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Choosing the best membership software and tools

Building membership websites can be a breeze with the right software, or it can be a long-slog through membership plugins without it. In the fourth chapter of this guide, we look at the tools you can use to create a membership website, including all-in-one solutions, and the different features creators need to make the most of their membership programs.

Before we get into membership software recommendations, it’s important to understand that this is probably the LEAST important section of this guide.

There are plenty of tools out there, and if you follow the strategies and advice above, you’ll set yourself up for success with almost any tool.

So if you’re already using a tool that like, keep using it!

And if you’re not yet setup on a software platform, we suggest committing to picking one without getting analysis paralysis so that you can move on to growing your membership.

The guide below is designed to make your decision as easy as possible.

The best tools for building your membership depend on what features you need.

The good news is that creating a membership is MUCH easier than it used to be, and you don’t need to be tech-savvy to do it.

In the past, creators would need to wire up a whole series of apps and plugins to run their membership websites, like:

  • Content management systems

  • Content protection plugins (for password protection)

  • Web hosting platforms

  • Sales page generators

  • Email management tools

  • Shopping cart widgets

  • Subscription billing software

It was enough to make any creator break out in a nervous sweat.

Today, there’s a single platform that does all of this for you, with a simple, creator-friendly design that will make building your membership easy.

We know, because we built it 😏

Membership posts on Podia

Podia’s membership platform makes it easy to:

  • Create and publish your membership content

  • Keep in touch with your members with bulk emails and comments

  • Offer pricing tiers and monthly/annual billing options

  • Bundle your other Podia products (like courses and digital downloads) with your membership

  • Connect a third-party community tool like a Slack Channel or Facebook Group for your members

  • Schedule live events like webinars and group coaching sessions

We’re obviously biased, but our 50,000+ other creators aren't. Check out why they chose Podia and why you should, too.

Podia is free to try for 14 days, and you can sign up for your free trial just below. You can also run the numbers and project your profits with Podia over this-a-way.

Try Podia free for 14 days.

Try Podia free for 14 days.

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That said, there are a few cases where Podia might not be the best fit for you.

Some examples are below, along with the alternatives we recommend:

  • If you’re looking strictly for a message board or forum-style platform, check out Discourse.

  • If you need a lower-cost option, try GroupSpaces’ free plan.

  • If you have technical chops and want to build a custom web app for your membership, then you can integrate a subscription billing app like Recurly.

For a deeper dive on the membership site platforms out there, compare the platforms here or check out our membership platform buyer's guide.

Next chapter

Marketing and maintaining your membership website

Once you’ve chosen membership management software that works for your business, the last step to starting a membership website is to launch and settle in for the marketing long-haul. In this final chapter, we survey the do’s and don’ts of marketing your membership program, as well as look at strategies for reaching new customers and keeping current members happy.

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