In this guest blog Sam Cannell of The Fabulous Woman Project discusses how to DIY your membership site including:
- Her challenges with selecting a membership platform
- Ensuring your site is easy to navigate
- Making your site beautifully branded (even on a budget!)
Choosing a Platform
When I first launched my online program in February 2014 I had absolutely no idea which membership platform I would use. It was a last minute scramble I decided to try out OptimizePress and it didn’t take too long for me to become frustrated with their templates. I moved over to Simplero for a while but when I decided to invest in Infusionsoft in September I knew that I wanted to take my membership platform back onto my own domain. I also wanted it to look much more visually appealing than my previous membership sites… I want my course participants to feel like they are in a beautiful home and a space where they feel comfortable to be themselves whenever they are logged into the membership site.
I ended up selecting Wishlist as my membership plug-in of choice and I already had a theme installed on my WordPress site (Bluechic theme) so I started to play with customising my theme to make it look more like a membership site. It really didn’t take long for me to realize that this new membership site was going to look amazing. I already had great content for my members but I wanted the experience of being logged in to feel wonderful too.
For me the priority was ensuring the top navigation menu was easy to follow, I have 12 weeks of content plus a lot of bonuses – basic web design principles of navigation definitely apply to membership sites too. I have been a part of some eCourses where the navigation is terrible! I believe that navigation plays a huge role in the user experience of a membership site.
I also included a Welcome video on the front page of the membership site to explain where members can find everything.
Making it beautiful
The next step was making it look beautiful and I have used imagery with buttons to do this. I also keep my colour scheme very simple.
All of the buttons and images in my membership site are created using PicMonkey. I have the Royale subscription, which means I can use my own fonts and keep my branding consistent. I used simple grey overlays over each image so that the text would be easier to read.
For my sparkly module buttons I simply downloaded a glitter background .jpg file from Etsy, which cost me $3! (Etsy is one of my favourite resources for gorgeous website graphics). This was then used as the background as the buttons and I used Picmonkey again to create these with my own fonts. To save time I created all of the images in one evening, once you get into the flow it really doesn’t take long to whip up some gorgeous buttons in Picmonkey!
A fantastic DIY outcome
I have found Wishlist to be really easy to use, it’s just like editing normal WordPress pages so with a gorgeous theme and some simple graphics customisation it is possible to create a stunning DIY membership site.
The feedback from my existing members on this new membership site has been fantastic. They are finding it easier to navigate and love how beautiful it looks!