Plugins are definitely one of the best things about WordPress blogging software. In just a few clicks you can add new features that allow you to sell products, redesign your website, keep your content safe and secure, and much more.
But with so many plugins to choose from, which ones should you install? By the time you finish reading this guide to our recommended WordPress plugins for membership sites, you’ll have a good idea of the tools available for enhancing your website today.
About our Recommended WordPress Plugins for Membership Sites
Nearly all of our recommended plugins are free. Most of these plugins are just as important for regular WordPress websites as they are for membership sites. So even if you’ve not yet installed a membership plugin, your site can still benefit from these recommendations.
Website Backup Plugin
If you only install one new plugin after reading this guide, it should unquestionably be a WordPress backup plugin. If you're not sure whether you need the ability to create a backup copy of your website, which allows you to restore lost data in just a few clicks, ask yourself how you’d feel if your website was erased tomorrow and gone for good.
Unless your web host provides you with a robust WordPress backup solution you’re already using, be sure to add installing a backup plugin to the top of your to-do list.
For its ease of use, features, and reliability, UpdraftPlus is our recommended free website backup plugin.
WordPress Security Plugin
Once you’ve implemented automated website backups, it’s time to focus on securing your site. This is especially important if you’re running a membership site and have a user base you need to keep happy. While a good backup solution will help you recover from a website hack or similar issue, a good WordPress security plugin reduces the chances of something going wrong in the first place.
Thanks to its powerful set of features, Sucuri Security is our recommended WordPress security plugin.
Website Caching Plugin
Website caching may sound complicated, and in a way it is. However, it’s surprisingly easy to take advantage of this method of improving the speed of your membership website without any knowledge in this area.
Using a good caching plugin to make your website run faster has been shown to increase conversion rates, helping to turn visitors into paid-up members. After all, fast-loading websites are more enjoyable to use and thus ensure a more positive experience for your members.
Due to its reputation, ease of use, and wealth of functionality, WP Super Cache is our recommended free caching plugin.
Image Optimization Plugin
Optimizing your website images is another way to speed up your membership site. A suitable plugin can take this task off your hands while delivering great results in terms of reducing file size and increasing page speed. The best plugins in this category automatically optimize existing images on your site as well as any new files you upload.
WP Smush is our recommended plugin for taking care of image optimization on your WordPress website in just a few clicks.
Contact Form Plugin
If you want to help more visitors decide to join your membership program, make it easy for them to get in touch with you and to ask questions about your website. Installing a contact form plugin is the easiest way to receive messages from visitors without publishing your email address.
If the prospect of inbox overload fills you with dread, adding an FAQ to your website helps your visitors help themselves, while implementing a help-desk system makes communicating with visitors and members more efficient.
But for the task of adding a contact form to your website, the highly extensible Formidable Forms is both easy to use and feature rich.
Lead Generation Plugin
Contact forms are good for visitors who know they want to get in touch, but other visitors may need a little nudge. That’s where lead generation plugins come into play. By promoting specific actions on your website, such as joining your email list, using a discount coupon, or signing up for a trial, a lead-generation or pop-up plugin helps prevent users from leaving your website empty-handed.
Broken Link Checker
Along with slow loading times, broken links are a sure-fire way to annoy both visitors and members. Thankfully, there are free plugins out there that scan your website for any links no longer pointing where they should. This includes pages on your site, pages on other websites, and any files or other resources you may be linked to.
Our recommended plugin from this category not only notifies you when broken links are found but also gives you a quick and easy way to fix the link without having to visit the pages on the site the link is published on.
For its helpful features and proactive scanning, Broken Link Checker is our recommended plugin for this task.
Website Audience Analytics Plugin
We’ve written about the benefits of using Google Analytics with your membership site before. But if you’re still not using this free service to find out more about your visitors and what they’re up to on your website, now is the time to install our recommended Google Analytics WordPress plugin and start learning more about your audience.
When it comes to website-analytics plugins, Monster Insights is our recommended option due to its Google Analytics WordPress dashboard integration.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plugin
Optimizing your membership website and its content for search engines is essential if you want more people to find your site. While there are many great SEO strategies for membership sites to help you grow your audience, the first step to success is installing a high-quality WordPress SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO gets our vote for optimizing WordPress membership sites. It’s not perfect, but it does cover the most important aspects of making your website search-engine friendly.
Drag-and-Drop Page Builder Plugin
Not every website needs a drag-and-drop page-builder plugin, but these handy tools can certainly help improve your membership site and its content. Even a free option provides a lot more opportunities for being creative than WordPress does by default, including the ability to custom design pages, add widgets to your content, and work with different layouts.
If you want to upgrade your WordPress content-editing capabilities, Beaver Builder is our recommended page builder plugin.
This collection of our ten recommended plugins for WordPress membership sites should help you improve your website while spending very little. If you want more options, check out Jetpack, a tool that adds a powerful suite of mostly free tools to your WordPress website.
Which of our recommended WordPress membership site plugins will you install? Please let us know in the comments below.