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MemberPress Review: The Best WordPress Membership Plugin?

MemberPress is a WordPress plugin which lets you create membership websites with ease, Here's our full review with Pros & Cons.
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If you aren’t using a membership program on your site, then you might be missing out on a significant source of revenue. After all, creating a subscription program is one of the easiest ways to make capital out of your content these days.

So how do you do this? For those who have set up their site on WordPress, the good news comes in the form of plugins. Today, you can find a plugin to do most of the manual legwork for you – and that includes deploying a membership program.

MemberPress is one such plugin that gives you the ability to create, manage and monitor membership subscriptions with confidence. In this digital world, these abilities are in high demand to take your website to the next level.

But, is MemberPress the right plugin for you and your business needs? That’s exactly what we intend on finding out in our MemberPress review.

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What is MemberPress?

Built hand-in-hand with WordPress features, MemberPress is a compelling membership plugin that lets you leverage the best features of content management systems. With this tool, you not only have better control over your content, but you can also build a community of consumers by offering them exclusivity.

MemberPress can be used to set up membership programs on your site. While creating them, you can also decide how to grant and revoke access to your content based on posts, categories, tags and more.

MemberPress Homepage
MemberPress Homepage

Though MemberPress is primarily a membership program, it also allows you to sell digital products and services, or anything else that you can offer through subscription packages.

To make things more exciting and efficient, there are also several integrations that raise the performance bar of this plugin. Ultimately, MemberPress is marketed as an ‘all-in-one’ plugin to help build a subscription program for your site.

What Type of Membership Sites can you run With MemberPress?

Nowadays, every site has a subscription program that encourages visitors to become loyal customers. You offer them selectivity and give early access to your content. Now, site owners have got creative in how they use membership programs.

Here are a few ways you can include memberships on your site.

  • Create a club membership
  • Offer magazine or article subscriptions
  • Offer digital courses and other products
  • Offer digital services to paid members
  • Offer support and exclusive customer care to premium members

MemberPress Features

Membership Programs

One of the notable characteristics of MemberPress is how the plugin seamlessly integrates with the WordPress interface. If you are used to the WP CMS, you can set up the plugin in no time.

Even if you are a beginner, the configuration is quite simple, made only easier with further polishing since the MemberPress plugin was initially launched. You can have the plugin run in three simple steps; installation, entering payment getaways and setting up your products.

How to Set Up Membership Programs

Your subscription registration page is similar to other webpages on your WordPress. Follow the steps below to create subscription packages:

  • Fill in the titles for the membership model.
  • Enter the price for the plan as well as its valid term. This comes with further options.
  • You can set a plan for days, weeks, months, or a lifetime.
  • If you have some special promotions going, you can also opt for a fixed date. Here you can also enable Recurring subscriptions for any chosen interval.
Adding your first membership
Adding your first membership

Note: MemberPress also comes with the feature to offer Trial Periods. You can set a period and let your members try out your services for a fixed time. This also offers the flexibility to choose between a free plan or at a discounted price. You can even offer multiple trials or set the condition as only one per member.

  • Add descriptions in text or images. This gives you the opportunity to get creative and attract your customer’s attention. You can change the page layouts, content and design.
  • The next step is to set whether the membership option is accessible to everyone. You can set the purchase to only be available for logged in members, or guests.
  • You can also select the “members only” option, meaning that you can allow your members to upgrade to a premium plan if they are already a subscriber. This is a great way to give incentives to your loyal customers with exclusive packages.

Another useful feature is that your customers can also switch between different subscription plans by only paying the difference.

Note: You can also add giveaways, or contact forms to each membership program separately.

Membership Options

Apart from setting the description and parameters of each membership program, here are some extra functionalities that MemberPress offers.

  • Redirect customers to a “Thank You” page after completing a purchase
  • Send a welcome email
  • Ask more information from users
  • Customize the CTA of the price box
  • Set up different landing pages and login pages for each membership level

Membership Groups

MemberPress has created a unique feature called ‘Groups’ that allows you to display your multiple membership plans on a single page. This will enable your customers to compare each program, while also allowing them the option to upgrade or downgrade between different plans.

This allows you to generate dynamic pricing pages by sorting the order of products and the layout you find best. You can either choose one of the built-in themes or if you have sufficient knowledge of coding, create a page template in your WordPress.

