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Top 11 Platforms For Creating A Membership Site With Ease 2019

Top 11 Platforms for Creating a Membership Site With Ease 2019

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

An online business, one 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. Businesses can use it to promote new ideas, reach a community of users who would willingly test your ideas and products, and create a community of people who will willingly encourage others to use your products and your ideas for the betterment of their own.

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

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

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


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. It’s nice to see so many WordPress integrations for membership sites, because WordPress by itself offers such an extensive list of ways to extend itself that it only makes sense that a truly serious membership site would opt for WordPress, rather than a custom design. MemberPress lets you create unlimited amounts of product pages, membership levels, and has features like coupon module, access rules to create sophisticated membership levels, product groups will give you an option to create a large scale membership site, while the reports feature will report back to you about the latest insight in your business and how you can optimize it.

More info / Purchase


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 just 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 own vision and mission. The examples directory provides a number of sites that are already using SubHub successfully and should be sufficient to help you make a final decision in whether you wish to use this membership platform or not.

More info / Purchase


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 his 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 that this software offers.

More info / Purchase

WishList Member

Membership plugin to protect member only contentWishList Member is known to have broken some barriers towards creating a membership site on the fly, rather than having to spend days, even weeks, at a time to build a site that fully resembles the end goal — to sell a course, to enable users view private content, to 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, and you can easily integrate WishList Member with your existing WordPress installation, something that many have already done so.

More info / Purchase


Membership Site Software Easy Member Pro

EasyMemberPro is popular among marketing enthusiasts who like to sell marketing courses and video related course content. The basic set of features include content dripping. It has a spectacular affiliate program that will let you promote your products and services through your own community members. It also gets the ability to secure all your download links and setup multiple membership groups and levels. Moreover, you can offer special one-time offers and integrate payment processors like ClickBank and PayPal. While the code base is locked for the public eye, there are enough features to compliment full accessibility over the way your membership site looks and feels.

More info / Purchase

Wild Apricot

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; automate renewals and activate member self-service to update information; manage your member and contact records securely and enable members-only content and membership directories; and even have an online store to support your membership revenue. You can even integrate members-only content into existing WordPress sites!

More info / Purchase


Membership Plugin for WordPress Membership Site Software For WordPress and HTML sites Automate payments content delivery

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 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


Subscription website builderMemberGate 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 even has in-built search engine optimization so that your pages get discovered easily once you launch your site. It is integrated for banner ads, RSS management. There are still many more features that will make your membership site appealing to both yourself and your customers.

More info / Purchase


Membership software aMember Pro

aMember, out of all the others, is perhaps one of the oldest and most popular membership site platforms out there. It stands out with being an independent membership platform that works like WordPress in terms of functionality and styling. The most popular feature is the ability to schedule content. This encourages your members to stay subscribed for longer in order to access content that has 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 for enough to start promoting your products to their friends and family.


Membership Site Software MembersGear Membership Software Scrpt

The last membership site software platform on our list comes from MembersGear. A group of guys who have built the kind of software that’s easy to use, but delivers on results. MembersGear is proud to advertise their affordable pricing plan. This makes their membership script available to those who don’t have a huge budget to work with. Although the price is one of the lowest on the market, security standards seem to be some of the highest. There’s an affiliate program that you can use to promote your own products with the help of your existing members.

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 own membership website and you can find them here, here and here.

Alex Ivanovs

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 50 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 plug-in provider. Nuf said.

  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).

  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 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

  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 🙂

    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 – this is an amazing article. We have a prayer ministry. We need some kind of a member user area where our prayers – 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 – 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!

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