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Adding a membership subscription to your blog or website is one way to add a stable new revenue stream. Membership options on established blogs are becoming quite prevalent at the moment, some examples are the Tuts+ Premium Network (10,000 members at $9 per month!), SpoonGraphics Access All Areas ($7 per month), Web Design Ledger Premium ($7 per month), WPMU Dev ($79 one month).

You can see the attraction – building a stable monthly revenue stream in return for “Members-Only” content which you can add as you go along – the more content you add, the more attractive a membership becomes. A lot of premium theme companies (eg Elegant Themes) also opt for the membership option, rather than charging per theme.

If you want to run a membership site, WordPress can handle the whole thing for you, when combined with a membership plugin – in this post I will be taking a look at the different options.

Magic Members

Magic Members is a premium WordPress Membership Plugin that turns your WordPress blog into a powerful, fully automated membership site.


  • Payment Modules Integration
  • Pay Per Post Access
  • Flexible Membership Options
  • Control Subscription Length
  • Easy Member Management
  • 100% Compatible With Magic Affiliate
  • Multi Language Support
  • Autoresponders Integration
  • Download Manager
  • Sequential Course Delivery System
  • Easy Integration with Existing or New Blogs
  • Multiple Membership Levels
  • Secure RSS With Tokens

Magic Members Full Details – Price $97 »

Coupon Codes:
Single License:   MGM876MM $10.00 off
3 Users License:  MGM965MM $15.00 off
Unlimited License: MGM996MM $25.00 off

Wishlist Member

” WishList Member is a powerful solution for creating an online membership site – all built using WordPress as the core content management system. Now it’s easy to control access to your content, accept payments, manage your members and so much more. ”


  • Unlimited Membership Levels
  • Simple Installation With New or Existing WordPress Blog
  • Create Free, Trial or Paid membership levels
  • Sequential Content Delivery
  • Control Viewed Content
  • Shopping Cart Integration
  • Easy Member Management
  • Multi-Level Access
  • Content Protection
  • Secure RSS Feeds
  • Subscription Length Control
  • Login Redirection
  • “Sneak Peak” Content Display
  • Custom Error Pages
  • Partial Content Display

WishList Member Full Details – Price $97 »

CMS Members

“CMS Members is really more than a WordPress membership plugin. It not only provides a perfect WordPress As CMS solution for your site, but it can also be your new eCommerce platform. We can build you a sign up page, order form,  newsletter subscription, premium theme community, etc …”


  • Create unlimited membership plans
  • CMS Members integrated with PayPal IPN and 2CO
  • CMS Members has support for custom fields
  • Members can deposit money to their accounts, edit their profiles, renew account or upgrade to another plan.
  • You can specify part or all of your posts and pages to only be viewable to registered members or specific plan(s).
  • RSS Feeds protected
  • All premium posts are viewable for Google and other search engines.
  • Bult-in Mass Mailer with AWeber integration
  • Customizable Forms
  • Anti-Fraud system will scan online transactions
  • Built-in CAPTCHA, with the ability to use ReCAPTCHA
  • Affiliate Integration
  • Supports Unicode-8 and GNU gettext localization framework
  • Uses standard WordPress APIs so it’s compatible with future WP versions and other WordPress plugins.

CMS Members Full Details – Price $59.50 »

WP Member

“WP-Member is an advanced WordPress membership plugin that adds many membership features including registration customization, total content protection for posts, pages and categories, content teasers, automated membership management, automated payment processing, unlimited membership levels and subscriptions, full encryption and security, PCI Compliance, message customization and multiple currencies.”


  • Compatible with the latest version of WordPress
  • Fully Automated Membership System
  • Accept Payments using Paypal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout
  • Use any currency that your selected gateway will support.
  • Fast Activation & Install
  • Create Unlimited Membership Levels
  • Create Unlimited Subscriptions
  • Offer Free, Trial and Paid Account Types
  • Content Protection
  • Content Teasers
  • Customizable Error Messages
  • Registration Customization
  • Fall-back Protection
  • Advanced Encryption Protection

WP-Member Full Details – Price $39.99 »

Use Coupon code “member25″ for 25% Discount

WordPress Membership

Essentially Membership allows you to transform your WordPress, WPMU or BuddyPress site into a fully functional membership site – where you can provide access to downloads, online content, videos, forums, support and more through flexible membership levels and options.


