My raving review of the Restrict Content Pro membership plugin.
What I like about RCP
Made by Pippin
What an awesome guy. If you’ve been around the WordPress development community, you’ll know he is one of the most legit (AND KIND-HEARTED) developers out there. I’ve personally asked him for help for bbPress styling and other junk so many times, I’m just embarrassed to admit. But I’ll never forget.
Oh and he’s also among the most respected WP developers, too. Back then, he was more of a one-man show. And now it’s a whole agency. I don’t remember the agency name off the top of my head and too lazy to switch tabs to Google…so I’mma just call’em “Pippin’s Peoples”.
And anything made by Pippin’s Peoples is gonna be legit! Super clean code. Super clean UI. Works great. Stable, no bugs, excellent support. They’re practically a celebrity development company now and everything they do is top class. An absolute asset to the WP community all around!
Super clean UI
Super clean simple UI and interface. Like…the best interface you can get. RCP makes setting up a whole membership from scratch feel like just 3 simple steps. Put some stuff into general settings, create some membership levels, set the content restriction rules and you’re ready to go!
I can’t over-state this benefit enough. When it comes to running something as complicated as a membership site, the last thing you need is a plugin with settings all over the place. Having tons of features and great documentation is nice. But I’d much rather have a plugin that I didn’t have to re-teach myself how to use every time I log in. I’ve got a business to run, dammit!
Ok sorry…more explanation needed. WHAT exactly makes RCP so clean?
One settings panel, with only 10 pages or so
- whereas other plugins have a main settings panel AND many sub-panels. They overwhelm you with 30 pages of settings to configure.
- RCP cleverly combines settings together and through clever use of checkboxes, you only see stuff that matters to you.
Compact setup forms
- For example: when I enter new memberships, customers, or payments in admin…I see a simple page with only a few entry fields stacked neatly on top of each other. It looks like a simple form.
- When I do this with other membership plugins, they take up the whole damn page and so much scrolling and reading through all kinds of unnecessary explanations.
Intuitive placement and labels
- Everything is placed exactly where you expect and with self-explanatory labels.
- You don’t even have to learn where things are or what they do because it’s that obvious.
- Other membership plugins hide things behind arbitrary names and in illogical places.
You won’t need documentation!
- I promise you RCP is so damn easy, you won’t even need the documentation.
- You won’t have to learn how to use RCP!
- This is a matter of personal preference. I love with plugins use the native WordPress styling, with the same grey background, plain text, tabs, and checkboxes.
- I HATE when plugins try to create their own interface, adding new colors and weird notices and ads all over the place.
- I HATE when plugins make you enter a “special portal” when you use their plugin. It creates a jarring user experience and especially distracting when switching back and forth between other website plugins.
Many 3rd-party extensions (features)
RCP has all the usual content restriction features but also many extras. There are so many awesome addons and ones with cool functionality that I never thought of. You can always tell the quality and utility of a plugin when it has many 3rd-party extensions. RCP is one of them.
- Limit number of connections – so that users can (or can’t) share their login with others.
- IP restriction – control which IP’s can sign up.
- Restriction Timelock/Timeouts – setup content to be restricted or un-restricted at a certain time.
- Site Creation – users can purchase a site in a multi-site. Ooooohhh!
- WooCommerce Member Discounts – create a wholesale membership where members get discounts to your WooCommerce products.
- EDD integration – RCP is an obvious no brainer if you plan to use Easy Digital Downloads. Both are by the same company!
Great reports function
RCP has an awesome reports function built in. You can see sales by week, month, year, custom date-range. You can see total sales or breakdowns by each membership. Nice charts and colors. This a refreshing change from the usual membership plugins where the reports seem like an after-thought.
You’d be surprised but there are membership plugins that don’t even have a reports function! I can always tell when a membership plugin is built for enterprise usage because of the reports function it has. Because trust me, once you have enough members and you make more than a certain amount of money, you’ll need the reports to help you do your taxes. It’s not just a nice-to-have thing but essential for business use!
It’s also nice when the reports is more than just sales. That it can show refunds, coupons, and affiliates. RCP does all this!
Stable, works great
As if I had to say that about any of Pippin’s plugins. It works well.
- Compatible with all other themes and plugins.
- No weird issues, or gotchas.
- Should be fine with WooCommerce.
- Should be fine with whatever the heck weird scenario you want to make up in your head.
Anything made by Pippin will always be coded top-notch! You don’t have to worry that it won’t work with whatever setup you have.
Are there any downsides to RCP?
Just one!…RCP needs to have centralized rules control.
What I mean by this is that RCP needs to have one place where you can see all the content restriction rules. Preferably an extra link in their settings menu, called “Restrictions” or “Rules”.
Currently…how RCP content restriction works is that you go to the posts, pages, or other CPT menus (like products, etc) and do your restrictions from there. And then if you want to have custom rules for restricting individual items, you have to click directly to each time and scroll down to the bottom to do it.
It’s not hard at all to do it that way. It’s easy to understand and simple enough to do. And if you ever need to adjust those rules, you can do it from the same place (where you added them). Not inconvenient at all in the slightest….
If your site grows…and you add more membership levels…and you want to move, add, or delete content across the different memberships. And you have tons of membership levels, and users, and different content types…trust me, it’s gonna get crazy. You might miss a few items here or there. You’ll forget to unlock some items, and you have users complain. Or you’ll accidentally give users free access, and lose out on sales. Worst of all…it’s painful to manage because you just can’t see all your content restriction rules in one convenient place.
Is this really a big deal?
I think for most people with only 30-50 pages of content, and 2-3 membership levels…NO. Heck even if you had 100 pages and 5 membership levels, you’ll probably be fine. But what if you had 10-15 different membership levels and various TYPES of memberships that have overlapping access? And you have many different types of content and “packages”? Oh yeah…you might prefer another plugin.
VERDICT – I love RCP
I love Restrict Content Pro.
It is a beautiful membership plugin. With many built-in features, and many extra features that other membership plugins don’t have, put on the simplest cleanest UI. Super simple to use. Will fit 98% of use-case scenarios out there. I recommend it for everyone.
But I don’t use it because of the centralized rules things. Other than that. I want you to use it. If you’re curious about other great membership plugins, I would suggest MemberPress (which is my #1 choice).
Get Restrict Content Pro now!
How’s does hi other plugin – AffiliateWP – fare compared to the competition? I’m looking for an affiliate platform for my business.
AffiliateWP is the best affiliate plugin for WordPress. The gold standard. Best features, cleanest design and UI, most 3rd-party integrations. Everything else feels outdated in comparison.