WishList Member — Review of WordPress Membership Plugin
Reviewed by M. K. Safi
WishList Member is one of the earliest membership plugins. It is perhaps the most popular and widely used plugin. It started out a little basic but has become very rich and powerful now. Its interface is extremely clean and professional.
The UI isn’t the only thing that feels professional about WishList Member the entire experience from purchasing to support and documentation is polished and sophisticated. That’s why, despite its many advanced features, the plugin is easy to use.
WishList Member is a well rounded plugin that’s suitable for membership sites of all sizes. Check out the review to find out about the specifics and whether WishList Member is right for you.
Once you download WishList Member, installation is quite simple. Upload the zip folder with either FTP or WordPress plugin uploader and activate the plugin. After that, you’ll see a top-level menu for the plugin, click on it and you’ll be asked to enter your license key and email address to be able to start using the plugin. That’s all there is to it.
The admin UI of WishList is excellent. It is nicely organized and intuitive to use. It borrows as much as possible from WordPress native UI.
Unfortunately, the plugin has to contact the servers of WishList every time you access your admin dashboard. So, it is always dependent on WishList servers being up and running.
WishList Member includes several PDF guides for basic settings, payment processor integration, autoresponders, and more. There are also plenty of instructional videos that cover everything that can be done with the plugin. An FAQ page is available as well. All of these resources are reserved for paying customers. They are not viewable publicly.
As for technical support, you can submit a ticket or email email@example.com. It’s plain and simple. There is no live chat or forum support, though.
Subscribers within WishList Member and WordPress users are the same. Adding a member in either one is reflected on the other. However, while WishList Member uses WordPress users to manage members, it does not use WordPress roles and capabilities. WishList Member membership levels are separate from those.
You can create an unlimited number of membership levels and you can associate and capture custom profile fields through WishList Member.
WishList Member supports the following payment processors (or shopping carts, as they are called by the WishList people): PayPal, 1ShoppingCart, 2Checkout, ClickBank, Cydec, Infusionsoft, Premium Web Cart, QuickPayPro, and Red Oak Cart, and UltraCart.
Additionally, documentation for integration with other payment processors is provided.
Processing of Cancellations and Refunds
There are two categories of integration within WishList Member: simple and full. Some processors, such as PayPal and ClickBank, have full integration. When these are used, WishList Member is capable of automatically processing cancellations, refunds, and failed payments. However, with simple integrations, these capabilities aren’t available. WishList Member also lacks some advanced payment features such as coupon codes and upsells.
WishList Member supports the following registration flow scenarios (each â€˜â†’â€™ represents a redirect):
- Register Login & access free content Pay
- Register Pay Login
- Pay on PayPal first Register Login
- Pay and register account on one page on your site Login
- Register for a free trial by submitting payment info Login Automatic payment after trial
WishList Member provides great flexibility in content management and protection. You can protect posts, pages, comments, categories, files, and folders.
Posts, pages, and custom post types can individually be protected from their respective edit screens. If you need to set protection rules in bulk, you can do that from the “Manage Content” tab in admin side.
You can tell WishList Member whether you want new posts to be automatically protected, if you wish.
WishList Member uses native WordPress API to protect content, which enhances its compatibility with other plugins. It’s content protection mechanism are well thought out. It offers you the option to restrict logins of the same username and password if it’s from multiple IPs to prevent password sharing.
Gradual Content Delivery
Sequential content delivery in WishList Member is handled through sequential membership level upgrades. Basically, you assign content to various membership levels, and then you create rules that automatically upgrade members from a certain membership level to the next. That way members gradually gain access to more and more content. Making these is actually not as complicated as my description of it sounds!
The way WishList Member handles file protection is very efficient and professional. In WordPress, you can attach uploaded files to posts. If the post is protected, WishList Member automatically protects files that are attached to it.
Alternatively, you can protect files separately or create entire folders that are accessible to certain membership levels only.
Teaser Content or Scripting Tags
You can use [private] tags to partially protect content. WishList Member also has, what they call, merge tags, which are shortcodes that can be used to programmatically control the visibility of content.
Secure RSS Feeds
WishList Member provides every subscriber to your site with a unique RSS feed, which can be used by the member to access content that’s available to their particular account.
There are several websites out there that are dedicated to WishList Member development. The WishList Member plugin has its own plugins, which can be found by searching the web.
The API documentation includes descriptions of several filter and action hooks, which WordPress developers will find very familiar.
Even non-WordPress applications can interface with WishList Member through its external API, which is sufficiently documented in a PDF file.
But keep in mind that the code of WishList Member is obfuscated, so you won’t be able to inspect the code and tweak it yourself.
WishList Member integrates with AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, Autoresponse Plus, iContact, Infusionsoft, and Enterprise Email Marketer.
It allows you to create multiple lists for each membership level. It is even capable of automatically unsubscribing users from a list when those users are removed or upgraded from their membership level.
Additionally, WishList Member has a handy email broadcast feature where you can compose an email and send it to specific membership levels.
To manage affiliates, you can integrate WishList Member with iDevAffiliate using an add-on provided by WishList. Or if you’re using a payment processor that provides affiliate management capabilities, such as ClickBank, then you can utilize that.
WishList Member is an extremely popular membership plugin. On their website, WishList shows a counter of how many websites are powered by the plugin, and it shows tens of thousands! You can check out the complete showcase here.
You can buy the single site license ($97) which allows for installation on one domain. The Multi-Site license ($297) can be installed on as many domains as you own, and it includes some bonus material, such as themes and icons.
Both licenses entitle you to a one year of free updates. After that year, you can renew for $47.
WishList Member is backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so you can buy worry-free.