In a way this is a trick question. The question should be, which membership plugin is best for my particular use case?
The reason I say that is because depending on your website design and the solution you are creating you are going to need different things out of your membership plugin. The best plugin is the one that best fits your use-case.
I know, boring. You were hoping for something more exciting, like a head to head. Well, I can give a little bit of that based on a particular use-case. Let’s look at MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and WooCommerce (extensions) side to side for a particular use-case–Since there are three of the primary ones.
A client we are developing a website for has a particular need. His website is used for training middle schoolers in economics. It is an awesome program! For it to work right there is a need for a school principal, or leader, or parent, to be able to purchase memberships on behalf of anywhere from 1-1000 students. We already had a license to MemberPress so we decided to give it a try.
It worked awesome. It integrated well with our user roles, some other customization we had, and in general was easy to set up and style. But then there was a problem. We needed a quantity function on the number of memberships per transaction. I couldn’t find one. I contacted MemberPress support and they told me that there wasn’t one, and that I would need to customize. Argh.
You mean to tell me not enough people have needed quantity to develop this (at least as an add-on)? Apparently not.
So, the search began for a Membership plugin that might do what we needed it to do. Could we have customized? Sure. Do we want to be responsible for updating that customization for an undefined period? Not necessarily. I think it is better to go with a product that already has a support team behind it and is updated regularly. Since we aren’t looking to create and support a plugin right now we chose to look for other options.
I immediately thought of WooCommerce and Restrict Content Pro. Both have great reputations. Restrict Content Pro was the first I looked into because it is a native Membership solution. Disappointingly, they didn’t have a quantity function either. They have a group function but the quantity needs to be predefined and can’t be selected per transaction.
Then I looked at WooCommerce. First, I looked at the Subscriptions extension. It had a quantity function! Yay!!! But, it lacked some of the features of a Membership plugin. But, guess what? There is another WooCommerce extension that is a Membership plugin that works great with their subscription plugin. We can do quantity. We can also do Membership and content restriction. We can also do auto-renewals. And, we have a fully eCommerce solution for when we are ready to sell swag.
WooCommerce won. Great job guys!
Symphy Web Design and Consulting is a website design company based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.