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The best WordPress membership plugin for developers

I write a lot about membership sites and WordPress. And often, I’m writing for non-developers. Their questions are simple – which product does X or Y. But every now and then I get a question from a developer who isn’t looking to build their own membership plugin.

And that’s when the question comes up – which is the best WordPress membership plugin for developers? And the answer, it turns out, is actually not as complicated as I initially feared.

After all, the answer should be complex, right? Because there are so many plugins, and likely so many that can be manipulated if you know what you’re doing.

But that’s not the issue. The issue is how often the developers of the plugins have spent time thinking about developers as they create their plugins. And that’s often a secondary market for them.

After all, it’s harder to sell to developers (but that’s an entirely different post).

Anyway, to get to it, let’s talk about three plugins that are worth your review, if you’re a developer looking to customize a membership plugin.

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a plugin written by Pippin – also the author of Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP. So yeah, do I need to write more?

Well, I will. Just a bit.

One of the things I like most about RCP is the fact that it’s written by a developer. And not just a developer who is looking to make money – but a developer who is constantly honing his skills, improving his products, and helping his community.

That translates into a consistent evaluation of his plugin and ways to make it better. More importantly, he’s had two plugins take off (EDD & AffiliateWP) and both have extensions. It’s a model that works. And RCP has some extensions but not tons.

What does that mean? Well, simply put, I think you’re going to see tons more this next year. And that’s going to mean tons of additional hooks made available for developers (beyond what’s there right now).

If you look at that last link, you’ll see that it’s not without hooks. It’s already a plugin worth reviewing, if you’re a developer who wants to customize a content restriction solution using a membership plugin.

Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is another plugin perfect for developers, by another developer who thinks about more than just selling a plugin.

Jason Coleman is a sharp developer who made the decision a while ago to make sure his plugin was perfect for developers. That’s why there’s so much documentation on his site about the hooks you can leverage when customizing your solution.

He has tons of add-ons available on GitHub as well, which you can review and see which are worth extending.

I can’t speak highly enough about both Pippin and Jason and the code they have made available for you to customize.


MemberPress is one of the most feature-filled membership plugins available. Blair, the guy behind it’s magic, keeps shaping the plugin to get it to be the only one you’ll ever want or need.

While the docs available are user-oriented, what’s great about the code is that’s easy to read and structured in a way that most developers will enjoy.

Better yet, every person who buys the Developer Edition gets priority support with a response time of less than 48 hours. So if you want to use their paywall feature but tweak it, you can do so. If you want to use their subscription upgrade process, but want to tweak it, it’s simply asking and getting answers from support.

All three of these plugins are great for developers.

What you do with them is completely up to you.

Of course, if you want to talk more about your particular situation, let’s connect on Clarity.

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