There are about a thousand-and-one use cases for a membership software: from online book clubs to subscription-based programming courses and video streaming services, a lot of community-driven creator businesses. Membership tools help companies implement their business model, manage customers, keep track of payments, and optimize revenue streams.
In this article, we look closer at membership software, how to choose the best one, and some of the most popular solutions for WordPress.
How to Pick Your Membership Software
The market’s no short of options when it comes to membership software — so much so that choosing the right one can be a baffling experience. So, if you’re confused by the wide range of membership software tools, here are some of the essential tips you should follow:
Where do you plan to create your membership site? There are many options available on the market:
- WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. Starting a website on it is inexpensive, and with a couple of plugins, you can create a drag-and-drop membership site in no time with zero coding experience.
- Wix is another popular choice, allowing you to create a membership site fairly easily. However, compared to WordPress, it lacks in flexibility — and it’s more costly too.
- Squarespace is a more design-oriented site builder with attractive website styles you can choose from. However, it’s on the more expensive side and may not have the same flexibility as WordPress (or Wix, for that matter.)
When choosing a membership software, you should always look for one that’s intuitive and easy to use. This helps you to quickly understand the interface so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the features.
Furthermore, you should make sure the end result, your website, is also user-friendly. It should offer a seamless browsing experience for your members — from signing up, logging in, and managing their accounts.
Security and Reliability
Finally, security and reliability are key factors to consider when choosing membership software. You want to make sure that you have reliable tools at your disposal so you can manage customer data securely without any risk of breach or data loss.
You don’t want to spend an eternity trying to choose the right design for your membership site — especially when you’re just starting out and need to focus on other aspects of the business. That’s why, when choosing membership software, it’s important to find one with a wide selection of themes that you can quickly apply and customize to your needs.
Integrations with Tools
Your membership site won’t function in a “void” — you need to connect it to other tools, like social media automation, email marketing, and data collection software. This is why ensuring your membership software provides you with as many ready-made integrations as possible is extremely important. These connections between your site and your preferred tools will allow you to streamline processes, optimize efficiency, and remove human error from your operations.
Naturally, if you want to build a membership site (and especially if you want to build it on different access levels), you also want to ensure your membership software allows you to restrict any type of content any way you want it.
For WordPress sites, this is easy, as plug-ins like Ultimate Membership Pro provide you with the functionality to restrict content based on user roles, membership levels, and a wide range of other parameters.
In addition to the content restrictions features, you should also look for membership software that allows people to form a community around your products/ site. This will increase member retention, as users will be more likely to stay if they form relationships with other members.
Some common (and desirable) community building features include member profiles, forums, and comment sections.
Last, but not least, you want your membership site to be a mean, lean, revenue-generating machine. This also means you want to make sure it integrates with your preferred payment option (whether that’s Stripe, PayPal, or another payment processor.) A seamless payment integration allows you to charge members automatically and with ease, without bureaucratic mess, and in a fully user-friendly way.
The Best Membership Software Options for WordPress
As mentioned above, WordPress makes it very easy to create a membership site (as long as you have the content, you could be up and going in as little as 48 hours!) However, choosing a membership software (or membership plugin) for WordPress can be a bit baffling, given the range of options.
So, applying the criteria we mentioned above, we wanted to make your life easier. Here are the top 3 most popular WordPress membership plugins:
Ultimate Membership Pro
We’re not tooting our own horn here, but Ultimate Membership Pro is one of the best membership plugins for WordPress. It’s user-friendly, offers an incredible range of features (including content restriction, integration with Stripe, PayPal, and others, as well as almost 100 add-ons you can use to make your membership site work the way you want it.)
Some of our most appreciated features include:
- Coupon Codes
- Content Lockers
- Social Login
- Pause Subscription
- WooCommerce Payment Integration
- Membership Badges
- Drip Content
- Prorating Subscription
- Order Invoices
- Content Protection
- Unlimited Members
- Invitation Codes
- Change Card
- Unlimited Subscriptions
- Membership Cards
The best part? Ultimate Membership Pro costs $39, as a one-time fee. If you want access to the pro bundle of plugins, that will be $149/ year too, and it will give you access to add-ons like:
- Two Factor Authentication
- Restrict Past Content
- Divi Content Locker
- Mailster Pro
- Elementor Widget Lock
- Hiddent HTML Elements
- Restriction Hold
- Redirect Back
- Granted Access
- Restriction Release
- Limited Subscriptions
- PayStack Gateway
- Member RSS
- PayFast Gateway
- Manage Reset Password
- Restrict WordPress Menu
- Invite Your Friends
- RazorPay Gateway
- MailChimp Pro
- Slack Integration
- WordPress User Roles
- My Group Accounts
- MailPoet V3 Integration
If this made you curious, here’s where you can get Ultimate Membership Pro.
Memberpress is a versatile WordPress plugin designed for creating paywalls, membership sites, and online communities. With powerful access rules, you can control content visibility based on membership levels or purchased products.
The platform also offers customizable coupons for promotions, attractive pricing pages, and easy setup with a user-friendly interface. Additionally, Memberpress integrates with various email marketing services and supports automated workflows through Zapier.
Memberpress provides multiple payment gateway options, automated billing for subscriptions, and the ability to manage permissions for groups of people. Whether you’re looking to monetize your content, build a community, or sell products, Memberpress offers a reliable solution with comprehensive features and a user-friendly design.
Memberpress pricing starts at $179.50/ year and goes up to $399.50/ year.
MemberMouse is a versatile membership plugin offering a range of features for managing memberships, selling products, protecting content, building courses, and automating tasks. It enables easy selling of various products, including memberships, courses, and physical goods, with flexible checkout pages, recurring subscriptions, and coupon code support.
MemberMouse also includes a course builder, automation features such as overdue payment and push notifications, and reporting tools for tracking member and revenue growth, engagement statistics, and transaction history. With its comprehensive feature set, MemberMouse serves as a powerful tool for managing memberships and optimizing online business operations.
This WordPress plugin comes in four pricing tiers, starting with $199.50/ year and going as high as $1,199.50/ year.
Building a membership site is easier than ever, but you do need to pick the right software (or plugin) for your WordPress site. As you can see, there are so many options out there, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
When choosing membership software for WordPress, keep in mind the criteria we discussed: content restrictions, community building, and payment options. For example, Ultimate Membership Pro offers all this and much more, enabling you to sell courses, build communities, and market digital products and membership as intricately as you want.