Flexible and Powerful Access Rules

One of the perks of using MemberPress is that while you create different subscriptions, you can also decide what kind of access is given to your members based on their subscriptions.

For instance, you can set individual pages as restricted to children, create custom post types, tag them and more. We will get into detail about this in later sections.

How to Set up Access Rules

Once you have set up the memberships, you can assign rules for each tier to protect the content accessible to members. In MemberPress, rather than choosing which content is accessible, you will be selecting the type of content protected from the membership category.

Creating an access rule
Creating an access rule

Here are the different options available for rules:

  • All Content: As the name suggests, if you choose this, the entire content will be protected from the particular membership plan. However, you need to make sure that you exclude public pages such as the home page, login pages, registration pages, contact pages and such to ensure that an unregistered customer can still see the rest of your website.
  • All Content Categorized: You can choose which categories you want to protect.
  • All Content Tagged: If you tag your posts or webpages, then you can also hide content based on tags.
  • A Single Post: Hide one specific post
  • Posts Categorized or Tagged: Protect individual posts based on specific category or tags.
  • A Single Page: Hides one specific page from the members
  • Child Pages: WordPress categorizes child pages based on parent value, so you can hide these if you so wish.
  • All Pages: Protect all pages.
  • Partial: Hide part of a post or content with a shortcode or PHP snippet
  • Custom URL: Hide specific pages based on the URL
  • Custom Post Type: If there are any post types that do not fall under categories or tags, then you can use this option to set custom protections.

It is important to note that MemberPress recognizes content, posts, and pages separately. As such, you have to make sure that you are choosing the right element in the respective category or tag.

Also, as there is no option to add tags or categories to a page, so you will have to install a plugin if you want to activate ‘Pages Categorized’ and ‘Pages Tagged’ alternatives. MemberPress recommends the ‘Add Category to Pages’ plugin to achieve the results.

Unauthorized Access Pages

If a member tries to access restricted content, then you also need to inform them that it is possible only by upgrading their membership. MemberPress allows you to convey this message by creating a landing page with any specific message displayed. You can customize this page by showing content in the following formats:

  • Display only an excerpt from the content
  • Include an unauthorized message
  • Include a login or registration form.

This allows you to entice or convince your customers to upgrade their current plan with you or register for a new one. This is one step ahead in ensuring that the plugin gives your customers a consistent user experience across the website.

Payment Gateway Integrations

There is no way to run a successful membership site without giving your customers a few choices for payment systems. Membership has made the process of setting up your payment systems as easy as possible.

MemberPress integrates with many different third-party services and software
MemberPress integrates with many different third-party services and software

You can do this by entering the respective API keys, configuring the notifications and you are all set to go.

Currently, you can choose between:

  • Paypal Standard
  • Paypal Express Checkout
  • Stripe
  • net
  • Offline payments
  • Manual Transactions

If you are choosing offline payments such as cash or cheque, you can enable the option to activate the membership only until you have processed the payment.

Subscription Management

As a site owner, you should be able to overlook every aspect of your membership programs. That not only includes creating them but its management as well. Here are some of the actions you can perform as a site administrator:

  • Offer partial refunds as supported by the payment systems
  • Changing the terms of the membership
  • Manually manage subscriptions or transactions
  • Manually change the billing date or plan process in Stripe
  • Manually switching members from one membership program to another
  • Manually update credit card information of customers
  • Manually changing the gateway of users’ subscriptions

While the payments are processed automatically, MemberPress has also ensured that there is enough room for you to make any manual changes if necessary.

Create and Manage Coupons

Offering discounts and coupons are a fantastic way to promote your website. MemberPress has come up with some neat solutions for this as well. Using the plugin, you can create unlimited coupons, create custom coupons, set their number of uses and control their validity.

Creating a Coupon
Creating a Coupon

Here are the settings that give you flexible control over your site’s promotional campaigns.

  • Fixed or percentage-based discounts
  • Offer a standard discount that applies to each payment throughout the duration of the member’s subscription
  • Offer discounts for first payment alone
  • Offer trial period override
  • Offer discount coupons for upgrades
  • Apply coupon for only selected memberships

Send Automated Emails With Reminders

To complete the user experience, you can use the reminder feature of MemberPress to set up automated emails for your customers.

