Do you plan on offering memberships or selling premium subscriptions to digital content or services on your WordPress site? You’d be smart to do so! Why? Both the membership and subscription business models are fantastic because when executed correctly, the result is stable, predictable recurring revenue. Imagine not having to go out and find new customers each and every month. Instead, you’ll have money coming in from a core base of subscribers.
If you do plan on doing this, you’ll need to find and use the right membership management platform. While you technically could handle all of these subscriptions manually, once your business reaches a certain size, this will become an overwhelming, time-consuming, and overall nightmarish situation for you and your team.
As more and more people purchase subscriptions to your website, you’ll find yourself exhausting countless hours trying to manage their accounts, billing details, access rights, etc. We’ve heard horror stories from people who have used these sort of “duct tape” solutions for membership and subscription management. It’s never pretty, to say the least.
Fortunately for you, all of that can be easily avoided. There are a number of fantastic membership and subscription management tools available for WordPress. Two of the most popular tools out there are MemberMouse and MemberPress.
After you read this post, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of both tools and be able to make an informed decision about which one will best serve the needs of you and your business.
What is a WordPress Membership Plugin?
Before we dive into our comparison of MemberMouse vs. MemberPress, let’s quickly define what a WordPress membership plugin actually is. This will give you a better grasp of what these tools are and why they’re so important if you’re building a membership, subscription, or recurring revenue business with WordPress.
If you’re already familiar with WordPress, chances are you know about plugins. Since WordPress is a content management system – think of it like the operating system for your website – WordPress plugins are like the software you install on your computer – like Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or Apple’s iTunes. Some common plugins for WordPress are Yoast SEO, Akismet, WooCommerce, etc.
A membership plugin is therefore a tool that integrates directly with WordPress in order to give your website specific membership, subscription, and content protection capabilities. When you have a WordPress membership plugin installed on your site, you’ll be able to do things like protect content, collect recurring payments, and create different levels of access on your site.
How WordPress Membership Plugins & Membership Sites Work
If all of this sounds a bit abstract or conceptual to you, don’t worry.
Let’s take a look at a concrete, everyday example of a subscription site that you’re probably familiar with…
Netflix really is the perfect example of a membership site. They follow the “all you can eat” model where subscribers get access to unlimited amounts of content for a monthly fee. All of the movies and TV shows on Netflix are protected behind a “paywall.” This means that you must be logged in as an active user in order to access the content. As long as you pay your monthly fee, Netflix gives you access to their content.
Going back to our explanations of WordPress membership plugins, their job is to essentially to control access to your content based upon whether or not someone has an active account on your site.
But here’s the thing: not all WordPress membership plugins are created equally. There are a lot of different options out there and it is incredibly important that you choose the right tool for the long-term success of your business. MemberMouse & MemberPress are two of the most popular membership plugins out there – but there are some key differences you need to know about between the two platforms.
Let’s dig into the nitty gritty details now.
What is MemberMouse?
MemberMouse was founded in 2009 by software developer & entrepreneur Eric Turnnessen. For over 10 years, they have been leaders in the space for WordPress membership plugins. MemberMouse was developed in tandem with a small group of online entrepreneurs who at the time were pushing the boundaries about what was possible for online businesses.
Because of this, MemberMouse is one of the most robust and feature-rich solutions out there. MemberMouse is truly an “all-in-one” membership & subscription management tool for WordPress.
What does this mean?
With MemberMouse, you’ll be able to manage every aspect of your online membership business: customer & member account management, content protection, customer support automation, business reporting & metrics.
Think of MemberMouse like that person on your team who would have to manage all the aspects of your subscription business: billing, customer support, member accounts and more (you know, that person you couldn’t live without). Except with MemberMouse, all of this is handled automatically, behind the scenes.
When you’re choosing a tool for your online business, you not only want to consider the features and functionality, but also the way the tool is supported. MemberMouse is frequently updated and has a full-time team dedicated to supporting the platform. In addition, they also have a dedicated support team available for hands-on help and a well-documented support center with hundreds of training and how-to videos, showing you how to use their platform.
If you’re interested in MemberMouse, they offer a free 14-day trial. This gives you plenty of time to install the plugin, test it out, and make sure it will be a good fit for your business. They also have weekly office hours where you can ask your questions about the product live, a podcast, and helpful articles on their blog.
Now, let’s take a look at some of key MemberMouse features.
