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Top 20 Platforms for Creating a Membership Site With Ease 2022

Here you will find the best membership website builder software to simplify the process and make it much more cost-efficient.

What Membership Websites Are Great For?

An online business that’s not based on services will involve selling a product. One of the least used features for building a community around products that business owners ignore is creating a membership platform.

Membership sites are not just for products, though. Many online communities and similar projects use membership features to isolate the kinds of people that are only in it for its thrill. Community forums might want to utilize membership features to keep a set of professionals within a tightly sealed circle that would require a monthly payment to be a part of, which creates a kind of atmosphere where more high-quality discussions and content sharing are encouraged.

The capabilities of membership sites are big, and sometimes what we need is not a good idea but a good membership site software to help us build the kind of site we are looking to build. Photography websites might encourage a monthly membership because it wants to reward their photographers for sharing their hard work with others. In contrast, others might want to create and launch online courses and offer them membership options without spending a specific amount of money to purchase and use.

20 Best Platforms For Membership Websites

Let’s look at the best membership website builder software available today.

MemberPress – The Best Membership Platform

memberpress plugin for WordPress

MemberPress is an easy-to-use WordPress Membership Plugin. This powerful Membership Software installs simply on your site and helps you instantly start charging for access. MemberPress lets you create unlimited amounts of product pages membership levels, and has features like coupon module, access rules to make sophisticated membership levels, product groups will give you an option to create a large scale membership site. In contrast, the reports feature will report back to you about the latest insight in your business and how you can optimize it.

More info / Purchase

Ning

ning membership website builder

Since it fits the topic perfectly, we bring you Ning, a membership website builder that will let you establish your social network instantly. You can now start your journey online with a niche or generic community, integrate different social media, and of course, your distinct touch. Regardless of the idea, you have for your community, Ning is fully furnished with all the material you might need. With Ning, building an online platform and growing your community has never been easier.

There are a ton of features that Ning brings to the table. Create groups, forums, and polls, start a blog and organize events; it almost feels like Ning has a never-ending collection of amenities! From stunning, modern and flexible themes to monetization options, SSL certificate, hosting, and domain registration, Ning covers all the technical parts and more.

More Info

SubHub

subhub - sell membership online

SubHub has grown in popularity amongst sites and businesses that want to establish membership features for their online courses, premium content, and even things like research studies, and the education field. Features like Pay to View have made SubHub popular amongst users who offer a range of content, but understand that not everyone needs the full subscription to get what they want; this, in turn, attracts more customers and sales. Browse a directory of mobile and desktop-friendly templates to create the kind of membership site that will fully reflect your vision and mission. The examples directory provides several sites that are already using SubHub successfully and should be sufficient to help you decide whether you wish to use this membership platform or not.

More info / Purchase

Memberful

memberful - member websites for WordPress

Memberful is an easy-to-use, fast, reliable, and modern membership site platform for WordPress users. It’s the same membership platform that experienced writers and bloggers like Leo Babauta use to serve thousands of customers. Paul Jarvis, another creative mind, is also a proud user of Memberful. He encourages anyone who likes simplicity to use Memberful to power their sites. Both users are writers and sell content like online courses. This makes it a very appealing membership platform for those who wish to do the same. File downloads, coupon codes, physical items, analytics integration, are just a few of the most popular features this software offers.

More info / Purchase
wix creating a membership site

If you have an idea of creating a membership site, you can make it happen without a hassle, thanks to Wix. This powerful, practical, and newbie-friendly software has great features and functions. Sure, you might need to do a little bit of extra work to add the membership section, but you can easily learn on the fly. Still, Wix includes all the necessary information that will get you going right away. Moreover, Wix also comes with design components and excellent customization features to create the same website you fancy. Start online without sweat and make an immediate difference with Wix.

