Paid Membership Prices Increasing Soon, Lock in at a Discounted Rate Now

When Paid Memberships Pro launched in June 2010, our single goal was to become “the community solution” for membership sites on WordPress. We’ve achieved that goal. Today, developers and site owners setting up a membership site on WordPress consider Paid Memberships Pro the best option.

I’m very proud of the value we have delivered, not only for our PMPro Members, but for all users of our 100% free, GPLv2 plugin.

Continue reading for information about the upcoming price increase and a special discount offer we’re extending to new members through September 9. Rest assured that this pricing change will NOT affect our existing members in any way.


A little backstory.

In July 2015, we introduced our PMPro Plus plan and began charging for automatic updates to our premium Add Ons. Even though our Add Ons are all open source on GitHub, thousands of customers have chosen to purchase our support plans. Revenue from these customers has funded the continued maintenance and development of Paid Memberships Pro and our growing library of 70+ Add Ons.

In the past year, we have expanded our support and development efforts with 2 full time-team members, bringing us to 4 part-time and 4 full-time team members in all.


We’d like to do more.

Our plan is to use the added revenue from new pricing to offer a better support experience for our members. It is our goal to speed up response times, provide a deeper level of development help, and offer communication by live chat or phone.

To reach these goals, we have decided to change our pricing for new customers.

  1. We no longer offer PMPro Core (support only) membership for new customers.
  2. Plus membership is now $297/yr. (renews annually at $197).
  3. We will begin limiting license keys for Plus membership to just 5 sites. Note that our license key tracking will be done in a very liberal way to account for multisite networks, development, staging, testing, and temporary sites. Existing Plus members will not be restricted by these limits, but may be contacted if their key is active on a large number of sites to ensure that their key hasn’t been shared publicly.
  4. We are introducing Unlimited membership at $997/yr. (renews annually at $697) for customers who need a license for more than 5 sites.

This pricing change will NOT affect our existing members in any way.

Current Plus members will be grandfathered in to the price they originally paid for Plus membership. If you have been paying $47/yr., you will continue to pay $47/yr. If you have been paying $147/yr., you will continue to pay $147/yr.

We will continue to support existing PMPro Core members until the end of their current payment periods, after which they will be able to upgrade to the PMPro Plus level at a discount.


Last chance to purchase Plus membership at $147

For the next week, our Plus membership will be on sale for $147 and Unlimited membership will be on sale for $497. We rarely run discounts. Our prices will probably never be this low ever again.

The sale has officially ended. Current membership pricing is available here.

As a reminder, a Plus and Unlimited membership offers the following benefits:

  • 60+ premium Add Ons from our website with automatic updates through the WordPress dashboard.
  • Paid support forums, staffed by experienced WordPress/PMPro developers.
  • 100+ advanced code recipes for customization of your membership site.
  • Webinars, videos, and developer chats.
  • The knowledge that you are supporting our team to maintain and develop Paid Memberships Pro.
  • 100%, no questions asked, 30-day money-back guarantee.

How Our Sales Increased 18% by Adding an Auto-renewal Option at Checkout

A couple years ago we started allowing our customers to optionally setup automatic renewal at membership checkout.

This post covers how many customers choose the auto-renew option, and how many of those customers actually renew. I’ll also provide some stats on users who manually renew. These kinds of stats should make their way into the Memberships > Reports dashboard sometime soon.


Renewal Stats from the PMPro Plus Launch

The data below tracks the renewal rate for members who initially purchased PMPro Plus membership between July 28th and August 9th, 2015. During this time, customers were incentivized to choose the auto-renewal option since it locked them into the lower $47/year price instead of the coming $197/year price. Let’s compare the renewal rate for customers who selected automatic renewal vs. those who had to manually renew.
Sales Data for Initial Purchase
Total Sales: 695
Revenue: $26,350
Yes Auto-Renew: 515 (74%)
No Auto-Renew: 180 (26%)


Automatic Renewal Sales

2015 – Initial
515 (74%)
2016
288 (56%)
2017
229 (44%)

Of the 515 users who checked the auto-renew option, 288 (56%) of them had a paid order 1 year later in 2016, and 229 (44%) of them had a paid order 2 years later in 2017.


Manual Renewal Sales

2015 – Initial
180 (26%)
2016
5 (2.8%)
2017
3 (1.6%)

Of the 180 users who didn’t check the auto-renew option, only 5 (2.8%) had a paid order 1 year later in 2016, and 3 (1.6%)  of them had a paid order 2 years later in 2017.


