What Software Should I Use for a Membership Site?

by geegel
34 replies
I've finally decided to expand my horizons and become a webmaster as well. Since membership sites are all the rage, I figure that's where I should start.

My two options so far are Dolphin from Boonex (has a free option supported by advertising) and OpenWack/Oxwall, an open-source platform.

Somehow though, I can't help feeling that I'm missing something from the picture.

I'd be extremely grateful if any of the seasoned warriors could share their experience and advice.

By the way, if the situation warrants it, I wouldn't mind coughing up a few dollars for a license. Still, for obvious reasons, I would prefer a free platform.

Best regards,
George Cozma
#community #membership #site #software
  • Profile picture of the author bonafide70
    Hi George

    definately check out wishlist on wordpress (premium) or s2member (free version available)

    Memberspeed is pretty powerful as well (sorry this is premium $)

    cheers
    Jerry
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  • Profile picture of the author James_Harkin
    I use Rapid Action Profits, simply because I can use it on all my sites. It protects blogs, uses PayPal and includes built in instant affiliate program Support is great too. Probably not everyone's cup of tea but its clean, professional and gets the job done without having to spend thousands setting up multiple membership sites.

    Regards

    James Harkin
    Signature
    "My First Joint Venture Generated Us OVER $633,451.64 PROFIT! How Would You Like Access To The TOP 1250 Internet Marketers Who Can Help You Do The Same?". PM Me About How They Can Help You Explode Your Business.
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    • Profile picture of the author itrainedmydragon
      I have several friends who have had good success with aMember. It's the platform I'm leaning towards myself right now. It looks like it's very full featured and seems to have pretty good documentation. Check it out at Membership software - aMember Pro.

      One of my friends ran into a few issues with customization, but they got around them and now have a really nice site with great membership features.

      Be aware, it's far from free. It's currently listed at around $180, but when you look at its features and capabilities, that's a great deal, as long as you've got a viable idea for a membership site. The best software in the world isn't going to make you money if no one wants to become a member.

      In my research of various membership plug ins and platforms, I came across a website called Membership Academy - Membership Academy: Membership site software comparisons, reviews, forums and videos, start-up guide. that is actually a membership site to help you get your membership site up and running! Pretty funny when you think about it, but its founder, David Moskowitz talks about how much trouble he ran into when he was trying to develop his first membership site and he has documented the process and gives you lots of resources to help you choose a platform (though, just looking at his topics in the members only area, it's pretty obvious he only recommends aMember) and has lots of info on custom set up.

      If the documentation with aMember isn't up to snuff, David's info could be worth it. Just perusing the aMember site, it seems that the developer's first language is not English, so the documentation might be a bit spotty in places. I don't know that for sure.

      FYI, I'm not connected to either aMember or Membership Academy. Those were just two products or services I came across in my own extensive research on membership site software. Both them also have Affiliate Programs, so if you find them to be good quality or helpful, they might even make you some money someday.

      Please update this thread when you choose something and let us know what your experience was.

      Thanks, and have fun.
      Signature

      Will O.

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    • Profile picture of the author ebusinesstutor
      Originally Posted by James_Harkin View Post

      I use Rapid Action Profits, simply because I can use it on all my sites. It protects blogs, uses PayPal and includes built in instant affiliate program Support is great too. Probably not everyone's cup of tea but its clean, professional and gets the job done without having to spend thousands setting up multiple membership sites.

      Regards

      James Harkin
      Hi James,

      I am looking at setting up a training site with videos and online courses. I was wondering if RAP would work for that?

      I want the course materials to be in tree type format where people can open the folders to see the tree menus underneath.

      Thanks!
      Signature
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      • Profile picture of the author James_Harkin
        Originally Posted by ebusinesstutor View Post

        Hi James,

        I am looking at setting up a training site with videos and online courses. I was wondering if RAP would work for that?

        I want the course materials to be in tree type format where people can open the folders to see the tree menus underneath.

