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In Business Operations Last updated: August 31, 2023
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Very underrated, but membership sites can be really profitable if done right.

Building a community or membership portal can help you interact with your audience and open a stream of recurring income that grows year by year.

If you have a product that can be supplied monthly, for example, a fitness program, a singing course, or just about anything that people can learn over a period of time, then you can do a successful business out of it.

A couple of examples of membership sites that make a killing periodically are KetoConnect and LadyBoss Weight Loss. Both of them have raving reviews and keeps the customers glued to the program to achieve their goals, and it’s something from which we all can take inspiration in terms of how to deliver your product the right way.

But the real question is, how do you build a community or membership site? Well, it’s not that difficult, at least not with the tools and platforms that I am going to mention below.

If that sounds interesting, then let’s check them out. 🙂


BuddyBoss is built on WordPress and is trusted by over 50,000 businesses, including ProBlogger, InfusionSoft, and Foundr. Like other solutions in this list, it lets you build community sites, membership sites and sell courses with utmost freedom and flexibility.

You can use it for a variety of purposes, but if you’re using it for teaching purposes, then you’re in for a treat. The reason being, BuddyBoss allows you to create your own White label app within the platform, which your users can download on their mobile and learn your materials on the go. This is an absolute game-changer for your business.

Here are some main features that are worth mentioning:

  • Integrate with other WordPress plugins, like LearnDash
  • Create interactive quizzes
  • Drop feed content
  • Enable rewards, points, ranks, and achievements for people to engage on your site continually.
  • Flexible layouts and highly customizable elements
  • Multiple languages support

When you create a community using this solution, users will be able to make interest groups of their own, attend events, create their personalized profiles, share media, send private messages, and so much more.

Restrict Content Pro


Restrict Content Pro is an ultra-flexible WordPress membership plugin that has tons of options and customizations to meet most use cases.

And though it has a ‘Pro’ in its name, Restrict Content Pro has a forever free version which includes:

  • Content restriction
  • Membership tiers
  • Stripe integration
  • Invoices, etc.

The paid plans add priority support, over 30 pro-add-ons, and more.

The best thing about Restrict Content Pro is the ease of setting up paywalls. You can display previews before asking the audience to upgrade to view locked content.

In addition, it lets you create flat rates or percentage discounts. The content filtering works via membership status, access level, user role, etc.

What makes it even better is the effortless theme integration without writing any CSS. Besides, you can also make it work with other WordPress plugins via its excellent library of action hooks and filters.

Lastly, you can check the live previews to look at a few demos or try its free version for an in-depth assessment.


Mostly used to build a community platform or a knowledge base, Bettermode can help you increase customer lifetime value by providing them a hub for all their doubts and discussions. They can create posts, follow people, comment, upvote, and even share content from the community.

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You can utilize their ready-to-use widgets to make things more interesting and interactive, such as shopping windows and polls. It also lets you embed iFrame widgets and integrate the platform with other apps like Google Translate, Google Analytics, Messenger, and Zapier.

Bettermode is used by companies like IBM, Decathlon, and ConvertKit.


Trusted by some great companies out there, such as Teachable and Forte Labs, Circle can help you bring discussions, memberships, and amazing content in one place for your audience to interact and consume.

You can create a community for nearly every purpose, such of which include:

  • Membership
  • Course
  • Coaching
  • Podcast
  • Microschools
  • Newsletter
  • Startup

This solution can be white-labeled, which means you can slap your brand into it and make it your own to keep the professionalism intact in front of your audience.

Besides that, you can organize discussions into different categories, offer premium content for pro members and create clubs as per people’s interests so that they can join the discussions based on what they like.

It’s built to make real connections with your audience and allow member profiles, rich posts, direct messaging, and other features that would keep them glued to the platform.

Circle can be integrated with a ton of third-party apps to enhance further and automate your workflows.


Very easy to set up, MemberPress is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to build membership sites, sell courses, and other digital downloads with full control.

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It’s a powerful solution that also hands you the option to manage subscriptions, grant/revoke access to specific content for users based on their plan, and integrate with third-party apps like PayPal, ConvertKit, HelpScout.

