How to Create a Membership Website Free in Less Than a Day

Website & Technology January 28, 2021

Terry Ibele

By Terry Ibele

Thousands of organizations use Wild Apricot's software to manage their membership websites (we're also the most popular provider).

 

That’s because Wild Apricot is one of the few membership website creators who offer a completely free account to small organizations for as long as they need it.

 

Our free accounts are designed for small organizations of less than 50 members, or organizations that are just starting out. 

Read on to find out how to create a membership website free with Wild Apricot, what you can do with it, and how to get help to grow your organization.

 

How to Create a Membership Website Free with Wild Apricot

Here’s how to create a membership website from scratch with Wild Apricot.

 

Step 1: Start a Free, 30-Day Trial of Wild Apricot

 

Click here to start a free trial. To access your free trial, simply enter your info and click Activate your Wild Apricot account.

 activate-your-trial 

This will activate a free 30-day trial of the paid version of Wild Apricot’s software. This means that you will have all the access to all the functionality that our paid clients receive for 30 days.

At the end of the 30 days, you’ll receive warning that your trial account will expire unless you upgrade. To activate your free account, simply let the trial expire. Wild Apricot will automatically turn your trial account into a limited free account that lasts as long as you need it to. All the information you entered during your trial period will be saved and accessible in your free account.

 

Step 2: Take a Tour (Or Skip It)

Once your account is activated, you’ll be asked if you’d like help setting up your trial. If you choose yes, then you'll be taken through an easy setup guide that will help you hit the ground running.

If you choose to skip the guide, you’ll be taken straight into the back end of your new Wild Apricot website. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll take you straight to the back end of your Wild Apricot website.

 

optional-setup-guide

 

Step 3: Navigate to Site Pages

Once you are in the back end of your Wild Apricot website, navigate to Website > Site pages in the menu. This will take you to the website editor where you’ll see the pages of your pre-loaded website (which you can completely customize later).

 

Subscription website
 

 

Site 4: Restrict Access to Pages

On your Site pages, click Add page to add a new web page to your website. Alternatively, you can also edit an existing page.

 Subscription website add site page

 

 

Once your new page is added, scroll down to the sub-menu item called Access Levels. Here you can see an option called Restricted. Clicking this option will restrict the web page to members only.

Subscription website restrict access

 

You’ll also see options to restrict the web page however you like: by admin level, member level, or by member group.

 

How to Create a Subscription Website 

 

Step 5: Set Up Membership Levels 

Navigate to the main menu again. Go to Members > Levels.

 

Subscription website add member levels

 

Wild Apricot already gives you three sample membership levels: Professional, Regular, and Student. You can edit these levels however you like (price, access, recurring payments, registration requirements, etc.), or create new ones.

Once you’re done, you can notify prospective members of your new membership website where they’re be able to register and pay for online membership.

 

Get Access to Many More Membership Features, Including...

An easy to manage membership database

  • Add and update member records
  • Search and filter members
  • Create groups of members and set up membership levels (free only)

Events with online registration

  • Schedule as many free events you like
  • Add an events calendar to your website
  • Customize registration pages and forms
  • Send automated confirmation and reminder emails

An great way to communicate with your members 

  • Choose from any of our professionally designed email and newsletter templates
  • Send as many emails and newsletters as you like
  • Easily email different groups of members
  • Customize your automated welcome email
 

Free Accounts Have Some Limitations

  • Max number of administrators: 1
  • Max contact database size (members and email contacts combined): 50
  • Single file size limit: 100 MB
  • Total file storage limit: 100 MB
  • Online or recurring payments: No
  • Custom domain name: No
  • Banner ads appear on the top of every website page
  • Free accounts left unattended for 90 days will be deleted

 

Once your organization grows beyond 50 members, you can consider upgrading to a paid account to access the full capabilities of Wild Apricot’s powerful membership management software including:

  • Allowing beyond 50 members and contacts
  • Giving access to more administrators
  • Accepting online payments and donations for memberships and events
  • Automating recurring payments for member dues
  • Using a custom domain name
  • Increasing your file storage limit
  • Removing the banner ads from the top of your website

 

View additional details of all Wild Apricot's plans here.

 

7 Examples of Websites Built With Wild Apricot 

Want a little inspiration before you get started? Here are some amazing examples from a variety of organizations, all using Wild Apricot. 

 

1. Botanical Art Society of Australia

BASA

 

2. California Map Society

California Map Society

 

3. BMW Car Club Canberra

BMW Car Club Canberra

 

4. Novato Mothers Club

Novato Mothers Club

 

5. New England Archivists

New England Archivists

 

6. Japan Society of New Orleans

Japan Society of New Orleans

 

7. Roper Mountain Astronomers

Roper Mountain Astronomers

 

Free Help Getting Set Up

If you need any help when you create your free membership website with Wild Apricot, we provide unlimited, free support. You can browse our online help wiki, email us, or get in touch with a live tech support agent.

 

Start Your Free Wild Apricot Membership Management Software Account Today

In just an afternoon, you can have your whole membership website up and running and your member database imported so you can focus on growing your organization right away.

Click here to open your free Wild Apricot account now — and best of luck with creating your new website!

 

Additional Resources:

The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

Get the report now!

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