More info / Purchase

MemberSpace

memberspace creating a membership site

MemberSpace is terrific software for creating a membership site, even for someone who is not tech- and design-savvy. With MemberSpace, you can turn any part of your website into a members-only area. With this in mind, whether you have courses, tutorials, exclusive content, whatever going on, restrict access to it with MemberSpace. This allows you to turn your website into a money machine and start scaling to new successes. Bear in mind, if you already have a membership site and tons of active users, MemberSpace offers you to migrate to their platform entirely free of charge.

Some of the features of MemberSpace are Zapier integration, unlimited members, coupon codes, podcast, free trials, instant payouts and custom sign-up fields, to name a few. Regardless of the membership website, you would like to build, make it with MemberSpace.

More info / Purchase

YourMembership

yourmembership creating a membership site

YourMembership is complete software for building a membership website, ideally fitting small and medium businesses. The options are numerous to tailor the final creation exactly to your liking. Along with the technical part, YourMembership also takes care of the design segment, ensuring the creation of a beautiful website. Easy sign-ups, effortless renewals, tracking, event management, workflow automation, you name it, the list of features is vast. The dashboard section is also user-friendly, so everyone has a clear overview of how their membership website is doing. YourMembership even has an eCommerce part, so you can truly take your business to the next level.

More info / Purchase

Weebly

weebly membership website builder
weebly creating a membership site

First and foremost, Weebly is a robust and flexible website builder. Of course, you need to know that Weebly will never ask you for any design and technical knowledge. However, it is a tool that you can use to build all types of sites, including a member’s area. Everyone can greatly profit from the software, no matter your skill level.

Quick log-ins and registrations, group management, customizable invitation emails, bulk import (via CSV) and password reset are some of the highlights that come part of Weebly’s Membership package. To sum up, if you are already using Weebly or even if you are a first-time user, make a simple membership page now.

More info / Purchase

WishList Member

Membership plugin to protect member only content

WishList Member is known to have broken some barriers towards creating a membership site on the fly. WishList Member is great to sell a course, enable users to view private content, and allow users to register towards premium features and more. Create any number of subscription models, give your premium members timely updates from one membership to the next only because they have been subscribers for a set number of times. You can easily integrate WishList Member with your existing WordPress installation, something that many have already done so.

More info / Purchase

Wild Apricot

wild apricot software for building a membership site

Wild Apricot is a very popular membership site software option amongst non-profits, small yacht clubs, small business hubs, and other small-scale organizations that need a simple to use membership management platform that delivers on its promise. With Wild Apricot, you can create a website quickly and easily with our drag and drop website builder; make a mobile-friendly member application form on the web with payments and workflow. You can even integrate members-only content into existing WordPress sites!

More info / Purchase

DigitalAccessPass

digitalaccesspass create a membership site

WordPress is the most sought-after blogging platform, and it comes as no surprise that many would want to build their membership site directly around their WordPress installation. Although WordPress by default offers membership features, there is still a need for integration of payment systems and other features that make a membership site what it is supposed to be. Great thing about DigitalAccessPass is that it also works for non-WordPress sites. The list of features from DAP extends in the hundreds of different categories, and it would be hard to mention them all here, please click this link to explore the fully on the official DAP site.

More info / Purchase

MemberGate

Subscription website builder

MemberGate is a membership content management platform that lets you create membership sites. It also protects your content against non-members at the same time. It gives you access to a fully integrated shopping cart platform, an affiliate program, and sleek website designs. You have options to integrate surveys discussion group feature, an integrated blog to publish your latest news from. It is integrated for banner ads, RSS management. There are still many more features that will make your membership site appealing to you and your customers.

More info / Purchase

aMember

amember software for creating a membership site

aMember, out of all the others, is perhaps one of the oldest and most popular membership site platforms out there. It stands out as an independent membership platform that works like WordPress in functionality and styling. The most popular feature is the ability to schedule content. This encourages your members to stay subscribed for longer to access content yet to be released. Other features include integrated modules that let you integrate separate modules to extend your membership site beyond the normal functionality. And the extensive affiliate program is attractive enough to promote your products to their friends and family.

