The Membership Guys

Tools & Resources

We’re frequently asked for our favourite tools and resources for building membership sites. You’ll find our recommendations below.

Membership Plugins

MemberPress – the plugin we use for our own membership. Read our review here.
s2Member Pro – a longstanding plugin with a great free option. Read our review here.
Paid Memberships Pro – a sturdy free plugin extendable through extensive add-ons. Read our review here.
Wishlist Member – more payment integrations than any other option. Read our review here.
MemberMouse – MemberMouse has some features, like one-click upsells, not available in other options.
Memberium – great option for Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign based memberships (AC version is free!)
AccessAlly – stylish option for Infusionsoft, Ontraport or ActiveCampaign based memberships
Woo Memberships – selling multiple different products is easy with WooCommerce and Woo Memberships. Read our review here.
iThemes Exchange – another ecommerce based option. Read our review here.
Restrict Content Pro – a lightweight option that is great for simple sites, those needing group memberships or for developers to extend.

Course Plugins

LifterLMS – an easy to set up free LMS plugin with inbuilt membership function and stylish course pages.
WPCourseware – a lightweight LMS that can be added to any site and integrates with most membership plugin.
LearnDash – the LMS heavyweight and feature rich, excellent if you want a really full featured course or courses.
WPEP – a unique accordion style layout to courses to keep things simple and streamlined.

Themes & Page Builders

Divi – very flexible theme with inbuilt page builder that can be used for most kinds of sites.
Thrive Themes – marketing focused themes and an excellent content builder plugin for creating landing pages.
Boss Theme – purely focused on BuddyPress and ideal for a community based site.
BeaverBuilder – can be used for creating your entire site or just for landing pages.
OptimizePress – landing pages, a theme, membership plugin. You can create your whole membership with OP.

Other Tools

IP.Board – an excellent forum software that we personally use for the Academy community.
AffiliateWP – our favourite affiliate plugin which offers a great core plugin and add-ons for additional features.
LiveChat – an great addition to your sales page, particularly during a launch.
Intercom – on-site app messaging, great for membership sites and onboarding.
ProgressAlly – add some gamification and progress tracking features to any membership.
Gravity Forms – far more than just forms! Can also be used for quizzes, payments, conditional content and more.
Social Learner – a theme and plugin set specifically for combining LearnDash or Sensei with BuddyPress.
BackupBuddy – it’s vital to keep your membership site backed up!
WooCommerce – a great ecommerce store for selling all kind of products – physical, digital or membership.
Easy Digital Downloads – excellent for adding a lightweight store selling digital downloads only.
iThemes Exchange – nice ecommerce functionality which is easily extendable.
Clickfunnels – can be used for creating your whole sales funnel.

Email Marketing

ActiveCampaign – powerful automations, tagging and our personal choice.
Mailchimp – a good starter option (but not great if you want multiple lead magnets)
Convertkit – a good middle ground between Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign


The Membership Economy by Robbie Kellman Baxter
The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow
Buzzing Communities by Richard Millington
Subscription Marketing by Anne H Janzer
Hooked by Nir Eyal

You can also read about the essential books we recommend membership site owners read in this post.


Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links which may result in us receiving a small commission if you purchase through them.