I have been running a membership site for around 5 years now, and have learned quite a few tricks in the process (through a lot of trial and error). One of the biggest lessons has been that when it comes to WordPress plugins, you get what you pay for. Initially, I went with the least expensive plugins that did the job I was looking for. This turned out to be a huge headache as there was very little flexibility and even less support when I ran into issues. It seemed like every week I was getting emails from members with website issues. I knew I had to make a big change and so I spent several months researching and trialing out various plugin systems. My case need was very specific; I needed to have an easy to build/edit website with a strong membership system that allowed visitors to view the page, but not the paid content. Memberships needed to be tiered with higher levels having access to download a set number of plugins per month. The plugins I landed on have saved me so much time, I can’t even remember the last time I had an email from a member with an issue on the website!
The system I use is Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer for the visual building system. This allows ease to build pages but combined with Advanced Custom Fields allows for the creation of quite complex algorithms that allow beautiful post creation with just a few inputs. I went with Restrict Content Pro for the membership plugin because it had many great features for my needs and it integrates well with Easy Digital Downloads. Easy Digital Downloads is a great plugin that gives me the functionality I desired. Not only do I have a fantastic digital downloads store that is separate from the memberships, but it integrates seamlessly with Restrict Content Pro to give members a precise number of downloads each payment period. It also alleviated the biggest complaint I had with the previous system by treating these downloads as purchases and thus allowing members to peruse their previous downloads and re-download any video that may have had an issue with downloading. You can check out my membership website at https://FaithofMessiah.com
Check out the plugins mentioned here: