AccessAlly vs. PilotPress: a comparison

Our fans tell us AccessAlly allows them to earn more from their online courses and membership sites. We think you’ll love AccessAlly’s power features, along with its’ sophisticated interface.

If you’re curious to see how AccessAlly really stacks up to PilotPress, read on!

The good news? Both wordPress plugins offer deep Ontraport integration

No matter which solution you select between AccessAlly and PilotPress, both will give you deep Ontraport integration, since both WordPress plugins were developed with Ontraport in mind.

That means that your member data will get synced from your WordPress membership site back to Ontraport, and vise versa as needed.

The main differences lie in how each plugin was designed: with PilotPress the main focus is on providing basic membership and content protection.

With AccessAlly, the goal is to have a full-fledged online course and automated membership solution… so you can pass a lot more data back and forth, based on all of the possible site interactions you can imagine.

A quick note: PilotPress hasn’t been tested or updated for the last three major releases of WordPress at the time of this writing. It’s likely because Ontraport has released their own native membership site functionality

Let’s take a look at how these two plugins overlap and vary in more detail.

How Both Plugins Overlap In Features And Functionality

Built-In payment and subscription management

If you’re taking payments through Ontraforms and you’d like to offer a client portal where customers can come up and update their credit cards, see invoices, and manage their subscriptions… then both plugins fit the bill.

How AccessAlly takes it further: you can design the look and feel of this page, as well as allow people to cancel their subscriptions right inside the membership site.

WordPress affiliate centers

We’ve created a private Facebook community just for our software customers. This space is for you to collaborate with other users and get additional support from those in our community.

Protected content

With both plugins you can protect entire WordPress pages or parts of a part page depending on the member’s access permissions.

With PilotPress the main mechanism is to use “membership levels,” which adds an additional level of complexity and abstraction for most membership sites.

On the other hand, AccessAlly uses Ontraport’s tags (and will even create the necessary tags for you!) to protect pages and sections of your site.

Merge fields

If you want to be able to insert fields from inside Ontraport, like someone’s name then you’re in luck. Both plugins allow you to pull data from Ontraport into your WordPress pages.

Dripped content

Want to drip content based on different schedules or events inside Ontraport? Great, because both AccessAlly and PilotPress let you release content based on Ontraport campaigns.

AccessAlly does it based on tags, which gives you the ultimate flexibility, and even creates these tags for you.

WordPress shortcode adder

Both membership plugins rely on shortcodes in the page/post editor to display content or perform special operations. Luckily, you don’t need to memorize these shortcodes because both plugins include a shortcode adder to insert them for you.

How AccessAlly takes it further: with AccessAlly you’ve also got the ability to insert functionality through Gutenberg blocks, Beaver Builder blocks, Elementor widgets, or Divi.

What is AccessAlly known for?

AccessAlly is the #1 online course and membership WordPress solution for industry leaders. It handles everything from taking payments, delivering stand-out courses, progress tracking, gamification, member directories, and managing your integration with Ontraport.

What is PilotPress known for?

PilotPress is Ontraport’s free membership plugin for WordPress. It handles all of the basics to have members login, access protected content, and update simple details. PilotPress requires additional plugins to create a full-fledged course platform.

The benefits of choosing AccessAlly to Deliver your memberships and courses with Ontraport

How many plugins does it take to run a course with PilotPress?

If you’re looking to simply gate content based on levels, then PilotPress may truly be all you need and AccessAlly might be overkill.

But if you want to run a robust course or membership site, you’ll likely find yourself adding a bunch of additional plugins to make PilotPress do what you need.

It’s not unheard of for PilotPress users to install 6 or more different plugins to handle everything learning management systems (LMS), member directories, team management, and other connector plugins to make everything work together.

With AccessAlly, you sign up for one tool that seamlessly handles everything from course creation, LMS functionality, deep integrations, and member management.

Tablet with a member directory

Styled member directories, and fully integrated member profiles in Ontraport

While AccessAlly started off as an “access management” tool for online courses, it quickly developed into a full fledged membership plugin for WordPress.

