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A powerful membership plugin will help you control your WordPress website’s content with maximum flexibility and ease.
Although many businesses utilize membership plugins for restricted content placed behind a paywall, these plugins can do a whole lot more if you find the right one.
Membership plugins will assist you with restricted content and membership payments, but it will also come in handy for automated tasks, course or lecture builders, manage discount codes, and much more.
I’m sure that you have come across a myriad of membership plugins specifically for WordPress, right? Well, I’m here to make it easy for you by narrowing down the top five best options to help you choose the right one for your company’s needs.
All the tools in this list offer unique features suitable for a range of the most common company needs.
#1 – MemberPress – The Best All-In-One Membership Plugin for WordPress
MemberPress is the best all-in-one membership plugin because of its powerful and easy-to-use features. Not only does the plugin do what it says it will by creating membership portals for content, but it also offers helpful tools for all experience levels.
Firstly, MemberPress works seamlessly with any WordPress theme, including custom themes you’ve built. Easy-to-use is not an understatement, as the plugin only takes three easy steps to install and get everything set up, which is incredibly inclusive for beginners.
Regarding membership tools, MemberPress has you covered. With this plugin, you receive 100% control over all of your content and who can view it based on what membership level they’ve purchased. You can restrict access to pages, posts, tags, files, and everything else you can think of that’s on your WordPress website.
With MemberPress, the growth of your company is endless when you utilize tools, such as:
- An add-on that allows you to build and sell courses
- Generate as many coupons as you want
- Premium community forums
- Timed release of content (i.e., content dripping)
- Subscription and membership management
- Payment integration
As the most powerful plugin on the internet, MemberPress has three pricing plans that cater to different preferences, including:
- Basic: $249 per year for use on one site
- Plus: $399 per year for use on up to two sites—this is the most popular plan
- Pro: $549 per year for use on up to five sites
Unfortunately, MemberPress doesn’t offer free trials, but there is a 14-day money-back guarantee on all plans for a full refund. Try it today.
#2 – LearnDash – The Best Course Builder Membership Plugin for WordPress
If your primary business focus is selling courses, LearnDash is an excellent option to build and sell them with no hassle. With its extensive features like ‘focus mode,’ the plugin allows you to create comprehensive online courses with no restrictions.
Focus Mode is a customizable learning portal that LearnDash allows you to implement into your courses to create a distraction-free environment for learners after purchasing.
Course creation has never been so easy with its drag-and-drop feature that saves you time while creating an organized layout for your customers. Your content and layout won’t just be organized, it will also be impressively dynamic with drip-feed lessons, adjustable video options, and linear or open progression activities.
Not only can you create high-quality courses for your customer base, but you can also freely manage them alongside your learners. LearnDash offers a group management function that lets you place users into online groups, then allow said users to manage their own group.
With LearnDash, you can benefit from key features, including:
- Automated notifications to keep you up-to-date
- Badges and certificates for customers completing a course
- Place one-time purchases for courses
- More than 20+ integrations for functionality
With a focus on course building, LearnDash is quite affordable for an annual price—and I think the benefits outweigh the overall cost. LearnDash offers three pricing plans, which include:
- Basic: $199 per year for one site license with unlimited courses and users
- Plus package: $229 per year for 10 site licenses
- Pro package: $369 per year for 25 site licenses
All the above pricing plans include a bonus demo site template and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#3 – Restrict Content Pro – The Best For Membership Management
If you own a larger company that creates more content for a bigger audience, it may be difficult to manage and monitor these memberships. This is where Restrict Content Pro comes into play and is a great option for managing all of your memberships in one place.
Restrict Content Pro lets you keep track of your memberships with an intuitive interface, including active, expired, canceled, pending, and recurring membership levels. Each membership can be added manually and modified in bulk, and you can even request team members to join the board to increase moderation.
Does a customer decide to cancel their membership? No problem! Restrict Content Pro allows you to manually change each membership status to keep things professional and confusion-free.
