WordPress User Registration Plugin

Not sure what’s the right WordPress User Registration Plugin for you to use on your project?

Going through all the WordPress User Registration plugins can be disorienting. You probably spent hours and hours searching for plugins and tutorials to help you with your project and you’re still as confused as when you started. Imagine finding the best one to use for your project without loosing hours testing them all out. You can them spend all that saved time relaxed knowing what’s needed for your project.

In this Part 2 of the WordPress User Registration Series we’ll go through what makes a good WordPress User Registration Plugin, what you can achieve without coding and why using a registration plugin is a good idea.

When to use a WordPress User Registration Plugin

As WordPress in general gathers more and more traction as a CMS and application framework, more and more people what to use it as a community platform. Allowing registrations, user generated content is just the first step towards a complete solution for your project.

I’ve spent some time tracking down what other people allow user registration and this is what I’ve come up with:

  • Professional Directory. For example a directory of Doctors. Needs front-end login, registration, edit profile and members listing
  • Content Portal. For example a collection of job related articles where people pay for access to information. Needs front-end login, registration, edit profile and content restriction. Basically it’s a membership site.
  • Community Website. Offering a non-technical community access to information about their members. Needs front-end login, registration, edit profile and members listing.
  • Web-Apps built on top of WordPress. Needs front-end accounts.
  • User Generated Content. Needs front-end accounts and front-end posting. Micro-blogging included.

Based on the above type of websites, we can extract a series of features you might want from our WordPress Registration Plugin like:

  • Registration from front-end
  • Registration with different / extra fields then the default WordPress user fields.
  • Spam protection for registration like Capcha or admin approval of new users
  • Login from front-end. Via a widget or shortcode
  • Editing of user profile from front-end
  • Front-End Posting
  • Members listing and public visible profiles for users
  • Client Area. A place where existing clients can login and access documents related to them like invoices or contracts.

I was about to categorize each plugin based on a particular feature, however that’s never the case since many plugins solve multiple problems, thus categorizing it based on that makes little sense. Instead I’ll try and curate a list of good plugins that can help you solve your WordPress user registration problems

Theme My Login

This plugin themes the WordPress login, registration and forgot password pages according to your current theme. It creates a page to use in place of wp-login.php, using a page template from your theme. Also includes a widget for sidebar login.

Pros:

  • Lots of useful features: Redirects, possibility to edit the HTML of the email registration and simple to use shortcode and widget.
  • It’s modular. You can activate only the features you need.
  • Really customizable through the use of proper php templates

Cons:

  • Nothing really. It’s an awesome little plugin

Download Theme My Login from WordPress.org.

Profile Builder

I’m a bit biased, since this is a plugin we’ve created here at Cozmoslabs, but I like to call it “WordPress registration done right.”

It lets you customize your website by adding a front-end forms for all your users, giving them a more flexible way to modify their user-information, register new users and login. It’s all shortcode based and really straight forward to use.

Pros:

  • Customizable fields for your login and registration forms. You can select what default fields will be available for your registration and edit profile forms
  • Everything is in the front-end. Thus fits perfectly with any theme.
  • Simple to use

Cons:

  • Extra features like avatar upload and extra fields for registration, Custom Redirects or advanced User Listing are only available in the PRO version.

Download Profile Builder from WordPress.org

WP User Front End

Gives ability to the user to create new post, edit post, edit profile from site front-end. So users doesn’t need to enter the admin panel. Everything they need to do can be done from the front-end.

This is a really cool plugin but chances are you’ll have to fit your project on the plugin’s structure, not the other way around.

Pros:

  • It’s a complete front-end posting plugin
  • Supports payments for posts or subscriptions (for a directory listing for example)
  • You can add your own custom fields

Cons:

  • It feels quite rigid in it’s structure. This can be a good and bad thing

Download WP User Fontend from WordPress.org

Cimy User Extra Fields

Add some useful fields to registration and user’s info.

