If you’re considering building a membership site, you’ll need some sort of software to not only develop the member’s area of your website, but to manage subscriptions, send emails, gather payments and provide purchased content.
Today, one of the best and most popular platforms to use to operate a membership site is WordPress. Although there are other non-WordPress membership software options, they are not included in this article.
As with many WordPress plugins, there are both free and paid versions. Paid versions are usually more sturdy and typically have greater support. However, don’t ignore free versions as some can fill the need very well based on the intricacy of your website and how you have it set up.
Free Membership Website Software
The base version is free. The Pro versions costs around $189 for a single site license. The free version can handle PayPal as an integrated payment gateway, supports 4 membership levels, but does not have a drip content feature. However, the Pro version expands on all of these limitations of the free version.
The free version of this software meets the requirements of most setting up a new membership site. It has four membership choices, standard, dripped content, guest and default. It accepts PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net for payments and allows you to protect all WordPress content on your site. Their Pro version ($49 per month) adds in additional features like coupons, more protection rules and multi-site management from one place.
Paid Membership Website Software
This is the mainstay plugin in the membership online community. The primary features of aMember Pro include its capability to operate your own affiliate program, host a help desk, send out newsletters from within the plugin, integrate with a wide variety of payment systems and autoresponders, and provide unlimited membership levels and options. It is heralded by many users as being the perfect membership software option in delivering digital products via download.
The main features include unlimited membership levels, multiple membership options, combined with shopping cart integration with many of the popular cart systems including PayPal, Stripe and Authorize,net. It also integrates well with the top autoresponder programs.
What’s Best For Your Membership Website?
Before choosing a membership software program, decide what features you will need. For example:
- Do you need multiple membership levels?
- Will you offer dripped content or only content found in a members’ area?
- Which payment processor will you use?
Answering these three questions first will restrict the number of programs to select from. After that it’s deciding if a free version or paid will provide the rest of the features you want in your membership website.