Do you want to start earning money from your website through WordPress membership management?
There are lots of ways that you can turn your site into an additional revenue stream, but many of these options revolve around one-off payments. You could build an online store, sell advertising space, or fill your website with affiliate links—or you could sell membership subscriptions that'll guarantee you a steady income for the next few weeks, months, or potentially even years.
In this article, we’ll be sharing 20 of our favourite free and premium plugins that you can use to transform your WordPress website into a thriving online community.
Top 12 WordPress Membership Plugins (From CodeCanyon for 2022)
There are many different ways that you can add membership functionality to your WordPress website. You could restrict access to selected pages and then sell subscriptions to this premium content or you could turn your entire website into an exclusive, members-only portal. Or perhaps you already have an offline community and want a way to manage it online.
Whatever your motivation, the quickest and easiest way to build an online community is to use a professionally developed WordPress membership plugin.
To help you get your membership site up and running, here are 12 of the best WordPress membership plugins that are currently trending on CodeCanyon.
Ultimate Membership Pro (UMP) is a plugin that lets you sell membership subscriptions to your WordPress content. Once you’ve created one or more subscription levels, you can restrict access to your website’s content based on the visitor’s specific subscription level (or lack of subscription!).
This robust WordPress membership plugin integrates with all of the most popular payment and checkout systems, including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
If you’re a fan of the WooCommerce eCommerce platform, then you can also use UMP to restrict access to any WooCommerce product.
UMP is a robust plugin for a WordPress membership site that doesn’t hold anything back—when you purchase this plugin, you’ll get 35 add-on packs included!
UserPro provides everything you need to create a flourishing online community, including user profiles, login, registration, and content restriction.
The WordPress subscription plugin integrates with all the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, so visitors can register with your website using their existing social media credentials.
When a new user logs in to their account, UserPro can sync their existing social media profiles with their new UserPro profile, helping them create an interesting and engaging profile with minimum effort.
UserPro also supports a range of social features, so users can connect with other members of the community and view one another’s recent activities, including new posts, comments, and follows.
Ultimate Affiliate Pro is one of the best-selling and top-rated membership plugins on CodeCanyon. This plugin lets you add an affiliate membership section to your website. Some of its features include:
- unlimited affiliates
- multi-level marketing
- performance bonuses
- WooCommerce integration
- login templates
- register templates
- account page templates
You can use PrivateContent to quickly and easily transform your WordPress website into a multi-level membership platform by restricting access to every aspect of your site.
Some of this WordPress subscription plugin’s standout features include:
- advanced user tracking
- restrict any element
- integration with Elementor, Visual Composer, and Cornerstone
- completely translatable
- anti-spam systems
- fast and reliable support
The PrivateContent: Multilevel Content Plugin is a serious contender for anyone who wants to create a WordPress membership website.
ARMember is a one-stop solution that has everything you need to create a WordPress membership website. If you want the best membership plugin for WordPress, you'll like ARMember's impressive features.
Some of the ARMember WordPress membership plugin’s stand-out features include:
- Automatically generated shortcode. Add plan selection, registration, payment and coupon creation functionality to your website with a single shortcode.
- Multiple memberships. A single user can hold multiple membership plans and add-on options simultaneously.
- Invite-only membership. Want to create an exclusive, invite-only website? Or perhaps you simply want more control over who uses your website? With ARMember, you can restrict sign-up so that users must receive an invite before they can register.
- Grace period. If someone misses a payment or their membership expires, then you can allow them to continue accessing your content for a set period of time.
- Flexible payment options. ARMember lets users choose between making a manual payment every time their membership runs out and setting up an auto-debit payment.
- Country-specific tax. You can define different tax percentages for different countries, and these settings will then be applied automatically based on the country the user selects when purchasing their membership.
- Built-in Security. ARMember helps protect your website with a range of security features, including brute force protection, IP and URL-based restriction, and the option to ban specific usernames and email addresses at sign-up.
- Lots of integrations. ARMember supports eight different email tools, including Mailchimp, Mailster, and ActiveCampaign. It also integrates with BuddyPress, bbPress, myCred, WooCommerce, Visual Composer, AfiiliateWP, and WPBakery Page Builder.
Of all the WordPress membership plugins on this list, Youzify (formerly known as Youzer) places a particular focus on community and user profiles. When you add Youzify to your WordPress website, you can be confident that your users will be able to customize their profile and community pages in a way that’s akin to Facebook’s user profiles.
