Paid Memberships Pro vs. s2Member

Paid Memberships Pro vs. s2Member

Are you looking for an enhanced membership platform for your WordPress website?

In this post we give you a complete comparison of Paid Memberships Pro and s2Member, including: important membership features and protection settings, possible integrations and more.

You can use the quick navigation links below to get to the information that is more important for you:

Membership Features

These are some of the core membership features available in Paid Memberships Pro:

  • Unlimited Membership Levels – Ability to create unlimited number of membership levels, both free and paid memberships
  • Membership Access – Define the membership access settings in every post, page and category
  • Manage Your Members – edit membership levels, change their expiration date etc.
  • Expiration Dates – Set an expiration date for membership levels
  • Login Redirection – Set the login redirection page
  • Members Export – Export members to a CSV file or view them in one table

These are the core membership features available in s2Member:

  •  Unlimited Membership Levels – With the free version you can set up to 4 paid membership levels and with the Pro version you can set unlimited membership levels. Free memberships are unlimited.
  • Subscription Length – You can set the expiration date to your membership levels
  • Login Redirection (Pro Version) – You can set the login welcome page, this is the page the new member is redirected to after logging in.
  • Members Export (Pro Version)

Protection Settings

The protection settings allow you to implement different protection methods to your membership site, and it is important to choose a membership plugin that offers a large variety of protection settings.

These are the main protection settings available with Paid Memberships Pro:

Total Content Protection – You can set any post or page to be hidden from non-members completely, so only logged-in users will be able to view it.  This can be easily accomplished by entering the desired post / page and checking the membership level in the meta box “Require Membership” as seen in the below screenshot:

Paid Memberships Pro Total Content Protection

Paid Memberships Pro Total Content Protection


Teaser Content – You can display “teaser” content to non-members by using WordPress “Read More” tag, so all content above the tag (the excerpt) will be visible to non-members, but all the content after the tag will be visible to members only (the single post).

Content Dripping – You can drip feed your content to members over the course of their membership by serializing the content to be delivered every X number of days after their registration to the membership site. The dripping is done using a free plugin “Series” that can be downloaded in this link.

Once installed and activated, you will immediately be able to add new series as seen in the below screenshot:

Paid Memberships Pro Content Dripping

Paid Memberships Pro Content Dripping

Pay-per-Post – You can limit posts per user by adding this code to your PMP membership site.

These are the main protection settings available with s2Member:

  • Advanced Protection Options – You can protect everything in WordPress, from: posts, pages, custom post types, tags, categories, URLs, specific post / page access (pay-per-post) and more…
  • Teaser Content – You can display teaser content to non-members by inserting the “More” tag to the desired post or page so that the content above the tag will be visible to non-members, but the content after it will be protected and can be accessed by members only. You can get more information on how to accomplish content dripping with s2Member in this link
  • Content Dripping (Pro version) – You can pre-schedule content to be released every X number of days. You can also use a special shortcode that displays each member the content that was released to him according to his registration date.

Payment Models

These are the main payment models available with Paid Membership Pro:

  • Custom Trial Periods – Free trials, custom-length trials, “Introductory” pricing.
  • Upsells and One-Time Offers
  • Recurring Subscriptions – Daily, weekly, monthly and annually.
Paid Memberships Pro Subscriptions

Paid Memberships Pro Subscriptions

These are the main payment methods available with s2Member:

With the Pro version of s2Member you can offer trial periods, upsells, one-time offers and more.

You can also create discount codes when using PayPal, Stripe and payment gateways. You can offer flat-rate coupons, percentage-based discounts and more. Plus, you can track the use of the coupon codes and the total number of times that each coupon is used.

Shopping Carts Integration

Paid Memberships Pro integrates with some of the most popular shopping carts. The integration can be easily setup from the Payment Settings tab inside PMP.

Paid Memberships Pro Payment Gateways

Paid Memberships Pro Payment Gateways

These are the main shopping carts that integrate seamlessly with Paid Memberships Pro:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal Standard
  • PayPal Express and PayPal Pro
  • Braintree
  • CyberSource
  • 2CheckOut

These are the main shopping carts that integrate seamlessly with s2Member:

  • PayPal Standard (Free version)
  • PayPal Pro (Pro version)
  • Stripe (Pro version)
  • (Pro version)
  • Clickbank (Pro version)

Other Integrations

When choosing a membership plugin it is also important to check other integrations, so if, at any point, you would want to enhance your membership site with more options, you would know what are your options (and also take into consideration that new integrations may be added in the future).

Here is a partial list of the 3rd-party tools and software that integrate with Paid Memberships Pro:

  • WooCommerce
  • InfusionSoft
  • MailChimp
  • Post Affiliate Pro
  • Aweber
  • GetResponse

You can find more integrations in this link

Here is a partial list of the 3rd-party tools and software that integrate with s2Member:

  •  iDevAffiliate
  • ShareASale affiliate management platform
  • bbPress
  • BuddyPress
  • WPCourseware

General Information

Both Paid Memberships Pro (PMP) and s2Member offer a free version:

Paid Memberships Pro free version gives you all the features of the plugin and add-ons, while the Pro version ($97) also gives you access to support, premium content, videos and members only content.

s2Member free version gives you access to some of the features, however, if you want full access to all the features you will need to purchase the Pro version (single – $89 / unlimited – $189).

Which Plugin is Better?

When it comes  to the “simple” question which plugin is better our answer would be that it really depends on the features and integrations you need and how you see your membership site develop.

What we can say is that when comparing the interface of both PMP and s2Member, PMP has a more user-friendly interface, it’s easier to understand where to look for the features and integrations and it does not look intimidating as s2Member when you first start to work with it.

Since both plugins have a free version, we would recommend downloading both of them and “play” with each for a while. Also, we highly recommend checking other popular membership platforms. In the Membership Plugins category you will find  information on 10 of the most popular membership plugins and your will have the ability to create dynamic comparison tables of the plugins you are interested in.

Useful Resources


1 reply
  1. Eazy
    Eazy says:

    IMO s2Member is a better membership plugin as it can protect and hide custom post types and tags which are not physically seen but can be browsed to from the URL. I guess it all depends on the features one need.


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