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WPMU DEV Membership — Review of WordPress Plugin

WPMU DEV Membership — Review of WordPress Plugin

updated by M. K. SafiJuly 18, 2012
by M. K. SafiOctober 11, 2011
WPMU DEV Membership review

Overall rating: ★★★½☆

Version: 2.1

Reviewed by

WPMU DEV Membership is a powerful membership solution with a complex range of content protection options. It puts special emphasis on BuddyPress and Multisite protection. It integrates with WordPress exceptionally well and it utilizes WordPress API appropriately.

This plugin is best suited for advanced users, since it doesn’t include a lot of documentation.

There is a free version of the plugin, which has some restrictions, but it can be useful as a test drive. The full version can be downloaded for as little as $39.

Read the full review below to find out if this indeed is the right plugin for your requirements.

Installation & Admin UI

Membership is properly packaged in a zip folder that plays well with WordPress built-in plugin uploader. So, you can just install it from there. It’s simply a matter of uploading and activating—no license key or other steps required.

Once activated, you’ll see Membership’s menu at the very top of WordPress admin sidebar, even on top of the dashboard home button. It’s an interesting placement. I guess its purpose is to emphasize that the plugin transforms the entire nature of your WordPress site.

Membership’s UI is very similar to WordPress native UI, so you’ll feel right at home when you’re using it.

Documentation & Support

The documentation of Membership consists of only one page. This page gives you an overview of the plugin and its various features. It goes into details on some aspects of operation, but it is far from being a comprehensive user manual. There are many features that aren’t covered.

While there is a free version of Membership, technical support is only provided to WPMU DEV paying subscribers through the forums. Parts of the support forums are publicly viewable, so you can visit them and check out the quality level of support yourself.

Member Management

Membership relies fully on WordPress built-in users table to manage the site members. Membership levels are not associated with the native WordPress roles and capabilities. However, each membership level can be linked to a role. You can create unlimited number of membership levels.

Unfortunately, Membership cannot produce and utilize custom registration fields.

Payment Processing Features

Membership supports Authorize.Net, PayPal Express, and 2Checkout.

Membership’s payment gateways don’t support advanced features such as upsells and coupon codes. However, with PayPal Express, the plugin supports automatic cancellations and refunds, so that when a user cancels their subscription on your site, their recurring payment on PayPal is also cancelled.

Flow of Registration Steps

Membership supports the following registration scenarios (each ‘→’ 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

Content Protection Features

Membership can protect categories, individual posts and pages, and specific URLs—all using native WordPress API.

Gradual Content Delivery

Drip feeding content with Membership, although possible, is a very tedious process. You can view this tutorial to see how it’s done. I would not recommend using Membership if sequentially delivered content is going to be a big part of your membership site.

Protecting Files

Membership provides basic file protection as illustrated in the user manual. However, it is not as strong as the protection other membership plugins provide. And Membership doesn’t provide any means of protecting streamed videos.

Teaser Content or Scripting Tags

Teaser content can be achieved in one of two ways in Membership. You can either tell the plugin to protect content after the <!–more–> tag or you could utilize protection shortcodes where you wrap protected content within pre-designated shortcodes.

Protecting Forums, BuddyPress & WordPress Multisite

Membership puts a lot of emphasis and excels in protecting BuddyPress and WordPress Multisite. If you need BuddyPress or Multisite compatibility, this is one of the few plugins that provide true integration.

It is also possible to use Membership to protect WordPress-based forums since the plugin integrates with WordPress built-in roles and capabilities.

Protecting Entire Site

By default, once activated, Membership protects all pages of your WordPress site. That is, until you configure specific free content and assign that content to, what Membership calls, the “Stranger” level. So, yes, Membership is capable of protecting an entire WordPress site, if that’s what you need.

Other Protection Features

Another interesting protection feature that Membership has is the ability to protect MarketPress pages. MarketPress is an ecommerce shopping cart plugin by WPMU DEV and Membership can help you create a membership site where only registered members can buy from your products.

Membership, however, doesn’t support secure RSS delivery or IP-based restriction to prevent password sharing.

Extensibility & API

Membership ships with a wide array of plugins, which are also made by WPMU DEV. One can look at the source code of these plugins to learn how to build on Membership. However, without proper documentation, which is the case here, this can be impractical.

Other than that, Membership makes available what they call “Pings”, which in their own words:

A very powerful way of communicating with other web services using Pings. Made especially for developers, these Pings let you send data to any URL using the POST or GET method.

Email Communication with Subscribers

Membership has a basic member communications feature. It allows you to create and schedule messages by a certain time before a subscription expires or after it expires. It also provides you with some merge tags that you can use in your scheduled messages.

Membership has no built-in integration with any autoresponder service.

Affiliate Management Capabilities

Membership works with WPMU DEV Affiliates, which you can download at no additional cost if you’re a WPMU DEV subscriber.

Who is Using It

Here’s one very professional looking website that’s using Membership: StayPress. For other examples, check out Affiliate Made and Medicos 24.

Money Matters

All of WPMU DEV’s products are GPL-licensed, which means they are open source and can be installed on as many sites as you wish.

