12 Best Membership Platforms and Software for 2024

Building a membership site or subscription program and not sure which tool to use? Here are the best membership platforms and software tools to use in 2024. 

Joanna Taylor

By Joanna Taylor  •  Updated 5 April 2024

Best Membership Platforms

Content creators are successful when they have a place to connect with their audience, build their brand, and maximize their earning potential.

That’s why membership site platforms are so important. They give you the tools to effectively manage a community and expand your reach.

But with so many membership software options out there, choosing the right platform for your membership site can quickly become very complicated. 

In this article, we will explore the best membership platforms on the market, highlighting the core strengths of each platform to help you choose the best home for your membership site.

What To Look for In a Membership Platform

Each membership site is different, with its own unique needs, and that’s why we have focused on factors relevant to every type of membership platform.

Course Creation

Depending on how you want to serve your members, offering online courses is a great way to enrich and upskill your subscribers. There is also the added benefit of recurring revenue from course sales.

You will need a platform that lets you create online courses and control access to your content. A library of well-designed templates is also essential to quickly set everything up without coding skills.

Community Building Tools

The idea behind membership sites is to create a space where like-minded people can interact and share ideas.

Your membership site platform must provide features that encourage interaction, like chat forums, member profiles, live events, comments, and moderation tools that help maintain a sanitized space.

Automated Workflows

At the bare minimum, you should be able to create and schedule emails to be sent to your members to celebrate in-platform milestones and personal achievements. They help engage members and nurture your relationship with them.

Some platforms are also leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to help users automate aspects of the content ideation and creation process.

Marketing Tools

The most successful membership sites on the web today got to where they are because they generated awareness and successfully convinced people to check out their content.

Your platform should give you the tools you need to entice potential subscribers. You should be able to offer perks like discounts, coupons, and free trials.

Intuitive User Experience

Avoid overly complicated platforms that require hours of training before you can figure out the purpose of each feature and how it can help you achieve your goals.

Your members must also be able to find their way around the platform easily. Read online customer reviews to see what current users say regarding the platform's ease of use.

Integrations

The easiest way to integrate your new membership platform with your existing ecosystem of software apps is to ensure your membership site builder supports them. 

Support for your payment provider, CMS platform, email marketing platform, and accounting software is particularly crucial.

Tiered Membership access

It’s essential to offer multiple membership levels to ensure customers only have to pay for the package that best meets their needs and budget.

Your platform should also give you the tools to manage how your members consume your content. You should be able to choose between drip-feeding your content and offering everything at once.

12 Best Membership Platforms

This list will focus on the core strengths of each platform to help you easily identify which site builder has the best suite of features for the peculiar needs of your membership site.

We wrote this article to make your life easier, so each platform listed below has an intuitive user interface and excellent customer support.

Here's our top list of the best membership platforms for your membership site:

    1. Kourses (Best for courses & communities)

    This platform is a powerful membership site builder that will help you build white-label course portals with extensive community features.

    Kourses is designed around Content Hubs that facilitate interactive membership. Each hub will include an online course, content page, digital files, lesson comments, feeds, and its own mini-community of members.

    Kourses membership platforms

    That way, your site members will be organized into spaces that are of the most interest to them. Discussions will flow more naturally, drastically increasing the chances that members will bond with one another.

    A close-knit community will lead to repeat visits and a thriving community of loyal subscribers. You just need to focus on keeping your content relevant, and the revenues will flow in.

    In addition, there is a churn rate detection tool that helps you track members that are dropping off. You have complete control over content visibility, and you can revoke the access of members flouting your moderation rules.

    Kourses Features

    Content Hubs: create a thriving mini-community around each online course with features like lesson commenting.
    Superfast Video Hosting: all your video files will be stored on Kourses’ super fast servers to ensure world-class download latency wherever your members may be.
    Lesson Scheduling: drip-feed your content to your members to grow retention or make everything available immediately to facilitate self-paced learning
    Membership Levels: you can create multiple membership tiers that cater to the specific needs of each subscriber.
    Product Promos: upsell your services and digital products to an attentive community of people already persuaded by your problem-solving skills.
    Integrations: connect your membership site with the CRM, email marketing, and auto-responder systems you are using to run your business.
    Payment Processing: you can use your existing checkout solution to accept payments with support for popular systems like OptimizeCheckouts, ThriveCart, SamCart, Stripe, Paypal, etc.

