Paypal (free) (free)
Paypal Pro / Express (free)
Stripe (free)
Clickbank
Authorize.net (free)
Google Wallet
MoneyBookers
2CheckOut (free)
WishList Member s2Member Magic Members MemberPress Memberwing Paid Memberships Pro WP-Member Restrict Content Pro Digital Access Pass
MailChimp (free) (free)
Aweber (free) (free)
GetResponse (free)
Constant Contact (free)
Amazon S3 / AWS
WooCommerce (free)
WishList Member s2Member Magic Members MemberPress Memberwing Paid Memberships Pro WP-Member Restrict Content Pro Digital Access Pass
Login Redirection (free)
Member Export
BuddyPress / bbPress Compatibility (free) (free)
Premium Support

Instructions, Recommendations And Ressources

A Short Intro To Choosing A Membership Plugin

The membership plugin niche is one with especially fierce competition and a lot of high profile contenders competing for customers. Because of that most membership plugins can do a lot nowadays since developer have added more and more features to differentiate their product. Protecting content on your blog and accept member registrations to access it is the norm. Integration with different payment providers, advanced management features and email integration is what puts some management plugins ahead of the others.

With this comparison you can check the features offered by different membership plugins and then see which price you would need to pay for each. I have ordered features in the following categories:

  • Membership Features: The basics to build a WordPress membership site, which is why many features in this category are available in most of the compared plugins.
  • Payment Processors: How do you want to charge your members? Be sure to check your payment processors, to see which plugins support them.
  • Email and Other Integrations: If you need your membership plugin to support a certain email service (e.g. MailChimp) you can search for it here.

You should also take note of the different pricing models used by membership plugins. Depending on if you have many blogs or need many special features choosing a plugin with a certain pricing model could save you a lot of money!

  • Most membership plugins charge more depending on how many sites you want to use their software. A one site license and then a developer license for unlimited sites is very common.
  • All plugins only include one year of support and updates, so you should expect yearly recurring costs.
  • S2 Member and Paid Memberships Pro are the only compared services with a free version of their plugin. While S2 Member charges for a Pro version with additional functionality the free version of Paid Memberships Pro contains all features and you need to spend money if you want premium support only.

If you are searching for a membership plugin be sure to take a look at my comparison of eCommerce plugins as well. There is some overlap between these two niches: Several e-Commerce plugins provide extensions that allow you to build a membership site with them. These could be worthy alternatives to the fully fledged membership plugins compared here since those eCommerce solutions typically comes with more payment gateways and other shopping features. Consider WooCommerce, iThemes Exchange (which is even recommended as best membership plugin by Chris Lema) and Easy Digital Downloads in particular.

Other Factors To Consider In Your Choice

There are of course many other factors you should consider in your choice of a membership plugin which are not part of this comparison because they are either highly subjective or hard to track. For example:

  • Is the plugin easy to use? To answer this question download a demo or free version (if available) to get a closer feel for how the plugin works.
  • How good is the plugin interface? Try watching some Youtube videos of each WordPress membership plugin in action to get an idea what the admin area looks like.
  • Is the support fast and helpful? Consider just getting in touch and asking some questions before your purchase to see what kind of answer you get.
  • Is the plugin updated regularly? Check if they post about new version releases on their website. For products with a free version in the WP plugin directory you can browse the changelog there.

Links

If you are still unsure which to choose here are some links to more great comparisons of member plugins for WordPress done by other bloggers:

Finally I want to stress that this membership plugin comparison only compares prices and features as reported by the developers. It can not tell you whether those features actually work or in which WordPress membership plugin they work better. I recommend you use my comparison as a starting point in your search for the best WP membership plugin and then try some of the top choices yourself!

How To Use This Membership Plugin Comparison

My big WordPress membership plugin comparison

Using this comparison is very easy, certainly easier than actually choosing one of the membership plugins! In the form at the top of the page enter which features you will definitely need from the membership plugin of your choice by checking the boxes next to each feature. Because many WordPress membership plugins increase in price depending on your number of sites you should also select on how many blogs you intend to use the plugin with the dropdown box.

After clicking the “Compare Now” button the top membership plugins based on your requirements are shown on the right side. By default the results are ordered by how well they match the features you have searched for. You can change that with the “Order results by” dropdown, e.g. to display the cheapest WP membership plugins in front.

