Best WordPress Membership Plugins For 2020 & Beyond

There was a big talk before the Millenium year start in 2000. There were enough reasons for the anticipation.

Every thousandth year should be a remarkable count, y2k problem was there, and the dotcom bubble too.

From there, now we have lived 20 years. We are welcoming 2020 with all the hopes for prosperity. I wish you great success this year.

Let us jump to see what are the potential best WordPress membership plugins in 2020.

With a decade of experience in WordPress membership plugins, my picks are strong ones in terms of functionality, customer support, better upgrades, and the long-term-thinking of the company behind the plugins.

Why do I mention the long-term-thinking of the company? I wish you the best WordPress membership site plugin you choose here must standstill with you for another decade and more.

It will be a pain if we don’t get the support when most needed, don’t get the plugin update when the WordPress core gets updated.

Moreover switching from one WordPress membership management plugin to another would cost you double or triple than the price of best WordPress membership software.

I have already mentioned some excellent Membership plugins to sell your digital downloads and now, let’s check which is the best membership plugin for WordPress for the coming year 2020?

WordPress Membership Site Plugins – My Views

Before getting into the plugin details, let me share my observations on membership plugins in the last decade!

Some of the mind-spills are here.

  • S2Member is the free & most downloaded WordPress membership plugin with payment gateway integration. The plugin history goes for more than a decade. The developer updated the plugin three weeks ago, and it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress. Continous update proves the plugin is alive even in 2020.

  • Copyblogger media launched Premise membership plugin by recognizing the grace of membership plugins. The plugin targeted the audience who require an essential WordPress subscription management or PDF/Ebook protection. Later the plugin got to upgrade to Premise 2.0. Then it was discarded without further development.

  • Amember Pro is the standalone membership site software. It is around here for 15 plus years. I thought the Amember pro team could create a WordPress membership plugin considering WordPress was making massive growth in the web design industry. Instead, they came up with an Amember Pro plugin for WordPress integration. As WordPress has plugins to extend the functionality, Amember Pro also has plugins. “WordPress” is one of the Amember Pro plugins. This move from the Amember pro team hasn’t yielded an edge in the WordPress industry to Amember Pro.

  • Wishlist Member is the best WordPress membership plugin of 2020. I have been using the plugin since 2009. The plugin has had the major upgrade in 2019 summer. Out of all the WordPress paid membership plugins, Wishlist Member is the easiest one in setting up the membership sites. Its “Run Setup Wizard” feature helps you set up the 80% of membership site creation process under 15 minutes immediately after the installation.

  • Memberwing-X was a feature-rich WordPress paid membership plugin. I don’t know the reason why the plugin is out of the market now.

  • Digital Access Pass was the best solution for creating membership areas for non-WordPress sites in starting times. Later, the DAP team focused on the growing WordPress market by offering WordPress membership plugin. But one thing with Digital Access Pass still needs to be improved is that the backend content/membership management handled away from the WordPress dashboard. That should happen inside the dashboard.

  • ‘Paid memberships Pro,’ and ‘Restrict Content Pro’ are the exceptional plugins now take the significant share in the membership plugins market. Earlier both the plugins were not that popular. It only means that these plugins have now grown.

  • MemberMouse has become popular now. The team behind MemberMouse launched the service as SaaS (they hosted your site). Now they have moved to a self-hosted method that requires you have to own your hosting like every other membership plugin.

Top 5 Paid Membership Plugins For WordPress

best-wordpress-membership-plugins

I can see only the five WordPress membership plugins are best to suggest for your project.

These plugins are capable of doing all the content protection features, payment gateway full integrations, autoresponder email marketing integrations, and affiliate software integrations.

  • Wishlist Member
  • MemberPress
  • Restrict Content Pro
  • Paid Memberships Pro
  • Member Mouse

1. Wishlist Member

Wishlist Member plugin is the best WordPress membership plugin for 2020. I could justify that.

Wishlist Member plugin’s efficiency, setup simplicity, upgrades, API scripting, and support system are all making the plugin tops the list of best WordPress membership plugins.

The plugin has seamless payment gateway integrations, autoresponder integrations, webinar integrations, and affiliate software integrations.

Wishlist Member was the first WordPress paid membership plugin that has had accessible content protection settings, and all the setup happens inside the WordPress dashboard.

