Yeah I’ve often said s2member needs to stop and switch to a yearly fee. Otherwise no one can live from developing it.
Essentially no matter what very important plugin you use - use a plugin that has a revenue stream.
8 years ago, and a couple of years ago again I looked for other plugins because s2member has no invoicing whatsoever and that is big problem.
Actually if I would start a site right now - I would use quaderno for anything checkout related - and then a second plugin for content protection. S2member could well be this second plugin.
Actually customizing quaderno checkout to create s2membership levels shouldn’t bee too hard.
Sendowl could be used as a gateway to s2member as well. I’m not sure how robust is their VAT solution however. Likely again only good enough for selling to US or selling from/to EU if below 100.000€ worldwide turnover.
s2member is great at protecting content - the rest of the plugin sadly is pretty (out)dated. The best would be to swtich to another plugin for payments/invoicing/checkout and keep s2 for protecting content. Even though large downloads are problematic with s2, most other membership plugins are even worse at it - and those that were good had other glaring problems.
Another huge problem is that you cannot migrage Stripe accounts because s2member without any apparent reason (also unkown why to the developer) still looks up some hidded database field with Stripe (not with paypal!) in order to do anything when a subscription arrives/is cancelled.
Many so called membership plugins actually only have procucts / items no content protection overall based on levels. Others have no timeframe, and so on. it’s really annoying.
Does memberpress have resume support on large downloads (10GB or so). Can you migrate to it easily with lots of protected content (subsites and say a couple thousand of links pointing to protected material). Can you import running subscriptions and it can demote the users once stopped? Sadly importing users is one thing - importing their subscriptions with IPNs arriving in s2member format another.
Oh and Memberpress also has no valid VAT/invoice solution. it integrates with quaderno.io or taxjar out of the box - so chose the one that’s cheaper for you.
The only way to pretty much get EU / US compliant invoicing with VAT for cheap is woocommerce. Else in US you can go for Taxjar, in EU no way around quaderno.io (especially with woldwide turnover over 100.000€).
(and yeah - getting checkout/vat/invoices/taxes right is way more difficult that what s2member offers - it may sound easy but it’s really complicated. Companies as Taxjar (now owned by Stripe), Avalara, Quaderno, Taxamo) all have well over 10 employes. Right now the only way to run s2member without breaking any laws worldwide is coupling it with quaderno.io (costing way more than s2member) - therefore the optimal solution would be if s2member drops all the checkout and offers an implmentation with quaderno checkout intstead. But the cost for quaderno would drive most users away that see s2member as a cheap plugin for a hobby run site.