A MemberPress Review

MemberPress is a WordPress membership plugin.

In this article look at why membership site owners like you have chosen MemberPress.

And more importantly, why they migrate away.

Who We Are + Why You Care

We're the creators of AccessAlly, an all-in-one LMS and membership site plugin for WordPress.

MemberPress is one of our competitors.

We research and write these comparison articles because we want you to find the best fit for your business, even if that's not AccessAlly.

Book a free demo today to see how AccessAlly can work for your business.

It's not a pushy sales call. There's no pressure to buy.

We'll tell you honestly if AccessAlly is a good fit for your business.

MemberPress Pricing Plans

Why MemberPress?

membership plugin comparison of AccessAlly and MemberPress

Before we get into our list of MemberPress alternatives, let’s look at why you might consider implementing MemberPress for your online course or membership site.

  • You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles: If you’re just getting started online and don’t require complex or advanced LMS features and functionality, MemberPress is a good choice. You can create basic courses with their course builder, as well as, basic and advanced membership levels.

    You can send your welcome emails and transactional emails from the MemberPress plugin and don’t need to rely on a CRM or marketing automation system. However, if you plan to send retention or course-related emails you will need to integrate with one of these tools.

  • It’s affordable: MemberPress is an affordable membership plugin priced at just $249/year for their most popular plan. However, it doesn’t include a lot of learning management system features so you may need to purchase additional plugins and add-ons if you’re selling or bundling online courses within your membership.
  • You’re already using an LMS plugin: MemberPress is often paired with an LMS plugin such as LearnDash by online course creators who need membership management features to complete their learning environment setup.

    MemberPress has recently released a "Courses" feature that functions as a course builder. However, if you’re collecting homework or sending assignments to your users, issuing certificates, and leveraging quizzes to increase content retention, it won’t quite meet your needs.

Why People Recommend MemberPress

You might have posted in a Facebook group asking people what they use for their membership site or to sell their online courses, and received a lot of “MemberPress” answers. Why is that?

  • Design flexibility: MemberPress is a WordPress membership plugin that works with any theme. They also provide templates for some of your core membership site pages such as check-out pages, thank you pages, landing pages, and your login page. You can even use shortcodes to display the member’s name, the date, or what product or program they’ve purchased to personalize their experience. 
  • MemberPress has a great affiliate program:  We highly encourage you to reach out for recommendations as you research your options. Just be wary that whenever you have someone strongly advocating for a specific tool, without listening to you and your specific needs, it’s a good time to pause and think about what’s in it for them.

    Many MemberPress customers can earn a nice income from recommending MemberPress to others so just be sure it checks all of the boxes for your needs before you make the investment.
MemberPress website screenshots

Why People Look for MemberPress Alternatives

If you’ve tried MemberPress and found it limiting, or you’ve outgrown the MemberPress system you might already know why you want to move. Here are some of the other common reasons why people look for MemberPress substitutes.

  • Lack of functionality: Because MemberPress focuses primarily on your membership management, additional plugins are usually required to add additional functionality to your site - adding costs and complexity to your tech stack. Maintaining these integrations can be a tech nightmare if the integrations fail or you need to troubleshoot customer-specific issues and find yourself unsure of which tool may be responsible. 
  • 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. 
  • E-commerce features are clunky: 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.
  • Lacks a member directory feature: Member directories are a great way to showcase build community within your membership. Unfortunately, this isn’t a native feature of MemberPress so an additional plugin or add-on would be needed. 

One Client's Story About 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."


Compare MemberPress Pricing

MemberPress has 3 different pricing plans to choose from. However, the lower-priced tiers will have more restrictive feature limitations so keep that in mind as you're evaluating each plan.

Their Basic plan is $249 per year which includes 1 site license, unlimited members, and unlimited membership levels or courses. You'll be able to choose between PayPal and Stripe for your payment processor, and you'll have access to approximately 10 add-ons and integrations.

MemberPress's most popular plan, the Plus plan is priced at $399 per year. You’ll get everything included with the Basic plan and your site license will be valid for up to 2 installations. You'll also be able to use Authorize.net as your payment processor. This tier includes the corporate accounts feature and 20+ add-ons and integrations.

