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Choose the Best WordPress Membership Plugin

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A membership plugin is the ideal tool for controlling access to some or all of the content on your WordPress site—it lets you place selected content in a restricted area that only members can access. But with so many great plugins in the market, how do you go about choosing one that’s right for you? 

In this post, I'll share some things you should look out for when choosing a WordPress membership plugin. Although every membership plugin offers its own special set of functions and features, the best ones share a few key characteristics. Let’s look at what they are. 

How to Choose a WordPress Membership Plugin

How to Choose a WordPress Membership Plugin

1. Control Access to Selected Content

Controlling access to all content or selected content on your site is the whole purpose of a WordPress membership plugin, so it stands to reason that the best membership plugins give you a high degree of control over who can access what content on your site. You should be able to create complex access rules that protect content already created as well as new content being created. 

Furthermore, if you want to be able to control the rate at which new members access existing content after they sign up, you need a plugin that allows you to slow drip access to content over a defined time period: be that days, weeks, or months.

2. Create Different Membership Levels

Creating different membership levels is always a great idea in order to attract the widest variety of customers possible, so even if you plan to start out offering one level of access, it’s a good idea to select a membership plugin that makes it easy to create multiple levels of membership to accommodate potential business growth. It’s also handy if the plugin automatically generates membership level comparison tables for your offerings.

3. Automate Critical and Routine Tasks

If you want to run a membership site effectively and successfully, you need a plugin that allows you to automate critical and routine tasks that could be quite time-consuming if you had to do them all yourself. So it is important when choosing a plugin to pay close attention to self-service features that automate the tasks involved in getting your members set up and managing their accounts seamlessly.

4. Collect Payments From Members

The best membership plugins for WordPress sites allow you to collect payments from your members, and the fact is that the more of these payment-related tasks the plugin takes care of, the better it is for your overall productivity.

Of course, if you’re not interested in making revenue on your content at the moment, this is a feature you may not need. But if you do want to monetize your content with subscriptions, look out for a plugin that both integrates with your payment processor of choice and automates the collection of subscription payments.

3 Best Membership Plugins for WordPress Sites

Okay, so now that you have a good idea of the most important features to look out for in a WordPress community plugin, let’s take a look at the three top plugins on CodeCanyon. They all deliver in spades on the features we’ve outlined, and they also each have a range of their own special features that you may be interested in for your own needs. 

Ultimate Membership Pro

Ultimate Membership Pro
Ultimate Membership Pro

The ever-popular Ultimate Membership Pro allows you to safely lock any posts, files, categories, or URLs and turn them into an income stream by creating multi-level paid access for your members.

Other terrific features are:

  • multiple login, register, and locker templates
  • multiple payment options
  • extensive automation
  • drip content 
  • social login with the seven most popular social networks
  • coupon codes discount
  • and much, much more

User joeblow008 says:

“This plugin has absolutely everything you need to have a solid membership based site. I recommend it over and over again.”



PrivateContent allows you to quickly and easily restrict any and every aspect of your WordPress site and transform it into a multi-level membership platform. The plugin allows you to lock down your site with a single click and offers coveted features like unlimited membership levels, premium payment plan add-ons, and extensive automation. 

Other terrific features include:

  • unlimited and flexible registration forms
  • Google Analytics integration
  • ability to track your users
  • developer API and hooks
  • users private page
  • custom skin builder
  • and much, much more

User pixelarea says:

"This is the best plugin I've found for members area and protected content. Together with the add-ons it has pretty much everything I needed."



Last but not least is UserPro, one of the best-selling membership plugins at CodeCanyon for good reason. Primarily billed as a WordPress community plugin, UserPro offers all the important features except the payment option. If at any point you decide you actually do need a payment system, the plugin offers a robust payment add-on as well as a plethora of other great add-ons to extend the plugin’s functionality quickly and easily. 

Other terrific features are:

  • ability to build your own community with a searchable members directory
  • elegant custom profiles for each user
  • customised front-end registration and login forms
  • seamless integration with services like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and SVG Avatars
  • social networks
  • and much, much more

User clausnehring says: 

“This is definitely a great plugin with very functionality for a small community site, it's easy to use, very stable, looks great and very professional.”

Choose the Best WordPress Membership Plugin for You

These WordPress membership plugins are among the best currently available at CodeCanyon. Obviously, the one you choose for your site will depend on your specific needs. Check them out, and do let us know in the comments below which ones you prefer.

And if you're interested in more terrific WordPress Membership Plugin and WordPress Community Plugin options, check out these terrific articles below:

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