Create a Stunning Membership Website with One of These 10 Membership Website Builders

Terry Ibele 25 May 2017 0 comments

This is a guest post by Angel Carsolin, business development officer at Comparakeet, a company that reviews software.

Membership Website

If you’re planning on building a membership website, there are many website builders that are easy to use and have lots of membership features.

To help you choose the right builder for your organization, I spoke to a number of organizations who gave me recommendations and common criteria to consider beforehand, like:

  • ease of use
  • cost
  • how many administrator accounts are allowed
  • number of subscription levels available
  • which payment providers each integrates with
  • whether content can be restricted to members
  • and more

From what I gathered, here are the ten best membership website builders in alphabetical order:

 

DoodleKit membership website builder

1) Doodlekit

  • Free with ads
  • Basic Plan starts at $14 per month

Despite lagging behind other competitors in terms of design, Doodlekit offers a decent service when it comes to building a membership site. If you aren’t much for flaunting, then Doodlekit should be enough – especially since hosting is included, among other essential features.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: built-in form builder
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: lifetime membership charging

Payment Processors:

  • PayPal
  • Google Merchant

Doodlekit is designed for those who want to build a website right away and do not mind having a simpler design and basic features. If you have little resources to spare for the project, then their free plan is a good package — it includes 1000 GB of bandwidth and 100 MB of storage, enough for a starting your website.

 

IM Creator membership website builder

2) IM Creator

  • Free with IM Creator subdomain
  • Basic Plan starts at $9.95 per month

IM Creator was founded by members of Wix’s developer team (Wix is also a website builder covered in this list) with the goal to provide an easier website builder that offers a higher level of design. And while they have yet to offer features that will put them on the top spot, their tools are good enough to create a stunning website with little effort.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: via installing plug-ins
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only 
  • Other Membership Features: form builders and subscription payment, via a third-party plugin

For membership-centered features, you can add a plug-in to their editor, although this may cost a little more. But since you have a wide range of elements to choose from like form builders, social feed, event board and gallery, and poll and survey forms, the extra charge may be worth it.

 

SquareSpace membership website creator

3) SquareSpace

  • Basic Plan starts at $16 per month

SquareSpace offers a complete website builder package, but you will have to install plug-ins to turn it into a membership site. Some features include: attractive templates, web hosting, SEO tools, and eCommerce options, among other essential features. They are straightforward with the difference between their two plans, so you won’t be confused about which one to choose. All users also start by registering for their free trial, so you can see what they have to offer before making a commitment.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: add a form block element into the editor
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: member-only content and protected pages, all via a third-party plug-in

How to Setup the Members-Only Content:

  1. Choose which pages are to be protected
  2. Add in content
  3. Set up payment type and other details

Payment Processors:

  • PayPal
  • ApplePay
  • Major credit cards

Similar to other website builders, you can also add plug-ins to your website for more functionality. These plug-ins can apply protected pages and content for members-only access, log-in forms, and user profiles. Unfortunately, SquareSpace has not yet opened an in-house membership solution, so you have to shell out extra to apply these plug-ins to your account.

 

SubHub membership website creator

4) Sub Hub

  • Basic Plan starts at $97 per month

Sub Hub has been providing a membership builder for more than a decade now. Focused on creating a community, they have membership-centered features that can make start-up and management easy for admins, and a handful of other tools to make the website stand out from the rest. Their prices are a bit steep though, so their service may be for organizations with more resources, financially speaking. Moreover, while their features are perfectly good for smaller organizations, communities with a larger base will have a greater benefit from them.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: one
  • Creating Membership Forms: via third-party plug-in
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: Membership management, members-only content, pay-per-view content, recurring subscriptions, events board, and community forum

Payment Processors:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Sub Hub may be expensive, but it is well worth the cost for what you are getting. Everything that you need is within their builder — there is no need to install third-party plugins that need extra steps for configuration and may occasionally break and cause issues for the members. They also have payment processors from a handful of countries for international organizations.

 

WebStarts membership website builder

5) WebStarts

  • Free with ads
  • Basic Plan starts at $4.89 per month

WebStarts is an affordable website builder that offers basic functionality with an emphasis on social media integration  this is actually a great way to reach out to the larger population and grow your member count quickly. Their templates aren’t the newest in the block, but they are quite pleasant to look at.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: add a form builder into the editor
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: member-only content and protected pages

How to Setup the Members-Only Content:

  1. Choose which pages are to be protected
  2. Click Apps, then Membership
  3. Choose Yes

Payment Processors:

  • Authorize.net
  • PayPal

Webstarts offers a cheap way to build website, complete with contact forms to gather needed information from your members. Their bandwidth allocation for lower-tiered plans is a bit limited though, which makes them more fitting for starting organizations, but not much for growing communities.

