WPMU DEV Review: What Do They Offer And Is It Worth Joining?
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WPMU DEV members get access to an impressive selection of premium WordPress themes and plugins — at least according to the company’s marketing materials. Not only that, but members can also access a 24/7 WordPress website support service, and various instructional videos and online courses.
But is paying to become a WPMU DEV member a good investment? And are their WordPress tools and services as good as they sound? Our review aims to answer these questions — and, by the end of this article, you should have all the information you need to decide whether becoming a WPMU DEV member is the right option for you.
Let’s take a look…
WPMU DEV Quick Overview
The WPMU DEV portfolio includes their popular blog and a selection of free WordPress plugins. It also includes premium themes and more than a hundred premium plugins, as well as educational content and other services that are only available to paying members. The company is part of the same group as CampusPress and Edublogs, and all are operated by Incsub.
With CampusPress hosting and managing thousands of WordPress websites for schools, colleges and other educational institutions, Edublogs providing countless WordPress blogs for teachers and students, and WPMU DEV having worked with more than 500,000 WordPress users, the group has a wealth of WordPress experience.
Although WPMU DEV started out focused on WordPress Multisite — a feature of WordPress that can be used to create a network of multiple sites and blogs from a single installation of WordPress — they now also offer plugins and themes for regular WordPress websites and blogs.
WPMU DEV Review: Should You Become a Member?
To help you decide, we’ll be looking at their themes, a selection of their most popular plugins, and other services and resources that are available to members. So, if you’ve been wondering whether you should become a WPMU DEV member, you’ve come to the right place.
WPMU DEV Support and Community
We’ll get to the WordPress plugins and themes shortly. However, what really helps WPMU DEV stand out from other theme and plugin clubs is their support, education, and community components. The highlight of these is their 24/7 live chat service, which members can access to get help with their WordPress websites.
You can still open a support ticket if you’d prefer, but it’s great to know there’s someone to ‘chat’ to 24/7. There are also the busy support forums, where you can share your issues with other members and support staff.
WPMU DEV has produced 40 tutorial videos, which cover all aspects of managing a WordPress website, including navigating the dashboard, installing plugins, and using the media library, to list just a few. The videos are all white label, and are displayed without any WPMU DEV branding to avoid confusing your users or clients.
WPMU DEV Academy
WPMU DEV members get access to a series of WordPress-related training courses through the Academy. Designed to help you make the most of WordPress, the WPMU DEV Academy courses include:
- WordPress Development for Beginners
- WordPress Development for Intermediate Users
- Advanced WordPress Development
- WordPress Careers Masterclass.
The courses use videos, written content, quizzes and discussion areas to help you master the topics being taught. If you want to improve your WordPress knowledge and skills, the WPMU DEV Academy courses are a nice extra.
The WPMU DEV Hub
Another feature of WPMU DEV that sets it apart from the competition is the Hub. Once you’ve become a member, you can register your websites through the Hub, and then get an overview of them through a central dashboard on the WPMU DEV website.
The Hub lets you see at a glance which aspects of your sites need attention. You can quickly update plugins and themes without having to visit your websites directly, check the status of backups, and monitor site uptime and performance. If you have multiple WordPress websites, or you look after client sites, the Hub will make managing them a lot easier.
WPMU DEV WordPress Themes
Upfront is the WPMU DEV framework that all of their WordPress themes are based on. As Upfront features a front-end drag-and-drop page builder tool, all of the eight themes from WPMU DEV include one too.
The eight WPMU DEV themes cover blogs, business, portfolio, magazine, and creative websites, and they all have ecommerce support. As the themes can all be easily modified through the Upfront builder or the WordPress Customizer, you should be able to create a suitable website for your project.
The Upfront builder tool is also available as a standalone plugin that gives you the ability to create custom WordPress websites. To find out more, check out the online Upfront builder demo.
WPMU DEV WordPress Plugins
As mentioned, when you become a WPMU DEV member, you get access to more than a hundred premium WordPress plugins. Covering everything from website management, online marketing, content publishing and page design to performance and search engine optimization, the WPMU DEV plugin library is extensive. If you do sign up with WPMU DEV, you might never need to purchase another plugin again.
Here’s a look at some of the most impressive WordPress plugins available to WPMU DEV members.
