7 Best WordPress Membership Plugins Compared (2021)

Best WordPress Membership Plugins

Are you looking for the best WordPress membership plugins?

With a membership site plugin, you can create a premium content library and make it accessible only to your registered members.

Choosing the right membership plugin is crucial for your business because it’s hard to back out if your decision turns out to be wrong.

Whether you’re interested in generating recurring income, selling online courses, or just building a list of loyal registered members, the following guide will help you choose the best WordPress membership plugin for your requirements.

How to Choose a WordPress Membership Plugin for Your Site

Creating a membership website allows you to limit access to downloads, online content, forums, and support to your registered users only. It requires more or less the same tools that you need to make a website.

Here are a few reasons to create a membership site:

  • Create a highly engaging email list: You can create a content library and make it accessible only to your registered users. You can add these users to your email list as well. This way you can collect the email addresses of hyperactive users. For more details, check out our guide on how to get email subscribers quickly.
  • Demonstrate your authority: Creating a membership site and providing great content behind your paywall helps you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. It also helps you foster a good relationship with your members and even lay a foundation for a loyal customer base.
  • Earn recurring income: Persuade users to pay for the subscription and generate recurring income.

To start with a membership website, you’ll need a domain name, a web hosting, and a membership plugin.

We recommend using Bluehost. It’s one of the best web hosting services on the market. For IsItWP users, Bluehost offers a FREE domain name, free SSL certificate, and a BIG discount on web hosting.

For more details, you should check out our complete guide on how to create a WordPress membership site.

Next, you need to choose the right WordPress subscription plugin. Before you dive in, below are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress membership plugin for your site.

Ease of Use:

If you don’t want to hire a developer to set up your membership site, then you’ll need a plugin that is easy to use. Some plugins come with a complete set of features out of the box. While this might sound good at first, the downside is that the user interface will be bloated with too many options that you’ll never need.

However, there are a lot of lightweight plugins out there that won’t bloat your interface by providing only the important features out of the box. And, if you want additional features, you can easily install the respective addons.


Before you install the membership plugin on your production site, make sure the plugin is compatible with your existing WordPress membership theme and plugins by testing it on a local WordPress install. If everything goes smoothly, then you can install the plugin on the production site.

Design and Features:

Membership plugins often come with a lot of customizable pricing page templates and other features to make your site look unique. Take a note of the important features you’ll need on your site and figure out if the membership plugin you’re considering can meet your needs.

Let’s compare some of the best WordPress membership plugins free and premium, so you can decide which one is the right choice for your site.

1. MemberPress: All-in-One Membership Plugin


MemberPress is the most complete WordPress membership plugin and comes with all the features you’ll need to create a powerful membership site with ease. Unlike other plugins, MemberPress lets you transform your existing website into a fully-featured membership site without hassle.

All you need to do is install the MemberPress plugin on your existing site, enter your payment gateway details, create different membership levels, set up your products, and start inviting your visitors to join your membership site.

With MemberPress, you can restrict access to specific pages, posts, custom post types or any existing files from your regular visitors. The plugin integrates seamlessly with popular email marketing services, like AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, etc.

MemberPress offers built-in support for payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. You can also create dynamic pricing pages quickly and easily. This popular WordPress plugin also comes with several pricing page templates to create a unique look.

You can also create, manage, and sell online courses with MemberPress. Using the fully visual drag and drop builder, you can easily build your course curriculum. The built-in MemberPress Courses add-on includes course progress tracking, a Classroom Mode to automatically style your course pages, and other powerful features. It’s a membership plugin and an LMS plugin, all-in-one!

Other standout features of MemberPress include:

  • Content Dripping: Drip content gradually over a period of time, instead of releasing it all at once.
  • Community Forums: Compatible with bbPress to create your own password-protected community forums.
  • Coupon Codes: Generate coupon codes to run promotions and giveaways.
  • Affiliate Program: Compatible with Easy Affiliate to set up your own affiliate program.

The pricing starts at $179 per year for a single site license.

Get started with MemberPress today.

2. LearnDash: Online Course Membership Plugin


LearnDash was built for creating and selling online courses on your WordPress websites.

It enables you to offer a robust learning experience to your members and supports the latest gamification, social learning, and micro-content trends.

Selling courses has never been easier thanks to LearnDash. A few different ways to sell your online courses are:

  • Memberships: Provide traditional access to all of your online courses
  • One-time price: Implement a shopping cart where visitors can buy individual courses.
  • Subscription: Earn recurring payments through subscription-based selling.

