6+ Best WordPress Membership Plugins for Creating a Membership Site

Are you looking for the best WordPress membership plugins?

Creating a membership website is one of the easiest and quickest ways to monetize your audience. It doesn’t require any technical knowledge or lots of capital.

If you are already familiar with WordPress, you can quickly build a membership website by installing a membership plugin. With the right plugin, creating a membership site is a breeze.

This article will share the best WordPress plugins for creating a membership site.

What is a Membership Site?

A Membership Site is a website that requires you to purchase a paid plan to access its contents. For example, think of any news site such as The New York Times. When you visit a news site, it allows you to read one or two articles for free but requires you to purchase a paid membership plan if you want to read more.

More than likely, your favorite news site employs this business model. This is the business model The Washington Post uses. They let you read 2-3 articles for free but then show you a full-screen popup asking you to subscribe to read more:

You might have noticed the rise in popularity of this business model. You see it everywhere, from Patreon to OnlyFans.

A lot of popular podcasts use this business model. They release two episodes every week. You can listen to one for free, but you need to subscribe to their Patreon for the other premium episode. For example, one of the most popular comedy podcasts, called The Tim Dillon Show, uses this business model:

Tim Dillon Show on Patreon

You can listen to Tim Dillon’s regular episodes for free. But if you want to listen to the premium episodes, you’ll need to subscribe.

News sites and podcasts aren’t the only ones using this business model. You can also see it on many other websites on the internet. Anne-Laure Le Cunff allows you to read most of her articles for free on her website, but if you want access to her best content and her video courses, you’ll need to subscribe to her membership:

Ness Labs Premium Membership

There are many reasons for the rise in popularity of this business model.

First, a membership site’s value increases over time as you add more premium content. If you add new content to your membership site every week, you’ll have doubled its value by the end of the year.

Second, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. For most membership sites, you’ll only need to update some pages every couple of months.

Third, it doesn’t require a lot of capital to start up. You’d need to hire many people for any other business model to build a product. But you can create a membership site all by yourself.

What To Look For In a WordPress Membership Plugin

Thousands of WordPress plugins claim to be the best at creating membership sites. But most of them are a waste of your time. Here are some of the things you should look for in a WordPress Membership Plugin before you start using one:

Support For More Than One Payment Method

Most membership plugins only support PayPal. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with PayPal. But it’s always better to offer more than one payment option to your customers.

This helps increase your conversion rate. Some of your customers might not be comfortable with PayPal if they have had a bad experience with it in the past. But if you have more than one payment option on your website, they can use the other one.

Sometimes a payment method might stop working. For example, it’s prevalent for a payment gateway such as PayPal or Stripe to ban you or freeze your account temporarily. A PayPal account freeze can last up to a year or two. If that ever happens to you, new users won’t be able to purchase your membership, and you’ll lose a lot of revenue.

Flexible Content Restriction Options

On your membership site, you’ll want to allow access to your premium pages to only those who have purchased a premium membership subscription. Most plugins restrict access to your pages entirely. This means people who aren’t subscribed won’t even be able to see the title of your restricted pages.

You might not always want this. This is why you’ll want to look for a plugin that offers flexible content restriction options.

The best WordPress membership plugins allow you to restrict access to parts of your content. They allow you to tease your website visitors by letting them see parts of your best content. This is something that a lot of news sites do. They let you read half the story for free but ask you to subscribe to read the rest.

Metered Paywall

A metered paywall allows your visitors to view a certain number of pages for free but requires them to subscribe when they exceed that limit. This is what sites like Medium.com and many news sites do. Even Harvard Business Review does this:

HBR Paywall

Most plugins don’t offer this option. If you are building a membership site with lots of content, you might want to allow your visitors to view 2-3 pages for free. A good membership plugin will allow you to create a metered paywall.

The Best WordPress Membership Plugins


ProfilePress plugin

ProfilePress is a popular WordPress membership plugin. Hundreds of thousands of membership sites use it. In addition, it is one of the market’s most flexible and feature-rich membership plugins.

The best part about ProfilePress is that you can not only use it to create a membership site, but you can also use it to sell digital downloads such as eBooks and music on your website.

It allows you to create one-time and recurring pricing plans that give your customers access to all your eBooks and other premium content. Supported payment methods include Stripe, PayPal, Razorpay, Paystack, Direct Bank Transfer, Mollie.

ProfilePress’ content restriction features are unparalleled. There aren’t many other plugins that can match its flexibility in content access restriction. It allows you to restrict access to

  • Your entire website
  • Portions of a page’s content
  • Pages that fall under a specific category or tag
  • Custom taxonomy pages
  • Archive pages
  • And much more…

It also offers a feature that you won’t find in most other plugins in this category. It allows you to create a metered paywall. A metered paywall allows your website visitors to view a certain number of pages for free but requires a premium subscription to view more once you’ve crossed that limit.

ProfilePress offers dozens of features that aren’t available in any other membership plugin. One such feature is Passwordless Login. If you enable this feature, your website members will be emailed a magic URL when they enter their email address on the login page. They’ll then be able to log into your website just by clicking the link in the email.

ProfilePress also supports many social login networks. This allows users to log in to your website with Twitter, Facebook, and other social logins. Most plugins don’t offer this feature.


mailoptin membership plugin

MailOptin is a lead generation and email automation plugin, and it can also be used to create WordPress membership websites.

One of its features is gated content or content locking, which allows you to restrict access to certain pages or posts on your site by requiring users to share their email addresses through an opt-in form. You can customize the placement and appearance of this form to fit your need.

The plugin also offers statistics like total subscription numbers, impressions, and conversion rates. Additionally, you can conduct A/B testing to figure out a more effective way to use the plugin to grow your site and revenue collection.

Other notable MailOptin features are multiple display options, multiple display rules, custom registration forms, subscriber backup, animation effect, exit intent technology, autoresponder, spam protection, and plugin integration facilities.



SureMembers is one of the most powerful membership plugins for WordPress, yet the most cost-effective solution out there. This plugin comes with flexible content restriction options, a drip content feature, a customizable checkout process, a user-friendly interface, and a range of other features. We call it the best of both worlds!

SureMembers lets you create and manage multi-level memberships in just a few clicks. It enables you to allow content access to users or groups in the way you want. While you can fully or partially restrict posts, eBooks, audio files, or video lessons to paid members, you can offer everything else to everyone to keep engagement high.

In addition to content, SureMembers can smartly hide and show menu items to eligible users. With the drip content feature, you can release content on a predefined schedule more flexibly. For instance, you can deliver content to members right when you want after the signups, or you could distribute the content over a certain time period.

SureMembers integrate seamlessly with SureCart, SureTriggers, and other popular plugins.


Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member is one of WordPress’s popular membership site plugins. It comes with a drag-and-drop form builder that allows you to build custom registration and login forms. It also allows you to build a members directory that lists all your website members. It also creates profile pages for your website members.

Ultimate Member offers an easy way to restrict user access to your pages. But it lacks a lot of essential features. I’m not saying it’s terrible in any way. But it’s not the most advanced content restriction system.

The one thing we don’t like about this plugin is that it doesn’t have a built-in way to create membership plans or collect payments. This means you can use this plugin to restrict access to content, but you can’t use it to charge your customers.

S2 Member

S2 Member

S2 Member is one of the oldest membership WordPress plugins. It’s been around for well over a decade now. It has been downloaded over 1 million times.

It offers many advanced features you won’t find in many other membership plugins, but It’s not the most beginner-friendly membership plugin on the market. This plugin might be a good fit for you if you are a technical user or a developer.

We wouldn’t recommend S2 Member to anyone who doesn’t have a lot of experience building WordPress websites. It has a steep learning curve and may be difficult for most beginners.


Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is one of the most feature-rich membership plugins for WordPress. It has all the features you’ll need to run a successful membership site. It allows you to restrict access to your content based on user roles. It allows you to create multiple memberships. You can use it to create free and paid memberships for your website.

It is one of the oldest plugins on the market. It’s been around for over eleven years and has made a name for itself by being one of the most powerful membership plugins.

Although this plugin has dozens of great features, most great ones are locked behind the more expensive plans. For example, you need to be on the Plus plan, which costs $397 per year, to get the Social Login features.

Simple Membership

Simple Membership

Simple Membership is a basic, free membership plugin for WordPress. It comes with a lot of features and is completely free.

It allows you to create an unlimited number of membership plans. It also allows you to create free and paid memberships. You can connect it to Stripe or PayPal to sell subscriptions to your membership site.

It offers an easy interface for restricting access to your pages. Its content restriction features might be basic, but they are enough for most sites.

The Best WordPress Membership Plugin

There are a lot of membership plugins for WordPress. However, when working with clients who want to build a successful membership website, we recommend ProfilePress. It’s the easiest of all and the most flexible. In addition, it offers many advanced content access restriction options and multiple payment options (Stripe, PayPal, Razorpay, Paystack, Direct Bank Transfer, Mollie).

ProfilePress offers everything you need to build and run a successful membership website. So give it a try today.

Create Paid Membership Websites in Minutes

Install ProfilePress today and get a modern and powerful WordPress membership & ecommerce website – the easy way!