Continuing the Facebook theme, Youzify has full support for many social networking features, including likes, mentions, comments, and moods, and can provide social login and registration by integrating with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Youzify has a responsive design and full support for ads, so you can potentially generate some additional income by advertising on your users’ profiles. It also integrates with MyCRED, BBpress, WooCommerce, Giphy, Mailchimp, and Mailster Newsletter.
Do you already have a WooCommerce store? SUMO Memberships is a comprehensive WooCommerce membership system that lets you sell memberships through your existing WooCommerce store.
Using the SUMO WordPress membership plugin, you can restrict access to pages, posts, content blocks, URLs, and custom post types, and grant access to specific WooCommerce products based on a user’s membership level. You can also provide alternate content for webpages that a user doesn’t have permission to view, such as an alternate page or post.
By providing alternate content for people who aren’t subscribed, you can provide a better user experience for everyone who visits your website. It's why many customers think that SUMO is the best membership plugin for WordPress for their WordPress membership sites.
Do you have a portfolio of e-learning materials that you want to monetize? Or perhaps you have some specialist knowledge that you want to share with the world by creating your own online training course?
Ultimate Learning Pro is a membership plugin that’s targeted squarely at students and instructors. This plugin has everything you need to create, publish, distribute, and manage your own online courses.
Once students enrol with your website, they can use Ultimate Learning Pro’s extensive feature set to purchase, complete, and review all of your e-learning materials.
After completing each course, you can use this plugin to issue students with certificates, badges, and reward points, and gather feedback about their experiences with your e-learning materials.
Don't already have a portfolio of e-learning materials? Ultimate Learning Pro also features an intuitive course builder that makes it easy to start building your own online courses.
If you want to run a private membership store with WooCommerce, then B2BKing is the ideal plugin. Some notable features include hiding prices for guest users, tiered pricing structures, tax exemptions, VAT handling, multiple buyer accounts, and more.
With this plugin, you can also run wholesale, B2B, and hybrid B2B-B2C membership stores.
Other notable features of this plugin include:
- wholesale order forms
- business registration and approval
- quote request and convert quote to order
- dynamic pricing, discount and order rules
- shipping and payment method control
Additional features that apply directly to your wholesale store include:
- invoice payment gateway
- multiple buyers in one account
- purchase order gateway
- PDFs with company logo
- and more
Unlike all the plugins we’ve covered so far, WordPress Gym Management System (WPGYM) is designed to help you manage an offline community, online. Specifically, it’s a complete WordPress gym membership plugin.
For gym owners and instructors, WPGYM provides all the tools you need to share nutrition plans, workout schedules, and class timetables, while gym members can use WPGYM to perform useful tasks such as tracking their physical stats over time or reserving their spot at an upcoming exercise class.
11. WP Membership
As far as setting up your WordPress membership site is concerned, it doesn't get easier than with WP Membership. Just install this member list plugin for WordPress, and you're done. No extra configuration, no extended setup. It just works.
On top of the responsive design of this WordPress membership management plugin, WP Membership also offers features like:
- Mailchimp integration for new members
- PayPal, Stripe, and WooCommerce payment gateways
- seven pricing tables
- coupon functionality
- 11 language files included
As of January 2022, 40% of online stores use WooCommerce. If your website is one of these millions, then you can transform your existing WooCommerce installation into a WordPress membership website using this dedicated WordPress gym membership plugin.
Using this member list plugin for WordPress, you can:
- create multiple fitness plans
- set up pricing tables
- accept PayPal and Stripe payments
- translate into 15 languages
If you already have WooCommerce set up or you plan to use it in the future, then you can save yourself a ton of time and effort by choosing Fitness Trainer as your WordPress gym membership plugin.
8 Best Free Membership Plugins for WordPress to Download in 2022
Maybe you only require access to a limited feature set, or you simply want to experiment with membership functionality before deciding whether this is the right direction for your website.
If you’re not ready to invest in a premium WordPress membership plugin just yet, then there are plenty of WordPress membership plugins free to download.
Here, we’ve collected ten of our favourite WordPress membership plugins free from across the web:
When you restrict content using the WP-Members Membership plugin, it automatically generates post excerpt teaser content to encourage non-registered users to purchase a subscription.
If you’re a developer, then this free WordPress membership plugin is also highly customizable. It provides over 120 action and filter hooks, plus a library of API functions.
The Ultimate Member plugin lets you create online communities and WordPress membership sites in seconds by automatically generating all the pages required to offer complete membership functionality, including user profiles, login, registration, and a password reset page.
