Are you looking for the best membership site platform to sell your products?
Are you overwhelmed with so many platforms out there and struggling to decide which one to buy?
Then don’t worry.
I have made your job easier by researching online and narrowing down the list.
Let’s look at what are all the features these top membership site platforms are going to offer you.
|Mighty Networks||Affordable platform||$39/mo|
|Podia||Simple membership solution||Free and $39/mo|
|Memberful||Purist membership platform||Free and $25/mo|
|WildApricot||Yet another purist platform||$60/mo|
|MemberPress||Best for WordPress||$179.50/year|
|Thinkific||Course-centric||Free and $49/mo|
|UScreen||Best for video-on-demand||$199/mo|
|Memberspace||Best cross platform||$49/mo|
|Patreon||Crowdfunding||8% of the income you earn on Patreon|
👉 It’s important to note that, subscription platforms are different from membership platforms. Membership platforms offer more features for content access, membership management, analytics, KPIs like churn rate, MRR, lifetime value of customers, and more. They focus on building sustainable communities rather than just accepting subscription payments.
Kajabi – Most powerful all-in-one platform
It is an all-in-one platform with automation layer (with triggers and actions) on top.
- All in one platform: Kajabi is one of the few platforms that offer specialist features for creating courses, communities, coachings, events, manage email automation, all in one platform.
- Marketing Automation: With Kajabi’s marketing automation, you can send automated follow-up sequences, cart abandonment emails, and tag your subscribers based on their behavior.
- Community & Memberships: Kajabi now has its own full-fledged Community component after acquiring Vibely. It includes features such as live video calls, accountability tools, gamification, and more. You can also create different groups or membership levels to provide community access to members based on their subscription levels. It’s really comprehensive
- Visual Builder: With Kajabi, you can create beautiful sales and product pages using its professional templates and themes. It is so feature-rich that you don’t need to again make use of website builders like WordPress.
When a person gets any “Offer” on your Kajabi site, you can give them access to exclusive content and also a community.
After logging in, members will see three main tabs: Feeds, Challenges, and Meetups.
- Feed: Allows for organized interaction with other community members.
- Challenges: Gamifies the process with accountability mechanisms, challenges, accomplishments, live meetups, points, and badges.
- Meetups: Schedule meetings to develop deeper relationships with community members.
Kajabi’s pricing is quite expensive. However, you can try them out with their 14-day free trial.
Their basic plan starts at $149/mo and is limited to 3 products, 3 funnels, and 1,000 active members. You can think of it like a decoy plan leading you to buy the “Growth” plan.
- It is an all-in-one app with a real good depth to features.
- It has a dedicated community-building feature with gamification features.
- All their features integrate well with each other with automation triggers and actions, giving emergence to interesting marketing use cases.
- It has really good website building and design customization options, making it unnecessary to use WordPress.
- No transaction fees.
- Kajabi may be overkill for you, if you’re looking for a simple membership platform looking to gate some premium content.
- It is expensive, but when compared to all the other specialist tools that it may replace, the cost is not so bad.
Read other Kajabi-related posts:
- Kajabi vs ClickFunnels: Let’s Talk Reality
- Teachable vs. Kajabi: Literally A No-Brainer Choice
- Kajabi vs Thinkific: Side-by-Side Comparison
Mighty Networks – Affordable membership community platform
Mighty Networks is an all-in-one platform that offers a course creator and community builder.
It has an integrated course builder, which eliminates the need for external LMSs, and is available at an affordable price.
- Community features: Mighty Networks has all the best features for building a community, like member profiles, private direct messaging, group chats, member categories, etc.
- Matchmaking for members: The USP of Mighty Networks is that it has a unique way to let your members connect with each other with their matchmaking feature based on their location or similar interests.
- Ambassador program: Mighty Networks has a built-in ambassador program to incentivize and grow your community.
- Feature-rich mobile apps: The best part about this platform is that they have a really feature-rich iOS and Android apps to let students access the exclusive content on the go.
