Wishlist Member vs. Optimize Member – The Full Comparison

Wishlist Member vs Optimize Member
OptimizePress 2.0 includes a membership plugin called OptimizeMember and we are being asked by clients which is better to use as a membership platform – OptimizeMember or Wishlist Member.

So we decided to publish this post with some key points and let you make the best decision for you on your own.

In this post we give you a complete overview of both Wishlist Member and Optimize Member.

Just to let you know, Optimize Member plugin can only be purchased as part of the OptimizePress package that also includes the OptimizePress theme and plugin.

The OptimizePress theme and plugin are the same, the only difference is that if you want to use OP as your main theme you need to use the theme version and if you only want to use it for certain pages such as: your membership pages / landing page / squeeze page etc. you need to install the plugin version and use any other theme you want as your main theme.

Table of Contents

OptimizeMember vs. Wishlist Member Review

Core Membership Features

Both Wishlist Member and Optimize Member offer core membership features, including:

Creating unlimited number of membership levels – With Optimize Member you get 10 membership levels by default and you can add more by customizing the plugin’s code, while with Wishlist Member there is no need to customize anything, just add a new level as seen in the screenshot below.

Creating Membership Levels with Optimize Member:

With Optimize Member you need to enter the General Options menu >> and go over each tab to define your membership levels, redirection pages, email configuration etc.

Creating Membership Levels with Optimize Member

Creating Membership Levels with Optimize Member


Creating Membership Levels with Wishlist Member:

With Wishlist Member you can define all the membership levels’ settings in one simple screen under the Levels tab as seen in the below screenshot:

Creating Membership Levels with Wishlist Member

Creating Membership Levels with Wishlist Member

Managing your members – With both Optimize Member and Wishlist Member you can add new members, change their membership setting, export or import members.

Members Management with Optimize Member:

The members’ list appears in the Users WordPress menu and it allows you to see all your members including: their membership levels, names, emails, registration date, custom capabilities if any and even the number of logins, which is great for knowing in just one glance how engaged are your members and even get in touch with less engaged ones and get their feedback (with Wishlist you can see the number of logins when you click to edit the member’s details in the Users menu)

Members Management Optimize Member

Members Management Optimize Member

Members Management with Wishlist Member:

You can see all your members from one screen under the Members menu and edit their settings, including: their membership levels and status (active, expired etc.), name, email, registration and expiration date etc.

Members Management Wishlist Member

Members Management Wishlist Member

Creating bundles – With Wishlist Member you can use the built-in sequential upgrade feature to sell simple membership bundles or Wishlist Bundles plugin (3rd-party) to sell more complex bundles. With Optimize Member you can create packages and sell individual products of content.

Setting registration pages – After login and after registration pages members land on

Go to Wishlist Member product page or OptimizPress product page

Protection Settings

With both Wishlist Member and Optimize Member you can define important protection settings, including:

  • Offer both free and paid memberships
  • Set total content protection for your content
  • Display “teaser” content in the excerpt that non-members / logged-out users can see
  • Drip your content – With Optimize Member the content dripping is part of the plugin, yet with Wishlist Member you will need to purchase a separate plugin (developed by Wishlist Member) called Wishlist Content Scheduler
  • Sell individual posts using pay-per-post – With Wishlist Member you can also enhance the pay-per-post features using Wishlist Pay Per Post Shortcodes plugin

Protection features available with Wishlist Member only:

With Wishlist Member you can also secure your RSS feed so members will be able to read their content in their favorite RSS reader

Payment Models

  • Trial periods – With Optimize Member trial periods can be set depending on the shopping cart you are using
  • Upsells / One time offers – With Wishlist Member it depends on the shopping cart you are using, for example: it supports ClickBank pitch plus feature and upsells with Stripe)
  • Discount coupons – Available in Wishlist Member using Wishlist Coupon 2.0 plugin, limited with Optimize Member (compatible with Pro Forms for Stripe, PayPal Pro and Authorize.Net)

Shopping Carts Integration

Wishlist Member integrates with the most popular payment gateways available online, including:

  • PayPal Standard
  • PayPal Pro
  • ClickBank
  • InfusionSoft
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • Premium Web Cart
  • JVZoo
  • 2CheckOut
  • SamCart
  • eWay
  • 1ShoppingCart
  • Cydec
  • Pin Payments
  • Recurly
  • Red Oak Cart
  • Sam Cart
  • Ultra Cart

Another important feature you can achieve with Wishlist Member is allowing automatic registration using a 3rd-party plugin developed by our company HappyPlugins called Wishlist Auto Registration.

