ARMember is a relatively new entry into the world of WordPress membership plugins. Developed by the people at Repute Infosystems, it positions itself as a “complete membership solution” for WordPress without the need for “any advance knowledge of programming”.
Available from CodeCanyon, ARMember offers unlimited free and paid membership plans and works with multiple payment gateways.
In this review, we’ll take a look at its main features, how to set it up and work with it, and give you our thoughts about its features and functionality.
ARMember’s Main Features
Despite its low cost, ARMember offers a bevy of features, including:
• Unlimited free and paid membership plans
• Membership trial periods
• Membership setup wizard
• Restricted content for posts and pages (full or partial)
• Ability to drip content over time
• Built-in modal form builder with drag and drop functionality
• Ability to change navigation menus depending on the membership level
• Ability to add login and signup forms to navigation menu links
• Integrates with multiple payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout, bank transfers)
• Supports subscription and recurring payments
• Integrates with third-party email marketing programs (MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber)
• External plugin support for BuddyPress, bbPress, WooCommerce, and ARPrice
• CAPTCHA-free anti-spam forms
• Templates and customization features for member profile and directory pages, signup and login pages, registration pages, email notifications, and more
• Quick login with social login feature
• Supports coupons
• Badges and achievements to help build communities
• WooCommerce content restriction
• Developer friendly API with 150+ action/filter hooks for developer customization and extended functionality of ARMember (includes documentation)
• Member management
• Import/export users and settings
• One-click plugin update
• Professional support team
• Translation ready
Setting Up and Using ARMember
After purchasing ARMember from CodeCanyon, here’s how to install it on your WordPress site:
1. In your WordPress admin, go to Plugins… Add New … Upload Plugin.
2. Click Choose File, and find the .zip file you downloaded from CodeCanyon.
Note: If you previously downloaded “All files & documentation” from CodeCanyon, you’ll want to open up that folder and choose the .zip file that just contains the ARMember WordPress plugin files.
3. Click Choose… Install Now.
4. After the plugin is installed successfully, click Activate Plugin.
At this point, you should see the ARMember listing in the sidebar of the WordPress admin.
Now, you’ll need to activate the product license for ARMember.
As noted before, if you previously downloaded “All files & documentation” from CodeCanyon, you’ll be able to find your product license within the folder you downloaded. Otherwise, you’ll need to go back to CodeCanyon to get your product license.
5. To download your product license from CodeCanyon, go to codecanyon.net and sign in, if needed.
6. At the top right menu of CodeCanyon, click on your account name and select Downloads from the dropdown menu.
7. Find your purchase listing for ARMember, click the green Download button, and choose License certification & purchase code (text).
8. After the file is downloaded, open the folder and copy your purchase code.
9. Back in your WordPress admin, go to ARMember… General Settings.
10. In the Product License section, fill in the information for:
Purchase Code (paste in your purchase code here)
11. Click the Activate button and you should see a notice that Your license is currently active.
You are now ready to use ARMember.
After ARMember is fully installed and activated, you’ll see the following links in your WordPress admin bar for the plugin:
The Manage Members section of ARMember lists your members, along with various information about them, including their username, email address, membership type and plan, status, first and last name, join date, and more. You can also manually add new members.
This is where you manage your different membership plans. It lists the plan name, plan type, number of members in the plan, the content restrictions shortcode, and more. You can also add new membership plans in this area of ARMember.
Configure Plan + Signup Page
This is where you configure your membership registration page. It provides the shortcode for creating the page that takes a new customer through choosing a plan, signing up, and paying for their membership.
This is where you create and manage the various forms for your membership site. With ARMember’s built-in drag and drop form builder, you can create beautiful, CAPTCHA-free forms for registration/signup, logging in and out, forgotten passwords, changing passwords, editing your profile, and closing your account.
By default, all content on your site is accessible by anyone. The Access Rules section of ARMember is where you choose which content to protect based on the different membership plans you have. ARMember allows you to restrict content access by pages, posts, post types, taxonomies, navigation menus, categories, and more.
Payment History lists a variety of information around payment transactions you’ve received from your membership customers. This section includes information about transaction IDs, users, memberships, payment gateways, payment types, customer emails, the status of transactions, payment dates, payment amounts, and credit card numbers. You can also add manual payments here.
This is where you create the different notification messages that are sent out to both yourself and your users. It covers email messages for signup notifications, changing passwords, updating profiles, failed payments, and more. You can also create new email notifications.
This is where you view and create the basic settings for the overall operation of ARMember. It includes items like product license information, setting up payment gateways, basic email settings, default access rules, frontend font settings, global CSS, assigned pages (for registration, login, forgotten passwords, profile edits, etc.), security options, import/export options for users and settings, and creation of common messages for your users.
