WooCommerce Memberships- a membership plugin developed by SkyVerge– essentially integrates your WooCommerce shop, WordPress website and memberships into a harmonious whole.
The core of WooCommerce Memberships plugin revolves around successfully protecting your content and WooCommerce products, by restricting access to it.
To this end, one can create several kinds of memberships which can be sold or granted manually to customers.
WooCommerce Memberships – Plugin Features
The plugin is imbued with a lot of features, extensions and integrations that provide everything you require for setting up a full-fledged membership system.
Here is a look at some of these:
Flexible Membership Plans
WooCommerce Memberships lets you create unlimited membership plans, each with different incentives. These can be multi-tiered, free or paid entities, wherein you can assign rules to control access to the content for each level.
Memberships can also be tied to various products, as a part of the purchase, on your WooCommerce store. Members-only products can be created which necessitate the customer to become a member before product purchase can be enabled.
Memberships granting access to your site can be bought by customers for a fixed amount of time or can be subscribed to (more on that later), on a monthly basis. Additionally, special membership plans, with an invitation-only functionality can be created using WooCommerce Memberships.
The best part is, once you have created the perfect plan, you can duplicate it multiple times and add new rules without losing any of those already prescribed for it.
Content Access Restriction
Based on the membership plan purchased, content visibility and access can be varied. WooCommerce Memberships lets you decide which posts, pages, custom post types, feeds and products can be seen by viewers with a given plan. Moreover, you can limit access to all the content added under taxonomies like ‘Categories’, ‘Tags’, etc.
There are flexible options for showing only an excerpt or part of the product description to non-members, withholding access to the complete article. At the other end of the spectrum, you can completely lock your site to non-members, with an exclusive members-only approach.
And if you wanted to capture leads from non-members, a plugin like Product Enquiry Pro can be used for interested customers to get in touch with you.
An added advantage is that drip feeding of content is enabled. This lets you control how often content is to be dripped out to members, whether immediately on joining, a week later or after subsequent upgradations.
This can be further customized so that some content can be made available during the trial period of the plugin, while access to the rest is approved after purchasing a more permanent plan.
Memberships is not merely store owner friendly, it helps you keep your customers happy too. It empowers you to authorize differential discounts for customers according to their membership plan, which can be calculated based on percentage or a given, fixed amount.
These can be enabled for individual products or entire product categories. Furthermore, existing members can be gifted rewards and bonuses which can be redeemed at your shop.
You can also gift trial memberships to customers, offer discounted rates for continuing members during membership renewal or bundle discounts with specific product purchases!
The Members Area is where the member sees all of his accessible content, products, discounts, rewards and subscriptions. This is accessible only for current memberships and not for paused, expired or cancelled ones.
On the store owner’s end, you can manually change a member’s plan or alter their tiers from the Members Area. Also, apart from displaying the contact information available in your database, WooCommerce Memberships allows you to add Membership Notes wherein you can record specific information pertaining to the member.
These notes can be shared with the member via e-mail.
WooCommerce Memberships has several integrations like:
- Subscriptions Integration
- bbPress Integration
- Groups Integration
- Product Vendors Integration
- User Switching Integration
Integration with WooCommerce Subscriptions
The integration of WooCommerce Memberships and WooCommerce Subscriptions requires a special mention because this combination increases the power of your membership system manifold.
The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin allows you to enable subscription-based registration for your members. This includes using recurring membership schemes instead of those for a fixed time period.
Free trials can be made available to customers and drip feeding content can be enabled too, so that newer avenues open up gradually once the trial period starts.
Members can pause or cancel subscriptions on their own, which in turn affects the memberships associated with those. Note that once a subscription is paused, the membership is too, which is why members cannot access any restricted data which was previously available.
Also, generally if a subscription is cancelled, the membership is too, unless you code membership and subscription lengths to be different.
WooCommerce Memberships avails the WooCommerce Subscriptions functionality to upgrade or downgrade membership plans by using subscription switching. You can also prorate membership costs while switching. Note that if the end-user changes the subscription, the membership is changed automatically too, but if you are changing the subscription manually at the administrator end, you will need to change the membership plan separately.
That said, WooCommerce Memberships is a relatively new plugin and consequently has a few areas where it could be better.
WooCommerce Memberships- Plugin Limitations
Though few and far between, these shortcomings need to be taken heed of.
Heavily Dependent on Subscriptions
WooCommerce Memberships depends on Subscriptions for functionalities like free trials, recurring billing and membership upgrades and downgrades. Although this might not be a problem as such, the cost factor does feature, since WooCommerce Subscriptions is also a premium extension.
Import/Export Member Lists
There is no inbuilt functionality for importing or exporting contacts directly into WordPress Memberships, a separate plugin needs to be installed for the same.
The features provided by WooCommerce Memberships certainly outweigh its limitations.
Memberships is an excellent plugin for creating and managing all kinds of memberships. Essentially used to sell memberships to customers on your WooCommerce store, the plugin lets you associate membership with all kinds of products, content, courses, data, basically anything and everything under the sun!
Priced at $199 for a single site license (currently $149 per site) for a year’s worth of updates, might seem a little steep, but it is worth every cent.
Built for WooCommerce, it has robust extensions and integrates efficiently with payment gateways for smooth transactions. With a simple, easy-to-understand user interface, I believe managing multiple memberships using the WooCommerce Memberships plugin is easy and straightforward.