WordPress is a great CMS for developing various types of websites such as business website, e-commerce, blog, portfolio website, etc. WordPress can also be used to develop a membership website. A membership website allows registered members to have access to your content and restrict access to non-members. It helps you to earn a living selling your digital products. One important thing you must consider when building a membership WordPress website is how to choose the right membership plugin that perfectly fits what you have in mind. All the membership plugins don’t have the same features. For instance, if you would like to accept payment on your membership website, you would have to look out for a membership plugin that has support for different payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe. Let’s take a look at the 3 best free WordPress membership plugins.
1. Simple Membership
Simple Membership plugin is as simple as the name implies. It is a flexible and easy-to-use plugin if you intend to offer both free and paid content on your WordPress website. This plugin would protect your content from being accessed. It will only give access to registered members. This is a fantastic plugin that is completely free of charge with great premium-like features.
• Unrestricted membership access – Simple Membership plugin grants unfettered access to members based on their membership levels. For instance, if membership levels are categorized into a free membership, gold membership and diamond membership, access would be based on the level the member belongs out of these three. Someone on free membership would not access the content made for gold or diamond members.
• Free and paid membership capabilities – The plugin can be configured to have both free and paid members. There is a PayPal or Stripe payment gateway to receive membership payment. Payment of membership renewals is also covered by these two gateways. If you want to accept only one-time payment, Braintree payment gateway does it better. For free members, you can enable email activation and confirmation to confirm their membership.
• Payment log – The plugin comes with a payment log that helps to view the payment history of members by just going to the payment menu on the Dashboard.
• Sidebar membership login widget – You can place the login widget on the sidebar of your website for members to easily login. This can simply be done using the login form shortcodes.
Other features include:
• Compatibility with all WordPress themes
• Shows up a little part of your content to entice visitors into paying to get the full content
• Supports language translation in English, French, German, Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Danish, Brazilian, Finnish, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Indonesian, Greek, etc.
• Allows members to delete their membership accounts by themselves
• The commenting section can be restricted to only registered members
• Forces members to use a strong password so as to discourage hacking
• Intending members must accept or reject Terms of Condition before they can become a member
• Creates a member registration page
• Creates member profiles
• Creates a member login page
2. WCFM Membership
WooCommerce Membership for Multivendor Marketplace – If you are thinking of building a multivendor e-commerce website or a marketplace like Amazon or eBay, definitely, you would need different vendors. These vendors will have to register on your marketplace in order to grant them access to sell their products; this and many more are what WCFM Member plugin does for you. WooCommerce Membership plugin for Multivendor Marketplace is an all-in-one solution for marketplace website owners. It offers both free and a premium subscription to vendors. It gives you the latitude to categorize members on different levels. It affords the opportunity to accept different payment plans based on the levels of membership. No doubt this is one of the free best WordPress Membership plugins for a multivendor marketplace.
• Gateway integration – When it comes to the payment gateway, you are well covered. The plugin supports different payment gateways so that payments can be received for every product purchased on the multivendor marketplace. It supports PayPal, Stripe, Bank Transfer and FREE.
• Create different commission based on members’ levels – This awesome plugin allows you to create a commission system that is based on the level of membership. If you want 5% commission for someone who registered as a free member or 20% for a gold or diamond member who paid for membership, everything is in your court. Ascribe commission to members the way you want based on their levels of membership.
• Create different capabilities for members or vendors depending on their levels – You can decide to have different capabilities based on the levels of members. For instance, for a free member, there can be product limit, categories or product types and you allow more capabilities without limitations for a paid member. This can make a free member upgrade to a paid member in order to have more capabilities.
• Membership details – The details of each member is made available under the WCFM Dashboard. A vendor can decide to upgrade or degrade his membership from the Dashboard.
• Pay before uploading products – The owner of the marketplace website can restrict access to the uploading of products. If you want your members to pay before they can upload their products, this plugin allows you to do that with ease. This feature works on an add-on called WooCommerce Frontend Manager.
• Language translation – The plugin is capable of translating into Portuguese, Spanish and German languages.
• Supports popular marketplace add-ons such as WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace, WC Marketplace, WooCommerce Product Vendors, Dokan Lite and Pro, WC Vendors and WC Vendors Pro.
• Ease of use – The plugin is easy to install but much of the configuration is done from the WooCommerce plugin. It is after WooCommerce is installed that you can have an additional tab to click on WooCommerce to set up the vendor plugin. There is a wizard that assists you in setting it up. There is no stress at all.
• Support – There is support 24/7.
Groups plugin provides an excellent and flexible solution to group-related memberships and also restricts access to contents. As one of the best free WordPress Membership plugins, this plugin serves as a complete solution to group-based user membership management. It has group-based capabilities to deliver on any group-based membership website. The plugin is light-weight with a great user interface. It integrates well with any WordPress theme. It comes with a whole lot of extensions so as to enhance the functionality of a group-based membership website. If you are contemplating building a group-based membership WordPress website, this plugin is right for you.
• User groups – The plugin supports an unlimited number of groups. It creates a registered group which is maintained automatically. It is super easy to assign users to any group. It automatically adds users to any registered group. It also supports group hierarchy.
• Group capabilities – The plugin provides group capabilities which can be assigned to users or groups. There are also custom capabilities which allow you to define new capabilities. Users are able to inherit the capabilities of the parent groups.
• Access control – Groups are able to restrict access to posts, pages and custom post types. Only members who belong to one of the groups can access or view the posts. The plugin fully supports custom post type. It comes with built-in access control that gives you the power to restrict access to posts, pages and custom post type. It is easy to control access to content by groups. This is simply done using shortcodes to restrict access to a group or show snippets of the content to some members in a group or to non-members.
• User interface – The plugin integrates well with different standard Users menu in WordPress no matter the theme. It has an instinctive Groups menu. It provides a quick filter. It allows for bulk action when necessary. For instance, you can choose to apply capabilities to groups, add users to groups or remove users from groups all at once.
• Sensible options – You can enable access restrictions by custom type. You can also view the tree of different groups if you want. It has its own set of permissions and an Administration can override.
• Framework – The plugin is developed in a way that groups are designed based on a strong data-model with API that allows developers to create group-oriented web applications and plugins.
• Language translation – The plugin supports language translations in Portuguese, Brazilian, Dutch, French, German, Lithuanian, Spanish and Swedish.
No matter the kind of WordPress-built membership website you are planning to develop, any of these themes will suit your ideas perfectly. The plugin supports all WordPress themes. There are no limitations with these plugins because they have got rich features to make your project a success. Developing a functional membership website has been made easy with these plugins. It is high time you gave your membership website wings and make it fly.