3 Options for WordPress Paid Membership Plugins


If you want to build a paid membership site, then WordPress is a great option for you.

There are many paid membership plugins for WordPress and, in this tutorial, we’re going to recommend three.

Any paid membership plugin needs to do two things: create different access levels and collect payment from people who want to access those levels. We’ve chosen three plugins that do both well.

Before you start, you might also want to brush up on groups and access levels with our tutorial called The Ultimate Guide to User Control in WordPress

Option #1: Paid Memberships Pro

  • LinkPaid Memberships Pro
  • Versions:
    • Free: All features are included in the free version. But there is no documentation and no professional support.
    • Paid: $97 gives you access to the documentation. $275 gives you access to the documentation and 5 hours of professional help and setup.
  • Notable features:
    • Accept one-time and recurring payments.
    • Use Stripe, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal Express, or Authorize.net.
    • Hide excerpts and ads from members.
    • Unlimited membership levels.
    • Can charge Set Up fees.
    • Can give free trial periods.
  • Comments
    • There is some unpaid support on the WordPress public forums. Otherwise you need to purchase the support membership. The public forum is very helpful though, and the developer seems to be responsive to it. But without purchasing the documentation, this would be a bit of work to get running.
    • A nice feature of Paid Membership Pro is the ability to hide ads from different access levels. .

Setting up recurring memberships is easy. The administration pages are clear and simple.


Option #2: Membership

  • LinkMembership
  • Versions:
    • Membership Lite: Free. Limited to two different levels of membership and complete customizations. Multiple membership sites on a WordPress MultiSite install – so any user of your site can have their own membership site.
    • Membership Pro: $39 per plugin or $79 per month, $159 per quarter, $419 for 12 months. Unlimited membership levels, unlimited subscription levels, BuddyPress rules , Administration area rules – control blog creation (limit number per level), dashboard widgets, menus and sub-menus
  • Notable Features:
    • Shortcode protected content – easy to write your own shortcodes to protect all or part of any content or feature.
    • Multiple membership sites on a WPMU / WordPress MultiSite install – so any user of your site can have their own membership site.
    • Drag and Drop rules editing.
  • Comments:
    • There are only a few payment gateways ready to install. The lite version only has PayPal. If you need other gateways, you’ll need to write them yourself. Their website claims “any half decent WordPress developer” should be able to write one. If you don’t have some development skills you’re probably going to need the support subscription.
    • One nice feature is the drag and drop interface which makes it possible to construct complex rules for levels and subscriptions.

Option #3: s2Member

  • Link: s2Member
  • Versions:
    • s2Member® Framework: Free. All features, but limited to 4 membership levels and one payment gateway.
    • s2Member® Pro: A single site is $69 and unlimited sites are $129. The Pro upgrade package adds unlimited memberships and more payment gateways.
  • Notable Features:
    • Integrates with PayPal® Website Payments Standard.
    • Supports recurring billing.
    • Custom Pages for registration, including custom registration and profile fields.
    • Compatible with Multisite Networking , BuddyPress and bbPress.
    • Payment Gateways: PayPal Website Payments Pro, Authorize.Net, Google Checkout, ClickBank
    • Social Networking features.
    • Mass update and import export.
    • Affiliate Management.
  • Comments:
    • This is the most comprehensive package that I have found so far. It has about everything, which may actually be a bit overwhelming, but at least it’s there.
    • One really good aspect is the integration of the training videos in the administration section. Also the step-by-step setup guide includes detailed examples and instructions on each step. The documentation is almost always at your fingertips.
    • Another nice feature is the easy API integration controls. For example API/List Servers walks you through integration with MailChimp, AWeber, and other email list options, making it easy to integrate other services.
  • Tutorial Available: s2Member Paid Membership Plugin for WordPress


After an extensive search of all the membership plugins on WordPress.org and lots of testing, I found that these three plugins are unique. All of these plugins are:

  • Complete solutions. They require no other plugins.
  • Popular. They have large numbers of downloads and have been successfully used by many other sites.
  • Supported. They all have support, documentation and forums.

