WP Membership Plugins 101: A Quick Buying Guide

WordPress_Membership_Plugin_Membership_SoftwareTalking about membership plugins for WP is a tricky affair. For starters, different site owners have different needs and finding a plugin that does EVERYTHING is out of the question. And then there’s the issue of having a lot of options – too many that it’s almost impossible to just pick one and feel satisfied about it.

So instead of telling you which WP membership plugin to pick and run the risk of recommending one that’s completely different from what you need, I’m giving you a quick guide that will help you find the perfect plugin for your website and business.

3 Core Features To Keep An Eye On

With all of the bells and whistles packaged in the latest membership plugins, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Don’t focus on the shiny stuff. Instead, here are 3 core features you want to focus on when shopping for a WP membership plugin:

 Easy Auto-Responder Integration

The money is in the list, and you want a plugin that lets you integrate an email auto-responder service like MailChimp, Aweber, and GetResponse. A WordPress membership plugin like MemberPress lets you hook up your auto-responder service of choice by simply entering your API key. This gives your new members the opportunity to sign up for your email list. Your new members get more of the content they want and you get more targeted eyeballs for your promotions – it’s a win-win situation!

Supports Multiple Payment Gateways

If you are running a free membership website, then this is something you could skip. But since we are premium / paid sites, you want a plugin that supports multiple payment gateways like PayPal, Authorize.net, and Stripe, which is a new online payments infrastructure used by companies like Rackspace and FourSquare.

Restrictions For Accessing Premium Content

This is perhaps the most important feature to keep an eye on. After all, you want to give your paid members that VIP treatment by providing exclusive content. Every membership plugin has content restriction features in place – it’s their bread and butter so to speak. Personally however, I like MemberPress’ access rules. It allows you to restrict access to specific posts and pages; categories and tags; and even individual files like PDFs, audio, and video files.

Other Questions You Need To Answer

  • Are You Working On A Tight Budget? If you’re just starting out, perhaps your budget is the primary driver of your business decisions. It’s not a great position to be in, but we all have to start somewhere. Fortunately, there are WP membership plugins that are 100% free like Paid Memberships PRO and Restrict Content PRO. But while these free plugins are easy to install and intuitive to use, they lack features that paid membership plugins have like content dripping and membership pause.
  • Do You Want To Drip Your Content? Content dripping might be a huge deal for you. After all, no website/business owner wants to offer AWESOME content in one shot…only to have someone pay the fee; log in to your site; download all of your stuff; and ask for a refund before your 30-day trial is up. That’s just bad for business!
  • Do You Plan To Customize The Code? You picked a plugin and it does everything you want it to. It’s all good…until you want more. That’s when you start looking underneath the surface and into the actual code of the plugin – keeping an eye for what you can tweak. If you feel that this is a route that might take in the near future, you want a WP membership plugin that has a clean code that you can easily fine-tune according to your needs.

Also, check out Getting Started With MemberPress for WordPress – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ0_Eexoqus

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