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Topic: membership site

Membership Website Software

If you are one of the many authors, speakers, consultants or specialists that read this blog, you will like this post.  I have been experimenting for about 9 months with different membership website software and finally I found the winner.  Wishlist Member

I went through a progression of different membership website software packages.  I tried Moodle, but it was too complex for what I was trying to do (and was hard to make look good.)  Then I tried a paid vesion on Ning, but that is more social networking and not great for leading learning.  I also tried Joomla, Drupal and DotNetNuke.

Finally I came to realize that a membership site is about publishing highly valuable content in a clean, private environment.  I decided upon WordPress and it was a great decision.

The only down side was the wordpress membership plugin made it necessary for me to set up people’s accounts.  That was just not acceptable.

Then I found WordPress Wishlist Member.  I already had ecommerce, affiliates and more.  I just needed an easy way to integrate membership and manage them.

The Wishlist development team does a great job with online training videos and their support is very good as well.  They have also just updated the membership website software to include paypal integration that looks fantastic.  I am looking forward to trying that option.

If you have ever thought about starting a membership website but did not know what is the best membership website software and the best membership site platform, I strongly recommend keeping it simple and powerful with the combination of wordpress and Wishlist Membership.

Want more infomation about membership site creation?  Visit How to create a membership site.

WordPress.TV

WordPress is the software that this blog runs on.  It is free, although you need a web host to run it.

While I tell people all the time that they can do 90% of what they want in wordpress themselves, many people still have trouble.

The good news is WordPress just launched WordPress.TV which has tutorials.

This kind of public video is increasingly important for you to make complex sales.  For example, look at WordPress Wishlist.  I would have not bought the software had they not had the video tutorials on the right side  I bought it because I was confident it would solve my problem after watching every video.

I like the software so much, I launched a whole new website dedicated to helping people build membership sites with the same low-cost membership website software tools I use.

WordPress for Membership Site Management

Drop & Fantasy
This post is less marketing and more comments to save you time and hassle if you are considering launching a membership site.

When I launched the Virtual Buzz Assistant Network, I knew I would use a WordPress Blog for the marketing front end.  WordPress is too powerful as a marketing tool, and I do not know of anything that compares to it.

However, to manage my community I wanted really good membership management software.  I wanted to keep the cost low because I did not know how the community would grow.  So I started playing with open-source solutions for membership sites/learning sites.

#1 Moodle – I liked Moodle, but I was putting in a lot of hours to customize it.  Also, there were a lot of features but I was not sure what features would ultimately matter to the members.

#2 Ning – To simplify things, I set up a version two of the network on Ning.  While setup was easy, it was hard to customize elements and was not easy to lay out training materials.  It was far more of a community-only kind of portale.

#3 DontNetNuke – Initially I really liked DotNetNuke because it was easy to set up, had powerful features and could be customized.  I bought a nice template and relaunched the membership site in DotNetNuke, only to find that the next version of the browsers was doing funny things with the layout and most people were not using many of the features in there anyway.

#4 Litmus – I experiemented with Litmus, but decided against it because of the higher cost of ownership and the lack of community features, such as a message board.  (Athough they are adding that feature)

#5 WordPress - I found myself coming full circle to appreciate just how powerful wordpress is for hosting a community site.  I added a message board plugin and a membership management plugin and now have a site that I am much more happy with.  It is steam-lines and easy to update.  It has fewer features, but I found from those past experiences that those features do not get used anyway.

Now that I have a great template and understanding of how to use WordPress for a members site, I am thrilled with the possibilities.  If you are thinking about launching a membership site, I hope this summary helps you avoid the many months of research and experimenting I needed to go through so that I could finally realize the obvious.

To make the whole thing easy, use WP-Wishlist.

Secret Slow Release : Buzzoodle Affiliates

Affiliate MoneyWe are launching our Buzzoodle Affiliate Program and our blog readers are the first to learn about it.  I really only want a small group of people initially as we develop more ads, write the affiliate handbook, etc.

If you like affiliate programs that have BIG earning potential and you do not mind getting in while the walls are still being painted (not literally) then sign up here.

If you are unsure, you can read the first (intro) page of our eHandbook for Buzzoodle Affiliate Marketers.

Commissions are 2 levels and include eBooks, Virtual Buzz Assistant Requests and membership sites.

Many of the opportunities have not even been announced yet, so getting in now is truly the ground floor of a great affiliate opportunity.

This blog post and an email to a small group of friends will be the only marketing done for a little while, so be the first to offer these things and make real affiliate money, including monthly membership commissions.  If you act this week, you will be offering some of these products before I have even started promoting them.  – Wow -

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