If you’re looking to build a website with a members area then you’re probably already looking at platforms that have membership website builder capabilities. But it’s not so straightforward, right?

In this article, we take a closer look at how to build a website with a members area, so keep reading to find out more.

How To Build A Website With A Members Area (10 Easy Steps)

Whether you want to create a members-only blog, an e-learning platform or an online community here’s a brief guide on how to get started:

  • Establish A Niche: Before you start building your website, determine how you’re going to add value to your members area and think about your target audience’s needs and interests.
  • Select A Domain And Hosting Platform: Choose a domain name that reflects your website’s purpose and is easy to remember. Select a reliable web hosting provider that can cope with the intended traffic, and features you plan to share. We use Dynadot for a domain registrar and Digital Ocean for hosting.
  • Decide To Go Membership Platform Or Membership Software Addon: A membership platform such as Kleq makes it dead-easy to build a membership website from a technical setup point of view, and do so in little time. The cost is that you are reliant on your platform company for all fixes, functionality, and for the survival of your website. Going with website software (aka. a content management system or “CMS”) such as WordPress sets you free from contracts and having to rely on your platform provider, but comes at the cost of needing to patch together various pieces of software to set up the membership portion of the site. It’s more complex technically.
  • Choose A CMS Or Platform: There are a lot of membership platforms to choose from, so make sure to read our full guide to figure out which is best for you. There is really only one CMS you should you if you go this route, though: WordPress. WordPress is an extremely popular website software across the web and has tons of customizability and plugins to achieve the functionality you’re looking for. Best of all, WordPress and many plugins offered are provided for free. 
  • Install A Membership Plugin: If you go to the WordPress Route, you need to install a membership plugin that allows you to create and manage user accounts and that can set membership levels. There are a bunch to choose from, so make sure to read our WordPress Membership Plugin guide to find the best for you.
  • Create Membership Levels: It’s a good idea to set up different membership levels such as free, entry level, or premium – each offering specific benefits or content access. This helps you cater to a broader audience and helps to monetize your website.
  • User Registration And Login: Make it easy for members to sign up and access their accounts. Ensure that the registration process is simple and secure.
  • Member Engagement Features: To encourage interaction and community building, consider implementing features like forums, chat rooms, or private messaging systems within the members area. Community interaction is really what makes a membership site a membership site.
  • Content Creation And Management: Regularly update and create unique and exclusive content for your members. Use your CMS to manage and organize your content efficiently. Remember, your members are joining for some reason, and you have to make sure what you’re offering has significant value to your target niche.
  • Security And Privacy: You will need to implement robust security measures to protect your member’s data and sensitive information. Ensure your website complies with privacy regulations, like GDPR or CCPA, if applicable. If you are using a membership platform, the provider should take care of this. If you’re using WordPress, on the other hand, then you’ll have to make sure to get an SSL certificate and use security plugins such as Wordfence. 
  • Launch And Promotion: Once everything is in order, launch your website and promote it to your target audience through social media, email marketing, or other channels.

Building a website with a members area requires careful planning and execution, but it can be a great way to monetize your website. By regularly updating your content, offers, and features you will keep your members engaged and satisfied, which will ensure the long-term success of your website and business.

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