There’s a whole lot to gain by offering memberships on your website, like loyalty and a manageable customer base, but ensuring the signup process is easy for your followers and you is critical.
If you use WordPress there are some great plugins that can help do this, and MemberPress and Paid Memberships Pro are two of the best.
Which is better, Paid Memberships Pro or MemberPress?
Paid Memberships Pro is the better option if you’re looking for a free membership plugin with lots of features, but MemberPress is best for simplicity and managing memberships.
The two overlap with most of their features so it’s up to the individual to decide what’s best for their membership site.
The Paid Memberships Pro vs MemberPress debate is a detailed one, with both of these premium plugins having a lot to offer their users and many similarities.
If you plan on making memberships a part of your site, you’ll want to know how these two compare before you decide.
- What is Paid Membership Pro?
- What is MemberPress?
- Their Key Features
- How User Friendly Are They?
- Customer Support Comparison
- Security and Safety of the Plugins
- How Are They Priced?
- The Final Say
- Related Questions
What is Paid Membership Pro?
Paid Membership Pro is a WordPress plugin that lets you create a membership site connected to your main website.
You’ll get all of the tools you need to set it up, manage the members, sell online content, and control what users can access, however, some coding knowledge is required.
Free plans are available but to get the most out of Paid Memberships Pro and use it on an unlimited number of websites, a higher level plan is best.
- Free themes: You can utilize the free plan with Paid Memberships Pro so you don’t have to spend a thing to start inviting members to your website. Although there are some limits to what you can do, there’s a surprising number of features available at this free point with many businesses finding they don’t have to upgrade at all.
- More payment processes: If you want to give your members more ways to pay, you’ll love just how many this plugin offers. Some of the payment processes include PayPal, Stripe, and 2CheckOut, but there’s no Google Wallet payments currently accepted.
- Money-back guarantee: Try before you buy with this plugin and enjoy a full 30 days of money-back guarantee. This should give you more than enough time to test out the plugin and see if it has what your membership site needs.
- Too many options: There can be too much of a good thing and when it comes to options, this is especially true. Some people found that the overwhelming number of choices that this plugin gives you can cause more harm than good.
- Bigger learning curve: There’s no drag and drop option available here and you will be required to know some basic coding to make the most of it. according to users, this plugin has a bigger learning curve than you might expect, so be willing to put in the extra effort to do so.
What is MemberPress?
MemberPress is known as the all-in-one membership plugin that lets you create membership sites through your existing WordPress page and it comes in three plans ranging from basic to unlimited.
You get total administrative control over members with this plugin, as well as the ability to sell digital products online, manage subscriptions, and offer digital downloads.
Members of your MemberPress site will have their access to certain pages restricted based on their membership plans so you can create a unique experience for everyone that visits.
- Easy to use: A lot of the functions here and drag and drop so it’s incredibly easy to use and with detailed walkthroughs that you can rely on. People without any former knowledge of WordPress or plugins will find the whole process easy.
- Member management made easy: You can perform most member management functions in just a few seconds which saves a lot of your time in the long run. If you want to perform functions with a click of your mouse, MemberPress is best.
- Money-back guarantee: Another plugin that lets you try before you buy, with a shorter but still convenient 14-day money-back guarantee. There’s no risk testing out MemberPress and seeing if it has what you need.
- No free plan available: All of the plans offered by MemberPress are paid and they only feature a yearly fee, and not monthly. This means you’re committed to a full year once you buy and with no free themes to use.
- A few features missing: When you stack up MemberPress against Paid Memberships Pro, some features are missing. For the most part, though, they are pretty comparable in what they offer.
Their Key Features
The best way to tell whether a plugin is right for your website is to look at the features it offers, and these two are the leaders in this area because of just how many they have.
We’ve done a quick summary of what Paid Membership Pro and MemberPress come with, including the areas where they overlap.
Features of Both Plugins
- Membership Management: The key to a good membership site is the admin being able to quickly and easily manage the users within it. You’ll get detailed controls and settings like account information, creating directories and profiles, and a personalized page for every member that lets them communicate directly.
- Payment Methods: Both plugins give members access to a number of safe and secure payment methods to use. This can be helpful if you’re planning on having paid access to your site, selling courses and other products, or need to store payment information for users.
- Unlimited Membership Levels: If you have plans for a larger membership site, you can opt for the highest plan and choose unlimited members. This means there’s no cap on how many people can join your site and it’s easy enough to change it any time you need to upgrade.
- Integrations: These plugins were designed to integrate with your existing WordPress website plus anything else you need them to. MailChimp and ActiveCampaign are the two most popular but there are loads of others available
- Add-Ons: A whole host of add-ons can be used with these plugins, including marketing software, affiliate managers, and bitcoin payments. You can make this plugin anything you need it to be by just harnessing a few of your chosen add-ons and integrating them with the site.
- Premium Support: Users of these plugins with active licenses will get access to professional support, and be able to utilize an online database with common questions, answers, and walkthroughs. You’ll never be left on your own to try and figure something out with either of these plugins.
- Coupons and Discount Codes: Being able to offer coupons and discount codes can drive sales and entice new members to your site. Both MemberPress and Paid Memberships Pro allow you to create coupons for users with features like automatic naming and free trial periods possible.
Paid Memberships Pro Exclusive Features
- Integrations with 2CheckOut and PayPal are possible for payment processing, but not with Google Wallet.
