For creators and companies selling anything online, there’s nothing more important than making it easy for your audience to actually buy what you’re offering. 

Whether you’re selling courses, memberships, or even one-time downloadables, the right set of e-commerce tools can make all the difference. 

A quick and clean experience will generate goodwill and repeat customers, while a painful or error-riddled checkout experience will send customers packing.

Looking for the right solution that fits your needs? In this post, we’ll compare Paid Memberships Pro vs. Easy Digital Downloads and how you can even use the two together.

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PMPro vs. EDD: How This Guide Helps You Choose

This guide supports anyone looking to add monetization features to their content: whether that’s a content creator, online business owner, or digital product manager. We aim to help you evaluate your options for an e-commerce or membership site platform, focusing on Paid Memberships Pro (PMPro) and Easy Digital Downloads (EDD).

If you’re in search of a solution that provides robust membership management, detailed content restriction, versatile payment gateways, or in-depth sales reporting, keep reading to learn the capabilities and constraints of both PMPro and EDD. What you’ll get:

  • An overarching summary of each plugin’s core features.
  • Comparison of the distinctions between PMPro and EDD.
  • Analysis of where you can use both plugins successfully on the same site for different monetization opportunities.

Through this guide, you’ll be better able to choose the plugin that best matches your website’s requirements, ensuring a decision that fosters your growth, bolsters member interaction, and minimizes technical complexity.

Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is a totally free and open source WordPress plugin that provides all the tools necessary for businesses and creators to install a seamless shopping and checkout experience, as well as robust tools for managing a membership program. 

  • PMPro integrates with most payment processors and can automate limited-time sales, discount codes, and trial offers.
  • Users can create a flow of gated content at multiple membership levels and manage access and payment all in one place.
  • As an open source plugin, PMPro integrates directly with your existing WordPress site. That means minimal setup to add it to your website, making it a smooth transition for managing and selling to a growing audience. 

The core plugin gives you all the tools to launch, grow, serve, and sell to that community, while premium plans come with unlimited support and sales-boosting Add Ons to fit your specific needs.

The in-depth e-commerce tools are a draw for creators who have various unique offerings at different levels, allowing them to accept recurring payments weekly or monthly, one-time payments for courses or tutorials, or discount, gift, or invite codes.

Key Features of Paid Memberships Pro

PMPro extends your current WordPress website to add a robust and feature-complete membership area. Some of the plugin’s main features to help you sell your digital assets include:

  • E-commerce Tools. You’ve done the marketing and social outreach to get someone to your site—your goal is to get paid. PMPro includes the ability to create dedicated sales landing pages with payment fields, offer trial membership periods, run limited-time sales, and accept discount, gift, or invite codes.
  • Order Management. As your business or community grows, PMPro will keep track of the paperwork. With automatic reports generated for every new and recurring sale and available at a glance, PMPro makes it easy to keep up with your orders.
  • Powerful Sales Landing Pages. You get one chance to impress. One of PMPro’s strengths is in building sales landing pages, which can include payment fields and long-form sales copy to help you close the sale.
  • Flexible Membership and Pricing Options. Whether you’re looking to develop one tier of membership or multiple access levels, Paid Memberships Pro offers no limits on the number of levels offered and allows flexibility in structuring any charges.
  • Content Restrictions. You can restrict access to any amount of content at any level. You can also drip content over time to different membership levels, sell one-time access, or tailor personalized content.
  • Member Management. You can import and export member lists, create unlimited membership levels, and access all of the data from your membership base in one spot. You can capture custom profile information by membership level for public or internal use. PMPro allows you to customize the content and design of all automated email communications.
  • Diverse Payment Options. PMPro integrates with many popular payment services, including Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Paystack, and others, including offline payment methods.
Infographic of Paid Memberships Pro key features listed above

The Paid Memberships Pro User Experience

PMPro doesn’t just work well for you as the site admin, it also creates a positive experience for your members. 

