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6 Best MemberPress Alternatives for Course Creators

MemberPress is a WordPress membership and LMS plugin that allows you to control access to specific content through a paywall. It is a WordPress plugin that turns your business or content site into a membership page.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur considering MemberPress or an existing user looking for alternatives, this article will explore different solutions to help you find the perfect online course or membership site adapted to your needs.

What Is MemberPress?

MemberPress is a WordPress plugin designed to create and manage membership subscriptions, content access rules, and digital products. This plugin integrates with WordPress, making it a popular choice for site owners looking to build and maintain a membership-based community.


MemberPress is ideal for entrepreneurs, educators, and creators who want to monetize their content through gated access. MemberPress provides the tools needed to offer premium content, conduct online courses, or create a private membership. It is especially suited for those who prefer a straightforward setup without needing extensive technical knowledge.

It includes:

  • Membership Levels: Allows the creation of unlimited membership levels with various pricing, subscription periods, and access rules.
  • Content Protection: Offers extensive control over who can see your content, allowing you to restrict access based on the user’s membership level.
  • Course Builder: Although basic, the built-in course builder lets users create and manage courses directly within the WordPress environment.
  • Email Automation: Sends welcome and transactional emails directly from the plugin, eliminating the need for separate CRM or marketing automation tools.
  • Integrations: Works seamlessly with a variety of third-party services and plugins, including email marketing tools, payment gateways, and other WordPress plugins.

MemberPress offers several pricing tiers, typically structured as annual subscriptions. Each plan varies in cost, number of sites allowed, and access to specific features, such as affiliate programs and premium support. Pricing details can be found directly on the MemberPress website, reflecting current offers and promotions.

MemberPress Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Unlimited courses and memberships
  • Advanced content protection features
  • Integrated payment gateways
  • Detailed reporting
  • Excellent customer support
MemberPress Cons
  • It relies on a large number of add-ons, which can hinder the functionality of the site.
  • Complexity increases with advanced features
  • It may be pricey for beginner or small membership creators.
MemberPress Features
  • Paywall & content dripping
  • Customizable checkout
  • Subscription billing
  • Community and forum-building capabilities
  • Members-only dashboard
  • Digital downloads
  • Corporate memberships

Why Consider a MemberPress Alternative?

While MemberPress is one of the most famous WordPress membership plugins, it may not be perfect for everyone’s needs. We will look at some of the main reasons why people look for alternative solutions.

Lack of Functionality

Because MemberPress focuses primarily on membership management, it excels in this area but may lack other functionalities that some users might require, particularly when it comes to advanced Learning Management System (LMS) features. Users often need to integrate additional plugins to add functionalities such as detailed student progress tracking, advanced quizzing capabilities, and complex content dripping schedules. Each added plugin increases the costs and complexity of your tech stack.

Maintaining a smooth operation with these integrations can turn into a technical nightmare if issues arise. For example, when integrations fail or require troubleshooting for customer-specific issues, it can be challenging to pinpoint which tool is responsible. This can lead to significant downtime and frustration as you sift through multiple systems to diagnose and resolve the problem. Such challenges highlight the potential need for a more comprehensive solution that offers both robust membership management and advanced LMS features in a single platform.

Limited Marketing Automation and CRM Integration

MemberPress integrates with a few marketing automation systems and CRMs, however, you’ll likely need a third-party tool such as Zapier to connect your membership site built on WordPress, to pass information back to your CRM, adding one more piece of complexity to your setup to achieve a seamless user experience.

This type of integration is also a one-way integration so you’re not always able to sync data between both systems, your WordPress site typically passes information to your CRM, but your CRM can’t pass information back to your WordPress site.  If this is important for you, take a look at AccessAlly. 

No Gamification Features

As more and more membership sites and online courses come to market, one thing that can set you apart from your competition is the user experience you create.

MemberPress doesn’t have a built-in gamification system that can be used to keep members engaged and coming back for more. There’s no way to award badges and MemberPress lacks the functionality to create a credits/points system to reward users. 

Clunky E-Commerce Features 

MemberPress integrates with Stripe and PayPal, but the back-end payment and subscription infrastructure aren’t very intuitive or easy to manage.

