The Ultimate Collection of the Best Membership WordPress Templates and Plugins
If you’re looking to transform your current website into a fully functional community-powered site, you can easily find tons of different WordPress membership plugins in the market. However, aside from installing the right plugin, you'll need to use the right WordPress membership themes as well in order to leverage the full potential of the community you grew on your site.
Maybe you have never thought of building a subscription website yet. Whether you’re looking to create a steady stream of recurring income and increase user engagement, creating a members website is always a great choice for getting more and better traffic to your website.
In this post, we’ve collected a handful of premium WordPress membership themes you must try for your websites. Take a look. Whilst you may find members website templates for free we always argue that you get what you pay for and we’d always recommend getting a premium template where you can get a much better overall deal.
How to Create a Membership Site
Before we begin if you're actually looking to set up a site a members-only, there are a few things you will need and we can recommend:
- Good solid WP hosting - we highly recommend getting yourself a good VPS (Virtual Private Server), because your returning visitors are going to put a lot of strain on your site and shared hosting just won't cut it. A VPS, on the other hand, can take a lot of load, especially if you work with a company who is able to optimize it for traffic, speed and performance.
We work with InMotion ourselves, and it handles our thousands of visitors a day very very nicely - we highly recommend you read our review (and we've got 51% off for CollectiveRay readers)
- A plugin which restricts content to members only - of course, the real intent behind creating a restricted content site is such that your members actually pay to access the content. This can be done by integrating a plugin which restricts content to logged in and subscribed members only. You may want to click here now to look at our recommend plugins below.
- An appropriate membership WordPress template - once again, this is a very important part of your overall strategy. In reality, the look of your site is going to make a real difference whether visitors convert to members, and even more importantly, remain subscribed to the plans they choose. Given that there are various types of sites for members you can create, we've identified a number of templates for different use-cases (membership clubs, rentals, dating sites, directory listings, Q & A etc.
Continue reading below to see a great selection of products which are able to support all of the requirements for creating a members site.
But before we start, have a look at this two-minute video of how you can build a tight community of loyal customers which will visit your site over and over again:
The plugin referred to in the video can be found here:
Convinced? Let's have a look at a few of the things we'll need to get up and running.
WordPress Paid Membership Themes
We do believe that once you're going to use a good premium members-only plugin, you'll be doing a website a huge disservice if you go for a free membership WordPress theme.
Premium WP themes are so much more refined and give such a breadth of functions that we do believe they are worth the investment. You really can't put a price on the trust you'll earn by using a WP item which is obviously a premium product.
Remember, you're asking people to pay a fee to be able to access your website, so you need to make sure you're not looking cheap yourself by using a free item.
Here's our top pick of premium WordPress Paid Membership themes.
Undoubtedly, Divi is one of the best choices if you’re looking for a multi-purpose theme for your website. It lets you create an eye-catching layout for your website without having to know the nitty-gritty of designing and coding.
In Divi, you can find tons of different features including a visual builder that allows you to create almost any kind of layouts you can imagine.
The template is also bundled with a login module for member sites that allows you to display a WordPress login form anywhere on your site. This can be a cool membership WordPress theme feature, so you don’t necessarily need to rebrand the default login form.
Read our complete Divi 3.0 theme review here.
If you're also interested in how to create a members site using Divi - this is a great article.
PS. The above offer is only available from CollectiveRay
One of the best things we love about Kickcube is that aside from the usual site login, it enables social login as well, so your users don't need to create a separate login for your website.
This is a great feature for members area WordPress themes especially if you're struggling to convert more visitors into registered users.
The template also gives you the ability to create a content layout via the front-end of your website similar to Pinterest or Zergnet.com. Since it works out-of-the-box, you don’t need to install a heavy plugin like BuddyPress for enabling front-end content creation.
This membership WordPress theme also supports Restrict Content Pro, a premium WordPress membership plugin. Do keep in mind that Kickcube is not bundled with this plugin. But if you’re looking for a members theme that supports Restrict Content Pro, Kickcube could be a great choice.
Category: WordPress Membership Site
Supported plugin: Restrict Content Pro (Theme is not bundled with it. Installing this plugin is an optional choice)
We've already discussed above that one of the best ways reasons to create a site for members would be if you own a magazine or newspaper and would like users to be able to access the content online, but restricted only to those who have actually bought a subscription from you.
Besides magazines who have a physical copy and want to digitize their content, this also applies to newspapers who want to shift their audience to their website, but still restrict the content to paid users.
As you can see from the above screenshot of a demo of MH Magazine theme, this is a really great theme which is perfectly suited exactly for this scenario. It follows the exact structure which you would expect from an online magazine, with a number of scrolling headline articles and then a good amount of other titles in different categories.