Pros:

  • reCAPTCHA
  • Possibility to hide fields
  • Image upload with crop/resize

Cons:

  • The plugin’s interface is not that ordered and intuitive as we want to be

Download Cimy User Extra Fields from WordPress.org

WP-Members

WP-Members™ is a free membership management framework for WordPress® that restricts content to registered users.

Pros:

  • Admin Approval Feature
  • reCAPTCHA
  • You can add as may custom fields as you want

Cons:

  • The plugin doesn’t offer the possibility to add avatars or images for the users

Download WP-Members from WordPress.org

New User Approve

New User Approve is a WordPress plugin that allows a blog administrator to approve a user before they are able to access and login to the blog.

Pros:

  • Admin Approval Feature
  • Email Notifications

Cons:

  • The plugin is not very complex and it works better in combination with other registration plugins

Download New User Approve from WordPress.org

Members List

The Members Plugin allows you to create a post on your wordpress blog that lists all your WordPress members.

Pros:

  • The plugin offers the possibility to change the sort fields and also the search fields
  • You can hide/show members
  • You can create lists to display users with certain roles
  • Users can choose which list they wish to be part of

Cons:

  • The plugins is not the most intuitive. But it could be worse.

Download Members List from WordPress.org

Confirm User Registration

Admins have to confirm each user registration. A notification will be send when the account gets approved.

Pros:

  • The users that register to a site need to be approved before login
  • Administrators can customize the emails and messages sent to users

Cons:

  • There are no cons. This simple plugin does what it says and keeps it simple.

Download Confirm User Registration from WordPress.org

WP User Control

WordPress sidebar login widget that allows a user to login, register, or reset their password, ALL without leaving their current location.

Pros:

  • A nice widget, for Login, Register and Password Reset
  • It offers the possibility to add redirects

Cons:

  • The plugin is actually a widget, and it does what is says. So, no cons.

Download WP User Control from WordPress.org

Simplr User Registration Form

This plugin allows users to easily add a custom user registration form anywhere on their site using simple shortcode.

Pros:

  • Users can create role-specific registration forms
  • It offers the possibility to add redirects
  • Confirmation Message can be customize from shortcode.

Cons:

  • The plugin offers just the registration form. It would’ve been nice to also have a login form.

Download Simplr User Registration Form from WordPress.org

Multisite User Registration Manager

This plugin provides a system for registration requests and their processing in multisite. Two-level moderation.

Pros:

  • Potential new site owners can request registration through a form embedded via a shortcode.
  • Shortcodes based
  • Allows email notifications

Cons:

  • The registration doesn’t require password.
  • The plugin doesn’t allow to add extra fields on registration form.

Download Multisite User Registration Manager from WordPress.org

WP Users

This plugin provides a system for registration requests and their processing in multisite. Two-level moderation.

Pros:

  • Create user lists, user search.
  • CVS Export
  • Shows lists in widgets

Cons:

  • There are no cons.

Download WP Users from WordPress.org

Janrain Capture

This plugin provides a system for registration requests and their processing in multisite. Two-level moderation.

Pros:

  • Social login and registration.
  • Email verification
  • Easy customization
  • Multisite Installation

Cons:

  • It depends on a third party platform. Depending on your project you might not like this.

Download Janrain Capture from WordPress.org

Conclusions

Finding all the plugins that improve or add features to the default WordPress User Registration process is not what this article was about.

Instead, you should look at these plugins as things that can be done with WordPress Registration, things that can be researched further until finding the right solution. Knowing something is possible with a plugins will expand your knowledge and help you make proper decisions you can live with

Besides WordPress Registration Plugins, the next step would be to custom code your functionality. For that to happen, a good understanding of the WordPress User API is a must and that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in Part 3 of this series (coming soon).

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About Cristian Antohe

Cristian Antohe is the co-founder Cozmoslabs. He's a WordPress developer, web designer and Open Source fanatic. He's part of the team that developed Profile Builder and WordPress Creation Kit and also helps curate wpMail.me.

