Best Membership Website Builders: Build Your Community

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Do you want to share exclusive content with your audience? Looking for a way to diversify or increase your income? Are you hoping to build a thriving community online? A membership website builder is the perfect way to boost visitor engagement and brand loyalty.

Wix is our top choice overall, offering an impressive range of membership options, including online courses, events, and forums. It allows a great deal of customization and flexibility when it comes to setting up memberships, and synchronizes across a lot of Wix’s other built-in features, such as Wix’s Loyalty Program.

What To Look For in a Membership Website

Before you start creating your membership website, you must first choose a website builder. All five of our top-rated membership website builders score 5 out of 5 in our testing of membership areas. But what should a good membership website include?

  • Password-protected pages help keep your content secure and exclusive to subscribed members
  • Monetization options to help you cash in on the loyalty of your website visitors
  • A range of elements so you can upload and share whatever you like, from videos to blog posts
  • Email marketing integration to keep your members in the loop of new updates and perks

Check out other membership site examples for inspiration too!

Next, we take a closer look at these five builders to show you where they excel and where they could improve.

1. Best Overall: Wix

Wix is our top membership website builder overall, securing the gold medal thanks to its high range of options and customization. Whether you want to offer exclusive member content, share photos, or sell online services, Wix makes it all possible with its high-quality management tools and detailed member pages.

To accept payments through your Wix memberships, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Wix’s ecommerce-friendly plans, starting from $29 per month (billed annually).

✔️ What We Like
  • Customize membership elements, such as user profiles and content, with Wix’s flexible editor and user-friendly backend – Wix made this easy for us by drawing from existing website content, such as our color palette
  • Wix Chat gives members a unique way to communicate with one another, as well as the business
  • Connects with other Wix software – for example, members can check their loyalty points, book an appointment, or review their recent orders from your store, giving users lots of control
  • Drive more traffic to your website through exclusive members-only email campaigns that you can customize completely, from the look to who’s on the mailing list
  • We love that you can reward members with customizable badges for contributing or even to reward their loyalty
  • ❌ What We Dislike
  • Wix gives users an overwhelming choice of membership options which makes Wix a comprehensive solution but means it doesn’t specialize in one particular membership type
  • Setting Up Your Wix Membership Site

    With Wix, your selected theme might already include a Members area, such as Wix’s “School” or “Running Club” template, so the first step is handled for you! But don’t worry if it’s not – you can add it manually:

    1. Go to your website editor
    2. Click the + icon to browse Wix’s website elements
    3. Under the “Community” heading, you’ll find “Members”
    4. Add the feature to your website
    Wix element library showing a members area element
    Wix made it easy for me to add a member area with the option available in the editor’s element library. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Once installed, you can easily add private member pages from the editor or manage your members directly from Wix’s dashboard. Here you can view information like name and email address, approve memberships, remove users, send gifted badges, and assign roles. This is a really useful way to oversee your customer relationships and you can even use Wix Analytics to track your membership data more closely.

    Wix member area showing customizable badge creation for members
    I loved that Wix gave me complete freedom when designing badges for my members. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Our Recommendation

    Wix is a great all-round option, meaning it’s suitable for a wide range of needs and industries. Because of this, we recommend Wix for:

    • An all-in-one package – The great thing about Wix is that it offers high-quality website features built-in, so you don’t need to pay extra to unlock membership tools.
    • Businesses looking to offer flexible memberships – Wix offers a variety of membership options, such as online courses and community forums, so you can adapt your Wix website to suit your needs. Having so much flexibility means your memberships can evolve as your website and customer relationships grow.

    Read our Wix Review for more information.

    2. For Online Courses: Squarespace

    If you’re looking to offer online courses through your memberships, there’s no better option than Squarespace. It’s beginner-friendly to use, making setting up memberships a breeze, and you can easily upload content, track member data, and engage with users from a single dashboard. Squarespace also seamlessly integrates with Acuity Scheduling and Squarespace Email Campaigns, allowing you to sell and promote services.

    If you want to set a membership fee or sell digital products like online courses, you’ll need to subscribe to Squarespace’s Business plan or either of its two Commerce plans, starting from $23 per month (billed annually).