You’re also not able to customize your order forms or your invoices generated via Stripe.

No Member Directory Feature

Member directories are a great way to showcase and build community within your membership. Unfortunately, this isn’t a native feature of MemberPress so an additional plugin or add-on would be needed. 

Minimal Customization

MemberPress lacks many customization options, so a business with specific or complex branding needs may struggle to make the MemberPress parts of the site look consistent with the rest of the website and brand.

What to Look For When Choosing a MemberPress Alternative?

When you’re looking for a MemberPress alternative, you should keep some key considerations in mind. 

You should ask yourself the following questions in order to know what you need as there is no universal solution when seeking alternatives. It all depends on your individual needs:

  • Do you want to stay with WordPress or are you considering switching to another solution?
  • What are the features you need?
  • What currency will you accept?
  • What are the integrations you need?
  • How much do you want to be able to customize to match your branding?
  • What is your budget?
  • Is customer service important to you?

6 Best MemberPress Alternatives

Here, we’ll present different types of alternatives (from WordPress plugins to platforms to suit various needs).

If you want to stick with WordPress because you already have your website on it, you can consult this article.

If you don’t want a WordPress Membership plugin, you can consider one of the platforms discussed here.

E-commerceInteractive course designMember DashboardsAutomationsCommunity engagement toolsIntegrationsContent Release SchedulesVideo HostingCost
AccessAllyyesyesyesyesyesextensiveyesno$$
Paid Memberships Prolimitednonononomoderateyesno$$$
Mighty Networksyeslimitedyesnoyeslimitednoyes$$$
BuddyBossnonoyesnoyesmoderatenono$$
Podiayesnonononomoderateyesyes$
Teachablenononononolimitednoyes$$

1. AccessAlly

AccessAlly is a robust WordPress LMS plugin offering an all-in-one solution for membership and course creation. It stands out as a versatile platform tailored for coaches, community leaders, and business owners who seek to monetize their expertise and content effectively without requiring programming knowledge. AccessAlly seamlessly integrates with various tools, enhancing its functionality and flexibility.

AccessAlly is an excellent choice for individuals and businesses looking to scale their membership and/or online course business. It is particularly suitable for those whose membership or online course business is their main source of income. AccessAlly is also ideal for users who prioritize full control of their site and want to own their platform entirely. Additionally, it caters to users who value customization, robust customer support, and seamless integration with other tools.

AccessAlly is a good alternative to MemberPress for people looking for:

  • Comprehensive LMS features
  • Built-in e-commerce capabilities
  • Advanced automations and integrations
  • More customization control.

Key Features:

  • E-commerce Capabilities: AccessAlly enables easy setup of e-commerce functionalities, allowing users to sell memberships, courses, and digital products directly from their WordPress site.
  • Setup Wizard: Its intuitive setup wizard guides users through the process of creating memberships, courses, and content access rules, simplifying the initial setup process.
  • Interactive Course Design Tools: AccessAlly offers interactive course design tools that empower users to create engaging and interactive online learning experiences for their students.
  • Engaging Member Dashboards: The platform provides customizable member dashboards, enhancing the user experience and allowing members to easily access their content and track their progress.
  • Personalized Automation: AccessAlly’s automation features enable personalized interactions with members, such as automated email sequences, progress tracking, and targeted content delivery based on user behavior.
  • Community Engagement Tools: It offers community engagement tools like forums, commenting systems, and member directories to foster a sense of belonging and collaboration among members.
  • Gamification: AccessAlly includes gamification features such as badges, points, and leaderboards to incentivize engagement and motivate members to progress through courses.
  • Smooth Migration: Users can smoothly migrate their existing membership or course content from other platforms to AccessAlly, minimizing disruption and streamlining the transition process.
  • Tag-Based Access Control: AccessAlly’s tag-based access control system allows users to granularly control access to content based on tags applied to members, providing flexibility and customization options.
  • Content Release Schedules: Users can schedule the release of content to members at specific intervals, allowing for drip-fed content delivery and course pacing.

