5 Plugins to Convert WordPress Blogs to Membership Sites

Here are 5 WordPress Plugins to convert your WordPress blog into a membership site.  There are many reasons why someone would want to create a membership site.

Some may want to provide proprietary information, some may be offering educational material for a fee, some may want a private area to discuss matters that could be very personal, and others may just want a safe place to talk about whatever they want to. Whatever the reason, whether the membership site is paid or unpaid, WordPress is a great software platform to use as a springboard to turn your blog into a membership site.

WordPress? The blog place? Yes, that WordPress. Although it is most often thought of as a blog site or software, WordPress has an ever expanding functionality. Users can turn their blogs into almost anything they want, including a membership site. While there are a number of paid plugins available, this article is focused on free options you can use to try out a membership site and see if it is right for you.

Convert WordPress Blog into Membership Site

So here are 5 WordPress plugins that can be used to turn the blog you started years ago into the membership site you want today.

1. WP-Members – Designed to restrict some or all of the content you publish to your blog, WP-Members allows excerpts and teasers of your posts to be viewable to the public. You decide how much by inserting the restriction tag where you want. In order for users to see the full post, they need to register and login, which is also available through the use of this plugin. Essentially the opposite of WordPress’ open nature, it blocks all content on your site to outsiders, and allows you to determine what is shown to those not logged in.

2. Members Only – This plugin will essentially block all access to your site unless someone is logged in. Visitors attempting to access information on the site will be met with a log-in page. Once logged in they will be re-directed back to where they started at. Includes functionality for restricting and managing feeds.

3. Wp-Private – Another teaser program, Wp-Private allows some of the content you post to be viewable by the public and the part that you don’t want seen to be accessible only by logging in. Great way to get people signed up to the site to see what else is going on.

4. Are Paypal – Designed to turn a blog into a sort of membership site, Are PayPal has numerous options. Owners can set up different levels of payments, for example pay to gain access to a single post, to the entire blog, or to whatever package of posts the owner chooses. Posts are visible to Google so they can be ranked in the search engine, yet privacy is retained and access is limited. Fully integrated with PayPal.

5. s2Member – More than just a way to collect PayPal for accessing the blog, s2Member bills itself as a full-featured membership management system that integrates with the WordPress software. Multiple levels of membership, custom access packages, ability to limit access to pages, posts, protection of tags, categories and even URLs, s2Member has many many options available. Probably the best and most expansive free plugin for paid membership sites.

Louise Baker writes about online colleges for Zen College Life and most recently ranked the best psychology schools. You can also submit guest posts and share your WordPress tips and tools.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.