5 of the Best WordPress Membership Plugins Compared

5 of the Best WordPress Membership Plugins Compared

Searching for the best WordPress membership plugins to create a free or paid membership site?

No matter what type of content you want to offer to your members, WordPress membership plugins have you covered. However, it is essential to choose the right WordPress plugin for your site. I mean, you wouldn’t want to pay for the features that aren’t even useful to you.

In today’s post, we are going to talk about the top WordPress membership plugins, their key features, pricing, and what makes each one different. By the end of this post, you will be able to pick the right membership plugin for your WordPress site.

Five best WordPress membership plugins

1. Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is a complete membership solution for all types of membership sites.

You can easily create a one-time membership, or charge a recurring subscription directly from plugin’s dashboard. You’ll also get flexible content restriction options to restrict individual posts or bulk content.

You can also customize how your membership site functions thanks to 64+ premium add-ons and 19+ free add-ons.

Top features

  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Built-in sales/revenue report
  • Six payment gateways
  • 64+ paid add-ons (premium plan)
  • 19+ free add-ons
  • bbPress and BuddyPress compatible
  • Open-source, 100% GPL
  • Easy content restriction


This WordPress membership plugin can be accessed for free via the WordPress directory. But if you have a serious site, you’d want to opt for paid plans. The Plus plan costs $297 and comes with access to all the premium add-ons. If you want to use it for 5+ sites, switch to an unlimited plan for $597.

What makes it a good fit?

With its 80+ free and premium add-ons, Paid Memberships Pro is one of the most extensible WordPress membership plugins that you’ll find. You can find add-ons for so many tiny features, which gives you a lot of flexibility for how you set up your membership site.

2. LearnDash

LearnDash is a WordPress LMS plugin with built-in membership and payment features, which makes it a great option for course-based WordPress membership sites.

You can also include more detailed learning features that other membership plugins don’t offer, like quizzes and course prerequisites.

Top features

  • Unlimited users
  • Built-in payment integrations
  • One-time or recurring memberships
  • Dynamic forums
  • Course content protection
  • LearnDash focus mode
  • Powerful course builder
  • Advanced quizzing
  • Drip-feed content
  • Flexible prerequisites
  • Course completion points
  • Email notifications
  • Certificates & badges
  • GDPR compliant


LearnDash is a premium WordPress membership plugin and offers three different plans:

  • Basic – $159 (1 site)
  • Plus – $189 (up to 10 sites)
  • Pro – $329 (up to 25 sites)

What makes it a good fit?

LearnDash is a good choice if your membership site is focused on delivering online course content. Think of it as a hybrid between an LMS plugin and a membership plugin. However, it’s not quite as flexible as the other plugins on this list because it focuses on online course creation.

3. Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member is a free WordPress plugin that you can use for creating social membership communities where users can sign up with ease. This membership plugin is also highly extensible. By that, I mean, you can take the functionality into any direction using paid add-ons.

Top features

  • User registration
  • User email
  • Front-end user signup
  • bbPress and Mailchimp compatible
  • Custom form fields
  • Drag-and-drop form builder
  • Content restriction
  • Conditional navigation menus


Ultimate Member is available for free on the WordPress directory.

You can extend the core plugin by purchasing individual extensions or buying a bundle of all extensions for $249.

What makes it a good fit?

While many of the other membership plugins are focused on creating paid membership sites, Ultimate Member is more focused on helping you create a social community.

For example, users get detailed profiles and you can use premium extensions to add features like private messaging and social followers.

However, while you can restrict content, there’s no easy way to accept payments, which doesn’t make it a good option for paid membership sites.

4. Paid Member Subscriptions

Paid Member Subscriptions is a flexible WordPress membership plugin that comes with a generous free version at WordPress.org, as well as affordable premium versions.

You can restrict content and offer recurring, one-time payment, or free membership access. You’ll also find integrations with popular plugins, like Elementor, WooCommerce, and bbPress.

Top features

  • Front-end account management
  • Content dripping
  • Flexible content restriction
  • Basic reporting
  • WooCommerce compatible to restrict purchasing or offer special discounts
  • Flexible billing, like free trials or one-time signup fees
  • Elementor integration to restrict widgets
  • Export member data
  • Prevent account sharing
  • bbPress integration


The core Paid Member Subscriptions plugin is available for free at WordPress.org. For more sophisticated integrations and advanced functionality, you need to go premium. You can opt for one of the following plans:

  • Hobbyist – $69
  • Pro – $149

What makes it a good fit?

Overall, Paid Member Subscriptions is just generally a solid membership plugin with all the features that most sites will need. It also offers a unique Elementor integration that lets you restrict Elementor content, which is great if you’re using Elementor.

For the features that it offers, Paid Member Subscriptions is also more affordable than most other membership plugins, which makes it a good option if you’re on a budget.

5. WooCommerce Memberships

WordPress Membership Plugins: WooCommerce Memberships

While it uses WooCommerce as its base, WooCommerce Memberships can help you create both a “traditional” membership site as well as a members-only eCommerce store, so don’t let the name fool you.

Top features

  • Integrated with WooCommerce which lets you use the many WooCommerce extensions
  • Content dripping
  • Bulk or individual content restriction
  • Link membership plans to WooCommerce products
  • Integrates with WooCommerce Subscriptions for recurring payments
  • Detailed eCommerce integrations, like offering special shipping options for members
  • Group membership purchases (with a separate add-on)


WooCommerce Memberships costs $199.

You’ll likely also need to pair it with other WooCommerce plugins. For example, if you want to sell recurring memberships, you’ll also need the $199 WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

What makes it a good fit?

The unique thing about WooCommerce Memberships is the fact that it’s based on WooCommerce. Again, you aren’t limited to using it only on an eCommerce store, though.

This WooCommerce-based approach gives you a lot of flexibility because of how many WooCommerce extensions there are. You’ll also be able to integrate with more payment gateways than most other membership plugins offer.

Which WordPress membership plugin is right for you?

Still struggling to pick the right plugin for your specific situation?

To help you choose the best WordPress plugin for membership, here’s a quick summary of these five tools:

  • Paid Memberships Pro – flexible thanks to a huge collection of add-ons.
  • LearnDash – great for online courses.
  • Ultimate Member – a good option for social membership communities, but not paid membership sites.
  • Paid Member Subscriptions – an affordable option with all the features most membership sites need.
  • WooCommerce Memberships – the WooCommerce-based approach gives you a lot of flexibility and also makes a great option for eCommerce stores.

If you want to get started, we have a tutorial on how to create a WordPress membership site using Paid Memberships Pro.

Do you have any questions about choosing the best WordPress membership plugin? Ask away in the comments section!

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Keep reading the article at ThemeIsle Blog. The article was originally written by Pulkit Bhardwaj on 2020-03-10 05:54:29.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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