    ✔️ What We Like
  • Squarespace is the easiest website builder to use with an intuitive interface and simple membership setup process
  • Stylish templates for memberships help you get things up and running quickly
  • You can customize your membership fees so they work for your business and customers – choose a one-time charge, recurring fee, or no cost at all!
  • Synchronize your memberships with Acuity Scheduling, making it easy for customers to make appointments and view their bookings
  • ❌ What We Dislike
  • Be aware of additional costs involved – Squarespace’s Digital Products Add On plan (which lowers transaction fees and increases video storage when selling courses) starts from $7 per month and Acuity Scheduling (to help businesses schedule appointments with clients) starts from $16 per month
  • Setting Up Your Squarespace Membership Site

    Similar to Wix, a handful of Squarespace templates include membership features built-in. To make things easy, Squarespace lets you filter its themes by “Memberships” – there are seven options, but we particularly love the sleek look of the “Meriden” template.

    Alternatively, you can add a membership manually:

    1. Open the “Pages” sidebar panel
    2. Click the + icon next to “Main Navigation” to add a new page
    3. Scroll down to find “Member Site” and click to add
    Squarespace's page sidebar panel, showing the option for a member site
    Squarespace includes a “Member Site” in its page options, meaning I could set it up at the click of a button. Source: Website Builder Expert

    You’ll then be given the option of a couple of member site homepage templates which you can customize. The member site’s panel can be used to set pricing, add new member pages, or change settings.

    Squarespace member site homepage options
    After adding a member site to my Squarespace website, it invited me to choose a pre-designed homepage. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Squarespace suggests you also create a public preview page so visitors can get a taste of what to expect from your memberships ahead of paying for a plan. And, if you want to offer online courses or services, simply add a scheduling element to your member pages to integrate Acuity Scheduling.

    Acuity Scheduling setup in Squarespace editor
    I had no trouble adding Acuity Scheduling to my Squarespace member site, allowing me to offer courses to users. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Our Recommendation

    Squarespace’s sleek templates and designs, as well as its in-house tools for scheduling and email campaigns, make it ideal for:

    • Sharing online courses with your community – With Squarespace’s Acuity Scheduling tool available, membership sites will thrive if offering online courses, such as a fitness class or a 1:1 session with an acting coach.
    • Photography-based websites with memberships – Squarespace provides high-quality and stylish templates, as well as pre-designed elements to use when designing your member pages, so we think it’s a great fit for photographers, especially if you’re looking to lock certain galleries to select viewers.

    Read our Squarespace Review for more information.

    3. For Easy Membership Setup: GoDaddy

    • Membership score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    • GoDaddy Pricing: $10.99 – $20.99 per month (billed annually)

    GoDaddy is our top membership website builder if you’re looking for a quick and easy setup process. With GoDaddy, you can get online in minutes. Besides speed, GoDaddy doesn’t offer any other standout membership features – the building experience is best for individuals who don’t have a specific membership strategy or vision in mind and instead want a back-to-basics approach.

    ✔️ What We Like
  • GoDaddy helps you get online in minutes, and the membership setup only takes a few steps
  • Its fully customizable emails let you send on-brand emails to members, encouraging engagement and nurturing those relationships
  • ❌ What We Dislike
  • GoDaddy lacks stylish designs, setting it apart from Wix and Squarespace which offer specific membership templates
  • The simple backend and features won’t suit individuals who value creative control
  • Setting Up Your GoDaddy Membership Site

    GoDaddy’s membership setup process is very beginner-friendly but a little more manual than other builders like Wix, which handles it all for you. That said, GoDaddy still makes it a simple and speedy process:

    1. Go to your dashboard and find “Connections”
    2. Select “Settings” to switch on member accounts
    GoDaddy member accounts settings page
    I could add member accounts to my GoDaddy site at the flick of a switch. Source: Website Builder Expert

    It’s as simple as that! And, when you create a new page, all you need to do is toggle whether it’s public or private. From there, these pages can only be seen by invited parties or logged-in members.

    However, when it comes to setting up user accounts, you’ll need to manually add each member or import an existing list.

    Our Recommendation

    GoDaddy’s simple interface, lack of unique elements, and focus on speedy building won’t make it suitable for everyone. Here’s who we recommend GoDaddy for if you’re looking to create a membership site:

    • Simple member areas – GoDaddy is better suited for minimal membership services, such as newsletters or premium blog posts, as opposed to complex memberships that require a lot of tweaking and management.
    • Informational or educational membership areas – Given GoDaddy’s simple style, it makes a good fit for resource-heavy websites, such as schools or non-profits, where member areas are used to share information.