Snapshot Pro — WordPress Backup Plugin
Snapshot Pro makes it easy to start backing up your WordPress website. Backups can be created on demand, or on an automated basis according to your custom schedule. Crucially, restoring your backups is just as straightforward as creating them.
Key features of Snapshot Pro:
- Ability to create an automated custom backup schedule.
- One-click backup creation and restoration capabilities.
- Ability to migrate WordPress websites from one host to another.
- Ability to export backup files to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and WPMU DEV Cloud.
- Option of automatically transferring backup files to SFTP/FTP locations.
Snapshot Pro is ideal for non-technical website owners who just want to press a few buttons and implement a regular backup schedule, and also power users who need more control over how their backups work.
Hustle — Lead Generation Plugin
Hustle gives you the ability to create custom pop-ups and other types of content for displaying offers on your website. These offers could include an invitation to join your email newsletter, follow you on social media, share your content online, or check out a specific page on your site.
Thanks to the intuitive content builder, you can easily design the right type of forms for your audience. The detailed options and controls ensure your pop-ups, slide-ins, and floating bars work in the way that you want.
Key features of Hustle:
- Ability to create pop-ups, floating bars, in-content optin forms and custom content displays.
- Fully featured form designer with an intuitive user-friendly interface.
- Integration with popular email marketing services and social media networks.
- Selection of pop-up triggers, including exit-intent, time, scroll, click, and ad-block detection.
- Ability to control when and where the slide-in and pop-up forms are displayed.
- Ability to view analytics data on the performance of your optin forms and pop-ups.
Hustle has a very competitive set of features that make it a good alternative to plugins such as OptinMonster, Thrive Leads or Bloom.
WP Smush Pro — Image Optimization and Compression Plugin
Faster loading times can increase website conversion rates, help with SEO and deliver a friendlier user experience. One cause of slow loading times is poorly optimized images — a problem WP Smush Pro was built to overcome.
Key features of WP Smush Pro:
- Ability to compress images up to 10x more than regular smushing, with almost no visible drop in quality.
- Ability to enable automatic image optimization on upload.
- Ability to bulk-optimize existing images.
- Ability to choose between lossless and lossy compression modes.
- Image resizing and scaling tools.
- Ability to quickly restore original image files.
WP Smush Pro is a good option for those who want to optimize their images without degrading them, as well as those who are willing to sacrifice some image quality in exchange for major speed improvements.
Hummingbird Pro — Performance Optimization Plugin
After activating this plugin, Hummingbird Pro will test your website to find areas where action can be taken to improve loading times. You’ll then be given the option of fixing any issues through the Hummingbird user interface.
Key features of Hummingbird Pro:
- Ability to generate website performance reports with improvement suggestions.
- Ability to carry out tasks to improve website performance at the touch of a button.
- Ability to enable browser caching, minification, and GZIP compression.
- Ability to monitor website performance and send alerts when downtime and slow loading times are detected.
- Integration with CloudFlare and the WPMU DEV content delivery network.
Hummingbird Pro is a well-rounded tool that not only highlights how your website performance can be improved, but also makes it easy to carry out the tasks that can enhance loading times.
WP Defender — Security Plugin
WP Defender will help you make your website as secure as possible and protect it from attacks. As soon as the plugin is activated, you’ll learn how secure your site is and what else you can do to keep it safe. There are informative descriptions for each item to help you understand the issues and how they can be resolved.
Key features of WP Defender:
- Ability to carry out scheduled website security scans.
- Ability to generate vulnerability reports that are sent via email.
- Safety and security recommendations for your site.
- Audit log tool that tracks changes made to your site.
- IP lockouts to protect your login area from suspicious activity.
- Ability to check to see if your site is on the Google blacklist.
A good security plugin is essential for any WordPress website, and WP Defender is certainly a powerful tool.
WPMU DEV Dashboard — Account Management Tool
After activating the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin on your WordPress website, you can quickly install any of the other plugins and themes that are available as part of your membership. The dashboard also gives you a quick way to contact the WPMU DEV support team.
This is just a sample of the hundred-plus premium WordPress plugins available to WPMU DEV members. You can view the full list here.
The WPMU DEV Blog and Whip Newsletter
The blog, which publishes a new article every day, is probably how most people discover WPMU DEV. Covering advice, reviews, tutorials and the latest news from the WordPress community, it’s one of the busiest WordPress blogs around.
