Choosing a membership site platform is one of the trickiest things to do when you first starting out to build a membership site. There are so many different platforms to look at and most of it really comes down to personal opinion and what you want the platform to be able to do for you.
What we’re going to have a look at are some of the various options that are available to you for an all-in-one membership site platform. And I’ll give you a bit of information about each one of them as we currently know.
$149 – $399 m/o
Kajabi is an all-in-one membership and course creation platform. You can implement funnels (they call them pipelines) through the click of a button and this includes all the email components to the funnel-like follow-ups, purchase emails etc. Plus the inbuilt email marketing platform is quite robust so writing customer emails and segmenting your lists is straight forward.
It contains a full website builder so you can have your own site, your blog and use it as an all-in-one tool to manage your business. The site builder is great and the templates are modern and clean.
The learning functionality of the platform is really really good and user-friendly. They also have inbuilt communities to further add to the membership stack.
All in all, it’s quite a really rock-solid platform.
We have used it before for a couple of our own membership sites and are very happy with it if not a little bit expensive would be my main criticism.
$99 – $149 m/o
The next platform to look at is Simplero.
We have played around with a little bit and it’s very similar to Kajabi in terms of what it can do.
You get a good looking website, email marketing functionality, homepage, blog. It can do memberships, courses, sales pipelines all those sorts of things. Very easy to use and actually editing the site is really straightforward.
Price-wise it’s a little bit more affordable than Kajabi and has excellent support as well. Lots of training and reference material to check if you are stuck.
$97 – $297 m/o
I’m a bit biased against ClickFunnels I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been a big fan of the community. I really respect their ability to sell and their ability to market the product but I just feel it’s the MLM of internet marketing which irks me.
That said, Clickfunnels is really really good in terms of producing sales funnels, using it as a standalone all in one website is not the greatest though.
The LMS functionality isn’t great. It’s very basic and I find that other platforms give you a bit more of a professional look.
The Clickfunnels templates are starting to look out of date and a little bit cheesy.
I’m sure they’ll address that in due course, but just for now, I just find it’s a little bit too basic for what most membership site owners really really want.
$39 – $499 m/o
Teachable is started off as an online course platform (one of the first) so originally was there to sell like individual courses.
Subscriptions and memberships was a bit of an add-on for them but they’ve built that into a really good robust system now so you can do multiple different variations of using subscriptions and membership options.
The LMS functionality is excellent, it’s really easy to navigate for your students and participants.
Building out a nice clean site is straight forward thanks to the online editor.
$49 – $499 m/o
Thinkific is very similar to Teachable. I seem to get those two confused quite a lot when I talk about them, but they’re both very very similar functionality-wise. The biggest difference is that Thinkific doesn’t have a transaction fee at the lower pricing tier.
$TBA Beta Pricing Currently
New Zenler looks to be a really solid Kajabi and Simplero competitor. Course creation tools, automation, email marketing, in-build communities and sales funnels of any description all seem to be deployable from the click of a button.
Beta pricing is out at the moment, which is insanely affordable but at this stage I don’t know a lot about it. I’ve sort of seen snippets of the backend and it does look to be pretty robust.
The team really seem to focus on the marketing needs of their consumers, which is you so it’s definitely worth checking out.
$99 – $699 m/o
Kartra is a bit more like Clickfunnels in that it’s a funnel based platform, but they do have quite a lot of advanced features built-in. Such as a ticketing support system, affiliate options, email marketing and a variety of membership options. The LMS could be a little bit better but it’s not too bad.
$0 – $69 m/o
Membervault is a unique offering in this space. It operations more of like a Netflix style platform so your customers get the option to browse a catalogue of your courses and binge on them.
This is pretty unusual in my eyes but a different approach to the sales cycle.
The biggest shakeup that member vault brings is the gamification systems build into the platform. They really knocked this out of the park and I can see this being a massive advantage to anyone who’s membership thrives when the members are consuming the content rapidly. This makes sense why it’s going with the binge and buy style front end for the merchants
Teachary is like a hybrid of Thinkific / Teachable. It can cater for memberships and courses but is build primarily as an online course hosting platform.
Honestly, we can’t say a lot about it due to lack of experience but worth a look as it’s affordable and quite user-friendly.
$39 – $79 m/o
Podia is simply a very pretty, easy to use website and LMS. With memberships tacked on. You do get the full website experience with homepage etc. It’s very basic in terms of its sales functionality, but it is a pretty and good looking system so worth a look at.
5% – 12% of income
Patreon, you might know from your favourite content creators.
Creators have the ability to charge a fee or get subscriptions in return to release content so it is an opportunity to use as a membership platform. It not specifically what it’s created for, so course creators and those things probably wouldn’t benefit from it, but if you are producing content (when I say content, I mean more like art or videos or entertainment style memberships), it’s a good opportunity.
$29 – $299 m/o
Learn Worlds is an LMS it’s been around for a while and is very customizable.
Solid landing pages, pricing tools and a really decent LMS. There are no advanced marketing features like most of the other platforms so you will still likely need something like Active Campaign or Mailchimp to run that side fo the business.
$2 per user or 20% Revenue
Lightspeed VT is more of a corporate LMS system that can be used by the masses (think Moodle or Blackboard). As a membership platform, it’s pretty expensive on a per user basis.
The LMS is a really good bit of kit and will fit any need there but it’s likely overkill for most membership sites.
It’s really aimed at corporate style membership sites, so if that’s your thing maybe give it a look.
Mighty networks started off as a great forum tool and recently added courses then the ability to sell subscriptions. So if you’ve got a very community-centric membership, this is probably a good opportunity to really access something that was built for the community from the ground up.
$39 – $199 m/o
Convert builder is a very tidy looking platform and is pretty easy to use. The templates are all clean and it actually has some interesting features like the ability to sell services, physical products, digital products and subscriptions.
No transaction fees. Definitely worth looking at. Note that subscriptions are only available on the $69 plan.
$25 – $100 m/o
Some takeaways for choosing a membership platform.
So there you have it, there’s quite a lot of platforms that you can check out so feel free to let me know what you think these ones. If you’ve got any new ones that I haven’t added to this list, please let me know so I can add it.
I want this list to be the all-in-one database for people who are researching all the memberships platforms out there because I know it is a very tricky thing. To be fair it does come down to what features you need a quite a lot of personal opinion.
Something to note when you are choosing a platform, you need to think long-term as well. Even though something might be a bit more expensive look to see if it is going to be something that you can build your business from.
You don’t really want to be going through platform migrations after a year or two if you can avoid it. I’ve done platform migrations before and there are always issues. It can be small issues like losing content. Or it could be critical issues like losing subscriber info like Stripe keys or PayPal details and that can really hit the bottom line in your business. So it’s something to consider quite thoroughly you when you do go to build it.
All in one platforms are good because you’re only paying one fee and can focus on the business side of your business. For me what I try and look at is a good mix of value for money and expandability.
Let me know how your search goes!