Pros & Cons

AccessAlly Pros
  • Full control over course delivery
  • Advanced customization options
  • Seamless integration with WordPress
  • All-in-one platform for course creation
  • Support memberships and member directories
  • Scalable with no per-student cost
  • Community engagement features (CommunityAlly)
  • No add-ons required
  • Top-notch customer support
AccessAlly Cons
  • Steep learning curve for beginners
  • Initial setup takes time

Pricing

AccessAlly plans start at $82 per month (billed annually) and go up to $124 per month, depending on the features you need. 

Reviews

Capterra: 4.5

G2: 4.8

2. Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is a flexible WordPress plugin designed to manage and create membership levels with extensive control over content access. Renowned for its utility and ease of use, it is considered one of the most well-known WordPress membership plugins on the market. This tool is perfect for businesses and organizations aiming to protect and monetize their content through tailored membership packages.

This platform is ideal for any member-focused business or organization, such as professional associations, nonprofit groups, and subscription-based content sites. Its robust membership management capabilities make it suitable for those who need to create diverse and complex membership structures but do not necessarily need to provide online courses.

Paid Memberships Pro is an excellent alternative to MemberPress for users who need:

  • A greater variety of payment processor options to accommodate a broader audience.
  • The ability to create complex, multi-tier membership levels without the need for built-in LMS features.
  • Enhanced membership control, including member approval processes and donation or gift membership options.

Key Features:

  • Advanced Content Restriction: Allows detailed control over which content is accessible to different levels of members, ensuring that premium content is protected and monetized effectively.
  • Donations and Gifts: Supports the addition of donation options and gift memberships, which can enhance revenue and attract a wider audience.
  • Member Approval Control: Provides tools to control the approval of new members, which is crucial for organizations requiring vetting processes.
  • Custom or Pre-defined Analytics Reports: Offers comprehensive analytics tools that help track membership engagement and revenue, aiding in strategic decision-making.
  • Multiple Membership Levels: Users can create various membership tiers with specific privileges, prices, and duration, offering flexibility in how services are sold and managed.

Pros & Cons

Paid Memberships Pro Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Offers a free forever version
  • Integrates with PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce,  Zapier, and the most popular email marketing software
Paid Memberships Pro Cons
  • It can be difficult to navigate
  • It relies on add-ons to extend its functionality

Pricing

Paid Memberships Pro has a free plan with the core plugin and 29 add-ons. Paid tiers start at $247 per year and go up to $5,000+ per year for enterprise-level plans. 

Reviews

Capterra: 5.0

G2: 4.7

3. Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is a robust all-in-one software platform that transcends traditional boundaries by combining community building, courses, content creation, and e-commerce into a single, cohesive environment. Designed to foster engagement and growth, Mighty Networks allows you to integrate your community directly with your content and courses, creating a dynamic learning and interaction space. You can even set up your Mighty Network as a subdomain of your existing WordPress site, providing a seamless link between your primary website and your community platform.

Mighty Networks is especially suited for educators, coaches, or content creators looking to build and manage a community-centered platform. Unlike traditional WordPress plugins like MemberPress, Mighty Networks offers a standalone solution that does not necessarily require a WordPress site to function. This can be particularly appealing for those who wish to focus more on community engagement and integrated e-commerce without the complexities of managing a WordPress site.

Mighty Networks is an excellent choice over MemberPress for those who:

  • Prefer a standalone platform that integrates community, courses, and e-commerce.
  • Want to leverage powerful community engagement tools alongside educational content.
  • Do not wish to rely solely on a WordPress framework for building and managing their online presence.

Key Features:

  • Pre-recorded or Live Teaching: Offers capabilities to host live sessions or provide pre-recorded content, enabling versatile teaching modes suited to different learning preferences.
  • Custom Course Communities: Allows the creation of dedicated spaces for each course, fostering a more engaged and interactive learning environment.
  • Messaging All Members: Facilitates direct communication with all members of the network, enhancing connectivity and engagement.
  • Performance Analytics: Provides insights into how courses and content perform, which can help in refining and optimizing the community and course offerings.

