BlogWebsite & Technology The Best Membership Website Builders in 2022 Website & Technology The Best Membership Website Builders in 2022 Author: Terry Ibele September 29, 2022 Contents 🕑 14 min read Looking to build a membership website? Finding the right membership website builder can be a lot of work, especially if you don’t know where to start. But this blog post is here to help! I’ve taken the guesswork out of what makes a great membership website builder to help you find the right one for you. I spoke to a HUGE range of organizations and got their recommendations, all based on top criteria like: Ease of use Cost How many administrator accounts are allowed Number of subscription levels available Payment integrations Member-exclusive Content And more! I’ve taken this information and summed it up here to help your organization find the best membership website builder. I’ll also cover: What is a Membership Website? What’s the Difference Between a Membership Website and a Subscription Website? What Should a Membership Website Include? How Do You Create a Membership Website with a Membership Website Builder? How Much Does a Membership Website Builder Cost? 13 Best Membership Website Builders in 2022 Or, you can watch this video for our review of the top 5: Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Creating A Membership Site What is a membership website? A membership website is a gated site with protected, members-only content. The gate is a barrier, usually something that prompts a member to log in with their username and password. Membership sites are used by nonprofits, associations, clubs, and businesses. It’s a great way to make membership levels feel like getting access to an exclusive party! That’s because the content they get to experience is just for them. With membership websites, they can get access to things like: Blogs Videos Webinars Learning modules Podcasts What’s the difference between a membership website and a subscription website? A membership website is like a subscription website in that you are getting exclusive access to content. But a subscription website is something like a Pelaton subscription website, where you pay monthly to get access to classes. A membership website may sound similar, but the main difference is that a membership website is linked to a community. Being a member of an organization means making contributions beyond just monetary ones. You’re not just paying for services or goods. There’s an exchange of connections, expertise, or learnings among community members. Having access to a membership website is just a benefit of being a member, rather than the sole reason you decide to join. What should a membership website include? Every organization is different! So every membership website will be different. That said, there are a few core elements you’ll definitely want to include: 1. Gated content People come to a membership website for exclusive content. Videos, blogs, webinars, you name it. A good tip is to add an image of the kind of content members will receive depending on their membership level. This could encourage people to join your organization or even upgrade their membership type! 2. Members-only area This exclusive area is where your gated content and other member features (like forums or job boards) will be. It’ll also be where your online member dashboard will be. This is where members can update profile or see recent comments to their posts. 3. About us Your membership website will be visited by more than just your existing members. An about us page gives potential members the information they need to make the decision to join. Mention your mission, member benefits, and a breakdown of membership tiers. 4. Membership information Beyond just your about us page, your membership information should be accessible to anyone from your dropdown menu. It should give a breakdown of membership levels, pricing, and benefits. 5. Membership application form Applying to be a member should be easy so they can start accessing exclusive content right away. Make sure your application form is concise and only focuses on essential information like their preferred membership tier. 6. Online payment processing system Make paying membership dues easy with a secure, online payment processing system. (And don’t forget to make sure it connects DIRECTLY with your membership management software!) 7. Gamification What better way to encourage members to track progress on achieving member or community goals than with gamification? You could use a point systems with swag rewards, or process bars—and it’s a great way to keep people motivated. 8. Simple design When in doubt, keep it to the essentials. Or better yet: use a customizable website builder with drag and drop functionality. It takes the guesswork out of building your membership website. 9. Eye-catching Calls-to-Action (CTAs) Don’t make your members search for crucial information. Make sure you have CTA buttons that stand out and have a clear action. Pick colours that pop and place important ones in the top right corner of your page (which is prime CTA real estate). 