More info / Purchase

Webstarts

webstarts membership website builder

Webstarts is versatile and multi-purpose software that you can utilize as a membership website builder, too. While it does not specify in creating community and membership-based pages, you can use an app that will help you expand your page with a membership addition. You can also start with Webstarts for free and go from there to get its gist. You will instantly notice how simple and quick crafting a page is. Thanks to the various predefined layouts and other components, anyone can hammer out a nifty web space with Webstarts.

When working with Webstarts, you do not need to worry about web hosting and domain name registration. You can do it all from within your account, which speeds up the process further. Not to mention, Webstarts makes sure that your final product will work on all devices and browsing platforms flawlessly.

More Info

Blackbaud

blackbaud membership website builder

Blackbaud is a powerful, sophisticated and advanced membership website builder ideal for organizations. If you would like to scale your project to the Moon and then Mars, you should get your hands on Blackbaud. It covers all specters of building the website for your purpose, making sure you get the most out of it right off the bat. Blackbaud is great for non-profit organizations and fundraisers, helping you welcome onboard more donors. In short, with Blackbaud, you can hammer out a fully functional and active online fundraising platform.

Once you get hit with the amazingness Blackbaud brings to the table, you will have no trouble launching new campaigns regularly. You can now customize and personalize the campaign; tailor it to a target audience. Blackbaud also supports dynamic email campaigns and all sorts of digital marketing solutions to take your organization to the next level truly.

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MembershipWorks

membershipworks membership website builder

MembershipWorks is a complete membership software that fluently connects multiple content management systems. You can now create any membership page once you access all the perks and goodies that MembershipWorks has in store for its users. The limits truly are none when it comes to MembershipWorks. It will now be a small breeze managing your members, events, donations, registrations, and all the rest that comes along regardless of your experience. Even if you are a beginner, you will still witness a successful start of a membership page.

As far as the features go, MembershipWorks has a ton. Event calendar, members directory, online payments, forms, members-only content, custom fields, and smart member search are just some of the amenities of this dope tool. MembershipWorks also comes with professional support and a lot of training material for everyone just starting for you never to feel lost.

More Info

White Fuse

white fuse membership website builder

You only really need one platform that keeps your membership-related project organized. White Fuse is a membership website builder software for anything from communities, fundraisers, charities, and many others in between. With a stunning, modern, responsive, and high-performing website, you will boost your clientele, donors, and leads. Customize the look according to your needs and regulations without sweat. With this approach, you have a clearer overview and a much better chance to scale your community to the extreme levels.

With White Fuse, you will have no trouble managing all your contacts, events, and donations, as well as sending out personalized notifications. With brandable forms, White Fuse makes sure you grab the attention of more donors. White Fuse also sports automatic membership renewals, members-only content, Direct Debit and integrated member database. Before you dive in, you can also schedule a demo first and see White Fuse in action.

More Info

Podia

podia membership website builder

Podia is a membership website builder that takes care of all parts of your online presence. Now, you don’t need to rely on a bunch of different tools to keep your membership page alive. With Podia, well, that is all you need – no 3rd-party plugins, no nothing. That said, when you would like to start banking on your passion, bring it into being with the contemporary Podia. No ifs, no buts, no maybes; Podia is the complete package of goodies and convenient functions that will realize your idea in a snap.

Let’s just list down a bunch of features, all the rest, you better discover yourself since we don’t want to ruin all the fun for you. You will find everything for online courses, memberships, digital downloads, email marketing, and loads more in the Podia kit. With over twenty thousand active users and counting, you know that Podia is a serious deal. You can also get things moving forward with the 14-day free trial and see how easy Podia is.

More Info

Heek

heek membership website builder

When building yourself a membership website, you do not need all this fancy stuff to make it happen. Heek is a dope and powerful builder that will get you going in close to no time. It comes as an ideal solution for building a platform for sports and clubs, as it sorts out 25 different activities out of the box. In just minutes, you can have things ready to go live, thanks to Heek’s artificial intelligence. How awesome does that sound?

