What Are WordPress Membership Plugins

If you have been using WordPress for a little while, then you will be familiar with the term Plugins.

A plugin is something that helps your WordPress blog, work a little bit smarter for you, making your work, a bit easier

However, what you might be less familiar with is the term

WordPress Membership Plugin

So this post aims to explain what they are, and how they will help you & more importantly your blog perform better so it does more of the heavy lifting.

To give you an idea, so that you can perhaps relate more to Membership Plugins. the Following Companies,  all provide them

As you can see, each one of them, does different things, OptimizePress, lets you build landing and sales pages

Elegant Themes, as the names suggests lets you build a Elegant looking WordPress Theme and pages as well

Thrive Themes, let you build conversion focused Themes, that come with excellent plugins and are designed to make your blog, look nice, attract leads and turn them into conversions, hence they say they produce conversion focused themes

Additionally in the case of Thrive Themes, they have a very comprehensive University, as trhey like to call it, which covers a multitude of Marketing and WordPress topics

While Astra is geared more specifically for the offline small business market and has some incredible starter sites as they are called, which can be imported, by way of download and applied to absolutely any site at the touch of a button

So that gives you an idea as to the types of Membership Plugins that are available. These by the way, are by no means all of the ones available, there are tons more, these are just 4 of the highlighted ones.

How do they work? …

Well as the name suggests, they are plugins, but plugins with a difference, because, they are membership pluginswhich means, unlike a normal plugin, you have to buy the licence to use their products, the licence can cost anywhere from $99 to $230 and is valid for a year at a time, so obviously you would need to choose what you want with a bit of care

By that, I mean, you would have to look at the benefits of each membership plugin and decide, based on your own niche, what it is you want to achieve with your blog.

Most membership plugins have demonstrations of each product available so you can see what the products look like and how they perform

What can also be said with Membership Plugins is this, at first glance, you might not think you need all the products, but rest assured, when you take into account the benefits each product has, the price individually of each product, then the membership yearly price is a … money saver for sure and no mistake

One of the things to consider when choosing the plugin is what is the support like, does it have an affiliate venture attached to it.

Other questions you might consider asking is what are the reviews like, are they transparent in what they do

Now you might well ask, why is that important?… The reason is this, if you were attracted to the Membership for a reason and choose to promote it, as part of your blog, then you would want to know how much commission you are going to get paid to promote it

Membership Plugins, can come with some very attractive commission packages, equally, they can also have some awful affiliate support attached to them, so be aware of this, in fact its a good idea to send a ‘trial’ support ticket in to test out how good the support system is

Do remember to allow time for a reply, though it has to be said, that the above membership plugins have some of the best  examples of Support available ( especially Thrive)

Once you have made your choice, then installing it is very simple, just go to the WordPress admin area of your blog. as you

will see below, click on Plugins, then Add New

This then allows you to upload the plugin to your blog, however bear in mind that depending on the membership plugin you have chosen, then the file size can be quite big and so unlike smaller plugins, the upload time can be a few minutes compared to the almost instant upload of smaller plugins.

Virtually all the membership plugins, come with instructions as to the best way to use them, as well as blogs and some of the better ones have newsletters as well. so be sure to sign up for these and keep abreast of what is going on in Membership Plugin Land

Another very important thing to consider is this…

Your buying decision will be made on what the theme you are attracted to looks like in the demo.

But when your plugin is uploaded and you have chosen the the theme you wish to install ..Be Warned

It will look nothing like the Demo version!

Now this is because, the demo version uses sample data but don’t fear because you can adjust and customise the theme in the customiser and in most cases your theme will look even better than what you first saw

The important thing to remember is not to panic, WordPress Membership Plugins can’t break and another good thing to take into account when buying one, is that the products inside will have been tested very throughly to make sure  they meet WordPress’ very high standards

So there you have it, a brief summary and overview of

What are WordPress Membership Plugins


12 thoughts on “What Are WordPress Membership Plugins”

  1. Hi, Dave, I’ve never heard the term membership plugin before. In your opinion, which niche sites do you believe would thrive the most off these types of plugins? Also, are there niche sites that should stay away from membership plugins? I’m just trying to gain more of an idea of how these plugins act. 

    • Thanks for commenting Todd. To answer your question ,I believe these plugins would benefit every niche site out there as they make the work of blog owner, much easier

  2. Hello Dave,

    Interesting article. I know what a Membership plugin is but I’ve never been interested to find out more about them. So… I guess I learned about the existence of Optimize Press, Astra, and elegant Themes. 

    I know Thrive Themes for I read a review on one of their plugins recently. From what I’ve seen, they seem to make very good wordpress plugins, despite being a bit pricey – at least for me. 

    What do you think is the best membership plugin for wordpress out there? Thanks so much for your detailed article.

    • Ben thanks for commenting and to answer your question, in my opinion I have used

      OptimizePress, Elegant Themes, Astra and StudioPress ( not reviewed in this article) 

      My personal preference is in this Order Thrive,Astra, then possibly Elegant themes

      As for Thrive Being a bit pricey, well that was my initial throught, but when I saw the features and benefits included in that, which gives you access to a very comprehensive university education, then it was a no brainer to get it

      To get the plugin for yourself, simply click any of the green banners on the right hand side bar

  3. Hey Dave,

    I had never heard of membership plug ins before. You wrote a very thorough and complete post. I feel I have more knowledge about them now, so thank you.

    Do you use membership plug ins and if so do you recommend a certain theme?

    Do these plug in increase your traffic? That was something I was confused about.

    • Thanks for commenting and to answer your question, I use ThriveYhemes membership on this blog

      As for themes they have a few, of which each is different. The one on this blog is called Focus.

      You can get your own Thrive Mmebership or individual product simply by clicking the Thrive Banners on the right hand sidebar of the Blog page

      You can use these plugins to increase traffic as well yes, because included in The Thrive Themes membership is access to their University and within their are several great tutorials on how to do just that

  4. Hi Dave,

    Thank you for this comprehensive article about membership plugin. I am using Thrive theme and its plugin but l don’t see they have a membership plugin. As far as l know, l have to buy a third party membership plugin to integrate into the thrive theme. Can you advise me on this as l intend to set up a membership site for training?

    Your reply is much appreciated.

    Much success.

    • Thanks for commenting. To answer your question. Thrive works in two different ways.

      You can buy their stand alone products such as Thrive Theme, such as you have, or you can buy their membership, which means in the long run you get all the tools you need for your blog at a much reduced price, compared to if you buy each product indiviidually

      In terms of 3rd Party Integrations, that would only be the auto respnder, such as MailChimp or AWeber

  5. My site has been running for only 6 months and I only use the free plugins. When do you think is the best time to start using the Membership plugins? Also, do the membership plugins provide email marketing as well? What kind of Membership plugin do you use? Thank you in advance.

    • Thanks for commenting and be aware that while free plugins are okay, with WordPress constantly updating itslef, sometimes this can affect free plugins.

      As to when do you upgrade, as I mentioned in the article, it depends on what you want from your blog and what you want it to do for you, which then determines which membership plugin you go for within budget.

      Which do I use>… I have Thrive Membership on this blog and another one with Astra on, but Astra is more for the offline Smaller businesses

      In order of choice I would go Thrive, Astra and then Possibly Divi by ElegantThemes

  6. Hello there Dave and thank you for this informative article. I’ve been using Thrive since two months now and I am very satisfied with all that they offer. Amazing themes and ever better plugins that allow you to focus on creating amazing landing pages, testimonials and even track the performance of your headlines.

    I am going to bookmark your website.

    Thank you.



Leave a Comment