PMPro allows users to control their entire experience. They can access their account at any time and modify any aspect of their membership or profile information. With all of this handled, you won’t have to worry about things like password resets, missing account information, or updating payment details.

While you’re saving time on bookkeeping, your customers can securely manage their own contact and payment details. If you choose, they’ll also have access to a members-only directory and individual profile pages, with a number of customizable fields in each.

Paid Memberships Pro Pricing

PMPro is a free plugin that gives you everything you need to prepare a launch in just a few minutes. The core plugin comes with 34 powerful Add Ons and can be used on any number of sites. You’ll get unlimited ways to restrict content and can create unlimited membership tiers. Plus, the core plugin includes all the payment gateways built-in.

If you need more than what’s available in the core plugin, two paid tiers are available. The Standard package costs $347 a year and is designed with beginners and do-it-yourself membership sites in mind. It includes everything in the core plugin, a one-site license, affiliate tracking, Google Analytics e-commerce tracking, and 21 additional Add Ons.

The most popular offering is the Plus plan, which costs $597 a year and includes everything above, plus:

  • Two site licenses
  • Unlimited priority support
  • Selling gift memberships
  • Drip-feed content
  • Member approvals, directory, and user profiles
  • Access to 50 Premium Add Ons

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is a digital e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It aims to offer an end-to-end solution, giving users the ability to sell software subscriptions, ebooks, PDFs, and more. It integrates into an existing WordPress site to process payments for the goods and services offered and gives visitors access to a full-use shopping cart and checkout. Easy Digital Downloads is free to use and offers several paid pricing options.

The plugin was designed to focus on digital products and integrates with thousands of other platforms, including payment processors like PayPal and Stripe. 

Easy Digital Downloads also strives to make the shopping experience a customer-first experience, with WordPress integrations to create attractive sales pages and generate revenue with discounts and limited-time sales.

Basic Features of Easy Digital Downloads

The core goal of Easy Digital Downloads is to facilitate a fast and reliable checkout experience. It does this by offering a plugin that developers can install on an existing WordPress site.

  • The free version offers a stripped-down checkout experience, while paid tiers provide additional tools to customize checkout and access to sales-generating tools like a discount code generator and email marketing service integrations.
  • Also in the free version, EDD allows developers to place Buy and Checkout button blocks in WordPress and embed full or mini shopping carts. Paid versions can also offer free downloads.

While Easy Digital Download’s primary focus is on facilitating payments for one-time purchases, paid versions of the service also offer tools to create and manage a full membership program. Higher tiers can set up options for recurring payments, set custom prices, and create content restrictions.

Advanced tools to track sales are included only in paid versions, which include the ability to track the success of discount codes or limited-time promotions in real-time. These tools also allow for filtering by specific dates or products and can export stored data to a CSV file at any time.

Easy Digital Downloads User Experience

Users of Easy Digital Downloads can create a payment profile to be saved for future purchases or check out as a guest. Users can pay through the platform using familiar options, including Stripe and PayPal.

Customers can access their order history, invoices, or purchased files at any time. 

Easy Digital Downloads Pricing

There is a free download available for Easy Digital Downloads that offers users a barebones shopping and checkout experience. For more advanced tools, there are several paid packages available.

Their premium versions range in price from $199 to $999 and include additional features like unlimited products, lowered platform fees, additional payment methods and advanced data reporting.

Paid Memberships Pro vs. Easy Digital Downloads

Paid Memberships Pro and Easy Digital Downloads are both WordPress plugins that empower companies and creators with tools to sell products and services to visitors. But how do they stack up on key features?

