Paid Memberships Pro Alternatives
Compare Paid Memberships Pro to Competitors

Are you looking for a Paid Memberships Pro alternative for your online course or membership site?

Find out why someone might choose Paid Memberships Pro in the first place, or want to migrate to another solution now or in the near future. You'll also find in-depth comparisons of popular Paid Memberships Pro alternatives, feature reviews, and pricing differences at the end of this article.

Paid Memberships Pro logo

Before We Dive into Our Paid Memberships Pro Comparison

We’re always curious and sometimes skeptical about who writes reviews for products online, so we want to give you the full disclosure as you dive into this review.

We are the creators of the AccessAlly LMS plugin for WordPress, and we are affiliates for some of the tools that we evaluate in these reviews, which means that we may earn a commission if you click a link in this review to the tool’s website and make a purchase.

However, we never let an affiliate incentive sway us in our reviews, the commissions earned on these referrals helps make it possible for us to invest the time required to thoroughly research and write about our personal experience with the tool and knowledge acquired for a lot of the course and membership tools you might be comparing. 

Now let’s dive in to see how Paid Memberships Pro compares to its competitors, and why current users might start looking for a Paid Memberships Pro alternative in the first place.

Paid Memberships Pro pricing table

Why People Choose Paid Memberships Pro

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

  • You're not design-savvy: Paid Memberships Pro will work with any WordPress theme, however, they have their own theme available to plugin owners, which comes with native customization features for you to create your own unique design.
     
    While it may not be a fully customized design, you will have a variety of templates, font, and color options to choose from to make the appearance unique and representative of your brand.
  • Get started for free: Another reason online course creators choose Paid Memberships Pro is that it’s easy to set up and get started at no cost. You have access to Paid Memberships Pro’s core features on their free plan and can enroll an unlimited number of students without investing a penny.
     
    If you don’t need a lot of added functionality like advanced sales and checkout features, member directories, advanced LMS functionality such as certificates and advanced quizzing, affiliate functionality, or dripped content then Paid Memberships Pro can help you get your membership up and running fairly quickly.

Why People Recommend Paid Memberships Pro

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

  • Paid Memberships Pro has a robust add-on system: For your investment, Paid Memberships Pro provides an extensive library of add-ons and integrations, so it’s easily extensible for membership site owners who don’t need an LMS or sell online courses.
     
    This approach helps keep the plugin itself small, and won’t bloat your site. If you find yourself adding add-on after add-on though, it may be more beneficial for you to find a plugin that takes a more all-in-one approach to development so it’s easier to manage.
  • You need to launch quickly with a simple membership model: If you’re just getting started online and don’t need a lot of advanced functionality, Paid Memberships Pro is a solid choice. You can install the Paid Memberships Pro theme, Memberlite, input your color selections, add your content, integrate your payment gateway, and start selling.
screenshot of sample add-ons for Paid Memberships Pro

Why People Look for Paid Memberships Pro Alternatives

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

  • Missing core functionality: Paid Memberships Pro has a robust marketplace of add-ons to extend on its core features, however, there are some things many membership site owners expect to be standard features of the plugin itself and Paid Memberships Pro fails to deliver.
     
    Some of these features are the ability to release dripped content, being able to manually add members, custom menus per membership level, and the option to offer multiple payment options. While all of these are possible with Paid Memberships Pro, you have to install an add-on to unlock this functionality.
  • Custom post types: If you use custom post types to add content to your membership site and want to restrict access based on the post type, an add-on is required for Paid Memberships Pro users, but it unfortunately many users find the add-on to be inadequate or clunky in terms of setting the access restrictions.
  • Advanced functionality often requires coding knowledge: Oftentimes when you hit a roadblock with a certain feature not working exactly how you want it to out of the box, it’s still possible with Paid Memberships Pro, but the solution requires some coding knowledge to be able to hack it and make it work. Unfortunately, many course creators aren’t developers so this can be frustrating for many users who don’t have the expertise to write their own code.
  • Membership management is complicated: If you offer multiple membership tiers and want to give your members the option to upgrade and downgrade from one tier to another, this is not easily possible with Paid Memberships Pro. There is a workaround to make it possible, but as mentioned in our previous point, it does require some advanced coding knowledge to build it into your membership management. Furthermore, you can’t prorate memberships either.
  • Marketing automation and CRM integration: Paid Memberships Pro offers add-ons for your CRM or marketing automation system integration. They also provide an add-on for Zapier integrations so you can integrate with a system that may not be covered with a direct integration.
     
