The best membership software runs on top of the WordPress, but the problem with the WordPress is, it has thousands and thousands of plug-ins and it’s difficult to choose which ones you should add to your site. That’s why the top three plug-ins I use in my membership sites are the Subscribe to Comment plug-in, the Category Post plug-in, and the WP Audio Player plug-in.
First of all, the Subscribe to Comments plug-in is very useful because you can have posts in your membership site and people can come and leave comments under those posts to add to the discussion or ask questions, but the problem is, many people will log-in, leave a comment, and leave never to return, and if they do return, they have come back too late and the discussion is over. But, Subscribe to Comments changes that. If you leave a comment under someone’s post, and another member comes back and replies to that comment, then you will receive an e-mail. Then if a third person comes in and leaves a comment, then both of you will receive e-mails, and so on. Basically, every person who has left a comment under a particular post gets updates anytime anyone leaves a comment under them. It’s great for keeping the discussion on the membership site going without you having to do any extra work.
The Category Post Widget plug-in allows you to add a listing of all of the posts in a specific category on your side bar. What I’d like to do is add a section on my side bar for every category of my site and what that means is that every single post is listed on my side bar but they are all grouped by category. And that means that someone can see a listing of all the video posts, all the audio posts, all the beginner posts, all the advanced posts, and jump to any particular piece of content within the membership site.
And finally, the WP Audio Player plug-in makes it very easy to add audio to your website. For many people, video is too complicated or too scary, but audio is a good first step because audio doesn’t require writing and doesn’t require a lot of preparations. You simply start talking and that is your recording. And many people can get the majority of what you get in a video or an article with an audio, and you can still get the audio transcribed later. That’s why I like the WP Audio Player plug-in, I’ll record mp3 files as content for a membership site, upload it, and the player makes the audio available right there on the page.
So, the top plug-ins you should use in a membership site that you can get for free are the Subscribe to Comments plug-in for discussion, the Category Post plug-in for navigation, and the WP Audio Player plug-in for multi-media.