Best Membership Site Platforms 2024: Ultimate Guide to Find the Perfect Platform for You

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Fact-checked by Layla Varela
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Updated on: June 19, 2023

Are you interested in internet membership sites? Do you want to start your own business selling courses or products and need to know which platform is best?

Well, get ready because this article will show you The Best Membership Site Platforms, their pros, cons, features, and more.

What is a Membership Site Platform?

A membership site platform is a software or online service that enables individuals or organizations to create, manage, and monetize their membership websites. 

It provides a comprehensive set of tools and features to facilitate building and maintaining a membership-based online community.

Depending on the platform you choose, the features may vary. Still, these are some of the key functionalities and features that a membership site platform can typically offer:

  • User registration and account management
  • Content access control and restriction for members
  • Subscription management and recurring billing
  • Content delivery and drip feeding
  • Community and engagement tools (forums, discussions, messaging)
  • Design customization and branding options
  • Analytics and reporting on membership growth and engagement
  • Integration with payment gateways for seamless transactions
  • Integration with email marketing tools and CRM systems
  • Member directory and profile customization options
  • Member-only discounts or perks
  • Automated email notifications and reminders
  • Member onboarding and welcome sequences
  • Gamification features to enhance member engagement
  • Tiered membership levels or access privileges
  • Content protection and security measures
  • Affiliate program management for member referrals
  • Mobile responsiveness and compatibility
  • API access for advanced customization or integrations
  • Customer support and assistance for site owners and members.

Overall, a membership site platform simplifies the process of creating and managing a membership-based website, offering a range of features to attract, engage, and retain 

paying members while providing value through exclusive content and community interactions.

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Top 5 Best Membership Site Platforms

SitePriceMain FeaturesRating
MemberPressFrom $179 to $399.50Integration with WorldPress
Dripping feature
Powerful access control options
7.6
Teachable From $30 to $499User-Friendly Interface
Drag-and-drop editor
Robust course delivery
8.9
KajabiFrom $149 to $399All in one solution
User-friendly interface
Marketing automation and Sales Funnels
6.5
ThinkificFrom $36 to $149 and a free optionEasy course creation interface
Extensive student engagement features
Marketing and sales tools
Growth opportunities 
9.5
MemberfulFrom $0 to $100Integrations
Payment flexibility
Content control and access management
Secure payment
6.3

MemberPress

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MemberPress is a WordPress plugin that helps you create a membership site. This platform allows you to control content access and create unique membership levels with unique benefits. 

With MemberPress, you can set up subscription plans, manage payments, and restrict content to only be accessible to your members. It provides an easy-to-use interface, making it convenient to build and manage your membership site without technical expertise.

MemberPress offers seamless integration with WordPress, the most popular content management system. This integration allows users to leverage WordPress's flexibility, scalability, and vast plugin ecosystem while adding membership functionality to their sites. 

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This platform excels in its content-dripping feature. This functionality enables site owners to schedule content releases to members over time. By providing a structured learning experience or gradual access to exclusive material, content dripping helps keep members engaged and enhances the perceived value of the membership. 

MemberPress offers powerful access control options. Site owners have granular control over content access, allowing them to restrict specific pages, posts, or categories based on membership levels. This flexibility enables the creation of tailored membership tiers, offering various member groups different benefits and access privileges. 

MemberPress Prices

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Basic Plan: 

The Basic plan costs $179 per year and includes access to all core features of MemberPress, support for one site, and one year of plugin updates.

Plus Plan: 

The Plus plan is priced at $299.50 per year and provides access to all core features, support for up to 2 sites, and one year of plugin updates.

Pro Plan:

The Pro plan is available at $399.50 per year and offers access to all core features, support for up to 5 sites, and one year of plugin updates.

Pros and Cons of MemberPress

ProsCons
WordPress Integration
Robust Membership Features
Content Dripping
Access Control Flexibility
Seamless Payment Integration
Extensive Add-Ons Integrations
WordPress Dependency
Learning Curve
Limited Design Customization
Lack of Built-in Email Marketing
Potential Plugin Conflicts
Pricing

Teachable

Teachable is an online platform that allows you to create and sell online courses. It provides you with the tools and resources to design, host, and manage your own course website without needing technical expertise or coding skills. 

Teachable handles the technical aspects of course delivery, including content hosting, student enrollment, and payment processing, so you can focus on creating and delivering high-quality educational content.

Providing a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to create and launch their online courses, the platform offers a simple drag-and-drop course builder, allowing you to organize and structure your content effortlessly. You can upload videos, create quizzes, and add downloadable resources with just a few clicks.

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Teachable offers comprehensive course management tools that empower instructors to deliver a seamless learning experience. You can track student progress, manage enrollments, and provide personalized feedback. The platform also includes features like discussion forums, quizzes, and completion certificates to engage and motivate your students.

You can set flexible pricing structures, including one-time payments, subscription plans, or bundled course packages. Teachable integrates with popular payment gateways, allowing secure and smooth transactions.

Teachable Prices

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Teachable offers three main pricing plans, making it flexible for different budget and feature requirements:

Basic Plan: 

This plan is $39 per month. This plan provides essential features for creating and selling online courses, including unlimited video hosting, student management tools, and basic quizzes.

