S2Member vs. MemberPress
It can be tricky comparing S2Member to other WordPress membership plugins because it offers both a free and pro version. A majority of core capabilities are available with the free version but the Pro version offers much more flexibility, especially in terms of integrating popular payment processors. Another WordPress membership plugin that can be difficult to compare is MemberPress. This is because MemberPress uses a strict rules-based approach to protecting content that isn’t often found across the bevy of WordPress membership site plugins available.
1. Configuration Options
The easiest way to compare both plugins is by looking at the built-in configuration options and features. The free S2Member boasts a feature set very similar to MemberPress. As a result, when you start looking at S2Member Pro, it becomes much more robust than MemberPress. The key to gaining maximum flexibility out of MemberPress lies in getting comfortable with the rules-based approach. By setting up the rules for every piece of protected content for every membership level you gain maximum flexibility. At the same time, this creates a lot extra work during the initial setup process. On the other hand, configuring S2Member is fairly straightforward so while you may not have quite as much flexibility implementing any changes is much easier during the setup phase.
2. Ease of Use
In terms of sheer simplicity S2Member is well ahead of MemberPress. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at integrating payment gateways, customizing content protection on a large scale, or just managing multiple membership levels S2Member is easier to use. The interface is clearing and more intuitive which cuts down on the initial learning curve. When you upgrade to the Pro version, you will find it equally as easy to use but there will be more functionality-related options available. There will be a host of additional payment processors/payment gateways you can integrate as well.
3. Long Term Viability
S2Member has two key characteristics that ensure its long term viability. The first is there is a free version which means it is easy for people to give it a test drive and upgrade later if they desire. This has created a wide base of users and ensures there is incentive for the developers to continue improving it. The second characteristic is how the Pro upgrade is designed. Instead of withholding key features in the free version a majority of features are already there. The primary reason people upgrade is because the Pro version is how you can integrate the most popular payment processors. As a result, the webmaster considering the upgrade immediately sees how upgrading is a profitable business decision. They already like the plugin and know they will generate more income by integrating the most popular payment processors.
On the other hand, MemberPress is a relative newcomer and does not have a large enough user base to ensure long term viability. Plus there is free trial or ability to get a refund. This stops many people from buying MemberPress in the first place. If they truly don’t like the plugin they have zero chance of getting a refund. This makes it difficult for MemberPress to generate more customers on a regular basis.
As it stands today, S2Member is the clear winner. It doesn’t matter if you are comparing the free or Pro version of S2Member – it trumps MemberPress in nearly every way. While the rules-based approach MemberPress employs may prove to be the best option in the long run, it is still to unrefined to be in serious consideration for membership sites with multiple membership tiers and/or products.
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