The most expensive pricing tier for MemberPress is the Pro plan, priced at $549 per year. In addition to all the features available on the Plus plan, your license is valid for 5 installs and you receive Affiliate Royale at no additional cost to use as your affiliate management system. You'll also have access to exclusive Pro add-ons.

Although cost is not the only thing to look at when you’re considering what membership software or LMS to choose, it does factor into the equation.

Here is the cost breakdown for some of the most commonly compared MemberPress substitutes:

MemberPress + LearnDash $448/year
No course or student limits, basic functionality
Includes group licensing, affiliate functionality
Kajabi $1490/year
Includes only 3 products, and limit of 10,000 contacts
100 Products, 100,000 contacts, limited email sending
Thinkific $490/year
Unlimited courses and students
Additional features and groups
Teachable $390/year
Plus 5% transaction fee
No transaction fees, includes bulk student enrollment
Podia $390/year
No memberships or affiliate functionality
Includes 3rd party code and embedded checkout forms
Mighty Networks $280/year
Community forums only, no online courses, plus 3% transaction fee
Includes online courses, plus 2% transaction fee
LifterLMS $299/year
Ecommerce and CRM addons included
Quizzes, groups, and social learning
AccessAlly $990/year
Unlimited courses and students, affiliate, and bulk courses
All LMS functionality
membership plugin comparison of AccessAlly and MemberPress

MemberPress might be right for you if…

  • You simply want restrict content and not a fully functioning learning management system
  • You won’t need a two-way integration with your CRM to allow for customized experiences
  • You’re comfortable with purchasing, setting up, and maintaining multiple add-ons, integrations, and plugins

In-Depth MemberPress Replacement Comparisons

Now that we’ve looked all of the reasons why someone might choose MemberPress, or switch from MemberPress to another membership solution, it’s time to compare MemberPress alternatives!

We've done the research for you in our detailed comparisons and reviews. See the best online course platforms and where to shine or fall short for your business needs.

Image AccessAlly Favicon

AccessAlly vs. MemberPress

kajabi icon

Kajabi vs. MemberPress

Podia Logo

Podia vs. MemberPress

MemberMouse Icon

MemberMouse vs. MemberPress

WishList Member Icon

WishList Member vs. MemberPress

LifterLMS Logo

LifterLMS vs. MemberPress

Paid Memberships Pro icon

Paid Memberships Pro vs. MemberPress

Your MemberPress Substitute Might Include Several Tools, Software, and Plugins

Now because MemberPress handles the membership management functionality of your online courses and membership, you’ll likely need to add additional plugins to achieve your desired functionality for learning reinforcements, gamification, and member directories.

How you decide to construct your tech stack depends on your requirements, and what goals you’re trying to achieve. For instance, you might need:

CRM Software

CRM software and an email marketing automation platform is important to both sell your courses and memberships, as well as deliver them.

Website host

If you’re going with the self-hosted membership site option, a reputable host will go a long way toward giving you a fast site that you have full control over.

Website Theme

One of the drawbacks of MemberPress is their lack of customization without the use of custom code, so if you’re investing into the design then you’ll want to decide on the best theme or design options.

Subscription management

Taking payments is a key part of selling courses and memberships, and there are several different tools that allow you to take payments, and manage subscriptions.

Affiliate Management

If you want to give students and colleagues the ability to refer and earn a commission, an affiliate management solution can help you do just that.

LMS plugin

Finally, how you deliver your courses to help you teach and engage better is how you can set yourself apart in the marketplace, and help your customers succeed.

What matters most to membership site creators in 2021?

In 2021 what matters most to membership site owners is the ability to move from an offline business model to a digital one, to overcome the repercussions of COVID-19.

Giving members a place to learn, connect, and continue to pursue their dreams is the way to grow your membership community.

AccessAlly has the technical infrastructure to help you do just that, and much more.

iPad with screenshot of Equity statement

Wondering if AccessAlly is right for you?

Hi, I'm Kimberly

If you're researching, pouring over our articles, but what you really want is to know if AccessAlly is right for you...

Kimberly Gosney