10. Concise and clear messaging Nothing is worse than bogging down your members with complicated verbiage. Make sure everything on your site is clear, concise, and gets to the important stuff fast. 11. Membership management software integration When your membership website and your membership management software are able to talk to each other, you’re in good hands. Why? It saves you time and lets you do more, right away. For example, with WildApricot, you can create a membership website as well as automate: – Adding new members – Updating information – Processing payments – Deploy member emails and newsletters – Send member dues reminders – And more. How do you create a membership website with a membership website builder? Your membership website builder can be a free content management system like WordPress. Or, your membership website builder can be through all-in-one software that has features for everything your organization needs to do. Regardless of what you choose, there are a few things you should set up and consider beforehand. Here are our 4 steps to creating a membership website: Determine Your Membership Model – Sit down with your team and decide what kind of membership model your organization will have. Ask yourself: Clean Your Contact Database – The biggest benefit of a membership site is that it connects to your contact database. It then automates processes like payments, registrations, and more. You can use Excel to start your clean up. Take a look through all of your contact database and make sure there are: No spelling mistakes Everything is standardized (Join date, city and state names, membership tier names, etc) There are no duplicate entries Use The Right Membership Software to Build Your Website – The ideal membership website builder is one that integrates with your membership management software. It also allows you to build a membership website fast. But what if you could get both in the same place? WildApricot is an excellent option for this. With drag and drop functionality, you can make a membership website in minutes. And if you already have a site on WordPress, not to worry! WildApricot can integrate with it. Include Membership Website Must-Haves – There are some core pages you should include in your membership website. They include: About Us Page (mission, purpose, and values) Gated Content or Specialized Content Pages Community Pages (forums, community building features like chat boards, etc) Member Payment and Join Page How much does a membership website builder cost? If you’re wondering how much it costs to build a membership website, you’ll be happy to hear that there are options for any budget. Building a membership website can range from FREE to $11,200 per year to maintain. It all depends on what your needs are and the size of your organization. A well-priced membership software can help keep costs down, even more so if you build it yourself! Your payment processor and web hosting will also impact how much you’ll pay. How can I make a membership website for free? You sure can. We’ll go into the specific functionalities of these options later in the blog, but here are a few FREE options you can start with: WildApricot IM Creator Weebly Wix 13 Best Membership Website Builders in 2022 Here are our top choices for the best membership website building solutions for 2022. This list covers everything from pricing, account details, and who these builders are built for. 1) WildApricot Best for Small Nonprofits and Member Organizations WildApricot is built for membership organizations, meant to help you build community. The membership website builder includes: Integration with your existing website – Already have a website? You can modify it with all the WildApricot perks to build your membership website. Easy-to-use editor – Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, using WildApricot’s interface is a breeze. Simplified member communication – Your membership website comes with a membership database and emailing system. This software makes managing your members easy! Have a lot of tasks? WildApricot can set them up and take care of them for you. Plus, you can do it all in one place: whether that’s your email newsletter, dues reminders, online payments, or keeping your member database looking sharp, just to name a few! With WildApricot, checking off your to-do list becomes simpler and faster. Start your 60-day free trial here and see what they have in store. Pricing: Plans start at $60 per month Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: one to unlimited Creating Membership Forms: automated and customizable application form Subscription-level Options: Multiple membership levels with subscription fees and periods, and benefits. Other Membership Features: Membership management and directories, members-only content, event registration, online payments, member database, mobile apps If you’re interested in learning more, you can read this article on setting up an easy members-only website using WildApricot. Payment Processors: WildApricot Payments (powered by AffiniPay) Authorize.net Stripe Connect PayPal Checkout Read More: How to Develop a Successful Subscription Business Model for Your Organization 2) MemberClicks Best for Growing Associations and Chambers Ready to invest in taking your organization to the next level? MemberClicks is for you! It’s great for associations or chambers that need to keep all of their data, communications, administration, and marketing in one central location. On top of building websites, MemberClicks can also help with membership management to learning management to event management. Contact them today to learn more! Pricing: A couple of different pricing models for the use of different features Revenue share opportunities for the job board feature Payment terms include options like year-long terms to no terms at all Pricing discounts available Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: built-in form builder Other Membership Features: Virtual event management, website builder & CMS, online community features, and bundle-and-save discounts Payment Processors: Payroc Moolah Authorize.net E-check 3) IM Creator Best for Organizations Without Volunteer or Donor Management IM Creator was founded by members of Wix’s developer team, IM Creator’s tools are good enough to create