        Thanks!
        RAP will allow you to host and secure videos and online courses, I do that for my own sites. You can also use it to drip feed content too with the RAP Member Plus, plus you also get access to RAP Bank where you can promote your affiliate program to hundreds of affiliates.

        If you have in depth questions about how RAP works, contact Sid Hale who is really quick at responding to questions:

        Help - Powered By The 'Three Pillars' Support Desk System

        Regards

        James Harkin
        Signature
        "My First Joint Venture Generated Us OVER $633,451.64 PROFIT! How Would You Like Access To The TOP 1250 Internet Marketers Who Can Help You Do The Same?". PM Me About How They Can Help You Explode Your Business.
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        • Profile picture of the author ebusinesstutor
          Originally Posted by James_Harkin View Post

          RAP will allow you to host and secure videos and online courses, I do that for my own sites. You can also use it to drip feed content too with the RAP Member Plus, plus you also get access to RAP Bank where you can promote your affiliate program to hundreds of affiliates.

          If you have in depth questions about how RAP works, contact Sid Hale who is really quick at responding to questions:

          Help - Powered By The 'Three Pillars' Support Desk System

          Regards

          James Harkin
          Thanks James. I appreciate your taking the time to reply.

          It would be nice if they had a demo I could try so I could see if it fits my needs.

          Most membership software I have looked at provides that.
          Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Coon
    Hi Geegel,

    There is quite a few options for member sites. I would think it would depend on what you want to accomplish with your site. I have used Dolphin and Oxwall and both have pros and cons. Since they are free, try them in order to determine if they will meet your need.

    Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author JaspervBulletin
    Check out what I did with vBulletin...
    Personality Cafe
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  • Profile picture of the author iuditg
    You can use wordpress based Membership site. You can pretty much use any free theme along with any of these popular plugin :

    Wishlist
    aMember
    Nanacast

    There are few more but the above ones are the most popular ones
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    • Profile picture of the author Laurie Rogers
      Wishlist is by far the best option for running a membership site and the price is pretty reasonable.


      Originally Posted by iuditg View Post

      You can use wordpress based Membership site. You can pretty much use any free theme along with any of these popular plugin :

      Wishlist
      aMember
      Nanacast

      There are few more but the above ones are the most popular ones
      Signature

      Need FRESH PLR? Limited PLR sales, ALWAYS Fresh!
      http://provenprofitsplr.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Becks
    Another vote for RAP Here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Phil Craig
      I've used every member site script you can name... membergate, delavo, lfm, wishlist, RAP, etc. etc. etc.

      I just used wpmemberchamp by Jason Fladlien and Wil Mattos on the members area for my latest WSO.

      Frankly, I don't know why anyone would use anything else.

      Phil Craig
      Signature

      "The products are simply outstanding and I will guarantee you will not have seen PLR of this quality - EVER! Iain Crosbie" ========>MaximumPLR.com: http://MaximumPLR.com

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      • Profile picture of the author $cott
        Thanks for sharing this Phil. However, I see they do not offer more than a single membership level.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
          Originally Posted by ;4082537

          Thanks for sharing this Phil. However, I see they do not offer more than a single membership level.
          I'm glad your brought that up. I intentionally didn't want it. 95% of people who need to set up a membership site shouldn't even be entertaining the idea of creating multiple membership levels.

          Multiple levels is for the advanced and experienced. I can tell you firsthand I was running a near million dollar a year business and I couldn't very easily manage and market a membership site with multiple levels.

          Which is why everything was built the way that is was with WP Member Champ - so you could just set up a single level membership in like 1 minute regardless of how little techie skills you have or experience.

          But a lot of the market seems to want something with 1200 features instead that they'll most likely never use
          Signature

          Co-creator of WP Twin. Perhaps the most expensive yet most reliable wordress cloning tool on the market. We've definitely been used more successfully than all other options :)

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          • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
            Great advice Jason and I really like your short intro to Wp member champ at the WF Live Event 2011 as well as your other topics. When i'm ready to go, Wp MC will be top on my list. How can i get some coaching from yourself on coming up with content and so on for a membership site?

            Dwight

            Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

            I'm glad your brought that up. I intentionally didn't want it. 95% of people who need to set up a membership site shouldn't even be entertaining the idea of creating multiple membership levels.

            Multiple levels is for the advanced and experienced. I can tell you firsthand I was running a near million dollar a year business and I couldn't very easily manage and market a membership site with multiple levels.

            Which is why everything was built the way that is was with WP Member Champ - so you could just set up a single level membership in like 1 minute regardless of how little techie skills you have or experience.

            But a lot of the market seems to want something with 1200 features instead that they'll most likely never use
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          • Profile picture of the author Angela Neo
            Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

            I'm glad your brought that up. I intentionally didn't want it. 95% of people who need to set up a membership site shouldn't even be entertaining the idea of creating multiple membership levels.

            Multiple levels is for the advanced and experienced. I can tell you firsthand I was running a near million dollar a year business and I couldn't very easily manage and market a membership site with multiple levels.

            Which is why everything was built the way that is was with WP Member Champ - so you could just set up a single level membership in like 1 minute regardless of how little techie skills you have or experience.

            But a lot of the market seems to want something with 1200 features instead that they'll most likely never use
            Actually I really like what WP member champ offers except they don't take other payment processors other than Paypal... Jason, would you consider adding more payment processors to the plugin?
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      • Profile picture of the author MyBizMastermind
        Originally Posted by Phil Craig View Post

        I've used every member site script you can name... membergate, delavo, lfm, wishlist, RAP, etc. etc. etc.

        I just used wpmemberchamp by Jason Fladlien and Wil Mattos on the members area for my latest WSO.

        Frankly, I don't know why anyone would use anything else.

        Phil Craig
        Thats great! Good to know you have used so many and recommend this one specificaly. Where can I get that one?
        Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author faceblogger
    I am using aMemberPro. It is is really cool.
    Signature

    no sig

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  • Profile picture of the author JaspervBulletin
    Wrong thread... please delete
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomScott
    Personally, I like Wishlist. I'm not a web programmer and horrible with details and it's easy enough for me to use and gives me great options for payments, trial memberships, free memberships with upsells, etc...

    Hope this helps!
    Thom
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanHogan
    I've been very happy with LFM.
    There pretty much isn't anything you can't do with it and its very easy to get up and running quickly.
    Also, the support and everything else you get with it is top notch.
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  • One other I notice that hasn't been mentioned yet is Memberwing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Glenn Pegden
      Are all you guys using WishList happy with the support at the moment? It's a genuine question, but we seem to be picking up lots of ex-WL customers at the moment who said they gave up because they felt support sucked these days (oh and one or two that were right royally annoyed that they'd started encrypting the source).

      Disclaimer. I'm not a WishList user (in fact I work for the competition) so this is all second hand info.
      Signature

      Does your WordPress membership plugin allow you to protect and sell your content in Facebook too? Your Members does!.

      Glenn. Sales & Marketing guy at CodingFutures, web development agency and developers of Your Members.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    what about kajabi????
    Signature

    Recent domain flips : $8->$1000 Social recruiting Software dot com $8->$2000 MobileSalesSoftware.com
    Invest in domains without the hard work !
    Email for details...Mike McAleer at me dot com

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  • Profile picture of the author JMSD
    Originally Posted by geegel View Post

    I've finally decided to expand my horizons and become a webmaster as well. Since membership sites are all the rage, I figure that's where I should start.

    My two options so far are Dolphin from Boonex (has a free option supported by advertising) and OpenWack/Oxwall, an open-source platform.

    Somehow though, I can't help feeling that I'm missing something from the picture.

    I'd be extremely grateful if any of the seasoned warriors could share their experience and advice.

    By the way, if the situation warrants it, I wouldn't mind coughing up a few dollars for a license. Still, for obvious reasons, I would prefer a free platform.

    Best regards,
    George Cozma
    Hi George

    It really depends upon what you want to use your membership for AND how much you have to spend on any script assuming, of course, that you are not seeking purely open source scripts.