 

Weebly membership website builder

6) Weebly

  • Free with ads
  • Basic Plan starts at $8 per month

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.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: drag and drop form builder
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only 
  • Other Membership Features: member registration, group and page management, customized invite emails, CSV file import, member search, and password reset

How to Setup the Members-Only Content:

  1. Go to the Pages tab
  2. Select the page
  3. Change visibility to members/group
  4. Add a password if desired

Payment Processors:

  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Authorize.net
  • PayPal

Weebly added membership features to its service last 2014, where Pro websites can have up to 200 members. Business websites, on the other hand, have unlimited membership allocation. These membership centered features, combined with stunning and highly customizable templates, gives members a visual treat whenever they visit your pages, while letting them enjoy the perks of their subscription.

 

Wild Apricot membership website builder

7) Wild Apricot

  • Free, limited version with ads
  • Basic Plan starts at $40 per month
  • Free version available (see here for details)

When it comes to membership website builders, Wild Apricot is at the top of its league. Their platform was built specifically for membership organizations and includes many additional features like registration forms, event calendars, forums, and membership databases. Their editor is also flexible for all kinds of users; the interface is extremely easy to use for beginners, but you can also tweak CSS settings or modify an existing site if you already have one. What's more is your website comes ready with a robust membership database and emailing system so you can analyse your members and communicate with them at ease. Moreover, they have six plans to choose from that can fit your needs and budget — whether your group is just growing, or if you already have an established member count running in thousands.

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

How to Setup the Members-Only Content:

  1. Go to Site Pages
  2. Add a page
  3. Enter a name and URL
  4. Click Page Template and choose Member-only template
  5. Choose Restricted under Access Level
  6. Add the contents, and save.

Payment Processors: 

Wild Apricot is an all-in-one solution for membership organizations. All of their features are centered on building a community, which is no wonder why they have a whole variety of clients like associations, for-profit and non-profit organizations, health and sports clubs, societies, fraternities and sororities, and many, many others. You can try out their free trial which runs for 30 days to see what they have in store.

 

Wix membership website creator

8) Wix

  • Free with ads
  • Basic Plan starts at $4.50 per month

Wix is one of the crowd favorites when it comes to website builders, and for good reason. They have over 90 million users from 190 countries, and enjoys an average of 45,000 new sign-ups daily. The main reason for this popularity is that their builder caters to a wide range of categories. You can create just about any website for personal, professional, or business use. This includes restaurant and hotel websites, portfolios, blogs, and of course, membership organizations.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: one
  • Creating Membership Forms: via installing an app from their App Market
  • Subscription-level Options: none
  • Other Membership Features: Member directory, event calendars, chat rooms, community forums, social stream

Payment Processors:

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.

 

WordPress membership website creator

9) WordPress

  • WordPress has a free basic plan
  • Membership plug-ins are paid

WordPress is a powerhouse when it comes to website building, powering 27% of all sites on the web. Given the flexibility of their platform and the vast selection of themes available, it’s no wonder why they are dominating the market. Building a membership does not have to be technical as well, since there are a number of plug-ins available to make the process easier.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Creating Membership Forms: via plug-in
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: depends on the plug-in used

Payment Processors:

  • Payment gateways, together with their integration instructions, are available via plug-ins in WordPress

WordPress plug-ins that are designed for membership include DigitalAccessPass, MemberPress, and Memberful. 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.

 

Yahoo Web Hosting membership website

10) Yahoo Web Hosting

  • Basic Plan starts at $5.99 per month

If you are looking for a membership website builder that thrives on simplicity, then Yahoo Web Hosting should be one of your options. Their platform is designed specifically for beginners, with a building process that is easy to digest, plus rates that are cheap and reasonable. Their templates are not the most eye-catching when compared side-by-side with other platforms, but they are more than enough to create a professional-looking website.

Account Details:

  • Admin Accounts Allowed: multiple
  • Subscription-level Options: one level only
  • Other Membership Features: site search, content password protection

Payment Processors:

  • PayPal
  • major credit cards

While Yahoo Web Hosting primarily caters to small businesses, their builder is simple enough 
for anyone to use. For higher-tiered plans, they also allow third party design tools, which may be needed since their in-house templates are a little outdated. They also offer shared SSL certificates with bank-level encryption, so all of the data entered into your website is absolutely secured.

There you have it, the ten best membership website builders available to date! 

 

How to Choose the Best Option for Your Organization 

If you need more help deciding which membership website builder to use, check out Comparakeet’s reviews and comparisons on each of these builders. You'll have a much better idea of which suits your organization best.


Angelica Carsolin ComparakeetAs a business development officer at Comparakeet, Angel ensures the company's continued growth on a daily basis. In her free time, she enjoys redditing, playing video games, and indulging in general merriment.

 

 

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Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Posted by Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Published Thursday, 25 May 2017 at 1:55 PM

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