That means you can create beautiful searchable member directories, sorted by Ontraport tags. This allows members to opt in or out of your member directory, and even to purchase a premium listing.

You decide what you want to include in your member directory – like a biography, or even points earned, and course progress. PilotPress offers no member directory.

Plus, with AccessAlly’s profile editing functionality, a member can update their name, email, address, and password… or any other custom field inside of Ontraport.

All with one click, and everything gets synced between your membership site and Ontraport. Plus, directories can be public facing or private and just for members with certain tags.

Bulk licensing courses and managing teams

With PilotPress, you’re selling one course/membership to one person at a time.

AccessAlly offers the ability to sell bulk licenses or group access to your courses and memberships so you can leverage your efforts.

This means you can sell content to entire teams, companies, or families and have the group leader assign and manage sub-accounts on their own.

With the AccessAlly Teams feature, you can design the “member management” dashboard to your liking, including custom operations to kick off Ontraport automations directly by group administrators.

A team leader can see student progress, quiz results, and even notes or questions asked.

AccessAlly Pro also makes it easy for students to upload homework attachments, like PDFs, Word documents, or other files for the administrator.

Online course design examples

Drag-and-drop Course design and cross-selling dashboards

From the get go, AccessAlly does all of the heavy lifting from automatically creating course tags inside of Ontraport, along with the pages, menus, and permissions that go along.

You can easily organize courses and modules, and how they’ll look on your members’ dashboard within the drag-and-drop course design wizard.

So each offering is represented on a cross-selling dashboard, where members see what they have access to visually and what they can unlock or purchase.

Plus with AccessAlly’s handy “resume” button you can have people continue where they left off in a particular course or across your entire site.

With PilotPress, you’re left setting up WordPress pages, menus, and tags on your own and there’s no course design built-in.

Looking for an Option with fewer restrictions?

Have full control of your content, members, and their experience on your site.

Spend your time doing what you do best, not struggling with frustrating platform restrictions.

With AccessAlly, you’ve got all of the power and flexibility of WordPress, and there are no limits on your business’ growth potential either.

Get a Free AccessAlly Demo

One client's story about finding a LearnDash + PilotPress alternative...

Mike D.

AccessAlly is so much better than every other LMS solution I've worked with


“I manage a site that uses LearnDash and was not impressed or inspired by it.

When I had to re-build one of my own sites with an LMS solution I went with AccessAlly and have been blown away by their system. So much better than every other LMS solution I’ve worked with or tested out.

I’m on Ontraport, but can’t speak to the specific setup your looking to implement… But can speak to AccessAlly’s support and quick response to get answers to my questions.

I’ve been setting up some pretty advanced stuff and they’ve been able to do what I want to do every time.”

– Mike Deiure,

if you're not using Ontraport Pro with The e-commerce plan...AccessAlly handles payments and affiliate tracking for you

Depending on which Ontraport plan you use, you might not have e-commerce or affiliate functionality at your disposal.

With AccessAlly, you can use Ontraport Basic and take advantage of AccessAlly’s drag-and-drop mobile-friendly order forms and affiliate tracking.

With AccessAlly’s order forms, you can offer subscriptions, individually triggered time-sensitive coupons, trial offers, order bumps, and 1-click upsells.

And unlike other platforms, AccessAlly doesn’t take a commission on any of your sales, and it integrates with Stripe and PayPal out of the box.

The best part? You can set up abandoned cart follow-up on AccessAlly’s order forms so you can recapture lost sales and earn even more from your marketing efforts.

Certificate of completion

Built-in learning management system, certificates of completion

With AccessAlly, you don’t need a 3rd party learning management system (LMS) to run your courses… and all of the relevant course data can be synced to Ontraport – from quiz results to module completion.

This means you can unlock content based on someone’s progress, and you can even show different material based on who is seeing it.

If a student performs at a certain level on a quiz, you can show them more advanced or basic course content to help them master the material.