Optimize Member integrates with the following payment gateways:

  • PayPal Standard
  • PayPal Pro / Express
  • Clickbank
  • InfusionSoft
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • JVZoo
  • 2Checkout
  • SamCart (partly)
  • Braintree is planned to be added in the future

Go to Wishlist Member product page or OptimizPress product page

Autoresponders Integration

Wishlist Member integrates with the most popular autoresponders available online, including:

  • GetResponse
  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • iContact
  • OntraPort
  • Mad Mimi
  • Inspire Email Marketer
  • InfusionSoft
  • MaroPost
  • AutoResponse Plus
  • arpReach
  • Active Campaign

Optimize Member integrates with the most popular autoresponders available online, including:

  • 1ShoppingCart
  • GetResponse
  • Aweber
  • MailChimp
  • iContact
  • Ontraport
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Egoi
  • Emma
  • InfusionSoft
  • MaroPost
  • OfficeAutopilot

Other Integrations

Other popular services that Wishlist Member integrates with are:

  • SimplePress forums
  • Vanilla forums
  • AffiliateWP
  • Affiliate Royale
  • iDevAffiliate
  • WooCommerce – Using Wishlist Member WooCommerce Plus plugin
  • WPCourseWare – Using a 3rd-party plugin
  • Easy Digital Downloads –Using Wishlist Member Easy Digital Downloads Plus plugin
  • bbPress – Wishlist currently does have a built-in integration with bbPress, but our company has developed a unique plugin for integrating them called Wishlist bbPress Integration

Other popular services that Optimize Member integrates with are:

  • bbPress forums
  • BodyPress forums
  • iMember360
  • WishlistMember
  • DigitalAccessPass
  • MemberMouse
  • FastMember
  • Memberium


Wishlist Member is a paid membership plugin that is offered as a single license ($197) and unlimited licenses ($297), both include support and access to documentation and video tutorials.

As for Optimize Member, as written in the beginning of this review, in order to use it you also need to have OptimizePress 2.0 (theme or plugin) installed and active on your site. OptimizePress has 3 plans: 3 licenses ($97), 10 licenses ($197) and 30 licenses ($297). All plans also include Optimize Member plugin.

Documentation & Support

The Wishlist Member team has an extensive amount of video tutorials and a big knowledge-base with a lot of information. Also, there is an option to register for $20 per month to their online community that also includes monthly bonuses, live Q&A sessions, webinars, members’ only forum and more. The community is called Wishlist Insider. Also, the support they provide is professional and fast.

OptimizePress and Optimize Member also include an extensive amount of video tutorials, training materials and knowledgebase and their support is also fast and professional.

6 Advantages of Wishlist Member over Optimize Member

  1. Veteran membership plugin – Established membership platform that exists over 5 years
  2. Large community – Wishlist Member has a large community behind it with an active forum and premium content
  3. Regular and frequent updates – Updates regularly almost every 2 weeks with bug fixes and performance tweaks
  4. Can deal with complex scenarios – Ability to create complex membership sites scenarios using the built-in protections settings
  5. Has many add-ons – Developed by both Wishlist Member and 3rd plugins companies like HappyPlugins that extend Wishlist Member functionality
  6. Extensive API that allows custom coding for unique scenarios, this is highly important especially if you are building a large membership site or a sites with a unique flow and structure

Go to Wishlist Member product page

The Advantage of Optimize Member over Wishlist Member

We think that the main advantage is related more to OptimizePress as a complete package rather than just looking at Optimize Member as a stand-alone membership plugin.

OptimizePress 2.0 not only includes the basic features required for protecting content using the Optimize Member plugin, but it also provides you with various membership templates that can help you setup a beautiful and professional looking members’ area in literally seconds.

You can easily create stylized membership pages such as: dashboard page, course pages, lesson pages, thank you page, download files page, webinar pages and other types of pages you may need for managing your membership site’s content.

Membership Pages OptimizePress

Membership Pages OptimizePress


Other than that you can, of course, use OptimizePress templates for creating your squeeze pages, landing pages and sales page.

OptimizePress Templates

OptimizePress Templates

sing OptimizePress for designing your membership site’s pages will not only save you a lot of time in designing your site, but it also provides you with ready-made templates, icons, elements and more that will save you significant time and money in thinking about how you want to design your site or hiring a professional designer.

Read our post: Top 5 Reasons Why OptimizePress 2.0 Will Make Your Life Better

Go to OptimizPress product page

Which Plugin to Choose?

If you have a very limited and small budget:

After using both Wishlist Member and OptimizePress 2.0 from their very first versions we can honestly say that if you have the budget for only one plugin then Wishlist Member is without a doubt the one you should choose, for all the advantages we specified above, as it will allow you to grow your membership site over time, if you ever need any custom development or add-ons, and from our experience, big membership sites usually need custom coding.

If you only need a closed downloadable area:

If you only want to create a membership area for members to be able to download downloadable products such as: software, eBooks, videos etc. Optimize Member will definitely help you achieve your purpose more easily and quickly using the stylized page templates and the special download options that allow you to: restrict the number of downloads per user (x downloads every x days), set a download limit exceeded page and more advanced options. Optimize Member also integrates with Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront.