MemberMouse’s Standout Features:
Content Protection: MemberMouse has robust content protection features, allowing you to control access to posts, pages, categories, and even custom post types. This means you can put anything (text, audio, video, forums, etc.) on a WordPress page or post and only let your members see it.
Sell Products, Membership Levels, & Bundles: With MemberMouse, you can sell digital and physical products. How you package them up is entirely up to you. This can be an access based membership level or simply a one-time pay digital product.
Support Automation: Out of the box, MemberMouse comes with a full suite of customer support features. The best thing about this is that your members can manage their own accounts, reset passwords, update credit card information, and more. This will save you and your team a ton of time, energy, and sanity. Another fantastic feature is their automatic overdue payment handling. MemberMouse will automatically attempt to bill a credit card 3 times before they change your members’ access rights.
Reporting & Analytics: All MemberMouse plans comes with a basic reporting suite, giving you vital information like your total members, retention & engagement stats, and revenue statistics. If you choose to sign up for their Advanced Plan, you unlock an entirely new set of features like the Lifetime Customer Value report.
MemberMouse SmartTags: Probably one of the most attractive features about MemberMouse is its SmartTags. These are shortcodes that allow you to customize your website and create specific user experiences, all without the need to code anything.
1-Click Upsells, Downsells, & Save The Sale Pages: MemberMouse was built to help online entrepreneurs run powerful and profitable businesses. Strategically using both upsells and downsells is one of the best ways to build a profitable online business. Their 1-click purchasing, downsell and save-the-sale pages make this simple for you to do.
Time Release / Drip Content: Would you like to release your content on a schedule? Do you want your members to get access to your content on specific days? MemberMouse has you covered here with their drip scheduling features.
Trial Offers & Coupons: If you’d like to offer a free or paid trial for your membership or subscription business, you can do that with MemberMouse. Creating coupons and special discounts is also easy to do. Both of these strategies are helpful in encouraging people to sign up for your offer.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! For a full overview of MemberMouse’s features, check out their homepage here: https://membermouse.com/.
An important thing to consider when selecting any online business tool is how it will fit in and work with the tools you already use. You’ll want to make sure things like your email service provider or payment gateway are supported. Fortunately, MemberMouse integrates with the majority of the most popular tools out there, like Stripe, Paypal, MailChimp, and Drip.
Here’s a short list of MemberMouse’s primary integrations:
Onsite Payment Integrations:
● Authorize.net CIM
Offsite Payment Integrations:
Email Service Providers:
Affiliate Marketing Tools:
● Post Affiliate Pro
● WP Affiliate Plugin
You can also link up MemberMouse with Zapier. This means that with a bit of customization, you can connect MemberMouse to hundreds of other tools, apps, and SaaS products.
Examples of sites using MemberMouse
For more inspiring examples, check out this post on the MemberMouse blog with 10 unique examples of membership sites.
What is MemberPress?
MemberPress is another popular membership management plugin for WordPress websites. It offers many of the same features as MemberMouse, including the ability to manage paid subscriptions to your website’s content or services. The plugin has been designed so that anyone can sell paid subscriptions on their WordPress website, regardless of experience and technical knowledge. Once MemberPress has been installed, and activated, just enter your gateway information for payments, add products, and then you’re good to go!
Founded in 2013 by software developer and online entrepreneur Blair Williams, MemberPress is part of Caseproof LLC – a company that has produced a variety of plugins for WordPress. Blair describes MemberPress on his website like this:
“MemberPress gives you the ability to reliably create, manage and track membership subscriptions and digital products. In addition to these powerful abilities, MemberPress will allow you to grant and revoke access to posts, pages, categories, tags, feeds, communities and digital files based on what products your users have purchased or subscribed to.
With MemberPress you’ll be able to create powerful and compelling WordPress membership sites that leverage all of the tremendous features of WordPress and WordPress plugins including content management, forums and social communities.”
Unfortunately, MemberPress doesn’t offer a free trial, but it’s still a relatively inexpensive service. You can choose the Basic Plan for $129 per year, the Plus Plan for $249 per year or the Pro Plan for $349 per year. While features vary between the different plans, the biggest difference is the number of websites they support. The Basic Plan supports just one website, while the Plus Plan supports up to five websites. And the Pro Plan supports up to 25 websites.
Content Protection: MemberPress has solid content protection capabilities and will allow you to control access to posts, pages, categories, tags, as well as most files on your WordPress site. This means you can create an area for video content, eBooks, and more.
