people coming together

5 Best WordPress Membership Plugins to Generate Recurring Revenue

Do you want to create a website that brings you recurring income, but don’t know how to get started? Don’t worry, you can easily generate a recurring income by building a membership site. 

A membership site is where you protect your content and give your customers exclusive access to it in exchange for a monthly or yearly fee.

Aside from recurring revenue, a membership site offers several benefits, including: 

Content Protection – Your content is your most valuable asset and you need to ensure it doesn’t get illegally downloaded and shared. Creating a membership site helps protect your content by restricting access to it. 

Community Building- One of the most effective ways to build customer loyalty is by creating a community. Community building lowers customer attrition, increases your customer’s lifetime value, and saves on marketing expenses.

Complete Automation – A membership platform will allow you to automate several actions such as user registrations, granting access to content, collecting payments, and much more. You can enroll an unlimited number of people on your site thanks to automation.

Now that you’re aware of some of the benefits of starting a membership site, you’re probably excited to get started making one of your own. 

So, how do you create a membership site

The easiest way to make a membership site is with a WordPress membership plugin. You have a number of plugin options available to you and choosing the right one will make all the difference to your business’ success. 

To help you choose the right membership plugin, we’ve made a list of the top five options available. We’ll explore their key features so that you can find the best membership plugin to meet your business needs. 

1. MemberPress

memberpress_homepage

MemberPress is an all-in-one membership plugin that makes it easy to transform your website into a fully functional membership site. It’s extremely versatile as it has a number of addons that will let you create any kind of membership site you want. 

MemberPress Features:

  • Easy Installation and Setup – MemberPress will let you set up a membership site in minutes. You don’t need to have any coding or technical skills. 
  • Content Access Restrictions – It’s easy to restrict access to specific pages, blog posts, custom post types, tags, categories, and more. 
  • Payment Integrations – You can automate monthly payments, manage free trial periods, and changes to subscriptions. MemberPress has built-in support for major payment gateways like PayPal, Authorize.net, and Stripe.
  • Forum Building – Using an addon, you can build exclusive forums for your members allowing them to discuss topics and interact with each other. 
  • Email Integrations – You can integrate it with services like Constant Contact, AWeber, GetResponse, Mailchimp, etc. It also has drip email campaigns and drip content options. 

MemberPress has many more helpful features such as the ability to create member groups, offer coupons, and more. It also has a MemberPress Report feature that gives you data about your site, members, their activity levels, and more.

If you need flexibility and multiple features on your membership site, then MemberPress is the best option for you. With its large number of membership integrations, you can build any type of membership site you want. 

2. WooCommerce Memberships

woocommerce_homepage

WooCommerce Memberships is an extension that’s built for the WooCommerce platform. You can use it to restrict content on your site so that it’s only accessible to registered members. It’s not an all-in-one membership extension though, because you need to use WooCommerce Subscriptions to collect recurring payments from users. 

WooCommerce Memberships Features: 

  • Flexibility – It allows you to create different kinds of memberships such as memberships for standalone products. You can make it part of a product purchase, or offer membership in a subscription format. 
  • Rewards – You can create special perks for members as part of their membership package, like discounts for specific products. 
  • Content Restriction – Create rules for posts and pages so that restricted content is not available to the public. You can add content restrictions so that specific membership types have access to specific content. 
  • Product Restriction – Similar to content restriction you can also restrict a user’s access to products and make them available only after the user has spent a certain amount of time on your site. 
  • Email Integration – It has a separate addon that allows you to integrate MailChimp with WooCommerce Memberships. You can launch it in minutes and use it to segment your members for personalized messages. 

3. s2Member

s2member_homepage

s2Member is a membership plugin that’s available for free. The free version has basic user registration features along with content protection and PayPal integrations. It’s good to start with, but it’s useful to upgrade to the Pro versions for more features. 

s2Member Features:

  • Unlimited Membership Levels – It allows you to create unlimited labels and an unlimited number of membership levels. 
  • Payment Integrations – It integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net and ClickBank as well. It makes it easy to accept recurring payments and also enables One-Step Registration/Checkouts.
  • Email Marketing Integrations – You can integrate with email service providers like AWeber, Mailchimp, and GetResponse. It’s possible to customize transactional emails to create personalization. 
  • Content Protection – s2Member makes it easy to restrict access to pages, posts, post-types, URLs and much more. You can even protect downloadable files and streaming content by storing files locally or by using its Amazon S3/CloudFront integration.

4. aMember Pro

amember_homepage

aMember Pro is a comprehensive membership tool that’s actually a PHP script you can download and install on your web hosting server. You can use it on WordPress but there can be compatibility issues with other plugins and themes. However, it’s extremely useful as a membership plugin.

aMember Pro Features:

  • Unlimited Membership Levels – You can create any number of membership levels and products, and assign different prices and subscription terms to each level.
  • Drip Content – It allows you to ‘drip’ content one day at a time or according to your needs so that users have specific timeframes to access content.
  • Language Translations – aMember is unique since it’s translated into 6 languages including Spanish, Russian, and Chinese.
  • Payment Integrations – It has all the payment integrations necessary to create subscriptions and sell products. It works with Stripe, PayPal, ClickBank and several other payment gateways. 
  • Complete Customization – Since aMember is a PHP script, once you download it, you have complete freedom to customize it as you like. However, this is best suited for people who have coding abilities.

5. LearnDash

learndash_homepage

LearnDash is great for people who only want to start an online course. It’s a popular Learning Management System (LMS) plugin that’s easy to use and has lots of integrations. You’ll find a comprehensive set of features that create a complete learning experience.

LearnDash Features:

  • Branded Learning Portal – You can build a branded membership site that’s focused on educational content. It allows you to create quizzes, drip content, build forums, and lots more to help students learn.
  • Comprehensive Payment Options – You can set up your learning platform to offer one-time purchases or a subscription model for recurring revenue. There are also over 300 payment gateways available to you. 
  • Individual Memberships – You can sell each course as an individual membership that limits access to only those people registered to it. 
  • User Management – With LearnDash, you can track your users’ activities, send automatic emails, create groups, and get reports on student progress. You get incredible control and insight over every aspect of user administration. 

You’re Good to Go

We’ve looked at several great plugins that will help you build a membership site that meets your business goals. In the end, your business needs will determine the choice you make. Get started and create a thriving membership site that turns your website into a community and provides you with recurring income too.

Published by

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.