PmPRO It Works

Paid Memberships Pro — It simply works

While working on a project last night, I needed help with a stumbling block. After a bit of Google research and some trial and error, I decided to submit a support ticket. I also tweeted to some of the devs on the team for ideas. Of course, I heard back. Got some suggestions.

After searching my email archives, I discovered that we’ve been using Paid Memberships Pro (PMPro) plugin for at least seven years. The plugin is a free WordPress plugin that does a variety of things well. Primarily, it can be used to create a members-based website, but it can also effectively protect content, give access based on different privileges, and much more.

We used S2Member for a few years and found it too limiting for our clients’ needs. The customizations took a lot of work; overall, the pricing didn’t fit. We have also used WP Members for an elementary application. There are many options out there for Membership sites for WordPress, but we’ve found Paid Members Pro to be the best supported, the most reliable, and the most extensible.

These are pretty big claims. Let me explain a little about why we’ve made them.

Best supported
We’ve been in the WordPress design and development world for at least 12 years. We have seen lots of players come and go. The guy who introduced me to that world was a military IT guy. He was very techy — and very patient. From the get-go, I found the WordPress community supportive and friendly. But the question is how supportive? There were hacks we needed or more functionality from a plugin, and Google research wasn’t that great at the time. We relied heavily on plugin support and the WordPress community.

Enter PMPro. Our client had a magazine-type website with different content levels available. Some public, some subscription. After fumbling around with S2Member for a few years, I came across Paid Memberships Pro. The reviews were good, especially in terms of support. About three days into using the free plugin, we decided to take the plunge and purchase the paid subscription. We had very custom needs and too many questions about our custom configuration to go with the free version. Nowadays, almost everyone offers paid support. Let me tell you that paid support does not equal good support. PMPro support is top of the line. They would typically reply in a few hours, always with code suggestions and alternative ideas, or look inside our environment to help work out our challenge. Their ticket system is incredibly useful, and they often reply quickly on Twitter. Considering 100,000+ active installations and the complexity of their product, we’re blown away by the effectiveness and granular attention of their support.

Most Reliable
We have used hundreds of plugins on our clients’ sites. Most of them are good and largely reliable. Of course, you always find some that will break with an update. PMPro has gone through many version updates, and we have never been disrupted by one.

The plugin works out of the box and is easy to set up with default and advanced settings. The plugin has been improved over time to include a variety of add-ons to make a membership site even more effective and customized. We have never had a case where the plugin didn’t work or stopped working.

PMPro also plays nice with other plugins. For developers, that’s a big deal. So far, we have not run into a situation where we’ve had to discontinue using another plugin or abandon PMPro because of an existing conflict.

Most extensible.
This is a huge claim, and I can’t support this with documentation. I wrote it because, in our experience, it has proven to be the most extensible plugin we’ve ever used. PMPro uses its own customization plugin where a user can write specific code tweaks to achieve custom functions. This works flawlessly each time we’ve upgraded to a new version of the core plugin.

Out of the box, PMPro offers the essential tools to get started on a membership site. You can turn your site into an e-commerce site with some advanced settings and a merchant account. Paid Memberships Pro offers more add-ons than I cared to count. Each one provides a specific aspect of the workings of the plugin. If they don’t answer our needs, the members forum on their website shows even more ways to customize the plugin.

If we were programmers, we could write our own code to do much of what PMPro does. But we’re not. Most designers/developers choose a plugin for a program that has already been written that they need for a purpose on their website. PMPro does a thousand things and does them well. It simply works.

In our seven years of experience, we have always found a solution to meet a client’s membership customization needs. Whether it was a modified filter, hook, CSS, or a better alternative, PMPro was always leading us.

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