WishList Member Review
Managing a membership site is not a simple job, in this WishList Member review I will discuss how well this premium WordPress membership plugin accomplishes the task of enabling you to run a professional membership site.
WishList Member is one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins on the market with over 69,000 online communities and membership sites using it worldwide. It’s popular for these primary reasons:
- It’s really powerful.
- Its features and options are excellent.
- It’s robust and secure.
- It’s very easy to use (a nice set up wizard as well).
If you’re unsure about the need for a membership site, think again. Membership sites help you make money like a pro whilst also enabling you to provide a valuable service.
Ease of Use
The first test of any software is usability. Fantastic features are of no use if users find the application difficult to use or if there is a steep learning curve. Plug and play was a success for a very valid reason, we want things to be as easy and non-tech as possible.
- For ease of use, the WishList Member plugin for WordPress passes this test with flying colors. It is easy to install, setup and use.
Although not exactly plug and play WishList Member can be understood if not mastered intuitively. There are plenty of video tutorials to help you if you get stuck.
Maturity and Stability
When you are running a business you want reliability. With that in mind, WishList Member is a mature and stable membership platform. You won’t be placing your business in untested hands. If you decide to use WishList Member for your membership site you will not be facing the teething problems associated with newer entrants to this arena. Okay, there will be updates, to keep in line with WordPress, but these are usually incremental and minor with very few associated problems.
- For maturity and stability, WishList Member gets a top score on this count.
Member Access Control
Security of your membership site is one of the many essential tasks you must consider. With WishList Member, member access control can be in two ways:
- The site admin can confirm each applicant before granting access. Registration can set so that the site admin must approve a registration BEFORE applicants gain access to content.
- Double opt-in email. Registration can also be set so that an email is automatically sent to the applicant requiring them to confirm their registration BEFORE they gain access to protected content.
Both of these scenarios are optional.
Integration with Other Plugins
3rd party integration with other plugins can be really problematic for any application, especially as the number of plugins is growing all the time. Most WordPress sites use over twenty plugins, some many more. Plugins can create major conflicts for any membership site, not just WishList Member.
You should not expect any membership plugin to have every feature required to operate a profitable membership site. That’s why 3rd party integration is so important. Key integration capabilities should include list generation and management (email marketing, autoresponders), payment processors/gateways, shopping carts and the ability to be used with as many themes and other WordPress plugins as possible without breaking.
A main problem area to watch out for is integration with email management software (autoresponders). If your membership site cannot communicate with members via email, you’re in trouble. WishList Member integrates with a multitude of email management software including the following:
- AWeber, AWeber API, MailChimp, Constant Contact, GetResponse, GetResponse API, iContact, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, AutoResponse Plus, Interspire Email Marketing, Madmimi and arpReach.
There is also a Generic option that allows for integration with autoresponders not listed above.
Payment Processors and Shopping Cart Integration
Another problematic area for plugins is the payment gateway and shopping cart. Your membership sites lives off member fees and this can only be enabled with a payment gateway.
The online payment processors and shopping carts that have been fully integrated with WishList Member are:
- PayPal, Stripe, Infusionsoft, ClickBank, PayPal Pro, Authorize.net, Recurly, 1ShoppinCart (API), 2Checkout, eWay, JVZoo, Pin Payments, SamCart, Premium Web Cart, UltraCart, Red Oak Cart and Cydec.
WishList Member also offers an integration option for payment providers not listed in the full integration list, however, you will need to manually cancel a membership level within WishList Member if a user cancels payment or if payment is unsuccessful.
For the above reason, the fully integrated payment processors and shopping carts, which will handle the cancellation process automatically, are recommended. BTW, PayPal is the most popular payment gateway.
Affiliate Program Integration
WishList Member can also be used in tandem with your Affiliate Program (if you have one).
WishList Member integrates with ClickBank and 1ShoppingCart to successfully manage affiliates so it is possible to setup a membership site using WishList Member and have an affiliate program at the same time. WishList Member also has an integration with iDev Affiliate tracking software should you require it.