Plus AccessAlly can automatically generate a PDF certificate of completion when students pass a course. Simply upload your PDF template to match your brand, drag and drop where you want the student’s name and other details to appear… and AccessAlly will fill things in before someone downloads it!

Mobile friendly snappy login links™

One issue that all membership sites face is helping people come back to the site and login easily.

Especially when someone needs to login on another device like a phone or tablet – where they might not have their password handy.

AccessAlly has a special feature that you won’t find any other WordPress membership plugin including PilotPress: the Snappy Login Link™.

A member can simply enter their email address and be sent a link that will automatically log them in… no need to reset their passwords or anything. Plus it’s a very secure way that’s GDPR friendly – no need to email passwords!

examples of badges available for download

Gamification, credit systems, and advanced automation

Another way to leverage the power of Ontraport is to make use of AccessAlly’s custom operations to create a gamified “points system”.

How does it work? Your members can earn points for completing quizzes, sharing on social media, or being paid members in good standing… and they have a “points balance” that can increase or decrease based on their actions.

They can redeem points for bonus content, services, or other goodies. You can also use these points to create leaderboards motivate people!

Plus, AccessAlly makes it easy to do all of the automation your heart desires: follow-up with members who haven’t logged in for awhile, drip courses on various schedules or based on actions, and kick-start campaigns.

Progress tracking, Quizzes, video bookmarks

When it comes to creating a learning experience that helps students succeed, AccessAlly’s got you covered.

You can easily set up progress tracking across courses or memberships, and display any number of progress bars, percentages, or pie charts to match your site’s design.

Plus AccessAlly offers 3 advanced types of quizzes: the pass/fail multiple choice quiz, a scoring test, and a personality type quiz.

Each of these allows you to tag members based on their results, to customize the experience even more.

Your video courses will also benefit from AccessAlly’s video view tracking to see how much of a video someone has watched (you can also apply tags here). Plus, video bookmarks that allow members to return to the right spot in a longer video.

Developers and designers share their experience with AccessAlly vs. PilotPress

Shannon Mattern photo

There isn't a course or membership plugin or platform out there that I haven't used

“As a web designer, I’ve created more online course websites for clients than I can count. I mean, there isn’t a course or membership plugin or platform out there that I haven’t used.

When I discovered AccessAlly a couple years ago, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to set up considering how powerful it is. You do not need to be techie or hire a web developer to set it up and use it!

My community loves AccessAlly because it helps them track their progress and keeps them engaged – and I love it because it sells my other courses and the subscription to my membership site for me – no other platform out there helps you market your courses the way AccessAlly does. When I moved from a cheaper, cumbersome online course plugin to AccessAlly, my registrations and sales took off!

AccessAlly is hands-down the best platform if you want to easily create highly engaging courses that are designed to sell more courses – I can’t recommend it enough!”

– Shannon Mattern,

Robin Hardy head shot

I love the flexibility of AccessAlly!


“I wanted something that looked good and worked well for my clients. We have used many other membership platforms…

I love the flexibility of AccessAlly and the support when needed. In 17 years doing virtual support I really think you have hit it on the head with a fabulous tool for membership sites AccessAlly, well done!

The biggest reasons AccessAlly stands out?

    • The look of the membership site
    • Ease of adding audio/video
    • Branding options on the site
    • Your own website versus someone else’s hosted platform

AccessAlly is an amazing tool!

– Robin Hardy,

Looking for something that integrates both ways?

Marketing automation tools are here to stay.

Use your marketing automation tool to power your course and membership program by taking advantage of AccessAlly’s deep 2-way street integration.

It’s built to help you sell more, teach better, and engage with your students longer.

