7 Common Pitfalls of Some WordPress Membership Plugins

One of the reasons we wrote MemberPress was that the membership platform we were using at the time didn't handle Credit Card declines … at all. We literally had active members on our site who's credit cards had been declined upfront.

After this experience we evaluated other WordPress membership plugins and Membership Software solutions and I'll tell you this much — not many of them would handle the full life cycle of a subscription and some were just plain broken.

Here are some of the problems we've seen with some other membership plugins:

  1. No notification of Automatic Re-Bills — We've seen this happen in several other plugins. If your membership plugin doesn't get notified of any automatic re-bills at the Gateway then your users will have to just continue to have access until you manually cancel them.
  2. Manual Payment Setup — I'm not gonna lie … it was pretty hard for us set up the payment interfaces in some other plugins … I tried (and I have a degree in Computer Science) but some of these plugins required a large number of steps and redirects to get payment. The bottom line was that setting up payments in these other platforms felt like a kludge … they didn't offer complete integration or protection.
  3. Ineffective Access Control — Some of these plugins simply didn't protect fully. If your membership site isn't protecting content completely then the honest truth is that your content can be downloaded by non-members.
  4. No Handling of Credit Card Declines — This is a biggie … if your WordPress membership platform doesn't handle declines (especially on recurring payments) then users who should be blocked will continue to have access … clearly, this type of situation has the potential to have a big impact on the financial health of your membership site.
  5. No Ability to Upgrade or Downgrade — Some other WordPress membership plugins don't have this capability at all — and as far as I know, MemberPress is the only WordPress membership plugin that automatically calculates the prorations necessary to do this effectively.
  6. No Front-end, Self-service Membership Account Page — Once your membership site starts gaining traction you will literally drown in customer support requests if you don't have a place for your members to go to check on their subscription status, upgrade, cancel and modify their account information.
  7. General Instability — We've seen other membership plugins that are in various stages of quality … some work as advertised, some do not.

Since we launched MemberPress we've helped scores of people migrate away from other membership platforms and they're always shocked by the way MemberPress “just works”, saves time and helps them to grow their businesses. The vast majority of those to switch to MemberPress tell us that it's a night and day difference from their old membership plugins.

The good news is that you can avoid all of these issues (and more) by selecting MemberPress to build your membership site on … we believe it's the most solid membership plugin out there, period.

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About Blair Williams

Blair is the creator of MemberPress and Easy Affiliate. He is an experienced software developer who has invented large scale web apps for scores of businesses. Blair now focuses on WordPress and Ruby development. You can read his blog by visiting BlairWilliams.com.