Subscription and Membership Levels
There are three subscription levels with WishList Member. You can have free, trial and paid or a combination of these. Pay more and get more is the usual pitch.
The number of membership levels you can have within the subscription levels is unlimited as is the number of members.
- Note: Members can be part of multiple membership levels at once. This feature is not implemented on many membership plugins.
WishList Member was created to be as flexible as possible, so there are no limits in terms of the number of membership levels that can be created. What’s more, you can name them as you want, like Gold, Silver, Platinum, Pro+, Ultimate, etc.
- Three subscription levels
- Unlimited membership levels
- Unlimited members
WishList Member also supports ‘Pay Per Post’ style products for members should you need it.
Feature: Content Control and Protection
Content protection is very easy with WishList Member, this includes downloads, pages, posts, categories and a secure RSS feed for members. You can also use partial, ‘sneak peek’, content protection to show only part of a page. Here only content appearing before the ‘more’ tag on a page/post is available to non-members whilst members can see the full page/post. Tip: Think, traffic generation!
Feature: Drip Content to Members
Every professional membership site requires the ability to drip content to members. In most cases you don’t want to dump content to members in one go. Your content should be allowed to drip slowly, at regular intervals, to members so that interest is maintained.
You can drip content to members in WishList Member by setting up a membership level for each area of the drip feed. Then after a set period of time you can move people from one level to another automatically using the “Sequential Upgrade” feature built into WishList Member. With this method, the member can only access the content within the membership levels they currently have access to and will gain access to the upcoming content once they are upgraded to the next membership level.
WishList Member Support
Support is a factor which is critical to most newbies and welcomed by most. For user support WishList Member has many videos available to assist you in installing and running the plugin. As you would expect with a mature application, their knowledgebase is extensive with in-depth articles and explanations for all aspects of WishList Member. There is also a ticketing system which should give you a response within 24hrs. At the time of writing there was no telephone support.
Whether you are joining, leaving or just want a backup, being able to easily import/export your members data is important, more so if you have a large membership base.
With WishList Member you can both import and export membership data. A .csv template is provided to you for importing members from another system and if you wish to export your members data, you can export them all at once or by membership level using the WishList Member export feature.
WishList Member and WordPress Partnership
WishList Member’s core design, unlike many popular WordPress membership plugins, is highly integrated with WordPress. There aim is to ensure maximum compatibility with new WordPress versions. WishList Member also leverages the built-in WordPress features whenever possible to ensure it remains a fairly lightweight membership solution in comparison to the capabilities it offers.
- Membership plugins which are highly reliant on their own code architecture can cause conflicts with WordPress upgrades.
Pricing and Fees
There are no mandatory ongoing fees for WishList Member, the software is a one-time purchase. Each WishList Member license (single or multi-site) comes with one year of included support and upgrades.
WishList Member comes with a 30 day unconditional guarantee. If you are not satisfied they will refund every penny. If it doesn’t work like you imagined, simply let them know to get a full refund of your full purchase price. No hard feelings.
For the latest pricing options click here.
WishList Member Problem Areas
The ability to generate coupon codes is increasingly becoming a standard part of most membership plugins; WishList Member does not offer this facility.
Content dripping can be a little unwieldy when you’re dealing with lots of different membership levels.
There is no account page for members to manage their own accounts in order to access billing details or cancel their account.
Reporting features such as member management statistics is very limited and financial statistics and growth rate data is none existent.
WishList Member Review Conclusion
WishList Member is a powerful, yet easy to use membership solution that can turn any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site. It has a good user interface, is easy to manage and you don’t need to be a techie to build great, high quality membership sites with it.
It’s one of the most popular WordPress membership plugins on the market with over 69,000 online communities and membership sites using it worldwide. While it does have its flaws the positives outweigh the negatives.
Overall, WishList Member is a robust and feature rich membership plugin for WordPress. There has never been a better time to start your own membership site, and WishList Member will help you do it quickly, easily and affordably.
You won’t go wrong using WishList Member as your membership site solution, click here for more details.
If you have any comment, corrections or items you think should be added to, WishList Member Review, please do not hesitate to let me have them in the comment box below.