FeaturePaid Memberships ProEasy Digital Downloads
Cost$0 – $597/year$0 – $999/year
E-commerce ToolsFlexible pricing options and payment methods available, including the ability to offer discount, gift, and invite codes. Can also offer free or reduced trial periods that can optionally automatically subscribe at the end of the trial period. Can create one-time, recurring, or variable payment options, and offer limited-time sales across select parts of the site. Detailed campaign and user tracking is available at all levels.Shopping cart and checkout button are included with the free version and integrate with Stripe and PayPal for free. Additional payment integrations are available at paid tiers, as are detailed reports and order management. Simple interface to manage refunds and customer details.
CustomizationAny number of membership tiers, membership trial periods and discount codes, content dripped or made available over time to different tiers.Advanced plans include the ability to customize inventory levels, discount codes, and suggested purchases upon checkout. Can allow customers to create wish lists.
IntegrationsWooCommerce, Mailchimp, Zapier, Social Login, BuddyBoss, bbPress, Zapier, Social Login, Events Manager, The Events Calendar, All-in-One Event Calendar. View all 55 integrations.Stripe and PayPal integration are included for free. Additional integrations including, Braintree, and Stripe Pro are available at higher paid tiers, as are email integrations including Mailchimp and Zapier.
Administrative ToolsManually add or remove members, import and export member lists, detailed sales feedback and campaign tracking.Filter reports by specific dates and products, track refunds, export store data, view and manage any order status

Using Paid Memberships Pro with Easy Digital Downloads

You can also use Easy Digital Downloads in conjunction with Paid Memberships Pro. Using both plugins together unlocks additional customization options for users of both.

  • Prepping a launch that you believe might reach outside of your usual membership, but want to welcome them into your membership program with their Easy Digital Downloads purchase? You can do that. 
  • Want to give customers a limited-time trial when they buy something from your site? Possible with Easy Digital Downloads and PMPro.

With both plugins installed, you can craft any number of triggering events or purchases that help to tie your checkout system to your membership program automatically.

This not only saves you time, it helps to convert one-time sales into returning users or even recurring members if you offer a membership program. 

FAQ: Paid Memberships Pro and Easy Digital Downloads Comparison

What is Paid Memberships Pro (PMPro)?

PMPro is a free, open-source WordPress plugin designed for seamless shopping, checkout experiences, and comprehensive membership program management.

What is Easy Digital Downloads (EDD)?

EDD is a digital e-commerce plugin for WordPress, focusing on selling digital products like software, ebooks, and PDFs with an intuitive shopping cart and checkout process.

Can PMPro and EDD be used together?

Yes, integrating PMPro and EDD can enhance customization options, allowing for diverse monetization strategies on a single site.

How does PMPro support membership management?

PMPro allows for unlimited membership levels, content dripping, custom profile information, and automated email communications for a comprehensive membership experience.

What payment options do PMPro and EDD support?

Both plugins support major payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal, with PMPro offering additional options like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and offline payments.

How does content restriction differ between PMPro and EDD?

PMPro specializes in restricting content based on membership levels, including content dripping, while EDD focuses on access to digital downloads after purchase, with content restriction capabilities expanding in its paid versions.


Why Choose Paid Memberships Pro?

If you don’t want to use both plugins, you’ll need to choose between Paid Memberships Pro and Easy Digital Downloads. Both offer e-commerce tools to reach customers and the technical tools to make sales to those customers.

The factors that make PMPro a wise choice lie in both its flexibility and simplicity: the features and pricing plans are straightforward, and PMPro’s tools allow you to make a one-time sale or just as easily allow you to build a sustainable community.

With PMPro, you can manage your checkout system, e-commerce data, sales tracking, and membership program all from the same dashboard.

With four pricing tiers plus a free option with Easy Digital Downloads, it’s not always clear exactly what services you’ll need when launching a membership or sales program. For that reason, PMPro brings all the features you need to list and sell products and services on your website.

While both products shine at delivering individual products to customers, PMPro has the edge in giving you the most control over how and where you make sales.

If you’re ready to get started building your membership with PMPro, you can find case studies from some of our partners, and then head over and get started

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