Unless you want online courses and the ability to create live cohort courses, the beginner $39 per month plan would be good to go.
It comes with all the essential features needed for you to create a membership site, including live chat, messaging, live streaming, and community features.
If you need advanced features like Zapier API and other Workflows, go with their Business plan that starts at $119/mo.
- Comes with a native course builder, so you don’t have to purchase external LMS platforms like Teachable or Kajabi.
- It comes with native live streaming abilities to help you when hosting live cohorts.
- Matchmaking is the highlight of their community membership feature.
- On their lowest plan, it lacks a few important features like Analytics, Member Data, integration with Zapier, etc.
- Unlike other platforms that charge the same on their premium plans, Mighty Networks charges an additional transaction fee (3% on the lowest plan and 2% on the higher plan).
Read other Mighty Networks-related posts:
- Mighty Networks Review 2023: My Honest Take!
- Top 15 Mighty Networks Alternatives in 2023 (Free & Paid)
- Mighty Networks vs. Circle.so: A Tough Comparison (2023)
- Mighty Networks vs Podia: Which is the Winner?
- Mighty Networks vs Kajabi – Tradeoff Worth It? (Comparison)
Circle is a community platform that lets you build communities and organize the content inside it by using Spaces and Groups.
Similar to Mighty Networks, Circle also comes with course creation features on top of community features.
- Community features: With Chat Spaces, DMs, and Group chat features, you can bring your community members together and discuss different topics.
- Membership directory: Community members can connect and interact with each other in one-to-one conversations.
- Community AI: Helps community managers create better content, connect community members with activity scores, provide automated transcriptions for all videos, and it offers a Circle Bot to find resources quickly.
- Workflows: Another best feature of Circle is that it provides you with all the tools to automate providing a personal and intimate experience to your members. Whether you have 1,000 or 10,000 members, you can save time, energy, and money on repetitive tasks and managing your members. They also provide Workflow Templates for you to get started!
- Paywalls: This feature helps you gate premium content on your communities (with exclusive “Spaces” or discussion areas).
Circle’s premium pricing starts at $49/mo. It provides all the basic features you need to manage a small community of 100 members.
Other than these features, if you want access to their automation “Workflows” and the ability to host live streams, you need to go with their Professional or higher plans.
- Circle has feature-rich iOS and Android apps for its users to stay in touch with members on the go.
- It also lets you create courses inside your community.
- A weekly email digest informs members of community activities (rather than spamming their inboxes).
- It is founded by an early Teachable team member and backed by Teachable founder Ankur Nagpal. The founders’ focus seemed to have shifted to Circle after Teachable’s acquisition by Hotmart. Read more here
- It lacks gamification features like badges, rankings, achievements, points/scores, etc. However, there are various workarounds. Here is an example of gamified onboarding for new members made by the Never Board Learning Community.
- Their basic plan starts at $49/mo and is limited to hosting only 100 members, which might be costly for beginners.
- The automation workflow feature is exclusively available in their business plan, which costs $219 per month.
Other Circle-related posts:
- Circle.so Review 2023: Things Are Changing Fast!
- Top 17 Affordable Circle.so Alternatives (Free & Paid)
Podia is one of the best membership site platforms that you can use to sell your digital products, communities, and courses. It comes with some powerful tools built right inside it, like email marketing with drip and one-off campaigns, storefronts, and messaging.
- Community: When you create a new community in Podia, you can set up various topics and create posts within those topics. You can also restrict access to different topics based on the user’s membership level. To explore more on this, you can refer to my Podia review.
- Embed checkouts: You can create digital products or membership offers in Podia and embed checkout links or buttons on external websites.
- Visual Editor: Using its visual editor, you can create beautiful landing pages, membership pages, blog pages and provide premium content for your members to earn recurring income.
Podia has three plans for you to play with. Mover ($39/month), Shaker ($89/month), and the Earthquaker plan ($199/mo).
You can refer to my complete review on Podia if you want more information.