Along with membership management, this plugin has a great range of additional features, like:
- Member emails where you can welcome new members
- Unlimited subscription packages
- Performance reports
- Data exports
- Payment integrations with Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, and Authorize.net
- Extensive support
Restricted Content Pro has four pricing plans that are of great value for the money. These include:
- Personal: $99 per year for one site and 13 free add-ons
- Plus: $149 per year for five sites and 13 free add-ons
- Professional: $249 per year for unlimited sites and 18 pro add-ons—this is the most popular plan
- Ultimate: $499 one-time payment for unlimited sites and 18 pro add-ons
All pricing plans include core features and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#4 – S2Member – The Best Free Membership Plugin for WordPress
Looking for a membership plugin but don’t know where to start or how much you want to invest? S2Member is an excellent option. With its extensive free version, this plugin is great for protecting and managing your content for paying members.
WordPress shortcodes almost entirely power S2Member, so once complicated integrations are now easy to install and use. Even if the installation process gets confusing, the plugin offers you an open community forum, comprehensive documentation, and video tutorials for you to read and follow during setup.
Not only does S2Member allow you to offer users premium content, but it also includes a secure checkout solution that flows seamlessly with WordPress capabilities. Even though the free version doesn’t provide one-step registration and checkout for ease, it’s still a great tool that just has extra steps for verification purposes.
Although the plugin is free, S2Member still offers an abundance of basic features that can help improve your business, including:
- Standard Paypal button integration
- Content restriction options
- Security encryption key
- Manual account creation
- Member profile modifications
- Affiliate program integrations
- Customizable email templates
There are more than 20 unique features that come with the free version of S2Member. This makes it easier for you to learn the ropes of plugins while improving your business at no cost to you.
Speaking of cost, S2Member offers two pro pricing plans at an incredibly affordable price. These include:
- Pro version 2: $89 one-time payment for a single-site license
- Pro version 3: $189 one-time payment for an unlimited site license
Both pricing plans include lifetime access to newer versions of the S2Member plugin and a 14-day money-back guarantee.
#5 – Paid Memberships Pro – The Best For Customization
Paid Memberships Pro is an excellent option for anyone looking at finding a plugin that offers more flexibility and customization. This plugin prides itself on being able to give its users an extensive range of tools and features that can help you grow your membership WordPress site while maintaining it, too.
Customization options begin with restricted default content pages. Paid Memberships Pro allows you to create a custom message for non-members for when they attempt to access restricted content on your website.
Another great customizable feature is the personalized content add-on. This tool lets you offer each paying member a unique page for direct communication with you, which is a great way to create more intimate content for your users. Personalized content also includes a custom homepage for different member levels and adjustable menus to highlight important links.
On top of all this, Paid Memberships Pro gives you the option to customize your email account with a wide range of email templates to alter the appearance and content of your system-generated emails to members.
If that wasn’t enough, Paid Memberships Pro has quite a comprehensive list of features that will benefit your every need, including:
- Content dripping
- Multi-tiered membership levels
- Offline communities
- Customize renewal dates
- Membership manager role
- Integrate with several top plugins like MailChimp, WooCommerce, and Zapier
Paid Memberships Pro is the most expensive plugin on this list—however, they offer a free version if you want to try it out and aren’t ready to commit to the full price.
There are three pricing plans for businesses of all types:
- Free: This plan offers five features and includes the plugin download, 19 free add-ons, and six payment gateways
- Plus: $297 per year with support and updates for up to five sites
- Unlimited: $597 per year with support and updates for unlimited sites
Both the plus and unlimited pricing plan include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What I Looked At To Find The Best Membership Plugin for WordPress
Now that I’ve narrowed down the top five picks, several key elements contribute to finding the right membership plugin for your WordPress website. These elements are crucial to finding the right membership plugin, and you need to weigh up the below criteria against your personal needs to make the right decision for your business.
Your overall business goals matter when trying to find the right membership plugin for you. Simply put, each membership plugin caters to different goals, so it’s important to know what yours are.
