Subscription Website Builders

What are the most advantageous membership website builders in 2019


Membership sites are the ones with limited or restricted access. It’s hard to tell, whether limited-access sites make the majority of all websites on the Internet or not but believe that nearly any popular website has a form of registration, which allows its members do more things after the registration than before it.

There is a host of reasons why it is necessary to make websites with a feature of registration:

  1. The need to keep some of the information in secrecy for all people but registered (it’s usually applied to workers of some organization, who work through the website, too)

  2. The need to make the count of users who can access some specific features of a site for various reasons, for instance, charging them to access to this site or to see how the activity of users is distributed through pages of sites

  3. To follow the activity of each user in order to understand how he or she uses the site, what good or bad they bring, and a possibility to restrict access for varying violations

  4. A possibility to assign different rights to different users, which can significantly vary through access-only sites.

The example from life is as follows: you are a teacher who generates homework for your students based on the material that they have learned. You want only students of your paid class to see the tasks and links to lessons and, maybe, your management. 


Top membership sites’ tools: representation

A membership site builder is an online tool, which allows its users to create websites with the forms for registration. Some of those tools may have such forms as an additional app that you need to install to make it work, while others may have it just as an already existing button. 

Using the form creator, you can make really diverse forms. The functionality may include:

  • Definition of a number of fields that a user has to fulfill during the registration, and the type of these fields (mandatory or not mandatory)

  • Adding Google Captcha (there are different versions of it exist)

  • An option to change its visual appearance by reshaping fields, changing colors and corners, using the drag-and-drop feature to add or throw something away

  • Define the number of columns in the form

  • Create the process that occurs after the submission of the form – like e-mail verification, downloading some documents (if you work on the serious basis and collect some personal information from your users like IDs or the copies of any financial documents). Also, there may be verification of an entered number of a credit card – should you need to make monthly installments from the registered users

  • Manual approval of the registration (by the site admin)

  • Verification and cross-check of the entered information into the fields (like forbidding in registration based on predefined criteria – e.g. you do not allow registration of citizens of not your country)

  • A possibility to duplicate and save your forms, adding them to the personal database to reuse them in the future

  • You can disable or enable the strong passwords, defining the type of this strength (like what they must obligatorily consist of)

  • Export of user data

  • Connection to a different database to store the logins and passwords (preferably, with strong encryption, for the sake of safety)

  • A multilingual opportunity

  • Entering through the social profiles or Google account (with a possibility to collect some additional information if you happen not to find one in the given social/Google profile)

  • Conditional logic – if you happen to make a person fulfill some questionnaire upon registration, you can show or hide some fields based on previously fulfilled fields (like if a user is a man – then the additional field is added or something like that). Also, you can arrange the fields’ visibility based on some logic that you need – as membership websites examples’ logic, for non-US residents, the social insurance ID won’t be required

  • Invite code – if you want to do your registration based on invitations (there may be different codes or one and the same for everyone).

Establishing the registration through membership website builders, you increase the safety of usage of your site in general and can manage such things, which are inevitably connected to the process:

  • recurring payments (members can pay money for using your site on a periodical basis and you can manage the direct debits from their accounts)

  • give and withdraw the rights to your users, as well as to forbid some basic rights and block the ones who violate the rules

  • manage what roles of users see what pages – it is possible to do on several levels.

Though a little number of people actually ponders that a nice software for running a database of users is required but, in addition to the features of visual and procedural adjustments that you can do, we also advise you to think about the reliable database, which this or that membership website builder gives you. One of the good solutions is MySQL database, which is quite popular among programmers of the world.


Best five membership website builders

  • Wix
  • Wild Apricot
  • GoCentral
  • Weebly
  • uKit


Wix membership website builder: overview

Wix is one of the oldest platforms for making websites and it offers a number of apps to enrich the websites’ functionality, including membership site builder forms. It may not be that powerful as a number of WordPress plugins may do but still, a user will find a vast number of forms to be added to the site.


Strong sides of creating a website with membership and user login through Wix:

  1. You have a huge selection of apps from its native app store, paid and free.

  2. Over 500 themes in appealing categorization. They are divided into free and paid ones. 

  3. You can do the backups at any time, as well as to restore. ‘Redo’ and ‘Undo’ buttons are in its interface, too, which makes the cost of a mistake a dime. 

  4. An option for recurring payments for the registered users.


Weak sides of membership website builder Wix:

  1. It is only possible to have one admin role (but if you have thousands of registrants, then you have to give the same login and password to several admins, which all should work from the same account – which may not be possible simultaneously).

  2. Not enough space to store files and pages in most of its subscription plans, while there are pretty many limits in bandwidth. 


Price of membership website builder Wix:

Depending on what you want to acquire, it is possible to use differing options. The low-grade ones, which cost 4.50 bucks a month will not make you have a good site, where people would like to register. To make it anyhow good, you have to spend 17-35 dollars a month (better choose options allowable for online commerce to avoid commission for financial transactions).

Wild Apricot membership website builder: overview

Wild Apricot may be a good solution when it comes to making a membership website but it is highly overpriced, as its lowest mark is 40 dollars a month (the biggest is as high as 600). Any money you are paying to this membership site platform’s account gives you the same number of possibilities in the design, themes, adjustments, hosting, and everything else. But in what they do differ is in the number of allowed registered users:

  • 100

  • 250

  • 500

  • 2,000 

  • 5,000 

  • 15,000 

  • 50,000.

These numbers have these costs (in bucks per month):

  • 40

  • 50

  • 90

  • 160

  • 290

  • 350

  • 600.