    Kourses Pricing

    Kourses is currently closed for access release, but you can join the early adopter waitlist.

    2. OptimizePress [OptimizeMentor] (Best WordPress users)

    If you want to build a WordPress-based site, the OptimizeMentor plugin is a complete membership site-building solution for WordPress users.

    It is part of the OptimizePress suite of WordPress tools, and it will provide you with pre-designed membership site templates you can use to create structured courses and online communities.

    You have complete control over access to your content pages, posts, and feeds. Monetizing that access is easy, and you can create membership tiers and set up recurring payments.

    OptimizeMentor also integrates seamlessly with OptimizeFunnels. It lets you use pre-built funnels to create landing pages and set up automated email sequences. Each page can be customized to fit your brand using OptimizeBuilder.

    The leads you attract with your marketing campaign can be enticed to check out more content using promo tools available on OptimizeCheckouts, like coupon codes and discounts.

    OptimizeMentor Features

    WordPress Compatibility: set up your course membership site using the powerful OptimizeMentor plugin that works seamlessly with all WordPress themes.
    Gorgeous Templates: you can customize any of the professionally designed membership site templates to suit your vision using OptimizeBuilder
    White Label Membership Site: use your logo and brand colors in the design of your website.
    OptimizeBuilder Dynamic Values: you can track each member's course progress and view your subscribers' profiles.
    OptimizeCheckouts: use the payment gateway to set up recurring subscriptions and accept payments for your digital tools.
    Integrations: the platform integrates seamlessly with other WordPress plugins and third-party apps like Mailchimp, Zapier, and more.
    OptimizeUniversity: take best-in-class WordPress training courses to help you master the CMS and build a thriving online business.

    OptimizePress Pricing

    You must subscribe to the OptimizePress Suite plan or the Suite Pro plan to use the OptimizeMentor plugin.

    • Cost: Both plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee, Suite plan (1 site) - $199/year / Suite Pro (5 sites) $249/year 

    3. Mighty Networks (Best for building online communities)

    Mighty Networks is a powerful all-in-one membership platform that combines features for creating courses, content libraries, online forums, and live events under one roof.

    It lets you set up Spaces that are essentially mini-communities where members can access your pre-recorded courses, live coaching sessions, and events.

    Mighty Networks Membership Platform

    Each space is equipped with social networking features like chat groups, member directories, and Facebook-style timelines that showcase the activity of each member.

    The main issue with the platform is that it tries to do too many things, and it's not great at anything. Its course creation features are notably lacking compared to platforms like Kourses and OptimizePress.

    Mighty Networks Features

    Spaces: share any type of content in any format with your members, including courses, content libraries, and events.
    Live Streaming: you can organize in-person gatherings for your membership community, and there is a live chat feature to help ensure they are fully engaged.
    Monetization: customers can pay in hundreds of currencies to access individual Spaces or a bundle of Spaces.
    Mobile Apps: set up white-label membership apps on iOS and Android with Mighty Pro

    Mighty Networks Drawbacks

    It lacks native video hosting for online courses unless you are on the expensive MightyPro or Business plans
    You won’t be able to use discounts and coupons to promote your content
    It doesn’t support online courses and third-party integrations in its basic plan
    You will pay a transaction fee that can be as high as 3% on all plans

    Pricing

    Pricing starts at $33/month, and it’s free for the first two months if you paid for an annual plan.

    4. Uscreen.tv (Best for on-demand video content)

    If you are a video content creator interested in managing your entire business on one platform, the Uscreen.tv membership platform has all the tools you need to create gated video libraries on your own white-label website.

    It will provide you with a drag-and-drop site builder that you can use to set up a Netflix-like website with your video content organized into categories and collections.

    Visitors to your site can rent a video, make a one-time purchase, or become paying members.

    You can also use it to set up a live-streaming service; every subscription plan includes video hosting.

