Review of Membership WordPress Plugin Software

digital-access-pass-review-shotThe online membership site business model has been around for some time.  Membership sites are very compelling for the right product, yet a major challenge is having solid tools to help manage the content your customers are paying for.  Early products were expensive, often required a separate hosting account, required customization, and were inflexible.  In the last two years, several lower price options have come on the market.  One of those products is the subject of today’s post.  This post will cover:

  • what is and who this product is for
  • my first impressions of the product, likes, and dislikes,
  • if it is better than Wishlist Member, and
  • what you need to know to get started.

Review of Membership WordPress Plugin Software

[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Update, June 2012: Since the original review in 2010 DigitalAccessPass has gone through several releases and many enhancements.

The update to this review will include many of those changes with the goal of helping you, the reader, understand what it can do, and if it’s right for your business. Will try to update those post more often. Cool? [/box]

Recurring revenue is one of the top benefits of having a membership site.  However, with so many WordPress plugins and membership software packages out there, determining which is the right one for your business is a time consuming challenge?  Last years Review of Wishlist Member showed one of the first products on the market to make it easy to use a WordPress blog as a membership site platform and although Wishlist Member does a good job, it is not without flaws.  Recently, I looked at Digital Access Pass, and decided to put this review together for you.

What is Digital Access Pass (DAP)?

Described on their site as a “Membership Plugin For WordPress (and regular HTML web sites)” Digital Access Pass positions itself as a flexible and robust tool for its customers to secure content and deliver it to paid members in a “TrueDrip” fashion (more on what that means later).

Feature Snapshot. DAP has many features one might expect in a membership software package:

    • Simple Install, made for WordPress
    • Time Released content for members (Drip feed)
    • Supports Recurring Payments and One-Time Purchases
    • Works with Paypal, Clickbank, 1ShoppingCart
    • Built-In Affiliate Program: Single level only, (Pay per lead, Pay per sale, or both) with a host of Affiliate Analytics.
    • Unlimited: Membership Levels, Users, Affiliates, Email Autoresponders/Broadcasting


  • AWeber integration
  • Built in Email Broadcasting:  Allowing you to self host, external host, throttle messages, target messages based on customer profile, etc.
  • File Protection & Security: Very flexible configuration, with a host of content and user security features.
  • Subscription support: Pay As You Go, Pay-Per-View, or Pay-Per-Download.
  • Custom: Templates, Headers, Footers, and Emails.
  • Fair investment: The cost to get started is a fair considering the features (details here).

Who Digital Access Pass is For?

Anyone who has or is going to launch a membership site, needs a way to secure content, and deliver it to paying (or free) customers in a timed fashion.  WordPress is a very popular website platform in recent years, DAP integrates with WordPress, but as a result of it’s design, it also secures regular webpages (html, and php pages).
[toggle title_open=”Sweet Travis, Thanks.” title_closed=”Disclaimer:” hide=”yes” border=”no” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]

[box type=”note” style=”rounded”]Disclaimer: One of the ways this site serve readers and subscribers is through our hype free product reviews. Product makers often give review copies of their products at no cost, in hopes that we might review it. This is the case with this digitalaccesspass review.

We also receive compensation (millions… ehem, not really) for those who find the product to be a fit for them, and purchase through our affiliate link. These commissions are used to recharge Travis’ Starbucks card, pay hosting, and other costs associated with running the site. Here’s hoping you find this review useful, chime in using the comment boxes toward the bottom and let us know. [/box]


My First Impressions

One of the benefits of using DAP is that they offer a service to install it for you, this is nice for people uncomfortable with doing tech things themselves.  I wanted to see how difficult is was to install so I did it myself, and have been running the software for nearly a year here.  In my view, software like this should be simple enough for a novice to get up an running without much hassle.  These were the steps I ran through.  I found them to be relatively easy:

  • Download the 2 software zip files.  Unzip the files.
  • Upload two unzipped folders.  I did this pretty easily with FileZilla.  You can do this with any FTP software after plugging in login details for your hosting account. Caution:only one of these folders goes in the traditional WordPress “plugins” folder, the other folder goes off the root of your domain.
  • Activate Plugin via your WordPress admin plugin interface.
  • Permalinks update: Last item is to verify a permalinks setting, and hit the save button.  Again, this is done via the WordPress admin panel.

digital-access-pass-review-screenshot01Total Install Time: 10 minutes

The first thing I noticed in my WordPress admin panel was a new icon in the lower left of the navigation bar.  After selecting that icon, the right hand pane refreshed into another scroll bar, and I saw the administration area for Digital Access Pass.

