MemberDash plugin by LearnDash has incredible functionalities that help you grow your membership site and give you total control of your restricted content. MemberDash has its ups and downs, but it is definitely worth the try.
|WordPress course creators
|15-day money-back guarantee
I know this is not recent news since it happened months ago, but MemberDash has been up for debate lately. As LearnDash has been a trusted learning management system for years, seeing its membership plugin has come with mixed feelings. Mostly positive, though.
However, as the MemberDash plugin is relatively new, it has already been pitched against the big players like MemberPress and Wishlist Member.
MemberDash plugin boasts the most flexible WordPress membership and content restriction plugin. Having used it for some time now, I would say that they made good on their boasts.
They met some expectations, although I experienced some limitations, too.
Like every software, there are strengths and weaknesses, so I have created this detailed MemberDash review.
This review shows MemberDash's essential features, pros and cons, and what to expect. I also took some time to compare the plugin with some top alternatives and competitors.
So, this is going to be an exciting read. Let's get started!
What is the MemberDash Plugin by LearnDash?
MemberDash is one of the latest and best WordPress membership plugins, a new one from LearnDash. It was released in July 2023. MemberDash allows you to create exclusive and restricted content and perform other activities to grow and manage your members/community.
On its own, LearnDash is a learning management system plugin that helps educators, entrepreneurs, and course creators sell their courses and training resources using WordPress.
Now, they went further to help users build an exclusive members-only community where they can communicate with members and serve a more targeted niche.
Creators have more control over their content and community.
The MemberDash plugin is best for e-commerce websites, creators, or influencers who want to sell premium content to their audience, earn extra income, and grow their community of members.
The best part is that MemberDash is flexible, as it offers flexible features. With the plugin, you can create an engaging membership site.
Although it is a subsidiary of LearnDash, you can use it as an independent plugin for your membership site. However, you can also use it with LearnDash to create and manage a members-only community.
Pros and Cons of LearnDash MemberDash Plugin
Features of MemberDash
As a new membership plugin for WordPress users, MemberDash boasts impressive features that give you a unique experience when growing your membership site.
1. Content Restriction
MemberDash is also a content restriction plugin. It allows you to restrict your content and give access to only permitted members. You have complete control over your content and resources and who gets to see it.
Since the restricted content is for only members, your site’s visitors would have to pay a fee to access them. You can easily lock your premium content with a few clicks.
As a content creator, I find this feature very helpful as I don’t want to publicize all my content. With the plugin, I can select specific posts or pages I want to restrict.
2. Built-in Reporting
You can track and monitor the analytics and activities of the members’ performances. With the detailed insights from these reports, you can track the total amount generated from your membership programs, the members' engagement statistics, and the highest-performing memberships.
3. Payment Gateways
MemberDash allows you to collect membership payments from Stripe and PayPal. However, the payment gateways are very limited.
MemberDash doesn’t support other gateways. I think this is because the plugin is still new. In recent years, the creators may add new payment gateways, among other feature upgrades.
Stripe and PayPal are two very popular and widely used payment platforms. So, even though payment gateways are limited, members can still use anyone to checkout.
4. Flexible Memberships
It provides customizable membership options and lets users select from several subscription types. This allows their members at various levels to access certain content.
You can create unlimited memberships, each with a unique membership fee, and grant them access to specific resources on your site.
This flexibility allows members or customers to select the best membership package for their needs and budget. If you no longer require a subscription, you can quickly deactivate it from the dashboard, and it will no longer appear.
5. Integration with LearnDash
Although MemberDash can be an independent plugin, it can also integrate with LearnDash to help users create and sell their premium courses to members.
6. Billing Management and Coupon
MemberDash allows you to offer discount coupons to your members and manage other billings like subscriptions and purchases. You can use this feature to customize new coupons for new members.
But that is not all.
This feature allows members to view their invoices and manage their subscriptions.
7. Other Features
Aside from the primary features mentioned above, MemberDash has other features that make it stand out from competitors.
User Profile Management
This feature allows members to manage their profiles on your site. Members can customize their profiles, adjust their login information, and manage their subscriptions and billing information on your website.
Regardless of how many members you have, you can manage all of them from your dashboard. This feature allows you to create as many memberships as possible, free or paid.
You can also set free trial membership periods. Once the trial period is over, the member is automatically charged.
What Does MemberDash Plugin Look Like?
MemberDash does not have a separate website. You can only access it from LearnDash’s website. Maybe later, the company may consider creating a different website.
However, although they are on the same website, you don’t need LearnDash to use the MemberDash plugin.
After you purchase the MemberDash plugin, you will receive a zip file. You need to upload the zip file to install the plugin. Once you do so, you will see the new “MemberDash” option on your WordPress dashboard.
When you click on the option, you will see some other drop-down options:
- Memberships: This is where you manage your memberships and subscriptions
- Protection Rule: This option allows you to choose the content or pages you want to restrict from the general public. You can decide if it is a post, page, category, custom post type, or special page.
- All Members: This section shows you the complete list of all your members.
- Add Members: You can add new members or select one from your existing WordPress users.