The Addons section includes six additional membership modules that you can choose to activate and configure for your site. They include modules for social features, building your email list, dripping content, signing up and logging in through social accounts, coupons, and integration with BuddyPress for community building features.
By clicking on the Documentation link, you’ll go to ARMember’s extensive documentation, directly on their website. The people behind ARMember did a very good job providing written help for all the features and functionality of their plugin.
Steps to Get ARMember Up and Running
Step One: The first thing you want to do when using ARMember is to configure the basic settings for the plugin at ARMember… General Settings.
Under General Settings, pay particular attention to entering you product license, email settings, default access rules, payment gateways, page setup, and security options.
Step Two: After making your basic settings through the General Settings tab, you’ll want to set up your different membership plans at ARMember… Manage Plans.
Adding plans is easy with ARMember, and the program allows you to set up an unlimited number of plans for your site. Here’s where you set up free and paid plans, subscription plans, trial periods, specify payment processors, and more.
This is also where you decide which information on your site goes to each plan.
The Manage Plans section of ARMember lists any existing membership plans you’ve created, along with the Free Membership plan that’s created by default.
To create a new membership plan for your site, simply click on the + Add New Plan button. Then, you’ll need to specify the following information:
Plan name (e.g., Gold Plan)
Plan Description (e.g., Best for larger businesses)
Member Role (ARMember or Change Role)
Inherit Access Rules of Membership Plan (If you wish to pass along rules from an existing plan, choose the plan from the dropdown menu)
Plan Type & Price (Free Plan or Paid Plan)
If you choose Paid Plan for the plan type, you’ll need to input additional information such as plan amount (cost), plan duration (lifetime versus limited period), payment type (one-time payment versus subscription), and more.
It’s easy to give prospects free access to paid plans by turning on ARMember’s Trial Period. All you have to do is click a button to turn it on, and then specify the amount of time you want to give your users free access to the plan.
Step Three: After setting up the different plans you wish to have for your membership, you’ll want to set up payment options at ARMember… General Settings… Payment Gateways.
If you choose to offer paid membership plans, ARMember requires at least one payment gateway.
Currently, the available payment gateways you can use with ARMember include:
ARMember supports 25 currencies and is PCI compliant so that customer data is kept secure.
Here’s How to Set Up PayPal to Work with ARMember:
1. Log into your PayPal Business or Premier account.
2. In the top navigation area of PayPal, click the Profile link and select Profile and Settings.
3. Click the My selling tools link in the left sidebar.
4. For the API access item, click Update.
5. Click the Request API credentials link under NVP/SOAP API integration.
6. Click the Agree and Submit button.
7. Copy and paste the information for API Username, API Password, and API Signature into WordPress.
Step Four: The next step for setting up ARMember is to create the various forms you’ll need for your website. This is done at ARMember… Manage Forms.
By default, ARMember includes forms for:
You can either edit or use the default forms as they are through the provided shortcodes, or you can create new forms by clicking on the + Add New Form button.
ARMember offers powerful customization with their advanced, built-in form builder. The drag and drop functionality gives users the freedom to create beautiful, CAPTCHA-free modal forms for registration/signup, logging in and out, forgotten passwords, changing passwords, editing your profile, and closing your account. The included form builder, templates, and other customization offerings go far beyond the standard form template choices of other membership plugins.
Once you have a form the way you want it, just copy and paste the shortcode into the appropriate WordPress page.
Step Five: After creating the various forms, you’ll need to restrict the content of your membership site. There’s a few places to do that with ARMember.
The broadest level for protecting your content is done at ARMember… Access Rules.
By default, ARMember doesn’t protect any of the content on your site. Through the Access Rules section, you can choose the type of content you want to protect (e.g., pages, posts, categories, taxonomies, menus, etc.), and you can choose whether or not to protect specific content (that falls within a content type), for different membership plans.
This feature is very handy because it allows you to quickly change the protection settings for your content from within one window.
The WordPress page/post editor is another area that allows you to restrict content.
For example, by selecting a range of text within the page editor, you can click the Restrict Content button, and the selected content (not the entire page content), will be restricted for the membership plans you choose.
Also within the WordPress page/post editor, you can choose to turn on Protection for an entire page or post. Then, just choose the membership levels that you wish to have access to the content.
ARMember also provides the ability to drip content. Dripping content allows you to publish content based on delayed time intervals of your choosing. This can be done by going to ARMember… Add-ons… Drip Content. Click the green Activate button for the module, and then click the blue Configure button.
Once configured, you’ll see the Drip Content link in the sidebar of your WordPress admin. From there, you can click the + Add Rule button to create drip rules for putting out content over a period of time to different membership plans.
With ARMember, you can drip content immediately, a specified amount of time after someone subscribes, or from a specific date onwards (date range).
Generally speaking, to drip content, it’s a matter of selecting the Content Type you want to drip (e.g., posts, pages, etc.) and the Membership Plan that the drip rule is applied to.
