How to Create a Membership Website: A Step-by-Step Guide.

To create a membership website, choose a niche, select a platform, plan your membership levels and content, and market your site. A membership website allows you to offer exclusive content, products, or services to members who pay a fee.

With the right knowledge and tools, creating your own membership website can be a relatively straightforward process. In this article, we’ll show you how to build a membership site that engages and nurtures your members, generates recurring revenue for you, and scales your business.

We’ll also explore the key features and benefits of successful membership sites, as well as the different types of membership platforms and their pros and cons. So, let’s dive in!

Step 1: Define Your Membership Website Goals

Identifying Your Target Audience

Creating a successful membership website is dependent on knowing your target audience. Here are a few things to consider when identifying your target audience:

  • Age, gender, location, and education level of your potential members.
  • Interest and hobbies of your potential members.
  • The main problem or challenge your members face and how your membership website solves that problem.

Deciding On The Type Of Membership Site

Now that you know your target audience, it’s time to decide on the type of membership site that will suit your business goals and your potential members. Here are some types of membership sites to consider:

  • A community membership site: This type of membership site is all about building connections and creating a sense of belonging among members.
  • A course membership site: This type of membership site focuses on providing members with access to online courses, tutorials, and educational content.
  • A product membership site: This type of membership site provides access to exclusive products or services.

Defining The Purpose Of The Site

Once you’ve identified your target audience and picked the type of membership site, it’s time to define the purpose of your website. Here are some things to consider when defining your site’s purpose:

  • What problem does your membership site solve for your potential members?
  • What unique value does your site offer over other sites?
  • How does your site help your potential members achieve their goals?

Setting Realistic Goals For Your Membership Website

The final step in defining your membership website goals is to set realistic and measurable goals. Here are some things to consider when setting your website goals:

  • The number of members you aim to attract and retain.
  • Your revenue goals and how you plan to achieve them.
  • The frequency of content or product releases and how you plan to keep members engaged.

When you set realistic goals, you can track your progress and assess your website’s success. By keeping your target audience, type of membership site, and website purpose in mind, you can create a successful membership website that attracts and retains members for years to come.

Step 2: Choose A Platform For Your Membership Website

Creating a membership website can be challenging, but choosing the right platform is the first step towards building an engaging site for your members. We’ll discuss how to choose the right platform for your membership website, considering various factors such as compatibility, features and functionalities, and popularity.

Checking The Compatibility Of The Platform With Your Website Goals

Before choosing a platform, it’s essential to consider your website goals and ensure they align with the features provided by the platform. Compatibility is a crucial factor in selecting the right membership website platform, and some key aspects to consider include:

  • The type of content and media you plan to offer members
  • The membership pricing plans you intend to have
  • Whether you require on-site payment functionality or off-site payment gateways
  • The level of customization you want for your site design and branding

Evaluating The Features And Functionalities Of Different Platforms

The features and functionalities of various membership website platforms differ, which is why evaluating them is important before making a final choice. Here are some key features to consider when evaluating platforms:

  • Payment gateway support for recurring billing
  • Automated email marketing tools for communication with members
  • Access control for content and membership levels
  • Integration with third-party tools and services, such as zoom for virtual events

Popular Membership Website Platforms To Consider:

There are several membership website platforms available in the market, and choosing the right one might seem daunting. Some of the popular membership website platforms to consider are:

  • Memberpress – a powerful and user-friendly plugin that offers excellent integration with wordpress sites.
  • Kajabi – a comprehensive platform that includes website and email marketing tools along with membership features.
  • Teachable – a learning management system that is also suitable for hosting membership websites.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Platform:

When selecting a membership platform, various factors can influence your choice. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Budget restrictions and resource constraints
  • The technical expertise required to set up and customize the platform
  • Scalability and the ability to handle more members as your site grows
  • The level of customer support provided by the platform

By considering these factors and evaluating different membership website platforms, you can choose the one that best aligns with your website goals and features, providing a seamless and engaging experience for your members.

Step 3: Design And Develop Your Membership Website

Planning The Website Structure And Design

Before starting on the design and development of your membership website, it’s essential to plan the structure and design of your website. Here are a few key points to keep in mind during the planning phase:

  • Determine the target audience of your website and what features they will need.
  • Research other membership websites in your niche to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Develop a website wireframe or site map to ensure that your website is hierarchical, intuitive, and user-friendly.
  • Decide what membership levels, subscription plans, and pricing you will offer.

Working With A Designer Or Using Pre-Made Templates

Creating a website design that is functional, intuitive and visually appealing can be a big challenge, especially if you have no prior experience in web design. Here are two options for designing your membership website:

  • Hire a professional web designer: If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional web designer to create a custom design that meets your specific requirements and then develop the website using the chosen platform.
  • Use pre-made website templates: Alternatively, you can use pre-made website templates that are readily available online. These templates are often customizable and easy to use, which can save you time and money.

Developing The Website Using The Chosen Platform

After you have finalized your website’s design, it’s time to develop your membership website using the chosen platform. Here are some key steps to adhere to:

  • Choose the appropriate platform: Every platform has unique features, functionalities, and integrations. Determine which platform is the best fit for your website requirements and design specifications.
  • Set up hosting and domain: Before starting the website development process, ensure that your hosting and domain are secure.
  • Install essential plugins and extensions: Choose and install the necessary plugins and extensions according to your website’s functionality requirements.
  • Develop and test the website: Develop and test your website’s core functionality, user experience, and membership features.