Pro Plan:

The Pro plan is priced at $119 per month. It includes all the Basic plan features, along with additional advanced features such as graded quizzes, course completion certificates, and advanced theme customization.

Business Plan:

For $499 per month, this plan is tailored to the specific needs of high-volume businesses or enterprises. It offers all the features of the Pro plan, plus advanced integrations, priority support, and bulk student enrollments.

Pros and cons of Teachable 

ProsCons
User-Friendly Interface
Comprehensive Course Management
Flexible Monetization Options
Customizable Course Website
Marketing and Sales Features
Transaction Fees on Basic Plan
Limited Design Customization
Dependency on Teachable Platform
No Built-in Email Marketing

Kajabi

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Kajabi is an all-in-one online platform that enables individuals and businesses to create, market, and sell digital products and online courses. It provides tools and features to help users build their websites, create and deliver engaging content, manage memberships, and handle online payments.

Unlike other platforms requiring multiple integrations or third-party tools, Kajabi consolidates everything into one platform. It offers website building, course creation, membership management, email marketing, sales funnels, and payment processing capabilities, eliminating the need for instructors to use and manage multiple systems.

The platform offers advanced marketing tools, including email marketing automation, landing page creation, and sales funnels. Instructors can create targeted email campaigns, launch product offers, and manage customer relationships, all within the Kajabi platform. 

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Additionally, Kajabi integrates with popular payment gateways, enabling seamless and secure transaction processing.

One of the most essential features is Robust Data Analytics where instructors can track student progress, measure engagement metrics, and analyze sales data. 

Kajabi Prices

Basic Plan: 

Priced at $149 per month. It includes essential features such as website building, unlimited marketing emails, 3 products, 3 pipelines, 1,000 active members, and 10,000 contacts.

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Growth Plan: 

This plan costs $199 per month. It offers expanded features compared to the Basic plan, including website building, unlimited marketing emails, 15 products, 15 pipelines, 10,000 active members, and 25,000 contacts.

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Pro Plan:

This plan is available at $399 per month. It is the most comprehensive plan and provides all the features of the Growth plan, along with unlimited products, pipelines, active members, and contacts. The Pro plan includes advanced features such as an affiliate program, automation, and priority support.

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Pros and Cons of Kajabi

ProsCons
All-in-One Platform
Versatile Customization Options
Advanced Marketing Capabilities
Integrated Payment Processing
Robust Analytics and Reporting
Responsive Customer Support
It's more expensive than other platforms
It's a little hard to navigate
Limited Them Customization

Thinkific

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Thinkific is an online platform allowing individuals and businesses to create, market, and sell online courses. It provides a user-friendly interface and tools to help instructors build and deliver engaging educational content.

With Thinkific, instructors can create multimedia lessons, quizzes, and assignments and customize the look and feel of their course. The platform also handles student enrollment and course management and provides analytics to track student progress. 

Instructors can monetize their courses through pricing options, such as one-time payments or subscription models.

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Instructors can facilitate discussions through a built-in community forum, offer completion certificates to motivate students, and encourage collaboration through group projects. 

Additionally, Thinkific supports gamification elements like progress tracking and achievement badges to boost student motivation and participation.

This platform also includes customizable sales pages, coupon codes, integrated payment gateways, and affiliate marketing capabilities, with built-in email marketing and automation tools to nurture leads and engage students throughout their learning journey.

Thinkific Prices

Free Plan: 

Thinkific offers a free plan that allows instructors to create and deliver online courses at no cost. 

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Basic Plan: 

The Basic plan starts at $36 per month. It includes features like unlimited courses, quizzes, and students and the ability to sell courses and integrate with popular payment gateways.

Start Plan:

The Pro plan costs $74 per month. It includes all the features of the Basic plan. It adds advanced customization options, affiliate marketing, completion certificates, and priority customer support.

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Grow Plan:

The Grow plan costs $149 per month. It includes all Start features, free access to the Accelerator Program, unlimited courses, 3 communities, 20 spaces per community, 2 administrators, unlimited studs, 0% transaction fee, and priority support. 

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Thinkific Pros and Cons

ProsCons
User-Friendly Course Creation
Customization Options
Comprehensive Feature Set
Marketing and Sales Tools
Suitable for Individual Course Creators
and Growing Businesses
Limited Site Customization
Transaction Fees on Lower Plans
Learning Curve for Advanced Features
Limited Email Marketing Capabilities

Memberful

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Memberful is a membership platform that allows content creators and businesses to monetize their content by offering subscription-based membership. 

It provides the tools and infrastructure to create and manage membership plans, handle payment processing, and control access to exclusive content. 

With Memberful, creators can offer tiered membership levels, sell digital products, and deliver premium content to their subscribers. The platform integrates seamlessly with existing websites, enabling creators to maintain their brand identity and provide a seamless user experience for their members.

Memberful provides flexible payment options, including one-time purchases, recurring subscriptions, and even the ability to sell digital products individually. 