LearnDash allows learners to unlock new courses based on the points they earn as they complete their courses. This allows you to increase retention and make users more engaged in your online courses. You can award highly-customized certificates and badges based on a learner’s performance. You can also offer front-end user profiles where members can track their activity.

The pricing starts at $159 per year for a single site license.

Get started with LearnDash today.

3. Paid Member Subscriptions: #1 Subscription Plugin

paid member subscriptions

Paid Member Subscriptions is one of the best membership plugins WordPress developers have to offer. It allows you to restrict product viewing, purchasing and offer special product prices to certain members. Think of this plugin as offering Amazon-Prime style eCommerce experience to your users.

With this plugin, you’ll be able to manage member subscriptions, grant and revoke access to posts, pages, categories as well as custom post types based on your users’ subscription plan.

The best part is that Paid Member Subscriptions doesn’t force you into a predefined structure because the plugin seamlessly integrates into your WordPress site and content.

To set up the plugin, you need to:

  • Specify your PayPal address to accept payments.
  • Set up subscription plans for users.
  • Protect your content with a metabox that appears in individual posts, pages, and custom post types.

The pricing starts at $69 for a single site license.

Get started with Paid Member Subscriptions today.

4. Teachable: Standalone Online Course Tool


Teachable is an all-in-one platform for creating and publishing beautiful online courses. It’s a standalone platform, so you can integrate your online courses into your existing website or host them on Teachable subdomain.

Teachable comes with a powerful editor that enables you to create and launch stunning sales page to convert your visitors into paying users.

Below are a few features that set Teachable apart from its competitors.

  • Learning tools: Easily create quizzes and discussion forums on your Teachable site. You can also issue certificates of completion to reward your students.
  • Integrations: Import your content from Google Drive, Dropbox or One Drive. You can connect your website with any online tools that support Zapier.
  • Marketing tools: To improve your sales, you can create discount codes, affiliate program, advanced pricing options and more.

The pricing starts at $29 per month with a 5% transaction fees.

Get started with Teachable today.

5. Restrict Content Pro: Freemium Club Membership Plugin

restrict content pro

Restrict Content Pro is a light-weight WordPress membership plugin that lets you easily create a fully-featured membership site. Without bloat, it bundles the set of features you’ll need for your membership site as addons.

It is built by the same team behind the popular Easy Digital Downloads plugin.

The plugin offers a lot of built-in payment options such as Stripe, Braintree, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and PayPal. This WordPress membership plugin has a free version in the WordPress plugin repository that comes with limited features.

A few different ways to use Restrict Content Pro are:

  • Club memberships: Create a premium content library and provide access to members only.
  • Magazine subscriptions: Generate recurring payments by selling online magazine subscriptions to premium subscribers.
  • Private forums: Create private forums and limit access to private communities.
  • Member blogging: On a multi-site network, you can allow paid subscribers to create their own blogs.
  • And a lot more…

The plugin offers a lite version, which can be downloaded from the official WordPress plugins repository. It comes with the ability to create custom user registration and login forms, and limit access to content with a shortcode.

The premium pricing starts at $91 per year for a single site license.

Get started with Restrict Content Pro today.

6. WooCommerce Memberships: Best WooCommerce Membership Plugin

woocommerce memberships

WooCommerce Memberships is an addon for WooCommerce that allows you to limit your content only to the registered members of your site. If you’re already selling digital products on your website and want to sell memberships as well, then you should give WooCommerce Memberships a try.

Keep in mind that it’s not a single plugin solution for creating a membership site. You’ll need to use the free WooCommerce plugin; but, for accepting recurring payments, you’ll also have to install WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

More benefits of the plugin:

  • It offers restricted content and products to your registered members only.
  • You can create special discounts for premium members.
  • If you’re unhappy with your purchase, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

The pricing starts at $199 per year for a single site license.

Get started with WooCommerce Memberships today.

7. aMember Pro: Yet Another Membership Plugin

amember pro logo

aMember is another comprehensive membership plugin that has been around for over a decade. Before you jump in, keep in mind that aMember Pro is not a native WordPress plugin. It is a membership site software built with PHP that also allows you to integrate it with WordPress.

Since this plugin was not specifically created for WordPress sites, you might find compatibility issues with other WordPress plugins.

Some of the key aMember features are:

  • It is shipped with unlimited membership levels.
  • It comes with full-featured membership management.
  • aMember offers 200+ payment systems (including PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net).

The cost of the plugin is $149.36. After purchasing the plugin, you can install it on an unlimited number of sites.

Get started with aMember today.

Which WordPress Membership Plugin is Best for You?

MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin you can have on your WordPress site. It’s the most comprehensive plugin and comes with powerful LMS functionality. It has powerful integrations, premium affiliate program, coupon codes, and more.

If you want a plugin that focuses on retaining members by providing a robust learning experience, quizzes, and certification, then LearnDash could be the right choice for you.

If you need to offer special pricing for selected members of your WooCommerce store (like Amazon Prime, for example) and show certain pages and products exclusively for them, then Paid Member Subscriptions is the best choice. Don’t miss to check these best WooCommerce hosting solutions.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress membership plugin for your needs.

If you’re looking to create a learning management system, check out the
best WordPress LMS plugins

This will further help build a learning management system that you can integrate with your membership plugin to sell online courses.

Comments  Leave a Reply

  1. Which plugin can allow my users to sign up (Verification code on sign up form) and can allow me to change their account balance (on their profile page) from my end..

  2. This is a great list! Got some of the good plugins on here. But I think DAP (Digital Access Pass) should definitely be on this list. I’ve used it to develop tons of websites. It’s so feature rich and can do anything you want. The ones listed are great too. But have their limits. Just not as powerful in my opinion.

    1. I agree with Pat. DAP is a great option, and since they’ve added in their LMS module, I’ve been able to step away from Learn Dash and WP Courseware and just have Digital Access Pass on my site. The support team there are the best. They bend over backwards to help.

  3. Hello, it was helpful, although i am looking for membership plugin where clients after signing up, can create their own profile as well. Where they can add they’re profile picture, and describe themselves with couple of words. Plus you can leave a review for the profile. Is that possible somehow?

  4. Given that many WP membership plugins create user accounts, Security is a key feature that isn’t mentioned here. Do you have thoughts about most secure plugin?

  5. Hello, I went to install memberpress and learndash in wordpress and they are not in the plugins available through word press admin, why is that?


    1. Both are premium plugins

  6. I think before we go and pay for one of these plugs, there should be a way to do a test run, to make sure it works for what we need it for. In many cases i install a plug in that i had to buy, then after using it for a day, come to find out it doesn’t do what i needed it, then your out on that money. There needs to be a demo no matter what.

    1. Most of these plugins have a free version

    2. Agreed

  7. was searching for a club membership theme but nowhere i could find one

  8. What about ultimate member ? It looks great !

    1. I think Ultimate Member will lose their position if they do not add a few more features as default.
      You can imagine a membership plugin not having subscription plans/setup. You have to find other plugins/extensions to go with, just to achieve its basic. Too bad

    2. I have constant trouble with UltimateMember. They keep producing updates with bugs, picking, them up, repairing them (some day) or not, producing new updates which fix on issue, opening another.

      I can’t update UM to the newest version because it breaks my user list. Considering switching.

  9. Hi,

    I am using TutorLMS and I am wondering if Restrict Content Pro is integrated with it?
    Also does RCP can be as a middle man between TutorLMS and ThriveCart?


  10. Envato deliver crappy wordpress plugins. If you use Paypal to purchase, they’ll claim they delivered and they’ll streal your money.They ignore support questions. Don’t buy anything from this dishonest seller..

  11. I am looking for a membership WordPress database tool that can also create and manage events that occur on an annual basis. It is a paid membership group, so most people use Paypal to pay dues.

  12. I’m looking for a membership plugin for a hockey club, adult and junior. No hidden content, just ability to sign up each season, put in the basic details, select the right category of subs due and be able to pay them, in full or monthly. The club like all are, is a charity based non-profit organisation. Would like to be able to email out reminders, and allow existing people to log in annually to update details and pay next seasons subs after having a reminder letter.
    Looked at many, all seem massive and complex for what must be a common issue for any club, football, tennis, whatever, with circa 350 members.
    I like look of Tadpole (Non-Profit Membership Management Using WordPress) so far, but would appreciate any help before I waste our time with the wrong thing as I see others above have, and I did with S88rt Forms.

  13. After using DAP (digital access pass) for a a couple years, I switched to aMember a few years ago. And I’m glad I did. Our site offers a free version of the software and optional premium recurring subscriptions. While it’s true that aMember is not a native WP plugin, have not experienced any major conflicts (or minor ones that I can recall) with other plugins.

    With free and paid aMember add-ons, we’ve created a powerful membership area and shopping cart. My only complaint is that I wish customizing themes on member pages and the shopping cart would be easier. For those with solid PHP skills you’ll have no problem.