Strong sides of Wild Apricot membership website builder:

  1. One of the largest trial periods on the market – 1 month.

  2. Use whatever number of admins, which suit your needs.

  3. Recurring payments are adjusted easily.

  4. Mobile app for each of your users. 


        Weaknesses of Wild Apricot membership website builder:

  1. Price seems too high.

  2. Not up-to-date themes (not all, some part of them).

  3. Its dashboard is tangled if you won’t use a wizard.


Price of membership website builder Wild Apricot:

To see its pricing, read the given information above.


GoCentral membership website builder: overview

Godaddy is called GoCentral now. It is pacing with time, that’s why a new version of a membership website builder has come into play. It is hard to define some distinguishing peculiarity of GoCentral, which would make it stand out of the crowd.


Strengths of GoCentral membership website builder:

  1. A better builder.

  2. You can make the registration in two ways – the one that everyone has got used to, through the form on the site, and number two – in a similar (but not the same) manner as you grant access to several people in Google Docs – by defining their logins and passwords through a special access sheet.

Downfalls of GoCentral membership website builder:

  1. You can’t use it for free, as only paid options are designed.

  2. It has the as little number of templates as fingers on your hands and they will not allow you to customize too much.

Price of membership website builder GoCentral:

It is nice in pricing, from $5.99 a month to $19.99 a month. Despite the abundance of traits that each plan gives, its users are pushed to buy a domain name for additional money in some third-party registrar. 


Weebly membership website builder: high-level overview

Weebly gives comprehensible and easily master-able tools to create membership websites. 


Strengths of Weebly membership website builder:

  1. You can run it for free (well, but no membership options is going to be turned on in such case).

  2. Nice drag-and-drop, which makes it easy to work – a better one than in Wix.

  3. You can pay only 30 Euros per month to have any number of registered users – way cheaper than in Wild Apricot.

  4. Apps for members – to make your flock connected. 

  5. Diverse payment channels. 


        Minuses of Weebly membership website builder:

  1. The app for a mobile phone is paid.

  2. ‘Pro’, ‘Business’, and ‘Business Plus’ are the only three to enable any significant power of your website.


Price of membership website builder Weebly:

You can run it for free, as well as you may pay 5, 10, 20, and 30 Euros per month – increasing the web site’s functionality with an increase in money.


uKit membership website builder: overview

The membership website builder uKit does not have an integrated solution for membership websites but it is possible to add it through a custom HTML code.  

Strengths of uKit membership website builder:

  1. Its biggest advantage is that it offers free-of-charge integration with the CRM system, which makes it possible to coordinate your flock better, improving relations with each and every member.

  2. Amazing pricing with nice discounts starting with 3 months of the subscription paid in one payment.

  3. Integration and functional abilities, which you are going to love.


Not so amazing sides of uKit membership website builder:

  1. The membership feature only must be connected through code injection, as there is no home-made stuff.


Pricing of membership website builder uKit:

It is possible to pay as little as 3.50 a month – if you’re going for 24 months in one leap. The lesser number of months in a go you embrace – the more it’s gonna cost you – increasing up to 5 dollars a month (initially) and ending with 15 dollars. However, paying for 2 years immediately releases 30% discount for you, resulting in the 10.50-dollar cost of a month in the most supreme package.


Features to look for in membership website builders

Are you wonder what are the traits that one should look for in a membership website builder? Well, the list below is going to give you tangible comprehension:

  • How easy it is to use. Nobody can tell it for you – you should come and try with your hands and see with your eyes. If you find it hard to operate even after undergoing training based on its wizard and help tutorials, well, try another online tool from the list.

  • Budget fitting. Yes, it should fall under your budget’s limits. Consider well, what features are really feasible for you, and from which ones you can refrain if you see that the cost of a tool is above your budget. Make a comparative table, including in it all the pros and cons of every studied tool – based on our review and other reviews that you can find online.

  • The existence and length of a trial period. If you’re not an alone warrior, you might need time to estimate the expedience of choosing this or that tool. The company consisting of several (or several hundred) people who might be involved in making the decision about which membership website builder to use may need months to decide on the matter. But as practice shows, big companies resort to web studios when they do their sites or make developments using internal resources. So, 14-day or 30-day trial should be enough to estimate whether you wanna work with this or that tool. But if there is no trial, the only way you estimate it tangibly is by paying the first month of usage. Well, this is life.

  • How many memberships and admins are allowed? There should be some reasonable proportion between them (like 1 admin per 1,000 of users or whatever it is believed expedient by your business planning). If some membership website builder does not allow to embrace all users that you need, as well as all admins (at least, with sane money), you should not go for this tool.

  • The possibility of making easy-running recurring payments. It is one of the cornerstone answers to the question of how to create a membership website. If you can’t establish it automatically, managing it manually may eat your entire profit. 


Handy tips about how to find membership sites’ nice enough builder

  • SEO is of importance for subscription website builder if you don’t want to dwell in oblivion. You should be able to make people come to your site by finding it through Google, why SEO is here for.

  • Most pieces of advice on the Internet recommend paying attention to the uptime of subscription websites. But they do not tell that this information is closed – literally, no subscription website or the builder tells the real uptime. And it’s impossible to find it unless you won’t find the sites, which make day-to-day monitoring of downtime/uptime of the membership site software interesting for you. But that is a tricky issue, as we haven’t found any reliable sources of data. Maybe you will?

  • Plugins that are essential for you – if a website builder does not deliver membership function as embedded, it should provide some out-house solution.

  • Templates. Nice ones should make your life easier by making work faster.

  • A possibility of deep personification – not only by the visual interface but also by diving into the HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP codes.