The plugin supports the following email templates:

  • After a customer signs up on your website
  • After a customer abandons the signup process
  • Before a subscription expires
  • After subscription expires
  • Reminding customers of an upcoming subscription renewal
  • Updating after subscription renewal
  • Notifying if the credit card is about to expire
  • Updating if the credit card has expired.

Content Dripping with MemberPress

One of the latest features introduced into the MemberPress toolbox is content dripping. The feature lets you create a post or series, and allowS you to release it over a period of time.

For instance, say, you have created a course or a tutorial. You can use the content dripping feature to release each module every month after the subscription payment is processed.

You can set both the starting and expiration date of this content dripping. This way, you can also hide the content from customers after a certain period, and not based on their membership plan.

Content Dripping
Content Dripping

MemberPress Reports

The plugin has its own set of latest reporting tools that offer you a full analysis of your subscription programs. In this section, you will be able to see charts that track the number of active and inactive members, active and inactive paid members, total members lifetime value, and more.

You can also view the activities based on different periods of time. There are also transaction reports available to get an overview of your financial performance. If needed, you can share this data or download it in the form of a CSV file.

MemberPress Reports
MemberPress Reports

Import and Export Membership Data

You can switch to MemberPress from another membership system at any time. The plugin has made it possible by including the import and export option. This eliminates the risk of you losing your data if you are shifting to another domain or site.

The MemberPress Importer is an add-on available for the plugin. Once you install the add-on, you can use a CSV file to import the previous data into MemberPress. However, it is recommended that you do not change any rules until you have completed the import. Once everything works fine, you can proceed to any rules unique to MemberPress.

MemberPress Widgets

As it is known, in WordPress, you can set up widgets that are little content blocks. These can be added to any part of your page, sidebars, heads and footers to give an overview of any bit of content quickly. MemberPress has also developed a few widgets that can be intuitively placed on your site to promote your membership programs.

The widgets are available in the WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets.

You can drag and drop them to the desired position on the web page and configure it to complete the process. There is also the option to hide the widgets from any unauthorized users of your site.

MemberPress Widgets
MemberPress Widgets

MemberPress currently features the following widgets.

  • MemberPress Login Widget: Allows your customers to log in to their account without having to visit the login page. You can provide a login widget right from the sidebar to perform this action. If they are already logged in, this widget will display that message as well, along with a link to log out.
  • MemberPress Subscription Widget: This widget will display a list of the member’s subscriptions, along with a few message settings available. This includes whether their subscription is valid, a description of their plan, and a membership access URL that allows them to access their account area directly.
  • Membership Account Links: This is a simple widget that can redirect your customers to the MemberPress account page or a logout link if they are already logged in.

MemberPress Integrations

Considering that you can offer membership programs on any online service, MemberPress has managed to gather a wide array of integration options. Though the plugin by itself attends to most of the core requirements, it is excellent to extend its functionalities to other areas as well.

MemberPress Integrations
MemberPress Integrations

There are over 50 integrations that vary from built-in integrations and add-ons, as well as third-party partnerships.

Here is a list of some of the integrations via MemberPress:

  • Email Marketing: Active Campaign, Get Response, MailChimp, MailPoet, Mailster. Constant Contact
  • Visual Builders: Divi, Elementor, Account Page Navigation Tabs.
  • Analytics: Monster Insights
  • Forms: Gravity Press,
  • Affiliate: Affiliate WP, iDevaffiliates, Affiliate Royale
  • Community Builder: bbPress
  • Create and Sell Courses: MemberPress Courses

By default, some of the integrations such as Paypal and Stripe are available with all plans. As you see, some plugins connect MemberPress to almost every online domain you can think of. However, which ones are accessible to you might depend on the plan you choose.

MemberPress also emphasizes that you can customize every feature with coding. The plugin primarily uses WordPress built-in features, making it possible to customize them with ease.

MemberPress Pricing

The plugin comes with three different pricing variations. There is no trial plan offered; however, there is a 14-day full money-back guarantee.