a stunning website with little effort. It’s only downside is that it doesn’t support volunteer or donor management. However, if you’re not looking for that, it has membership-centered features for building your site. All you need is to add a plug-in to their editor, although depending on the plug-in, this may cost a little more. IM Creator has a wide range of elements to choose from like form builders, social feed, event boards, and surveys. So the extra charge may be worth it. Pricing: Free trial available Free for students, artists, and registered nonprofits Premium Plan starts at $8 per month Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: Add a form block element into the editor Other Membership Features: Free trial available, built-in SEO, free and fast support Payment Processors: PayPal 4) Squarespace Best for Websites with No Customization Squarespace offers a complete, straight-forward website builder package. One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to turn it into a membership website, you’ll have to install plug-ins. Its features include: Attractive templates Web hosting SEO tools eCommerce options They offer two plans, and regardless of which one you choose, all users start with a free trial. This lets you see what they have to offer before making a commitment. Its only downfall is that in terms of a membership solution, its features are limited. But as a well-known website builder, it’s worth highlighting if you don’t require too much customization. Pricing: Free trial available Basic Plan starts at $12 per month Monthly and yearly payment terms Can switch plans at any time Discounts available Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: add a form block element into the editor Other Membership Features: member-only content and protected pages, all via a third-party plug-in Choose which pages are to be protected Add in content Set up payment type and other details Payment Processors: Stripe PayPal Apple Pay 5) Sub Hub Best for For-Profit, Established Membership Organizations Sub Hub has been providing a membership builder for more than a decade now. However, their prices are a bit steep, so their service may be best for organizations with more resources, financially speaking. They have membership-centered features and tools that can make start-up and management of a membership website easy for admins. There’s no need for plugins or extra configuration. They also have payment processors for international organizations. Pricing: Free trial available Basic Plan starts at $47 per month Monthly and yearly payment terms Can switch plans at any time Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: one Creating Membership Forms: via third-party plug-in Other Membership Features: Membership management, members-only content, pay-per-view content, recurring subscriptions, events board, and community forum Payment Processors: Stripe PayPal 6) Morweb Best for Nonprofits With 1-3 Staff Members If you have a staff of only a couple people, the ease-of-use of Morweb’s website builder and event management options may be what you need. Morweb offers security and accessibility features you normally see with the bigger website builders. Between easy design and editing of your websites and support included at no extra cost, Morweb serves nonprofits and associations that may only have a couple of staff members. However, they also have features robust enough for enterprise-level organizations. Pricing: Free trial available Basic Plan starts at $99 per month Monthly or yearly payment terms Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: via plugin Other Membership Features: Support is included at no cost, tier 1 web hosting and daily backups, web accessibility audit available for some subscription types. Payment Processors: Stripe Can accommodate other processors but may be at an additional charge 7) Weebly Best for Blogs and Online Stores Weebly is another general membership website builder that has gained popularity, thanks in part to its ease of use and modern designs. Although their most marketed features are more fit for blogs and online stores, they added membership features a few years ago for those who want to build one using Weebly’s tools. They also improved some features so users can accommodate more members and make management a flawless experience for the admins. Pricing: Free option available Basic Plan starts at $6 per month Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: drag and drop form builder Other Membership Features: member registration, group and page management, customized invite emails, CSV file import, member search, and password reset Payment Processors: Credit card payments Google Pay Apple Pay Paypal Read More: 5 Steps to Build a Membership Site (No Tech Experience Required) 8) MemberSpace Best for Non-Technical People MemberSpace boasts a simple and easy-to-use interface for people with no technical skills. With their platform, you can make a membership website from your existing website. No coding experience is required. All you need to do is select the existing pages and content you want to restrict to members. Currently, it’s available for sites that are hosted on Squarespace, Webflow, Wix, Weebly, Jekyll, and Custom HTML. However, this builder doesn’t have any other membership management features, which you should keep in mind if you decide to choose it! Pricing: Free trial available Basic Plan starts at $29 per month Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Unlimited members (paid or free) VIP support & free migration Includes all standard features 4% transaction fee Payment Processors: Stripe 9) Site123 Best for Small to Medium Business and Private Users SITE123 is built