A lot is going on once you unbox the Heek kit. Moreover, with Heek, you can enjoy ranking tables, directory, and member’s profiles, memberships, and fees, you name it. Also, you can start with the free 14-day money-back trial and see all the amazing perks that this builder has in store for you.

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Morweb

morweb membership website builder

If you build a membership or community website, you can start making moves with Morweb immediately. It is a super simple membership website builder that does not require any experience with establishing sites. You will master it on the go, even if setting up your very first web platform. With Morweb, you will achieve excellent results and that is a guarantee. From the design to the technical part of a successfully operating website, Morweb takes care of it all for you.

On some occasions, not all web builders rock all the necessary out of the box. However, they are compatible with many plugins and extensions to install and realize your website without a sweat. Make it your way with Morweb and start on the internet with a rocking website that will move mountains.

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ePly

eply membership website builder

Let’s clarify: ePly is not a membership website builder. However, it will help you manage and grow your events to new heights. By the way, it even comes with an option to build a website or a landing page that will push the boundaries and market your upcoming gathering the right way. It is all in one kit, readily available for you to put into practice and start with the right foot forward.

Some of the features of ePly are registration forms, real-time data, payment tracking, a brandable conference app and friendly and professional support. Instead of doing everything from the ground up, you can now get things moving forward with the easy-to-use ePly and all the greatness it has in store for you.

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Shopify

shopify membership website builder

First and foremost, you need to know that Shopify is a stupendous eCommerce software for establishing any online store you want. If you couple Shopify with the appropriate membership app, you can quickly set up your desired membership website.

There are no boundaries when doing the work with Shopify. You can take your membership and subscription project going in no time for a small investment. The software is beginner-friendly and will never ask you for prior programming knowledge. Moreover, Shopify also comes with awesome ready-to-use templates which you can take to your full advantage. While you can use them out of the box, you can also adjust and brand them if necessary.

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Webzoly

webzoly membership website builder

Webzoly is an excellent membership website builder with a horde of goodies that anyone can profit from. You do not need to be tech-oriented to utilize Webzoly to its full potential. It is the perfect software for first-timers, yet it fluently caters to advanced users as well. With Webzoly, you create your own rules. Also, you can incorporate your signature style to it and customize the website to your likings. In other words, whether you are after building a membership site, online courses platform or just about any other type of page, it will be a small breeze producing it with Webzoly.

In a few simple steps (three steps, to be exact), you can have your page up and running. First, you create an account on Webzoly. Second, you build, design and create the ideal online presence of your membership page. And third, well, you are now ready to go live and start attracting new members and grow your community to new heights.

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Memberdash

memberdash membership website builder

is a membership website builder that works with existing pages. This means that you can now expand your current online space with a membership area and protect your content from random visitors. This will encourage them to sign up, create an account and gain access to your compelling material that they surely do not want to miss. For your information, Memberdash works with all top website builders and static HTML sites.

Memberdash adds a login form to your website, ensuring a flawless user experience. After creating an account, all your members can easily manage their profiles. Memberdash also provides a powerful admin dashboard that gives you an in-depth overview of the performance of your membership site. By the way, you will also find a drag-and-drop builder to create custom pages and layouts specifically tailored to your web space.

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Subbly

subbly membership website builder

Subbly is one of the best solutions for your business that will help you expand it to new horizons. As the name suggests, Subbly is an excellent platform for building subscription-based pages, ideal for business people and marketers. On the other hand, you can also employ Subbly as a membership website builder. It comes with all the necessities, like a page editor, checkouts, billing, predefined themes, and the list of features goes on and on. If you plan to start a subscription box, your search ends here.