Renewal Data Recap

Perhaps unsurprisingly, users who checked the auto-renew option were much more likely to actually renew. In this case, they were 20 times more likely to renew. Total sales for the same 13 days in 2016 was $25,759. $13,771 of that (or 53.5%) were the 293 renewals at $47.

The above stats are for a promotional period when there was a lot of incentive to check that option since it meant locking into a lower price. Let’s look at similar stats for a more regular period when membership was for the full $197 and there was no incentive for checking auto-renewal since even users who manually renew get the same $50 discount (although the wording of our checkout page might still encourage it a bit).


Renewal Stats for PMPro Plus from Winter 2016

The below stats are for our PMPro Plus members only who made their initial purchase between January 1st and March 31st, 2016. These members paid the full price for membership and were shown a box to optionally set up automatic renewal for $147/year.

In this data set, the stats have almost reversed, with twice as many customers leaving the auto-renewal option unchecked.

Sales Data for Initial Purchase
Total Sales: 489
Revenue: $92,599
Yes Auto-Renew: 150 (31%)
No Auto-Renew: 339 (69%)


Automatic Renewal Sales

Initial
150
2017
110
Renewal Rate
73.3%

Manual Renewal Sales

Initial
339
2017
50
Renewal Rate
14.7%

Of the 150 users who checked the auto-renewal option, 110 (73.3%) of them had a paid order 1 year later. Of the 339 users who didn’t check the auto-renew option, only 50(14.8%) of them had a paid order 1 year later.

Total sales for the same 3 months in 2017 were $126,770. $23,520 of that (or 18.6%) were the 160 renewals at $147.


Conclusion

There are many factors that go into why a user would renew their membership that are hard to suss out of this data. Besides changing our pricing, running promotions, and updating the formatting and language of our checkout page; we were also releasing product updates and running content marketing campaigns throughout the year. It’s hard to tell if these other factors played a bigger or smaller role in renewal numbers. We also can’t tell how many of the users who checked the auto-renewal option would have been more likely to manually renew.

Still…the data is pretty clear in that users who checked the auto-renewal option were 5 to 20 times more likely to actually renew there memberships one year later. When you account for failed payments, cancellations, and eventual refunds, more than 50% of users with auto-renewal setup resulted in a renewal payment one year later.

 

If you are using Paid Memberships Pro, you can add a renewal option to your checkout using our Auto-Renewal Checkbox Add On.

View the Add On

Further Testing

Some things to test further would be actual A/B tests within the same date range where some customers were shown the auto-renewal option and others were not. We could A/B test offering a renewal discount or not. It also might make sense from a revenue stand point to require automatic renewals for all customers or at least default to having that option checked. If auto-renewal was required, you would likely have more refunds for users who don’t want it. (We’ve seen a lot of cases where users cancel immediately after checkout to clear up the subscription.) Still, you probably would get more revenue to make up for those refunds.

 

Memberlite Update 3.0.3

Version 3.0.3 of Memberlite theme is out with a handful of bug fixes and enhancements. We also fixed a bug with our update server that was causing issues with automatic updates. So if you were having trouble updating before, it may work now.


About the Update

Memberlite is still free to download and update, and we still plan to move the plugin into the WordPress.org repository. Many of the bug fixes in this update were part of the theme repository review process, however there is still work to be done before we can do that. The theme repository has strict rules on what kinds of functionality can be included in themes and what kinds of functionality are “plugin territory”.

The custom sidebars and post banner functions of Memberlite need to be moved into their own plugins. The bad news is that this will take some time and force Memberlite users at some point to install and activate those plugins, although we’ll do our best to make installing those plugins as easy as possible. The good news is that users of other themes will be able to take advantage of that functionality.


If you are running an edited version of Memberlite or Memberlite with a child theme, please update the theme from the updates page of your WordPress dashboard. You can also get the latest version of Memberlite here.


The full list of updates is below.

  • SECURITY: Escaping login/logout URLs, account/profile URLs, landing page level URL, home_url.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed float for Full Width and Narrow Width page templates when default pages layout set to left sidebar.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Wrapping welcome text in header and a few other strings for translation.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Added comment support to pages.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Fixed abbr and heading tag use on PMPro checkout page.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Fixed text link color issue for cancel button.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Setting the content width on after_setup_theme hook now.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: No longer enqueuing jQuery directly. It is set as a dependency for our JS files.
  • NOTE: Added Copyright section to the readme.
  • NOTE: The get_the_content_before_more and get_the_content_after_more functions are now prefixed, memberlite_get_the_content_before_more() and memberlite_get_the_content_after_more().
  • NOTE/ENHACEMENT: Now only showing the post meta generated by memberlite_get_entry_meta() on the post CPT.
  • NOTE/ENHANCEMENT: Now only showing the footer widgets primary background stripe if there are active widgets in the area.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added CSS for JetPack contact form submission/results blockquote.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Improved breadcrumbs for custom post type archives and custom taxonomies
  • ENHANCEMENT: Improved page title for custom post type archives and custom taxonomies
  • ENHANCEMENT: Updated bbPress single forum topic title output.

