It seems that everyone has a self-hosted WordPress blog these days. The problem is that few if any are able to actually generate any significant revenue from their blogging and content creation efforts. It doesn't have to be that way of course. With some strategic thinking (and unique value proposition of course) you could quickly be on your way to profitability. One way to make that happen is to put a portion of your content behind a subscription wall by using WordPress membership plugins.
Below you'll find a few of the best WordPress membership plugins available on the market today.
MemberWing: One of the most popular commercial WP membership plugins, MemberWing is perhaps the most robust of all options. There are actually two plugins from MemberWing; the WM Gradual Content Plugin ($79 for a single license and $149 for unlimited use) and the MW Membership site plugin (there are four levels of pricing - from free to $295). The Gradual Content plugin allows for prescheduled release of premium content to members while the membership plugin offers site owners a more traditional approach to putting content behind a subscription wall and promoting it to non-members (the plugin even includes integration with several affiliate marketing tools and resources).
WP Member: WP Member is another excellent options for bloggers looking for a solid membership plugin to integrate with WordPress. Pricing is based on the number of site on which it is deployed; a one-site license will run $45, while the per-site fee for running the plugin on ten blogs will drop the price to just under $20 each. WP Member also offers several support packages (tickets, live help, email, and emergency) at various price levels. Create unlimited membership levels and select which post, page and category can be viewed by each membership level. Select one or multiple membership levels per post, page & category and wp-Member will automatically manage users subscriptions, payments and access rights.
Membership Plugin: One of the more pricey WP membership plugin options ($99 for a single site license and $199 for a multi-site (5) license), Membership Plugin offers the standard features of a subscription solution with subscription control, content protection, teaser pages and posts, payment options and more.
Suma Plugin: Suma is a Membership and Subscription Management plug-in for the WordPress publishing system. It provides functionality which transforms WordPress into a pay-to-view, membership-oriented, subscription-based content publishing platform.
Some of the most notable features are a hosted registration process, PayPal and regular credit cart payment methods, secured sign-up pages, off-site storage of payment details and a customizable GUI. The perpetual license for this membership plugin costs $199.
WP Wishlist: Another very popular option, WP Wishlist features much of what is desired in a membership plugin; unlimited membership levels, sequential content delivery, shopping cart integration, multi-level access, subscription length control, sneak peak content display and a lot more. A single license runs $97 while a multi-site license (with free updates and 3 months of support) costs $297.
Read the commentary from our June 2009 issue, Transparency is So 2008, addressing the idea of membership sites and protected content.
Do you use another membership plugin that isn't listed here? Let us know. Share your preferred WordPress membership strategy with other Website Magazine readers by commenting below.