    I have MemberGate for a major/multi-level membership site (single licence limited to 1000 members) and it's pretty pricey. So, if it's for a market that you have yet to test, it's a great deal of money to tie up and a little bit of a learning curve to overcome before you even earn a dollar.

    EasyMemberPro on the other hand, is Wordpress-based and very easy to load and set up. It's affordable @ the current discounted price of $97 (install it on as many sites as you wish). It, too, offers multi-level membership options (you don't have to use this option, if you don't want to) and copes with payment gateways (PayPal, among others). It has an affiliate programe, one time, recurring payment options, at least four payment gateways/processors, including Clickbank, PayPal and Authorize.net.

    WhisListMember as already mentioned is another option at $97 for a single licence but a whopping $297 for a multi-licence.

    WP Memberchap whilst easy to set up (I investigated this but opted for Easy Member Pro, instead), it does not have anything like the features that EMPro has a few of which, you'd need from day one. Whilst this script protects paid for content from non-members, it does not protect you from your new members having access to all previously loaded content, so far as I could judge from the features listed.

    So, as they say, "you pays your money and you takes your choice!"

    You could opt for open-source but investigate the cons before you invest valuable time in setting it up only to have to unravel the lot when your site develops and outlives the script.

    The free but safe and almost instantly operational alternative is, of course, having a membership site using your sales copy, payment processor (Clickbank or just PayPal for recurring payments) and your tutorials in the form of weekly lessons sent by email (with download link) via your autoresponder. You could be up and running within a couple of days. This could be a particularly good way to test the demand in the market for your product/service, before you spend valuable time and effort installing a membership script.

    I have one membership site set up in that manner and it works a treat. I started off with just four weeks' worth of loaded lessons and added to the program as and when but managed to keep weeks ahead of my first members. I have Jimmy D Brown's course to thank for that - formely Membernaire.com but now available here: http://www.imstitute.com/Membernaire/ (not an affiliate link, more's the pity)!

    Hope this gives you some options to consider.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Craigmax9
    I have always had good success with wishlist member. There is something out now that is a little less known but it is called nanacast. It is more expensive then wishlist, but it does a ton of stuff. I recommend checking that service out too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
    DL Guard also has an option for running membership sites, has anyone used this as a script to manage their membership sites?
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  • Profile picture of the author seothatworks
    i use wpmudev membership plugin. its good. (paid version)
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  • Profile picture of the author JTzor
    For simple membership sites that are easy to manage I recommend:

    S2Member (free version) is dynamite - simple and sweet - you can always upgrade if you want more power and features

    WP Member Champ - easy integration with paypal - quick and breezy - not much like Wish List (ie not as many features including multiple member levels etc).

    Remember, if you are just starting out, Keep It as Simple and as easy to maintain as possible - make sure that the membership site is as easy to use from the customer side as it is to maintain from the admin side - less headaches and more fun that way.

    Warmest Regards,
    - John Tzor (JT)
    Signature
    "The Path to success is not a straight line but a jagged, broken road which we must piece together & make our own."

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    • Profile picture of the author pablogy
      I use a drupal customize installation . It has these features, built-in forum, sell downloads, sell multiple membership level, affiliates and coupons.
      add video and mp3, wysiwyg content creation
      paypal
      authorize.net
      2checkout
      and more....

      I paid to have it customized to make it very user friendly with admin control panel.

      If anyone is interested I could provide a copy for a minimal fee.
      I can provide screen shot and demo.
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  • Profile picture of the author claymc
    I give daily webinars using gotowebinar.. I need a way to charge people monthly, automatically, and also want an affiliate program so my current members can get a commission for marketing for me.

    any suggestions?
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  • Profile picture of the author jlandells
    Has anyone here tried WordPress Membership Plugin - Membership Script For WordPress Blogs And Regular Web Sites ? I've been hearing great things about it and after wrestling with Wishlist Member on a few sites recently, I was thinking of checking this out. Would love to get some feedback from current users!

    Many thanks,
    -John.
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