With Subbly’s functions, you can customize and fine-tune the platform to match your branding regulations to a T. Thanks to the drag-and-drop page builder, you need to have no prior experience to develop an impressive web design for your page. Subbly offers two pricing plans, but you can start your 14-day trial free of charge. This gives you more than enough time to see what is possible with Subbly.

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Hivebrite

hivebrite membership website builder

Hivebrite is a magnificent software that creates private, non-profit, alumni, volunteer, corporate and any other community portals you can think of. It supplies all the tools and material that you need not just to build and establish your community page, but to manage and maintain it effortlessly, too. You can customize the platform to the very last detail, altering it according to your taste and requirements. Guess what the best part is? Indeed, you do not need to have any involvement in making such websites. Hivebrite is for everyone, newbies particularly.

Running your community page with Hivebrite will be a small breeze. From analytics, reporting, and content management to communication, events, online payments, and engagement features, Hivebrite has it all at your fingertips. Ticketing, invitations, calendar, mass updates, sharing, yes, Hivebrite includes way more than you will possibly need. Go all-in with Hivebrite and easily create the most sophisticated and high-quality community platform.

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Not just these tools, but you can also use WordPress in combination with BuddyPress, bbPress, or some other membership plugins. We have several related theme collections available to create your membership website, and you can find them here.

Alex is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in design, development, and small business. His work has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and others. You can find his personal writing at The Divine Indigo.

This Post Has 56 Comments

  1. Another option is creating a membership community on top of Slack with SlackPass.
    It doesn’t require WordPress, or any existing website, and it’s free.

    1. Marc Almond says:

      Seth, you need to declare your interest as a founder. I’ve had a look at slackpass and its a waste of time. It is misleading people by using the good name of Slack all over their promotion. I’ve alerted Slack to this company and they say it is not an approved plugin provider. Nuf said.

    2. Michael Gommerman says:

      Of course you would shlep for SlackPass, you’re the founder of the product.

  2. Caleb Rowe says:

    I stopped on Magento platform because it has lots of splendid solutions for customization my membership site. One of these is Private Sales & Flash Sales extension from Plumrocket. It makes managing my website really easy.

  3. Jason Verdelli says:

    This is an excellent review. Would you consider adding Social HubSite to this list?

    1. Jason,
      Certainly not at this point as design for this tool looks dated and there are no users for it and I doubt that any will show up anyway because of its dated design.

  4. Having just started researching membership websites, I found your list to extremely helpful… Thank you!
    I’ve heard a lot about a site called Kajobi that does this and curious why they haven’t made your list?

    1. Joe,

      We haven’t used it ourselves therefore we cannot recommend it. It probably is a good platform but without hands-on experience we can say it for sure.

    2. Debbie Voiles says:

      After a year of MemberPress, I switched to Wishlist Member. After a year of that, I’m switching to Teachable or Kajabi. Both of the first two resulted in frequent problems with registration, logging in, renewal, etc. I am hearing from others who’ve switched that Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, Udemy type sites are better. Less customer service, etc. MemberPress and WishList Member required too much of my attention.

  5. I implemented the subscription management and registration with Evolok.

  6. Brac Selph says:

    What about the Rainmaker platform? How would you rate that?

  7. You could also choose a website builder with a Membership tool built right in. I know that others offer pretty simple Membership Features. Something to consider if you were looking for a less technical implementation.

  8. Jim Simcoe says:

    Great article, thanks! A lot of these seem to be wordpress specific, what do you recommend for a squarespace site?

    1. Jim,

      For Squarespace there is only one tool available called MemberSpace. It is a average tool and doesn’t do much because of limitations that Squarespace has as a platform. I personally wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking to build a serious membership site.

      1. Siw Priscilla says:

        Hei Alex.
        For someone not tech savvy looking for building a serious membership site what do you recommend? I use wixbuilder for the website today but not started the membership site yet. Is there a tool to integrate to the wix site or do I need separate tools?