To download this specific plugin, you can purchase it for $39 (includes 1-month upgrades and support), $79 (3 months upgrades and support) or $209 (1 year upgrades and support).

Alternatively, you can become a WPMU DEV subscriber to get access to WPMU DEV Membership and many other plugins and unlimited support. The prices for WPMU DEV subscriptions are here.

Keep in mind that there are no refunds with WPMU DEV.

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About The Author
Profile photo of M. K. Safi
M. K. Safi
  • D4
    January 5, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I have been a member for 2.5 years.
    Excelent value!
    Excelent plug in’s (I have played with 60% of them but have used about 20% of them in live priduction sites).
    Excelent support. Better than i have received in any other venue.

    I believe those here who did not experience what I did. There are a variety of experiences in any venue. If you wonder whether it is worthwile you can browse the forums, you can get a membership for a month to test it out.
    My experience has been A+ there

  • June 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Bad, bad customer service!! How come that big company like wpmudev don’t reply my ticket for more than 2 days? Till now, I’m still waiting their reply and also my money back. I’m not recommend it.

  • TK
    February 9, 2014 at 4:09 am

    I purchased Marketpress and am really disappointed! They advertise the product very well as a professional e-commerce solution, but what they don’t tell you is that you MUST use Paypal if you wish to activate a global shopping cart on a multisite install. There is nothing professional about having your customers carried off to a 3rd party website to complete a transaction. This is a joke and a waste of time.

  • October 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for this post – I think I will save my money and get what I want coded or pay an existing developer for any tweaks I need.

  • Dev4
    October 9, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I joined early 2013. Have found their support weak in spots, but better than anything I have experienced on line short of paying $ per hour for direct one on one support.

    I have multiple installs, of multisite and a few singles that use their plug ins and not much else. I have been very happy with the results.

    Just sayin…. and no, I do not work for them or know anyone who does… and I am not an affiliate either.

  • October 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Thanks for all who took time to comment. It looks you saved tons of time and headache. I’ve never seen such a unanimous vote of no-confidence.

  • brodster
    August 22, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Stay away from All their plugins are form and are modified then sold at a price. Most of the plugins are buggy and hard to work with and do not work the way you want them. if you submit a bug report they ignore it, but act like they are trying.

  • August 17, 2013 at 12:07 am

    WPMU DEV is a simple scam where they market their ideas for advanced functionality in plugins, and then they get YOU the customer to pay for their development while YOU test the plugins and report bugs.

    It’s almost genius in the scam world, I’ve discovered, however it took me for about $10,000 in my own time while working on three websites whereas their plugins were supposed to be the key components.

    Here’s how they work:
    They have a great looking website that promises so many wonderful things (tons of plugins, themes, and great support) however none of that is true.
    Only basic functionality works on their plugins and the advanced features are their dreams and ideas that you are about to fund for them, AND test for them, AND report bugs to them so they can continue development.

    Because I spent so much time on this company and lost so much, I’m now spending a little more time to make sure nobody else experiences what I did. So, I’ve started a blog called “WrongPromisesMakeUs – DEVious!” (with the acronym WPMU-DEV) where I’ll be exposing companies like wpmudev.
    You will seen screenshots of all their scams and proof of just how awful they are. is the link to the bad reviews on

  • August 3, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Very bad experience with this company.
    All plugins I tried using were not compatible with my WordPress installation. The only one that worked was the Ultimate Facebook. But suddenly after 3 weeks using it, it just stopped working.

    I will never again pay them, it was just a waste, a drain to my wallet paying a year for accessing all this plugins.

  • Mike S
    April 17, 2013 at 8:34 am

    It’s a total waste of money.
    They say they are wordpress experts, but can’t even fix small problems .
    You don´t get any support, all you get is bla bla bla.
    All they want is your money and keep you on their paid support as long as possible.
    So stay away from WPMUdev

  • sonny
    November 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    yah they really suck.
    1. Most plugin is not plug and play as they mention.
    2. Almost all (sorry i just 5 theme and 13 plugin), none of it work without bug,
    3. Customer service ? is there any customer service after payment make ?

    regret and glad i just go for one month

    • John
      April 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      You are lucky enough. I paid the whole year and full of regret!

      I can expect plugin to have some bugs, but the customer service is not exist at all! talking about the help forum ?? You will rather get some help from other member then their staff.

      Stop and never go back ever since.

      Being attracted by marketpress at first, but still ways to go as robust plugin

  • H2F
    December 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    There is a massive sale of WPMUDev Premium membership for just $79 (usually $420) at Appsumo ( )

  • Surajit Sen Sharma
    December 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Right now, I mean as of “now” December 17, 2011, I am a paid member of WPMUDev, and paid their USD 79 One month try out package.
    I am glad I did not go for the whole annual deal, and stung with my loss.

    They are good marketers, however I have found free scripts available at to be mostly better than theirs.

    If you are talking of good paid scripts with support, those at tips and tricks hq, work well without hassle and good support, though they are limited in number and deal only with shopping cart, affiliation, and membership, but their integration is good and no hassle.

