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.
- 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
1 Site License: â‚¬19.99 per year (Approx: Â£15.75 / $31.32)
5 Site License: â‚¬32.99 per year (Approx: Â£25.99 / $51.70)
10 Site License: â‚¬49.99 per year (Approx: Â£39.40 / $78.34)
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.