      2. Newletter says:

        For my paid membership website, I use Squarespace combined with some easy custom Sentry Login password protection CSS that integrates nicely with PayPal and Stripe for payment processing. I’ve processed many tens of thousands of dollars in payments, and growing. Squarespace is incredibly good. Amazing truly. My only qualm is I wish I could set up different subscriptions levels to allow access to different content based on different subscription levels (i.e. if you pay $200 you get A, if you pay $300 you get A + B, and etc. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for putting this together and glad to see Wild Apricot on the list!

    Just wanted to mention that you can use Wild Apricot for free (limited version).

    1. We currently use Wild Apricot and, while it is fine for smaller organizations it leaves a lot to be desired for mid-size to larger organizations.

      I’ve found the platform fairly easy to use, but there are problems, as with any “out of the box” platform.

      The biggest problem is the limited support hours and the unresponsiveness of the company when an issue is identified. And the support staff is sometimes less than proficient. For instance, I was told that you didn’t have a printed user’s manual that could be downloaded, only the videos. Then, two weeks later, someone sent me a link to a user’s guide.

      My finances page doesn’t show the latest donations.
      Sometimes when I email members it emails the wrong people.
      If someone is paid up for several membership terms and they switch to another level they lose the time they’ve paid in and I must manually adjust their renewal date.
      We have frequently put in service requests that have gone unanswered for days or weeks.
      We are forced to use your credit card processing or pay extra fees
      Maximum of 50,000 members

      I know with COVID-19 there have been additional challenges for everyone, but I’m concerned about these issues and more. Unfortunately, we are looking for a platform that better suits our needs.

      Again, Wild Apricot can be a great platform for smaller organizations. But users should be aware of the limitations.

      To Aigars, I appreciate you putting together this list. It has given me a starting point of where to look for a new provider. However, I think it would be more useful if you list both the good points and limitations of each company. That would help people find a provider they can live with much faster.

      Thank you!

  10. Rich Lazarow says:

    What would be best for a Trading Membership Website that is subscription based, has a blog, needs to archive videos daily of educational trading videos from the day’s market activity, is well laid out, has a strong community / communication/ idea sharing aspect, and prevents members from sharing access?
    I just bought Optimize Press to get started…
    Thank yoU!!

  11. Wishlist Member has been great for a very long time but there are definitely some challengers these days. I’ve also found Memberium to be a great platform in recent times as it has deep integration with ActiveCampaign (or InfusionSoft if you prefer that flavour). Another option that I’ve been experimenting with is Ultimate Member as they offer more in-built community focused options.

  12. Any suggestions for a simple tool for strikingly? A simple function to sign-up / sign-in to view basic user content? No payments involved. Thanks for a a great article

    1. Paul,

      A simple solution would be to use WordPress and Restrict Content or its premium version – Restrict Content Pro.

  13. Theo Swarts says:

    Any suggestion for which of these will work with Bootstrap? Look forward to your replies. Thanks!

    1. Most of them will work as long as they are downloadable platforms instead of ones that are hosted with the service provider.

  14. I’m looking into starting a membership site.is a platform the same thing as web hosting if not what should I consider in web hosting.i have read you’re review and i think I have figured out that part of it but I’m not sure about the web hosting service. Any suggestions for this would be very appreciated
    Thanks
    Kahp

  15. Thanks for the recommendations. Are any of these free? I want to create a membership website, but want to start with the right one from the beginning without the need to pay to begin with.

    1. Garth,

      Most of them have a free tier but for membership sites you quickly realize that upgrading is a must because of many great features that comes with premium version.

      1. This is a great list of information and great questions and comments, thank you all. Has any heard of MemberMouse and pro’s, con’s?

        1. Unfortunately, we are not familiar with the plugin. It looks like it has very little installs so it might not be that well tested.

  16. It’s great to know how many options are out there for this kind of thing. I was toying with the idea of making a Teachable course, but I feel like members would get far more value from something like a WildApricot site, and creating it in a different format. It’s a lot more cost effective too

  17. merrill richmond says:

    Thanks for pulling this together. A great head start for my researching options.