It's one of the best free membership plugins for WordPress. If you need to modify any of Ultimate Member’s forms, then it also includes a drag-and-drop form editor that supports custom fields. By experimenting with custom fields, you can create an endless variety of unique login, registration, and profile editing forms.
You can use this WordPress membership plugin free to restrict access to your website’s content based on various membership levels, including one-time payments, recurring subscriptions, and custom trial periods.
Whenever an unregistered user attempts to access restricted content, they’ll be automatically rerouted into a funnel that’s designed to drive them towards making a purchase.
This WordPress free trial plugin supports PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, and 2Checkout, and is used by over 80,000 organizations worldwide.
This lightweight WordPress free trial plugin lets you quickly and easily build registration and login forms using drag and drop.
If you need additional functionality, then there are several premium add-ons available, including add-ons that enable social login, so users can register and log in to your website with their existing Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn credentials. You can also purchase add-ons that integrate the User Registration plugin with popular services such as WooCommerce, PayPal, and Mailchimp.
While ProfileGrid is fundamentally a membership plugin and profile builder, it also supports groups, so the people who visit your website can connect with other people who share their interests. These groups can be free or paid, public or private, and you can display different content depending on whether a user is signed up to a particular group.
This WordPress free trial plugin is also notable in that it offers a built-in private messaging system that works in real time, and it allows users to submit and share blogs via your membership website.
This free WordPress plugin lets you protect your posts and pages so only registered members can view your content. Simple Membership also gives you the option to add Google reCAPTCHA to your registration, login, and password reset forms, and to require new users to accept your terms and conditions before they can register with your website.
If you need to customize this WordPress free trial plugin, then it also provides lots of action and filter hooks, plus an API that you can use to query, create, and update member accounts.
This WordPress free trial plugin features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop form builder. Once you’ve created your perfect form, you can place it anywhere on your website using the shortcode that WP User Frontend generates automatically.
WP User Frontend also allows registered users to post content on your website, so you could potentially create your own network of guest bloggers. Once a guest writer’s content is live on your site, they can go back and edit their work and reply to comments, making this a great plugin for sparking discussion.
WP User Manager has everything you need to create a membership website, but some standout features include:
- A handy shortcode editor that’s embedded within the WordPress page editor, so you no longer have to try to remember complicated shortcodes.
- A templating system that lets you customize all of this plugin’s templates.
- The ability to ban visitors from using certain usernames—perfect for ensuring no one ever registers with your website using an offensive username!
This best free membership plugin for WordPress also offers a free extension where users can request an export and erasure of their personal data, which can help ensure your website remains GDPR compliant.
Create a Complete Membership Website in 2 Easy Steps
If you want to create an online community, then WordPress plugins are the easiest way to add membership functionality to your website. Don’t believe me? In this section, I’ll show you how to generate all the pages required to create and support a flourishing online community on your WordPress membership site, in just two steps.
For this quick and easy tutorial, I’ll be demonstrating the UserPro plugin—if you opt for a different membership plugin then the steps may differ, but as long as you choose a professional, high-quality membership plugin, the process should be just as easy.
1. Install the UserPro Plugin
Assuming you’ve already purchased and downloaded UserPro, the first step is to upload this plugin to your WordPress website:
- In WordPress’s left-hand menu, select Plugins > Add New > Upload plugin.
- Scroll to the If you have a plugin in a .zip format section and select Choose file.
- Select the userpro.zip file you downloaded as part of the purchasing process, and then click Install now.
- When prompted, select Activate plugin.
2. Enter Your Purchase Code
When you purchased UserPro, you should have received an email with the subject line [CodeCanyon] Purchase Confirmation. This email contains a purchase code that you’ll need to share with WordPress:
- Open your purchase confirmation email and copy your unique Purchase code.
- In WordPress’s left-hand menu, select UserPro.
- Select the Licensing tab.
- Scroll to the Activate UserPro section and paste your purchase code into the accompanying text field.
- Select Save Changes.
Your Community Website Is Ready to Go!
And that’s it! UserPro has automatically created all the pages your new community website needs, including registration and login pages, fully editable user profiles, and a searchable directory of everyone who’s registered with your website. To check out this content for yourself, select Pages > All Pages and spend some time exploring all the membership pages that UserPro has kindly created for you.