Sites like WP Engine and WPbeginner have recommended MemberPress, and you can get started with the basic plan priced at $149/year. All of the plans include priority support, affiliate program, content dripping, content protection, and other fantastic features.

Mighty Networks

With a 14-day free trial, Mighty Networks is a community platform but does a lot more than just that. In fact, you can use it to build a website, sell online courses and create a membership model, among various other possibilities, all under your own brand.

It’s powerful and can handle your audience’s heavy-work to create a space where your business works for you rather than you working on it 24/7. It has a free plan to get started with, and that’s not bad at all, but the paid plans open a lot of doors for you, including integrations, premium analytics, moderators, etc.

However, all the plans are ad-free and come with smartphone apps to use on the go.


Another brilliant WordPress plugin, BuddyPress, is made for building community websites easily. It offers a bunch of cool features, some of which you won’t find elsewhere, such as:

  • Individual member profiles
  • Direct messaging
  • Micro-communities or groups for people with similar interests
  • Instant notifications and read/unread signals
  • Ability to add members as friends

This plugin is flexible and can be connected to other third-party apps to extend the functionality further. However, the best thing is that BuddyPress is completely free to use. There are no hidden costs involved. Just download, install and start assembling your own community website within minutes.


Easily sell courses, memberships and build a passionate community with Disciple. You can fully brand it as your own and even opt for the mobile app to explore millions of users from the app stores. It gives you total control over the content that you publish as well as the members that you let into the community.

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Apart from the usual features, here are some unique ones you should know about:

  • Ability to live stream
  • Utilize event calendar
  • Member moderation
  • Detailed analytics
  • Content reporting

Disciple is 100% secure, GDPR-compliant, and receives updates regularly with new features. Another good thing is that you can utilize their public API to integrate the community platform with your existing tools.


Start creating a membership for video tutorials, courses, directors, and anything you want with MemberSpace. It allows users to lock the access to specific webpage enabling members-only entry. The tool is easy to use and doesn’t require any coding experience to leverage.

It offers several features like:

  • Instant payouts
  • Abandoned signups
  • Upgrades and downgrades
  • Unlimited members
  • Connect unlimited sites
  • Automated upsells
  • Failed charge recovery

It is popular with CMS like Squarespace and WordPress as it doesn’t impact any features or get locked to the system. MemberSpace offers a free migration service that makes it painless to migrate from any software.

It offers seamless integration with the podcast, directory Zapier, Stripe, Forum, and affiliate. The software is mobile responsive and offers VIP support. Along with this, users can add it anywhere, avail of custom styling, and use API on data attributes.


Outseta is an all-in-one membership tool with all the features a membership portal should have. Ranging from payment integration and CRM to email and authentication, it has everything to offer.


It offers you the necessary tools to quickly monetize your Saas Product, online community, or website. It enables you to present your product in the market faster and manage the whole business from a single platform.

It lets you provide a responsive helpdesk to your members and thus deliver the best customer service. Here you can give users the ability to manage their profiles and related upgrades or downgrades.


Memberful is a great option for independent publishers, creators, and partner features. Podcasters, educators, or more. It offers best-in-class monetization facilities that let you establish subscription plans of your choice.


With this software, you can easily optimize checkouts, monitor analytics through its dashboard, and manage members. You can utilize Memberful for gated content, newsletters, private podcasts, online courses, creation communities, etc.

It does not require any kind of coding. It lets you easily integrate with new partner features.


Whether you want to create an online community, an educational program, a career center, or more, YourMembership is ideal for all. Over 5000 associations that are using YourMembership have experienced increased profitability and productivity.


The various membership solutions it offers can help drive traffic and engage more people than ever. You can save time and put your efforts into more required areas.

It features membership management, web design and hosting, workflow automation, accounting and payment, and more.


The above solutions will help you keep your audience engaged and retained by providing them a space to interact with you and other like-minded people who’re on the same page as them.

  • Adnan Rehan
    Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior writer for Geekflare who loves breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand pieces. He has also written for sites like Sparkian and Techkle. Besides work, you can find him on the football turf or… read more
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