WP-Member WordPress Plugin

DISCLAIMER: The following is not a paid review and completely my own honest opinion regarding the product.

Some of you might remember WP Member as one of the sponsors of my recent Christmas Giveaway and provided the licenses for the WP Member WordPress plugin as prizes. A couple months before the Christmas Giveaway, Dave of WP Member contacted me and asked me to do a review of WP-Member WordPress Plugin.

What exactly is WP-Member?

WP-Member is an advanced membership, subscription & content management plugin for wordpress. It is highly configurable, but yet so easy to use that you will never have to know any code. Unlike other membership plugins that lock down your entire site, wp-Member provides you with a multi layered membership system within your blog. However, WP-Member also provides you with the option to lock down your site and only allow access to members.

Features:

  • Hide content from unregistered members
  • Protect entire posts, pages & categories
  • Setup unlimited user access levels
  • Setup unlimited subscriptions for each user access level
  • Select which posts, pages & categories can be seen by each user access level
  • All user subscriptions are automatically managed & renewed via Paypal IPN
  • Charge users a recurring subscription or one off payment for access

Screenshots:
General Settings
WP Member General Settings

Simple Newsletter
WP Member Simple Newsletter

Messages
WP Member Messages Page

Registration Customization
WP Member Registration Customization

Prices
1 Site License: €19.99 per year (Approx: £15.75 / $31.32)
5 Site License: €32.99 per year (Approx: £25.99 / $51.70)
10 Site License: €49.99 per year (Approx: £39.40 / $78.34)

My Take:
First of all, WP Member is not for everyone. This premium WordPress plugin was designed basically for blogs that have registered members or subscribers like forums, blogs that provide premium content on a subscription basis or any blog that wishes to keep some of its content private to the public and only available for registered users or members.

The WP Member section in the WordPress dashboard is divided into 7 sections. First is the Members section which shows the list of registered users or members and their account details. Next is the Simple Newsletter which lets the administrator/blog owner send newsletters or any message to subscribers. In General Settings, the administrator can specify the main email address, mailer, SMTP server, username and password. In this section, the blog can also be configured to be available to registered users or to the public. Next section is the Subscription Settings where the membership levels can be created and customized. The Messages section is where the welcome message and terms & conditions are generated. Gateways is where the PayPal options are configured. The last section, Registration Customization is where the registration fields are created, edited and organized.

Although WP Member is an advance membership, subscription & content management plugin, it doesn’t require HTML, CSS or PHP coding skills/knowledge. With WP Member you can hide/protect posts, pages and categories and make them available only to your members or registered users. If you have several levels of membership or subscription, you can also select which level of membership can view certain content. With the use of a simple code, you can even hide portions of a post and make it as a teaser for unregistered users. WP-Member was created to work closely with WordPress code to ensure maximum compatibility with other WordPress plugins that the blog may use.

Overall, WP Member is a very good membership,subscription and content management plugin. The user interface is user friendly and straight forward, its also integrated into the WordPress dashboard so WordPress users won’t have much of an issue with it. However, there’s one thing that can be an issue for most users and that is the installation. Installing WP Member is a little bit complicated because it requires IonCube, a PHP extension used to decode encrypted PHP files. Its not that difficult to install but most users aren’t familiar with it and I’m not sure if all hosting providers support it. So make sure to check with your hosting provider first before purchasing WP Member. You can also ask your hosting provider if IonCube is available in your hosting package or ask them to install it for you.

If you decide to use/purchase WP Member, the people from Smart Media Pro (company behind WP Member) will be more than willing to help you with the installation or any issues you might have with setting up and configuration of the WP Member plugin.

To learn more about WP Member Plugin, you can visit the WP Member website or their interactive FAQ page.

JaypeeOnline is supported by its audience. When you click on the advertisements or purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Share:

administrator

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

59 Comments

  • Marc Womack, February 8, 2012 @ 6:05 AM Reply

    This is old thread, but came across it via search so figured I’d update for anyone else that sees this. After reading all the comments I was still interested in the product but worried about the negativity here so I emailed the company. Got GREAT response back from their support people AND the NEW owner of the company!

    Buying tomorrow and will post another comment updating on how the tool works for me but I must say the response from them so far has been damn good!