Download Limitiations Optimize Member

Download Limitations Optimize Member

If you have the budget for both:

However, if your budget allows you to purchase both Wishlist Member and OptimizePress, we highly recommend using Wishlist Member as a membership plugin for building your membership site’s flow and structure (again, of all the advantages we specified above) and OptimizePress as a template for establishing and designing your membership pages.

Go to Optimize Member Go to Wishlist Member

Wishlist Member vs. Popular Membership Plugins

Recommended Links

Check Our Wishlist Member Tips Series

These are only some of the tips you will find (must be logged-in):

Get all the tips in this link

Wishlist Member Dedicated Plugins for You

We have created a complete repository of Wishlist Member dedicated plugins developed by both Wishlist Products, the company behind Wishlist Member plugin, themselves and by 3rd-party companies such as HappyPlugins.com (our company).

In the repository you will find different types of plugins, including:

  • Content Plugins – Get more control over your membership site’s content, enhance it and make it even more powerful using these powerful content plugins
  • Members Plugins – Create a thriving community, increase your members’ satisfaction and engagement using these powerful plugins
  • Registration Plugins – Increase the number of registrations to your membership site and prevent cancellations using these powerful registration plugins
  • Administration Plugins – Manage your membership site’s structure and design to empower it for your members using these administration plugins
  • Affiliates Plugins – Maximize your membership site’s revenues by offering a powerful affiliate resources and tools for your affiliates using these plugins
  • Wishlist Member & WooCommerce Plugins – Integrate your Wishlist Member membership site with WooCommerce platform quickly and easily in just i-click!
  • Wishlist Dedicated Guides – Premium guides about membership sites in general and Wishlist Member in particular to enhance your membership site

Not a Member Yet?

Register for free using the form to your right.



About Jen Morgan

I am an online marketing expert and a true Wordpress expert who worked at a large digital media company. I won many online marketing contests including "The most Unconventional Marketing Tactic". Besides my love the to the online world I also love dogs and cats and own one of each kind. Jen is the marketing department manager at HappyPlugins.com | Plugins & Guides for eCommerce Websites

6 Responses to “Wishlist Member vs. Optimize Member – The Full Comparison”

  1. Jen, that’s a very valuable comparison. Thank you.

    I’m an OptimizePress v1 user, but I didn’t upgrade because I wasn’t convinced there might not be a better option out there. I knew about Wishlist but had never used it.

    It’s hard to get reviews these days from people who have actually used the things they’re reviewing, particularly when doing a comparison. It’s clear you know both platforms, and that you don’t have too much bias for yours.


    Your article here gives me a much better feel for the subject, and I think I can make a more informed decision now.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Karl,
      Thank you for your kind words!
      I’m glad you found my review helpful.
      I can honestly say that OP 2.0 is way way better than OP 1.0 for several main reasons:
      OP 2.0 is very visual, you don’t have to deal with shortcodes, add the elements you need from the options and drag and drop it as you need.
      It is also responsive, which is highly important of course.
      It also looks more professional and has a lot more elements.
      I also really like the plugin, since in some of our websites we are using OP only in some pages, like our sales letter, and inside the closed membership, we use a different theme.
      You can read more about the comparison between OP 1.0 and OP 2.0 in another post I wrote:
      Would love to hear your thoughts!
      Best regards,

  2. I’m missing something.

    Maybe I browsed too quickly over the post, but I don’t see how a tight budget gives Wishlist Member the nod if Optimize Press is a more complete package, and also costs half as much for it’s cheapest licence which allows you to use it on 3 URLs instead of just one. Please help me with understanding what I got wrong.

    • Hi Rodney,

      If you are looking to build a solid business using a membership site then Wishlist Member is definitely the plugin you should choose as it has a lot more options and you can create more complex flow / structure that will suit your exact needs.
      Besides the plugin itself, there are many extensions that can help extend your membership site and make it even better.
      Some of the plugins are developed by Wishlist Products themselves and many others are developed by our company at HappyPlugins at: https://happyplugins.com/downloads/category/wishlist-member/

      All the availble plugins can also be found here: https://wishlistmemberplugins.net/wishlist-member-plugins-complete-repository

      Though it is possible to build a membership area using OptimizePress, it is not the core functionality of the plugin and, therefore, it is less compatible for large membership sites.

      Hope it makes sense.


  3. Hello! What about using wishlist member and thrive architect instead of Optimize press to build pages?

    • Hi, there shouldn’t be any problems using the thrive architect theme with Wishlist Member, however, Wishlist Member plugin itself and also some of our 3rd-party Wishlist Member dedicated plugins we sell via HappyPlugins.com are using shortcodes to display different information. I recommend that you contact Thrive Architect and check if their page builder supports regular WordPress shortcodes.

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