There's plenty of room for advertising within this WordPress membership theme, whilst you can also to use the website background for additional advertising space (both to push people towards conversion or for external advertising to monetize the site).
This product integrates very nicely with plugins which restrict content listed below allowing for a smooth implementation of a restricted content magazine or newspaper.
Askit is a fully functional question and answers WP theme. Indeed, it is one of the most advanced themes in the ElegantThemes marketplace. With this theme, visitors can get answers to their pertinent questions by posting it on your website.
AskIt is more than just a forum theme. It lets you create a StackExchange kind of website where users can get answers to their questions until a correct answer is chosen by the question author. All of the users can also vote different answers.
(We've got an exclusive 10% OFF for our visitors from this link only until )
Julia – Talent Management WordPress Theme lets you create WordPress members-only website for talent/model industry.
This template is a great fit for creating a members-only website for talent agency or agents. Once a user registered on the site, she or he can update their profile via backend. Alternatively, she can send the details to the agency through an email.
After installing Julia, you can install free plugins associated with it.
LoveStory is a template best suited for creating a dating WordPress membership website. It has almost all the built-in features you’ll need in a WP members theme such as extended user profile, different member levels, chat messages and more.
Let’s look at a few features of LoveStory – Dating WordPress theme below
- Extended profiles: It allows users to easily edit profiles and upload pictures.
- Chat messages: Users can read and write messages. The built-in chat feature provides live chat notification.
- WooCommerce support: This product has a built-in system in which all payments are processed with WooCommerce. You are also allowed to limit the number of messages and photos for each user based on the member level.
Whilst this is great for a dating website, it is an excellent choice for websites requiring subscription-based WordPress themes
Category: Dating / WordPress Paid Membership theme
Recommend Reading: If you're looking for setting up a network or dating site, you might want to look at our article: 10 Amazing Themes to create a WordPress community or social network.
6. Estate Pro
While Estate Pro is a real estate oriented theme, you can create any kind of members-only websites that requires unlimited member levels, restricted page access, and post creation limits.
It offers out-of-the-box support for most of the payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize.net, and Stripe.
It also gives you advanced search feature so you can filter searches based on taxonomies, meta fields, and post types.
Category: Real estate
(Recommend Reading: if you're planning to create a WordPress real-estate based sites, we've selected the best themes for creating a property site)
As the name denotes, Ultimate directory is an all-in-one solution to create a directory portal on your website. The best thing is this WordPress membership template was not built specifically for a particular niche so it is an excellent choice as a subscription-based WP theme.
You can create almost any kinds of directory portals such as Yellow-Pages style directory, local listing directory, Yelp-like review sections, etc.
Some of the features are:
- Front-end listing submission
- Facebook login
- Email notifications
- Customizable search fields
- Custom built-in review system
Category: Directory/listing / subscription based WordPress template.
Atlas Directory & Listings is a yet another premium WordPress membership theme for directory listings.
The main benefit of using this template is that your users will not need to access the WP backend at all.
This can be a great choice especially if most of your users are not comfortable with the WP admin panel. You have full control over how the front end should look like.
Best of all, you can limit the listings for different member levels and you’re allowed to accept recurring payments for members. You’ll get notified through email for each user activity. If you're looking to create a member directory where entries need to be paid, this is an excellent membership WordPress theme for you.
9. WP Estate
WP Estate is another premium WordPress membership theme built for real estate agencies.
It helps you to transform your website into a property listing and booking platform. You can also allow users to register an account on your site, save their favorite properties and you can manage them from the admin.
Below are the key features of WP Estate WordPress template.
- Front-end submission
- Enables you to create a booking platform
- Charge users per submission via Stripe
Category: Real estate
(Recommend Reading: if you're looking to create an awesome WordPress real-estate based sites, we've selected the most awesome themes for creating a property site)
QuickFinder WordPress membership theme enables you to create any kind of yellow pages like website. Unlike most other WordPress members only themes, QuickFinder is not limited to any specific niche category. You can build any kind of yellow pages regardless of its niche.
Best of all, it also allows you to create a landing page for your marketing campaign with beautifully designed layouts.
Category: Yellow pages
Maya Reloaded is a creative multipurpose WordPress template that allows you to create different kinds of websites including WordPress members website.
It gives you 30+ different layout concepts to pick from, so you can create almost any design using it. It also consists of premium WordPress plugins such as Visual Composer, Slider revolution, Visual Composer for Google Maps, etc.
12. WP Rentals
This multi-featured product allows you to create a WordPress booking platform for properties. Users can list their properties for daily rent. You can make a commission for each submission or for each confirmed booking.