What the results mean: Each compared product is shown in a blue box that contains the following information:

  • Features: This comparison tracks a number of features that are commonly found in the best WordPress membership plugins. The number next to each alternative shows you how many out of all those features you can find in this particular product. Features are listed as reported by the developers.
  • Missing Features: This will only show up if a WordPress membership plugin does not offer all the features you need (defined by your selection in the comparison search form). All products are displayed regardless of how many features they are missing with the best matches listed higher.
  • Price: The price as calculated for your number of blogs and required features. The goal is to show you the exact cost you can expect when deciding to purchase one of the alternatives in order to help you find the cheapest membership plugin possible.
    All prices are as listed on the developers websites. Bulk or automatic discounts are factored in if available. There can be minor variations due to rounding errors. If you find a product has changed their prices please report it so I can keep the list updated.
  • Reviews: This section lists the average rating of the plugin given by WPscoop users. If available the average rating from the WordPress.org plugin directory or the CodeCanyon marketplace is also listed.
  • Download / Order Link: Many of the products compared here offer you a way to test their service for free. Some offer a basic plugin for free, others a demo on their website or a refund period. You will find the details next to each plugin. If possible I recommend you try and test any WordPress membership plugin yourself before buying.

My Heads Up Comparisons

Facing the hard choice between two specific membership plugins? I have created 1 vs. 1 comparison pages for most of the WordPress membership plugins listed here to help you find the better alternative! Check them out:

Suggestions And Corrections Welcome!

All the data about prices and features is coming directly from the developers. I want this comparison to be an objective starting point in your search for a great WP membership plugin. Because of that it only contains hard facts and no subjective verdict by myself.

Since most WordPress products are regularly updated and prices get changed often I need your help to keep this comparison up to date! If you spot an outdated price, find an error or notice that a feature was added to one of the membership plugins please leave a comment so that I can update the article. Thank you!

Which membership plugin do you like best? Is there another plugin alternative I should add to this comparison? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below. If you wish you can also contact me directly!

About Thomas Höfter

I am a WordPress plugin developer from Germany. Some might know me from my WP Robot plugin or one of my free plugins but most don’t know me at all. To change that you can write me a message or find me on Google+.

18 Comments


  1. One more time, I am very grateful for your post and review, very very helpful.

    Reply

  2. Hi,

    I may add our plugin to the list which now is 2.5 years old and counts more than 75000 downloads.

    While not addressing the membership feature itself (i.e. pay to become a member), it covers what some people are really after when looking at membership plugins: publishing content towards registered users in a flexible, simple yet easy way.

    WP Customer Area can be used along with a plugin which addresses the membership aspects (payment, recurring subscriptions, …). It then provides very powerful tools to build a private area and easily create private messages, files with multiple secured attachments, projects, etc.

    It can be found at http://wp-customerarea.com and of course directly on wordpress.org

    Reply

  3. Hi Thomas,

    I have already read the Article and alll comments.

    Every comment is very helpful, Wow, I got the lot of thinks from there.However, I want to add something, and recently I just released the membership plugin in the wordpress repository who is called “rs-members”. Before developing I just studied existence all membership wordpress plugin.I got many problems from the those.As a result; I just tried to include many useful features.Without programming skill any guys can easily maintain this plugin.Guys you can visit my “rs-members” from wordpress repository.

    Thank you gentleman For patiently reading.

    Reply

  4. Hi there…. I need to find a plug-in that will allow my visitors to register and sign in to their account on my website (there is no charge for becoming a member). After logging in, each member would be able to view their own unique page (a table or spreadsheet type). I would be the only one who could edit or add content to each members’ pages. Any suggestions on what I can use? Thanks very much in advance 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hi Maciek, most of the membership plugins compared on this page would be overkill for this relatively simple task. You should be able to find a nice free plugin to do that. Unfortunately I have no specific recommendation but did you try to search on WordPress.org?

      Reply

  5. Hi Thomas,

    You might be interested in having a look at Groups, of which I’m the developer.

    It covers pretty much everything you have in your comparison and quite more, much is OOTB and free, some covered by free and premium extensions and integrations. With more than 160k downloads and +10k active installations to date, it’s growing daily and is recognized for its capabilities and flexibility.

