Wordpress Membership plugin or A Normal Membership Script?

by Byron_Wells 15 replies
Alright Warriors

It me again with another question/topic about membership...

I have heard among the great vine that you can create a membership site just using a wordpress blog? Is that true?? If so what are the Advantages/Disadvantages of creating one through wordpress than using membership script??

Can anyone recommonded any decent wordpress membership plugins??
#main internet marketing discussion forum #membership #normal #plugin #script #wordpress
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  • Profile picture of the author Qaisar
    Check out Wishlist Member, its very simple to use
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  • Profile picture of the author Leon McKee
    Byron, check out the WishList Member videos: customers.wishlistproducts.com

    Leon McKee
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  • Profile picture of the author ProEFI
    I agree. Wishlist is awesome!
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  • Profile picture of the author JNada
    2 words: MemberWing Pro.
    Paypal Integration
    2CO integration
    Clickbank integration
    RAP (Rapid Action Profits) Integration
    and
    Graduated Content Ability.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Byron,
    You have already seen what I offer... There will be no equal.

    The problem with using things like wordpress + plugins:

    * Your are risking your site with possible security issues
    * It's not very professional (yes people do notice)
    * The more plugins you use the higher security risk you are taking
    * More plugins = slower server
    * Too much maintenance when you need to worry about constant updates to wordpress and plugins

    A custom built all-in-one solution will out beat a wordpress + plugins for a membership any day of the week.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author jaywilsonjr
    If you are wanting to create a membership site with WP the best route I have found is to simply plug Wish List Member in and roll on. This one plugin will turn your site into a membership site...

    Wish List is a paid plugin...

    You can create something close using free plugins, but you have to grab a bunch of plugins and tweak stuff continually. Go with Wish list!

    If you want to see WL in action check out the videos!


    Good Luck!

    Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author RecurringRevenue
    Personally, I love WordPress + WishList Member. It's especially great for FTM and mico-continuity sites.

    James has some points above. But I disagree on professionalism. You can cutomize themes to barely resemble a "blog.

    Plus it also comes down to what type of membership site you're going for.

    Mark Robbins
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    I focus on ONE online business model - Recurring Revenue (RR). If I can help you in any way just post a RR question or PM me.

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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by RecurringRevenue View Post

      James has some points above. But I disagree on professionalism. You can cutomize themes to barely resemble a "blog.
      Hi Mark,
      Trust me I have built website for over 15 years and everything I buildis from scratch. I do not use any open source or pre-designed platform. It makes a huge difference when dealing with the general public.

      Ok sure IM do not care if you have a wordpress membership site or not but we are not talking about just IM - we are talking general public and many of them are smarter than most think, to many it does matter if you use a "free" system or have a custom solution and yes many can tell the difference.

      This goes back to the discussion years ago about a free website or your own domain name.. Well in the eyes of your customers you on a free website trying to sell them a marketing product, make money product, and ect... It does not cut it as most will laugh it off and leave. If you have your own domain though the customers would lean more towards trusting your website and what you sell.

      This is the same thing when it comes to a website and especially a membership type... It does make a huge difference and using a "blog" (which is what wordpress is, nothing more than a blog) is not a good business decision when wanting a membership site.

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    Trust me I have built website for over 15 years and everything I buildis from scratch. I do not use any open source or pre-designed platform. It makes a huge difference when dealing with the general public.
    So you don't use Drupal, Joomla or Wordpress for any sites? Wow, you're missing the boat for sure.

    It doesn't matter the CMS system you use, it DOES matter the design and effort you put into it.

    James, I do agree with you that you need a good design, but saying the anything open-source won't do it it is ridiculous. I've been building sites for 25 years j/k (I mean really...15 years...you must've been right next to Tim Berners-Lee just building away ). I've used Joomla, Wordpress and Drupal, which are all open-source and no would tell, at least the ones that I design that way.

    Bottom Line: The design is what matters most, not the backend management of the site. Either route you go, CMS or from scratch, make sure it's easy to use and scalable, because if its not, it will be hard to maintain your business - and remember that - it's a business, not a hobby.
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  • Profile picture of the author kengary
    If you ever outgrow the need for your members accessing your content through WordPress then you might want to plan ahead and purchase aMember which can handle integration with WordPress...and much, much more like forums, helpdesk software ... the list is very large.

    I am familiar with how aMember protects WordPress content with their WordPress plugin. It's a bit complicated...and I think (please feel free to correct anything I do not get right) that Wishlist Member goes about it basically the same way:

    1. Get a few other plugins like HidePost, Reveal IDs, Role Manager, etc. (BTW, Register Plus is a free way to soup up the WordPress login page and practically create a membership-like site for free...but I digress).

    2. Install and configure all of those plugins.

    3. Create various levels like Bronze, Silver, Gold

    4. Create your pages and set the level of membership for your content.

    What I didn't like about this method is the fact that the levels are cumulative. That works a good percentage of the time, but sometimes you have a post for one product that you don't want members of another product to see...regardless if it is a higher level or a lower level...you want them to be mutually exclusive.

    I could not tell if Wishlist Member solves this problem or has the same problem.