Step Six: The last step for your membership site is to create the signup page for new customers. This page will allow new customers to choose between membership plans, sign up as new users, and make a payment. To create this page, go to ARMember… Configure Plan + Signup Page, and then click the + Add New Setup button.
This section includes options for the membership plans you wish to show, sign-up forms, payment gateways, coupons, and more. If your site includes any paid membership plans, you must have at least one payment gateway configured.
After filling in the appropriate information, you’ll get a single shortcode that you can paste into a WordPress page in order to take users through the process of choosing a plan, signing up for the plan, and making a payment.
This section also includes different styling skins, numerous layout options, the ability to choose your fonts and colors, custom CSS, and more.
ARMember offers many more features and functionality that go beyond the space allotted for this review. But here’s a couple more worth touching on:
Additional Membership Modules
At this time, ARMember comes with six additional membership modules that can be activated and configured separately, apart from the core plugin.
The six membership modules are:
This module turns on features such as a member directory, member profile, member badges and achievements, social profile fields for the registration/sign-up form editor, and more.
ARMember provides various templates for the creation of member directory and member profile pages.
The Opt-ins module integrates with external email marketing services like MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact to help you build your subscription list as users register.
The Drip Content module allows you to deliver your content over a specified time interval, rather than allowing access all at once.
This module allows users to sign-up or login through their social accounts. Supported social accounts include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and VK.
The Coupon module allows you to offer coupons to users when making payments for your membership site.
This module allows you to use BuddyPress to develop a community within ARMember (including user groups, messaging, activity streams, and more).
ARMember lets you easily personalize and customize the email notifications you send to your membership users. This is done at ARMember… Email Notifications.
This section of ARMember allows you to send out email notifications to both yourself (as the admin), and to your users.
Default admin notifications include:
New user registration
Failed recurring payment reminder
Default user notifications include:
Confirmation of membership (with payment)
Confirmation of sign up (without payment)
Change password confirmation
Reset password request
Profile update confirmation
To create new email notification messages, just click on the + Add New Response button.
From there, you can decide when to send the email message (e.g., on new subscription, on subscription change, on failed payment, when a trial is finished, when the membership expires, and before a membership expires).
After choosing when to send the message, you create your message within a visual HTML editor. ARMember includes numerous template tags to help you personalize and customize your emails.
In the WordPress post and page editor, ARMember has a Membership Shortcodes button. It provides membership shortcodes for forms, action buttons, and a large number of other membership features and functions.
In the Advanced tab of the membership shortcodes, you also get a description of what each shortcode does.
ARMember Support & Documentation
ARMember includes a number of options for support and documentation:
• They have extensive documentation on their site, which you can get to through the ARMember… Documentation link in the WordPress admin sidebar.
• The people behind ARMember have created several tutorial videos to help get you up and running with the plugin.
• You can also try out a demo of the plugin here.
• ARMember also includes a helpdesk for sending them specific questions.
• Within ARMember’s interface, you can also roll over help icons to view information about a feature.
Pricing for ARMember
ARMember is a very good value. It costs $32 for a regular license, which includes all future updates and six months of support.
For an extra cost of $10.50, buyers can extend support up to 12 months.
ARMember Conclusions & Recommendations
ARMember is an impressive WordPress membership plugin that offers both basic and high-end features in a clean, well-designed user interface.
I’ve found that many WordPress membership plugins with advanced features and functionality end up getting bogged down in the details, which can lead to a high learning curve for users. ARMember does a great job of offering a deep feature set while remaining an intuitive and easy-to-use product.
I’m impressed with how easy it is to use features such as trial periods and coupon offerings with little more than the click of a button. I also like that they offer a number of free “Add-ons” that can be activated and configured individually, allowing you to pick and choose modules that go beyond the plugin’s core offerings.
ARMember’s ability to show or hide navigation menu items based on membership levels, as well as being able to add login and signup modal forms to menus, are unique features that are nice to have, as well.
From its numerous templates and skins, to its advanced, built-in drag and drop form builder, ARMember also offers strong design features to its users.
Furthermore, I like how ARMember gives you the ability to quickly set bulk protection on different content types. For instance, you can easily set protection on all content within a WordPress category through the plugin’s Access Rules section.
That said—and this goes for most membership plugins—I think it would be helpful if ARMember provided its users a clearer, step-by-step workflow for the basic setup of a membership site. Instead of users needing to sort out the proper steps for themselves (especially novice users), it would be nice to see the user interface provide a bit more “handholding” in regards to the steps necessary for starting a membership site.
Overall, ARMember is an excellent option for WordPress users looking for great value in a membership plugin. Its interface is clean and fairly intuitive, its feature set is deep enough to handle the needs of most users, and its price makes it extremely attractive.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use WordPress membership plugin with a lot to offer it users, you can find out more about ARMember here.