There a lot of other options out there. If none of these meet you needs you could also consider these approaches:

  • There are quite a few other membership plugins that allow you to create groups and levels, but would need custom work to be able accept payment.
  • There are shopping carts that have membership plugins which add membership to their shopping capabilities.
  • It would be possible to combine several plugins to get similar features.


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I used s2Member for a membership site. The free version did everything the client needed, except for allowing free trial subscriptions that expired after a set time. For that, we needed up upgrade to the paid version. The plugin worked very well, and I intend to use it on another site soon.

Jason Coleman

Ed, thanks for including Paid Memberships Pro in your list of membership plugins for WordPress.

I just wanted to note that some of our documentation is available for free (must create an account on our site though), including an installation tutorial video:


Most people setting up a standard site should be able to make do without further support. If you need something customized, you’ll want to sign up for one of the support plans. Our plugin is very flexible and developer friendly if you have a little help.

Waqas Ahmad

Hello sir do you provide discount rates ??? i am looking forward to include it in my site but my budget is low sir

Kristi Ambrose

I am actually NOT looking for this, but maybe you could still help me. I use the FREE [url=http://tal.ki]tal.ki[/url] forum plug in and I want to make certain parts of the forum – PAID ie; you can only see these parts of the forum if you pay a small fee. Do you know of a way to go about this or is there a forum (hopefully free) plugin for wordpress that let’s me make certain areas of the forum paid? Thanks!

Cliff Diseker

I tried to get Paid Systems Pro to work for 2 days and with the total lack of support for the “free” version it made me very uncomfortable going forward.

I am installing s2Member now because I like the idea of actual videos showing how to get the product working.

yasmine fontaine


I want to be able to set subscription to allow access across all pages once paid ‘ONCE’ is this possible?

Or does it only allow you to set subscripton payments for each section/page of my website?

Hope that makes sense

Chetan Bhasin

Do we have the option to change the currency in any of these plugins? Also, which payment gateways do they support?


A nice implementation of Paid Memberships Pro [url=http://bit.ly/14q9gNT]http://bit.ly/14q9gNT[/url]


Nice and useful article. Thank you for sharing

Lic Flor Baez

excellent post

Devprolabs Media

I’ve been used paidmembershippro plugin. this verry easy to use & simply & powerfull. Free plugin but look premium feature. just docs & support for paid.


I can vouch for s2Member. I’m using it on many client sites to add paid membership together with PayPal and AVChat 3 video chat.

Here’s a tutorial that I put together:



we want to set up a monthly subscription

for clients wanting to pay low income amounts say £29 per month and

access 75 documents in a year(we have total 250 docs). Clearly we need

to guard against someone paying £29 and then downloading all 250 and

cancelling for month 2.
Is it possible to set something up so they can only download x number

of docs per month even perhaps having x vouchers per month to allow

them to download their choice but only a number limited each month they

have paid?


Hello Everyone,
I have already your article and comment.Wow, I got the lot of thinks from there. This article

and every comment is very helpful.However, I want to add something, and recently I just released the membership plugin in the wordpress repository who is called “rs-members”. Before developing I just studied existence all membership wordpress plugin.I got many problems from the those.As a result; I just tried to include many useful

features.Without programming skill any guys can easily maintain this plugin. I hoped this plugin

will be helpful fill up your all demand. .Guys you can visit my “rs-members” from wordpress repository. [url=https://wordpress.org/plugins/rs-members]https://wordpress.org/plugi…[/url]
Thank you gentleman for patiently reading.

Adi Spiac

Thank you for this round-up. Another free and lite alternative is Paid Member Subscriptions, which allows you to accept user payments, create subscription plans and restrict content. [url=http://www.cozmoslabs.com/wordpress-paid-member-subscriptions/]http://www.cozmoslabs.com/w…[/url]

Leo Garcia

I need a membership… but not for site content.

I sell boxes of produce, which people order online.

Trying to find a way where my customers can pre-order weekly, bi-weekly and monthly, with recurring payments.

Does anyone know of a plugin or a service that I could use for this?

Guido Zichichi

Hi, I would like to use a system to have one membership for many websites: but they are not on the same second level domain. Does any of these work this way?


Hi Guido,
You would need to add this [url=https://www.paidmembershipspro.com/add-ons/plus-add-ons/pmpro-network-membership/]https://www.paidmemberships…[/url]


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