    Read our GoDaddy Review for more information.

    4. For Complex Membership Areas: Webflow

    • Membership score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    • Webflow Pricing: $14 – $212 per month (billed annually)

    While Wix gives you complete creative freedom over website creation and all that comes with it, Webflow takes things to the next level, making it perfect for complex or advanced membership areas.

    You can use its granular editing tools to determine every detail, such as whether a certain button should appear for one membership tier but not the other. It gives you an immense amount of technical control when it comes to customization so you can build a unique membership to suit your audience.

    ✔️ What We Like
  • If you have the skill level, Webflow’s advanced controls give you complete freedom over your membership area
  • Up to 20,000 visitors can create accounts with Webflow, even on the cheapest plan
  • Create custom signup forms so your business can collect membership information that’s useful to your business
  • Webflow’s member portal lets individuals view and manage their accounts easily
  • Choose from a variety of payment options when setting up, such as free, invite-only, or paid (through flexible installments)
  • ❌ What We Dislike
  • Webflow is not beginner-friendly – it’ll take some time to wrap your head around the editor and controls
  • Once you permit Webflow’s User Accounts (memberships), you can’t disable them, so we recommend testing things out to explore the feature first
  • Setting Up Your Webflow Membership Site

    Like Squarespace and Wix, you can choose a template or add memberships to your site manually – but Webflow has a few more hoops to jump through given its more complex nature.

    Referred to as “User Accounts” by Webflow, you can edit your site’s memberships using the “Users” icon in Webflow’s left toolbar. This will trigger the addition of member-related collections, pages, and settings. Certain pages, like a log-in and user profiles, will be set up automatically.

    Webflow user pages in website editor
    Webflow’s editor is harder to navigate than Squarespace, but it did make things simple by automatically creating member pages for my site once enabled. Source: Website Builder Expert

    And, like other website builders, you can manage everything from Webflow’s dedicated User panel – this can be used for granting access, viewing data, and more. So, where do things get a little more complicated?

    There are different setup processes for free and paid memberships.

    For free memberships, follow these steps:

    1. Select “Access groups” in the Users panel
    2. Create a new access group
    3. Select “Free access” as your group type
    4. Choose to add users manually or automatically with sign-up forms
    5. Add desired content to the “Restricted content” section of the group

    For paid memberships, you’ll need an ecommerce plan:

    1. Go to your Products and create a new product
    2. Choose “Membership” as your product type
    3. Add membership information, such as pricing and billing method
    4. Once your product has been created, go to “Access groups” in the Users panel
    5. Create a new access group
    6. Choose “Paid access” as your group type
    7. Decide who you’ll grant access to
    8. Input your “Associated membership products” to the group
    9. Assign any content or pages to the group or membership tier

    Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming – Webflow provides a helpful setup guide to make sure your membership website is on track, covering steps on designing log-in pages and creating access groups.

    Webflow's setup guide for membership areas
    I could follow the setup guide provided by Webflow to ensure my membership area was complete. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Our Recommendation

    Webflow is built with designers in mind so it’s not surprising that the interface and membership setup process is a little more complicated than other builders, such as Squarespace. We recommend Webflow for:

    • Businesses looking for advanced customization – Webflow doesn’t target beginners with its advanced website editor, but if you’re looking to craft unique membership pages without any design limitations, then Webflow could be a good fit.
    • Websites offering expert design courses – Given Webflow’s target audience, we think using Webflow to offer expert design courses or coding sessions would be a great way to utilize its membership tools.

    Read our Webflow Review for more information.

    5. For Professional Memberships: Simvoly

    • Membership score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
    • Simvoly Pricing: $12 – $149 per month (billed annually)

    Simvoly isn’t as established as other membership website builders on this list, such as Wix, but its membership tools are a good fit for certain niche markets. Professionals and businesses will feel at home with Simvoly’s templates and features, such as email marketing and sales funnel support.

    ✔️ What We Like
  • Simvoly’s simple interface is easy to navigate and beginner-friendly, with membership features accessible as soon as you log in
  • Simvoly’s sales funnel features cater to a business audience
  • Includes all of the membership basics, such as password-protected pages
  • ❌ What We Dislike
  • Simvoly’s focus on businesses limits its user base – for example, we wouldn’t recommend Simvoly for creatives because of its limited design options
  • You have to bounce between the frontend and backend dashboard to edit member pages or view member profiles
  • Setting Up Your Simvoly Membership Site

    You need to start in your Simvoly dashboard as opposed to the editor to set up a members area:

    1. Click “Contacts” in the top navigation bar
    2. Select “All Members” in the sidebar

    From here you can add new members individually or by group, edit information, create new groups, and set email notifications for members.