By following these steps, you can build a membership website that is functional, visually appealing, and user-friendly, thereby attracting and retaining members.

Step 4: Create Membership Content And Services

Creating Membership Content And Services

Identifying The Type Of Content To Offer To Your Members

When it comes to creating a membership website, deciding on the type of content to offer to your members is crucial. Members join your website because they’re interested in the content or services that you offer, and it’s your job to provide valuable information to keep them engaged and interested.

Here are a couple of things to consider while deciding what type of content to offer to your members:

  • Know your audience: Understanding your audience is crucial while creating membership content. You have to know the interests and needs of your members to provide them with valuable content. Conduct surveys or analysis to know your audience better.
  • Keep it relevant: While providing content, it’s essential to keep it relevant to your website’s niche. If your website is about healthy eating, your members won’t be interested in articles about the latest gadgets. Providing content that is relevant to your niche will keep your members engaged.

Creating A Content Strategy

Creating a content strategy beforehand is essential to keep your website updated with fresh content. A content strategy outlines the goals, planning, and execution of the type of content that will go on the website. Here are a few things to consider while creating a content strategy:

  • Determine content goals: Determine what you aim to achieve with your content. Do you want to attract new members, engage existing ones, or drive sales?
  • Plan your content calendar: A content calendar outlines the schedule to publish your content. Plan content months ahead to avoid last-minute hiccups.
  • Document content guidelines: Guidelines ensure consistency in content quality. Guidelines cover writing tone, content structure, and image guidelines.

Offering Valuable Services To Your Members

Offering valuable services to your members enhances their membership experience. By providing members with valuable services, you cement their loyalty and increase retention rates. Here’s how you can offer valuable services to your membership:

  • Provide exclusive access: Provide members exclusive access to content, discounts, or services. Exclusive access is a significant incentive for members to renew their membership.
  • Create a member rewards program: A rewards program is a great way of incentivizing members to stay with your website. A loyalty program offers discounts, promotional material to active members.
  • Provide support and education: Providing support and educational material is an excellent way of keeping members engaged and helping them to learn more about your website’s niche.

By following the above-listed steps, you can create an engaging and valuable membership website that keeps your members interested and loyal.

Step 5: Launch And Promote Your Membership Website

Creating a membership website is not an easy feat. There are many different steps involved in the process, from selecting the right platform to designing the site’s layout. But once you have done all of that, it is time to launch and promote your brand new membership website.

In this section, we will go over the key components of this process and how you can ensure that your website gets off to the best possible start.

Testing The Membership Website

Before you launch your membership website, it is crucial to test it thoroughly to ensure that it is functioning properly. Here are some key points that you should keep in mind when testing your site:

  • Check that all links are working correctly and lead to the right pages. Broken links can frustrate users and hurt your website’s reputation.
  • Make sure that all pages of your website load quickly. Slow load times can drive users away from your site.
  • Test your website’s membership functionality, ensuring that users can sign up, log in, and access all of the appropriate content.
  • Ensure that the website is responsive and works on different devices.

Launching The Website

Once you have tested the website thoroughly and feel confident that it is ready to go live, it is time to launch. Here are some key points to consider as you launch your website:

  • Make the website publicly accessible and open to users.
  • Ensure that users can find your website by optimizing its seo content.
  • Have a way to support users and maintain the website through customer support and regular updates.

Promoting The Membership Website

Finally, you should promote your membership website to attract as many users as possible. Here are some key points to consider in promoting the website:

  • Utilize social media and other platforms to raise awareness about your website.
  • Leverage email marketing to build network and advertise your website.
  • Offer free membership trials and discounts as incentives for users.
  • Collaborate with bloggers and influencers in the industry who can advertise your website.

Launching and promoting your membership website is the next step after building the foundation of the site. Testing, launching, and promoting your website are three critical components, and they should be done effectively to achieve the online presence you need.

With these tips, you can be well on your way to success.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Create A Membership Website

What Is A Membership Website?

A membership website is an exclusive online platform that provides access to paid premium content to members who have subscribed to the site.

Why Should I Create A Membership Website?

A membership website offers a recurring source of income, enables you to establish a community, provides valuable resources, and allows you to control content access.

How Can I Create A Membership Website?

To create a membership website, select a membership platform, choose a hosting provider, create a payment system, develop high-quality content, and promote your website to your target audience.

What Should I Include In My Membership Website?

Your membership website should provide exclusive content, interactive features, member forums, webinars, courses, and other resources that cater to your target audience needs.

How Much Does It Cost To Create A Membership Website?

The cost of a membership website depends on your platform, hosting, payment gateway, and other features you want to include. Basic cost ranges between $500 to $1000, while advanced plans may cost up to $10000 or more.

How Can I Market My Membership Website?

You can market your membership website through social media advertising, email campaigns, collaborations with influencers, affiliate marketing, paid advertising, and seo optimization.


As we wrap up this guide on how to create a membership website, it’s essential to remember that building a successful website takes time, dedication, and a willingness to adapt. The first critical step is determining your niche and audience, then carefully crafting your website content and design to meet their needs and expectations.

Once you have created your membership website, don’t forget to regularly analyze and evaluate your website and its content to identify areas for improvement. Remember, your website’s success depends on the value it provides to its visitors, so focus on creating compelling, engaging content and building a loyal community of users.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and remaining committed to your website’s growth and success, you can create a thriving membership website that serves as a valuable resource to your audience.

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