    Key Features

    Branded Video Libraries: create your own website in the mould of Apple TV or Netflix that you can use to monetize your video content.
    Live Streaming: you can set up a live streaming service with features like live chat and member challenges to keep your audience engaged.
    Marketing: automate lead generation with pre-designed sales funnels that will help attract and keep members.
    Monetization: you can generate recurring revenue by charging site visitors for rentals and one-time purchases of your videos.

    Drawbacks

    It is quite expensive with basic plans starting from $149/month
    You must pay extra once you exceed your video storage limits
    It's drag and drop builder has limited template customization options

    Pricing

    There is a free trial period, and the basic plan costs $149/month.

    5. AccessAlly (Best for coaches)

    AccessAlly is a powerful all-in-one WordPress plugin that gives you all the tools to create your own e-learning platform.

    It’s primarily designed for coaches and trainers. You can use the flexible builder to create coaching portals with features for private note-taking, assignment submissions, and badges upon course completion.

    AccessAlly won’t be the right fit for everyone. The wide range of functionality available on the platform can be overkill for the needs of many content creators.

    Key Features

    Individual Coaching Portals: create one space for each trainer to ensure your members can focus on learning their unique knowledge
    Dripped Courses: you can drip-release your courses and track the progress of each member in real-time.
    Autogenerated Certificates: grant qualified members branded PDF certificates you can autofill with their details when they complete training programs.
    Flat Subscription Fee: pay the same monthly fee, no matter how many courses and coaching portals you create.

    Drawbacks

    Its community building features are only available in it's most expensive subscription plan
    You may find that the platform is too bloated for your needs
    It doesn't provide video hosting

    Pricing

    There is a 60-day money-back guarantee and pricing starts at $82/month.

    6. Kajabi (Best for advanced email marketing)

    If you want to create a premium membership course, the Kajabi platform offers powerful course creation features plus the marketing tools needed to promote and sell your content.

    You will get membership templates with ready-to-use sales funnels you can use to attract leads to your website and convert them into paying subscribers.

    Kajabi Membership Platform

    It lets you use an automated email marketing system to segment your target audience and send personalized emails directly from your dashboard.

    Community building is the one area where Kajabi falls short. Such an expensive platform lacks most of the tools needed to build online spaces where your members can interact freely and build relationships.

    Key Features

    Course Creation: use the drag-and-drop builder to create content pages and podcasts that your members can access on the web or via a mobile app
    Automated Marketing: you can use its powerful lead-generation tools to create optimized landing pages and sales funnels.
    Blogging: use the platform’s blogging functionality to build brand awareness via content marketing
    Live Events: host live video broadcasts that you can promote with a countdown timer on your homepage.

    Drawbacks

    It is considerably more expensive than other alternative course membership platforms
    You may be unhappy with its limited community-building features
    It's extensive marketing tools may be overkill for the needs of most content creators

    Pricing

    There is a free trial period, and pricing starts at $199/month.

    Recommended for you

    We know Kajabi has plenty of features, but it gets expensive fast. You might like to check out our guide to cheaper alternatives to Kajabi.

    7. Wild Apricot (Best for nonprofits)

    This is a dynamic site builder with powerful membership management tools that make it perfect for clubs, associations, and nonprofits. 

    Websites created using Wild Apricot come with integrated member directories and features for setting up fundraising campaigns.

    Wild Apricot Membership Platform

    You can organize events on the platform and send automated reminders to your members. Volunteers can download the site’s app to manage their profiles and participate in events.

    Key Features

    Website Builder: use the drag-and-drop builder to set up your website with a custom domain provided by Wild Apricot for free.
    Event Manager: you can create any type of event, add the date to the public calendar, and set up payment gateways for members who want to contribute financially.
    Fundraising Campaigns: you can add donation forms to your website and even set up recurring donations from specific members
    Mobile App: create Android and iOS mobile apps that can be used by subscribers and board members to access your website on the go.

    Drawbacks

    It's is a relatively expensive platform for someone with a limited budget
    You will be disappointed by its sparse support for third-party integrations
    Wild Apricot is a membership platform with limited community-building features
    The dated design detracts from your content.

    Pricing

    There is a 30-day free trial period, and pricing starts at $60/month.

