s2Member® — a powerful (free) membership plugin for WordPress®. Protect members only content with roles/capabilities.
Here's why I give s2m 5 stars. For the record, I am using it with the Pro plugin together:
- I reviewed the critical factors for at least 30 membership solutions over three months, and surprise, the $69 s2m beats them all!
- s2m is easy to use, even as a non-programmer
- s2m has incredible documentation. More detailed than any other plugin I know of.
- s2m's code is freely available, so those who want, can integrate their changes. The guys there even give many examples how to do just that (per a MU "must use" plugin. Simple)
- s2m has the smartest features right built into it, even smarter than prohibitively expensive membership solutions, like membermouse. Indeed, SO SMART and well thought through that it amazes me everytime I use it! These guys must be breathing their code.
- s2m gives great support to buyers, and: although they only earned the tiny $69 from their customers!! This free support is much better than the paid support for other membership plugins, like DAP.
- Speaking of it, the s2m guys are very friendly. Very much unlike certain others out there who either only cared until you handed over the money, or (if charging for ongoing support) who give mediocre support at best, and increase their price like clockwork.
Now the negatives:
- I came too late. Even before I (yes, I, how shameful!! ;-) became a customer, they shut down their excellent forum on their site (so full of help, it must embarass every other coder). What a stupid decision, no? That's unfair to their newest customers. And why "stupid"? Because, the customer threads supporting each other was there a thousand times better than it can ever be on a "forum for everything" like here. Not that I could benefit from it directly (as said, I came too late), but it's all still visible there. I just can't reply. :-(
- Jason's video recommends using custom capabilities instead of (ever more) member levels, and I totally understood why and implemented it that way. I was happy with my decision until I realized that the integration with (his own favorite!) email list server Mailchimp doesn't consider custom capabilities yet. You can't, at the moment, have new users subscribed to a list with the custom capability they purchased. Neither to a new list, nor as member update to an existing list! So then why this big promotion of using custom capabilities rather than member levels? :-(
But you must balance this: Other membership solutions don't even have sth as flexible as Jason's custom capabilities. Thus, none of the competitors should point their finger at this current weakness.
That's it, just two negatives. Surprising really, for such a massive, powerful, comprehensive membership solution. Now, in all fairness, I should add: They probably add this functionality soon. Seeing just how much they have already added, I bet they haven't put their feet on the table and rest. They're probably coding this minute! :-)
I am not sure how someone can give s2m only a couple of stars, but I assume they are disappointed about a specific point and then can't balance that against all the positives. Or, they are jealous competitors maybe? Or, they just didn't read and understand what s2m can do, and how.
This review is unsolicited, I don't know them personally (although I'd like :-) and I don't get anything for it (they don't even know who this is from). Ah, maybe I should tell them!?
In short, I hope they will sell a million s2m Pro, so that they can keep up the good work and even enjoy the support (which you do once you get paid well). They would certainly deserve it.
Anyway, this was my opinion. It doesn't have to match yours. It's mine, pah! :-)
This is a great plugin for a free one. The best part are the video tutorials which clearly explain everything. Although I haven't upgraded to the Pro version yet, I find that the free version itself has so many great features which puts some of the other paid membership plugins out there to shame.
Jason Caldwell and Cristián Lávaque have done it again. Buying great software is only ever part of the story. Having brilliant support behind it is the other part. Without question, S2Member delivers both parts in spades. Thanks to the fast, efficient and effective support provided by Jason and Cristián, my membership site is a breeze to maintain. As a non-IT person, given the complexity of what it can do, this proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that S2Member is the leading membership software, bar none. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Try it - you'll be amazed!!!
I use S2Member for 3 years now to sell digital content.
It simply works great!
I just started a new site and I'm amazed by the functionality of the updated S2Member plugin.
Great work guys, you rock!
I have used S2 member for over a 1.5 years now
It works great however it slows my website down when i disable the plugin the performance increases i only use s2 member to protect a single page so i might be using a sledge hammer to crack a nut i wish there was some thing out there that would allow a paying member to access a restricted page.
s2member is a great plugin that does lots of different features like giving rights for pages for just special users, giving customized notifications and you even can create coupon codes.