(Recommended Reading: 7 Best WooCommerce Themes and plugins for online bookings)
It also allows users to sign up with their social login credentials. So users are not required to create a separate account on your website. You can sync booking to iCal.
With WP Rentals, you can create a members-system with control for each package with a recurring option
Category: Booking platform
If you’re looking for a BuddyPress supported product to build a collaborative online community or a niche social network on a WP platform, Thrive WordPress theme could be a great choice.
All of the features are added as WordPress plugins.
So you can enable only those functionalities you’ll need for your eventual members' sites.
Best of all, it is a lightweight template with no tied-in framework so it is a great WordPress theme for membership club or a great use for use a WordPress paid membership theme.
Category: Niche social network
Supported plugin: BuddyPress
MikMag is yet another BuddyPress supported theme that lets you create a highly versatile members website. Besides BuddyPress, it also supports bbPress and WooCommerce plugins.
In addition to niche social networking website, you can create like magazines, review sites and creative websites with MikiMag. Again, another great option for WordPress themes for membership organizations, because all of these features can be fully combined to create the perfect experience for your organization.
Category: Forums/ niche social network
Supported plugins: BuddyPress, bbPress
eList is a versatile directory listing theme by Elegant Themes. It enables you to create an online directory of any type and also enables front-end listing. It comes bundled with eCommerce integration, enabling you to charge per listing. In eList, payments are handled through PayPal.
(Buy through this link to get 10% OFF until )
Explorable is a listing theme that lets you pin your listings and posts on a map. This product is best suited for creating travel related blogs and members websites in which location-based listing plays a vital role.
Visitors can assign a rating to each listing on the map. Its advanced search capability lets you filter listing on the basis of types, location or star rating.
17. Academy Pro
This is a great plugin for those who want to create a members-only website to create an online-course. Powered by the Genesis Framework, this product from StudioPress is a perfect choice for those who want to profit from any training they have, and which they want to post online.
Given that it is powered by Genesis, you can rest assured that this is a very well-supported product, with an excellent features set and great configuration possibilities, which does not limit you in any way.
If you're looking to create a training members-only website that offers drag and drop responsive features and advanced customization features, you can't go wrong with any theme from StudioPress, and of course, Academy Pro has been specifically designed for this use case..
Below are a few plugins and or features included or compatible with Academy Pro theme.
- Woocommerce compatible.
- Theme Customizer and Options
- Widget Areas
- Mobile Responsive
- Genesis framework bundled with the product (worth $59.95)
Category: Online course/training
Compatible plugin: Restrict Content Pro
If your website will be a magazine where the members will have an exclusive access to specific content if they are paid up, the Paperback is a great idea for you. While its homepage features a content area for your featured articles, it then gives different sections for different news or category items.
Given that this is for a magazine, the theme has been optimized for readability with great typography and easily readable fonts and spacious layouts.
This design will easily give you a beautiful result out of the box - and is very easy to set up even if you are not too technical yourself in web design.
Given that we've brought up the subject of magazines, we also love this theme from WPZoom - Indigo.
This is an excellent WP multi-purpose template with flexible features which can be used to create a restricted content area. The homepage features two navigation menus, (you can use this for Public vs Members-Only content) featured slider for top news items, a 3-column widget area for giving special attention to specific articles, a sticky menu, featured categories, and many more features you'll find useful when setting up your website.
Of course, given that this is a content-focused template, it also includes custom widgets to show the most popular posts, any recent tweets you've been pushing, email signup form, social pages icons, and anything else you'll need. It includes various layouts, such as magazine, blog, two and three-column, and six different color schemes to select from, to be able to match your branding.
For sure one good reason to create a subscription site would be for educational purposes. For this reason, Teachme would be an excellent choice. This is an educational website template for those providing online course - for example, training providers would be an excellent candidate to use this as their membership website template, this is key to such a company/course. The template Teachme has been perfectly designed in a way to help boost both your conversions and reduce your churn rate.
The full-width design of the template provides plenty of space to display all the courses available and their descriptions neatly to the member. The header section can be used with an image slider showing the available modules with a CTA button to subscribe to the course. With Teachme, the plans can be displayed directly on the homepage as necessary - with the pricing table function being an excellent way to push all the benefits of each course.
We have one final item for you, and it's fitting that this is one of the most popular themes for magazines out there. From the ever-popular ElegantThemes, this is one for those who believe less is more. These guys know both their WordPress, their design and how to design a winning product, they are in fact also the authors of the most popular Divi product, used by literally hundreds of thousands of users.
Extra is a clean magazine theme for those who want to take their website to the next level, and of course, given that we're in this to build a members-only area, this template supports that very nicely.
