Today we’re going to talk about the software that you’re going to use to run your membership site or choosing how to choose the right software to run your membership site.

Last Monday we talked about membership sites and how you can charge for membership sites and you know how to build them and content for them and all that other stuff. Yesterday, we talked about content. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about the tech part of it. The setup and just to bring it all home because up until this point, we have brainstormed content for your membership site. We’ve picked a niche or a market. We brainstormed some content if you remember inside that mind map.

Then yesterday we talked about creating that content and how there’s a couple of different modalities for content. There is your text-based stuff, you know, PDF downloads or blog posts. There is a video, and then you can pull the audio out of the video so that you have a video and an audio presentation. We also talked about some different ways that you can deliver content, whether it’s monthly, whether it’s a big block, whether it’s whatever. And we talked some about some pricing stuff too, like how to price, whether you sell monthly or annual, how to use that inside of an upsell sequence or whatever.

Software for Membership Site

membership website software
Today, we’re going to talk about the software to use. Now a membership site in and of itself is pretty simple. I mean, all it is is a collection of web pages that are protected, and the only way to get to those pages or those files is when you’re logged in.

I mean, almost every website has some sort of a protected membership login. It’s the same thing, you know? The difference is you in having a membership, you’re charging a subscription for access, or maybe you’re charging a gateway, an entry fee for access to your information. But the subscription part is the membership. The membership is just kind of the portal. You log into the membership, you get added into a membership dashboard and the dashboard is where you see your video courses or your audio courses or PDFs or whatever it ends up being. And you can have one course or two courses or four courses or a couple of memberships, or however, it is you decide to kind of split it up.

1. Moodle

There were a lot of different ways to build, functionally to protect that content. If you remember a couple of years ago, or earlier in the week, I talked about a decade ago, there was a course called, Teaching Cells that came out, and Teaching Cells was just incredible software for what it was … or it was a membership course on how to build membership courses, which is a little bit tongue in cheek, but they had some ground material. It was put out by a guy named Brian Clark who started Copyblogger. He went through and walked through this entire model of how to build this membership website software in a piece of software called Moodle. This is a CMS. Also protect it with a piece of software called aMember, which is very, very old now. I’m looking at their website. I don’t think they updated it.

This is how we used to build membership sites. We would take a piece of software like Moodle and Moodle looks like it’s been updated a little bit, but Moodle is what is known as a learning management software, LMS. The LMS software, there are very sophisticated forms of LMS software that are very, very, very expensive. They are what is powering all of these digital learning platforms. Every college is doing distance learning, especially right … I mean right now, and has a membership login and all that other stuff, they are using a form of an LMS, a learning management software. There’s a lot of very expensive software applications out there that they can run. There are corporate versions of Teachable and stuff that people use.

Moodle is a very simple free one. It’s an open-source piece. It’s open-source software that you can download. You can install it on your web server. You can configure it, use it, put your stuff in there. It puts everything behind a membership login. Now the part that controls the payment is usually different. Usually, you have Moodle, which is your software, your LMS software that controls how the content is delivered, that controls the video, that controls the login, all that stuff. And then what you do is you pair it with some sort of money software, like a collection gateway kind of membership site software.

2. aMember

The software called aMember was actually how I learned how to build membership sites. I built a Moodle site and then I wrapped it in aMember here, and aMember had the portal for putting your credit card information in and sending it to a merchant processor, all of that stuff. It was a very time-intensive process. There was a lot of handholding and things because by the time you have an LMS and then a payment software, payment gateways like an aMember tied to a Stripe or, you have an email sending software, then you have a couple of other different random integrations and shit starts breaking real quick.

3. Wishlist Member

We found out quickly that this is not the right way to do it. It’s not an advantageous way of doing it. We started looking for other options and we found, the first kind of big membership software that was created for WordPress was this WishList member. I would say it’s probably the industry standard. Here, “Trusted by over 103 active membership sites.” So a lot of membership site software. It’s a lot of people using the software.

It’s very easy and integrates directly with WordPress.  You can have a WordPress site that powers 25% of the internet and add in this WishList Member plugin. Now all of a sudden you have a membership website software so it has members login; member login, pages, widgets, you know, functionality. You can protect any page, any category, any image that is on your site. So even if you want to retroactively protect some of your pages because they’re great content, you can do that with WishList Member. You can also show the first a hundred words of a blog post and then have a read more button. No, go … Go Erie is where I live, it’s the newspaper here. But if you look at any of these online newspaper places where you can only read three or four articles, this payment gateway or Paywall, is what it’s called.