Add On Updates for July 2017

This post recaps the Paid Memberships Pro Add Ons recently updated. PMPro Plus members can upgrade through their WordPress dashboard under Dashboard > Updates or Memberships > Add Ons. Be sure to backup your site before performing updates.


Approval Process for Membership Add On

The Approvals Add On grants membership site administrators the ability to approve or deny members.

v1.0.2 of the Add On now shows a count of pending approvals in the menu row. This provides admins with an alert that there are members pending approval. Additionally, if you set a level to require another level’s approval, that level will automatically be set to require approval as well.

View the Add On


bbPress Add On

Using this Add On, you can create members-only forum in bbPress. The recent updates to this add on fixed fatal error when bbPress was not activated. We’ve also added a session variable when redirecting members away from protected forums. The referring page is now saved in $_SESSION['pmpro_bbp_redirected_from'] so that you can reference this in custom code.

View the Add On


Kissmetrics Add On

Integrates Kissmetrics with your WordPress site, allowing you to track meaningful data not only about users, but about how they are interacting with the Memberships sections of your website.

v.3.1 of the Kissmetrics integration adds support for localization as well as the filter pmprokm_is_trial to determine if the level is a trial or not (useful for deeper analysis of member interactions within the Kissmetrics reports).

View the Add On


Lock Membership Level

Adds the ability for the admin or membership manager to lock a user’s membership level or lock all members of a level for a specified term (for required installments).

Recent updates to this add on include:

  • BUG FIX: Incorrect text domain for translation
  • BUG FIX: Partially complete default values for level settings
  • BUG FIX: Locked members were able to unlock their profile through the Edit Profile page.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed other bugs with the settings on the edit membership level page. (Thanks, Ted Barnett)
  • SECURITY: Added sanitization of settings on the edit level and edit user/profile pages.

View the Add On


Membership Manager Role Add On

This Add On creates a new user role in your WordPress site. The role of “Membership Manager” allows them to manage your Paid Memberships Pro settings, without complete administrator access.

We’ve added support for the Approval Process for Membership Add On so that this role can process approvals. The role is also now loaded on admin_init instead of activation so capabilities are updated when the plugin updates.

View the Add On


Nav Menus

This Add On creates member navigation menus and swaps your theme’s menu areas or menus placed via widget based on a user’s Membership Level.

The Add On was recently updated to include a conditional menu state for a logged-in user with no membership level. You can now use this condition in both the Appearance > Menus > Menu Locations or via the Appearance > Widgets > Custom Menu widget.

View the Add On


Pay by Check Add On

This Add On provides a collection of customizations useful when allowing users to pay by check for Paid Memberships Pro levels.

It was recently updated to fix an issue where the PayPal button was still displaying when the “check” option was chosen. We’ve also enhanced the Add On by showing a better non-member-text notice when pending members try to access content. The new message will read:

Your payment is currently pending. You will gain access to this page once it is approved.

The message can be filtered using the gettext filter in WordPress.

View the Add On


Register Helper: Add Checkout and Profile Fields

Register Helper is a robust add on to collect additional fields at membership signup. Fields can be collected at membership checkout, on the user’s profile or for administrative view-only.

Recent updates to this add on include:

  • BUG FIX: Incorrect function definition (static vs non-static).
  • BUG FIX: Didn’t save RH fields from pmpro-add-member-admin
  • ENHANCEMENT: Updated Readme, including instructions.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added logic to only load CSS and JS on the checkout and profile pages on the frontend and profile and edit user pages in the dashboard.

View the Add On


Shipping Address on Membership Checkout

The Shipping Address Add On adds fields to the membership checkout page, confirmation page, confirmation emails, member’s list and edit user profile pages to capture a separate “Shipping Address” for members.

The plugin was recently updated to repair warnings related to the use of the deprecated get_usermeta function as well as issues around the display of fields when “same as billing” was selected. We’ve also added a new pmproship_required_shipping_fields filter for developers.

View the Add On


VAT Tax Add On

Our VAT Tax Add On calculates VAT tax at checkout based on the customer’s selected EU country of residence and allows customers with a VAT Number to avoid the tax. The entered VAT number is validated using the SOAP service provided through the European Commission.