As well as the blog, WPMU DEV also have an email newsletter that’s delivered three times a week to their members. Covering all aspects of the WordPress ecosystem, The Whip is an efficient way to keep up with the latest developments from the world of WordPress.
WPMU Dev Membership Pricing
The only way to get access to the commercial themes, plugins, and other premium content and services from WPMU DEV is to become a member and pay the $49 monthly fee.
Once you’re a member, you can use the products on as many WordPress websites as you like, including client sites. If you do cancel your membership, you can continue using any of the plugins or themes you’ve already installed.
There is a 30-day free trial available, and, although it does require you to enter your payment details, it lets you install and try all of the included products and services for free.
It’s worth mentioning that although WPMU DEV do offer web hosting, it’s not a part of the membership package. Instead, it’s a high-end enterprise managed hosting service with prices starting at $1,000 per month.
After trying out the WPMU DEV plugins and themes, I was really impressed. The premium plugins and themes compare well to the alternatives available elsewhere.
Thanks to the Hub feature and the Dashboard plugin, managing multiple websites and accessing the premium plugins, themes, and support service is very straightforward. Overall, the WPMU DEV membership product is slick and well designed.
In short, the WPMU DEV membership comes highly recommended, but whether you should sign up or not depends on whether you can justify the $49 monthly subscription fee.
If you only need a theme and a couple of plugins, you can probably spend less and get access to a comparable set of features elsewhere. It’s unlikely you’ll find the same level of support that’s provided by WPMU DEV through their 24/7 live chat facility, though.
If you want access to a large library of high-quality tools to help you build and manage effective websites, while only having to deal with one vendor, it’s well worth checking out the WPMU DEV full access free trial and seeing how you get on.
Thinking of joining? Already a WPMU DEV member? Thoughts?
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Sounds good but doesn’t work
They are genuine jerks.
I bought an agency package , migrated my website where it has 5k visitors on a host supposed to hold at least 20k
Server environment is a disaster and most especially their tech support lacks the… support. They are unable to troubleshoot some common tasks which if i had cpanel access i would do things in minutes.
They also altered my website with various plugin updates , configurations and other elements that i did NOT approved ..
Overall it’s the kind of service where they tell you to f’ off and request a refund if you dont like it but the problem is that they have destroyed my website in a bad way and I am left speechless, with the money taken, the support not being able to provide a single damn argument..
And the thing that bothers me the most is tons of positive fake reviews ..
I personally advice anyone who has some production sites with users to not give them an opportunity as you will simply get brain damaged after seeing what shitty replies you’ll get from some jerks from wpmudev…
I used WPMU Dev for several years.
The Hub and Video Tutorial plugins were the main attraction but all the other plugins looked great too. Their blog is super informative and they come across as this great community to join.
The main issue for me is the ‘walled garden’ ecosystem – rather like Apple.
As a developer, I have to find plugins with the right features or add them myself.
Unfortunately, a lot of their stock plugins just don’t have the features or are just above average – so you end up replacing them with other options out there.
Also, many popular plugins like WooCommerce are extensible via code and complimentary plugins – while theirs are not.
One day you find yourself asking why you are paying $49+ dollars per month for Smush Pro (and there are other cheaper alternatives of this too)
Also as a member of WP Elevation, I’ve only recently found out they ripped off Troy Dean’s Video User Manuals :(
Guys, be aware this company might delete your hosted sites in any minute. This just happened to me – they just deleted one of my sites hosted at them, a site under active development, without any warning and without any reason to do so.
And while technically you can get the site back, you won’t have a backup with the latest code status before the deletion.
Effin ridiculous bunch of amateurs, a potential catastrophy for everyone hosting at/with them.
About a month ago, I used Smush to optimize my photos once. A month later, after reviewing my bank statement, I noticed that WPMU charged me $49, I went ahead and checked my emails for any notification about the transaction coming from them. There wasn’t any.
I checked on how I can ask for a refund and read that, in my case, it would be impossible since I was not able to cancel my free trial on time. And it was stated that WPMU wouldn’t send notifications when they are going to charge you and will go ahead and take your money. It’s my first time to encounter a company like this.
I didn’t raise hell for that because I forgot to cancel my free trial, after all.