  • A WordPress membership site, offering resources, forums, downloads, videos, support and more
  • Multiple different levels of membership and complete customizations
  • Multiple membership sites on a WPMU / WordPress MultiSite install
  • BuddyPress membership site, where different groups and blogs are only visible to members
  • Create Membership ‘Levels’ which can access different types of content, ranging from ‘free’ to any number of paid levels.
  • Adding gateways is easy
  • Included in the membership plugin: Amazon Payments, Authorize.NET AIM, PayPal Express, PayPal Pro, 2Checkout

WordPress Membership Full Details – Price: $79 »

Membership Lite Version – Free »

s2 Member

s2Member is an extremely powerful ( and free ) membership management system for WordPress®. The s2Member Framework ( free ) integrates seamlessly with PayPal® ( very easy ), and fully supports recurring billing.


  • The s2Member Framework ( free ) integrates seamlessly with PayPal®
  • Supports recurring billing
  • Track affiliate commissions on a recurring basis
  • Custom Pages for registration
  • Compatible with Multisite Networking
  • Pro version support for PayPal® Pro, Google® Checkout, ClickBank®, and AliPay®
  • Free Subscribers
  • Four Primary Membership Levels
  • Protect Pages, Posts, Tags, Categories, URIs, URI word fragments, URI Replacement Codes for BuddyPress
  • Specific Post/Page “Buy Now” Access
  • Protect downloadable files

s2 Member Full Details – Free »

s2 Member Pro Full Details – Price: $69 »


“WordPress eMember is a WordPress Membership Plugin that can turn your existing or new WordPress site into a membership site easily. You can selectively protect articles by creating various membership levels (eg. Free, Basic, Premium, Ultimate) and protect the content (posts, pages etc) of your site. The plugin manages all the membership management side of things.”


  • Selectively protect the posts, pages, categories and comments
  • Teaser content
  • Secure RSS feeds
  • Login restriction by IP Address
  • Domain Level Lockdown
  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Create different types of membership levels
  • Subscription length control
  • One time payment membership option
  • Scheduled upgrade of member’s membership level
  • Installation with new and existing WordPress blog
  • Fully automated membership system
  • Source code is non-encrypted
  • Easy member management

eMember Full Details – Price: $49.95 »

Post Tags


Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, a small internet company based in the UK. Kooc Media runs several high-profile websites including WPLift, ThemeFurnace and DesignersTalk.

Leave Yours +


  1. All nice paid plugins, but there is a free plugin called Members that is slowly getting to be quite effective for paid membership sites. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/members/ I use that together with Gravity Form’s new member add-on to build my paid site (not live yet)

  2. .. Seldom.. It is possible to tell, this exception :) http://health-care-bills.com

  3. William Tucker

    hi, can i use s2member with my 2checkout.com account

  4. Jefflo

    I am trying to get Word Press Magic Member to work with ClassiPress with no success. I keep purchasing plugins that are supposed to be compatible that are not. I need help.

  5. its a good site for all
    in this all for new and old
    for young and for old

  6. We have a secure plug-in that is hosted on our PCI compliant servers.  It takes 3 lines of code to add the plug-in to any web page.  Accept payments on your website using an Authorize.Net gateway account and you don’t need to worry about PCI compliance because we host the plug-in for you.

    Demo the plug-in at:  http://softpaysolutions.com/Products.aspx?pid=2

  7. Hi Oliver,

    I’m the founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), a membership plugin for WordPress.

    I was wondering if you would consider adding our plugin to your review list. We genuinely feel that anyone’s search for a membership plugin is going to be rather incomplete, without at least considering what DAP has to offer :-)

    We would also like to extend you an invitation to join our affiliate program.

    Appreciate the opportunity to comment here on your site.


    - Ravi Jayagopal

  8. Hi Oliver,

    I’m the founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), a membership plugin for WordPress.