    8. Kartra (Best for affiliate marketing)

    If you want to attract a large audience to your e-learning platform, Kartra will give you the tools you need to recruit and incentivize affiliate marketers to help sell your digital product. 

    It's a very robust platform that lets you create any type of content, including courses, videos, webinars, podcasts, and audio files, and gives you a wide range of tools to promote your content.

    The platform is particularly unique for its affiliate marketing features. You can use it to build a network of affiliate marketers, set multiple commission tiers, and control when and how they are paid.

    There are other marketing features, including automated email marketing and pre-designed sales and lead funnels.

    Key Features

    Site Builder: create a website with your own custom domain and customize it with the drag-and-drop builder
    Content Scheduling: drip-release your course content over time and track the progress of each member
    Katra Funnels: use pre-designed funnel templates to attract and convert customers
    Katra Affiliate Management: you can recruit and manage an army affiliates to help sell your digital product

    Drawbacks

    Its basic plan lacks key features, and the higher-level plans are pretty expensive
    You can’t create any mobile apps for your membership platform
    It prioritizes marketing and lacks community building features

    Pricing

    There is a 30-day money-back guarantee and the popular Silver plan costs $229/month

    9. Podia (Best budget-friendly solution)

    Podia has a decent free plan, and its paid plans also offer good value for money.

    Another key perk is that it lets you scale your membership site without additional costs. You are allowed as many courses, content pages, students, and email subscribers as you need.

    It is no cheap, basic membership site. You can use it to create beautiful websites for selling online courses and digital products.

    Your content can be monetized with subscriptions and one-time payments. There is also an impressive automated email marketing feature that lets you sell your digital products to the people on your email list without having to pay for a third-party tool.

    Key Features

    Website Builder: set up a forever free website in 10 minutes using pre-designed templates
    Digital Products: you can sell almost any type of content on the platform, including courses, ebooks, webinars, and more
    Podia Emails: upsell your digital products to paying subscribers on your email list
    Promotions: you can offer coupon vouchers and discounts to entice new members

    Drawbacks

    It lacks robust community-building tools
    You won’t be happy with its limited website customization options
    It lacks phone support

    Pricing

    Podia Pricing

    There is a free plan, and paid plans start at $39/month.

    Recommended for you

    Be sure to check out our complete guide to the best Podia alternatives

    10. Patreon (Best for crowdfunding)

    If you are looking to create an online space where your fans can donate to support your content creation activities, the Patreon platform lets you set up personalized pages that you can use to sell merchandise and raise recurring funds.

    You can encourage your fans to subscribe by offering exclusive access to premium content and raise more funds by selling branded merch like t-shirts, cups, etc.

    Only a few content creators raise substantial funds, and you can only really succeed on the platform if you have a dedicated following on major social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Key Features

    Free Patreon Accounts: create an online space where your fans can support you by paying for perks like access to exclusive content and shoutouts in your videos
    Merch Sales: you can sell simple, branded items like hoodies, t-shirts, and stickers to your patrons to raise funds
    Patreon Community Guidelines: comply with the platform’s rules regarding your content and merch sales, and you will stay away from trouble

    Drawbacks

    It lacks robust community-building tools
    You will find it challenging to raise funds unless you are already popular
    Its features are not truly free since the company gets a cut of your earnings

    Pricing

    Patreon Pricing Membership Platforms

    Depending on your subscription plan, you can expect to pay at least 8% of your earnings each month. 

    Which is the best membership platform to use in 2023?

    You'll see from our list above that we've evaluated both hosted (SaaS) and self-hosted (WordPress) membership platforms in our list of tools for your membership site.

    When choosing your membership platform, you should consider the following:

    • Your budget
    • Specific features you require
    • The flexibility you require
    • Your technical ability

    If you're looking for greater flexibility and reduced cost, you might consider a WordPress based solution like OptimizePress with OptimizeMentor. This does come with a slightly increased learning curve.

    If you need a platform that is self-contained, but needs minimal technical skills we'd recommend considering a platform like Kourses.

    Create. Engage. Profit

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    The power to create beautiful membership portals that make your content the star of the show. Engaging experiences. Powerful business tools.

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