So, to make the most out of my $49, I decided to try some of their features, such as the SmartCrawl and the Uptime.
Three days later, when I checked on my website, it wasn’t loading. I tried opening it in different browsers and different mobiles, and it wasn’t loading anywhere.
I disabled the WPMU plugin and Smush and viola; my website was working perfectly fine once again.
I am very disappointed and dissatisfied with this product. It’s supposed to help you, but in my case, WPMU wasn’t able to do that.
This is clearly a very old and non-updated review. regardless of the date posted, WPMU does not provide some of the services, themes and plugins reviewed here. Please update.
I have been a loyal WPMU Dev customer and had completely changed my business model based off of their offering but after soooooo many issues with Automate & Snapshot, not being able to get a single site switched using their Shipper Pro, them discontinuing some of the plugins I used, I’m not sure that Forminator & Smush are worth it for $49 a month. I’ve had multiple websites just stop backing up. I don’t check on the websites every day, nor every week when they are not active websites (meaning no content being added). The whole point is to have everything automated. There products are great when they work but you have to constantly check to make sure they’re still working.
Think twice before using them, or at least don’t rely on them for things that matter.
I tried the package. I decided it was not what I needed as I already had the plugins I need and could not justify the $49/mo price.
The problem with WPMU is that they do not act like other businesses. They never notify the person trying out the software that the trial period is ending.
So, I never knew the trial ended. I found fine plugins that would do the same things that were free or one-time charge.
They took $400 from my credit card account before I found out who they were.
I complained and got a offer of a free 6-month extension and a “generous” refund of $49.
Be prepared to set an alarm on your phone to review to cancel or not. Our websites are for small nonprofits. We operate with volunteers. Happy to pay for useful plugins.
I expect good business practices – like notifying potential customers of the end of the trial period. Every responsible business does this. WPMU traps customers & creates unnecessarily creates ill will.
Also the guy posting the 4chan link, seriously? https://www.facebook.com/pg/wpmudev/reviews/ WPMUdev are about as close to a good guy as you will find in this space. Well worth it but again not a tool if you own one site. This is the issue, if you have 1-2 sites on it then the value wont be as great.
There are some seriously off the mark comments here re Smush, its a great plugin WPMUdev rescued when it died, I have been using Smush for ages now. WPMU made it about 10x better. Their new free hosting too is great, rivals WPE in ways for well free. Well worth the price for this plugin but its for devs not site owners.
As you updated your post this year, I thought you would mention the new service of WordPress hosting, with 3 websites included in the monthly membership. This fact alone make it worth to have a membership at WPMUDEV.
Had an awful experience with this company, sadly I do npt agree with the review in the slightest. It has to be sad: they continued to charge me two months after cancelling and refused to ever give me my money back, so I can certainly relate to the below reviewers report that they steal money.
I’ve also been a member for a few years. There are some great features of WPMU, but there are also some features that are not great, and some that are actually maddening. Since your article didn’t really dig into any criticism of them, let me tell you a few of the good vs bad:
I think the hub has become a pretty cool tool. I know there are some other options out there, but this one feels about right to me to be able to manage the many sites I do in fact manage.
The Snaptshot plugin is one of my go-to plugins and it’s fantastically easy to use and reliable af.
Defender seems like a fairly sound plugin for security.
Their articles and rundowns are great–they have some very smart people creating useful content for them.
I completely disagree on their support. It USED to be a really great way to get help fast, but I suspect the other posters on here extolling the virtues of WPMU’s support have not had any support requests or made any forum posts lately. RESPONSES TAKE DAYS IF NOT WEEKS on the forums, fellow users rarely chime in, and so you’re left with cheerful responses that don’t even acknowledge the truly horrendous response times that I believe may be a result of over-burdened support team after some very hard pushes to increase sales. Their online chat feature tends to be a little better, but again you’re left waiting sometimes for an hour or more to get a response. Once you do, it’s a bit of a crapshoot the level of expertise or sound advice you’re going to get–mind you these are on THEIR OWN products
UpFront is a beta product, period. It’s not truly responsive, it’s clunky, unreliable, and is not not not ready to run any of your client’s mission-critical wordpress deployments. Support here is also horrible. The product is actually not fully responsive (only offering tools to work in portrait mode and from there very limited), and one would expect changes you make to stick. No, no, and no. It is a very PROMISING product, as it is incredibly good with resource management (e.g. won’t destroy your servers with memory hogging), but the slow rollout of fixes again points to poor resource management by WPMU staff.