In most other WordPress membership plugins, the file protection is tough to setup. But the Wishlist member is the first plugin that makes it happen inside the WordPress dashboard in just a few clicks.

If you have the membership content, sales pages all in place already, you can complete the full setup under 2 to 3 hours after the plugin installation and go live.

Best Features

  • Most number of payment gateway integrations
  • Most number of email autoresponder integrations
  • Easy Webinar, GotoWebinar integrations
  • Idevaffiliate integration
  • Pay per Post feature
  • Posts, Pages, Files, folders, tags Protection
  • Custom capabilities protection
  • Drip content feature
  • Unlimited member levels
  • One time or subscription payment models
  • Free, Trial and paid membership access
  • API scripting to extend functionalities
  • 3.0 version is GPLv2 licensed

Negatives

  • Coupon codes feature is not there. It is 2020, hey Wishlist Team, please do it for your customers.
  • To integrate with Woocommerce, you need to buy a thirty party plugin called “WishlistmemberWoocommercePlus” at a separate cost.

2. MemberPress

MemberPress is the closest competitor to the Wishlist Member in my experience. MemberPress, over the years, developed all the features required for membership sites. Also, MemberPress improved the admin-friendly setup options in the WordPress dashboard.

MemberPress is the best one next to Wishlist member in protecting the content. MemberPress has the options to protect the posts, pages, categories, tags, custom capabilities, files, and folders.

The Files and folders protection is well excellent like Wishlist member. Files protection capability is significant for a WordPress membership plugin.

Because most of the protected content in any membership website would be files like pdf, ebooks, videos, podcasts, and images.

MemberPress has coupon codes feature that Wishlist member doesn’t have. You can create coupon codes that encourage the affiliates and make more membership sales.

MemberPress has Google first click feature while Wishlist member doesn’t have that feature.

If you enable the feature, Google will still be able to crawl your protected content and index. When a Google user clicks and visits your protected page, the first page he comes to will be accessible to the user.

When the user completes reading that content and trying to access other links, MemberPress will show a protected content message and asking the user to pay to signup.

Best Features

  • Coupon Codes feature
  • Google first click free
  • Sell corporate accounts (Bulk memberships)
  • Affiliate Royale Integration
  • Read more Tag protection
  • Partial Post protection
  • Posts Protection
  • Pages Protection
  • Custom capabilities Protection
  • Files and Folders Protection
  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Free, trial and paid membership access
  • REST API scripting for developers
  • woocommerce selling

Negatives

  • Drip, ConvertKit email autoresponders is not available even in $149 “basic” version
  • API scripting is not available in the basic version

Other Amazing WordPress Membership Plugins To Install In 2020

I am not writing a list of all available membership plugins in the market!

I am just trying to point out only the best of best WordPress membership plugins that can withstand for another decade with you.

Henceforth I will list the remaining worthy, not-to-miss, membership plugins as “Good WordPress membership Plugins of 2020”.

3. Restrict Content Pro

Restrict content pro initially created as free membership plugin which then grew as a premium membership plugin.

Restrict content pro plugin can protect posts, pages, categories, and custom capabilities. This plugin integrates with significant payments gateways as well. Major email autoresponders can be combined with restrict Content Pro.

You can offer free, trial and paid membership levels. You can offer one-time payment or subscription (recurring billing).

Restrict Content Pro integrates with easy digital downloads plugin to manage most of the file protection job and manage protected downloads.

Easy digital downloads plugin’s basic version comes for free. If you want to get some Easy digital downloads’ paid add-on functions, this is going to cost you separately.

Paying for both the plugins, “restrict content pro and easy digital downloads” may increase your project cost.

Alternatively, you can use the download monitor plugin which is a free one. There is an add-on to integrate restrict content pro and download monitor plugin.

While download monitor plugin manages the protection of file downloads, restrict content pro member levels can be set up to get access to the downloads upon one-time or subscription payment.

Best Features

  • Posts protection
  • Pages protection
  • Tags & Categories Protection
  • Custom capabilities protection
  • Third-Party Addons
  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Free, trial and paid membership access
  • One-time or subscription payment
  • Easy Digital Downloads integration
  • Woocommerce integration

Negatives

  • The free version is not enough for 90% paid membership websites
  • It is a pain to use two or three plugins to even basic file protections

4. Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is similar to Restrict content pro plugin in terms of how the plugin functions through add-ons. Paid memberships pro has around 80 add-ons.

