Plugin Review: Premise Membership Sites

You are all probably aware of the premium plugin Premise and it’s landing page functionality, but did you know if also has membership site abilities too?

I used the membership site functionality on my latest WordPress Performance Tuning Course and found it really effective.

If you are looking to sell your content, then Premise is well worth a look.

An Overview Of Premise

In it’s first incarnation, Premise was a premium plugin designed to build landing page.  It was designed to build and test sales pages, video landing pages etc.

They have extended the plugin and added membership site features so you can build landing pages then deliver your information products all in one neat little suite.

The team behind Premise are the Copyblogger people, they also build Scribe the SEO plugin and various information products such as Teaching Sells.

 What It Costs

As mentioned Premise is a premium plugin it costs $165, which is more expensive than it’s competitors, but that is a one off price for unlimited sites and matches it’s competitors multi site license costs.

It’s more than just a membership site plugin as it has the landing page stuff, but a lower priced single site option would be  a good idea.

It has a 30 day money back guarantee.  I did a test drive of the original Premise and did not like it and found getting my money back very simple.


Installation is fairly simple, you install the plugin, add your license key and then there is a little bit of configuration.

You need to create and configure three pages, checkout, login and members page which involves creating pages and adding short codes.  The documentation is good, but hidden away.  You have been warned.

A word to the Premise team – a setup wizard for none-techies may be a good idea to get people up and running quickly.

Shopping Cart Integration

Premise integrates with Paypal and Authorize.net.  Not as many as the competition,  I always use Paypal so that is not an issue for me, but 1shopping cart people may be put off.

Paypal uses IPN for recurring payments, a much better method than Wishlist member uses and a great way to ensure your recurring payments are processed correctly, and for closing down access if people cancel or payments fail.

Problem with payments when using Wishlist member was my main reason for trying Premise, I’m happy to say I had none during my course launch.

Mailing List Integration

Premise integrates with Aweber, Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

I was very very impressed with the Mailchimp integration.  It uses something called single optin so I can be sure that once someone has joined my membership site they are also added to the mailing list for the course.

Imagine the scene,  you’ve just joined my membership site, Paypal has sent you an email, my website has sent you and email and my mailing list has also sent you a double optin request.  Too many emails,  and in my experience, 50%-60% do not complete the double optin process and are not added to your membership site email list.  A list you may use to tell your members when new content is ready etc.

With Wishlist Member I found I had to manually export users and import them into Mailchimp to ensure they were in my list.

Content Protection

Nothing earth shattering in this section,  it works very much like any other membership site.

You setup a membership access level which integrates with what Premise calls a product.  A product is the sale price which integrates to your shopping cart.

On your sales page you create a link to a product which upon payment integrates with an access level.  Sounds complex but it’s not.

On posts and  pages there is a check box to protect that content for members of a particular access level – pretty standard fare if you have used a membership site plugin before.

There are short codes to partially protect content on a page, for example you can setup a piece of teaser copy and only protect a download or video.

Talking about downloads, you can setup links to pdfs or other downloadable goodies which are protected for logged in users.  So Premise is a great way to sell you ebooks or video downloads.

You can drip feed new content to your people over days or weeks to stop  information overload and extend the lifetime of your membership content.

All of this is implemented in a very slick way and I found it very simple to protect my content.

Forum Integration

A featured I’m not using is members integration with the forum software Vbulletin.  This is a premium forum product that I don’t use.

I would like to see the team extend this and add other forum systems.  A protected members only forum is a great way to add value to your membership sites.

Personally I use the simple-press plugin and protect the pages it is on.


There are a couple of features missing in this first edition of Premise membership sites:

  • Your cannot protect categories
  • Notification of new member signups, you need to login and review an orderes report
  • On the landing page side, the need to get the new Google experiments split testing setup asap
Not major faults but a little annoying.

Wrap Up

Premise is playing catch up with more established competitors like Wishlist Member but I enjoyed the plugin because of it’s solid payment collection process and ease of use for content protection makes it a winner in my opinion.

I’ll be using Premise going forward for my courses and I’m in the process of reverse engineering my old courses to use Premise.

You can checkout Premise at getpremise.com all links are affiliate links

 Image by tara_siuk

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