for small to medium businesses and private users. You can create your membership website without design or coding experience, or the cost of hiring extra support. It has ready-made layouts and templates so it’s easy to start building. The only downside is that creating members-only restrictions will apply to your whole site. That means anyone who is not a member will need to create an account to see your content. Pricing: Free Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Customizable Templates Landing Pages/Web Forms Online Store Builder Reporting/Analytics SEO Management Third Party Integrations Website Management Payment Processors: Stripe 2Checkout Braintree 10) Drupal Best for Tech-Savvy People Drupal is software that’s free to use for anyone. But what makes it stand out is that it’s an open-source CMS where anyone can modify the code – this makes it the most flexible website builder out there. Anything you want to customize, you can. The possibilities are endless! This is exactly why you can also use it to create your own membership website builder. The only downside is that depending on how tech-savvy you are, you’ll have to outsource support for design and development. However, if you have the budget to do so, you’ll be able to get exactly what you want. Pricing: Free Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Content Publishing Options Electronic Forms Full Text Search Text Editing Payment Processors: 139 available including: Amazon Pay WeChat Pay Square Stripe 11) Wix Best for Super Simple Sites Wix is a crowd favorites when it comes to website builders, and for good reason. Their popularity comes from the versatility of their highly-customizable builder. One of Wix’s strengths is that they have an App Market where you can find free and paid apps and services to add to your website. Some of the community-centered apps include forums, log-in pages, form builders, event calendars, subscriber boosters, schedulers, and live chat add-ons. Pricing: Monthly and yearly terms available Basic Plan starts at $16 per month 14-day money back guarantee Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: one Creating Membership Forms: via installing an app from their App Market Other Membership Features: Member directory, event calendars, chat rooms, community forums, social stream Payment Processors: Apple Pay A variety of other options based on your location Google Pay 12) WordPress Best for Member Organizations That Don’t Mind Plug-Ins WordPress is a powerhouse when it comes to website building. With a vast selection of themes and the flexibility of their platform, it’s no surprise why they’re popular. Building a membership doesn’t have to be difficult. WordPress has a number of plug-ins available to make the process easier. The only downside? Managing multiple plug-ins to get what you want in a membership website can get complicated compared to using an all-in-one solution that has all of the features you want. WordPress plug-ins that are designed for membership include DigitalAccessPass, MemberPress, and even WildApricot! They each have a subscription fee which can be a bit expensive, but given that using WordPress itself is free, it’s the only thing you have to worry about. Pricing: Free option available Basic plan begins at $4 per month Monthly and yearly terms Membership plug-ins are paid Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Creating Membership Forms: via plug-in Other Membership Features: depends on the plug-ins used Payment Processors: Credit card Debit card PayPal. In addition to these, WordPress also supports many local payment methods in select countries. 13) GoDaddy Web Hosting Best for For-Profit Membership Sites GoDaddy is one of the oldest website building and hosting services. Its reputation as a hassle-free website builder with thousands of design templates proceeds it. It’s easy-to-use and has high-customization to create great websites. However, it caters mostly to businesses and for e-commerce, so it’s best for for-profit membership sites. Among its features, GoDaddy also offers shared SSL certificates so all of the data entered into your website is absolutely secured. Between its pricing and domain options, GoDaddy has a little something for everyone. Pricing: Free option available Free trial available Basic Plan starts at $5.99 per month Account Details: Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple Other Membership Features: malware scanning & removal, discount, promotion & coupon code management, drag-and-drop page editor Payment Processors: Major credit cards PayPal There you have it, the 13 best membership website builders available in 2022! And once you’ve decided on a platform, don’t forget to check out these 25 examples of great membership websites for some inspiration before building your own. Ready for an EASY membership website builder that can also make all of those member management tasks simpler? Start your free trial with WildApricot now! Additional Resources: 5 Steps to Create an Amazing Membership Website with No Technical Expertise 6 Steps to Start a Nonprofit the Right Way and Get Your First Paying Members The Top 20 Most Popular Membership Management Software Related Website & Technology Articles Website & Technology 🕑 9 Min Read How to Make a Forum on Your Nonprofit Website: 13 Steps + Best Software Marlena Moore Nov 14, 2023 Website & Technology 🕑 5 Min Read 25 Solid Membership Website Examples & How to Create Your Own Terry Ibele Oct 24, 2023 Website & Technology 🕑 5 Min Read 7 Solid Club Website Examples to Get Ideas for Your Club Website Terry Ibele Oct 11, 2023 The Membership Growth Report: Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents Get the report now!