  18. I have tried almost all these tools to run mu business. Switching to new platforms because of some kinds of glitches in these tools now and then downgraded my business a lot. I was suffering a lot. But then I came across a web page which made me realize that I might do better after seeking professional help. And boy was I right. I asked them to help me with my membership site and I was able to fully concentrate on the content of my business.

    1. Talia Camozzi says:

      Don’t leave us in suspense! What did you use for the professional help?

  19. Looking to create a better membership platform
    So our members can register
    Look at events
    Pay subscription fees
    Add a forum
    Where is best to start

  20. Brian Smith says:

    Hi there,

    We are in the process of deciding on a platform to use for our membership site. I require some answers with regards to the most important features we require below. Can you please comment on this and if possible supply me with some website examples that incorporates this?

    1. Members must create profiles in such a way that its easy for other members to find information about them
    2. We must be able to have discussion threads / groups that members can either join and participate in or leave, so they can pick only the content relevant to them
    3. We must be able to publish speaker profiles, upcoming dates and have some form of comms with clients
    4. Ideally an app for mobile devices
    5. Potentially a paid membership option

    Something simple that is fast and super user friendly. Entrepreneurs have low attention spans and little time so something that just works ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you!
    Brian Smith

  21. This list was worth going through, but as Aigars said that upgrading is a must because of many great features that come with the premium version.

  22. Great work ! MemberPress would be our top pick.

  23. I highly recommend Sitelok. It’s a php script and hosted by YOU. I would be very cautious building a membership site using a service that charges monthly or a % of sales made. I feel people are being ripped off big time. Anyway most who have no idea about web design don’t know any better.

  24. Steve Fentriss says:

    Thank you for this helpful and informative post, I did not realize there were so many amazing membership platforms out there. (My favorite is Ultimate Member, by the way.)

    I have spent a few years creating membership websites of my own and helping others create blogs or even fully custom social networks. I want to share a few things that may be worth considering if you are getting ready to start your own membership website…

    1. You can’t choose your words carefully enough! The name of your website, and also every single word during the registration and initial profile creation process can make or break your membership site and the emotions people experience when they first join.

    2. Try to set a specific tone for your members, and be as consistent as possible throughout the website. If it’s supposed to be a friendly community, most of the design elements and phrases you use should be friendly. If it’s supposed to be professional, choose business-oriented designs, colors and phrases instead.

    3. PROFILE FIELDS. If you can’t think of at least a few original profile fields that your members should fill out – consider writing some down on a piece of paper! It takes a little creativity to design your own profile fields, but it’s one of the most important aspects of making your membership site feel unique.

    4. Nothing good will happen overnight. It’s about 100 times harder to recruit new members for YOUR own membership website than it is to simply attract followers on an existing social media website.

    5. Don’t be a perfectionist. Your users will encounter a nearly infinite combination of pages, user-submitted content and multi-user activity scenarios while browsing your membership site. It’s almost impossible to get every single scenario right, so first focus on the ones that matter most (initial registration, profile creation, finding friends, etc.)

    6. Finally – give it everything you’ve got! If these are YOUR members, and this is YOUR community and not just someone else’s, you will be putting some of yourself into every single page. The rush when someone joins your site is incredible because it’s REAL. This is you, sharing yourself with the world. Enjoy it and do it right.

    Thanks again for this wonderful post and highlighting all of these technologies, it always inspires me to see so many tools that help people bring their own membership website ideas to life.

  25. Dana shrader says:

    Hi โ€“ this is an amazing article. We have a prayer ministry. We need some kind of a member user area where our prayers โ€“ globally – can you keep an online journal that they have access to and that we have access to so that we can compile what they are getting in prayer. This article is amazing can you tell me which site you think would be best for that? Again โ€“ each prayer would have their own online journal that they would upload their notes to And then we would go in and harvest, compile, those notes into a master journal. Thank you so much for this article

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any platform that does it by default.

