WordPress is a blogging platform and a content management system that provides an extreme amount of functionality for a very low lead in cost.  With some plugins, you can turn your blog into anything from an ecommerce site to a social networking site.  There are free solutions as well as solutions that are paid.  What is the advantage of the free solution?  Well it is free.  The free solutions allow the blog owner to get going at a low entry level.  The thing with these solutions the support for these plugins can be a bit spotty.  (It can for paid versions as well, but that is usually less likely.  Look at the reviews for the plugins before investing)

So what are these plugins that will take your blog to the next level?  And what exactly is that level?

Membership Site

If you want to turn your blog into a membership site then there are a couple of free plugins that you can use to do that.

1) Members is a free plugin that turns your site into a membership site.  Some of the features of this plugin include:

  • Edit Roles: Edit (and delete) specific roles and each role’s capabilities.
  • New Roles: Create new roles for use on your site.
  • Content Permissions: Control what roles have access to specific posts and pages.
  • Shortcodes: Use [shortcodes] to restrict/allow access to content.
  • Template Tags: Functions to be used within your WordPress theme.
  • Widgets: A login form and user list widget for use in any widget areas.
  • Private Blog: Force visitors to log in before viewing your site.

You get a bit more flexibility with user status and content, but as you can see, you would need additional functionality to add payment plans to the site.

s2Member is another free plugin that has a few more features and capabilities than the members plugin.  some of the features of this pligun include:

  1. Recurring and/ or one time payments
  2. free and paind membership levels (up to 4)
  3. custom membership packages
  4. content protection
  5. protects downloadable fies
  6. paypal integration

This membership also has a paid upgrade member level that allows you to take direct master card and visa payments as well.


WP-ecommerce – This plugin has a lot of features for being a free ecommerce solution:

  1. Paymet options
  2. shipping options
  3. templates
  4. List and product detail pages
  5. product search
  6. ability to extend cart through paid plugins

WP-OsCommerce – This is a modified version of OS commerce fitted for WordPress.  You have control over your products and can display them on a page, or in a widget as well.