Not sure what’s the right WordPress User Registration Plugin for you to use into 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 losing hours testing them all out. You can then 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.
- Part 1 – Default WordPress User Registration
- Part 2 – WordPress User Registration Plugin
- Part 3 – Ultimate Developers Guide for WordPress User Registration – code snippets and short tutorials (coming soon)
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 want 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 where other people need to allow users to register and this is what I’ve come up with:
- Professional Directory. For example a directory of Doctors. It 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. It 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. It needs front-end login, registration, edit profile and members listing
- Web-Apps built on top of WordPress. It needs front-end accounts.
- User Generated Content. It 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 for your WordPress Registration Plugin like:
- Registration from front-end
- Registration with different / extra fields then the default WordPress user fields
- Spam protection for registration like Captcha or admin approval of new users
- Login from front-end – via a widget or a shortcode
- Editing of user’s profile from front-end
- Front-End Posting
- Members listing, public and visible profiles for users
- Client Area – A place where existing clients can login and access their documents like invoices or contracts
I was about to categorize each plugin based on a particular feature, however that’s not the case since many plugins solve multiple problems, thus categorizing it based on that makes little sense. Instead I’ll try to 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.
- Lots of useful features: Redirects and gives the possibility to edit the HTML of the registration email notification and it has simple to use shortcodes and widgets
- It’s modular – You can activate only the features you need
- Really customizable through the use of proper PHP templates
- Nothing really. It’s an awesome little plugin.
Download Theme My Login from WordPress.org.
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 form 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.
- 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
- Easy to extend or integrate with other plugins/services via Add-ons
- Simple to use
- 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.
Paid Member Subscriptions
- You can setup a fully functional WordPress membership site in just four steps with Paid Member Subscriptions
- Users can register and subscribe to Paid & Free Subscription Plans
- Shortcode based (register, login, account & content restriction)
- More complex functionality + integrations available via Add-ons
- For now the only payment gateway available in the free core is PayPal Standard. More gateways are available via paid add-ons.
Download Paid Member Subscriptions from WordPress.org.
WP User Front End
This plugin gives the user the ability to create new posts, edit their profile all from the site frontend, so the user does not need to enter the backend admin panel to do these things. 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.
- 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
- It feels quite rigid in it’s structure and this can be a good or a bad thing
Download WP User Fontend from WordPress.org.
Cimy User Extra Fields
Add some useful fields to registration and user’s info.
- Possibility to hide fields
- After uploading the image you can crop and resize it
- The plugin’s interface is not that ordered and intuitive as we want it to be
Download Cimy User Extra Fields from WordPress.org.
WP-Members™ is a free membership management framework for WordPress® that restricts content to registered users.
- Admin Approval Feature
- You can add as may custom fields as you want
- 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 allows a site administrator to approve a user before they are able to login to the site.
- Admin Approval Feature
- Email Notifications
- The plugin is not very complex and it works better in combination with other registration plugins
Download New User Approve from WordPress.org.
The Members List plugin allows you to create lists of users and display them as directories on your WordPress blog.
- 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
- The plugin 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.
- Users that register in your site need to be approved before they can login
- Administrators can customize the emails and messages sent to users
- 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
*This plugin hasn’t been updated
WordPress sidebar login widget that allows a user to login, register, or reset their password, ALL without leaving their current location.
- A nice widget for Login, Register and Password Reset
- It offers the possibility to add redirects
- The plugin is actually a widget, and it does what it says, so no cons
Download WP User Control from WordPress.org.
Simplr User Registration Form Plus+
This plugin allows users to easily add a custom user registration form anywhere on their site using simple shortcode.
- Users can create role-specific registration forms
- It offers the possibility to add redirects
- The Confirmation Message can be customize from shortcode
- The plugin offers just the registration form and it would’ve been nice to also have a login form
Download Simplr User Registration Form Plus+ from WordPress.org.
Multisite User Registration Manager
*This plugin hasn’t been updated
This plugin provides a system for registration requests and their processing in multisite. Two-level moderation.
- Potential new site owners can request registration through a form embedded via a shortcode
- Shortcodes based
- Allows email notifications
- 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.
User listings, member directories, search, filter, export. Digs deep into data created by other plugins to produce unified user listings.
- Create user lists, user search
- CVS Export
- Shows lists in widgets
- There are no cons
Download Amr Users from WordPress.org.
- Social login and registration
- Email verification
- Easy customization
- Multisite Installation
- It depends on a third party platform and depending on your project you might not like this
Download Janrain Registration from WordPress.org.
Finding all the plugins that improve or add features to the default WordPress User Registration process is not the main point in this article.
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 plugin will expand your knowledge and help you make proper decisions.
Besides the WordPress Registration Plugin, 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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