  26. David Simon says:

    What a great thread, some great info here – Mr Aigars in particular, you seem to be a font of knowledge.

    I am really bad with tech stuff and tech speak so please forgive me if this sounds like the sort of thing a kid would ask – because I feel like a kid here, a little out of my depth:

    So I have this business idea where a client can say “I require X product and Z is my budget”. If a member is interested in providing the product they go into a private room to discuss the fine print. Client pays for the product, with most monies going direct to the person actually delivering the product, and my commission being sent to me. The client can afterwards leave a review of the experience.

    Is this achievable with one of these programmes mentioned above?

    1. David,

      If you are not a developer it is going to be very difficult to create a custom platform you described. Most of above mentioned platforms does help to build membership sites but unless you know how to code or have someone that can help it will be nearly impossible to pull it off.

  27. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for including SubHub in this list. Much appreciated by the Team!

  28. Which site would you recommend that allows members to create/manage their own pages and for others to search through the members. Kind of like Model Mayhem, or Linked IN but for a different industry.

  29. I’ve done a lot of research on membership sites and this is a great list!
    I ended up choosing Ontraport for my membership site after a horrible experience with another one and I’m very pleased with it. But all of these are great options.

  30. I see, here are a lot of specialists! I am looking for a site where I can upload my youtube videos. The interested people can pay a fee and see the videos for one year, but no download. What do you recomand?

    1. I think that MemberPress is the easiest solution that you can use for that.
      However, never self-host videos unless you have really good hosting and by that, I don’t mean some cheap shared hosting that costs $10/month but at least your own VPS or a managed hosting with a reputable company. Because videos are resource heavy and use a ton of bandwidth.
      A much better solution would be to use some unlisted Youtube videos or videos embedded from Jetpack or otherwise and not directly hosted on your website.

      But regardless if you self host your videos or choose to embed private videos MemberPress will work perfectly fine.

  31. Aigars, this article has been GOLD for me as we are just starting to look into membership programs. I know we don’t want a Word Press Plugin but that’s as far as we’ve gotten.

    We need different tiers/price points, the ability to send email reminders set to the frequency the user wants, have course upsells within it, lots of video content and docs to download, and an upgrade button for those wanting to go up to the next tier. The forum needs to be separate for each tier. We are also hoping to have companies submit their benefits info for members to access from our site (or members profile) to avoid having to talk with their HR or supervisor.

    We will be signing up members through Insurance companies (as an add on for them to pass on to their clients) and to businesses and unions so the security has to be TIGHT and members be anonymous as their co-workers will be on there too. We have received a lot of great feedback from Ins companies, we just need to figure out how to lay it out & implement it.

    Aigars, I’m just wondering if you can make a recommendation or even things to look out for or consider?
    Thank you so much.

    1. I would recommend exploring LearnDash since it is the most advanced LMS platform out there and think would work perfectly for what you need.

      LearnDash is a system for online courses in its core but I believe you can easily make it work in your case since you need forum, profiles, payments, mifferent user levels etc. All that can be done with LearnDash.

      1. Aigars, thank you for the recommendation. I’ll definitely check it out.

      2. Hi Aigars,
        Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the help.
        Do you have any recommendations other than something using WordPress?
        It’s the one thing our web person steers clear of.

        Happy New Year!

  32. Hey Aigars, i love this article thanks. I am thinking of going with Memberpress.

  33. Apprentus says:

    I will try the last one, thank you for sharing this information

  34. Peter Schneider says:

    Great job and wonderful insights into what is available. I was impressed on your follow up. A lot of people of posts let the questions die in cyber space, thanks Pete

  35. Hey, it’s great article.

    I am looking for something like linkedin cms, where members can have their individual profile and can post/showoff their skills and professional development on their profiles. Please suggest me something for this.

    Also what is your opinion about buddypres+somegood theme for this idea ?

    Thanks.

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