The Members plug-in by Justin Tadlock is a very young plug-in (0.1) and is compatible with WordPress 2.8. This new Membership Plug-in adds a series of components that you can activate based on your needs. The Members plugin is meant to be a complete user, role, and content management plugin for WordPress. Its purpose is to give you fine-grained control over who has access to what. Right now, it’s in the early stages of development.
I’ll be testing it on a new personal project here. The basic modules are WordPress Roles Manager (Edit Roles and New Roles) that allow to create and assign WordPress capabilities to existing Roles and to create new Roles.
The Content Permissions module adds a meta box for the post/page editor that allows you to grant permissions for who can read the content based on the the user’s capabilities or role.
The Shortcodes modules rovides a set of shortcodes that may be used to restrict or provide access to certain areas of your site from within the post editor (or other areas where shortcodes are allowed).
Two more modules compelte the plug-in arsenal: Template Tags adds new functions for use within your WordPress theme for various things and Private Blog will create a blog that can only be accessed by users that are logged in (redirects them to the login page).
At a glance, the plug-in is very well documented so be sure to check /wp-content/plugins/members/readme.html after you install the plug-in (the documentation is not easily accessible from the plug-in’s website).
The plug-in was released on September 17, 2009 and the great news is it’s open source: it’s not a commercial product like most of its competitors… Check it out on Justin Tadlock website.