How to Choose the Right Subscription Website Builder for Your Organization
A successful subscription website depends on the software that powers it to reach and serve the target populations most likely to sign up for what it offers. Choose the right software provider, and the platform you use can help your site take off. Make a less-successful choice, however, and you may struggle to keep your site up to date, fully functional, secure, and able to support your objectives. Keep these criteria in mind as you evaluate subscription website builders, either as you prepare to launch your website or to replace a poorly performing site with a better alternative.
Make it easy
Subscription websites present enough challenges, complications, and stumbling blocks without having to worry about the software that underlies them. As a site developer or administrator, you need to offer the right products and services at prices that attract your target customers so you can earn the level of profit you expect. Your subscription website builder software needs to make your job easier, not force you to struggle as you present what you offer, collect payments from customers, and maintain a site that’s both easy to update and easy to use.
Unfortunately, not all subscription website builder platforms are created to be equally easy to use. Some providers appear to forget that a wide array of options can’t make up for a difficult-to-use website builder. It’s as if they’re telling you, “Look! We have all these features. Never mind that they’re difficult to use, just think about how many possibilities we offer you.”
On top of that, many of them group their features into little tiers and charge you individually for each set. That’s why when they list what their software will cost you, they have to add “as low as” to the prices in tiny type way at the bottom. You can’t actually set up a fully functional subscription website on their platform at that price, but they do everything in their power to avoid making that obvious.
Think of it this way: When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to pay extra for windshield wipers, air conditioning, and electronic door locks. Apparently, many subscription website builders didn’t get that memo, because that’s the way they price their offerings. Either you’ll have to pay extra for the features you want, or you have to pay extra for the options you want those features to offer.
Of course, they’re in business to make a profit, but they act as if you have unlimited funds to sink into your subscription website. In reality, even if you’re willing to devote a big budget to your subscription website builder, you don’t want to spend extra for features that should be a standard part of the package you choose.
At Membershine, we understand your frustration with this “Yes, but” pricing that hides costs in plain sight. That’s why we base the entirety of our pricing structure on the number of members or customers you enroll through your website. You won’t need to pay extra for the kinds of features you need to thrive as a subscription website. That’s all part of our standard package.
Make it pay
Along with what you pay for the subscription website builder you choose, you also need to consider how and how well that platform contributes to your ability to collect payments from members or customers who sign up for your subscription offerings. If you need to add a third-party payment processor to your website, that adds unnecessary complexity to the process, and can be a true nightmare to configure so it works simply and securely.
Besides, some of the best known of these payment processors force your customers or subscribers to leave your website temporarily to process a payment, and then return them back to your site once the payment completes. That may be fine when you’re just starting out, but as your site matures and grows, and the products and services you offer expand, you want your website to show that it can handle the entire process, from transaction through fulfillment. This holistic approach gives subscribers and customers additional confidence in what you offer and in the transactions they enter into with you.
On the back end, you also want the process of setting up your products and services on your subscription website to be as easy as possible so you don’t feel as if you need to take a computer science class to know how to use your own software.
At Membershine, we understand exactly how you feel about these aspects of your subscription website builder. That’s why we make our administrative dashboard easy to use, with quick, secure, intuitive access to all the features you need. We also make the process of subscription website design easy, with professionally designed page templates that enable you to get new sections of your website up and running quickly, and ease the process of updates and additions.
Make it private—or not
Some subscription website builder platforms don’t offer you much control over which aspects of your site are accessible to the public and which are available only to your subscribers and members. They seem to assume that you either want to make everything accessible to everyone or everything private for subscribers and members only. That type of all-or-nothing thinking dramatically complicates the process of making selective decisions about which aspects of what you offer to show to everyone and which to leave accessible only to those who pay for access or at least sign up for an account with you.
When you choose Membershine as your subscription website builder, you have complete control over which aspects of your side you protect and which you make public. For example, our software makes it easy to establish an online file repository that offers subscribers and members quick access to essential documents. You can specify the privacy level of every individual folder or file within your file repository structure, and even restrict access to specific subgroups with in your site administration or your members.
Why do we include all these features and how do we anticipate your needs so thoroughly? We have long experience dealing with subscription websites, and we know the kinds of functionality that sites such as yours rely on. To find out how well we match up with your subscription website builder needs, sign up today for a 30-day free trial. You don’t even need to provide credit card information, and you have immediate access to our full feature set so you can experiment, solicit feedback from your fellow administrators, and see why we believe that Membershine offers you everything you need in a subscription website builder.