Avion Technology explored an membership plugins article by Fred Hopkins
Creating a membership site can be a great way to have a business based upon topics that you love and love to teach to other people. Membership sites can be extremely lucrative and, if structured correctly, easy to run especially if you tie it together with a content management system like WordPress.
Many people think of WordPress as just a blogging platform but with the thousands of developers that work on it, WordPress can be so much more. One of newer applications of WordPress is to use it as a membership site. There are a number of new companies creating WordPress membership site plugins but they are not made equal. When deciding whether one of the available options is right for you, be sure to filter your choices using the criteria below:
1. Membership Levels & Types – Having the ability to create multiple levels of membership gives you the flexibility to have special promotions or have higher membership levels where you give people access to more in-depth information if the pay more. Also having the ability to have levels that are free, subscription based, and one-time payment options is crucial.
2. RSS Feed Encryption – You want to make sure that any content you want to designate for members only doesn’t end up broadcast through the RSS feed. If it isn’t encrypted for members only, anyone can subscribe to your feed and get some or all of your content without paying for it!
3. Content Teasers – This allows you to have a portion of content available for casual visitors of your site. For instance, you can set the first paragraph of a post to be free for all to see. For someone to read more they would have to click on a link that says “more” or “continue reading”, etc. Once they click on that, the visitor would get a message saying that they have to subscribe to get the rest of the information.
4. Sequential Delivery – If you have a membership where you are training people or just want to make sure that people get access to certain content on a monthly basis, you need sequential delivery. If you don’t have this, someone could have access to all of you content from day one. What will keep them as a member if your membership has a monthly fee?
5. Payment Gateways – Some plugins work only with Paypal, which is a major limitation. You want to have the ability to work with virtually any merchant processor you want.
6. Training & Support – Having a strong customer service function is important for any business. If you don’t notice an easy way to get in contact with the developer of the plugin then you should be concerned! Also, there should be training manuals or videos that teach you how to use the plugin.
7. Guarantee – Does the developer back their work? At minimum there should be a 30 money back guarantee with no strange and complex rules to get a refund. Beware if you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get your money back if you aren’t satisfied with their WordPress membership plugin.
These are the basic criteria and serve as a guide to help you determine what WordPress membership site plugin is right for your business.
Avion Technology, Inc.
Web design and development