The free version is by itself already good, but the PRO is giving you the features to make your changes more personalized.
The support is also just for PRO users what is understandable.
There is only one thing I'm not 100% satisfied and that's their service.
If they would improve that than s2member would be perfect.
At the moment it's only possible to contact with support tickets as a PRO member and you get a really quick response in 24 hours.
I always liked their forum where you can look for solution when you are having a problem. But at the moment they closed the forum and only support tickets are the only way to get help. If it would be public in the forum again it would be perfect. Than less people would need to bother with a private support ticket.
Hopefully the s2member team is turning their forum back on in future. That would change everything back to a perfect state.
But besides that I'm really satisfied with s2member. It's close to be perfect.
At least the forum will hopefully stay online forever and not switched off.
Would be great if the forum would come back, maybe in a different version that's easier to maintain. Hopefully there could be found a solution for the future.
I'm still giving it the full rating in the hope that the plugin stays as perfect as it is at the moment and the service just gets improved back the way it was with a forum.
Thanks for the great plugin
Exelent solution for subscription base app, exelent support, nice documentation
The helpful explanations in the menus can sometimes actually be confusing, but overall it's a well done plugin.
I bought the pro version a while back and they had great support. Now their support desk is limited and their once extensive forums are dumped into the WordPress forums. S2 may be a great plugin, but completely falls short on support. Wishlist and OptimizeMember may not be as good, but they are actively supporting their products.
If you don't like dealing with technicalities, do not get this plugin. I can code a little bit, but I'm not a techie pro. It seems a complete waste of time to me that their explanations on how things work take it for granted everyone knows coding. And that you can somehow read minds to know where things go.
Newsflash: people use WordPress because they *don't* know coding. That's why WP is so successful. Every time I look into something to make sense of their jumbled mess, I'm struck with the feeling that this program was put together by the kind of coding geeks who feel folks who don't code (i.e. speak their language) are somehow inferior. I'm sure they're not really like that; I'm just making an example.
The times I have asked for help in the forums the only person who has answered my cry was a fellow member.
I got this system to work in conjunction with Comic Easel. Hours of fighting it later (and losing money from not being able to deal with commissions over this) I finally got it partially set up to my needs. However, there was one very basic need the makers of S2Member left out: the ability to tell the system to skip a post when someone who does not have access lands on it and go to the next okay post. Rather, you are forced to have the system push these people to the membership options page, i.e. "buy now"! so that "buy now" is in their face whether you want it there or not. For a system that must be read in linear fashion, like mine, this is very bad as I am unable to restrict 99% of my content just to keep the website flowing evenly for everyone. I.E. if there were people who wanted to support my page by getting a paid membership, it's been rendered completely pointless.
The same goes for their concept of a drip feed. You are forced to drip feed according to membership level and time they've been a member as opposed to the post's age. Another strike against them. (All membership systems I have looked at seem to be like that about the drip feeds, to be fair. Which is insane that no one has thought perhaps there would be this OTHER option needed.)
I tried all of the membership systems I could that didn't want an arm and a leg upfront. s2Member was the only one compatible enough with Comic Easel for me to consider working with. So there's hope.
If you go slow and take things one at a time you do eventually figure out how to set things up... except for the API Scripts. I'm sick and tired of rereading that mess.
They have an experimental feature in it that really polished off an issue I had with the setup. Hopefully they'll keep it as I need it dearly.
There's nothing else for me to go to. So I at least can offer one limited option for my readers. It's not enough to hook them in, though.
It didn't destroy my website. It plugged in and everything still looks great.
And finally, I'm sure with a little out of the box thinking I'll figure out what I can use this system for in offering stuff to my readers. Unfortunately I have the silent, stoic kind of reader who really just wants pages and nothing else. I can think out of the box all I want. Until S2Member catches up with my needs (and thus the needs of the other thousands of people who do what I do) I can't recommend it.
But I have hope. Can't recommend it yet.
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