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10 interesting WordPress membership plugins for building a member site
In the past two years, more and more membership or member sites have been implemented with WordPress in the Internet scene.
Mostly as a paid subscription system, where as a member you have to pay a fixed monthly fee for the use of internal information.
Membership pages are therefore an interesting opportunity for operators to earn a regular income. Nevertheless, it is not very easy to earn good money even with a membership site, because you have to have built up a certain reputation as an expert on the web and appear extremely trustworthy before users are ready to invest their money in a subscription.
I have already thought about including a member area in my blog, which can be used free of charge in the first phase. I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I've already looked at a few membership plugins that are available on the market.
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I will present the most important ones in the article.
What is a membership plugin?
If you look around for membership plugins, you will find that most of them are on the English-speaking market, which causes some problems for German webmasters, especially with regard to the payment interfaces.
After installing a membership plug-in, you will find new functions on your WordPress site with which you can manage members and internal content more easily. An essential feature is the simple implementation of password-protected content that a user who is not logged in cannot see.
Other interesting functions of membership plugins include:
- Multiple payment interfaces
- Management options for members (different levels or levels)
- Time-controlled activation of content
- Email Marketing Integration
- Monitoring incoming payments
A standard WordPress installation does not provide such functions. Although the system is designed to manage users, the features mentioned above, such as payment interfaces or monitoring of incoming payments, for example, are not included in WordPress.
There is quite a large selection of membership plugins on the market, I will limit myself to the most important and popular extensions and provide the essential key data. I've tested members and s2members myself.
10 WordPress membership plugins
I have already tested this plugin myself and installed it on a customer site. It's free and it's still maintained by the developers.
Compared to the other plugins listed here, it does not offer any great features and its functions are limited to the definition and management of various member groups and internal content.
Payment processing is not included in this plugin, i. H. if you need something like this, you should switch to another plugin right away. In addition, there is no German version of Members.
But if you want to test how a member's area works in WordPress and want to familiarize yourself with the functions, Members is a very good practice.
And it is also well suited for a fairly simple use with a small internal area for a member group. Less for professional use, because you really need programming know-how to expand and adapt it.
http: // wor d press .org / p l u g i n s / m e m b e rs /
Surely some had been waiting for a German membership plugin.
According to the screenshots on the product website, it makes a professional impression because it has all the essential functions, such as creating products, blocking content for certain groups, managing members, payment interfaces to PayPal, Digibank24, AffiliBank and share it.
It is also positive that German email marketing providers such as CleverReach (which I also use) are supported.
Although not all functions of the large English membership plugins can be found here, DigiMember is still my first choice because it is very well tailored to the German market.
Price: Digimember costs 27 euros net per month. If you want to save a few euros, you can opt for the annual payment, which costs 247 euros net. If you pay month for month, the annual costs amount to 324 euros net.
http: // www .digi mem ber .de /
Digital Access Pass (DAP)
DAP is a very popular membership plugin with many functions that is used very often in the English-speaking world. Over 20,000 users worldwide use DAP.
In addition to a sophisticated member management at different levels, the developers have, among other things. an integrated shopping cart system with 1 ‑ click upsells and an affiliate program that turns members into publishers.
As far as the integrated payment providers are concerned, you will find PayPal and Clickbank as well as the option of connecting other payment providers using programming knowledge.
For the German webmasters, DAP should not be the first choice of membership plugins, because there is no German language file and the installation of the plugin is not completely possible via the WordPress dashboard. As I understand it, DAP is integrated into your page via an iFrame, regardless of whether it is a website that was implemented with WordPress or a simple HTML / PHP website.
Price: A license costs $ 167, if you want you can get all the features for an unlimited number of pages for a monthly fee of $ 39.99.
http: // digital ac cess pass .com /
MagicMembers also comes from the English-speaking world and has numerous features in its offer, such as coupons, different membership levels, autoresponders, expiring memberships and many integrated payment modules, which are mainly adapted to the American market.
Only PayPal can be used for the German market. And a German language file is not available either, although the plugin has a German sales page.
Price: A license costs $ 97, plus there is a 3-user price package ($ 197) and an unlimited package ($ 207).
http: // www .magic mem bers .com /
Learn Dash is not a classic WordPress membership plugin, but a learning management system that also includes membership modules.
It really brings a lot of functions with it: course bundles, integrated shopping cart, drip feed content (content that is gradually activated), mobile compatibility, different question types for quizzes and much more.
According to the plugin provider, Learn Dash is compatible with modern WordPress themes and there is a German language file.
Price: A single-site license costs $ 159 and includes one year of support and updates. Additional packages with 10 or unlimited licenses cost 189 and 329 dollars.
https: // www .learnda sh .com /
I've played around a bit with s2Member myself, because in addition to the paid version there is also a good free plug-in version that is fully operational.
