What They Don’t Tell You About Choosing a Membership Site Platform

A membership business is a great way to leverage your knowledge, help more people and build recurring revenue. But how do you choose the right membership site platform for your needs?

Doing even a little research into membership site platforms can be overwhelming. There are so many choices available that it makes selecting the right platform difficult.

Not only do you need to choose the right platform to help you launch your membership site. You also need to consider if the platform will still work for you as your business grows.

We created this guide to help choose the right membership site platform easier.

What is a Membership Site Platform?

At its core, a membership site platform combines the two basic functions that are required to set up and launch your membership site:

  1. Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPressWebflowSquarespace, etc. that lets you create, manage and modify website content without technical knowledge.
  2. Membership Software (such as MemberSpace), which adds membership functionality to your website e.g. protect content, signup members, charge a subscription, etc.

The majority of membership sites are created by combining these two technologies. This gives you the freedom to choose the best of both worlds for your specific needs.

How to Choose a Membership Site Platform

Choosing the right membership site platform boils down to two things:

  1. What’s the right Content Management System (CMS) for your membership?
  2. What’s the right Membership Software for you and does it work with your CMS?

You have a lot riding on these decisions – the last thing you want is to launch your membership site and then discover later on that you chose the wrong technology for your needs.

1. Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)

Here are some critical questions to ask when evaluating content management systems (CMS):

  • What’s the learning curve for using this CMS?
  • Is there a good selection of themes to choose from?
  • How much control will I have over the look and feel of the site?
  • What’s the cost and does it fit within my budget?
  • Do I want a hosted or self-hosted website? Is that option available?
  • How easy will it be to make my website mobile responsive?
  • What integrations or plugins are available to extend the functionality?
  • What’s the support like? Will it meet my needs?

2. Choosing a Membership Software

Here are some critical questions to ask when evaluating membership software:

  • Does it support my preferred CMS?
  • What’s the learning curve for using the membership software?
  • How much control will I have over the look and feel of my membership?
  • Can I create multiple membership levels and plans?
  • Can I drip content instead of making everything available immediately?
  • Which payment gateways are supported e.g. Stripe?
  • What’s the cost and does it fit within my budget?
  • Does it work with my email marketing service e.g. Mailchimp?
  • What other integrations are available e.g. community forums?
  • What’s the support like? Will it meet my needs?

By asking these questions to help you evaluate your options, you should be able to make a better decision on the right products for your needs.

What They Don’t Tell You About Membership Site Platforms

But before you choose your CMS and membership software, there’s a critical hidden pitfall that you should be aware of. It’s the one thing most providers don’t want you to know.

The truth is that once you pick a membership site platform, you’re effectively locked in. Moving to a different CMS or membership software is a painful process that can result in lost members and sales.

Transitioning content is the least of your worries. Once you’ve got members and are generating sales, you’ll also have to deal with moving membership plans and payment information.

Can you imagine asking your current members to re-enter their credit card data because you made a mistake on the underlying technology architecture?

That’s why many membership site owners put up with their CMS and membership software even though they’re not happy with them – they don’t want to deal with the pain of moving.

The Future of Membership Site Platforms

We know that choosing the right membership site platform isn’t easy. The more research you do, the more you worry about making the wrong decision.

Some products are hard to customize; others may not meet your needs as your business grows; some require too much technical expertise and others don’t give you great support.

We believe that membership site platforms have a responsibility to make setting up and running your membership site easier and stress-free.

We also believe that membership site platforms should easily plug and play with each other. If you don’t like one product, you should easily be able to replace it with another.

For example, if you don’t like a CMS anymore or have outgrown it, then you should be able to easily move to another CMS.

And you should be able to do this without any disruption to your members or your business.

How MemberSpace is Different

Here are 5 reasons why we believe MemberSpace is a better choice:

1. Designed for non-technical people

We believe anyone should be able to build and run a membership site. You shouldn’t need to hire a developer or have technical skills. So we’ve designed MemberSpace to be easy and simple for non-technical people to launch and grow a membership business on any website.

2. You don’t get locked into a CMS

MemberSpace works with all popular CMS options such as WordPress, Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and even Custom HTML sites. And we’re continuing to add new integrations. This means that you can easily move to a different CMS without impacting your members or their billing.

3. We’re obsessive about customer support

Our success truly comes from providing great customer support. You can talk with us via live chat or email (under an hour’s response). And our CEO Ward is also available for weekly live webinars with you! But don’t just take our word for it, read our excellent Trustpilot and Capterra reviews.

4. Everything happens on your website

With MemberSpace, you have 100% control over the design and member experience because everything occurs on your website without your members having to leave. They can sign up, log in, access your content, or manage their account – all seamlessly within your existing site.

5. We offer a free migration service

We understand that migrating your membership to different software can seem like a daunting task. We want to make it as easy, simple, and painless for you as possible. So if you already have an existing membership system, we’ll help you migrate to MemberSpace for free (including billing details if possible).

Join us at MemberSpace and start experiencing the future of membership site platforms.