Before moving on to the actual content, let’s see when exactly do you need a membership plugin with your website? I see a lot of people mistakenly purchase a membership plugin to later realize this is not something they actually needed, and WooCommerce+LearnDash was all they needed to make their learning platform work.
You need a membership plugin when.
- You want to sell your courses as a subscription i.e. charge a monthly to provide access to courses.
- You want to sell courses individually, and part of the membership too.
For almost all other scenarios, WooCommerce along with one or two add-ons should do the job for you.
Now coming to the actual article, which membership plugin should you exactly go for with LearnDash?
Following are a few of the plugins you must use with LearnDash. In this article, I have shortlisted a few of the best options only to ensure you could make a choice easily.
- WooCommerce Subscriptions
If you ask me for just one plugin to recommend for LearnDash, it would always be MemberPress. MemberPress is an extremely easy to use plugin, and the best part it has almost all the features you will require for a membership website. One thing I like most about MemberPress is, it allows both tiered as well as non tiered access levels.
The only problem I see in this plugin is, their development team seems very slow. I have been using this plugin for a very long time, but didn’t see it evolving over time as compared to its competitor Paid Memberships Pro. I would really love to see features such as Gift Memberships, Infusionsoft etc, but MemberPress is disappointing in that aspect.
When should you exactly use MemberPress with LearnDash?
- When you want to sell memberships and not sure which plugin is right for you, trust me this one is going to be the best one for you, until you are using Infusionsoft etc.
- This plugin has a few limitations like it doesn’t have gift memberships feature etc, so until you need a feature like that then go for this one.
- When you are DIY and you don’t want to go for a lengthy learning curve. Since this plugin is very easy to use and has a lot of documentation over the internet.
Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memebrships Pro is a very under rated plugin, although it has all the features of MemberPress and a lot more too. There are only two cons of this plugin as compared to MemberPress, first of all it require more learning curve as compared to MemberPress and secondly it has a bit higher price than MemberPress.
If you are thinking about the free package, unfortunately you will be missing out on a lot of paid memberships pro features, I would recommend purchasing at least their least paid package.
Initially I never used to recommend this plugin to LearnDash users, since it has tiered pricing only. But recently, they have launched an add on which allows users to have access to multiple membership levels at the same time. Now the only reason MemberPress is a better choice is because MemberPress is easier to learn and work on as compared to Paid Memberships Pro.
Paid Memberships Pro has all the features of MemberPress, as well as following additional features.
- It allows users to gift memberships.
- Paid Memberships Pro has built in social login, which is a big plus.
- It allows group registration with their least paid plan, unlike MemberPress where you have to go for the most expensive option.
- It has way better reporting feature thanks to its add ons.
- It has a very nice feature, where users are able to enter their own price for a membership level. It’s a very nice feature of donation kind of sites.
- If you run multisite WordPress, it has some great features for network sites, like giving access to all the networked sites or some of the sites from network by purchasing a membership level at the root site.
These are some of the additional features I like about Paid Memberships. It has a lot more features as can you see at their add ons page.
When should you use this plugin?
It’s a complete alternative of MemberPress, so if you are really looking for those additional features then PMP is for you. But remember, MemberPress is way easier to use than this one.
We have compared two of the best options in normal scenarios. What if you want to use a marketing automation tool like infusionsoft etc?
In that case WP Fusion is the best option out there. Although, initially I used to recommend Memberium for that, but using WP Fusion has completely changed my perspective.
The best part? It integrates with a lot more marketing automation tools unlike its counterparts.
But remember, WP Fusion is not that easy to use as compared to other two options. If you have a fine budget for a tool like infusionsoft and you could afford hiring a consultant, this is probably the best option out there.
Unlike two of the above options, it’s way more powerful in terms of marketing. The plugin itself is useless until you are using a marketing tool. So no, above two membership options are not a direct competitor of this guy.
Even you could use this plugin with above two plugins too, but surely it will add up the costs. You can also use it with WooCommerce, where WooCommerce will handle payments and this plugin will connect your site with a marketing automation tool.
Last but not the least, WooCommerce subscriptions is another great tool. Although, building a great UX with WooCommerce is a lot more challenging thing, but no plugin can beat WooCommerce as a cart in power. It integrates with almost every plugin in the market and you could even use it with your local payment gateway unlike other mentioned plugins.
This plugin has almost all of the features of any of the above plugins, but they come with more complexity.
If you are not using marketing automation software, and you are ok hiring a great developer, this plugin could do wonders for you.
But no, this is not a good option for DIY newbies, since building a great UX with this plugin is lot more challenging.