If you want to transform your business by creating and selling courses to your customer base, then a plugin like LearnDash would be an excellent option. This is because it’s the best online course builder, and it offers a range of comprehensive tools to utilize.
Whereas if your ultimate focus is to create restricted content for members, it would be best to install Restrict Content Pro—where you will have access to suitable tools and features to make this goal a reality.
Figuring out what your business goals are will help determine what membership plugin would be best for you.
Flexible Payment Integration
A key feature to look for in a membership plugin is a flexible payment integration option, which allows your customers to have a range of options for payment. Not everyone enjoys putting their credit card information into a website without added security.
For example, the S2Member plugin has a standard Paypal button that’s integrated into your download. This means that your customers can pay for your content through PayPal. Proper payment security is paramount to make sure you maintain a recurring customer base.
Some other common payment integrations include Stripe and Authorize.net. Having multiple payment options will give customers another reason to continue their membership.
This is an especially important feature for larger businesses that have a lot of memberships to maintain. Having a specific membership management system integrated into your plugin will save you a vast amount of time on manual managing.
MemberPress and Restrict Content Pro are great plugin options if you need a little extra help to manage your memberships. Without a dedicated management system, it will become increasingly challenging to manage your memberships while maintaining a certain level of professionalism in your business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help every so often. Running a membership site can be difficult, but the right plugin will make it easier and more straightforward.
Finding the best membership plugin for your WordPress website depends on several key elements like business goals, payment integration, and membership management. What makes the top five options great is that they either hit all the criteria or have a mix that can fully support your business.
I recommend MemberPress and LearnDash for almost anyone if you want to transform your business with a membership site. MemberPress is an all-in-one plugin, which may seem broad. However, it offers every tool a business owner would need all under one platform. LearnDash is also great for anyone building and selling courses—which seems to be a common goal among membership sites. Both are affordable options for a business that knows its goals and needs a plugin to make those goals a reality.
With that being said, the other three plugins are also excellent options for everyday tasks.
The Top 5 Options for Membership Plugins for WordPress:
- MemberPress – Best all-in-one membership plugin
- LearnDash – Best course builder
- Restrict Content Pro – Best for membership management
- S2Member – Best free membership plugin
- Paid Memberships Pro – Best for customization
Overtime – Episode #374 (Originally aired 1/22/16)
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Legalist, Inc. (fintech) | First product hire | Full-time | Remote (US based) | Full-time
Legalist is hiring its first product hire (product lead). We’re looking for somebody who is comfortable wearing many hats; has a data science/data analysis background; and who wants to help build products that support Legalist, a multi-hundred million dollar fintech startup, across a number of esoteric investment strategies. An interest in law and/or finance is preferred, and a curiosity and interest in working creatively with data is essential.
This is a US-based remote team, and post-covid it will continue to be remote.
The post New comment by chaigh in "Ask HN: Who is hiring? (February 2021)" appeared first on ROI Credit Builders.
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What are Business Bridge Loans? How Can They Help a Business?
Cash flow isn’t always guaranteed. Many businesses have uneven cash flow. That is, lean times and not so lean times. Startups still getting their bearings may take a while before they get enough regular clientele to get consistent profits coming in. Seasonal businesses will naturally make more during the appropriate season, and perhaps leading up to it, but less later.
Even with uneven cash flow, a business still has bills. No matter what’s happening with your cash flow, you still need to pay the bills. Seasonal businesses need to stock up to be ready once demand picks up. Startups need to get their inventory ramped up so they can meet demand when it comes and not lose out on opportunities. None of this is free.
Every entrepreneur wants to be filling in the gaps. One solution to such uneven financing is bridge loans. Also known as interim financing, gap financing, or swing loans. Bridge loans bridge the gap during times when you need financing but you can’t get it yet. Both corporations and individuals use bridge loans. Lenders can customize these loans for many different situations.
What are Business Bridge Loans?
