Membership businesses are booming, with subscription ecommerce growing from $199.41 billion in 2023 to $330.58 billion in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65.8%.
However, the abundance of software options can make finding the perfect fit for your membership site daunting. It's akin to finding a life partner, as you ideally want to stick with it for the long haul.
In this article, we'll discuss how to select the right membership site platform and provide several options to consider. Choosing the correct platform is crucial for simplifying your role as a community host and ensuring the success of your membership business.
What is a Membership site?
A membership site hosts exclusive content accessible only to members, paid or free. It monetizes content through recurring subscriptions or membership fees. This gated content can include conversations, courses, livestreams, or events, providing various options.
With monthly or yearly subscriptions, creators can deliver high-value content efficiently and scale their digital business income potential.
How to choose right platform to create Membership site
Choosing the right platform to create your membership site requires careful consideration of several factors. Here's a refined approach to help you make the best decision:
1. Identify the purpose of your Membership site
It's crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience and the offerings of your membership program. Are you primarily aiming to provide education, or is your focus on fostering a supportive community?
After identifying the main purpose, consider if there's a secondary goal. For instance, if the main goal is education, do you also want a supportive community? If the focus is community-building, would you like to offer monthly online networking events through the membership site?
The purpose of your membership program will dictate the necessary features and functionality of your platform. Therefore, it's essential to carefully consider these aspects during the planning phase.
2. Identify the content types
Now that you've defined the purpose of your membership, it's time to decide on the content you'll offer. Once finalized with the content, next is to plan your content schedule.
Choosing content types and a schedule is crucial for selecting the right platform for your membership site. Also, keep your ideal member in mind. Consider what content they prefer and how often they consume it. Research if unsure to ensure you meet their needs effectively.
3. Design your Membership site
Once you've identified your target audience and content, it's crucial to plan your membership site's structure. Determine the necessary pages, layout, and consider features like a search function for easy navigation.
A well-designed layout enhances user experience. Identify specific design preferences early, as not all platforms may accommodate them later.
4. Craft a Membership Site Checklist for Choosing the Perfect Platform
After considering everything mentioned above, make a list of all your identified needs for a membership site platform. Remember to think beyond your current requirements and anticipate future developments.
Kajabi: Kajabi is a high-end platform designed for creating and marketing online courses, membership sites, and digital products. It offers advanced customization options, marketing automation tools, and features like assessments and quizzes.
Bullet.so: Bullet is a Notion-based website builder requiring no coding. It's an all-in-one platform favored by entrepreneurs and creators for crafting landing pages, membership sites, and knowledge bases. It's a top choice for businesses to create membership sites because of Notion's flexibility and compatibility.
MemberPress: MemberPress is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create and manage membership sites. It offers features like content restriction, payment integration, and drip content scheduling.
Thinkific: Thinkific is primarily known as an online course platform, but it also supports membership sites. It provides features like content hosting, payment processing, and course creation tools.
Wix: Wix is a website builder that offers membership site functionality through its membership site feature. It provides customizable templates, drag-and-drop design, and integrated payment processing.
Teachable: Similar to Thinkific, Teachable is primarily focused on online courses but also supports membership sites. It offers customizable themes, marketing tools, and integration with payment gateways.
Podia: Podia is an all-in-one platform for selling online courses, memberships, and digital downloads. It offers features like customizable themes, content hosting, and integrated payment processing.
Wild Apricot: Wild Apricot is a membership management software that allows you to create membership sites, manage members, and accept online payments. It offers customizable templates, event management tools, and email marketing features.
Substack: Substack is a platform specifically designed for creating and monetizing email newsletters. While it's not a traditional membership site platform, it allows writers to offer paid subscriptions for premium content.
Offering membership on your website enhances user experience significantly. So, selecting the ideal platform for your membership site is crucial, demanding thorough assessment of your audience, goals, and budget.
By assessing needs, exploring platforms, and prioritizing features, you can make a well-informed decision, shaping your site's success. Choose wisely, as your platform choice directly impacts user experience, functionality, and growth potential.