  14. Hi guys, I want to create a subscription based membership site, for online content. I’m thinking about WooCommerce Subscriptions and Membership, because these seem like well built plugins, but since I don’t really have products (maybe later on), I don’t know if these WooCommerce solutions would be the right for me. Or does it even matter that I don’t have products? It would be great to have some advice on that, thanks!

  15. Hi there and thanks!

    I need a plugin that allow to buy multisubscriptions (more than one subscriptionfor the same user). Can you help me?

    Thank you 🙂

  16. Hi, I am looking for a membership plugin that offers the following –
    1:User custom registration form that auto syncs with mailchimp list
    2: User can bookmark/add to favourites wordpress posts
    3: Admin can view details of what each user bookmarked

    Is this possible with your membership plugin?
    Thanks in advance

  17. Manpreet Singh Sood July 13, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Can i get thru to Ankur and Andy who contributed to present thread. Thanks in advance.

  18. looking for membership plugin for a camera club where members can sign up anytime but all members revert back to subscriber level at a preset date ( June 1st) using WooHoo commerce as the sales plugin.

  19. Can you give my plugin (Member Chimp) a shout? It’s not exactly to manage paid memberships, but it provides community features, where people become members, search other members and submit photos and information to their profiles. If you got a minute, check it out at the WordPress repository.

    1. This is a brand new plugin. How certain can I be that it will be supported for many years, improved and updated?
      What is the cost? Will the cost change in the future?

      1. It will be supported through a premium version which include premium only features. However the free version will remain free, and the free version also will get improved (already did many updates since release). At this point, I’m just trying to get the word out about it. Thank you.

  20. Thanks for reviewing this non-exhaustive list of membership plugins available for WordPress.

    I will share a point I sure wish someone had shared with me before. The right or best plugin for membership sites does not exist. It depends on your needs and, wait for it, the other plugins you intend to use.

    Your number one pick, Memberpress, was also high on my list when I bought an annual membership with them only to realize, even thought I had asked the right questions before buying, this plugin DOES NOT work well with my cart solution.

    Since building a member site can take a good amount of time, and I also had many important life changes in the meantime, it took a few months and lots of testing, mistakes, back and forth and countless hours to realize Memberpress could not deliver on its promise with my cart solution. (by the way, like many I run countless plugins to hold this together, there are no compatibility problems with everything else I use. Trust me the list is long enough)

    When I contacted them to inform them of the problem it was very vaguely communicated that it would not work the way it should (when someone signed up on the site they had to wait to receive 2 to 3 emails and confirm to actually become a member – it was everything but seamless and deadly from a user experience stand point.)

    Now with Wishlist, no promo intended, I have a seamless checkout and new member access process. By the way, to this day I still own and don’t use my multi-site Memberpress license – just laying out the facts as I wish someone had done before I spend more than 200 US dollars. They will not help you when you are in deep as I was, they just stopped responding when I inquired about the problem, the cause, and finding a middle ground to end this business relationship.

    Nothing is perfect in this world, but a membership plugin has to behave like one otherwise it’s not a membership plugin but some other thing.
    Wishing the best to those webpreneurs that are learning the ropes and making cutthroat concessions in time and financial resources to make their dream come true.

    1. Very valuable feedback thank you! Just starting this journey…& insights like this are much needed & appreciated.

    2. I’m having a nightmare with Wishlist which is why I’m here on this page. Their support is friendly and highly responsive but ultimately, the plugin supports very little. Basic things like coupons — NOPE. The Wishlist “coupons” plugin stopped being supported years ago. This is one of several issues I’m having.

  21. I am looking for a membership that members pay $9.99 per month thought PayPal reacurring payment and the get credit of $20 to there account. One that will reset each month

  22. Teachable is nice WordPress Membership Plugin.

  23. I’m new to all this. I am looking for a plugin that will allow me to share documents with only members in our club at our club’s website.

    1. Did you solve your plugin issue. I’m looking for exactly the same thing. On a site I want to make certain pages to be available by a members login. I just want to use one username and password for everyone.

  24. Loren Anderson May 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    I am looking for a way to run a youth sports membership site through wordpress. Essential function would be the ability for parents to have a “master” account under which they would register their children. Parents would need to have access to all child accounts through one login. Any suggestions?

    1. Did you find one that did this? I am looking for exactly the same functionality.

  25. I am looking for a plugin to give membership on my site. I want to make a portal for handymen to join the platform for free, submit documents and sign up to accept jobs from a calendar. I will be using google calendar and adobe sign for documents but need a plugin that allows members to join free of charge. I will also be needing a payment processor for customers, looking into square for that need. Any free plugins that can do what Im looking for as far as membership goes?

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