What Membership Site Software do I Need?

28 replies
Inspired by a lot of talk on membership sites (and of course the wonderful 'official' thread here, don't think we can use the exact phrase but i am sure you know what I mean) I have decided to start up a membership site.

What I need is a platform or process that will allow me to set up 3 levels of membership

a) a free level of membership
b) a paid level of membership
c) a limited paid level of membership

each level will provide access to new downloads that the lower ones didn't.

I want a forum to be part of the 'mix' and ideally automate the paid membership in that it signs up those that pays to the right level of access and removes those that cancel their subscription - without me doing a thing.

Now I have seen a few interesting solutions - most recently SocialSam (but I am put off there by a few bits and pieces).

Does anyone have any ideas on the best way forward? Currently I am considering SocialSam and seeing if I can rig vBulletin to do the job (or any other forum software) - but whilst i can see that a forum software would be easy to allow access to users and give downloads in protected forums etc I am not sure how easy it would be to automate.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
#membership #site #sites #software
  • Profile picture of the author Emmanuel ED
    aMember Pro + vBulletin. That Should Work Perfectly. (There are plugins to integrate vBulletin to aMember).
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  • Profile picture of the author georgetran
    Hi John

    I am the creator of 1Shopppingcart.com and the founder of SocialSAM.

    Could you please tell me what you were dissatisfied with on the SocialSAM platform?

    The thing about SocialSAM that no other platform can provide is thus:

    1) A completely integrated forum with content access control.
    2) Integrated merchant account and member dues management. ie. if members' credit cards are declined...they are automatically downgraded.
    3) Integrated multiple level access...each level with a different access profile to various parts of your site as set by you.
    4) Integrated affiliate tracking system (soon to be released).
    5) Integrated Viral invitation so your users can invite their friends to come join the community...thus virally growing your network for you.

    Please let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer.

    Sincerely
    George Tran
    CEO of SocialSAM.
    Founder of 1Shoppingcart.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Tyler Pratt
      Amember pro will be the most solid of the membership software programs
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      • Profile picture of the author Arun Pal Singh
        You can also check Member Speed. I see it as best membership software for IM.
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        • Profile picture of the author Riz
          Originally Posted by Arun Pal Singh View Post

          You can also check Member Speed. I see it as best membership software for IM.
          Arun, have you used Memberspeed?

          Personally i have found it to be the most annoying piece of software i've ever used. It has its benefits but also its extreme limitations and is not very user friendly.

          Riz
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  • Profile picture of the author mwaters5
    John,

    If I can inquire of you what are the frustrations you had with SocialSAM? I am their C.T.O. and often time the frustration have more to do with being able to find the feature versus not actually having it.

    We are working on the menu structure and making it more user friendly and I am always looking for good feedback on how to improve it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Texas_Guns
    There are several WordPress membership software/plugins
    available. I'm just bias because I use WordPress for everything:
    salesletters, blog, squeeze pages, etc.

    I believe there is an old WSO going on for one. I haven't checked
    that one out yet - but I've been eyeballing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Ranger
      Originally Posted by Texas_Guns View Post

      There are several WordPress membership software/plugins available.
      WordPress › Private Only WordPress Plugins

      It just does the job. You have to create everything
      manually but who cares when you can be and running
      within 5 minutes

      Once you have the members coming in then focus on
      tweaking little things like this.

      If you want a solution with more features then go for:
      http://member.wishlistproducts.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    From a techie...AmemberPro + Vbulletin is a nightmare.

    It's constantly breaking and it doesn't support PHP 5.3. So you're stuck running PHP 5.2 until who knows when.

    If you pursue this option, get ready to devote countless hours to "learning" Vbulletin and Amember. Neither are easy for the tech-challenged.

    It sounds like SocialSam has a great thing going. I'm personally using Nanacast + Discus comments. Forum management is too time consuming for my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author safe as houses
    If you have the finances and you are in it for the long term, what about membergate.

    I know it is expensive but a couple of friends have it, and they are more than pleased, and it will do everything you want and more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Katelyn Silverman
    I hear wishlist is ok for WP but if you want to get serious go with membergate.
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  • Profile picture of the author ArnelRicafranca
    I personally use membergate.com for my beyondsixpackabs.com site. It is over 4k fee but it is worth it. I just created another one with Mike Geary called TruthAboutAbsInnerCircle.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Kim Roach
      Originally Posted by ArnelRicafranca View Post

      I personally use membergate.com for my beyondsixpackabs.com site. It is over 4k fee but it is worth it. I just created another one with Mike Geary called TruthAboutAbsInnerCircle.com
      I have to second Arnel. Membergate is like the Rolls Royce of membership sites. It's costly but well worth it.

      I searched for months and finally decided on using Membergate for my membership site over at superaffiliateclub.com

      And I'm so glad I did. Membergate does everything you could possibly want a membership site to do plus more.
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    Hi John,

    Please take a moment to check out SubHub.

    SubHub is a powerful membership site platform, with clients on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Your entire site is run from one easy to use control panel, including page management, subscriptions, e-commerce, a forum, advertising and affiliate management. We handle all hosting, updates and platform management.

    Oh, and we offer a free 14 day trial, with all features enabled.

    SubHub costs $97/month, including a large choice of design templates.

    Best wishes

    Mark
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    Create Your Free Website in Minutes. Now With Added Membership Goodness!