I was a little confused because during setup, I was given another link to login to the admin panel separately from WordPress.  After talking with Ravi, the product’s creator, I learned that DAP actually does most of its work outside of WordPress, which gives it more flexibility.  I’m not a coder, but I was glad to hear DAP does most of its work outside of WordPress because WordPress has had issues with security.

Payment Processors Supported with Digital Access Pass

In order to sell a product online online, you need to be able to process payment. Below is a list of the payment processors the system currently supports.

[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • ClickBank
  • Digiresults
  • Google Checkout
  • e-Junkie (e-J does not allow recurring payments)
  • JVZoo
  • Paypal Standard
  • Paypal Website Payments Pro
  • Plimus
  • WorldPay
  • WSO Pro (Warrior Plus)


Shopping Carts Supported with Digital Access Pass

If you use an online shopping cart service to process payment there are several supported.

[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • (a 1shoppingcart private label)
  • Premium Web Cart
  • InfusionSoft
  • WP eStore
[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Indirectly, Digital Access Pass supports all the payment processors that these shopping carts support, which is over 50 payment processors.[/box]


Email Services Supported with Digital Access Pass

While Digital Access Pass has an integrated mailing system, some marketers may want to use one of the top email providers online. These are different than the mail functionality that comes with a shopping cart, or all-in-one system like Infusionsoft.

[unordered_list style=”tick”]


What I Like About Digital Access Pass

These aren’t all the features (find them here), but a list of the ones that stood out to me while evaluating the software are (in no particular order):

    • Email Integration: Ties in with AWeber and other services nicely.
    • TruDrip Feature: This feature allows you to create a product, then assign content to that product, which is released to the subscriber in a given # of  days.
      NOTE: By contrast with Wishlist Members administrators create a “product” (piece of content), and determine when *it* is released.  Rather than a stream of content for a given product, the admin has to create another product for the next month.  If there are multiple membership levels, buckle in.  The admin has to create one product per level per month.  If you want to roll out 4 pieces of content a month and have 3 membership levels, you need to create 4 products per level, or 16 products a month, after 6 months you have created, (16*6) 96 products!  As you can imagine this becomes challenging (read more about it here).

      Control access to each piece of content within a product.
  • File Protection: Can protect the following file types, .mp3, .zip, .flv, .zip, .exe. .pdf, .doc. .xls, .mpeg. .swf, .js, and they don’t have to exist within WordPress structure for the site.  It also allows for partial content protection. For example; you can make a post public but the video, or PDF (like a checklist), or other media file, would be available for paid members.
  • Pay-Per-View/Download: This is big for anyone who sells video training or coaching.  The ability to tie down a video or download on a “Per-View” basis can be a pretty big deal.
  • Fraud Detection: There’s nothing worse that someone buying a membership only to share the login with friends.  This configurable feature by default allows a member to login from up to 5 unique IP addresses, then locks them out, sending an email to the member, and admin.  (Warning: Does not currently protect against multiple concurrent logins from the same IP – behind corporate firewall).
  • WordPress Forums Integration: Membership sites that also use forums are great for building community among members.  DAP supports integration with WP-Forum, bbPress, and Simple Machines. vBulletin is also supported.
  • “Post Cancel” Affiliate Access: This allows those who are no longer members to continue to sell the product as a member of the affiliate program.
  • Credits-based System: This addon (additional fee) solution allows one to assign value to products as credits. Credits are given to members for each month they are a subscriber in exchange for access to content. This offers flexibility for members who’d rather get your more advanced content, at their own pace.

What I Don’t Like About Digital Access Pass

  • User Interface: Some may find this concern picky, and maybe it has to do with having a background at a software company – the user interface works, but could be improved with the right touches.  The admin panel has been improved from earlier renditions, but may add to the learning curve for some in the beginning. DigitalAccessPass does what most plugins do, present itself in the admin side of WordPress in a frame.
DAP User Interface menu sits within WordPress.
  • CRM Feature: DAP has a feature that will mail the administrator a reminder to send a postcard, letter, or call the customer.  It will even merge their customer’s contact details so everything is right there in the email message.  While this is likely a handy feature, I have a hard time labeling it as a “CRM” feature.  Sure email or phone follow up is an aspect of Customer Relationship Management (small one), it is more of a task reminder function.  Learn more about DAP here.