Find me on: Google + | Twitter

30 thoughts on “WordPress User Registration Plugin

  1. Not a registration plugin, but my problem with the Members List plugin (And a few other similar ones) was that you can’t style it is any way and are locked in to the plugin’s markup. So I wrote my own.

    Like Members List, Simple User Listing is also a shortcode that displays a list of users. The catch is that it uses template parts that you can override in your theme and customize.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-user-listing/

    /end gratuitous self-promotion. :)

    • Gratuitous self-promotion gratuitously accepted! :) Thank you for sharing your plugin with us. We didn’t noticed it when researching for it.

      PS: Are you still working with Thematic? How’s that working out? I kinda moved on some time ago because it was adding extra complexity to the projects (overwriting entire markup sections with hooks wasn’t that elegant).

  2. Hello Mr.Cristian Antohe,
    I should be very thankful for your plugin..
    can you please tell me that…how can i remove

    1.Entries RSS
    2.Comments RSS
    from my login/logout panel in my side bar…

    Thanks
    Bobby

  3. Thank you for the info.

    You mentioned a professional directory. I’m trying to build a directory for therapists. Needs front-end login, registration, edit profile, recover lost password, members listing (without needing to log in first). I need to be able to create custom fields for profiles like checkboxes. NO option to send emails or create pages. Which plugin(s) would you use?

    Thanks,
    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      All of the features you’re looking for are built in the PRO version of Profile Builder.

      It allows front-end login, register and edit profile by using shortcodes. Extra user fields types include checkboxes.
      Also, the User Listing Add-on will allow you to list members in the front-end. You can see it in action here.

  4. Thanks for this useful post, may you please recommend a plugin I can start with which functions like a warranty registration? Basically:

    The user is provided a login and see the details of a product he/she bought, with a unique warranty number and date (which is different for every user)

    Sorry If I cannot explain very well, anyway if you guys can suggest something that would be great. Been on google about this for hours.

  5. HI

    I just downloaded Profile Builder, but i have some questions please.
    1. How can users download a picture on their profile?
    2. Would “Members List” and “Confirm User Registration” plugins work in combination with Profile Builder?
    3. How can I create two separated members lists?
    4. Do i have to activate the box “Anyone can Register” in General Settings on my Dashboard in order to Profile Builder to work?

    Many thanks for your help

    Vanesa

  6. Hi,
    I am not a coding specialist but I tried Theme My Login 6.3.8 on local. It is what I need but It seems not working with WP 3.6.

  7. Hi,
    First thanks for your thesis on membership plugin.
    I’v site (multisite) where user can register and update their profile. But more need in profile:-
    # custom profile picture
    # they can put their photo’s within profile (gallery or thumbs) with custom profile pic,
    # List of user/member in various type of category (64)/subcategory(300+) (if possible then real category/subcategory)
    # view/show user/member categorise (like category post)
    # public view of user details profile

    I just googling last one month for solution as u mention first!
    Please suggest me which plugin/s perfect for me.

    Eagerly waiting for your reply.

    Farid.

  8. I found this article to be interesting, but, unless I over looked something, it fell short in what I am looking for.

    Because of the many different plugins I am needing to create the type of site I am needing, (havent found anything anywhere as of yet to meet all requirements) so I am rethinking on how to set up the site.

    Here is what I have in mind and I will let you give me your feedback.

    It appears I am needing to build a site based on two, possibly three installs of WordPress on the same domain/same server(cluster). For my example I will say I have abcdefg.net as my example domain name for this site. And for this example, lets say I make three installs of WordPress

    I will make an install of WordPress in the web root directory for abcdefg.net and I will set up a second install in a subdirectory (NOT subdomain) in abcedfg.net/gallery/
    And another install of wordpress in abcdefg.net/business-directory/

    Design – I will create a theme that will work across all three installs of WordPress, the site visitor would really never know it was three installs of WordPress, it will appear to be one seemless site.

    The reason – I am doing this is all the different plugins I have now are not playing correctly with each other. And this set up would resolve the issue of plugins not playing nice. And help to load the home page of the site faster as well since I will then have fewer plugins in the main install of WordPress.

