Are you looking to create a membership site in WordPress? Want to know which is the best WordPress subscription plugin? Choosing the right membership plugin is crucial for your business because a good platform means more opportunities for growth. In this article, we will compare the 5 best WordPress subscription plugins to create easily paid subscription websites.
What to Look for in a WordPress Membership Plugin?
There are lots of WordPress membership plugins, but not all of them have specific features that you might need to create a membership site.
Some of them are good for selling subscriptions on a single level while others offer more varied membership levels and membership management features.
Some plugins offer drip content features that allow you to slowly release new content to the user. Others are limited to offering hidden content only.
You also need to find out which payment gateway you will use. Do you just want to accept credit cards, PayPal, or both? Your subscription plugin should have support for the payment gateway of your choice, either built-in or via an add-on.
Having said that, let’s see what you need to start a WordPress subscription site.
If you like written instructions, just keep reading…
What Do You Need to Run a WordPress Membership Site?
Membership websites are resource-intensive, and selecting the wrong host can be detrimental to your overall performance. So the first thing you need to do is choose the best WordPress hosting you can afford.
If you are on a budget, you can start with Bluehost. Their Business Pro plan comes with an SSL certificate that requires you to securely collect payments, a dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line.
If budget is not a problem and you want the best performance, we recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine.
If you do not already have one, you need to choose a domain name for your website. Here’s our guide to choosing the right domain name for your membership site.
Lastly, you need to choose the necessary business plugins like OptinMonster to help you capture leads and increase subscriptions.
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to get started with WordPress membership sites, let’s take a look at our top WordPress subscription plugins.
Memberpress is one of the most popular WordPress subscription plugins. In terms of features, it is the easiest and most powerful to use.
Easy to Setup: Memberpress makes it easy to set up a membership website with WordPress. It can automatically find out pricing, login, account, and many thanks pages for your users. Adding membership plans is very straightforward.
Content Access Control: MemberPress comes with powerful access controls that allow you to restrict access to any content, including posts, pages, sections, tags, files, and more.
Content Dripping: Content dripping lets you show limited content to members after a certain period of time. This is a really useful feature for selling online courses or learning materials.
Sell Courses: MemberPress allows you to easily create and sell online courses. It provides users with an interactive learning experience that focuses on course completion rates.
Integrations: Memberpress integrates with AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, and MadMimi best email services. It integrates with Amazon Web Services and blubrry for podcast hosting.
Payment Gateways: Memberpress comes with built-in support for PayPal and Stripe Payment Gateway. Developer plans add Authorize.net support.
Limited Payment Options: MemberPress only supports three popular payment gateways. This will be a contract-breaker for site owners living in countries that are not supported by this payment gateway.
Limited Integrations: While the plugin has enough support for popular services to run a membership site efficiently, it still lacks integration with some other popular services. The plugin is easily extensible, and you can pay someone to integrate a third-party service that you want to use.
Pricing: Starting from $129 / year for the Basic plan and $249 / year for the Plus plan.
We think MemberPress is the easiest-to-use WordPress subscription plugin for beginners. It’s quick to set up with many powerful options.
Teachable is an all-inclusive online course developer. It packs subscription websites, LMS, discussion forums, email marketing, and analytics all under one dashboard.
Ease of Use: Instrumental is easy to set up and does not require any technical skills. Subscription content creation includes a built-in tool for quick creation and uploading of videos and videos, texts, PDFs, and more.
Drip Content: It has a flexible drip content feature that lets you roll out content based on user progress or membership level.
Built-in Engagement Features: It offers discussion forums, quizzes, contact forms, certificates, and other features to increase user engagement and build a strong online community.
Not a WordPress Plugin: Tutorial is not available as a WordPress plugin. Instead, you can integrate it into your WordPress site by adding a link or a subdomain.
More Expensive: Teachable includes everything that makes it more expensive than other WordPress subscription plugins.
Pricing: Basic plan starts at $39 / month, professional $99 / month, and business $499 / month.
Restrict Content Pro is a strong contender for the title of the best subscription plugin for WordPress. It was created by the same team that is behind the popular Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP plugins.
Easy to Use: Restricted Content Pro integrates seamlessly with the WordPress user interface. It lets you easily figure out how to use it.
Built-in Integrations: Unlike other subscription plugins, the Restricted Content Pro comes with built-in integration that sends other plugins as paid add-ons. It has features like Stripe, PayPal, MailChimp, MailPoint, Email Manager, CSV Export, and many more.
Payment Gateways: Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree come as free add-ons. Other supported by payment gateways include 2Checkout, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal Express, and Stripe Checkout.
Works with Easy Digital Downloads: If you are running Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products, then Limited Content Pro is the perfect companion.
Excellent Support: There is comprehensive free documentation available for all users. You get professional help via email with a very quick response time.
Fewer Integrations: It has less integration with third-party services like email service providers than other plugins in this list.
Pricing: $99 with 12 addons and single site license, $149 for 5 sites, and $249 for all addons and unlimited sites. There is also a $ 499-lifetime plan.
We’ve found Restricted Content Pro to be one of the easiest-to-use subscription plugins. It is developer-friendly and comes with a great feature that is suitable for all types of subscription websites.