Pros & Cons

Mighty Pro Pros
  • Branded mobile apps
  • All-in-one platform
  • High engagement
  • Learning tools
  • Customization and scalability
Mighty Pro Cons
  • Premium pricing
  • Complex for new users
  • Limited ecommerce features
  • Limited integrations
  • Dependence on mobile apps

Pricing

Mighty Networks has a 14-day free trial; paid plans start at $99 per month and go up to $360 per month, billed annually. If you use Mighty Networks as your payment processor, they also charge a 2% transaction fee. 

Reviews

Capterra: 4.7

G2: 4.6

4. BuddyBoss

BuddyBoss transforms your WordPress site into a full-fledged online community platform. Originally known as BuddyPress, BuddyBoss has evolved to offer more comprehensive features and a richer user experience, allowing you to create a highly interactive online community directly within your WordPress ecosystem. This platform is ideal for anyone looking to build social networks, community sites, or member areas without stepping outside the familiar WordPress interface.

BuddyBoss enables the creation of a tailored community experience where users can interact through forums, groups, and personalized news feeds. It’s particularly well-suited for those who already use WordPress and are familiar with its ecosystem but want to enhance their site with social networking features. It integrates seamlessly with LearnDash, making it a fantastic option for those who already manage their courses through LearnDash but need an efficient way to add community engagement to their offerings.

This platform is a solid choice for site owners who want to focus on building a membership community around social interactions and networking, rather than providing structured online courses directly within the membership platform. It’s especially beneficial for users who:

It’s a good alternative to MemberPress for those not looking for built-in LMS features but who still wish to create a vibrant online membership community. The lack of native course management tools makes it less cumbersome for users who might already be using a dedicated LMS plugin like LearnDash and instead focuses on providing comprehensive social networking features.

Key Features:

  • Member Profiles: Allows customization of member profiles, giving users a personalized space within the community.
  • Forum: Facilitates discussion among members, enabling them to post topics, reply, and engage with each other effectively.
  • News Feed: Mimics social media feeds where members can see updates from others in the community, enhancing the feeling of connectedness.
  • Open or Private Groups: Gives options for creating exclusive areas for particular member groups or open forums where anyone can join and participate.
  • Social Groups: Members can form and manage their own groups within the community, fostering sub-communities around specific interests or topics.

Pros & Cons

BuddyBoss Pros
  • Extensive customization options
  • Social networking features
  • Mobile app solution
  • Multilingual support
  • Integrates with popular programs like LearnDas and WooCommerce
BuddyBoss Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Development costs can be extensive
  • Requires maintenance and updates
  • Requires additional add-ons 

Pricing

Buddy Boss charges per site, starting at $299 per year for 1 site, and going up to $449 per year for 10 sites.

Reviews

Capterra: 3.5

G2: no ratings

5. Podia

Podia is a fully hosted platform designed to help creators sell digital products, including online courses, memberships, coaching sessions, and digital downloads. Unlike typical WordPress plugins, Podia provides a standalone service that manages all technical aspects of hosting and digital sales, making it an ideal solution for those who prefer a simpler, all-in-one approach to selling and managing digital content.

Podia is particularly useful for entrepreneurs, educators, and creatives who want to focus on content creation and engagement rather than the technicalities of website management. The platform eliminates the need for dealing with WordPress setups, plugins, or complex integrations. It’s a good choice for those whose membership project is a side hustle or for those who prefer a more straightforward user interface without extensive customization.

This platform is perfect for individuals starting out or looking to run their membership or digital sales project without the complications of self-hosting or extensive customization.

Podia is a good alternative to MemberPress for those who want an all-in-one platform that handles everything from hosting to payment processing.  It’s good for people who prefer not to manage a WordPress website or deal with the potential complexities of plugin configurations and are looking for a user-friendly platform that makes it easy to get started with selling digital products and courses.