Business bridge loans are short-term loans. They are used until a person or company gets permanent financing or removes an existing obligation. It allows the user to meet current obligations by providing immediate cash flow. Business bridge loans are short term, up to one year. They have relatively high interest rates. And they are often backed by some form of collateral, like real estate or inventory. See investopedia.com/terms/b/bridgeloan.asp.
Uses for Business Bridge Loans
Bridge Loans and Venture Capital Financing
If a company is doing a round of equity financing, the round may be expected to close in six months. It may opt to use a bridge loan to provide working capital to cover its payroll, rent, utilities, inventory costs, and other expenses. This is to tide it over until the round of funding goes through.
Real Estate and Bridge Loans
Bridge loans are standard in real estate. If a buyer has a lag between the purchase of one property and the sale of another property, they may turn to a bridge loan. Property owners get short-term financing to pay for one property until another property sells. See expresscapital.com/resources/what-are-the-differences-between-a-business-loan-and-a-bridge-loan.
More Purposes for Bridge Loans
Companies may opt for bridge loans if they’ve gotten approval for a regular business loan but need interim funding until that loan comes in. Bridge loans can also come into play when a corporation is releasing an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Bridge financing, in investment banking terms, is financing used by companies before their IPO. It is meant to cover expenses from the IPO and is typically short term. Once the IPO is complete, cash raised from the offering immediately pays off the loan liability. See investopedia.com/terms/b/bridgefinancing.asp.
Differences Between Business Bridge Loans and Other Business Loans
Speed to Funding
Business loans often have a longer waiting period. The banks spend more time checking your background and credit history. Bridge financing can happen a lot more quickly. Application, approval, and funding are all faster.
A company can qualify for a bridge loan more easily than a long-term business loan. Bridge loan lenders understand that the loans they provide are gap financing, not long-term solutions. They can often customize the loan to fit the business’s needs. Bridge loan lenders have credit score minimums for bridge loans. But guidelines tend to not be firm.
Sometimes a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) comes into play. But a high credit score and low DTI aren’t must-haves. Hence qualifying for a bridge loan is easier and faster versus a traditional business loan. Bridge loan lenders may ask for future financing plans. Some may want to see the company’s forecast for expected funds. Or they may want a payback plan. If the company has a solid history of repaying loans, they should bring that documentation. It can help to get a favorable decision.
Interest and Origination Fees
Bridge loans are a little more expensive than a regular secured business loan. But a business may be more willing to pay more to get financing quickly. Creditors assign more risk to bridge loans than to conventional, long-term business loans. This comes from the fact a business is seeking a short-term loan because a long-term financing isn’t a viable option for the business. The interest rates vary but on average, bridge loan interest rates tend to fall about 2% above the average rate for long-term loans. Many businesses find the interest rates acceptable because the loan is short-term.
Bridge loan lenders do not apply a penalty for paying the bridge loan off early. You can pay off a bridge loan early without paying an extra fee. Contrast this with most commercial loans. In most mortgage loans, e.g., the borrower pays a high penalty for paying the loan off early.
Since bridge loans are short-term solutions, companies benefit from paying them off early. Then they can apply for the long-term financing if necessary, without incurring fees, and without having to refinance the balance of the bridge loan into a long-term loan.
Bridge loans are often a type of unsecured loan. Hence there’s no attachment between the loan and a business asset like equipment or business property. A secured loan is one where an asset is placed into the agreement (collateral). With a collateral-based loan, the lender can try to repossess (take legal ownership) of the collateral if you fail to repay the money.
Due to the unsecured structure of many business bridge loans, the business takes on less risk, and the lender takes on more. Hence the business can be on a more stable footing than with a secured loan. There is typically nothing besides the money for the lender to take back. But recognize that if a business is failing and needs money to pay back a bridge (or any other type of funding) loan, then you may end up selling business assets anyway.
Yet another difference is in the area of collateral. Business owners should expect to be asked for a first lien on any unencumbered enterprise asset. Perhaps even a second lien on working capital and other fungible resources. They may request a personal guarantee as a sign of the owner’s intention to work with the lender in good faith to repay the loan. The guarantee may, in some cases, be limited to the amount of the financing.