MemberPress Pricing
MemberPress Pricing

Basic Plan at $249 a year

  • Use on a single site
  • Create unlimited memberships and content
  • Paypal and Stripe integration included
  • Content dripping for online courses
  • Access to over ten add-ons and integrations
  • All core features

Plus Plan at $399 a year

  • Use on two sites
  • net included
  • Create and sell corporate memberships
  • 10 extra add-ons and integrations
  • Custom integrations with Zapier
  • All core features

Pro Plan at $549 a year

  • Use on five sites
  • Access to Affiliate Royale included
  • Create and sell corporate memberships
  • Exclusive pro add-ons and integrations
  • All core features

As mentioned, the core functionalities are included in all plans. You only have to make your choice based on the number of sites and the required add-ons. The Basic Plan is more suited for sites just starting out with their first membership program.

The Pro and the Plus Plans lean towards professionals, agencies, and other small businesses. If you want to use the Affiliate Royale plugin, then you have to choose between either of these two.

MemberPress often has promotions in place that give you access to one or two of its integrations free. So it is possible that you might come across a deal that best matches your business model.

Creating Affiliate Programs with MemberPress

Having an affiliate program for your members is one of the best ways to encourage them to sign up on your site. If you want to give them that incentive, then as we covered above, you can choose one from the number of affiliate integrations available.

MemberPress is fully compatible with popular affiliate WordPress plugins such as AffiliateWP and Affiliate Royale. As Affiliate Royale is developed by the same parental company, you actually stand to gain more by combining it with MemberPress.

WordPress affiliate plugins
Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins: Top Tools to Run Your Affiliate Program

But keep in mind that only the integration is free. You will still need another license to take advantage of Affiliate Royale’s features.

MemberPress Affiliate Program

And of course, MemberPress also encourages you to create affiliate programs; they also have one of their own. You can sign up for their affiliate program, and help fellow business owners to reap the benefits. This program lets you earn 25% commission on the first sale of each referral.

However, you also get to enjoy some other perks such as swift payments with Paypal, 60-day return cookie, commission tracking with Affiliate Royale and more.

MemberPress Support and Documentation

MemberPress has one of the most well-thought-out support systems that comes with a WordPress plugin. The support page will give you four different options.

  • Knowledge Base: An extensive documentation system that covers the A-Z plugin. The section will walk you through every configuration, with the aid of videos as well. You will also get tips on how to troubleshoot small issues.
  • Future Customers: MemberPress has designated a separate section for prospective customers where they can contact the team for any clarifications before making the purchase.
  • Current Customers: Those with a valid MemberPress license can access this area to submit a support ticket and receive support from the team.
  • Hire MemberPress Expert: If you need additional help that does not fall into any of the above categories, there is another option that will allow you to hire a developer to receive the necessary support.

What’s more, if you have any queries regarding payment, you can reach out to their billing department through email or phone number.

MemberPress Review: The Verdict?

When it comes to membership plugins available in the market today, there are a number of candidates that stand out. At the forefront of this is MemberPress – which offers you a lot of options to provide premium content on your website.

The plugin is intuitive, simple, and user-friendly, giving you a multitude of ways to restrict your content within different subscription plans.  From the perspective of user experience, the plugin lets both you and your customers manage account their details.

It is also easy to configure, as you merely have to turn specific features on or off as you please. Features like content dripping and flexible access rules make MemberPress a preferable option for a membership site. Its huge library of add-ons improves upon its functionalities while strengthening your membership programs, too.

Customization of the look and feel is possible through the use of shortcodes, and advanced integrations make more room for further personalization.

Ultimately, MemberPress is an efficient and effective plugin that does exactly what it says – it builds a membership program with restricted content with the utmost ease. If that’s what you are looking for, MemberPress should perfectly fill the bill.

Visit MemberPress

MemberPress

9

Features

9.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Support

9.0/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Easy Setup & Integration
  • Unlimited membership levels and membership groups
  • Content dripping and expiration feature
  • Integration with multiple payment options
  • Excellent customer support with documentation

Cons

  • Some built-in integrations have to be paid for
  • Not compatible with a few WordPress themes

Kane holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Finance, a Master's Degree in Financial Investigation and he is currently engaged in a Doctorate - researching financial crime in the virtual economy. With a keen passion for research, he currently writes for a variety of publications within the Financial and Technology industries. kane@circlo.io