Should you use Podia or MemberDash plugin for your membership sites?
Although Podia helps you build online courses and give premium content to your members, it focuses on helping you handle your digital business. On the other hand, MemberDash is a WordPress membership plugin that focuses on helping you grow your membership site.
Both software are excellent additions to your membership website and have quite similar features, but they are very different. For starters, one is a software-as-a-service (SaaS), and the other is a popular WordPress Plugin.
In this article, I will discuss MemberDash Plugin vs Podia, exploring their similarities and differences, as well as their pros and cons. Finally, you can decide which is best for your membership site.
Table Comparison of MemberDash Plugin and Podia: Similarities & Differences
|WordPress course creators and influencers who want to create an exclusive membership site
|Online course creators, entrepreneurs, and influencers who want to sell their digital products
|Yes, very tight
|Yes, but not tight
|WordPress Membership Plugin
|All-in-one ecommerce solution for online course creators
MemberDash Plugin Vs Podia: What Are They?
Before we start comparing these software, let’s take a look at what they are.
Podia is a SaaS that also doubles as a learning management system. It is an all-in-one platform that allows digital creators to build their websites, sell digital products like online courses and membership subscriptions, and grow their online communities.
Podia was founded by Spencer Fry in 2014. Since then, Podia has become one of the best online creator-friendly tools.
So, you can say Podia was created specifically for online course creators and entrepreneurs. It is most popular for its many features — from built-in email marketing to live-chat support and membership features to many more.
Although Podia has many features, it has some downsides.
For example, most of its features are not advanced. It seems like Podia tries to be everywhere and do everything at once.
In my opinion, Podia is a simple course builder and is suitable for online course creators or entrepreneurs who want a tool that also provides marketing services. With the platform, users can build, market, and sell their courses while growing their niche communities and positioning themselves as experts.
Pros and Cons of Podia
- It has a wide range of helpful features for online course creators to host and sell their courses
- It is beginner-friendly as the tools are very easy to use
- Podia supports different digital products — from ebooks to audio and video files, PDFs, etc.
- It has a free plan that allows you to freely experience the features it offers for as long as you can. However, the free plan offers limited features compared to the paid plans.
- Podia supports membership access and allows users to create as many membership plans as they desire
- Podia lacks advanced features. The tools/features are so basic that they can be unsuitable for advanced businesses.
- Unfortunately, Podia doesn’t offer enough customization options for all its features, so users may not have complete control over their store or products.
LearnDash MemberDash Plugin
MemberDash is also known as a content restriction plugin. It gives you complete control over your exclusive content and digital products.
I recently published a MemberDash plugin review where I extensively discussed its features and purpose.
I believe this new plugin from LearnDash is a smart one. LearnDash is a popular learning management system (LMS) that helps course creators create and sell courses. However, it couldn’t help users restrict content from non-members or help creators grow their online communities.
Hence, MemberDash was created, although it can function on its own. You don’t need to have LearnDash to use MemberDash.
However, like other plugins, MemberDash has shortcomings, which I will discuss now.
Pros and Cons of MemberDash Plugin
- MemberDash Plugin’s features are very easy to use and specific. They are designed to help you grow your membership site.
- It is very flexible, meaning that you can create different subscription options for your members to choose from
- MemberDash is known as a content restriction plugin. It gives you complete control over your exclusive content or digital products.
- It is suitable for all WordPress themes.
- It has an in-built performance report feature that gives insights into your membership performances.
- MemberDash offers a 15-day money-back guarantee for first-time users
- Although MemberDash is flexible for members, it is not flexible for users as it is restricted to only WordPress sites. It is a WordPress plugin that doesn’t work with website builders.
- It doesn’t offer a monthly plan, which is inconvenient for first-time users or smaller businesses.
- MemberDash only uses PayPal and Stripe as payment gateways.
MemberDash Plugin Vs Podia: Features Comparison
1. Online Courses
Podia is excellent for building, hosting, and selling online courses. In fact, it is primarily an online course creation platform. With Podia, you can create unlimited courses, like videos, MP3s, ebooks, PDFs, modules, etc.
Additionally, you can add multimedia files like images, videos, infographics, charts, etc to your courses. Podia’s features make it easy for course creators to import source materials for their courses.
Even so, Podia doubles as a website builder and sends email messages to your audience. Podia has
On the other hand, MemberDash is a membership plugin for WordPress. Although it doesn’t have course creation or marketing features, MemberDash can integrate with LearnDash.
With LearnDash, you can create online courses and sell them. You can also customize your courses. However, MemberDash lets you monetize your content.
Here is why: Podia doesn’t need third-party plugins for online course creation. You can create and market your unlimited courses all in one platform.
However, MemberDash is not a course creation builder, so it requires you to work with a third-party course creation plugin, WordPress, like LearnDash. This can be quite complicated for first-time users and may require users to switch between plugins.
