Membership plugins - any experience?

Hi, Wondering if anyone else has any experience using a Membership plugin with Bricks?

In particular I’m looking at the Content restriction and how that works. ie must be done on the server and not in JS.
Currently I use Ultimate Member and Paid Membership Pro but these are on Elementor sites. I am yet to try moving either to Bricks.

Cheers

Hi Alan, sorry I can’t help you at all. I have never worked with a wordpress membership plugin before… but if it ever comes, I’ll get back to you :love_you_gesture:

@timmse no worries. I’m happy to play myself. I was just asking in case there were known issues so I didn’t waste time on the wrong one.

I’ll start looking and will update this with any results.

Yes, please!

I did a quick search in the Facebook group for Membership Plugins but unfortunately didn’t find a match…

Therefore: if you have a good recommendation, we would be very happy if you share your experience with us.

I’m in the same boat - Would love to hear what you find out @alanj

Tested Ultimate Member. Installed on a fresh WP ( tried testing on an existing test system and had loads of issues, probably left overs from deleted plugins ). In particular the Content Restriction seems to work ok. You set it based on Logged in status and/or Role on the initial WP page edit, but you can then add any content using Bricks.
It created its various user pages ok.
I’ll carry on testing as need to add loads of test users to really try out the Member Directory functions and Profiles etc. But so far no issues seen.
Sadly one drawback of UM is that it relies on WooCommerce to purchase a membership and create the accounts. This is a very heavy solution for something that should be simple.

I’ll try installing PMP tomorrow and see how that goes.

I have added a request to the Ideaslog for Content Restriction within Bricks - if its accepted give it an upvote please!

Looking at moving some existing membership sites to Bricks has made me question the whole economics. Not Bricks fault - it actually helps, but the cost of all the extra plugins that are required to get a workable site in WP is pretty daunting. Now that I’ve added them all up it seems to me that something like Webflow has a pretty compelling model. Esp when they release their Membership and Business logic upgrades early next year.

On with more testing …
Cheers
Alan

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Joomla actually has a pretty good membership addon by https://joomdonation.com/ with payment built in, and using Joomla built in Member grouping / permissions system - if its just articles or download files you want to limit access to… And its open source…

Unfortunately it doesn’t have a Bricks :slight_smile:

Hi Alan - The project of mine that was on the bubble has now landed, so I’m back on this.

How did yours go in the end?

Did you get to test out Paid Membership Pro? With Bricks?

The one pushed by Woo seems to be WooCommerce Memberships by SkyVerge.
In your testing, did you ever give it a go? Did it play nicely with Bricks?

Hi, I’m afraid that my move from Elementor to Bricks is still on hold. I’ve tested both UM and PMP but neither work well with Bricks. Both allow uploading of Profile Photos but Bricks doesn’t recognise or display them. There are also issues with some other shortcodes not displaying.

I did look at Woocommerce Memberships some time ago, for use with Elementor. At the time it did not have great reviews and was expensive. It also needs a second plugin called Subscriptions to make it usable, for me, which was also expensive. I now note that it is a Godaddy company, so off my radar.

Of course it really depends on what you want from a membership plugin. My requirements are probably quite different to yours, so you do need to try them yourself.
For me I need …

  • Content restriction done properly, ie not JS. BTW be aware that most do not protect all your content. You may need another pricey plugin like Prevent Direct Access gold which adds content restriction to the File URL of media files. Essential if you have sensitive PDFs for instance.
  • I need member management - accounts, roles, payments etc. Include subscriptions, automated emails and renewals.
  • Profiles for members, although maybe they could be created without the plugin.
  • Directories. Again possible without the plugin?
  • Control over bbPress.
    I haven’t actually found any plugins that fullfill all of my requirements yet.

I am awaiting the roadmap for UM V3 to see what that brings. Otherwise I’d likely plump for PMP.

Cheers
Alan

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Really appreciate the detailed response. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Sorry to hear you couldn’t get them working with Bricks. Reading some of your reply has been a bit of a ‘Yikes!’ moment for me.

This broadly is what I’d need for this project - automatically prompting members for payment again - and some access control to posts/pages.

I don’t need to go that hard core, but good to be aware of for future projects.