    I was wondering if you would consider adding our plugin to your review list. We genuinely feel that anyone’s search for a membership plugin is going to be rather incomplete, without at least considering what DAP has to offer :-)

    We would also like to extend you an invitation to join our affiliate program.

    Appreciate the opportunity to comment here on your site.


    - Ravi Jayagopal

  9. Hi Oliver,

    I’m the founder & co-developer of DigitalAccessPass.com (DAP), a membership plugin for WordPress.

    I was wondering if you would consider adding our plugin to your review list. We genuinely feel that anyone’s search for a membership plugin is going to be rather incomplete, without at least considering what DAP has to offer :-)

    We would also like to extend you an invitation to join our affiliate program.

    Appreciate the opportunity to comment here on your site.


    - Ravi Jayagopal

  10. Navneet Kaushal

    Any good plugin to make association sites?

  11. Sudhakar Narra

    This article was HUGELY informative and inspiring.  Thank you so much for the great tips and even better encouragement!

  12. excellent plugins. Thanks for the share.

  13. Scott Levy

    Awesome post.Here’s a tool that lets you build your membership form, directory, system – fast and without coding http://www.caspio.com/apps/specialized-apps/membership-directory.aspx

  14. Dennis

    Any suggestions if I’m interested in starting a Job Board where Recruiters can pay to see profiles/resumes?

  15. Hi Oliver

    Tanks for a great rundown on membership plugins.

    Im building a community site for young people and the membership will be free. The organization gets funding to run the site based on its members. So…

    When a a member registers (for free) a timer should be set and when a year has passed the member have to confirm the membership again (mail is sent or question while logging in). 

    I have this system installed in place:

    WP 3.3.1

    bbPress 2.0.2 for forum functionality

    Do you have any tips how to achieve this functionality with a membership plugin in some way? (yearly renewal function for free membership).Anybody reading this that have done something similar?I’m also going to have a function to check how many members that exists once yearly and list this members on a page so the the organization can apply for the corresponding founds.

  16. Selim Akgöz

    I would just use GROU.PS instead http://www.grou.ps

  17. Info

    Great post thanks for this!

    I have been asked to create a site for a financial company and they want the following:
    1: x3 Free tiered levels of membership (which is not a problem)
    2: Once they put x250 clients into the tiers, they then also want to give each client access to thier own protected data files.

    So they have 3 tiers that are generic and can be accessed by the clients but then given them access to personalised PDFs, word docuemtns and the like.

    Is this possible?

    I dont want to have to given them individual membership as the 3 tiers of infomration will change regularly and they only want to do it once.

    Can this system do what I want? If not can you recommend one?

    Struggling to fins something that will do both. Any suggestions/feedback is welcomed.


  18. VALERY

    Useful article, thanks to the author!
    Added you to bookmark will go to visit!
    Excuse me for my english :-)

    Come for a visit – http://minihanov.ru

  19. Continuity Program

    We just started a program to help people to start with a WordPress membership site on http://www.continuity-program.com
    We think WishList is the best membership plugin. Realy simple and complete

  20. Tom

    Hello, I want to create a site where i can specify various actions based on member roles. For example Gold package member can upload videos and post articles, where silver package member can post articles only. Any plugin suggestion please?

  21. Aryo

    You maybe forgot to add the Amember also there are alot of too in envato website.

  22. Aryo

    I believed you’re forgot about woogroup.

  23. If you compare os commerce, wordpress and magento, of course magento would be more stable and professional. You will need more powerful hosting for magento, but other than that it’s same expenses in future. I saw a private sale solution, developed by Plumrocket company. I think you can find it on their site. Its basically a package of magento extensions and magento private sales theme. You can also extend it with cart reservation, magento invite friends functionality with ability to import address book and magento reward points extension. If you really like Fab.com or Gilt.com you can add some magento social shopping extensions such as live feed plugin, inspiration wall, faves… etc.

  24. Does anyone have a good suggestion for a membership plugin that supports chinese?

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  28. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thank you

  29. Stu Smith, your suggestion isn’t a plugin so your comment doesn’t belong here, be gone!

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