Paid memberships pro has two premium versions along with one free version. The two premium versions are “Plus” and “unlimited.”

The free version is the best free WordPress membership plugin for essential membership website. One or other requirements will come on the way in the middle of the project. You will find out you need a paid add-on to accomplish the requirement.

Skip using the free version and go for “Pro” version which offers license up to 5 websites.

For example, take one paid add-on “Add Member from Admin Add-on.” This add-on lets the admin add members manually inside the WordPress dashboard. While Wishlist Member provides this feature inbuilt, we do need a separate on with Paid memberships pro.

This is the problem with Restrict content Pro and Paid Memberships Pro. We need to search for an add-on for our basic requirements. If you don’t find this as a problem, you are good to go with these two plugins.

How do I install WordPress membership plugin like WishList Member? It is just one file and one-click installation.

But How do I add a subscription to my membership website with Paid memberships pro plugin? First, install the plugin and then install add-ons separately. So this makes a difference.

Best Features

  • Unlimited number of membership levels
  • Posts protection
  • Pages protection
  • Custom capabilities protection
  • Tags protection
  • Woocommerce integration
  • Easy digital downloads integration
  • Free, trial and paid membership access
  • One-time and subscription setups

Negatives

  • File protection happens through either Easy digital downloads plugin or downloads monitor plugin
  • Essential functions require add-ons thus more time-consuming

5. MemberMouse

Member Mouse is another WordPress membership plugin. The team behind the MemberMouse committed to helping the customers get what they want.

If it a coding requirement, MemberMouse team helps you in most cases. That is what I like most about MemberMouse.

MemberMouse focuses on increasing your sales and keeping retention rate under control. How can I say that? MemberMouse has good reporting of your member data.

See the “Report Suite” explanation video in the MemberMouse official home page.

MemberMouse supports one-click upsells, Save the sale/Downsells, Split-Test Prices, Sharing Auto-lockin, Allowing Social profiles login, and many more. All these features benefit you in one or other way in making more money.

MemberMouse understands the critical issues as a business where you could struggle. Support automation concept enables self-service for your clients and reduces support request. You allow or disallow the refund and cancellation request in the self-service area.

MemberMouse integrates exclusively with the PCI compliant payment gateways. This helps to secure your customer money and data.

MemberMouse lets you use the “Card on File” feature that helps your customer save their credit/debit data. Please note that the card data not stored on your servers. Alternatively, it is stored in payment gateway providers’ PCI compliant servers.

Best Features

  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Content drip feature
  • Posts Protection
  • Partial content protection
  • Pages protection
  • API access
  • 1-Click Upsells
  • Save the sale/Downsells
  • Reports Suite
  • Card on File
  • Retention & Churn Focus
  • Idevaffiliate integration

Negatives

  • The plugin price depends upon how many members you have. This is a bit uncomfortable for us. If it is a hosted solution, we wouldn’t mind. But MemberMouse is just a plugin and requires our self-hosting.
  • Woocommerce integration is not possible by default. You may buy an integration add-on from HappyPlugins.

Finally, which is the best WordPress membership plugin for 2020?

While I sound like disliking the Restrict Content Pro & Paid Memberships Pro plugins, I didn’t actually.

I want the plugin to accomplish most of the tasks efficiently through the WordPress admin dashboard. Searching for multiple add-ons is time-consuming in the user side.

Combining multiple plugins like Easy digital downloads, Woocommerce, Woocommerce subscriptions, etc. would take more time and will be hard to learn different plugins.

  • If your website requires the Membership functionalities exclusively, Wishlist Member is the best WordPress membership plugin in 2020 membership websites.

  • If your website needs eCommerce functions, integrating with Woocommerce is a must. In such a situation, I suggest Restrict content Pro or Paid Memberships Pro is the best WordPress membership plugin in 2020 for your project.

Which plugin would you like to go with your project? What issues did you find in building your membership website?

I believe that I have recommended the best WordPress membership plugin of 2020 to your project. Share your experiences in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Best WordPress Membership Plugins For 2020 & Beyond”

  1. Thank you so much for this Post and all the best for your future. You are really a talented person I have ever seen. I am satisfied with the arrangement of your post.

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