Coupons: Using coupons to discount your online membership or subscription business is a great way to get people in the door. With MemberPress, you can create and customize coupons.
Affiliate Integration: A nice thing about MemberPress is that if you are on their top-tier plan – the Pro edition – it comes bundled with a free affiliate marketing tool. This will allow you to track and pay your affiliates.
Basic Reporting: MemberPress has some nice reporting features that will give you basic, but important information like total members, total sales, revenue, etc. Having easy access to this information is important when you’re building your business.
Pricing Page Customization: MemberPress comes with several pricing page themes out of the box. This makes it fairly easy for you to create dynamic pricing pages for your products.
Reminder Emails: Staying in touch with your members is one of the keys to keeping them engaged. And remember, engagement is one of the key factors in determining if someone sticks around or cancels their membership. With MemberPress, you can set up automatic reminder emails to help keep your members coming back to your site.
Onsite Payment Integrations:
Offsite Payment Integrations:
Email Service Providers:
● Constant Contact
Affiliate Marketing Tools:
● Affiliate Royale
● WP Affiliate Plugin
Like MemberMouse, MemberPress also integrates with Zapier. Thus, extending the capabilities of the plugin. For a full list of all the tools MemberPress integrates with, check out this page from their website.
Examples of sites built using MemberPress
The Key Differences Between MemberMouse & MemberPress
Both MemberMouse & MemberPress are powerful tools that can be used to build a profitable online business. However, there are a few key differences between the two platforms that should be pointed out.
With MemberMouse, you can create and sell memberships & subscriptions, standalone products, or combinations with bundles. MemberPress on the other hand is really designed to simply sell memberships. So, if you have a simple business plan and don’t anticipate developing your business model or creating new products, MemberPress could be a good solution for you.
On the other hand, if you’d like to have the flexibility to offer one-time purchases – like online courses, PDF downloads, or individual coaching calls – MemberMouse is the tool for you.
What’s great about MemberMouse is that you can specifically deliver these offers to your members using SmartTags & 1-click upsells. This means that once someone is a paying member inside your site, they can buy additional products/services from you without having to enter in their credit card information again! MemberPress doesn’t have this same functionality and you’d have to get creative if you wanted to do something like that.
MemberMouse & MemberPress both do have short code functionality – making it easy to customize your site, content delivery, etc. – the MemberMouse SmartTag feature is the clear winner here. MemberMouse has 10 different classes of SmartTags that allow you to do everything from displaying your members’ names on their homepage, to delivering target offers based upon past purchase history, time in your membership, and more. MemberPress has three categories of shortcodes available: Account, Unauthorized Access, and Registration shortcodes.
And the Winner is…
And the winner is…
Not to sound anticlimactic, but the answer is it depends.
In the battle of the WordPress membership plugins, both MemberMouse and MemberPress are solid options for your business. MemberMouse has been around for 10+ years and MemberPress has been around for about 7 years. Both have proven themselves to be stable, reliable plugins for online businesses. If you have a simple membership site you’d like to build, MemberPress could be a good option for you.
However, if you’re ready to take on the world and build your empire, MemberMouse gets our endorsement. Out of the two membership plugins, MemberMouse is definitely geared more towards online marketers with key features like price split testing, 1-click buying, membership, product, and bundle sales, and more. It’s the one we’ve used to build sites like The Commercial Loan Brokers Institute and Fearless Fathers Rising. So, if you have big dreams for your online business, we’d recommend choosing MemberMouse as your platform.
The great thing about MemberMouse is that they offer a free trial. So, you can kick the tires and give it a test drive for 14-days before you decide to buy. With MemberPress, they unfortunately do not offer a free trial, but will refund your money if you follow their guidelines.
DESIGN YOUR MEMBERSHIP DRIVEN SITE
In today’s marketplace, a designed, professional website is a minimum standard when launching a membership driven service. Whether you have an existing website and are integrating MemberMouse or MemberPress, you are at the beginning of your website planning process, or you’d like a quick, easily configurable website to launch and start signing memberships, Green Vine Marketing has the experience to design, customize and configure your site and your membership platform. We’ll design it, you’ll license your membership platform of choice, and we will configure your platform to your specifications! Call or email Green Vine to launch your member driven business and we’ll install and configure your choice, MemberMouse or MemberPress as part of your design!