Why WordPress is best for membership sites

wordpress for membership

WordPress can be intimidating for the same reason it’s approachable - it’s packed with a huge ecosystem of plugins, themes, templates, and even hosting options. It may seem confusing at first, but, if you’re building a membership site, WordPress is your smartest and safest bet.

As Davesh Sharma of WPKUBE shared with us, “There’s a reason WordPress powers 33% of all the websites on the Internet.”

Securely restricting content access

If you are building members-only pages or selling courses, WordPress is your most secure option. When you use WordPress, your content is secured at the server-side, this means your paywall can’t be bypassed with front-end JavaScript hacks.

This same secure server-side protection is unfortunately not available for popular site builders like Squarespace or Wix because they don’t provide any user authentication or content protection integration options.

There are several membership plugins available for WordPress, such as MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and Paid Memberships Pro -- as well as our own WordPress plugin, WP Memberful which can help you create and manage memberships, restrict access to content, accept payments, and more.

More flexibility and customization

You don’t have to know how to code to set up a WordPress membership site, nor do you need to work with a developer. In the past, getting started with WordPress was arduous, and required quite a few manual steps. Now, WordPress hosts like SiteGround offer a one-click installation. See the video for details:

WordPress offers a flexible content management system, which allows you to create and publish content, such as articles, videos, and podcasts, that can be made available to your members. There are also an ample themes and page builders like Beaver Builder, that make it easy to create professional-looking websites.

When we asked Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner about the perks of using WordPress for memberships, he shared: “I notice a lot of entrepreneurs think they have to hire someone to create a custom site for them.

"I would recommend that they search for a theme first before investing a lot of money into a web developer. One of my favorite sites to search for themes is Themeforest.net. They have thousands of templates. You can even install the templates yourself using free tutorials on WPBeginner.”

You also have the option of adding membership functionality to your site with plugins, so you don’t have to send your audience to a third-party site to take payments, courses, or engage in your forum.


This level of customization is perfect for building a website that meets your specific membership needs while also growing your site at the same pace of your business; adding necessary plugins and storage as needed.

A world-class content management system

WordPress is open source; this means you get maximum control over your site, and aren’t limited to a single template or set of design tools.

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You could argue all-in-one solutions are better to use because they simplify the site building process and also handle content protection. But, they aren’t (and can’t be) 100% focused on building a world-class CMS, so they will always have a hard time matching the power and flexibility of WordPress.

Own your brand and own your content

As we mention in our post on the perks of decentralized membership, at what cost does that convenience come?

Brian Krogsgard, of Post Status, recently reiterated that to us, saying: “There are definitely some simpler tools out there for certain use cases. But WordPress gives us great flexibility and the certainty of owning our brand and content. I don’t want to sell access to my content but leave control of that content up to a hosted service.”

As your business grows so does your audience; your best bet is to choose a solution like WordPress that will grow with them as well as your business.

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