How to Choose The Best Membership Site Platform for Your Online Knowledge Business8 minute read
If you want to create a membership website, you need a membership site platform.
What is a membership site platform?
A dedicated membership website builder gives you all the tools necessary to build and create your own membership site. Key features like payment processing, content structure, community building, member management and more are all components of a good membership site platform.
If you are thinking about starting your own membership website, choosing the right membership site platform is an important decision that cannot be taken lightly. The platform you choose will impact the success of your knowledge business and determine your future workflow. This is why it is essential that you choose your next membership site platform and website builder very carefully.
To help you out, we have written this article, where you will learn how to choose the best membership site platform and what elements, key features and tools you should be looking for.
If you need more information on how to create a membership site, check out also these other blog posts:
- How to Create a Membership Site and Generate Recurring Revenue
- Online Course vs Membership Site. Which Info Product is Best For You?
- 20 Strategies to Increase Customers Retention In Your Membership Site
- How to Price Your Membership Site (With Pricing Calculator)
What is a membership site?
Before we get into the details of how to find the right platform to host a membership site, we should clarify what a membership site actually is: memberships are sites or programs that offer gated, exclusive content to their members.
Typically members pay a monthly or annual subscription to join the membership. In exchange, they get access to the content inside the membership.
The content delivered inside a membership site varies depending on the nature of the business: from online courses to digital products, live events, a community space and so on...
Running a membership site has many benefits, both for you (the creator) and your students. You get to generate recurring payments and monthly ongoing revenue while your students receive constant value every month. Membership websites also are a great way to build a community and grow a loyal customer base.
How to Choose the Best Membership Platform for Your Business
There are many factors to consider when finding the perfect membership platform. Let's see what kind of key features and tools you should look out for in your next favorite software:
#1: Payment Processing
Generally, membership sites charge a monthly subscription fee for people to join the sites. You can also choose to charge a one-time fee or ask your students to pay in installments. Whatever amount you choose to charge in your online payments, you need a platform that lets you collect payments from new students and choose between different payment options.
Heights Platform makes it easy for you to build your membership website and be flexible with your pricing strategy.
You can set a monthly subscription, a one-time fee, or charge installments for learners to access your membership programs. With Heights, you keep 100% of your revenue, there are no transaction fees.
We do not take a commission from your earnings and do not charge any transaction fees!
#2: Different Content Types
Membership sites can have different content structures, and you can get very creative with how you organize the content in your program.
Some creators prefer to always stick to the same content type, while others like to mix things up and deliver their topics in different ways and offer multiple membership levels.
You need a membership platform that allows you to deliver content in different styles and offer your students different learning products. Your membership site might include an online course, a mini-course, digital downloads, coaching, a community, challenges and so on...
With Heights Platform, you can create unlimited products (from the Basic plan and up) and choose between online courses, digital downloads, digital products, and challenges. You can also bundle multiple products together and sell them as one membership while also having other different products in your brand.
#3: Flexibility to Structure and Deliver Content
Having the option to create unlimited products and use different learning methods is great. But a great membership site platform should also give you the flexibility to structure your content the way you want.
You are the creator of your membership site, so you know the best way to deliver content to your students. The best membership site platform for you should give you the flexibility you need while offering some directions and guidance.
An example of this is the ability to drip-feed content to your students. Drip feeding means making content available to students only after a set amount of time, usually a number of days since they enrolled in a course or membership site.
Instead of allowing students to access all of your content as soon as they purchase your membership site, with drip, lessons or modules become available only after a set amount of days that you can customize.
On Heights Platform, if you want your students to receive a new lesson every day from the moment they sign up for your course, you could set a drip of 0 days for your 1st lesson, 1 day for the 2nd lesson, 2 days for your 3rd lesson and so on...
Learn more about drip-feeding content in a course: What is Drip Content? How Drip-Feeding Online Courses Improves the Learning Experience
Heights Platform also allows you to choose a preferred launch method, pre-sell your membership site, create time-sensitive challenges, hide courses or products from certain students and so on...
#4: Community Building
Building an online community is a great way to keep your members engaged and reduce turnover.
In a community area, students interact with each other, connect with other members like them and learn together.
If done well, a membership community can make all the difference in how students view your site.
You can decide to treat your membership as a private online community or add a community space to your program, where members get to interact with you and with others, share ideas, discuss your content and more.
Many creators offer a private membership community (either free or paid) as an extra product in the online learning business. So, for example, if you sell online courses, you could also offer access to your private community, where students can share and discuss what they learned in your course.