- Excellent user interface and easy to use dashboard
- Affordable pricing compared to other all in one tools like say Kajabi
- Ability to sell digital products with the ability to embed checkouts
- Integration with appointment apps for coaching calls
- Powerful email marketing automation abilities
- Podia has a basic membership features with topics and posts.
- It doesn’t come with any mobile app. For the price, this is a really big downside.
Explore Podia-related posts:
- Podia Review (2023): I’m Not 100% Convinced!
- 7 Powerful Podia Alternatives To Sell Digital Products
- Kajabi vs. Podia (2023): Objective Analysis (Real User)
- Circle.so vs Podia (2023): There’s a Clear Winner
Memberful is a straightforward and easy-to-use membership management plugin that has three main components:
- Content (posts or pages, podcasts, and downloads)
You can create multiple plans for different users of your site that give them access to various types of content.
For most people, unless you need the ability to sell group subscriptions and care about custom branding, the Pro plan at $25 per month would be ideal.
One really big downside is that both of their paid plans come with a 4.9% transaction fee. I would truly appreciate it if they considered removing the 4.9% transaction fee, at least on their Premium plan that costs $100 per month.
- Let members choose what to pay and also offer renewal discounts.
- Ability to set custom durations for renewal lengths (even say 4 months or 9 weeks!)
- Execute a custom code when checkout is complete (say fire a pixel).
- You can create your own referral program.
- It has dozens of integrations with popular email marketing software, community platforms, WordPress, LMS, and has API and webhooks functionality as well.
- A fully-functional WordPress plugin for integration with your existing website.
- Even their highest plan at $100 per month comes with a whopping 4.9% transaction fee.
- It doesn’t come with any features for say course creation and community management. It does only one job well, that is restricting access to content based on membership levels.
MemberPress is an all-in-one WordPress membership plugin that allows you to create and manage membership sites, online courses, and subscription-based content. It is well-known for its robustness and integration with other WordPress plugins.
One of its advantages is its integration with Elementor Flexbox, which allows you to protect specific parts of your pages and also provides precise upselling, downselling, and cross-selling abilities.
- Content protection: Limit access to specific pages, blog posts, categories, tags, lessons, and more.
- Drip content: Schedule content to be released over time.
- ReadyLaunch™ Page Maker: Create high-converting pricing pages without coding (comes with reusable Gutenberg blocks).
- Subscription management: Manage recurring subscriptions and memberships without additional plugins.
- Payment gateways: Integrates with Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net for secure payment processing.
- Email automation: Built-in system for sending automatic reminders and notifications to members (use WordPress SMTP or SendGrid – for better deliverability).
- Integrations and Add-ons: Wide variety of add-ons and third-party integrations available, including email marketing, Zapier, and more.
MemberPress is conventionally a old-school product.
But, in May 2023, MemberPress parent company Caseproof acquired WishList Products, the company behind WishList Member and CourseCure.
Ever since this acquisition, many new features have been rolled out, including integration with OpenAI, ChatGPT, and many more features to make it the best membership platform for WordPress.
When it comes to pricing plans, there are three options available. Their basic plan starts at $179 per year, after a 50% discount that was running.
This plan includes almost all the features and allows you to use the product on one site.
However, if you need advanced email marketing integrations, such as support for ActiveCampaign tagging and Zapier and other API integrations, you may want to opt for their Plus plan.
🚨 Unfortunately, the checkout order bumps functionality is only available on their Pro plan, which costs around $400 per year, even after the discount.
- Easy to set up and use, with a user-friendly interface.
- Comprehensive content protection and access control.
- Flexible payment gateway options.
- Powerful email automation and drip content features.
- Wide range of integrations and add-ons available.
- Excellent customer support.
- Some features that should be built-in are available only as add-ons.
- As this is a WordPress plugin, you may need to have some technical skills and the ability to troubleshoot if there are any plugin conflicts.