If you're looking to build a premium news portal or informational portal, which is primed for premium subscribers, Extra is an excellent choice with great support to be used as a membership WordPress theme.
(Buy through this link and get an exclusive 10% OFF until )
Membership Website Templates Free
Try as we might to find members-only website templates which are free, we were unable to come across any good ones. If you are a template provider who has a free version of a members' or subscription theme, do get in touch and we'll list your item here if we find it suitable.
Of course, to feature here, your template should have a number of features related specifically to members-only websites, or integrate with membership plugins which we mentioned next in this article.
Now that we've reviewed a collection of best membership WordPress themes, let us introduce a few membership website plugins that instantly transforms your existing website into a members-only site.
While these plugins will work on your site regardless of the template you’re using, we strongly suggest you pick an appropriate WordPress paid membership theme to leverage the full potential of the plugins you’re using.
That said, most of the items listed in this article do not require a plugin. But if you are looking for additional features that these templates do not provide, you may try installing one of these WordPress membership plugins on your site.
If you are looking for plugins and theme reviews, we share plenty of these very often on CollectiveRay - do visit often to find our latest posts.
The basic version of the Restrict Content is probably the best free WordPress membership plugin - it is a simple plugin that restricts the content of your site to registered users only. Unlike the plugin from WPMUDev, Restrict Content utilizes the default user roles like Administrator, Editor, Author, and Subscriber to restrict the content.
The premium version offers the following features.
- Unlimited number of discount codes
- Reports to see how well your members' site is performing
- Unlimited subscription packages
Personal: $49 for one site
Plus: $99 for an unlimited number of sites
Professional: $199 (11 pro add-ons are available)
Ultimate: $499 (11 pro add-ons, lifetime support, and lifetime updates)
If you're planning on using WooCommerce for your website, you can enable restricted content through an additional extension to this most popular of online shop extensions: WooCommerce Memberships.
As you can see below, this extension allows you to create specific rules to be able to restrict content only to users who are a paid-up member of the site.
Given that this is an approved plugin by the WC team, you can rest assured of the quality of this product. Infact, this product is given a rating by a number of reviews from actual users of the extension.
The beauty of this extension is that it has tons of features, for example, you can choose to Drip Content (i.e. release the content strategically, let's say over a number of weeks to mimic an online course, you can use it subscriptions, you can send customized emails, and most of all, it's very easy to manage, as you can see from Chris Lema's comments below.
- $149 for one site
- $199 for 5 sites
- $249 for 25 sites
If you are a web designer, we would suggest going for the top tier plan, because this will more than pay for itself with multiple clients.
MemberPress is another premium WordPress members plugin worth trying. By downloading the premium plugin, you’ll also get access to Affiliate Royale Premium plugin that lets you create an affiliate program for your members' site.
MemberPress plugin is a perfect fit for anyone who wants to restrict digital download resources from regular visitors.
Some features of MemberPress include but not limited to
- Coupon support
- Send email notification to your members as reminders
- It also lets you group your digital products on the basis of member level.
- $99 for one site
- $199 for unlimited sites
4. Membership 2 Pro
This is one of the most popular members' site plugins in the WP official plugin directory. The free plugin lets you create a members-only site using one of the four base options.
- Dripped Content
You can put your premium content behind a paywall and entice your visitors to access it by becoming a member of your site.
The pro version of the plugin gives you everything you’ll need for your members' site. For example, with the pro version, you can add unlimited membership levels, create a free trial period and add coupon support to your site.
With this product, the real magic lies in the add-ons. Add-on features are not bundled with the premium version. You can install only those add-ons you’ll need for your site. That means you don’t need to deal with features you don’t need on your site.
Do keep in mind that in order to download the Pro version, you’ll need to become a premium member of WPMUDev site.
Once you become the member, you can access the premium plugin as well as the entire add-ons without paying anything extra.
Price: Become a member of WPMU Dev to download the plugin, which costs $49/month,
5. Simple Membership Plugin (Free)
Our fourth plugin is from wp.insider - a highly-rated (4.5 average plugin) which is available as a free download both via the WP plugin repository and the plugin's website.
The plugin supports both one-time fees and subscriptions to the site, you can have sections of the site which are free and other sections which are members-only, and payments can be accepted via Paypal primarily.
We've now seen both the membership plugins, and the best WordPress membership themes you can use, so you should all be good to go to start your new venture! Let us know if you need any more information and of course, we'd be more than happy to provide this!
Conclusion: Did you find your preferred membership WordPress theme?
Have you tried any of the WordPress membership themes listed in this post? What is your experience with them? Share your thoughts with us by dropping a line below.