Smush, a plugin that makes all kinds of promises to shrink your photos, is a terrible plugin that does not do what it says it does
Marketpress is no replacement for WooCommerce. It is missing way too many features and with the other products requiring support that takes days to respond, it is another not-ready-for-primetime product. Promising, again, but not there. And they have had a LONG TIME to fix it.
It simply feels like WPMU team has decided to spend a ton of time creating cute cartoons and making a slick interface to impress new or trial users, while what’s under the hood with some (not all) of their products languishes. And they also seem to be short staffed, and their forum lacks a robust back-and-forth.
Will I stick with it, though? Yes. I got in on a lifetime subscription deal and the plugins that I do use are good. And I’m hopeful they will get their shit together on UpFront someday, which will make it a really great tool to do fast site deployment.
I would, however, not recommend anyone fork over the cost right now.
I use chat support at least twice a week and find it fast, efficient, and reliable.
I cant find help either, it’s been several weeks waiting .
I have been a WPMUDEV member for a few years now. I run 100+ WP client sites and 3 fairly large MultiSites. I joined primarily for the plugins – but overall have been unhappy with many of them. At first glance they look to be fairly full-featured and good alternatives to plugins you find elsewhere, but when you get into using them you find they are lacking in features or have serious bugs (mostly when integrating two or more of their plugins – that say they are totally compatible and integrated) that – although reported through the support forums – go unfixed for months. The same can be said for feature updates. A lot of the feature requests are for basic features that most other similar plugins already offer – and again – no updates for months at a time. My assessment is that they don’t have enough developers on staff to actively manage bugs/updates for all the plugins they offer.
Just take a look at MarketPress as an example of an eCommerce plugin that lacks many basic features. Read up on the support forum for any plugin you would like to try to get the best idea of how well it really works, where there are bugs and where features are missing. I tried using MarketPress for my clients – and ultimately had to switch to WooCommerce because of features that were lacking – not the least of which is extremely poor product import/export support. I’m not a huge fan of WooCommerce – mostly due to their pricing (and now with the doubling of plugin renewal costs – even less so).
The hub is great – IF you only use WPMUDEV plugins. Personally I use MainWP to manage my sites. I find it to be excellent and the support is superb.
All the above said, I remain a member due to a few excellent plugins that I can use on multiple sites without paying per site fees to alternative plugin developers.
Evaluate carefully before you commit to WPMUDEV. Make sure you will get the value out of the services/plugins they offer.
I have been using WPMU DEV’s free trial and I must say, I am impressed with what they have to offer. With the changes to Woocommerce’s pricing structure, I am giving serious consideration to becoming a paying member and switching to Marketplace for my ecommerce sites. Whike I don’t have a use for all, or even a majority, of the plugins a membership gives access to, the ones that I would use are paid additions in the Woocommerce system. If I, or my clients, have to pay the full price each year, the annual cost gets expensive quickly.
I think that a paid membership, which I can use on any of my client sites without adding extra cost for each extra feature they request, will make me a bit more competitive. I haven’t even gotten to the benefit of 24/7 chat support that helps with any WordPress issues I may have.
I am seriously considering converting to a paid membership when my trial ends.
I develop and maintain WordPress sites for 30+ clients in a cloud-hosted multisite network, and I have been a WPMU DEV member from the time I started on a local server over two years ago.
Their support is phenomenal – they go above and beyond, offering insights and assistance even on plugins and topics that don’t involve their software.
While I don’t use their themes (I’m a Genesis fan), their plugins are top-notch. If their support staff can’t answer a question directly, they have a fast-track to pass issues to the plugin developers.
During my transition from local hosting to the cloud, I ran two multisite networks simultaneously for a while, and my single subscription still covered me for everything.
Their weekly newsletter (The WhiP) offers a broad roundup of the top WP news from a wide selection of publications. And their blog posts, product reviews, and articles continually appear at the top of my WP-related Google results.
I couldn’t be happier with my WPMU DEV subscription and the value it brings to my business. If you are running a collection of individual sites or a multisite network, consider WPMU DEV as a one-stop resource for a huge portion of your development and management needs.