DIfference between Protected Content and Membership

Hi there. What's the difference between the Membership and Protected Content plugins? They seem to do the same thing. Does Protected Content play nicely with Buddypress? Does It allow users to define their own subscriptions? (i.e. bronze: any one level; silver: any three levels; gold: all levels)


  • Ash

    Hello @bennyp

    Welcome to WPMU community!

    I hope you are well today and thanks for asking the question.

    Both plugins are designed to do pretty much the same thing, but they both do it differently. Protected content is very new and as such new features will be added in future & it is very actively developed.

    PC is a lot more easier to setup & configure, whereas membership can be very complicated. Either way tho, if you are familiar with membership, then use membership plugin, but it's not recommended to use both at the same time as conflicts can occur if you try to protect the same content as such.

    Protected Content Pros
    1. Easy to use and set up. (Without reading the manual, I was able to set up Protected Content on my site in a fraction of the time it took me to set up Membership.)
    2. Better control over different types of content, like custom post types, BuddyPress, bbPress, and more.
    3. Very intuitive UI, leading to a smoother user experience on both the admin and member sides.
    4. No more remote pings, which are kind of a nightmare, to integrate with MailChimp

    Protect Content Cons
    1. Not quite as robust as Membership, specifically when it comes to negative v. positive rules.
    2. Harder to manage the visitor experience.
    3. Currently, it's not possible to import your Membership subscriptions directly to Protected Content, so that would involve some additional set up for your already enrolled members with active subscriptions.

    Membership Pros
    1. Can do more complex content protection, when a simple option isn't robust enough.
    2. Easier to control the experience for non-logged in users, for example with Membership you can set things so only visitors can see them.

    Membership Cons
    1. Takes a while to fully understand how it works.
    2. Set up can be complex and time consuming.
    3. It's possible to lock yourself out of your site.
    4. While we're still planning on supporting Membership for at least another year, there's a chance it may be retired and replaced with Protected Content after that year.

    Both plugins will take ongoing work as your site content changes, but here Protected Content wins for being simpler to manage than Membership.

    We're still actively developing Membership alongside Protected Content, so there will still be features added and bugs fixed for the foreseeable future.

    Hope it helps :slight_smile: Please feel free to ask more question if you have any.


  • uxwebtech

    Thanks for the very speedy and thorough reply, I really appreciate the heads up. Please do me a favour: recommend to marketing that a link to PC be placed on the membership pages "Check out our new plugin PC!" so that people know that membership is older and PC is the new hotness.

    How are features added to the roadmap and decided on for work? Would the devs take a a feature bounty? I have a project that needs a certain flexibility in subscription levels that I'd like to get done ASAP.

  • Vinod Dalvi

    Hi @bennyp,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I will forward your suggestion to marketing team.

    How are features added to the roadmap and decided on for work? Would the devs take a a feature bounty? I have a project that needs a certain flexibility in subscription levels that I'd like to get done ASAP.

    When somebody requests the feature then we move the thread over to the features & feedback section. This way it can be considered for future development depending on the number of feature requests that we get for it, and we can also see what other community members think about the feature request.

    If you want any feature request to be developed quickly then you can consider hiring a developer from https://premium.wpmudev.org/wpmu-custom-development/ to develop it for you.

    Vinod Dalvi

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