- Integration with Constant Contact email marketing software and WooCommerce e-commerce plugin available.
- You can use the Pay Per Post system through this plugin.
- There is a free plan that lets you use most of the standard features offered by this plugin without paying a cent.
As you can see, Paid Memberships Pro wins the feature round with a few extras available that you might find valuable to your brand, as well as having them offered for free.
If you’re not interested in these specific features then it’s not likely to make a difference but you should consider what your website needs to function.
How User Friendly Are They?
WordPress is known for its user-friendliness overall, and the same can be said for both Paid Memberships Pro and MemberPress.
These plugins are designed to be used by someone with no experience in web design or programming, and every function and task can be performed by following guided steps to make it even easier.
The most complex part of these plugins is deciding which of the add-ons you’ll use. According to customers, Paid Memberships Pro seems to be the easier option here and also the least likely to try and push them onto you.
However, you don’t have to use any of the recommended add-ons that MemberPress mentions if you don’t require them.
Paid Memberships Pro and MemberPress integrate with your existing website so you likely already have a handle on how WordPress and its plugins operate.
Most users reported a two-to-three-day learning curve with these platforms which isn’t long at all to get your membership site up and running. All you have to do is search for the plugin, activate your account through it, and it’s ready to start using.
Customer Support Comparison
When dealing with a new piece of software or plugin, it’s easy to get confused as you learn the ropes. While most people look for some form of instant communication they can make with a support team, it’s not a possibility with either MemberPress or Paid Memberships Pro, unfortunately.
MemberPress has a few options for ongoing support, including their Knowledge Base which can be accessed by current and potential users of the plugin as a way to look for the answers within a large database.
To contact their support team for additional help with an active license, you can submit a support ticket which they aim to respond to within one to two business days.
Paid Memberships Pro is similar in this regard, offering a general inquiries contact form that you can fill out and await a response from, or submitting a support ticket if you hold an active license.
Otherwise, they also have support via WordPress of self-service documentation available for their members to read through. There’s little available for those wanting to learn more about this plugin though, which is disappointing.
Security and Safety of the Plugins
The biggest concern with plugins like these is that your customers are usually entering sensitive data and payment information onto them, which could be exposed to an outside.
The payment gateway options used by both of these plugins are safe and secure, including Stripe Checkout, PayPal, and Authorize.net, so there’s no cause for concern here.
Paid Memberships Pro and MemberPress both have additional security features that offer peace of mind when using them. All content is protected, downloads are protected, and integrations with other platforms and third-party programs have been vetted and deemed as safe.
As always, it’s recommended to only use the latest versions of both MemberPress and Paid Memberships Pro to guarantee your security.
Both plugins have experienced security breaches in earlier versions of their software which have been rectified as new versions emerged, so staying updated is essential.
To ensure the overarching safety and security of your website, it’s best to use a dedicated security plugin that can cover it all, including your memberships site.
While it’s still advisable to choose a plugin with regarded safety protocols, using a security-based plugin as blanket protection is the smartest choice.
How Are They Priced?
Costs are important to factor in when building a website, and for something that has the potential to earn you money, like a membership site, it’s even more crucial.
Both of these plugins have a number of membership tiers you can subscribe to, depending on the features you need and how many sites you wish to use the plugin on.
MemberPress has a basic plan for $279 a year for one site, as well as a Pro and Plus plan ranging up to $599 a year for use on up to five sites.
Paid Memberships Pro has a free plan with limited features, Plus a plan for $297 a year and support for five sites, or the Unlimited plan which costs $597 a year for an unlimited amount of sites.
MemberPress offers a 14-day trial so you can test the waters and see if this plugin is right for you.
Paid Memberships Pro has a lengthier 30-day money-back guarantee which might be better suited to those who want to spend more time exploring its capabilities. It’s always a good idea to get a feel for a number of plugins as you’ll likely have a preference for one over the other.
On the downside, both of these plugins only offer a one-off annual payment, so it can’t be broken up into monthly installments.
If you’re running on a limited budget, this might be a dealbreaker for you, so sticking with the free plan from Paid Memberships Pro could be a better fit for your needs.
The Final Say
MemberPress and Paid Memberships Pro and both premium plugins, but they do differ in areas like payment support for your customers and setup and running costs for you.
Paid Memberships Pro edges out the competition slightly with more payment options for customers and more integrations, but it’s not the only thing you should be looking at.
We recommend trying both of these plugins for yourself to see which one has the tools and interface that best suits your needs, as they have a lot in common.
With each of these plugins coming with a money-back guarantee that lets you try before committing, there’s no risk in trying them out.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building and hosting a business website these days, but if you’ve never used it before, it can feel overwhelming.
To learn a little more about the content management system, we’ve answered some FAQs that’ll teach you the basics.
Is WordPress Good for Beginners?
WordPress is a great option for beginners because it uses a simple dashboard to navigate with, and lots of menu options to select from. Using the most basic functions of WordPress, you can customize the design of a website, add navigation menus, and create new posts and pages, even without any experience in web design.
Is Coding Necessary for WordPress?
There’s no need to understand or use coding, HTML, or any other programming language just to use WordPress. The system makes it easy to create and customize your website from the ground up without relying on any programming skills, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing them.
Does WordPress Cost Anything?
There is a free version of WordPress that you can use to establish your website, but even with this, there are costs like hosting and domain names to consider. WordPress offers a range of paid plans as well, which give you access to more premium functions that are needed to make a professional website.