Bridge loans by definition have repayment terms of a few weeks, up to 12 months. Business owners must identify, in advance, the source of repayment and timing. The source of expected compensation affects how a lender views the soundness of the credit decision. For example, it is most likely that the lender will give a favorable judgment to a business that could qualify for a straightforward SBA loan after the execution of the transaction. In the case of the SBA candidate, the source of repayment, while not certain, is a matter of timing.
In contrast, a business relying on profit improvements has a harder case to make. The lender’s evaluation will change accordingly. Given the cost of the bridge and the considerations surrounding collateral requirements, it’s in the business owner’s best interests to carefully consider the exit plan. An entrepreneur should enter into this type of financing arrangement only when they can readily and safely identify a source of repayment. See businesscash.com/bridge-loans-for-small-business-advantages-and-practical-considerations-when-choosing-a-bridge-lender.
One Alternative to Business Bridge Loans is Account Receivable Financing
Businesses with outstanding receivables can turn to AR financing instead. you can regularly secure money against receivables in as little as 24 hours. With AR financing, you can get monthly rates between 1.25% and 5%, and you can get financing as high as $20,000,000. All of this is possible, even with severely challenged personal credit.
Bridge loans may have certain minimum FICO requirements. But an accounts receivable financing program is perfect for business owners who have credit issues. Lenders are not looking for, nor do they require good credit to qualify. You can even get approval and be advanced 90% of your receivables, even with low credit scores.
Do You Have Credit Issues Now?
You can get approval with a personal credit score as low as 500, even if you have recent derogatory items and major collections on your credit report. Lenders truly do not care about your personal credit. They care more about the credit of the companies who you have the receivables with.
Another Alternative to Bridge Loans is Merchant Cash Advances
If a business has credit card sales, then a merchant cash advance can be a good alternative to a bridge loan. An MCA technically isn’t a loan. Rather, it is a cash advance based upon the credit card sales of a business. A small business can apply for an MCA and have an advance deposited into its account fairly quickly. So you can offer Net 30 terms, but not have to wait a month to get paid.
A merchant financing program is ideal for business owners who accept credit cards and are looking for fast and easy business financing. An MCA program is meant to help you get funding, based strictly on your cash flow as verifiable per your business banks statements. As a result, lenders in general will not have burdensome document requests.
Another Alternative to Bridge Loans is Business Revenue Financing
Business revenue financing is for companies with incoming revenues proven by business bank accounts. Also known as royalty-based financing. Business revenue financing is a way to raise capital from investors who get a percentage of the enterprise’s ongoing gross revenues in exchange for their investments. In a revenue-based financing investment, investors get a regular share of business income until a predetermined amount is paid. Often, this amount is a multiple of the principal investment. It is usually between 3 – 5 times the original investment.
A Fantastic Alternative to Business Bridge Loans: Our Credit Line Hybrid
Get a line of credit for up to $150,000. This is no doc financing. Pay 0% for up to 18 months. Helps build business credit because your payments are on report. 680 or better FICO required. See my.creditsuite.com/qualifier-form.
This program is meant to help clients get funding strictly due to personal credit quality. Our lenders will not ask for financials, bank statements, business plans, resumes, or any of the other burdensome document requests that most conventional lenders demand.
Our lenders will review your credit report to ensure there are no derogatory items on the report. To get approval, you shouldn’t have any open collections, late payments, tax liens, judgments, or other types of derogatory items on your reports.
To qualify you should also have fewer than 5 inquiries on your credit report, within the last 6 months. You should have established credit. This includes open revolving accounts currently on your credit report, with balances below 40% of your limits.
Business Bridge Loans: Takeaways
Bridge loans are a means of covering gaps in financing due to various causes. They are faster to get than traditional business loans. But rates can be higher. And terms are a lot shorter. There can be minimum FICO score requirements.
For entrepreneurs with decent FICO scores, the Credit Suite hybrid credit line can be the perfect alternative to a bridge loan. And you build business credit at the same time! Let us show you how.