2. Membership and Community
One of the best ways to grow as an online course creator and an expert in your niche is to have a strong community or subscribers. Fortunately, both MemberDash by LearnDash and Podia offer such features. But let’s see which is stronger.
You can launch your membership site and build your community with Podia. Your members can easily access your community and content with one login.
Also, you can build your community by encouraging your audience to engage with your content and even create their posts too. Your audience members can engage in various community discussions while you pin the comments with the best responses.
But the best part about this is that you can control your members’ access to information or content. For example, you can restrict some paid courses or content (like behind-the-scenes content) to paid subscribers. It is an excellent way for content creators to earn extra income from recurring subscriptions.
Creators can create different membership plans or levels and choose which levels can access which content.
However, MemberDash by LearnDash has strong features when it comes to membership. It has very flexible membership; hence, members can choose between different subscription types or levels.
The plugin ensures your gated content is securely kept private from unauthorized access.
As a course creator, you can restrict content on a page or post for a specific level or tier of membership. Even better, MemberDash gives you a complete list of all your members and their subscription levels.
With the list, you can create different communities based on the membership levels. For example, you may want to create a community for Gold members, another community for Silver members, and the list goes on.
This helps you control which content to show which community. You can restrict a specific post or page, a post category, or special posts.
Winner: MemberDash by LearnDash
Here is why: MemeberDash’s features specifically target growing your membership subscriptions and restricting exclusive content. It gives you complete control of what your audience can see.
MemberDash also supports content dripping, where you can show a snippet of your exclusive content to non-members so they can subscribe to see more.
Podia integrates with several tools and apps. For example, Podia integrates with Zapier. Also, the ecommerce solution integrates with email service providers like MailChimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, etc.
In payment, it integrates with Stripe and PayPal. Hosting platforms are not left behind as Podia integrates with Zoom and YouTube Live, so course creators can host webinars and other free sessions.
Well, for MemberDash by LearnDash, the plugin is relatively new, so its integrations are limited. However, it is similar to Podia, integrating only PayPal and Stripe.
Furthermore, as a WordPress plugin, MemberDash integrates with other WordPress plugins like LearnDash, MailPoet, WP Recaptcha, and WPML. It also integrates with BuddyPress.
Here is why: Both Podia and MemberDash offer relevant integrations. Although they offer different integrations, they are relevant based on the users’ needs and the platforms’ purpose.
As Podia is an all-in-one e-commerce solution for content creators, its integrations are targeted towards marketing and social apps. MemberDash integrates with other plugins that make building your membership site a better experience.
Regarding support, Podia has various means of providing support to the users. You can either contact them directly through email or the help center. Another option is to hire a pro to get answers to specific questions or join their creator community to learn from other creators.
Unfortunately, the free plan has no chat support for users who want swift answers. To access chat support, you need to have a paid plan and log in to your account.
MemberDash is equally supportive. You can connect with certified experts, join the Facebook community, and check their documentation for answers.
However, MemberDash doesn’t also offer a chat support option. This means you may not be able to quickly talk with an agent. Connecting with a certified expert is the closest you can get to an agent.
Here is why: Even though Podia doesn’t offer chat support on its free plan, at least it has the option. Users can access it when they get a paid plan. Well, the case is different for MemberDash, which doesn’t offer the option at all.
This feature is great because you can run a one-on-one coaching session with clients or host a larger group. The coaching feature is perfect for selling your courses and getting clients to subscribe for more exclusive content.
Clients can pay you through the platform. They can pay with different payment processors like Google Pay, PayPal, SEPA Debit, iDEA, Apple Pay, etc.
As I hinted earlier, Podia tries to do everything at once, so it’s not surprising.
MemberDash is more specific and doesn’t offer coaching features. Instead, you can integrate with LearnDash to access coaching features while still on your site.
Here is why: I believe the reason is obvious already.
6. Digital Downloads
Podia is a platform to sell your ebooks, digital prints, images, recipe collections, videos, etc. You can add these digital downloads to your site or landing page. Fortunately, Podia supports various file types, so it wouldn’t be difficult for your audience to download them.
You can build your membership site and sell your digital products with MemberDash. It doesn’t offer marketing features yet, but it lets you give your members access to your content.
Here is why: Because Podia supports almost all file types, it is easier for your audience to access and download digital products.
Podia allows digital and course creators to create engaging coupons. You can customize your digital coupons with the start and expiry dates.
Most digital creators would prefer to specify the product limitations, which is actually recommended. In Podia, coupons are best used when selling online courses.
For MemberDash, you don’t just create customized coupons, you also manage them. MemberDash lets you customize your coupons and invoices. For example, you can name your coupons and specify the discount you would like to give.
Since MemberDash is a membership plugin, you can specify which membership can use the coupon. Then, select the number of times the coupon can be used.