Bottomline: If your business is already running on WordPress and you require a powerful solution that integrates with the rest of your system, MemberPress may be the way to go. However, unlike other solutions such as Kajabi, Mighty Networks, and even Memberful, you need to have technical experience with WordPress and how the plugins interact with each other. The chances of things breaking will be more as with any other WordPress setup.
Kartra is an all-in-one marketing platform that comes with email marketing, web hosting, list building, checkouts, shopping carts, webinars, and videos.
It comes with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder with dozens of elements. You can use its pre-made templates to design your sales pages, blog pages, thank you pages, upsell pages, and squeeze pages, or you can even design them from scratch.
Also, when it comes to creating membership sites, Kartra excels over other platforms that we mentioned above. Let’s see some of its key features as well.
Its drag-and-drop membership builder gives you the WYSIWYG feel, and you can create custom-branded, highly converting membership sites with its conversion-tested templates.
Kartra’s membership tool is feature-rich and comes with:
Kartra’s analytics and tracking reports are easy to use and provide date, membership, and access level filters. These reports allow you to analyze subscription and un-subscription rates, active members, and more.
It also integrates with other popular membership platforms like Kajabi, aMember, Digital Access Pass, Optimize Press, S2 Member, and Wishlist.
Furthermore, Kartra’s affiliate management is superior to Podia or Kajabi, offering flexible commissions, custom landing pages for affiliates, a custom affiliate portal, and more. This makes Kartra an excellent tool for making money beyond memberships.
Its starter plan costs $119/mo, Silver plan costs $229/mo, and Platinum costs $549/mo. On their starter plan, they give access to 2 membership sites, which might be more than enough for beginners.
The basic plan has limitations even though it costs a lot.
Even on their highest plan, it doesn’t allow you more than 50,000 members.
Read other Kartra-related posts:
- Kartra Review: Is it Really Far Better Than ClickFunnels?
- Kartra vs ClickFunnels: 13 Differences and 5 Similarities
- Podia vs. Kartra: A No-Brainer Choice in 2023
Other Membership Platforms
Other than the most popular membership site platforms we reviewed above, here are some more:
- Memberspace: It has a free plan where you can host your online courses created on an external platform and restrict access based on membership tiers. They charge 5% fees on all your payments. If you’re a beginner and don’t want to invest too much, this is the best platform to start with.
- ClickFunnels: It is a funnel-centric platform that can also be used for membership sites. Their membership features include drip content, various types of membership levels, and a login system. However, ClickFunnels is not a dedicated membership platform, and its membership features can be limiting compared to other specialized membership platforms.
- WildApricot – WildApricot is a membership site platform that offers features for membership management, event management, website building, and online payments. However, it lacks some of the advanced features found in other membership site platforms, such as marketing automation and community building tools. Overall, WildApricot is a good option for organizations that need a simple and reliable platform for managing memberships and events.
- Thinkific: It is another popular online course builder. It is a feature-rich alternative to Teachable. And also, unlike Teachable, it comes with a basic community feature.
- UScreen: This platform is for creating a video-based membership site and hosting your courses online for easy access to your members. It also lets you launch your own mobile apps on iOS and Android.
- AccessAlly: If you’re searching for an alternative membership plugin on WordPress, consider AccessAlly. It comes with a built-in course creation feature, advanced membership management, and other product-selling capabilities.
- Patreon: Patreon is great for creators to offer exclusive content, but it can get expensive as you grow as a creator as they charge flat 8% of your income.
After evaluating the features of various membership site platforms, it ultimately depends on your specific needs.
Here are some pointers:
- If you’re looking for a simple platform that allows you to set up multiple pricing plans and restrict content based on membership, then Memberful may be the best choice for you. However, it’s important to note that they do charge a 4.9% transaction fee.
- If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform that includes course creation and marketing automation, Kajabi could be the best option.
- Finally, if you want a platform that is more specialized in community features and is also affordable compared to Kajabi, then Mighty Networks is worth considering.
If you’re looking for a WordPress-based solution, MemberPress is the best product available. While I previously recommended Wishlist Member, it has since been acquired by MemberPress, which now boasts many innovative new features.