What software is available to start a membership website?
Below I’m listing links to various software programs that can be used for membership websites of varying sophistication. Please do check references and look at sites of current clients. None of the links below are affiliate links.
This follows my earlier post on Membership Websites: Description and Profitable Topics.
Membership Software Definition
Good old Wikipedia defines software for a membership site thusly:
Membership software is used to either manage free membership to a website and restrict access to certain parts of the site to those that have signed up, or manage paid membership, allowing access to premium content on a website for a monthly or annual fee.
Free Membership Website Software
Ad-supported, free membership software is available from Ning.com and Teamr.com. To see sample communities, check these Ning website examples and Teamr examples. See also my earlier post on starting an online community using Ning.
Turnkey Membership Website Software
I located a number of ready-to-go membership website applications in Google searches. There are undoubtedly some I missed. You name your site, customize its colors and tabs, invite your members or upload their data, and then start operations immediately.
Imodules (niche is educational institutions and nonprofits — press on member sites)
Membergate and Membergate examples
Simplweb (sample sites using the software listed at the bottom of the page)
Subhub and Subhub examples
Wild Apricot andWildApricot examples
You can also find membership sites customized for specific users, such at AtHomeNet, for homeowners associations. But you don’t have to be a homeowners association to use AtHomeNet’s software. The nonprofit SCORE Chicago runs on it, with the private site for our volunteer counselors.
Open Source Software
The above free and paid software options are a fast track to a membership site, but some owners want and can afford more customization. These software modules offer you and your developer greater freedom.
- The CiviMember module of CiviCRM
- Organic Groups Module of Drupal
- Community Builder Extension of Joomla
- Membership Plugins of WordPress
See also my earlier post on a comparison of open source software for such sites.
What would you like to share about useful software for a membership website?
Learn more about the best social networking software for your website.