Winner: MemberDash by LearnDash
Here is why: MemberDash offers more options for customizing and creating engaging coupons to attract more members.
What is the point of having a membership site or community if you cannot track its performance? Podia doesn’t provide deep insights on course performances or subscriptions. In fact, it is very limited when it comes to reporting.
Podia relies on third-party tools like Google Analytics, which may be inaccurate.
On the other hand, MemberDash monitors and tracks all your memberships from one dashboard. Then, it provides you with a detailed report, giving you insights into your memberships’ performances.
The reporting feature is in-built. Therefore, there is no need to integrate with third-party tools. You can also monitor your revenue numbers and make informed decisions with the reports.
Winner: MemberDash by LearnDash
Here is why: MemberDash gives clear and real-time reports on memberships from one dashboard. Users can easily access these reports without waiting for third-party feedback. They can also track their revenue from the reporting feature.
MemberDash Plugin Vs Podia: Pricing Comparison
MemberDash and Podia have very different pricing plans.
Firstly, Podia offers a free plan to access very limited features. On the other hand, MemberDash doesn’t offer a free account or a free trial. It just has three paid pricing plans based on the number of sites you want to subscribe to.
Also, Podia offers both monthly and yearly subscription models. Unfortunately, MemberDash only offers a yearly subscription, which can be inconvenient for users who just want to try the plugin. An entire year can be too big a commitment to make.
However, MemberDash compensates for this shortcoming by offering a 15-day money-back guarantee. So, if you are unsatisfied with the plugin within 15 days of your original purchase, you can request a full refund.
Now, it’s time for the plans. Podia offers three plans. 2 are paid, and one is free:
- The Free Plan: $0
- The Mover Plan: $33/mo
- The Shaker Plan: $75/mo
MemberDash pricing is divided into 3 categories. However, regardless all pricing categories offer the same features:
- One site: $119.40/year
- Ten sites: $239.40/year
- Unlimited sites: 479.40/year
If you look closely, MemberDash’s pricing is more affordable, especially since users can access all features. Podia is also worth its price too. When you consider all the features the all-in-one platform offers, it’s a good steal.
Best Alternatives to Podia And MemberDash Plugin
Although Podia and MemberDash are excellent tools for your digital course business, other tools compete against them.
These tools have more features or less than Podia or MemberDash. Among all the tools, only a few prominent ones stand out. Some of them are:
Thinkific supports course creation but not as an e-commerce solution. It doesn’t strongly support course sales like Podia does. However, the features make it easier for creators to build their courses.
For example, Thinknific uses a drag-and-drop course builder to help users build their site within minutes. It also has tools for helping you import and upload course materials like PDFs, audio, texts, and videos.
Thinknific has stronger features than Podia when it comes to course creation. However, in terms of membership, it doesn’t. Users can create membership sites, but it lacks the key features MemberDash has for building a stronger membership site.
MemberPress is the perfect alternative to MemberDash as it is also one of WordPress’s most popular membership plugins. Coincidentally, it also integrates with LearnDash. Both MemberPress and MemberDash lack flexibility as they only work on WordPress.
Unlike Podia, it is easy to migrate information from MemberPress and MemberDash. MemberDash can compete with MemberPress, but not so much because MemberPress has stronger features. However, in subsequent years, more upgrades will be made to MemberDash.
MemberPress also supports digital downloads and online course sales, making it a top Podia alternative.
Teachable is a popular online course hosting platform. It helps users create educative websites and host online lectures.
Like Podia, it integrates with e-commerce tools, allowing users to sell their courses and lectures. Users can manage student data and send messages at once.
Teachable is similar to MemberDash and Podia in terms of creating exciting coupons and promotions. Users can also customize their invoices.
Compared to Podia, Teachable has more helpful features like supporting multi-users (in case of course collaborations), employee training, etc. It is also great for corporate businesses, which Podia is not due to its basic features.
However, compared to MemberDash, its membership features are very basic.
MemberDash Plugin Vs Podia: Final Verdict
Both the MemberDash plugin and Podia are generally different platforms. The one you choose depends mainly on your needs. This comparison article shows that Podia is more of an e-commerce solution for course creators. It offers various tools they may need to sell more courses, grow their community, and earn more money.
However, MemberDash, being a website plugin, is more about helping WordPress users build stronger membership sites and monetize their content. MemberDash allows users to share exclusive content with only authorized members.
If you need a course creator platform where you can attract a larger audience, market your content, and earn extra income as an influencer or course creator, choose Podia. It allows you to sell your digital products to your audience and receive payment easily.
On the other hand, if you grow your membership subscriptions while having full control of your content and memberships, choose MemberDash. You can also monetize your content and get real-time insights into your membership performance.
With LearnDash integration, you can also offer your audience valuable online courses and increase your income. However, do remember that MemberDash only works on WordPress websites.