5 Things To Look For In A WordPress Membership Script Or Shopping Cart

I’m in the process of reviewing several wordpress membership and shopping cart plugins and there have been some very obvious points that I think are worth discussing when you are in the process of purchasing one of these plugins.

1. When was it last updated?

Because WordPress is so popular it is also a target for hackers. We’ve seen a few major breaches over the years (such as the timthumb.php exploit) and one of the most important ways to minimise your exposure to possible breaches of site security is to make sure you have the latest version of WordPress as well as the latest version of any plugins or theme you are using. If a plugin hasn’t been updated for a year or more then that tends to ring the alarm bells for me. Either the author is so confident that they don’t believe their plugin is vulnerable or they are displaying apathy and will continue to do so until a major breach occurs.

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Membership Sites – Like A Mailing List On Steroids

In an earlier article I talked about some reasons why WordPress is such a great membership site platform. In retrospect I was probably putting the cart before the horse as I didn’t talk about why a membership site might be better than some more traditional methods of marketing such as a mailing list.

Marketing, in my opinion, is partly about messing with people’s heads. If you have ever studied marketing you will know about the major role that emotion plays in buying decisions. So, whilst it is messing with people’s heads, it can be done for the right reasons. I remember struggling with the whole concept of playing on emotions for some years. For a while I believed that any sales pitch that wasn’t 100% fact was deceptive and wrong. Then I read a case study by Paul Myers which used fear as a motivator.

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WP eStore Review

Whilst the main focus here at Blog Membership Scripts is scripts that allow you to create a membership site, we also review shopping cart scripts and pretty much anything that enables you to sell products or services from your blog.

WP eStore by Tips And Tricks HQ is a very versatile shopping cart script that is well suited to selling just about anything online. I use it myself on several sites.

One of the features I really like about this plugin is that once you get to know the process of setting up your products you can add a product in around 5-10 minutes. In my case, that’s digital products. The process will be familiar to anyone who has used an ecart script to sell products online. You create an obscurely named directory, upload your files and then link to them from the ‘Add Product’ screen.

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WPMUDev WordPress Membership Review

This is an interesting plugin to review because whilst it lacks a couple of features (which I’ll mention after the review), it stands head and shoulders above any other membership plugin I’ve used for its sheer power and versatility.

The plugin works with standalone WordPress blogs, WordPress Multi-site and Buddypress. That in itself sets the plugin apart from any others that I’ve seen. You could use it to provide a membership site system to all of your WordPress Multi-site and/or Buddypress members.

The first thing I liked about the WPMUDev WordPress Membership plugin is that it adds its menu right at the top in the WordPress admin area. If you’re running a membership site then it’s just nice to login and not have to go digging through the tools menu or scrolling up and down looking for your membership controls and settings.

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