    Unfortunately, these integrations are what we refer to as one-way integrations and are limited in their automation functionality. For example, with their Infusionsoft integration, a member will be added to the CRM and the access tags will be synced with Infusionsoft, but you can’t apply tags in Infusionsoft and have them reflected on the user profile in your CRM. This communication back and forth is what we refer to as a two-way integration.
     
    Furthermore, if you use Infusionsoft order forms to process payments for your membership, members will not automatically be added to your Paid Memberships Pro powered membership site.
  • Lacks gamification: If you want to create an engaging user experience for your members, Paid Memberships Pro isn’t for you. You cannot build a points or credit system to award members for their participation, or for completing actions on your site, motivating them to stay engaged, and there isn’t a feature that will award badges when members reach a certain level of participation either.
  • Limited LMS features: Paid Memberships Pro is a membership site plugin, it’s not designed to power online courses. While it is possible to build an online course using Paid Memberships Pro, your common LMS features aren’t included in the plugin’s functionality.
     
    You’re not able to award certificates of completion for courses, add quizzes to check comprehension or deliver homework and assignments to be graded or approved. You can track progress with an add-on, but Paid Memberships Pro wasn’t developed with online course creators in mind.

accessally is a great paid memberships pro alternative

Robin Hardy head shot

"I wanted something that looked good and worked well for my clients. We have used other membership platforms, but 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!"

Compare Paid Memberships Pro Pricing

Paid Memberships Pro’s pricing ranges from free to $597/year based on the features you need to deliver the membership site experience you plan to create.

If you sell or plan to sell online courses be sure to budget for a learning management system as well, such as LearnDash which can cost you up to an additional $329/year plus add-ons for more advanced functionality.

At that price range, you might want to consider an alternative like AccessAlly which combines the membership management features with a powerful learning management system to deliver a seamless, deeply integrated user experience.

Here is the cost breakdown for some of the most commonly compared Paid Memberships Pro substitutes:

Paid Memberships Pro + LearnDash $159/year
For the most basic features (no add-ons).
$926/year
65+ PMP add-ons, unlimited sites, courses, and users)
Kajabi $1490/year
Includes only 3 products, and limit of 10,000 contacts
$3990/year
100 Products, 100,000 contacts, limited email sending
Thinkific $490/year
Unlimited courses and students
$4990/year
Additional features and groups
Teachable $390/year
Plus 5% transaction fee
$4990/year
No transaction fees, includes bulk student enrollment
Podia $390/year
No memberships or affiliate functionality
$790/year
Includes 3rd party code and embedded checkout forms
Mighty Networks $280/year
Community forums only, no online courses, plus 3% transaction fee
$980/year
Includes online courses, plus 2% transaction fee
MemberPress + LearnDash $448/year
No course or student limits, basic functionality
$918/year
Includes group licensing, affiliate functionality
LifterLMS $299/year
Ecommerce and CRM addons included
$999/year
Quizzes, groups, and social learning
AccessAlly $990/year
Unlimited courses and students, affiliate, and bulk courses
$1290/year
All LMS functionality

In-Depth Paid Memberships Pro Replacement Comparisons

Now that we’ve looked at all of the reasons why someone might choose Paid Memberships Pro, or switch from Paid Memberships Pro to another LMS solution, it’s time to compare Paid Memberships Pro alternatives!

In these in-depth comparison pages, you'll see where each tool shines and where it falls short so you can make the best decision for your particular business and online teaching needs.

Clipboard with Checkmarks

Compare Paid Memberships Pro Alternatives

Your Paid Memberships Pro Substitute Might Include Several Tools, Software, and Plugins

Now because Paid Memberships Pro handles the membership features of your online courses and membership site, you’ll likely need to add additional plugins to achieve your desired functionality for membership management, subscription payments, LMS features, and affiliate management to name a few.

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

Paid Memberships Pro comes with a theme, but is compatible with many popular WordPress themes. Depending on your needs you may decide an alternative theme. 

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 LMS users in 2020?

We’ve all felt the physical, social, mental, and emotional toll the events of 2020 have taken on us as individuals, business owners, and the impacts it’s had on our businesses. 

When we can adapt not only as individuals but as business owners, we can thrive, even in the face of unprecedented times. 

What’s most important to you right now? 

If you’re exploring online products, courses, programs, or memberships online for the first time, you’re going to have questions. With the right software and support, you can get up and running quickly and give your clients exactly what they’re wanting. 

So, now, in 2020, keep adaptability in mind. Think about how to best support your clients. Create engaging products to not only enhance their knowledge but make it a fun environment they look forward to logging into every day. 

Laptop with words Online Learning in 2020

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Kimberly Gosney