The Pro version is much more sophisticated: You can integrate appropriate forms for PayPal payments into the page, use coupons, integrate custom thank you page URLs, etc. But if you compare the free and premium features with each other, you will find that that there aren't that many crucial differences. Especially if German webmasters want to use s2member, they can only use PayPal from the integrated payment providers and the PayPal button can also be integrated in the free version.
I got along very well with the plugin administration area because it is kept very clear. In addition, s2member offers many video tutorials (in English) that really help you understand the functions.
Unfortunately there is no German language file here either. In German-speaking countries, for example, Werner Langfritz uses the plug-in for his WP -Aka de mie .org.
Price: I think it's really cheap at $ 69 for a license and $ 129 for the Unlimited license.
http: // www .s2mem ber .com /
MemberPress is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins because it is easy to set up and can offer numerous features.
These would be above all: Content Access Control: Each content (including categories, keywords, pages and files) can be activated or blocked for certain groups and / or users, Content Dripping: content can be activated after a certain period of time.
Various e ‑ mail software providers such as AWeber, MailChimp or GetResponse can be connected to MemberPress, as can the Amazon Web Services service.
PayPal, Stripe and Authorization .net are available as payment interfaces. For a German membership site, this should be a bit of a disadvantage, because other payment options like e. B. Sofort .com or bank transfer used.
Autho ri ze .net is not yet popular in Germany, but Stripe should gradually make up ground in this country.
Price: The business edition for a page license costs 119 dollars a year, the developer edition for unlimited licenses costs 239 dollars a year.
https: // www .mem ber press .com /
Restrict Content Pro
The WordPress Membership Plugin Restrict Content Pro can also come up with many typical membership functions (such as member emails, member management, member verification, reports, discount codes). The provider should already be known to some through its other WordPress plugins Affiliate-WP and Easy Digital Downloads.
Restrict Content Pro Stripe, PayPal and Braintree, PayPal Express, Stripe Checkout and 2Checkout can also be integrated as payment interfaces. Here, too, mainly payment options are integrated that are not very well established on the German market, with the exception of PayPal.
The membership plug-in can be used as e-mail software via add-ons AWeber and MailChimp.
Price: The personal package for a website with 12 free add-ons costs 99 dollars a year, the plus package for 5 websites costs 149 dollars a year.
There are two other packages: Professional with an additional 17 per add-ons for an unlimited number of websites for $ 249 per year and Ultimate for $ 499 as a one-time payment.
https: // restrict content pro .com /
Paid Memberships Pro
The interesting thing about Paid Memberships Pro is that there is a free basic version with 14 free add-ons. Although this version only has a limited number of functions, it gives interested users an initial insight into the operation and structure of this plugin and can thus help to decide whether the plugin can be used well or not.
PayPal, Stripe, Authorize .net, Braintree, 2Checkout and Cyber Source are available as payment interfaces.
To expand the membership page, Paid Membership Pro offers various add-ons such as: Download Monitor Integration, E-Mail Confirmation Add-on, Integration of AWeber or GetResponse, group discount codes and member homepages. There are more than 60 add-ons in total.
Price: In addition to the free basic version, there are two price versions: Plus for 297 dollars per year (for 5 websites) and Unlimited for 997 dollars per year (unlimited number of websites).
https: // www .paid mem bers hip spro .com /
According to the wishlist member's website, the plugin is used on well over 43,000 pages worldwide and anyone who looks around will find a lot of praise for wishlist members.
It has many important functions such as numerous payment interfaces, unlimited membership levels, test memberships, shopping cart integration, etc.
But here, too, the German language file is missing again and German payment providers are not available (except for PayPal).
Price: A single-site license costs $ 97, and a multi-site license for unlimited domains costs $ 297.
http: // mem ber .wish list products .com /
In addition to these plugins, there are others that are less known and widespread in use.
I would also like to mention aMember as an equally interesting membership solution. This is not a membership plugin, but a PHP software solution that can also be built into WordPress.
It provides interesting features such as subscription payment, different membership levels, coupons and various payment interfaces, of which only PayPal is possible for Germans.
After all, aMember has a German translation. If you want, you can have the software set up by the provider.
Price: 179,95 $
http: // www .amem ber .com /
Anyone who watches this performance will ultimately only find one plug-in that is really suitable for the German market, and that is DigiMember. Certainly there are still a few features missing that the big English-language membership plugins have, but maybe they will be added gradually.
Of the English-speaking ones, I found the two plugins s2member and Wishlist Member to be the best and if you are not afraid to invest some time in the linguistic adaptation and in the familiarization of the plugins and if PayPal is sufficient as a payment provider, you are certainly in good hands with the two .
It is also important to mention what you have to consider in Germany when integrating the buttons with regard to the designation in order to be on the safe (legal) side, just as crucial for the legal protection are the terms and conditions and the right of withdrawal.
So before you set up a paid membership site, you should obtain some information in this regard or look around on other member sites to see how they have implemented these points.
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