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.
The screen that is displayed by default is the ‘Membership dashboard’, This gives you an uncluttered overview of how many members you have in each member level, how many subscriptions, a ‘News’ display that lists recent joins and cancellations and some graphs which show the number of daily signups over the past two weeks and the number of members.
The next three options allow you to edit members, levels and subscriptions. Member levels work as you would expect – you create a member level and then use various options to provide content to that member level. This includes using rules, shortcodes and the ‘more’ tag. WPMUDev WordPress Membership is by far the most versatile in that respect. Using the rules you can control member level access to many areas of your blog including categories, pages, posts, comments and Buddypress groups.
Subscriptions are very configurable, allowing for free membership, free trials or straight into a recurring subscription. The plugin also has a unique way of allowing ‘drip feed’ content. Basically, you set up a membership level for each phase of content. So, if you had 12 monthly content updates you would set up levels for month 1 to month 12. You then drag them onto the subscription and set the duration that the member will remain on that level. Alternatively you can set your members to stay on a particular subscription for a set period of time, renew the subscription automatically when they pay or have a subscription for an indefinite period, meaning that the member stays on that level as long as their subscription is active.
Support is provided for Authorize.net, 2Checkout and PayPal payment gateways.
Very versatile subscription system. Detailed configuration instructions. Provides ‘drip feed’ capability. Excellent support. The plugin can be used by your members on a on Multi-site/Buddypress system.
Subscription only – no support for one time payments or upgrades. Doesn’t have any mailing list/auto responder integration.
Overall, this is a great plugin for free or subscription based membership blogs. WPMUDev provide prompt support to members via their support forums and live support. Like anything, there is a learning curve but most questions can be answered via a quick search of the forums.
You can find out more about the WPMUDev membership plugin as well as all of their other plugins and themes by visiting their site at WPMUDev.org.