The Hidden Details of Membership Upgrades and Prorations

When purchasing a WordPress membership plugin, most people don't think about how it will impact their members' ability to upgrade … or even if they will be able to upgrade.

This is why membership site owners can get locked into some other plugins that don't handle upgrades at all.

I actually fell prey to this on a client's project a couple of years ago … because we simply didn't think about upgrades when we started. And, of course it turned into a huge issue for the client … that I eventually ended up having to fix with custom code.

When starting a membership site nowadays I always think about many of the details that can make life hard once the site is up and running (many of which I don't have to worry about now that I'm able to use MemberPress). One of these details is the upgrade and downgrade process that members have access to.

Here's how MemberPress helps your members upgrade and downgrade easily and automatically :

  1. Groups — with these, you can specify a “group” of membership products, whether these products are part of an “Upgrade Path” and what order you want them arranged in. MemberPress Groups will also allow you to generate an attractive pricing page for your membership products.
  2. Self-Service Upgrades and Downgrades — when a member wants to upgrade or downgrade the membership product they are currently subscribed to, it's pretty easy for them to log into their Self-Service Account Page and click the “Upgrade” link next to their subscription. From there the member will be redirected to the group pricing page which will show the level she's subscribed to and what she can upgrade or downgrade to.
  3. Prorations — I've never seen another WordPress membership plugin that does this with nearly as much excellence as MemberPress … most other plugins don't handle prorations at all. In MemberPress if a member has already paid for a month of their membership and halfway through the month they decide to upgrade, it can figure out and charge the prorated amount that the member will need to pay for the rest of the month at the new level. Trust me, this functionality was not easy to implement. Prorations in MemberPress can be calculated for subscriptions with different periods (weekly to monthly, weekly to yearly, monthly to lifetime) and even between different payment methods (like if your member's first subscription was on PayPal but upgraded with Stripe) … MemberPress' proration routines are solid, comprehensive and fully automatic.

The way it handles upgrades for you automatically is one of the many reasons that MemberPress is simply the best plugin available for people who are serious about creating their own professional membership sites.

Categories: Features
About Blair Williams

Blair is the creator of MemberPress. He is an experienced Software Developer who has created large scale web apps for scores of businesses. He now focuses on WordPress and Ruby development -- in particular the WordPress plugins he has created: MemberPress, Pretty Links, and Affiliate Royale. You can read his blog by visiting