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The creators have complete control over their content and membership offerings. They can easily restrict access to specific content or offer exclusive content to different membership tiers, providing their members a personalized and valuable experience.

Also, Memberful is known for its reliable infrastructure, ensuring secure payment processing and data privacy for creators and members. It handles the technical aspects of membership management, allowing creators to focus on creating content and engaging with their community.

Memberful Pricing

Starter:

The Starter plan costs $0. This plan is suitable for beginners or those just getting started with membership offerings. It includes features like 2 plans, unlimited members, email support, and the ability to sell digital products.

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Pro:

The Pro plan is priced at $25 per month and is designed for established businesses or creators with larger audiences. It includes all the features of the Starter plan, along with additional features like advanced dashboard analytics, integrations with third-party tools, and priority email support.

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Premium: 

The Premium plan is priced at $100 per month. It is tailored to the specific needs of high-volume businesses or those requiring enterprise-level features. This plan offers all the Pro plan features plus additional benefits like phone support, single sign-on (SSO), and dedicated account management.

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Memberful Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Seamless Integration
Flexible Payment Options
Content Control and Access Management
User-Friendly Experience
Reliable Infrastructure
Limited Design Customization
No Built-in Marketing Tools
Additional Costs for Advanced Features
Limited Support Channels

Who is a Membership Site Platform for? 

A membership site platform is suitable for various individuals, businesses, and organizations that aim to provide exclusive content, courses, or services to a specific audience. Here is a list of who a membership site platform is for:

  • Content Creators: 

Whether you are a blogger, writer, podcaster, or video creator, a membership site platform allows you to monetize your content by offering exclusive access or additional benefits to your audience.

  • Educators and Online Course Instructors:

A membership site platform allows for creating and selling online courses, delivering educational content, and engaging with your students through a structured membership model.

  • Coaches and Consultants:

Membership site platforms provide a platform for coaches and consultants to offer their expertise and services to a community of members. It allows for ongoing support, exclusive resources, and interactive sessions.

  • Professional Associations and Organizations: 

Professional associations or organizations can use membership site platforms to offer valuable resources, networking opportunities, and industry-specific content to their members.

  • Online Communities and Membership-based Websites: 

These membership sites are perfect for interacting, sharing knowledge, and access to exclusive content

  • Nonprofit Organizations:

Nonprofits can utilize membership site platforms to offer their members exclusive resources, donor perks, and premium content to engage and retain their supporters.

  • Fitness and Wellness Professionals:

Fitness trainers, yoga instructors, and wellness coaches can leverage membership site platforms to provide members with workout programs, meal plans, and health-related content, fostering ongoing engagement and support.

  • Artists and Creatives: 

Musicians, visual artists, photographers, and other creatives can utilize membership site platforms to showcase their work, offer exclusive content, and provide a community space for their fans and supporters.

Final Thoughts

For us, Thinkific is the most complete and friendly platform for users and creators of all platforms.

But there is no doubt that each of the mentioned platforms has strengths and features for all audiences. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Membership Site Functionality: If your primary focus is creating and managing membership sites, MemberPress and Memberful are specifically designed for this purpose. They offer robust membership features, content access control, and payment management.
  • Course Creation and Management: If you also plan to offer online courses, Teachable, Kajabi, and Thinkific are known for their comprehensive course creation and management capabilities. They provide tools for creating engaging course content, quizzes, certificates, and student engagement features.
  • All-in-One Solution: Kajabi is notable for providing an all-in-one solution that combines course creation, marketing, and sales functionalities in a single platform. It offers a range of features, including website building, email marketing, and sales funnels.
  • Ease of Use: Teachable and Thinkific are often praised for their user-friendly interfaces and intuitive course creation experiences. They provide easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors, customizable templates, and seamless navigation for creators and students.
  • Integration and Customization: MemberPress and Memberful integrate well with existing websites and content management systems. If maintaining your brand identity and having control over the design and customization of your membership site is essential to you, these platforms may be suitable.

FAQ

What is a membership site platform?

A membership site platform is an online software or service that enables individuals or businesses to create and manage membership websites. 

What can I do with a membership site platform?

With a membership site platform, you can create a gated online community or offer your members exclusive content, courses, or services. 

How does a membership site platform handle payments?

Membership site platforms typically integrate with popular payment gateways, allowing you to accept payments from your members.

Can I integrate a membership site platform with my existing website?

Many membership site platforms offer integrations with popular website builders or content management systems like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. This allows you to seamlessly integrate the membership functionality into your existing website.

Is my content secure on a membership site platform?

Membership site platforms prioritize the security and protection of your content and member data. They typically use secure hosting and SSL encryption. They have built-in user authentication and access control features to ensure that only authorized members can access your content.

How much does a membership site platform cost?

You can find prices from $39 with Thinkific up to $399.50 with MemberPress. You can even find free and basic plans to get started with Memberful.

Carolina Builes is a technology writer with more than 3 years' experience covering artificial intelligence, digital media, and tech innovations. She distills complex topics into accessible, engaging content to educate broad audiences. Carolina believes that quality STEM education resources should be available to all, and her informative writing helps demystify topics like coding, cybersecurity, and emerging tech.
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