WordPress is not a blogging platform that you can use to build a great blog. But also, you can build any type of website that you want, and building a membership website using WordPress can take a few minutes, to complete the basics and start customizing.
Today, I’ll show you the best free WordPress membership plugins to customize, and make your website more powerful, and loved by your members. They are the best plugins that webmasters are using to make a great website, without the need to spend thousands of dollars hiring a plugin coder.
Of course, the best and professional way to build a membership website is using premium plugin, to add functions and options to your site. But, you should never limit yourself with premium plugins and forget that some features can be found only in free ones, developed by people who add value to the web.
You can also read: creating e-Commerce website using WordPress
Top free membership plugins for WordPress
Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memberships Pro is a powerful and free WordPress membership plugin to set membership levels and customize everything. The first step after installing and activating this plugin is to add membership levels. So, you can decide who can see a particular page or post on your website.
With a few clicks, you will be able to make any content exclusive for one or many membership levels. At the same time, you have good integrated payment gateway system, including, PayPal, Authorize.net, 2checkout, pay paycheck and others.
This plugins have all the premium features that other similar plugins have. And, even, it has more payments systems and it’s easy to use. You can easily receive payments from your members for membership levels, or others using credit, or debit cards in an easy way. Just login to your plugin setting page and set all the options.
Another good thing about this free plugin, is that it comes with 22 add-ons to extend the basic functions. You can also customize the message that appears to your visitors when they want to access exclusive pages.
s2Member Framework is an easy WordPress membership site plugin. It’s free of course, and comes with many advanced functions that you can’t imagine in a free plugin. The setting page itself takes some time to understand and configure. This is a free WordPress membership plugin that will take your website to the next level.
You can create up to 4 membership levels (the pro version has unlimited levels). Best of all, this plugin is fully integrated with BuddyPress and BPress systems.
S2Member comes with PayPal integration, so you can easily set your payment system in seconds, and start building your business. As all the other plugins, this one lets you decide the membership levels needed to access any page or content on your website.
If you want to manage your members through an email marketing provider, you have MailChimp integrated and ready to use.
If you have digital products that you want to sell to your members, this is the perfect membership plugin for WordPress. You have just to create the page from where members can access the products, and pay you before getting the download link.
The Membership Plugin
Membership is the best free WordPress membership plugin that you can download from the WordPress plugin directory. It’s a limited version compared to the above plugins, but, you can use it without any problem if you want to build a normal functional website.
You can create a maximum of 2 levels of memberships, and subscription plans. That’s enough for normal use, even if you have thousands of members. You can, use this plugin and succeed, you can just create a free level, and other premium one, this is the easiest method.
This plugin lets your users create their own membership website. Of course, if you allow them to do that, it works well with multi-site system.
Now, you have some of the best free tools to build your membership website. But now, let’s take a look at the two next plugins to extend your website, add new functions and help your members to stay engaged with your website. Participate in discussions, add more content and build relations between each other.
In other words, you need to make your website human, social and not just a place to sell products or memberships. People love to connect with others, ask questions, and best of all they can help you to resolve issues directly in the forum.
You can create a powerful support system with tickets and even phone and chat, but you can’t respond in the best time like the forum case. The next below free tools will help you much more than with a traditional website where people can’t see themselves and connect with each other.
BuddyPress is the ultimate plugin to build your own social network. Your members can easily build their own profiles, upload avatars and add some information about themselves. It’s an easy way to connect members and let them exchange messages, and more advanced functions that a normal website can’t offer.
This plugin works great for companies and websites where users need to communicate. BuddyPress becomes a popular plugin that theme makers create special themes for it, you can just search for any theme that’s fully integrated with BuddyPress.
The best way to show your members that you’re professional and ready to let them ask, and suggest things to help you, and even report some problems and find solutions together. You can create a forum directly on your WordPress website. BbPress is a forum plugin that got success and becomes popular in the WordPress platform.
It’s easy to integrate and flexible. The actual number of downloads for this plugin is more than one million, people find it the best forum software to use in parallel with your WordPress website without the need to purchase any software.
This plugin was created and developed by the WordPress team, and it’s fully optimize to work with WordPress. So, you don’t have to worry about the difference between forums and WordPress. Just install and activate your free plugin, and set your forums and topics.
Fathi Arfaoui: A Physicist, founder and owner of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Thus, you will succeed online with the right marketing strategies and recommendations. Of course, you’ll find much more topics.