    Problem – with this set up is I do not want to have to have those that register for the site to have to create (in this example) 3 different logins on three different installs of WordPress.

    So my solution – is to locate or have a “bridge” of some sort that would allow people to signup and login on the main install (the one in the root directory) and then they will automatically be logged in to the other two installs of WordPress, so they can navigate flawlessly across the entire site made up of three installs of WordPress.

    So the bottom line question does anyone know of any type database bridge that would all the users to be created cross all WordPress installs and keep them logged in regardless of what install they are on?

    Thanks for any feedback

    Roy

  9. I haven’t found any which will check current users to see which are legitimate versus bots. Does something like this exist? I have over 6000 users registered as subscribers. I expect a tiny percentage are actual people and the rest spambots.

  10. Hi, thank you for the list of user registration plugins. I’ve activated Theme My Login on my site, and have a question about it, which I’ve been searching for online with little success.

    It’s a simple request. When a new user registers, I would like them to be automatically logged in and redirected to the page they were on before registering. Alternately (but not as great), they could register, login, and then be redirected to the page they were on previously. Currently I have the redirect option checked, but after someone registers and logs in, they are redirected back to the registration page because that’s where they were before logging in – a frustrating loop! I want this to be easy for the visitors to my site. How can I get around this so the user has a more successful experience?

    In summary, I just want a new user who registers for my site to be redirected to the page they were originally on when prompted to register instead of experiencing this loop.

    Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can provide!

  11. I want to know which is best wordpress for plug in..
    I look for before log in or new register before bypass website for protocted for child enter my wesite..
    let me know

  12. Good list. Which would you recommend to have people register in order to have access to free download material. They would also use their log in to access customer specific files.

  13. when i started making a site, i rarely relly on plugins but as the more years i had experience, its best to think of the plugins to use before starting the site because there is a lot of problem occur if you decide to use a new plugin when your site is a bit older already, my problem now is user registration, thanks for this handful of very useful plugins for registration, my problem now is user management, how to delete a user that never login for a specific period of time

  14. You have a typo at the end of the following sentence..

    The plugins is not the most intuitive. But it could be worst.
    The plugins is not the most intuitive. But it could be worse.

    It is located on the review of:
    Members List

    All else is enjoyable.

    I’m going to go through some of those plug-ins. What I’m trying to do is get the name of people who look at my autobiography site so I can interface with them and see what they liked and what they didn’t like and chat with them later on so

    I need it to be really simple for them to leave their name and email but not onerous at all so I don’t turn them off.

    The next step is to trace what they look at and how long they spend reading. Right now I’m using Google Analytics for that but of course I don’t know the names of the people that are looking.

    I wish I could combine those two but I’m not holding my breath.

  15. I’m looking for what I think is much more basic information about why users register in the first place. I have been blogging for awhile at kimberlyholman.com but never used the meta plugin on that site. I just recently started a magazine type site at contemplativetheology.com. I admittedly put the meta plugin in the sidebar with no real intention. Much to my surprise, about 30 people registered on my new site within a week.

    So it’s a curiosity to me. Is it a good practice to give people the opportunity to register as subscribers? Do these people likely have a wordpress account and know what they’re doing? Are they accessing my content via wordpress.com or something like that? Is there any way to incorporate them on my email list? Because I have an email sign up, but not nearly the response there (I also haven’t yet set it up with any free offers or anything). Or are they most likely just really disappointed to discover their registration got them nothing but a login to their profile?

    I’m really just getting started and trying to understand what has compelled these people to register with no clear direction to do so and what the best practices are around this. I’d appreciate any thoughts or directions on how I should “manage” these users to give them what they are most likely looking for.

    • > So it’s a curiosity to me. Is it a good practice to give people the opportunity to register as subscribers?

      Unless you have a real reason for doing this, no. So if your users just want to read your website content, you don’t need to allow people to register.

  16. I simply couldn’t go away your site before suggesting that I actually loved the usual
    info a person supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again incessantly in order to check out
    new posts

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