Learn more about building a membership community for your online knowledge business:
- Why You Should Build an Online Community of Engaged Customers and How to Do it
- What Are The Different Types of Online Communities?
- 7 Steps to Revive Your Online Community and Increase Engagement
When looking at membership site platforms, check if they offer the option to create your own private community for your business.
Heights Platform makes it easy for you to sell access to your community membership or offer a community as an additional complimentary product in your online course.
#5: The Students' Learning Experience
The goal of your membership site is to teach something. A great membership platform should allow you to offer a fantastic learning experience for your students.
You should look for membership software with key features designed to measure your students’ learning and help them translate their new knowledge into practice.
Can you structure your course into lessons and modules? Does it offer any kind of analytics about students’ progress and results? Can you apply gamification tools to reward achievements? Can you create projects for your students to test their knowledge in real-life situations?
All of the above are key features to look for in a new membership site platform that will significantly increase your program’s value. Make sure to choose a platform that offers at least a couple of these features.
Heights Platform is designed to impart a sense of discovery and engage students to keep logging into their membership site, applying the same principles that social media and video games use to keep us engaged.
Heights lets you structure your membership and courses into modules and lessons and drip-feed them to your students. You have access to student analytics, and you can set up gamification by awarding badges and creating projects for your students to complete.
#6: Powerful Analytics
Analytics are essential to help you get a clear idea of your customers’ progress within your membership site and understand which students are performing well and who might need a little more help.
By collecting data about students' achievements, as a mentor, you’ll be able to provide feedback and assess their learning curve.
You might be able to better assist your students if you have access to detailed analytics about their performance. For example, you can help struggling students by seeing when they get stuck or when a lesson is too hard. This is a fantastic way to make online learning more personal and add value to your teachings.
Make sure to check if your next membership site platform offers learning analytics. On Heights Platform, you can check your student’s progress and much more.
#7: White-Label Branding and Styling Options
If your membership site is clearly your own and its design is aligned with your branding, you’ll have more chances to affirm your authority and build credibility among your customers.
Creating a strong brand identity for your membership site will also help you communicate your unique value proposition, establish credibility, and show authority in your field. The online and membership site software you choose should allow you to customize your pages and lessons, change the color themes, upload your own logo, set up your custom domain, and more.
Heights Platform lets you completely customize your branding, from the domain name to your course’s color theme to the logo. You can also create public landing pages, and if you are on the Pro or Academy plan, use our Web Page Builder: a website builder, to create and design your whole public website to promote your membership program.
#8: Email Marketing Campaigns
The best membership site platforms are those that offer you some email marketing tools to keep in touch with your students.
Since membership sites are generally a long-term commitment, you always need to make sure that your students are engaged and are getting the value they deserve from your content. This means keeping up with them and constantly communicating new content additions, news, events or information by email.
Heights Platform sends emails to your students automatically for important events related to your membership. For example, when your students sign up, they will receive a welcome email with login instructions and a payment receipt if they made a purchase.
You can also send custom email announcements to all of your students in bulk or customize the email text depending on the student's group.
#8: Lenient limits
When you are looking at membership site platforms, check if they are strict with their limits or if they offer high limits for their creators.
How many students can you have inside your paid membership? Can you sell memberships and other types of products as well? How much members-only content can you have?
On Heights Platform, you can have unlimited members in your program.
Heights Platform calculates its limits based on active students. These are students that were active in your account (logged in at least once) during the previous month. So, for example, if you choose Heights Platform's Pro Plan, you get unlimited students and up to 1000 active students each month.
Additionally, we do not set hard limits on this amount. For example, if you have 1002 active students, you won't be forced to upgrade immediately for that month. Likewise, if you have a sudden burst of 150 active students but only for a single month, you won't be forced to upgrade if your plan only allows 100.
Heights Platform is the Best Membership Site Platform
Heights Platform is an online course platform and membership site platform that lets you create and sell awesome online courses and membership sites.
Heights is one of the best membership site platforms, and it has all you need to create and sell beautiful membership sites.
Decide on your preferred payment method, create beautiful membership sites, structure your content as you want, and design it according to your brand style. Offer an awesome student learning experience, build an online community and keep your students engaged with gamification and email communication. Access powerful analytics to improve your membership site and the learning experience of your members.
Other important features you should look for in membership site platforms (and that Heights has) include more gamification and learning experience tools, your own affiliate program, the ability to create a blog, landing pages, powerful integrations and more.
Choose Heights Platform as your membership site platform, and start your free trial today!Create Your Online Course Today