Digital Access Pass vs. Wishlist Member Which is Better?

When it comes to leveraging WordPress to build an affordable membership site Digital Access Pass and Wishlist Member are the two market leaders. In this post I’ve laid out the standout features of DAP so you can make an informed decision about which membership site management system to go with.  At the time of this writing, here are a few things to consider (their “showdown page” is found here):

  • Setup Time: While both take about the same time to install, getting them ready for supporting members is the real time investment.  Both will require a decent amount of time to setup for any membership site.  However, with the additional labor required for building monthly WishList Products once it is installed makes it tough not to give the edge to DAP with it’s TrueDrip Feature (scroll up if you missed that part of the review).
  • Support: When things go wrong, you want to know someone is there.  On both accounts, I’ve had positive experience with support from both product makers, timely responses to questions, etc.  And everything I see on Twitter and around the web backs this up (Yes.  There are always exceptions for the rule. But there are no glaring problems that I could see for either product at this point).  The owner of Digital Access Point even puts his personal phone number on his website and invites people to call about his product.  How’s that for putting your money where your mouth is?
  • Financial Investment: Wishlist Member does not have a trial available.  It costs $97 for a single domain, and $297 for unlimited domains.  Customers get 1 year free updates and free support.  It then costs $97 for a single domain, $197 for 3 domains, $297 for unlimited domains.  DAP has a Membership Site In A Box setup option at $497.  DAP customers now get 1 year of free updates and free support.

For those serious about having more granular controls over their membership site, give Digital Access Pass a good look.  Both products are pretty good at what they do.  For this round, I have to tip my hat to Digital Access Pass.  The TrueDrip Feature puts it ahead of Wishlist Member

What You Need to Know to Get Started with Digital Access Pass

To install the product you’ll need a decent web host.  Make sure their servers support:

  • PHP version 5+
  • MySQL 4+
  • PDO for PHP library installed and enabled for MySQL

These are common features among most hosts. Here’s the host I used during my test.  If you are like me, you’ll have it installed in 10 minutes or so.

Bottomline on Digital Access Pass

Digital Access Pass is a solid membership site software package.  Where it may be weak on user interface, it makes up for it in robust, and highly configurable features, while the investment is in keeping with other products.  Learn about the Digital Access Pass here.

Comments? Questions? Please chime in with your thoughts below.

Author: Travis Campbell

Husband. Dad. Marketing automator. Author. Educating and coaching others in their online business endeavors. Here's his Google profile.

53 thoughts on “Review of Membership WordPress Plugin Software”

  1. Thanks for doing this, I was just going to purchase another product, I'm now planning on doing the trial of this product as a result of your thorough review. Excellent!

    1. Great question. I'm not sure if there are any reputable ones out there (chime in if you know of some). My thought is, if it going to be a technology you rely on to serve paying customers, you probably want a paid product so you can get support when needed. (I don't use free anti-virus software either :-)

    1. Janice,

      Yes, we have a 2-tier (and possibly N-tier) affiliate program on our TODO list. We should have it sometime in March 2010.

      – Ravi Jayagopal
      Founder/Developer, DigitalAccessPass

    2. Janice,

      A quick update…

      Starting 4.0 (released on 12/30/2010), DAP supports “Multi-Tier” Affiliate Commissions.

      Just FYI.

      – Ravi Jayagopal
      Co-Founder/Co-Developer, DigitalAccessPass

  2. Travis,

    Wanted to thank you for this kind review of DigitalAccessPass (lovingly known as “DAP” :-).

    We pride ourselves with the passion we have for DAP, our “FANATIC'nical” support, how much we care about making DAP the #1 Membership Software for WordPress, and how much we genuinely care about our user community.

    And when such a sincere review come out, it not only warms the heart, but it also gives us a big shot-in-the-arm to get back to work and make DAP even better :-)

    We are launching an plugin with 1-Click Upsells/Downsells (“DAP Upsell Tree”) for Auth net, and OTO's in just a few days. So please stay tuned. You will then have to scratch out the part that says DAP doesn't do :-)

    We recently updated our main web site to look a lot more prettier than what it was before. Next stop: “Make Admin Dashboard Prettier”. Got it. Thanks for the nudge.

    Thank you for putting in so much time, effort and passion into providing such a high quality, honest review for your users. Really appreciate it.

    Take care and have an amazing 2010!

