WordPress has been the leader in blogging for years, and is fast becoming one of the leading platforms for standard content management systems as well. As WordPress continues on throughout the years, features evolve, more plugins and themes come about and with more capabilities, and we are always seeing more and better versatility among WordPress sites.
One of these newer trends we see is that many membership sites are now being built on WordPress. Since WordPress’s core already includes basic membership functionality in terms of a CMS and managing a blog, there are now many plugins and tools available from taking it from that level to a full-fledged membership site, for whatever type of membership site you need.
I had done a lot of research when trying to build Freelance Mingle, and everyone situation will have a different solution for membership plugins. Here are some of the best I found. In this post I’ll cover some of the best WordPress plugins for building a fully functioning membership site.
WPMU Dev Membership
Manage membership easily with basic WordPress installs, or with WordPress Multi-site and Buddypress. This plugin allows you to easily create and manage user roles, limit content to certain roles, accept subscription payments, and more. The plugin is great for community sites involving forums, downloads, and premium content. (Think of a site like PSDTuts.)
Best of all — it’s free: WPMU Dev Membership
Buddypress is the most well-known membership plugin for WordPress, and therefore there is a vibrant community behind it. It includes membership levels, activity streams, groups, and a built-in forum. There are plenty of both free and premium themes available for Buddpress, and customization is also an option.
This one’s also free. Check it out at Buddypress.org.
YourMembers makes it easy to allow users to sign up and login to your WordPress site in a more user-friendly way targeted at membership sites. This plugin’s primary focus is around member roles and protected content. Easily manage users and charge them for what they can see on your site.
Pricing is on a per-license basis, starting at $95: YourMembers.
Wp-Member is a secure WordPress plugin that lets you create limited content for members only, and allows you to manage members easily. It also integrates the standard Worpdress registration and login but with a more user-friendly approach and custom registration options. This plugin also has a feature for teaser content in order to encourage signups.
This plugin has a license for both personal and developer use: Wp-Member.
Magic Members is a very robust Worpdress Membership plugin with a gorgeous interface. Allow members to register, login, and manage their accounts from the front-end. There are plenty of additional content management features that work with unlimited membership levels and payment options, including downloads, pay-per-post (pay-per-content), and section restrictions.
This is one of the most feature-rich membership plugins for WordPress available. The single use license starts at $97: Magic Members.
Profile Builder is one of the most simplistic membership plugins available for WordPress, making it easy for theme and website customization around it. This plugin allows you to easily integrate WordPress’s registration and login functionality into your themes, and gives your members another page to update their information via shortcodes. It also lets you customize the registration fields.
This plugin is free, go download it today: Profile Builder.
Login with AJAX
Like Profile Builder, the Login with AJAX plugin is an excellent solution for allowing users to register and login via WordPress’s built in membership management, but on the more user-friendly front-end. The plugin’s primary feature is to offer AJAX logins and registrations, where you choose where the respective forms go (on a page, in a sidebar widget, etc.). Then, the plugin also allows you to customize what pages the user will go to after login, logout, etc. The best part is, this plugin is great on it’s own, but highly useful with any of the other membership plugins listed on this page for a more user-friendly experience.
Go to the plugin page now, download is free: Login with AJAX.