Creating Your Membership Site
The creating stage is where you put your plan into action and turn it into a fully fledged membership site. Whilst much of this stage is focused on the tech side of your site, this is also where you’ll be creating your membership content, begining to think about your launch and developing your initial onboarding process.
The aim of this stage is to have a completed membership site that functions well and is ready to be launched into the world.
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Get The Basics
There are a few essentials that you need to get in place and decide on before you go full steam into creating your membership site.
If you’ve chosen to create your membership site as a completely separate website then the first thing that you need to do is purchase a suitable domain name for your membership.
We recommend buying domain names from GoDaddy (but please don’t get your hosting from them!)
If you already have a domain name you’d like to use, then simply move to the next step.
As well as a domain name you will also need hosting for your membership – this is where your actual site will live.
We recommend SiteGround and LiquidWeb for your membership hosting.
Membership sites will use up more resources than a standard website, especially as they grow and you get more members. So, a low-cost shared hosting option probably isn’t going to cut it. The ideal would be a VPS (virtual private server) but if you don’t want to go straight for that option then it’s best to get the highest level of shared hosting that you can to ensure you don’t run into any technical difficulties.
Watch this training to hear us discuss hosting for membership sites (from around the 59min mark)
Start Thinking About Your Launch
Before you start creating your site it’s a good idea to put some things in place first to ensure that you have an audience to launch to once your site is completed.
The last thing to decide before beginning with your site creation is whether you will be creating your membership site yourself or hiring someone else to do this for you.
There are three options:
- You do everything else yourself
- You hire a designer/developer
- You do some things yourself and outsource more complex tasks
It’s entirely possible to DIY your entire membership (unless you want any features that aren’t available out of the box) but if you’re not familiar with creating sites in WordPress then there will be a learning curve involved.
Here’s our top tips for DIYing your site.
If you know that you’re not tech minded, or you want a design or functionality that wouldn’t be easy for someone without coding experience to create then you may find that hiring someone to create the site for you is your best choice, allowing you to focus on things like creating your content.
Watch this quick win on finding and working with a developer.
See our top tips for hiring a designer.
Decide On Your Site Structure
Your site structure determines both the different pages that you will have on your site and how these pages will function alongside each other.