  • Ian, January 25, 2011 @ 5:45 PM Reply

    Our product is an advanced plugin however, it is easy to use and provides multi level membership and protection of posts. Even though it is easy to use, there will still be certain individuals that may have problems with installing it or may find certain incompatibilities with their setup especially IonCube.

    We provide free install should this be the case. We have always provided our customers with assistance should they ask for it. Our support team (such as Eliza) will always try to find a solution and even take you through the steps so that a customer is informed and educated.

    There are common issues such as an incompatibility of our plugin with other plugins that perform the same tasks. Some customers have installed a different plugin that basically performs the same task but is less secure or less capable of multi-level membership. Naturally this would cause an incompatibility and neither one would work. All one needs to do is contact our support team and we will look into the issue and make it work.

    There will always be a dissatisfied customer for one reason or another. We, however, strive to make sure that the customer’s issues or concerns are given attention and are researched for a solution. We believe that is our competitive edge.

    What we suggest is that customers contact us first with their issues (and please be specific about them because we get customers who just say they have an issue and leave it at that) and we will research it and will provide the answers. It could be as simple as an incorrect process of extraction and installing or it could be something else. We have a team who does support and are willing to assist. Sometimes, you just have to ask and work with us.

  • Ian, January 14, 2011 @ 1:34 PM Reply

    Kris,

    As we have explained, our product is encrypted for the protection of our customers and ourselves. As we have explained in the ticket you’ve raised with us. We have offered our assistance in your request for customization but you chose not to coordinate with our support team – who was willing to investigate and determine how we could make such requests.

  • Kris LaGreca, January 13, 2011 @ 11:42 PM Reply

    I would suggest staying away from smartmediapro’s member module. It’s encrypted source means you can’t make the simplest change to the source!

    Instead support, WP-Member which is written by cbutlerjr. His code is GPL complaint and he’s a active member to the WordPress community.

  • Ian, January 12, 2011 @ 4:59 AM Reply

    Brian,

    Your statements regarding SmartMediaPro and WP-member being scammers are untrue and defamatory. As such, we request that you remove these comments immediately or we shall be forced to take legal action.

    We have tried to communicate with you to address your issues but you respond by posting these slanderous and libelous comments about us.

    Sincerely,
    Ian

    • David Simpson, November 3, 2011 @ 2:57 PM Reply

      This information could not be more true, we have posted this information on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word. We need to make the community aware of how terrible WP-Member, SmartMediaPro’s quality and customer service is.

      One thing for people that don’t know. Even though you pay through paypal, simply call your bank or credit card provider and report it, they will credit you and go after them. They first get the money back from Paypal so Paypal goes after them.

      Thank you,
      David Simpson
      Epicio Inc.

  • Ashley Ford, October 21, 2010 @ 10:59 AM Reply

    Complete waste of cash luckily i only paid $40 im disputing with PayPal to get my money back its only until you actually purchase the plugin that you realise you need to config your server which isn’t always possible on a shared host.

    AVOID AT ALL COST!

    don’t know what the plugin is like as i’ve not been able to use it!

  • rinkjustice, July 21, 2010 @ 9:11 AM Reply

    Has anyone actually got WP-Member working, or is it a complete scam?

    My personal experience with the product were nightmarish, I never got the product to work, even after several weeks (and some sleepless nights) battling with it (and trying everything). “Support” weren’t very supportive either.

    Maybe there needs to be a Class Action Lawsuit against Dave and Smart Media Pro. People need to be protected from the lost productivity this causes. Dave should not be able to continue to do business.

  • Ann, July 20, 2010 @ 8:47 AM Reply

    Wow! What a bad experience. I guess I didn’t do my research before buying this plugin. I chose this plugin mostly on price, but am greatly regretting doing that. The plugin is difficult to install (I had to call my webhost for support with the ionCube thing), and the knowledge base is difficult to follow. After 3 days of trying to get it to work and pulling my hair out I asked for a refund. Guess what? They don’t do refunds. Yes, there ARE digital products that give refunds, most notably all Clickbank products. And if I had bought a tangible good, like a refrigerator, I definitely could get a refund for it for no reason at all (probably minus a re-stocking fee). SmartMediPro should stand behind their product and offer a customer satisfaction guarantee. “If not fully satisfied with the product you can get your money back in the first 30 days”. Now that I can’t get a refund I should turn around and sell it on eBay. Hey, if the digital product is now mine I get to do with it whatever I want, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.