    Visit www.subhub.com to Get Started
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  • Profile picture of the author Jag82
    You may want to try the membership version of Rapid Action Profits:
    RAP / Member Plus

    Very flexible and powerful.

    Affiliates will love you because you can give instant commission,
    among a host of other cutting edge features.

    Jag
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  • Profile picture of the author jaykay21089
    One word: Wordpress.

    That will get you where you want to go, if you're not super fussy with design.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmorris18
    George , Social Sam has some great features. I have contacted your support and have spoken with Andrew about some suggestions. If you do not mind I would like to send you a PM.

    Thanks,
    Jason
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    Jason Morris

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    • Profile picture of the author georgetran
      Sure. Send it to george(at)socialsam.com.

      I'll be glad to help.
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      • Profile picture of the author staffjam
        I'm looking at Subhub and membergate - both seem excellent.
        There i obviously the price difference - but what does membergate give you for the extra $$$$ in price?

        Be great to see some comparisons
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  • Profile picture of the author money2k
    I am usin. Memberspeed for my membership site that I am developing. It does everything you want and more. There are other plugins as well that you can add to your site as you expand. Check it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Gergets
    I personally use Micro-Membership by our very own Ralph Pruitt and it ROCKS. It offers five different membership levels (don't have to use all five), protected content, dripped content...I'm totally happy.

    I've coupled that with a hosted forum from Website Toolbox (only $10 a month).

    Perfect for me!
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Hi John,

    You have asked some good questions. here is the smart thing to do .

    install wordpress.
    grad a copy of memberwing.
    set memberwing for your needs of free limited paid(gold) and full membership (platinum) you will find this extremely easy to use provide content and enable you to get your site up within about 4 hrs or so. then to add content it is just a matter of adding posts. it is the simplest easiest way aside from using an auto responder to deliver your content.

    you can look at using other scripts and platforms when your site grows if ya like but if you do it this way it is scalable to whatever you need so you wouldn't need to do anything else. just upload the content send a message to them members and promote.
    -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author subhub-mark
    Hi Staffjam,

    Regarding SubHub, if you haven't already, I suggest taking our free 14 day trial, which gives you the opportunity to 'kick the tyres' and see if the solution matches your needs. All of our features are enabled to check out.

    FYI - SubHub has just turned 5 years old. A long time in the world of membership software / platforms.

    Hope this helps

    Mark
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    Mark Ramskill, SubHub
    Create Your Free Website in Minutes. Now With Added Membership Goodness!

    Visit www.subhub.com to Get Started
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  • Profile picture of the author Hilary
    Another recommendation for Amember - you have a choice of forum software to add that will integrate well, so you can add a free one if you can't afford Vbulletin. (I'd recommend it, though.) It will do what you have in mind now - and if, later, you suddenly think of something else you need, it'll probably do that, too.

    The software is not beautiful and glitzy, but it works. Also, the support is absolutely superb. Not just that they really *read* the support tickets I send in, and tirelessly answer questions and solve problems for me, but several times now I've asked for some special feature and they've responded by writing the custom script for me, at no extra charge.

    My favourite moment was when I couldn't get another company's tracking software to work with Amember - and other company offered no support whatsoever. (I mean literally none, as a policy.) Amember looked at it for me, tracked down the code in the other firm's software that was causing the problem, and *rewrote it for me*. For free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lead Dog
    staffjam ---

    What MemberGate gives you is peace of mind. When your website is your living, you want to be sure that it is built on a proven rock-solid platform.

    I went another route several years ago and 3 months after I opened my first membership site I had to quickly find one that could handle the volume of members I was getting. That's when I bought MemberGate and moved all my content to their platform.

    I haven't regretted the decision to buy MemberGate for one second since making it. My first site was built on another platform that has since gone out of business. I just looked them up and discovered that they are now gone. Thankfully I wasn't still earning my living using their software!

    If what you are doing is a hobby, or if it will be an insignificant part of your income, then it's safe to roll the dice on using the ( newest / cheapest / flashiest -- you pick one) program on the market. But if it's your main source of income, you might want to consider how long it's been in business, how many people use it for business, what is their proven reputation, and what kind of support you will get.

    I love the fact that new solutions are popping up all the time and I am going to look at SocialSAM and WishList and several other tools mentioned here then keep an eye on them for future use, but if you go back in this forum and search for other people who asked the same question 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years ago, you'll see different products than you see now. And MOST of those other products are now no longer available. If your site had been built on one of them, your business would have disappeared.

    MemberGate was also mentioned in those posts and they are still around and powering lots of sites today. People used the same words then about MemberGate as they say today... "Cadillac", "Mercedes", "Rolls Royce", and "expensive". It is only really expensive if you're website is just a hobby.

    -- Larry

    Full disclosure... I am not an employee or owner of MemberGate. I receive no compensation for this post. I am just a satisfied customer and have been an invited guest speaker at several of their training seminars in past years due to the success I've had at building my membership site on their platform on a silly little topic.
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    Larry P.

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  • Profile picture of the author InternetM39482
    In the past, I've used aMember + vBulletin successfully. They have plugins to integrate both so that they do what you want 'em to.

    I also have a license to Wishlist but I'm a bit disappointed in it. Would recommend aMember + vB over Wishlist any day!
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  • Profile picture of the author alextsui
    I am using MemberSpeed myself (Membership Site Management Software | MemberSpeed) but I would not recommend it for newbies. It has tons of features but doesn't lay it out in a user-friendly interface. Takes time to get used to.

    Alex
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