It feels so incredible to finally launch a project that our team has been building for almost a year: WooCommerce Memberships is here!
First, a Brief History
We build a lot of plugins at SkyVerge, and we use even more. While we don’t have the capacity to do much client work now, we’ve had several long-standing relationships and retainers with clients, and we’ve done a lot of custom work over the past couple of years. This naturally led to using a lot of different plugins to ensure that you’re finding the best solution for the client before building any custom code.
Part of the reason we built WooCommerce Memberships was a frustration with a lot of the membership solutions available for WordPress. While there are some really great plugins out there, it’s always been difficult to fully integrate a membership solution with your store so that you can not only sell memberships, but sell products, too. Members should be tied to your customers rather than have separate accounts or “member areas” on the same site.
Memberships should be centralized in one account page, processed through one checkout system with products or other services, and integrated with your entire site, including your shop.
This led us to WooCommerce with Groups + Groups for WooCommerce and Subscriptions. We’d worked with a client on a very large membership site (about 15,000 members) that also sold products to make this setup work, but we envisioned it being better and easier to set up than it was at that time (about a year and a half ago).
Groups isn’t necessarily made for all memberships, as many sites need different capabilities, like the ability to drip content over time (which isn’t possible with WooCommerce and plugins or extensions – until now of course). WooCommerce was part of the solution, but a piece was missing, so we endeavored to build it.
WooCommerce Memberships is the result of that, and after 11 months of planning, research, active development, and testing, it’s now available on the WooCommerce.com marketplace.
Membership Sites Aren’t Just Digital
A lot of membership plugins are also focused on selling access to digital content — videos, courses, blog posts, forums, you name it. However, there are lots of other kinds of membership sites: purchasing clubs, discount memberships (or other memberships that offer “perks” instead of content), and memberships that tie into both your site and physical goods (like subscription boxes). WooCommerce can support all of these types of sites, and we wanted to make it great at supporting them.
While WooCommerce Memberships does put a heavy focus on restricting content, it also tightly integrates with your products and shop. This lets you create a purchasing club like an “online Costco”, a membership community that has access to posts or other content, or a site that sells physical goods and access to content, like tutorial cooking videos or complimentary recipes for subscription snack boxes.
WooCommerce Memberships brings your entire site together into a complete membership solution. You can:
- sell unlimited or set-length memberships via one or more products
- create membership plans that require manual membership creation for an invite-only system
- restrict content and drip access over time
- restrict product viewing or purchasing and drip access over time
- create member discounts on products or product categories
- allow customers to have multiple memberships
- easily view and edit members, including notes for a membership that can be shared with the member via email
It also integrates very closely with WooCommerce Subscriptions to add some additional firepower:
- sell memberships with recurring billing instead of set lengths
- allow members to pause, upgrade, or downgrade memberships via an associated subscription (and thus prorate the costs of the membership change)
- create membership free trial periods with a subscription
- determine what content should be available during a trial period
Learn more about WooCommerce Memberships
Memberships does a lot, but we’ve kept setup simple and straight-forward, and we’ve made it developer-friendly so you can extend and customize it. You can view all features and details on the WooCommerce Memberships sales page, which has screenshots as well. The full documentation is also extensive and still improving 🙂 .