After just a few minutes’ work, you have everything you need to start your own online community, but UserPro has much more to offer, including giving visitors the option to register using their existing Twitter or Facebook credentials, and displaying the user's location via Google Maps integration.
If you want to learn more about this plugin, then check out our two-part UserPro series where I show you how to implement social login, add Google Maps integration, and much more.
- Create an Online Community for Your WordPress Site With UserProJessica Thornsby16 Jul 2019
- Add Google Maps and Social Login to Your WordPress Community With UserProJessica Thornsby09 Aug 2019
4 Tips for Creating a Successful Membership Website
Choosing a professional, feature-packed membership plugin is the first step to creating a successful membership website, but there’s still lots you can do to help grow your audience.
In this final section, I’ll share four ways that you can encourage people to sign up, engage with your community features, and ultimately renew their membership, so you generate the maximum revenue from your WordPress community website.
1. Offer a Free Trial
Free trials are one of the most effective ways to market anything—and membership websites are no exception.
Customers like to know exactly what they’re getting before they make a purchase. Giving potential new subscribers a way to experience all of your website’s great membership features, first-hand and for free, can encourage them to make a purchase.
2. Create Multiple Subscription Levels
To get the maximum number of registrations, your membership plans need to appeal to a wide audience.
Unless you have a specific reason not to, it’s always a good idea to create multiple membership levels—for example, you might offer Bronze, Silver, and Gold subscriptions, or Monthly and Annual plans. For the best results, each membership should offer unique perks, and there should be a considerable difference in pricing.
If you’re trying to monetize your website, then multiple membership levels can also be a way to increase the average spend per member. If a new customer expresses an interest in a Silver subscription, then you have the opportunity to upsell them a Gold subscription.
Even after a user has purchased their subscription, there may still be upselling opportunities in the future. In these scenarios, it can often help to present the upsell as an exclusive bonus—for example, if a subscriber's Silver membership is about to expire, then you could offer them a Gold membership at a discounted rate, as a special thank you for being such a loyal customer.
3. Keep in Constant Communication With Your Community
Today’s typical Internet user has a short attention span, so even after someone purchases a subscription, you’ll need to work hard to keep them engaged with your website.
Most premium WordPress plugins have features that are designed to help you hold your audience’s attention—for example, both ARMember and Youzify integrate with popular email marketing solutions Mailchimp and Mailster. You can encourage members to visit your website by sending them regular newsletters and email updates about all the new and exciting content they’re missing out on.
Other plugins, such as WooCommerce Membership and Ultimate Learning Pro, allow you to “drip” content to your users. By carefully scheduling content in advance, you can ensure that something is always happening on your website, which will encourage members to get into the habit of regularly checking your site, in the hopes of discovering new content.
4. Create a Sense of Community
A successful online community needs to feel like a community, so you should try to give subscribers multiple ways to connect with one another.
As a minimum, visitors should be able to comment on your content and reply to comments left by other members, but you could also allow users to post their own content; view other people’s profiles; create and join groups, and exchange instant messages with other members of the community.
Many premium WordPress plugins also include features that are inspired by social media—for example, UserPro allows members to “follow” each other and view logs of every member’s recent activity, including any new content or comments that this person has posted.
By fostering a sense of community, you can encourage members to build an emotional connection to this community, and by extension your website.
Start Building Your WordPress Membership Website Today!
Are you ready to transform your website into a thriving and revenue-generating online community? Using one of our premium WordPress membership plugins, you can add advanced membership features to your website within minutes.
Whether you want to generate additional income from your existing WordPress website, launch your own social platform, manage your existing offline community online, or sell e-learning materials, a WordPress membership plugin can help you achieve your goals.
More WordPress Plugins for Great Websites From Envato Tuts+
You now know that plugins can help you create a WordPress membership site. But there are thousands of plugins that can help you take your website to the next level. If you want to keep improving your website's design and performance, check out some of these selections we've gathered on Envato Tuts+.
- 18 Best WordPress Community Plugins for 2022Franc Lucas28 Dec 2021
- 20+ Best Community WordPress ThemesBrenda Barron12 Oct 2020
- 20 Best Tab and Accordion Widget Plugins for WordPress (Free & Premium)Daniel Strongin28 Dec 2021
- 25 Best Popup & Opt-in WordPress PluginsDaniel Strongin14 May 2021
- 15 Useful WordPress Plugins for Page LayoutsNona Blackman31 Mar 2022
- Protect Paid Content on Your WordPress Site Using a Free Membership PluginSajal Soni23 Apr 2019