Get a Free AccessAlly Demo
Email marketing envelope

your workflow on AccessAlly vs. PilotPress:

AccessAlly Logo
  1. Install the plugin on your WordPress membership site
  2. Run through the on boarding wizard to integrate
  3. Create your first course with the Course Wizard
  4. Set up your marketing automation campaign
  5. Add your content, quizzes, and more with the shortcode adder
PilotPress Logo
  1. Install the plugin on your WordPress membership site
  2. Pay for and install an LMS plugin
  3. Pay for and install a “connector” plugin to make your LMS talk to PilotPress/Ontraport (or set up Zapier for special cases)
  4. Create one WordPress page at a time, manually create your menus and tags inside Ontraport
  5. Install more plugins for gamification, teams, or payments
  6. Set up your marketing automation campaign
  7. Finally start adding your content

See How AccessAlly and PilotPress Features Compare

We’re a digital marketing software company built by marketers and software engineers. With our particular background and expertise, we’ve designed AccessAlly to give you everything you need in an easy to use, powerful package.

Protected course content Included checkmark Included checkmark
Built-in Recurring Stripe and PayPal payments Included checkmark With Ontraport
Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics Included checkmark  
Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus Included checkmark  
Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip Included checkmark Not all
Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps Included checkmark  
Cart abandonment automation Included checkmark  
Progress tracking, and progress-based unlocking content Included checkmark  
Multiple types of quizzes, and auto generated certificates of completion Included checkmark  
Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts Included checkmark  
Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles Included checkmark  
Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking Included checkmark  
Media player, video bookmarks, tagging automation on quizzes Included checkmark  
Cross-selling dashboards, with 1-click upsells Included checkmark  
Built-in affiliate tracking with multiple tiers, links, and reporting Included checkmark  

The true cost of PilotPress

If you plan to use PilotPress by itself without any additional add-ons, then PilotPress is free and included with your Ontraport subscription!

However if you want to go beyond basic membership permissions, you’ll need to add on a Learning Management System (LMS), a connector plugin or Zapier, and possibly other add-ons for things like teams, directories, gamification, etc.

AccessAlly Pro comes in under budget, and the added benefit is that it’s just one tool that works seamlessly with Ontraport.

PilotPress pricing

Should I use AccessAlly or PilotPress?

PilotPress might be right for you if...

    • You just need something that’s free to connect Ontraport and WordPress
    • You need a bare bones membership site, with no plans for added functionality down the line
    • You enjoy duct-taping solutions together, and using a lot of different plugins to achieve your goals
    • You don’t mind that PilotPress has a 2.5 out of 5 star rating in the WordPress directory

AccessAlly might be right for you if...

    • You want everything to work seamlessly from one end to the other (payments, courses, and memberships) with as few plugins as possible
    • You know keeping your client information centralized inside Ontraport will help you scale
    • You’re looking to create an amazing customer experience, that’s functional, profitable, and helps you stand out in the marketplace

Marketers all over the world are loving AccessAlly

Amber Vilhauer

AccessAlly is the only sophisticated solution that comes to mind

“Hands down the sophistication. I’ve used most membership softwares on the market but I needed something special, high class, sexy for this latest venture. Only one name came to mind: AccessAlly.”

– Amber Vilhauer,

Petri Goldman

My Clients Absolutely Love It And I Do Too!

I’ve tried a TON of different membership softwares and AccessAlly is by far and away the best-looking, most functional and most strategic one.

I was so fed up with my last membership site because the user-interface was terrible for my clients (and it didn’t look good, which bothered my over-achieving perfectionist self).

Now, I’ve gotten an unbelievable amount of customer feedback from my clients telling me how much they absolutely love it… and I do too!

– Amanda Goldman-Petri,

Migrating from Another WordPress Membership plugin like PilotPress to AccessAlly is easy

With the AccessAlly migration wizard, you can take an existing PilotPress WordPress membership site and convert existing members easily.

Similarly, you can also import members directly from Ontraport, and AccessAlly’s migration wizard will ensure all of your members have the right tags and permissions.

Then you can run through the Course Creation Wizard to import existing course content, and you’ll be ready to showcase your new members area.

Researching course platforms on your own is great, but if you want to talk to someone, we're here to help!

If you’re wondering whether you’re on the right track or not, we can help you sort out all of the different options.

We’ll let you know if AccessAlly is a good fit or not, too. Not sure what AccessAlly is? Watch the video to find out now, then book a call to discuss further:

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