    Simvoly members dashboard
    I found Simvoly’s member dashboard to be pretty basic, but it clearly has professionals in mind with its minimalist style. Source: Website Builder Expert

    When back in the editor, you can create your desired member pages or add pre-designed “Membership/Course” pages to display your fees and what users can expect. To determine what members can see and what’s available to the public, simply change a page’s access settings. Simvoly isn’t as intuitive as Wix or Squarespace, for example, but it gets the job done.

    Simvoly page access settings
    To make my pages exclusive to members, I selected “Members Only” in the page access settings. Source: Website Builder Expert

    Our Recommendation

    Simvoly doesn’t pack a punch with its membership services, but it does offer everything you could need, such as password-protected pages and membership tiers. We recommend Simvoly for:

    • Professionals and B2B businesses – With its business-related tools, such as customizable sales funnels, Simvoly tailors its offering to professional memberships.

    How To Choose a Membership Website Builder

    You’ve made it this far but are you still unsure about which membership website builder to pick?

    There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when deciding, all related to your website needs:

    • What content do you want to offer your community?
    • How do you want to share content with members?
    • Do you want members to have access to everything? Will you release new content over time to keep things from getting stale?
    • Do you want your membership to last for a set length of time (e.g. with online courses)?

    A membership website is a protected area of your site that allows you to share exclusive content with members who sign up or subscribe. Your site should already be engaging to boost your online presence, but adding a membership is a great way to strengthen brand awareness and authority in the space.

    While it can be a fun way to generate buzz and improve your customer relationships, membership areas are also vital for small businesses, informational bases like school websites, and online communities, such as non-profit organizations.

    Our Testing Methodology

    We put all of our recommended website builders through a rigorous testing process to bring you data-driven and high-quality insights. Our aim is to help you find the perfect website builder for your needs, so we want to make sure you have all of the information you need.

    Our testing focuses on six categories: website features, design functionality, help and support, customer score, value for money, and user experience.

    To determine the best membership website builders, we’ve focused on our website builder research – particularly our members area tests within the category.

    Every website builder in this list scored 5 out of 5 for their membership features, so we’ve used our expertise and research to deliver recommendations based on need, such as a quick setup time or creative control.

    Best Membership Website Builders: Recap

    We’ve reviewed the best membership website builders on the market, and Wix is our top choice overall, whether you want to offer online courses or share exclusive content with your readers. It provides website owners and businesses with all of the tools they need to serve their members effectively, such as customizable forms and member rewards.

    Whether you’re hoping to create an exclusive club for your fans, share benefits with your visitors and committed followers, or set up a virtual library of sorts, creating a membership site adds real value to your online profile and these are the top membership website builders out there.

    For more expert advice on the topic, check out our guide on creating a membership website or get inspiration from these membership website ideas before you get started.

    FAQs

    To encourage more customers to purchase a subscription-based product or service, there are a few easy steps you can take. You want to promote and market these products effectively – we recommend social media or newsletters as a great way to push new items or remind customers what they’re missing out on! You could also engage with customers directly in comments or reviews to build those relationships. Alternatively, you could try offering a discount or exclusive deal to entice new customers.
    While there are membership website builders, like Wix and GoDaddy, that offer a free plan, there are drawbacks. These free plans come with ads and you can’t use a custom domain. Plus, if you want members to pay for access to exclusive content, you’ll need to be able to accept payments, which means shelling out for a premium plan.
    We recommend checking out the WordPress plugin, MemberPress. It’s an all-in-one membership solution to help your website share and monetize content with your select VIPs.
    Written by:
    emma ryan author bio
    Emma’s been a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert since 2022, having first-hand experience with website builders, such as Wix and Shopify, through hands-on testing and research analysis. Her work and expertise have been featured in Digiday, TechRound, Industry Today, and Digital Information World. Specializing in writing about website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers, Emma stays in the loop of industry updates by attending conferences such as eCommerce Expo and managing Website Builder Expert’s news articles.
    Researched by:
    natasha_willett
    I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
    As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.

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