    – Ravi Jayagopal
    Founder/Developer, DigitalAccessPass

  3. Hey, this is a pretty darn good review. I've looked into DAP and some other WP Membership Plugins myself and this looks pretty fair. DAP and WL seem to be top choices but I guess usefulness depends largely on what site owners want to do.

    1. Gwen-

      I think that is fair. The challenge is, most don't know the finer details of what they want to do with their membership program/site until they get into it. This is part of the reason I give the not (at the moment) to DAP, because it is the most flexible option on the market.

      Don't be a stranger! :-)


  4. Hmmm, after using Wishlist Member for the past 6 months I know what you are saying is incorrect.

    The WishList Member Sequential Delivery option is much easier than you describe.
    For example, if you create a single piece of content (what you refer to as a “product”), you can then add that piece of content to multiple membership levels.
    Once you have added it to a membership level, you can then schedule it for sequential delivery.

    When you say:

    “If you want to roll out 4 pieces of content a month and have 3 membership levels, you need to create 4 products per level, or 16 products a month, after 6 months you have created, (16*6) 96 products!”

    This is absolutely incorrect.

    Travis, to be fair, if you haven't looked at Wishlist Member for the past year, then you are doing your readers a disservice.

    As a membership developer, I wouldn't have any clients at all if what you said about Wishlist Member was actually true (in regards to sequential delivery)

    I hope you give Wishlist Member another, Thorough review. Hopefully you'll see just how powerful it has become – my clients sure think so!

    1. Steve-

      Thanks for chiming in here. After several attempts to get clarification from the creators of Wishlist, prior to publishing this review and then after, they opted not to participate (wish they would). If they only knew how professional (non combative) readers are! :-)

      As with most software, these plugins are updated an expanded often (as seen in Ravi's comments on this post).

      Since I'm not currently using Wishlist, and they no longer offer a trial. Can anyone confirm Steve's point regarding sequential delivery?


    2. Steve,

      For every 1 person who says that is incorrect, we have 4 others saying that's it is very much correct, and that was the reason why they left our competitor and switched over to DAP, because the drip feature of our “competitor” wasn't really “true drip”.

      In fact, I even double-checked with a couple of folks on Twitter, who were undergoing WL certification at that time.

      In fact, if you see , you'll see that we only found out about our competitor's limitation from other actual WL users.

      So rather than argue over opinions, it would be good to see some evidence that proves that they have true-drip – like a video, or a piece of documentation on their web site.

      If you know of some, please point us to it, and we'll gladly change our stance.

      – Ravi

      1. I want to be clear, my desire is to uncover the truth about online marketing tools, strategies, info products, etc. And do so professionally. If anyone can get to the bottom of this, provide a video or something that provides clarity to this sequential delivery feature for Wishlist, I would be a service to everyone here.

        Steve, you took the time to make some strong statements that points in this review were “absolutely incorrect”. I'm happy to admit if there is an error, but I'm not yet convinced.

        Might you provide a resource that clarifies your ideas further?


  5. Travis,

    Just wanted to give you and your readers a quick update about DAP.

    1) DAP now works with The plugin was released on Jan 11, 2010.

    2) DAP also works with Paypal Payments Pro since Jan 26, 2010.

    3) We have a new plugin called “Upsell Tree” which allows you to do 1-Click Upsells, Downsells & OTO's using either or Paypal Payments Pro.

    So lots happening at DAP. Will keep you posted as we continue to add more features to make picking DAP a total no-brainer :-)

    Thanks for the review again.

    – Ravi Jayagopal
    Founder & Developer, DAP

  6. First of all, your website is great! It has been extremely informative. I am still confused about the “Drip Content” when comparing the 2 programs. If someone signs up for the membership and there is a video they will get each week then when they sign up they will be able to see week 1 but not any other content….now person #2 signs up a month after person 1….will person #2 only see week one or will they see all the content on the site up to that point? I hope this makes sense….thank you for your time

  7. I purchased the developer program for WishList Member and haven't really used it properly to be fair, but, having used aMember in the past, I wasn't overly keen on the WL method of providing sequential content.

    It was actually one of my clients who introduced me to Digital Access Pass and I have to say, having seen the comparisons, to me, it just makes sense switching to DAP before I forge ahead with my membership site.

    Thanks for the great review Travis.

    1. Trish-

      Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for sharing your experience. I wish the folks at wishlist would be more active here answering readers questions, and users like yourself help all of us get a better understanding.

      Keep it rollin'.

