Support » Plugin: Paid Memberships Pro - Content Restriction, User Registration, & Paid Subscriptions » An OK Membership plugin. Needs a serious re-write by people who care.

  • WebTigers


    FULL REVIEW by a Software Engineer

    According to their website, this plugin has been around for over 12 years, and in all that time they’ve amassed a pretty decent tool with a great set of features. I purchased and installed PMPro thinking this was going to be a cakewalk for adding registered and paid members to a client’s website. It was not a cakewalk. I was not looking to do anything their sales docs didn’t describe. I didn’t need customizations. I just needed a plugin that worked out of the box the way the sales docs described. I didn’t get that. Here is what I did get …

    OVERALL—3 out of 5 Starts: Were I to do this again, I would NOT buy this plugin, I’d go elsewhere. Tepid support seemed offended that I was pointing out bugs THEY created. No one seemed to want to admit that their plugin lacked a register / signup form that was reCAPTCHA and Social OAuth “aware”. After 12 years, it feels like this company is now run by a bunch of people who no longer care nor are they interested in building the best, but just a group of junior devs who come to work everyday to collect a paycheck. I messaged their founder, Jason, no reply. Crickets.

    PRO: GREAT FEATURES—Where this product really shines is in its breadth of features. It does what they say in terms of restricting content, albeit, sometimes badly, but it will work.

    CON: OVERPRICED—The $400 price tag is steep and recurring for all the features. It’s a good value compared to having to hire a decent programmer to do this for you. Way overpriced. They do offer 3 tiers of pricing, but the free version is so limited as to be next to worthless. It’s merely a way for you to install and get hooked into upgrading with features you’re really going to need to make the thing work at all. Feels like bait and switch to me.

    CON: ATROCIOUS CODEBASE—Looking under the hood to make some template customizations and fix their bugs made my software engineering hair stand on end! This is amateur code created by junior to mid-level people. This codebase needs a serious update.

    CON: FRAGMENTED DOCS—There are a boatload of docs for the plugin, but they are piecemealed and fragmented. Yes, the search feature on the support part of their website is good, but it still took me days to find the features I needed.

    PRO: VERY EXTENSIBLE—The website offers a boatload of drop in or easily configurable “code recipes” that allow you to change how the plugin behaves. These are super-awesome for programmer types like me, but might be way over the head of your typical WP user. Lots of hooks to play with if you know what you’re doing.

    MEH: SUPPORT—I opened 4 support tickets with them and got reasonably speedy responses. Had this plugin been better coded and had a better “happy path” to install and configure, I would not have needed to open any support tickets. The support tickets I opened should not have been necessary. Then the support kept telling me to hire a developer to fix the issue.

    CON: NO REGISTER FORM—OMG! How do you have a membership plugin that doesn’t have its own embedded register / signup form? This is a serious oversight and one the company needs to fix. Yes, they do have add-on you have to pay for, but this should be in their free version. I had to install a “code recipe” to get the Signup add-on to work with the Social add-on. Big oversight.

    CON: ADD-ONS NOT “AWARE” OF EACH OTHER—When you install their Social Login add-on, their Signup add-on should be aware that it needs to show the Register / Login with Google, or whatever OAuth providers you configure. They are aware sometimes, but the Signup plugin was not showing the SSO for Google. And when I asked the support guy about it, he said they have no plans to add Social to their Signup add-on. Big mistake they do not intend to fix.

    CON: BUGS—After 12 years, you would think that even the most basic of bugs would be taken care of. Nope. The plugin is buggy as the add-ons do not seem to play well other plugins within their code base. Very annoying. The support staff actually pointed me to their GitHub repo to merge a PR (pull request) to fix their code. Listen people, NO ONE outside of a developer is going to know what this even means. Fix your code yourselves and push out the updates pronto. Good God!

    CON: NO USER TEMPLATES—There is no way that I could find buried in their docs to easily change how a form is arranged or displayed. A user should be able to edit a template that doesn’t get destroyed when the software updates. MAJOR oversight.

    CON: ATROCIOUS FORM LAYOUTS—The form layouts are dated and written by people who did not know modern Bootstrap layouts. Spans embedded within header tags, JS scripts massaging the UI and causing “FOUC” really needs to be updated. If you want your site to look awful, just use their stock templates. I had to write whole JS plugins and deep CSS to fix their oversights.

    CONCLUSION: I spent 3 days going back and forth with support to configure this monstrosity. This should not have been necessary had the plugin not been buggy and been designed by real software engineers who cared. I didn’t need customizations, I just needed it to work out of the box as advertised. It did not work as advertised. This review is borne out of the frustration I had with the product and the company’s lack-luster support. They need to fix both. But they won’t. It’s probably the reason they have competitors chomping at their heels now eroding their marketshare. Time to step it up guys. You’re getting lazy. But you don’t care …

    • This topic was modified 4 months ago by WebTigers.
    • This topic was modified 4 months ago by WebTigers.
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  • Plugin Author Kim Coleman


    Hey @webtigers – I appreciate that your took time to share your comments here. If you are having buyer’s remorse I’m happy to provide you with a refund. In fact, when customers remark that they don’t value the support we provide or our product, we will proactively issue that refund so that they can move on to something that better fits their expectations, experience, and budget.

    If you’re in a place to switch, please use our contact page to request a refund. I’ll also look around our support to try to identify you and reach out directly (couldn’t find a webtigers user).

    For others reading this review, here are some links to how WordPress and Paid Memberships Pro work that the original poster here isn’t aware of.

    User registration in your WordPress site can happen in several ways with PMPro:

    • The way 99.9% of membership sites want registration to happen is through our optimized checkout funnel from Membership Levels Page (view level options) to the Membership Checkout Page (complete the form to register as a WordPress User and get membership in a single step (whether free or paid). This checkout process is compatible with our Social Login integrations as well as reCAPTCHA v2 and v3 for site security (among many other spam prevention methods).
    • You can also make sure your WordPress site’s setting for “Anyone can register” is on under Settings > General. With this enabled, PMPro can allow your site to use the WordPress default user registration or registration through other plugins like BuddyPress and more. Most people building a membership site, though, want members to only join through the main PMPro checkout process so that they can collect custom user fields and payment.
    • An admin can create a user in the admin under Users > Add New. Then, the admin can apply a membership level by editing the user.

    As far as customizing frontend templates, an experienced developer can certainly do this. We have loads of articles on our site on how to customize templates, from using a page builder, building your own Pricing table, simple CSS tweaks, all the way to coding custom PHP templates in your active theme or customizations plugin.

    Here is the general documentation on customizing frontend page templates:

    And here is an advanced developer guide for experienced developers:

    The difficult piece of this review, if you’re reading this and considering Paid Memberships Pro, is the poster’s attack that “we don’t care.” I’m fine with reviews that balance the pros and cons of the software and the fit, but a character attack feels out of place until we actually know one another.

    But that’s ok – I’ve been dealing with hate for 12 years. All the while building the most powerful and 100% open source membership platform.

    We fully embrace open source, and if someone using our software has the skills to contribute to improving open source memberships for WordPress, we welcome contributions in GitHub here:

    Please check out all of our competitors—especially the other open source projects here on Some competitors are premium products only, so you’d have to pay them to test or get a look at the code powering the plugin.

    It is always good to test other software before committing, especially for a membership platform that is not very easy to switch from. Check out the migration guides and competitor comparison posts on our blog.

    If you have questions, use our site’s contact us page. A DM to the CEO on LinkedIn isn’t the way to get help or answers when you need them quickly.

    — Kim Coleman, Co-Founder, Paid Memberships Pro.

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