    Among the points in the comparison table it covers: Unlimited Membership Levels, Manage Members, Content Protection, Download Protection with Groups File Access, Coupons and Discount Codes is supported with integrations, Pay Per Post is covered by relating posts with groups, PayPal with Groups PayPal and other payment gateways with integrations, MailChimp and WooCommerce integrations exist, Login Redirection is supported with Groups’ own shortcodes for login and logout and also the free Groups 404 Redirect extension, Member Export including importing and exporting members with Groups Import Export and it is compatible with BuddyPress and bbPress (there is a minor conflict with BuddyPress related to actions that both Groups and BuddyPress invoke) and Premium Support is provided with the extensions we offer.

    Please excuse the length of the above but I hope you and your readers will find this useful, it would be great if you could include Groups in your comparison here.

    Cheers,
    Karim “Kento”

    PS: Groups gibt’s auch auf Deutsch, die Übersetzung habe ich seit 1.6.0 hinzugefügt.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Karim, but Groups also works as a paywall via WooCommerce subscriptions, which isn’t cheap for sites starting out

      Reply

  6. Hi!

    Can you please suggest a good membership plugin that supports sub-site creation and plugin access on subsites?

    Amongst the plugins mentined here only S2member supports it but that’s buggy. Prosites from WPMU Premium supports it but it is a mess like their other plugins.

    Thank you!

    Reply

    1. Unfortunately I don’t know which membership plugin would support the feature you are asking for since I never looked into that. You would need to get in touch with the developers directly to clarify.

      Reply

  7. Hi Thomas,

    Just wanted to see if you would consider including http://DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP) membership plugin for WordPress in your list.

    At the time of writing this, we have almost 26,000 DAP users and 44,000 web sites running DAP. So it would be unfortunate if your readers didn’t even get to consider DAP when doing their membership plugin research :-). So hope you considering including us.

    Do let us know if you would like a free copy of DAP and we’ll be thrilled to hook you up!

    Cheers!

    – Ravi Jayagopal
    Co-Founder & Co-Developer, DAP

    Reply

    1. Hi Ravi, thanks for your comment! DAP is already on my list and I will look into adding it to my membership plugin comparison with the next update!

      Reply

    2. I have just added Digital Access Pass to the comparison! Also sent you an email via your sites contact form with instructions on how to verify and correct the data if necessary.

      Reply

  8. Hi Thomas,

    Firstly, can I congratulate you on such a comprehensive and informative post.

    I have been researching which membership plugin is right for me and my project. I notice that you do not cover http://membermouse.com in your review. It keeps coming up in other comparisons and reviews and I wanted to know if you have had any experience with this plugin? Pros and Cons?

    Cheers

    J

    Reply

    1. Hi Jason,

      no, I have no experience with Membermouse unfortunately. But I am aware it is another alternative that is missing from my membership plugin comparison and I plan to take a look at it and add it soon!

      Reply

  9. Thomas,

    Thanks for this, tons of great info! I’m choosing a membership plugin to best manage my subscription based premium podcast. I initially chose s2member but getting a secure rss feed working that transmits the podcast is very difficult with my level of knowledge in the coding department. Are there any of these plugins that you find to have more robust rss tools and user friendly rss integration over the other plug ins? I’ve also discovered secure rss feeds are delivered in one of two ways: Remote Header Authorization or Tokens. I know almost nothing about tokens. Would you suggest one method over the other? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    1. Thanks Greg and I’m glad you found my comparison of membership plugins useful. Unfortunately I can’t help you with your question because I have never looked into secure RSS feeds with membership plugins as I did not need that feature myself. I think with such a specific feature requirement you best bet will be to contact the plugin developers directly with your question.

      Reply

  10. Thomas, thank you for putting together this comparison about membership plugins. I develop a lot of client sites that require specific membership functionality and spend a lot of time ad resources implementing various solutions as listed above and then try to fill the gaps with custom code and miscellaneous complimentary plugins or custom functions. Now I can refer to your comparisons as well as my clients. I appreciate the research!

    Reply

    1. Glad you found the comparison useful Jayson! If you find any errors be sure to let me know so I can keep the list up to date.

      Reply

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