UPDATE: Warning! Since I originally published this article about Digital Access Pass, it has emerged that there is potentially a major security vulnerability within DAP. I strongly advise you to find an alternative membership system.

(For details on the security risk see here, here and here)

You feel like tearing your hair out.

I know what it’s like. You have so many options you’re not sure where to start. It’s beyond frustrating.

You might not even be sure what those options do, or if you even need them yet.

Choosing the right membership plugin can be a painful experience. And it’s a confusing one too.

If only there was one option that you were confident that does everything you need, without sacrificing other features that might be useful.

But every review you read seems to have a hidden agenda, and all those links look suspiciously like affiliate ones. Everyone’s got an angle, and they’re all trying to profit off your back.

That’s exactly how I felt, so I’m gonna make things a little less confusing for you.

You can sit back and relax because there are no affiliate links in this post and I have no affiliation to any membership solution (besides being a happy customer).

Membership platforms: Hosted vs Self-hosted

If you’ve looked into this membership stuff for more than 10 minutes, you’ll have both, a headache, and noticed that there are two types of platforms to choose from; hosted and self-hosted.

Hosted is the type that makes your membership content accessible on a third-party website. Kajabi, Udemy, and Teachable are good examples of hosted membership sites.

Self-hosted the type that makes your membership content accessible on your own website. Digital Access Pass, MemberPress, and S2 Member are good examples of self-hosted membership options.

Each type has its own pros and cons.

With hosted, you lose a massive amount of control, but you have less tech stuff to worry about.

With self-hosted, you can create any type of website you want, but it’s more time-consuming.

If you’re happy to get your hands dirty and configure things, self-hosted is your best option.

If you just want to start teaching and not worry about the tech stuff, hosted is your best option.

I’ve always stayed firmly in the self-hosted camp, but this might change as technology changes.

My experience with DAP

Since I launched my first membership site in 2011 I’ve been hooked on them.

During that time I’ve tried practically every WordPress membership plugin on the market.

There’s no point going through all the plugins I’ve tried when Chris Lema has done a sterling job of reviewing the most popular WordPress membership plugins, I agree with most of his findings and I have very little to add to that conversation, save what I’m writing on this post.

So here’s a brief history of my journey…

Digital Access Pass was one of the first plugins I tried. It’s been around for almost a decade, and it’s always had a solid reputation, so it was an obvious choice.

Back then, as a newbie to membership sites, I found it awkward to use and didn’t fully realize or appreciate its power. So I moved on.

But every time I tried a new plugin I quickly found that I needed a feature which it didn’t have. And when I tried a different plugin that did have the feature I wanted, it was lacking others.

The only plugin I have found to date; August 2017, that has everything I need, is Digital Access Pass.

For example, when I needed to sell products on Clickbank, JVZoo and Warrior Plus, simultaneously, all while automatically building an email list of buyers on a CRM that practically nobody had heard of, Digital Access Pass came to the rescue.

When I needed to drip feed content across multiple products, each with its own price points, all while issuing refunds from within the membership dashboard, Digital Access Pass made it a breeze.

But there’s something else that the other plugins don’t have.

Inspiring customer support

Image courtesy of the Ask Veena Facebook group, used with permission.
Image courtesy of the Ask Veena Facebook group, used with permission.

Not only is Digital Access Pass the most advanced membership plugin on the planet, it also has the best customer support on the planet.

That means should you run into trouble, someone’s always got your back.

The support doesn’t just stop with getting you up and running (depending which version you choose, they will actually install DAP for you).

Customer support is clearly at the heart of the company, it’s obvious to see that it’s their core priority.

And as a small business owner myself, their dedication to customer support is truly inspirational.

Sometimes I’ve caught myself wondering how the DAP guys would handle a particular situation and allowed that thought to guide my interactions.

As a result of modeling their approach to customer support, I’ve occasionally managed to turn rude and awkward visitors into happy repeat buyers.

The plugin developers are also actively listening to their customers and continuing to improve the plugin. Because DAP continues to evolve, the version we see today is not the same DAP that we’ll be using in the near future.

For example, even a suggestion of mine was taken on board and implemented; one-click upgrades from within the WordPress dashboard.

And there’s been a recent overhaul of the documentation too, which helps to reduce the learning curve.

An evolving animal

Because Digital Access Pass has the ability to do pretty much everything you can think of, the array of options can be overwhelming. This is the only sore point I have, but I believe they are working on making the process easier to get to grips with. There’s a price to pay for this kind of functionality.

For that reason, you’ll want to put a few hours aside to learn how to use it.

There’s also been a new addition to the DAP family of plugins, called Smart Pay Cart.

It’s an incredibly powerful shopping cart system that makes it ridiculously easy to make funnels and one click upsells. And if you’re an analytics geek (like me) then you’ll appreciate the dashboard.

Smart Pay Cart looks set to completely obliterate other shopping carts like SamCart and ThriveCart when it comes to DAP integration and functionality.

It’s because of additions like this, that I’ve come to see DAP as a plugin that’s continually moving forward, to make sure that its existing customer base has everything they need to stay competitive.

While it’s not the cheapest option on the market, it’s undoubtedly the most sophisticated.

Because it’s been around for so long, yet skillfully managed to move with the times, I’m confident that Digital Access Pass will be around for a long while to come, which makes it worth every penny and worthy of serious consideration.

If you’re looking for a robust membership plugin, stop searching. You’ve just found the best in the world.

Disclaimer: I’m not a Digital Access Pass affiliate, nor am I receiving any compensation for this review. This is 100% for your benefit. 

Profit Copilot

Hi, I'm Mick! I've been pro blogging since 2004 and I will teach you proven strategies to help you ethically profit from your passion.

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Profit Copilot

Hi, I'm Mick! I've been pro blogging since 2004 and I will teach you proven strategies to help you ethically profit from your passion.