I remember it like it was last weekend…
A developer from out of town had reached out to let me know they'd be pretty close to where I lived and wondered if we could meet for breakfast. So we set up a time and I drove out to meet with him. We knew each other, which is to say we'd met at an event before. But this was the first time we were getting to sit down and talk for real.
“I love the reviews and tutorials you write about membership sites.”
He wasn't the first or last person to thank me for the posts I'd written about membership sites. He wasn't even the first or last developer of a membership plugin to talk about my posts. But then he said something that was unique.
“I'm trying to build a membership plugin for WordPress that will be the only one you ever need to recommend.”
That's serious stuff. And he wasn't in “pitch” mode. He was simply stating that he was focused and intent on creating a fantastic product.
That was a couple of years ago and Blair Williams has pretty much succeeded. His product, MemberPress, was and is my favorite membership plugin after reviewing more than 30 of them. It's incredibly powerful and most of the people I recommend it to circle back later to thank me for it.
I'll also never forget another note I got…
I did a review of membership plugins in 2014 and again in 2015. In both cases, I reviewed Restrict Content Pro. Each time I recognized that it was a great product for developers who would love Pippin's code, and only needed what it did. But I also highlighted that it didn't do everything I wished or wanted.
Now to be clear, the criteria I use is my own. And I'm just one guy. So I know going into reviews like each of the last two, that certain plugins wouldn't score well. And I hoped I wouldn't get too much hate mail from the plugin developers who didn't get high scores.
But I wasn't ready for the note I got from Pippin.
“Thank you for the honest review. I really appreciate it and your defined criteria.”
Even though his plugin hadn't scored well, he was thanking me. That's not something you hear every day. But if you know Pippin, it's in line with who he is. He may or may not agree with you, but he'll welcome honest feedback and he'll consider it. (Regardless of whether he chooses to do something about it or not.)
Last week I got another chance to talk with Pippin about Restrict Content Pro…
Pippin reached out to me in December (I think) to see if I would give him a quote for the new Restrict Content Pro website. It was the first time I heard he was going to be giving the plugin its own site. I was, of course, thrilled to share any insights and quotes and to hear more about his plans.
Over the last several months, I've witnessed more and more effort being put into the plugin and into the site. So I asked him if we could spend some time chatting about the product and his plans.
Before I share any highlights, let me tell you three things quickly:
- He was just as clear as Blair was a couple of years ago that he wanted to create a top-notch plugin.
- He confirmed that he has allocated resources, energy and focus on updating and refactoring the plugin.
- I went and purchased the Ultimate package.
Why you should pay attention to Restrict Content Pro
When people think about Pippin and his WordPress products, they normally think of Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) or AffiliateWP (AWP). And on top of that, if you use EDD, you likely imagine that you can do all sorts of cool stuff with Restrict Content Pro (RCP) because they were written by the same folks. But the truth is, that's not really been the case.
And because of the success of both EDD and AWP, RCP has sat in the background without tons of attention. But that has changed over the last several months.
Here are five reasons you should check it out and keep paying attention to it:
- It now supports both content dripping and restricting past content. The first is a no-brainer and it highlights that Pippin's team is focused on making sure RCP can do the core things that every good membership plugin should do. But the second is very powerful. It's an often requested feature that many plugins don't support. In a quick move, he's leapfrogged several other players.
- It supports WooCommerce and member discounts. Again, this is a no-brainer, but the fact that Pippin and his team are supporting WooCommerce rather than just focusing on the integration with EDD says a ton to the WordPress community (or at least it should).
- For the right price ($199), you get all of the pro add-ons at once. Unlike other solutions where you have to keep buying and adding extensions, RCP is building a business model where you get everything you need for a single price. This is great news and the pricing sits in a good spot.
- It will (very) soon have umbrella membership support. So few plugins support umbrella memberships – where a company can purchase 20 accounts for their employees, for example, and each one can have their own login but it's managed by the payment and renewal of the parent account.
- He has a plan for the future. We spent a lot of time talking about a user's need to allow a member to have multiple memberships and while the code doesn't support it today, the more we spoke about it, the clearer it was that he knew what he needed to do and was going to make it happen. And it wasn't just that feature. He has a roadmap of where he's going – and it's exciting.
As I said, I went and purchased the Ultimate package. I did so because it offers a price point that allows me to get everything forever. Knowing what kind of work I do, and what the price would be if I renewed for the next two years, it was a no-brainer.
But you may want to start with the Pro plan. That's fine. Either way, what's important is that you check it out and that you keep your eye on the consistent new features coming out every few weeks.
It's going to be a fun ride and in time flat, I'm sure I'll have to do another review series looking just at:
- WooCommerce (w/ Subscriptions & Memberships)
- And now Restrict Content Pro
And if you're trying to decide between them, by now you should know you can always call me up.