    So, I created the amProtect WordPress plugin for aMember. It does not require any other plugins to make it work. You simply install it in WordPress. Configure it with your aMember path (has to be installed on the same server) and then when you want to protect a post or a page, you just update a custom field with the products that can access it and you're done.

    So it makes it easier to protect most content in WordPress than the plugin aMember sells but you might still want to do it their way for some stuff and the amProtect way for other content. You can always use both.

    Overall, you're going to spend more money with aMember, so if you absolutely are certain you only want to use WordPress then the WishList Member looks pretty cool and costs less. But if you already have or know you want to add other non-WordPress components later then you might want to start with something you know will scale with you.

    And again...I just looked at Wishlist Member today...so I may be assuming some things here that are not true so feel free to call me out on them. I am interested in learning more.
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  • Profile picture of the author wbakhos
    hmm.. I guess wishlist is the way to go! But wow on Ken's post.. informative stuff there.. cheers mate.
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    • Profile picture of the author JustaWizard
      I suggest it might be helpful it you search threads by WF member jonb and look for his thread "how I built my membership website" - he uses wishlist and has other info you might find helpful. Very good thread!

      Best,
      David
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Voasi,
    You are correct I do not use joomla and other such pre-built platforms. I do have a few blogs installed and they are used for exactly what they was built for "A Blog".

    When it comes to having a website such as a membership site the functions, security, processing, speed, and etc make a huge difference -- NOT the design. I have seen ugly websites make 6 figure incomes. The design is in the eye of the beholder, its that simple...

    I would never agree to use a already proven unsecured system to build a membership site that holds personal details and information.

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author MemberWing
    Wordpress can be bad for membership sites or it can be the best platform you ever wanted to.
    And so it with any other software. I can speak for Wordpress because I develop backend solutions for it.
    Badness usually caused by unoptimized configuration settings and installing too much or too wrong extra software.
    Extra badness for membership site usually caused by installing membership software following hype without carefully studying how it works.

    Greatness of wordpress is lightweightness, flexibility, huge community and SEO friendliness.

    I personally tried most of open source CMS-es and steered toward Wordpress due to the above factors.
    Lightweightness - means less junk is being executed under the hood, less bugs and more speed. Your visitors will love speed. Search engines will love speed of your site and reward you with higher rankings.

    Flexibility - means plenty of extra software (plugins, themes) available for it to serve every possible requirement you might ever have.

    Huge community - means you have literally millions of wordpress installations, tons of support forums, develop forums, user forums. In other words - there will always be someone to help you and often at zero cost.

    SEO Friendliness - means higher ranking on search engines. I personally and consistently manage to pull my wordpress-based sites above all my competition to the first page of Google. That means cash. Plain and simple. When you setup wordpress-based website and tweak permalinks a little - you off to a good start. Add 1 sitemap plugin and tweak a bit of admin settings - and you're above 95% of people who have websites, but didn't have a clue. Every time you make a post - your Wordpress site notifies 4 major search engines, announces you new content to a plethora of XML/RPC notification services and every day recreates and re-submits your sitemap to Google. How cool is that? "How to do that" could be described in 1 paragraph of tips. Plain and simple.

    The problems I had with other CMS-es, even free ones: They either underused (little userbase), under-supported (developers got political or abandoned them), over-complicated (developers built solution for developers - ask a question and be laughed at) or overweight. Overweightness - means multiple generations of developers layered their code over and over again until this thing bloated and started to look like a christmas tree tangled with wires, bells and whistles full of stuff you don't need and even cannot remove without breaking the whole thing or your bank account hiring the ones who knows.

    The problems I had with single-vendor solutions: you're on a mercy of a single vendor. Regardless of amount of cash you spent on the solution - you're locked into the moods, desires and terms of service of a single entity and their (usually small) userbase. On a good day you might get support. On a bad day you left in the rain on your own. If they decided to slow down or abandon project - you're back to square one with no residual value accumulated.

    Back to membership scripts.
    They are all great (according to the ads).
    Look for these features:

    SEO Friendliness. Membership softwares likes to lock out big part of your site from everyone including search engines. That means plain and simple - no one can find anything on Google about your great membership site or it's contents. Look for solutions that support "free teasers". In other words let your premium articles or pages contain a bit of content that could engage your potential customer. As well as search engine. Teasers will get you indexed, spidered and found on search engines. MemberWing allows custom teasers per article or per page - as you wish.

    Multiple payment processors - most support Paypal. If Paypal give you some grief - will you have other options to switch to? Make sure membership software give you a choice.

    Digitial Content Protection - if you offer premium videos, images, premium ebooks or premium downloads - are they protected against theft? In other words if someone types direct URL to your content - will he get it? If yes - the money you spent on membership solution is down the drain and your premium membership site is a feeding frenzy for leechers without you even knowing. Demand digital content and digital download protection to be integrated into membership site solution.

    Simplicity. I had a client who acknowledged wasting chunk of cash on membership solution that required him to become a permanent configurator. It's like you bought a brand new car but you couldn't drive until you adjust all engine settings yourself. After he got MemberWing - things resolved by themselves.

    What I basically described is my own experience, choices I been through and the problems I solved myself as a developer. Hope it will help you to pick the right direction!

    Best,

    Gleb Esman
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