I hadn’t noticed that. I’ve just had a quick look around, but can’t see. Possible to send over a URL with info?

Yeah Memberships was something I thought would be very common and easy to find a solution for. I mean there must be loads of small clubs or associations who need to manage their members and provide gated content. How hard can it be? Well obviously much harder than I thought.

To answer your questions:
I’d look at PMP for this. It isn’t cheap and you’ll need a few of its add ons ( included in the price ) but it can do some clever things around annual subscriptions for example. Having variable start times ( such as pay after September to get the rest of the year for free. ) Auto renewal emails and auto cancels if not renewed. All that is covered. Downside for me was that it isn’t great with User Profiles and needs some coding.
UM has great profile building ( well could do with improvement but at least visual ). But it has hopeless subscription capabilities, none really. I have fudged it a bit by using multiple user roles, which can be assigned then purchasing particular products ( it uses woocommerce ), and AutomatorWP to do some automation around members that buy a renewal. Not ideal but sort of works.
As I said I am hoping that their V3 rewrite will improve things.

Its been a while since I seriously looked at any others, but when I last did pretty much all had major failings that put me off. I might look again but am also waiting for Webflow to release their Membership service.

Content Restriction: Both PMP and UM provide that ok. It also works with Bricks. I’ve even used Frontend Admin to create new CPT’s from the front end and then used AutomatorWP ( again, but it is free ) to add a shortcode to give that post the required restrictions. Although you can also restrict the whole site by default if you wanted.
The lack of protection for media File URLS caught me out bigtime.
If you look at any others try and ensure that they do not just use JS to hide content, as easily defeated.

Godaddy. Just take a look the Skyverge website. SkyVerge Extensions - WooCommerce

Cheers
Alan

Thanks again @alanj - great and very useful detail.

Wow - I’ve been looking over PMP’s capabilities. Quite staggering how much it can do. I like the idea of being able to take subscriptions, but not have to use WooCommerce.

I’ve asked them about their Bricks support, but was told (first line support) that they hadn’t heard of it. Being able to format the members’ profile pages and members’ directory would be ideal - Did you manage to get this working? (I see you mention coding - not ideal)

Hahhahaha! Doh! Thanks

Yep PMP has a lot going for it. Some of the add ons let you extend its capabilities way beyond what I was expecting ( and often beyond what they seem to say they can do … Just ask them and they’ll often explain how when things aren’t in the docs. )

They should know about Bricks as I have asked them about it. But also I am not really sure who does the integration. Is it the Theme or the plugin or both?

Sadly my PMP trial has expired so I cant test it at the moment.

Using the profiles or directories is straight forward as it just uses shortcodes.
If you look at the add on website it has some detail on how to do this and what a theme needs to integrate with PMP. Maybe we can encourage Bricks to look at this?

Building a profile requires setting out the various fields you want. Doable but not very friendly. UM has a visual profile builder which is much nicer.

Or you could just create your own profiles using custom post types. That should let the photos etc all work correctly in Bricks. Ditto with the directory.

Cheers
Alan

Yes, saw that. Guessed I could use Bricks to format all the page around the shortcode output. Wasn’t sure if I might be able to format the shortcode output in Bricks some how - suspecting not.

That sounds like the ‘place and format the fields in Bricks’ solution I was looking for! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Downloaded the free version of plugin today (happy to pay if it plays nicely with Bricks). Plan to have a deep dive next week. Will report back.

Quick update - I’ve been playing with PMP - Darn it’s well written. All works very well so far.

Also have had it playing well with Brick, so Bricks styles the output from the shortcodes. Their button designs are a bit basic, but hope to be able to sort that soon.

Slow update @alanj (I was too involved with getting the project launched!).

I remained really impressed with Paid Membership Pro through out the development - not only in the product, but the quality of replies to questions I raised.

Since going live it’s handled close too 100 membership signups with no issues.

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Hey guys,

i also need a membership plugin for a kindergarten.

I tested different plugins, but every one of them just restrict the content on the footer but not the sections on the website? Any tips for me?

(bricks 1.3.7)

Got it guys. With the simple membership plugin you need a free addon to restrict the content… and attention with caching plugins…