We’ve recently added GeoIP support to this add on to automatically detect the user’s country. You must install and activate the GeoIP Detect plugin in order to take advantage of this integration. The current release now converts GB to UK when validating VAT numbers, since GB is the expected value for validation in the VAT service. The AJAX code has also been updated to avoid issues on sites with PHP warnings/etc.

View the Add On

There’s Now a Better Way to Browse our 75+ Add Ons

We’ve made it easier to browse our Add Ons with category filters and ‘ease of use’ ratings. Continue reading for a description of each category and details on how the ratings impact the ongoing development of our Add Ons library.


New Categorization = Easier Filtering

When we realized the number of our Free and Plus Add Ons (all included in our PMPro Plus-Level membership) had gotten so large, we knew something had to be done to improve the browsing experience. Users needed a way to sort through the growing number of extensions to find the right features to improve their membership site.

Add On Categories Include:


Plugins that help Administrators stay organized and better manage their PMPro-powered membership site.

Plugins to add features to the checkout experience, such as country/region-specific needs, capturing fields, member communications, payment gateways, security, or tax compliance.

Extend the capabilities of PMPro’s built-in member restrictions for your specific membership features, including unique content, advertisements, directories, media, events, online communities, and more.

These Add Ons allow you to integrate with third-party email marketing platforms, make customizations to default member communications, and work with other plugins for newsletters targeted by membership level.

These plugins add specialized features to your membership site, providing a more complete (and unique) members experience.

These official Paid Memberships Pro plugins are available to download for any membership level. Some are available in the WordPress repository and can be installed through Plugins –> Add New.

These plugins provide a bridge between your PMPro-powered membership site and popular third-party plugins or services, ranging from e-commerce, email marketing/CRM, social networks, affiliates, and more.

These Add Ons specifically handle how you Get Paid for your membership levels by modifying the price, terms, payment methods, taxes, and more.

All of these Add Ons are included in our PMPro Plus membership. Members can access download links on this site, or via the Memberships » Add Ons page of your WordPress site with a valid PMPro License Key.

The Add Ons below are some of the most widely used extensions available for Paid Memberships Pro.

Improve the member’s experience on your site through these User Add Ons, ranging from UI/UX, design, features, and more, all aimed at increasing value for your members.

Ease of Use Rating

Each Add On now has a rating for how easy (or difficult) we feel the plugin is to set up, plan for, and integrate into your membership site.

Not only will these ratings allow you to make more informed choices for your skills, they help us identify which Add Ons need to be improved. We are making an internal commitment to improve the ease of use for more Add Ons wherever possible, which means less coding for you and your developers.


Here’s a general description of what each rating means:

4: The full features of this Add On are immediately available after activation.

Example: Capture Name & Address for Free Levels or for Offsite Gateway


3: After activating this Add On, you will need to configure a few settings and options via the WordPress Dashboard.

Example: Email Templates Admin Editor


2: Configuring this Add On requires multiple settings and/or may require basic WordPress and PHP coding skills to set up.

Example: Developer’s Toolkit


1: An experienced WordPress developer will be able to help you install and use this add on.

Example: Member Network Sites


Now go browse some Add Ons

We hope you like this improvement to the Add Ons pages. We’d like to give a shout out to our team member, Travis, who helped with all of the design (including the custom icons for each Add On).



 

MailChimp Add On v2.1 Update Notes

We have just pushed out v2.1 of the MailChimp Integration Add On. This update fixes a lot of bugs, but one of those in particular would have stopped users from being subscribed to MailChimp lists after checkout or registration.

Please upgrade by visiting the Dashboard -> Updates area of your WordPress site or downloading the latest ZIP file directly here.


Reconciling Missing Subscribers

If you suspect that you’ve missed some list signups due to this bug, you can use the export CSV feature of the plugin to generate files to import your members into MailChimp.

When you import the CSVs, it will not duplicate users already on your lists and will not subscribe anyone who has since unsubscribed through MailChimp.
We have a guide for exporting subscriber lists by membership level and importing them into MailChimp.

View the Export/Import Guide for MailChimp

Support for Localication and Multiple Memberships Per User

In addition to fixing this subscription bug and a few others, we’ve added localization support to the plugin. This means that the community can now contribute a MailChimp Integration translation via the GlotPress.

We’ve also updated the add on to ensure compatibility with the PMPro Multiple Memberships Per User Add On, which we’ll be sharing more info about soon.


The full list of updates is below.