Key Features:

  • Video Hosting: Allows you to upload and host video content directly on the platform, simplifying the process of creating and delivering courses.
  • Unlimited Membership Plans: You can create as many membership tiers as you need, tailoring different levels of access and benefits to diverse customer segments.
  • Digital Downloads: Offers seamless integration for selling digital products like eBooks, PDFs, and any other type of downloadable file.
  • Coaching: Enables direct sales of coaching services, including scheduling and payment collection integrated within the platform.
  • Webinars: Supports hosting live webinars, which can be used for teaching, product demonstrations, or customer engagement.
  • Email Marketing: Includes tools to build and manage email lists, send newsletters, and automate marketing campaigns.

Pros & Cons

Podia Pros
  • An all-in-one platform 
  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Offers a free plan 
  • Possibility to hire a Podia Pro to help you set up your business on Podia
  • Easily scalable with higher pricing plans and add-ons
  • Affordable pricing for new and small course creators
Podia Cons
  • Limited customization options
  • Limited integration options
  • The free plan comes with an 8% transaction fee for every sale

Pricing

Podia has a free tier that charges a 10% transaction fee.  Paid tiers go from $4 per month to $59 per month (billed annually) with decreasing transaction fees.

Reviews

Capterra: 4.5

G2: 4.6

6. Teachable

Teachable is a popular Learning Management System (LMS) that provides educators, entrepreneurs, and businesses with a platform to create, market, and sell their courses online. Unlike typical WordPress plugins, Teachable operates as a standalone platform, handling all aspects of course delivery and sales from a central location. It includes basic features for managing memberships, making it a versatile solution for users who want to combine education with community building.

Teachable is a user-friendly platform ideal for individuals and small businesses looking to enter the online education market without dealing with the complexities of setting up and managing a traditional website. It simplifies the process of course creation, marketing, and sales, allowing creators to focus more on content and less on administration.

Teachable is perfect for entrepreneurs and businesses that primarily want to deliver educational content online and who are interested in leveraging affiliate marketing to increase their course sales.

Teachable is a good alternative to MemberPress for those who:

  • Are focused on building and selling online courses rather than managing a complex membership site.
  • Value simplicity and ease of use in starting and managing their online educational offerings.
  • Do not require advanced membership features but still want some level of membership functionality.

Key Features:

  • Multimedia Teaching: Supports a variety of content types, including video, audio, PDFs, and quizzes, to cater to different learning styles.
  • Selling Digital Products: Beyond courses, you can sell eBooks, downloadable content, and other digital products directly on the platform.
  • Affiliate Programs: Offers built-in tools to create and manage affiliate programs, helping to boost course sales through referrals.
  • Course Compliance: Ensures that students meet course requirements with features like course completion certificates and content locking.
  • Integrated Payment Processing: Simplifies the collection of payments with integrated processing options that handle transactions directly within the platform.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Provides detailed insights into student progress, course completion rates, and revenue statistics to help optimize course offerings.

Pros & Cons

Teachable Pros
  • User-friendly interface that makes it easy to set up your courses, coaching programs, and digital products
  • Affordable pricing for new and small course creators 
  • Offers a free forever plan
  • Easily scalable when your business grows
Teachable Cons
  • Limited customization options
  • High currency conversion fees for any currency other than USD
  • 10% transaction fee for every sale on the free plan
  • Many user complaints about inefficient customer support

Pricing

Teachable has a free plan with a $1 + 10% transaction fee.  Paid plans start at $39 per month with a 5% transaction fee to $199 per month with 0 transaction fees. 

Reviews

Capterra: 4.4

G2: 4.0

One Client’s Story of Using AccessAlly as a MemberPress Alternative

Ed Berry

“By stepping through the Course Wizard, even before watching your videos,

I understand how your software works. It’s the same way I would have done it if I were designing such software. (I have done a lot of software and database development.)

Your design makes the best use of WordPress, because your method shows how pages become lessons.

One of the best features in AccessAlly is your use of tags and your direct connection to a CRM. I already use Drip and I find your connections are perfect. It would have been a hookup maze for me to accomplish these connections with other tools. You have saved me a whole lot of time by making things simple.”

-Ed Berry

Lacy Boggs

Lacy Boggs is a content creator with AccessAlly, author of the bestselling Kindle ebook, “Make a Killing With Content,” and the mastermind behind the podcast, “Ace Stone, Marketing Detective.”

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