But you read the first a hundred or 200 words, and then to read more, you have to become a subscriber for 99 cents a month or whatever. Then WishList Member has that functionality too. You can protect all your blog posts if they want to read them. There are lots of different things you can do with a membership plugin. A lot of different ways you can make money with that membership plugin. WishList Member is a great, great tool. We use it for a lot of client sites.

4. LearnDash

LearnDash is another one that we have since started using lately. They have some really interesting functionality for content licenses. They have some great dashboards and really … It’s a very pretty software whereas WishList Member is not. WishList Member is not a whole lot to look at. I mean, it’s nice and it’s functional and it works great, but LearnDash has some cool tools that tie in with a lot of other things.

5. Ontraport

If we just want to cut right to the chase, we use Ontraport, which is a CRM, and it has a WordPress plugin, which will create your membership website software for you. It will protect all of your membership content and tie it to the customer record inside your CRM so that when somebody buys, it sends them their username and password, which is nice. It’s kind of a pain in the ass to set up originally but you know that when somebody buys something, they have their login. It isn’t up to them to go give their login and their password and all that other stuff.

Ontraport has worked well for that for more sophisticated membership website software or for more sophisticated … just protecting content in a more sophisticated way. if somebody buys, somebody sets up an email account with you and then they purchase maybe a month down the road, then they get their membership unlocked, Ontraport tracks how many times they’re logging in and all that other stuff. So really, really nice stuff. If you have a WordPress site, that’s how you would end up integrating it.

6. Kajabi

Now, if you want a more robust platform that isn’t WordPress based. Some people do, Kajabi is my favorite. Kajabi is a knowledge commerce platform. They very much, pride themselves in building robust membership website software that helps people learn. Content creators create, sell and help people, build the software and solutions that they want their members to go through. And brilliant software works well. It’s intuitive to use, they have pipelines and all kinds of other crazy stuff. They do email marketing and it’s just a very robust platform anymore. It’s great software.

7. Teachable

A competitor of Kajabi, somebody is like a Teachable. Teachable has also very nice software. If I had to pick one, I would pick Kajabi, just because they have a lot of marketing functionality and a lot of marketing tools like a Teachable, which is just kind of an off-the-shelf LMS uses. Kajabi is very much marketing heavy. Whereas Teachable is just very much course heavy, you know? So it just depends on how much marketing you think you’re going to need to do. And if you’re going to handle it doing something else.

If you have an email marketing platform, if you have a merchant processor, if you have like all of these things kind of in your business, Kajabi is probably the better way to go. Whereas Teachable, they have had some course creation stuff, and it’s nice to use, this drag and drop and all kinds of other stuff, but they both work well. So that is kind of how we ended up structuring how we end up building membership website software from a restriction standpoint.

Now let’s see. All right. Do you have any questions here?

What can you charge for membership?

membership charge
All right. We went through creating content yesterday. What can you charge for membership? We kind of covered this Monday, but we’re going to run through it again real quick. From a membership standpoint, anything below $10 is an easy membership. People are going to stay typically for years for anything on $10, in terms of membership. They’re great for qualifying buyers and then building a tribe of buyers and building a tribe of people who you can cultivate and nurture and stuff into some of your higher-end programs. It’s really where a lot of the low dollar membership website software come in. Anything between like $20 and a hundred, ends up being kind of that middle of the road membership that people are going to stay for between three and five months for as long as you give value. That becomes a profit center in your business.

When you’re at those levels, if you’re charging $67 a month for your membership, then you can also sell like a year-long, an annual version of that membership and give a lot of value. The annual version might give them three months free, but you collect the nine months. Whereas your normal membership is only five months. That’s what your normal churn is. You’re able to almost double your revenue by selling the annual version. And then you just let them know a little bit beforehand that their annual subscription is almost done. And then you rebuild them into the next month. Above a hundred dollars a month, you can do, but it usually needs to have live elements in it.

A live coaching call, group coaching, maybe a Facebook community, a Facebook group, something that is alive and more dynamic than just the kind of login and consumes material. That’s where those groups work well.

For Questions and Guide

I hope that answers the pricing question and software question. Do you have anything at all, anything at all, just go to and fill out a little application and book a call on our calendar and we will make sure to put together an action plan for you for your funnels, your traffic, your optimization, whatever. If you have any questions anywhere on the DFY site, there’s a little button in the lower right-hand corner. You can open up a chat and start talking with our team there, and I will talk to you soon, all right.

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