- Coupons: This is where you add discounts and customize your discount coupons. You can select who can see and use the coupons and the start and expiry dates.
- Add-ons: You can enable any add-on you desire to use with your MemberDash plugin. For example, additional invoice settings, BuddyPress integrations, additional automated messages, and Google Recaptcha.
- Reporting: This shows you a comprehensive report on your membership performance.
- Settings: The "Settings" option allows you to adjust MemberDash options and tweak them to your preference. For example, in the payment settings, you can choose the currency you want, change the billing address, and set up your payment gateways.
LearnDash MemberDash Plugin Pricing
MemberDash has three pricing plans based on the number of sites you use. Each of these plans only offers an annual subscription plan.
Hence, all purchases are for a yearly subscription:
- One site — $119.40
- Ten sites — $239.40
- Unlimited sites — $479.40
As of the time of writing this article review, MemberDash was offering a Black Friday Sale. So, after the discount sale, the prices will change. I will be sure to update the prices.
Unfortunately, MemberDash does not offer a free trial, nor does it have a free version. Also, MemberDash does not have a money-back guarantee.
Alternatives to MemberDash Plugin
Although MemberDash is an excellent membership plugin, there are other strong alternatives that compete against it.
Overall best and most downloaded WordPress membership premium plugin
MemberPress is undoubtedly one of WordPress's most downloaded and trusted membership plugins. It is highly popular due to its ease of use and numerous features.
MemberPress is beginner-friendly as you can easily set up a membership site even if you are just a beginner. You can also create unlimited membership levels, as many as you want.
Even better, MemberPress supports third-party integrations as it integrates with MailChimp, Amazon Web Services, BuddyPress, GetResponse, etc.
However, just like MemberDash, it has limited payment gateways. This prevents users in countries that don't support these gateways from using the plugin.
2. Thrive Apprentice
Best alternative for building online courses and membership sites
Thrive Apprentice is a WordPress online course builder and membership plugin. It has a membership management dashboard that lets you control access to courses and membership products.
Similar to MemberDash, you can choose who to share your premium content with.
While MemberDash will require you to integrate with LearnDash to create, sell, and manage online courses, Thrive Apprentice already has the feature. No need for integration.
However, MemberDash has the upper hand when it comes to payment. Thrive Apprentice does not have any in-built payment gateway. To accept payment, you'll have to use a checkout plugin.
3. Wishlist Member
One of the best user-friendly membership plugins with solid content restriction features
Wishlist Member is a membership plugin with robust content restriction features. It has a "Protect" button that lets you easily restrict a content or pages to members only.
You can also share a few snippets of the restricted content with non-members.
Wishlist Member offers a 14-day 100% no-risk money-back guarantee. MemberDash offers something similar, a 15-day money-back guarantee.
Also, Wishlist Member supports up to 20 payment gateways, unlike other membership plugins, including MemberDash.
4. Easy Digital Downloads
More preferred as an e-commerce plugin for WordPress
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is more of an e-commerce plugin than a membership one. However, it does offer membership features.
The plugin helps you sell different types of digital products on WordPress. For example, you can sell online video courses, ebooks, audio files, PDFs, etc.
It has an edge over MemberDash in terms of payment gateways. EDD supports different payment gateways, from credit card payments like Stripe to Apple Pay, Paypal, Google Pay, and Braintree.
But on another aspect, MemberDash beats Easy Digital Downloads with excellent membership features. EDD has minimal membership features and doesn't give users complete control over restricted content.
In my opinion, I will not recommend EDD as a membership plug because of its significant limitations.
Is MemberDash plugin free?
No. It is not free. MemberDash starts at $119.4 for one site.
Does the MemberDash plugin take any cut of my revenue?
MemberDash does not take any portion of your earnings, allowing you to retain 100% of your revenue. However, you will need to cover any third-party processing fees through your chosen payment gateway, such as Stripe or PayPal.
Can I use MemberDash without needing LearnDash?
Absolutely you can! You have the flexibility to utilize MemberDash as a standalone plugin for your membership site. Alternatively, it seamlessly integrates with LearnDash, offering the option to establish a members-only community with course access.
Does MemberDash offer 3rd-party integrations?
Yes, it does. MemberDash integrates with some WordPress plugins like WP Recaptcha, LearnDash, and MailPoet.
Does MemberDash Offer a Refund Policy?
Yes. MemberDash does offer a refund policy. It has a 15-day money-back guarantee.
MemberDash Review: My Final Thoughts
There you have it! A detailed review of MemberDash and what it contains. I see MemberDash as a promising membership plugin.
The limited payment gateways and lack of a free trial are limitations that can be resolved with more updates.
In my test with the plugin, I wasn't disappointed at all. In fact, I loved the fact you can have complete control over your premium content.
However, I do feel MemberDash is quite expensive, especially for small websites and beginners new to building membership sites.
But it is easy to use and reliable. LearnDash users will find this plugin very useful, especially if they want to grow their members-only community.
I hope you found this review helpful. Feel free to message me or drop your questions in the comments if you have any questions or inputs.
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