    I have also found a few good scripts here and there where isolated developers charge, but also provide support like the newsletter plugin at tribulant.

    Somehow I can’t shake of the feeling that most of WPMUDev’s plugins are somehow copied or tweaked from those of other original developers. It’s just a feeling.

    When I comment on their “members only forums” on the problems with any of their plugins, usually there are no answers, or diplomatic answers.

    Right now I am going into an elaborate process of uninstalling all their plugins from my systems and creating functionality with small plugins from isolated but dedicated developers: Membership, affiliation, and shopping from tips and tricks HQ, newsletter from tribulant, some great shortcode scripts from codecanyon, and many scripts that are entirely free but superb, like the W3TC plugin, and DB-Manager plugin.

    The sale format at the premium WP-Plugins marketplace is also awful because you can’t just pay and be done, but now with most plugins there is a monthly or annual payment after what you have paid upfront.

  • Mike
    November 29, 2011 at 1:24 am

    Is this plugin only for multi site installations? What if I just have a single regular wordpress site, will it still work?

  • November 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I tried WPMU DEV a while back and was very disappointed with the level of polish and documentation provided. The feel is like an open source site but they charge quite a bit for the access. There’s a massive sale on today so you can get an annual subscription for $146 which is regularly over $400. I decided against trying it again because I’m actually willing to pay more for products that work better and fully documented versus the hobby style of the WPMU DEV stuff.

  • October 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

    These plugins are updated constantly and any collection of them (without someone with a subscription to maintain it) is pretty much useless after a month or two. If anyone is interested, though, I found a website that has access to a live subscription and seems to update its offerings frequently. Sure, there is a charge for access, but it’s better than a $419-a-year membership from WPMU DEV. 😉

  • Profile photo of M. K. Safi
    October 14, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    For the record, I just updated the review.

  • October 13, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I just bought the membership about a week ago. And I am not gonna lie, I am not super experienced in WordPress, but I am not a rookie, either (,

    But my last week has been a week of complete frustration and headache. I have yet to have any plugin or theme work on the first time. No joke. Something wrong happens, so then I gotta hit up the forum and wait a day (sometimes more) for a response. I thought these were like the premium of premium of plugins and themes, but I think they are all in beta and still buggy.

    Complete waste of money? No. More of the time factor. I don’t feel effective working with them. Highly disappointed. No clear instructions.

  • WPMUdev complaint
    September 25, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Customer service at WPMUdev sucks, I mean it’s really bad. They answer easy questions right away with their ridiculous point system, like what is 1+ 1? But don’t think of asking them if their plugins can integrate with each other. They’ll leave you hanging on. Their software has bugs. They are grossly understaffed or smoking pot at work. Sign up if you are bored and want to beta test development stuff for shits and giggles, but you are better off with the loads of free plugins on WordPress.

    If you are curious about their Membership plugin, Google some of their forum posts, there are people who are trying to get that almost workable but actually crap to work one year later and no luck, no support.

    MK… you could try It’s free and offers role editing, more than Membership plugin. The developer answers questions faster too.

    Any ideas for free ecommerce integration?

    • Profile photo of M. K. Safi
      September 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks for your feedback. I know about Members by Justin Tadlock, but I don’t know why it keeps getting mentioned on these pages. That plugin cannot automatically process payments and change a user’s role or capabilities upon payment. To me, it’s a roles and capabilities editing plugin.

      If you want a real free membership plugin, checkout s2Member. It works great. You could also try Paid Memberships Pro. It’s free, but I haven’t tried it, yet.

  • my Ass
    April 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Don’t even think about WPMUDEV, it just create u more headache …

    • Profile photo of M. K. Safi
      April 15, 2011 at 12:04 am

      Care to elaborate? Did you join WPMU DEV’s premium program and download the membership plugin? Have you tried version 2.0 of the script? It was released just today, in fact. Do you recommend any other membership plugin?

      • Shaun Snapp
        October 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        I will elaborate. Most of WPMU’s plug-ins are far less than advertised because MPMU is more about marketing than development. I personally detest WPMU, an organization filled with liars, that cannot even admit that just about everyone of its customers very much dislikes the way a WPMU literally takes over the dashboard of WP. This sleaze named Tim who works for WPMU continually gets onto forums like this and states that only a small percentage of people dislike it. However, if every plug in developer did this, the first page and a half of WP would be just advertisements.

        WPMU – marketing over development — filled with liars who will lie on any topic — false statements and underhanded techniques.

    • August 9, 2011 at 12:43 am

      I agree. I thought if I paid for the plugin then I would get some kind of user guide. That is why I purchased the membership. Any way long story short the plugin has zero documentation and I was fortunately able to modify what needed to be done as an experienced designer however one fix leads to more fixes until finally I felt like I wasted my money and a lot of time and ultimately look like an idiot with my client. Thanks for nothing. This plugin is extremely buggy and you will find in the forums and support that the redirect if not logged in sends to 404 no matter what so you have to create a new 404. Very bad for search engine rank… Don’t waste your time or money.

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