  • BUG: Fixed a variety of bugs related to the MailChimp API, including a bug introduced in v2.0.3 that sometimes kept the plugin from subscribing users to lists.
  • BUG/ENHANCEMENT: Doing a better job of limiting the number of API requests made to avoid API limits.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Supports the pmpro-multiple-memberships-per-user Add On.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added localization support. (Now should be able to create language files via GlotPress)

Turn your WooCommerce Store into a Catalog for Non Members 

Prevent non-members from viewing product prices or purchasing products from your WooCommerce store with this Code Recipe

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Improve a Level’s Pricing Statement with the Custom Level Cost Text Add On

Our newly extended Custom Level Cost Text Add On allows you to modify the default level cost text per level, per discount code, or globally via advanced settings.


Special shout-out to David!

The enhancements to this add on were completed by our summer intern, David. This was the first project that David worked on with our team here at PMPro, and we’re very impressed with the end result. David is a Computer Science student at Haverford College (our CEO Jason Coleman’s alma mater).


How it Works

This plugin adds a “level cost text” field to Membership Levels and Discount Codes, allowing you to override PMPro’s default level cost text. When crafting your custom level cost text message, you can use completely custom text or variables based on the level or discount code’s settings.

You can also modify the cost text globally via Advanced Settings. These settings include some of the “most requested” changes to your level price statement:

  • Remove the word “now” from level cost text.
  • Use the word “Free” (or its translation) instead of $0.00.
  • Use “/” instead of “per”.
  • Hide unnecessary decimals. (removes the “.00” portion of the monetary value)
  • Abbreviate billing periods “Month”, “Week”, and “Year” to “Mo”, “Wk”, and “Yr”

Better Level Cost Text with a Better Levels Page

You can use this add on in conjunction with the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode Add On to really tighten up the appearance of your pricing pages. The Custom Level Cost Text Add On filters not only the price on the membership checkout page, but also on your levels page and in emails to the member.

I achieved the price appearance in the screenshot above by setting the Memberships > Advanced Settings to use the word “free”, use “/” instead of “per”, and use abbreviations for billing periods.

View the Add On

 

Approvals Add On Now Available

The Approvals Add On allows you to set up a unique approval or application process for your membership site. After a member signs up, the admin will have the ability to approve their membership or deny the application.

View the Add On


The diagram below explains how approval fits into the standard membership checkout process.

How it Works

Using the add on, you can set your membership levels to require approval with a few options. Not only can you set a level to require approval, you can also set a level to require an approved membership from another level in order to complete checkout.

This allows you to offer a two-step membership application and full membership registration model. You can place an application fee on the application level, and then charge your full recurring membership fee on the primary membership for approved members. Extend your site further by using fields add via the Register Helper Add On to gather member information that will help you decide whether to approve or deny the membership.

View the Add On

 

PMPro Update 1.9.3

Version 1.9.3 of Paid Memberships Pro is out. This is an important security update, and we recommend everyone upgrade as soon as possible.


Security Improvements to Forms

We have improved the sanitization of form inputs in several places, which protects against Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. Part of this hardening includes sanitizing some settings like the SSL Seal code, level confirmation text, and non-member/logged-out text shown on restricted posts.

Some sites may be using JavaScript script tags in these settings or other values that would be stripped out by the sanitization. While it’s possible to use custom code to allow for new tags to be used, this will again open you up to certain XSS attacks. So we suggest that you use a custom plugin to insert JavaScript into your site. Feel free to reach out on our forums for help doing this.


Please update Paid Memberships Pro from the plugins page of your WordPress dashboard. You can also get the latest version of PMPro here or version 1.9.3 specifically here.


The full list of updates is below.

  • SECURITY: Fixed sanitization of inputs and added nonces in several places to protect against XSS attacks.
  • BUG FIX: Showing correct error message when trying to update a PMPro Plus add on with a Core license installed.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed issue where subscription and payment transaction IDs were not being saved correctly when copying an order in the dashboard. (Thanks, Pippin Williamson)
  • BUG FIX: Fixed fatal errors that occurred in certain PHP versions.
  • BUG FIX: Fixed issue where ProfileStartDate was being calculated incorrectly in the test, check, and Cybersource gateways.(Thanks, David Parker)
  • ENHANCEMENT: Added a pmpro_sanitize_with_safelist() function that is used to sanitize inputs that have a limited number of exact options.
  • ENHANCEMENT: Updated the pmpro_setOption() and pmpro_getParam() functions to take a new last parameter $sanitize_function, which defaults to ‘sanitize_text_field’.