  8. Dear Travis.

    Thaks for the review, I was looking for a place where I can find a reliable review of these products since I wasn't sure which of them was more suitable for my needs, which are basically a solution to deliver several modules as the students coming.

    I just have one question regarding pricing, you saig DAP is 97 after trial, but I did not find the same price in DAP web, I only found a 1 site license for 167. Did they raise their prices?



    1. Eliana-

      Indeed, my understanding is that they did raise their prices, and they are going away (if they haven't already) from the $1 trial. Since wishlist has been silent on questions presented here, and DAP functionality and features exceed that of Wishlist, I've concluded DAP is a superior product. Wishlist has much better marketing though. :-)

      Hope that helps.


      1. Tks Travis!

        I agree Wishlist has better marketing, I was about to buy from them when I meet DAP. What I mean is DAP is not as easy to find on the net as Wishlist. Im glad I found it, and found your blog before I made a decision

  9. Travis,

    A couple of things that have changed since your review:

    1) We support
    2) Our user interface has undergone several revisions since your original review. It now looks very different from what you've shown above.
    3) We are no longer offering a free (1 penny) trial. Our prices have gone up, since DAP now includes a whole new host of features, including 1-Click Upsells, One-Time Offers (OTO), Built-in Shopping Cart, and more. All of these are now included for free in the basic 1-site license.

    Just wanted to update you and your readers.


    Ravi Jayagopal
    Founder & Co-Developer
    DigitalAccessPass (DAP)

  10. I second this recommendation. After a brief time using Wishlist Member and trying Memberwing, I decided to instead go for DAP. It's worked really well for me and the support is amazing. When I submit a ticket I usually have a response within an hour. TruDrip is great for dripping content, it's easy to protect partial content with the latest update, you can protect files so people can't access them directly. I really can't recommend this product enough.

  11. Travis, you may want to at least remove the part about the DAP UI being bad :-). We fixed that at least 10 months ago :-)

    Also, you may want to update your review based on the changes we’ve made in the past year. Most of your concerns from your original review may no longer even be valid. Just a thought.


    – Ravi Jayagopal
    Founder & Co-Developer, DigitalAccessPass

    1. Travis,

      It’s been 2 years since the DAP UI update :-)

      Plus DAP 4.2 is now live, which has some very cool features. [You may wish to link to our “working hard” blog post for that]

      – Ravi Jayagopal
      Founder & Co-Developer, DigitalAccessPass

  12. I have been agonizing over this topic for more than a year. Amember. WishList. DAP. Ugh! I have ordered Amember twice and still have had trouble with integrating it. I’m over it. The “true drip” and affiliate options have sold me on DAP. Going to try it and see what happens:) Thanks for the review Travis.

  13. 6 months ago I purchased Rapid Action Profits Exclusive package for $295 ;(
    Now I realized that WP is the best way to go about everything, because of its simplicity. Most of my websites are based on WP. I want to offer my own products through membership. In order to do this through RAP I need another purchase RAP Press for WP which cost another $200 along with Digital secure of S3 content. I`m crying now seeing DAP. I searched for some other and cheaper solutions, but most of them end up with over $200. RAP Press have 3 x payment options, but I feel like DAP would be better offer for me. I like Pay-Per-View feature here. Another good feature is auto-responders integrations. I use Get Response which initially I planned to use to give my product, but RAP Press does not integrate with it, so each person who opt in to view video would have to go through another opt-in which would be signing up for membership with new credentials. I`m thinking now what should I do. $249 for DAP plus secure AS3 links would be next $97 It`s quite a lot.

  14. Travis, thanks for the insight review of DAP and Wishlist! I too was researching on a good membership subscription module and after reading all the comments below and seeing how proactive Ravi has been answering questions shows a lot about his product!

    Ravi, if your reading this, I will be purchasing your software very very soon! Keep up the awesome work and looking forward in working with you and your team.


      1. Hi Ravi,

        I am glad you provide ‘Tru Support’ as well! Well I want to decide between Amember and DAP since I will be using 2Checkout for payments from India (my blog targets Indian traffic). But I wanted to know what is the updates subscription cost beyond the first year?

        Secondly, if I use 2Checkout can I display the currency in Rupees using DAP ?

        Also can I install DAP on my sub-domains apart from the main domain within the single license or will need to buy a separate license for each subdomain (I have 2 subdomains)? Also can a member login from any of the 3 domains (main and 2 sub) and still get the same membership access and settings?

        Looking forward to your reply…and Thanks a Lot Travis for this extremely useful review!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *