A membership site platform is a site that allows visitors to sign up for a membership or access privileges. The term "membership" can mean many things, but the critical distinction is between public and restricted content. The members can access restricted content, while non-members are denied access.
A membership site has many benefits, so choosing the right platform is crucial in determining the success of this part of your business. The membership site platform you choose should be able to provide all the functionality you need to create a unique experience for your members.
Just like you can make money with your blog when having the right tools in place, a membership site can turn your business into a well-oiled machine that makes you money while delivering a ton of value.
This article provides a detailed overview of the different types of membership site platforms available and information about the benefits you can expect from using them. Let’s get right into it.
What Are The Top Membership Site Platforms?
Here are the top membership site platforms available on the market right now.
Best For Building A Strong Membership Community
Mighty Networks is an excellent tool to build a local community, broadcast live, create online courses, build your email list, and form a network of members.
If you want your own website to come to life, Mighty Networks will help you build a membership site that will bring your community together.
Your brand, along with your material, events, and courses will be accessible online and through any mobile devices, which is definitely something you want to have considering how people consume their material.
If you want to livestream to your community, Mighty Networks will also make this possible within its interface. You can use the features within this platform to interact with your members and increase your engagement metrics.
You may also create online classes to bring your community together and grow the collective knowledge on a topic.
There are three pricing packages available:
Best For Integrating All The Tools Needed To Run A Business
Kartra is one of the best all-in-one platforms that help you quickly create a membership site.
With Kartra, you can leverage your time and energy by creating multiple sales funnels, automating your marketing campaigns while growing your email list, managing customer relationships to increase repeat business, and tracking your visitors so that your content will always be more on point.
Use their safe checkout forms for credit card and Paypal transactions to sell items or services online. There is also ultimate control and flexibility in a drag-and-drop page builder with hundreds of professionally created templates. With 100% mobile compatibility, your site will look great on any device.
Their unique marketing automation tool lets you set up workflows that send email messages based on people's actions. In addition, when someone fills out a lead-capture form, they can automatically be added to a set workflow for follow-up by you or your staff.
With four pricing plans available, these are the options with Kartra.
Best For Offering Premium Products At Premium Prices
Kajabi is ideal for any knowledge business that needs a place to house all of their online content.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, consultant, freelancer, coach, expert, speaker, author, or any other type of creator who wants to sell your knowledge and expertise on your digital storefront, Kajabi can give you the foundation you need.
Create high-quality, premium-priced goods along with courses or coaching programs to sell through this platform. You can even add a shopping cart that integrates with your site and lets customers buy products without having to go to another website.
Give customers options such as one-time payments, trials, installments, subscriptions, and one-click upsells that will increase your sales.
With many more ways to monetize your knowledge business, including membership levels, auto-renewing payments, and more, Kajabiis one of the top choices for knowledge-based entrepreneurs.
With annual billing possible, these are the three pricing plans available:
Best For Communicating With Members In The Most Engaging Way
Subhub lets you quickly set up a membership website, gather paying members, and manage the entire customer journey.
In addition, your site will be hosted securely on a platform that has been tried and tested to be able to deal with scaling business.
If you're an expert in your niche and you know your audience will be interested in what you have to offer, Subhub's an excellent option to use to turn visitors into members.
Create as many subscription plans and levels as you need to segment your audience and the material they can access effectively.
With both one-time payments and recurring subscriptions available, you can offer various billing options to meet your customer's needs.
With a free 14-day trial and annual billing available, these are the three plans on offer:
Best For Having A Solution That’s Easy To Build And Launch
Wix gives you the possibility of creating a site that can be used for multiple purposes, which makes it perfect for entrepreneurs who are looking to create a membership platform and host various courses.
It doesn't matter what type of website you wish to create—Wix has the tools to help you design it, whatever your needs are.
Discover the software that lets you design, develop, and manage a site all in one place.
With an easy drag and drop functionality, you can enjoy creating your website without worrying about how it works under the hood.
Pick from various designs and make changes as you like, allowing you to have a membership site that reflects your vision.
You can also use the Mobile Editor as you're building your site to ensure that it looks its best on every device.
You can also get a tailored SEO strategy to help you get discovered online by answering a few questions about your website, business, and audience.
With various features available at different pricing points, Wix has something for everyone:
Best For Using A Platform That’s Trusted By Millions
With Thinkific's membership site platform, you may turn your knowledge into money. With a single platform that gives you complete control of your brand and business, it’s time to create, market, and sell your expertise.
Own the learning experience and turn your site visitors into members by creating high-quality digital learning products for any audience using a simple course builder that does not require coding or technical sophistication.
Customize every touchpoint with your visitors, from the moment they land on your website to when it’s time for them to checkout.
You can also integrate with trusted tools and services, allowing you to utilize any existing processes and workflows you have already created.
The good news is that you have complete control over the pricing and will end up keeping all of your earnings.
There are four pricing plans available with Thinkific, as follows:
Best For Converting Your Current Website Into A Membership Site
With just a few clicks when using MemberSpace, you can convert any section of your website into a members-only area.
You can secure any page of your website with a password, and you may then choose what it costs to get in. Make memberships for whatever you want, including communities, clubs, fan groups, sports teams, or your entire website.
You can get started quickly without having to code anything thanks to their beautifully designed themes which do not require any coding experience.
You won’t need to hire a developer or have technical expertise when creating a membership site with MemberSpace.
Because MemberSpace works with a wide range of CMS systems, you may easily change from one CMS to another without affecting your members or their payment information.
In addition to all of this, their customer support is second to none, always ready to help you with your individual needs.
With MemberSpace, you have complete control over the design and member experience since everything takes place on your website without the need to use any external sites.
If you already have an existing membership system with another platform, they will help you migrate to MemberSpace for free.
With a free 14 day trial, MemberSpace costs $29 per month after that.
What Is A Membership Site Platform?
Membership sites give you the ability to sell memberships to your website visitors.
They usually consist of an about page, pricing pages, and a way for your members to log in and access their membership content.
You can build a simple site in under 30 minutes using one of the best membership site platforms available.
With the right membership platforms, you have complete control over how much access they have, what content they can see, what type of memberships are offered, and so on.
How To Create A Membership Website
Creating a membership website is not difficult at all, but it does require some planning.
Here are the steps to take:
Choose How You Want Your Members To Sign Up And Pay For Their Membership
With reasonably low barriers to entry for most email marketing software, it's easy for small business owners to get started with this resource. It gives companies a chance to build their brands without spending too much time or money on promotions that may not work out in the end.
Purely online businesses can also use this strategy because it doesn't require owning an actual storefront or office premises -everything is done online through emails sent directly from the business owner's email marketing client.
Figure Out What You Want People To Access Once They're A Member
You may offer unlimited downloads of content, access to email newsletters, or just simply ad-free reading.
Also, consider the membership tiers of your website. This is an excellent way to offer different memberships that have more access or perks.
Figure Out What Your Non-Members Have Access To On Your Website
Similar to the previous steps, think about the content that ‘normal’ (non-signed in) members will have access to. Do you want them to see some of the content, will they require an invitation to get started, or is all content entirely hidden? Make sure to stay consistent with this across the site, so your visitors know how they're affected by signing up or not.
Choose The Best Membership Site Platform That Fits Your Needs
Several platforms do not require coding and let you create your site quickly. In addition, some sites will give you more customizations as needed. For example, some may allow you to design your themes or let you edit CSS on the fly. Others may have additional membership site features such as traffic analysis tools or self-hosted video options.
Membership websites don't come in a one-size-fits-all. So make sure to choose the platform that will offer you the best solution for your needs.
Add Relevant Content To Your Website
Promote Your Membership Site On New Sources, But Don't Forget About Your Existing Presence Either
Your current website may be bringing in traffic already and you might already have a list of people that follow what you do. If so, promote your membership site via email, newsletters and social media accounts. You never know who might join you after seeing what you’re offering.
With that in mind, make sure to include a link to your membership area in your email signature and social profiles. Also, consider sharing unique content on social media to give potential members something to consider.
This can include items such as inside scoops or previews they can see without having to join.
Offer Support For Your Customers And Continue Building Relationships With Them
Your role doesn't end after someone has joined; it's just the beginning. Continue engaging with your members by posting engaging content and maybe even hosting an online event. To keep everyone happy, provide customer support if they need help along the way and check out their submissions that may be of interest to others (i.e., questions or blog posts).
Track Everything So You Can Make Changes When Necessary
It's not enough to just have your membership site up and running. You need to track everything, so you know how it's doing. This includes the number of signups, canceled memberships, or other relevant data points. Consider using a statistics tool to organize this information better. Also, use analytics tools for referrals and traffic sources on your website and social media profiles to keep track of all the important metrics.
Membership Features To Consider When Choosing The Right Software
The following are some of the features you can find in the top membership software. While you might not require all of these features, it’s important to know what’s out there so that you can make the right decision.
Having the option to offer people a free trial to check out what the paid membership is about is an excellent incentive for people. Those who are still unsure about the content you have to offer will also find value in this feature.
This way, you'll be able to make it easier to convince those that are on the fence to become members of your site.
Easy Installation Of A Membership Plugin
Many people who want to open their memberships site don't have the technical know-how or time to code and develop one from scratch. That's why having an easy-to-install plugin is an essential feature for most membership software.
You can install it and be ready to go within minutes rather than spending hours debugging code and trying out different configurations. This will save you both time and money, which is always great.
If you don't want to waste more precious time getting everything working as expected, make sure the plugin is well-supported and has a lot of helpful documentation available. If you have a WordPress site, then be sure to check for a WordPress membership plugin that's compatible with the site version you’re running.
Drag And Drop Membership Website Builder
If you're not too tech-savvy, it can be frustrating to have the interface only allowing you to add certain elements in a limited number of places on your page. A drag and drop editor that lets you just throw elements anywhere on the page is going to be so much easier to work with. You'll have more freedom in how you want to design your site rather than being stuck with a limited set of features.
It's also great if you can choose between a text editor or a visual editor because creativity sometimes works better when no coding is involved. Having both options available will give people this freedom of choice depending on their comfort level.
Easy To Collect Online Payments
If you want people to pay and join your membership site, then having an easy way for them to make the payment is significant. When you take away barriers when it comes to entry, you'll find yourself with more prospective members signing up and joining your website. This will, in turn, give you more opportunities to grow both your customer base and revenue stream.
You can do this by offering various payment methods such as PayPal, credit card processing, or other convenient methods like bank transfers or direct debit. Some platforms even offer multiple options at once, so you don't need to go through the trouble of making changes to your website or signup form.
The Learning Curve Involved With Membership Management Software
The best membership website platforms are usually the ones that are easy to set up and configure. This means you can have everything in place in a matter of minutes, so you don't need to spend days trying to figure out how it all works. It also helps if they have well-documented instructions, tutorials, and customer support channels like live chat and email available.
Some membership platforms offer more advanced-level features which can sometimes be overwhelming. Finding a platform that offererse the features that you want, while still being easy to learn, is a good balance to look for.
Ability To Stream Your Online Course To Members
A proper membership site platform will also allow you to stream all your media files, including videos and audio, directly to members. This is very important for those with online courses because people will need their content accessible at any time and from anywhere in the world.
It's not just about having a selection of eBooks or PDFs for them to download either. If members try to download content and it takes a long time to download, they might end up giving up on your membership platform, especially if they have a slow Internet connection. Members want instant access to consume the information as soon as possible.
Another great feature you should look out for is an affiliate program that lets others promote your membership site and earn a commission whenever someone signs up through their referral link. It's like getting free advertising for something that doesn't even cost you anything, and there's nothing to lose by letting people promote your business in this manner.
Ability To Have Varying Membership Levels
Many membership websites offer just one type of subscription that grants access to everything. It would be better if tiered memberships were offered, allowing subscribers in a higher-tier more privileges than those on a lower one.
You could also offer separate memberships altogether, depending on what you think would sell best. This might work for some, but others want the ability to create different levels based on what they're offering.
Having a hierarchical system is good, especially when raising revenue. Think about it: If someone is willing to pay a certain amount, wouldn't they go for the higher level if given a chance?
More Features And Functionalities Are Frequently Added
Some membership platforms are pretty limited in what they can do, so you might have to upgrade if you want something more extensive. Of course, this is when the cost starts to go up significantly, which makes it a downside for many people since they're already paying monthly fees.
Some platforms ensure that new features are added (and made better) consistently over them. While features and functionalities vary from one platform to the next, it all depends on what you want your membership site to do, so be sure to get something that fits your needs perfectly.
Ability To Charge Recurring Payments On Membership Subscriptions
Good platforms have subscription management tools built in so you can add a certain level of automated billing to your site.
This ensures that your customers won’t have to enter their card details every month, making the process as straightforward as possible for everyone involved.
A successful membership site will provide most, if not all, of the above features. You can't go wrong with a proven membership site platform, but you might have to upgrade your subscription to get more features down the line as you scale your business.
Always check the fine print before signing up with any platform, so you know what you're getting yourself into long-term.
Providing exclusive, members-only content to your customers is one of the best ways to make money online and discover financial freedom. By ensuring that you constantly create new content, you'll have an endless supply of things to post up for your members to consume.
This will ensure a high retention rate since people will always have something new to look forward to, especially if they view your content regularly.