Are you looking for the best membership site examples to get inspiration?
WordPress is used by some of the biggest and most popular membership sites in the world. By looking at successful membership sites you can learn what they’re doing and improve your site.
In this article, we’ll share some of the best membership site examples that you can use for inspiration and direction.
What Do You Need to Build a WordPress Membership Website?
WordPress makes it easy to build nearly any kind of membership website. For example, you can put content behind a paywall, run an online community with a forum, sell pay-per-view content, bundle online courses, and more.
A membership site can be an addon to your existing WordPress blog, or be a standalone online business.
To get started with your own membership site you’ll need four main things:
- A domain name: This is the address for your website (ours is wpbeginner.com)
- Web hosting: This is where you’ll store your website files, and visitors can access your site
- A website builder: This lets you easily build a membership website without code.
- A membership addon: This will add membership functionality to your WordPress site.
Usually, a domain name will cost around $15-20 per year, and web hosting starts from $7.95 per month. When you’re just starting, this can be a big investment.
Luckily, Bluehost has agreed to offer our readers a huge discount on web hosting, along with a free domain name, and a free SSL certificate. You can get started for as low as $2.75 per month.
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Next, you need to make sure you’re using the right version of WordPress. We recommend using the self-hosted WordPress.org version because it gives you access to all the features you need right out of the box. For more details, see our comparison of WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
You also need a high quality WordPress membership theme and WordPress membership plugin.
If you want to sell subscriptions, paid content, or digital downloads, then a feature-rich membership plugin, like MemberPress, is a great option.
MemberPress is used by thousands of site creators who have together earned over $1 billion in revenue.
To have your site up and running as fast as possible, see our ultimate guide to creating a WordPress membership site.
With that said, let’s look at some of the best membership site examples that you can use as inspiration when building your own membership site.
1. Book Riot
Book Riot is one of the biggest and most popular book blogs in the world. There’s all kinds of content for book lovers, including reviews, podcasts, author interviews, and more.
Readers can join a unique membership program called Book Riot Insiders, an online book club with access to exclusive podcasts, email newsletters, deals, giveaways, and much more.
Copyblogger is a long-running WordPress blog that offers all kinds of valuable articles on content marketing, improving writing skills, growing an online business, and much more.
It uses a membership program to power its writing service and academy for new writers.
3. The Script Lab
The Script Lab is a very useful online platform for screenwriters. There’s an active blog, screenplay competition listings, and a massive script library.
To get access to the script library, readers will need to become a member. There are multiple membership levels to get access to different features.
4. Nomadic Matt
Nomadic Matt is a very popular travel blog for people looking to travel longer while on a budget. The site provides valuable travel tips, resources, virtual events, and more.
Beyond the helpful free content, there’s a paid membership community that gives readers access to courses, guidebooks, discounts, giveaways, and much more.
5. 40 Aprons
40 Aprons is a high traffic food blog that provides healthy recipes for families. There are recipes for all types of diets and cuisines.
Members get access to an ad-free reading experience along with premium content, recipes, resources, and more.
Copyhackers is one of the most popular and well-known websites for copywriters. It provides a variety of articles, videos, and resources for copywriters and business owners looking to improve their craft.
There’s a paid membership program called Copy School that offers members the best training on ads, emails, funnels, and more.
7. Mark Manson
Mark Manson is one of the most popular personal development blogs, with millions of monthly readers. The popularity of the blog led to multiple New York Times and Amazon best-selling books.
There’s also a paid membership component where members can access exclusive articles and audio, a course catalog, ebooks, and more.
8. The Measured Mom
The Measured Mom is a website that provides math and literacy resources for child educators. There are all kinds of useful articles, printables, book lists, a podcast, and more.
The site is monetized with digital downloads and a premium membership program to access the resource library, discounts, courses, and more.
9. BiteSize Bio
BiteSize Bio is an online resource for everything related to biology, genes, biochemistry, and much more.
There’s also a membership community aspect, where readers, researchers, and mentors can engage with each other. Dedicated experts can also host webinars, publish articles, and more.
SkillCrush is an online coding and design school to help people break into a career in tech. It provides free content with a simple online course and a blog.
It’s monetized by a huge membership academy that provides a ton of online courses and career and education paths.
11. Be More with Less
Be More with Less is a blog and online community dedicated to minimalism. The website offers blog posts, courses, podcasts, and more.
It’s monetized with an exclusive VIP membership program that offers members an exclusive community, a resource library, virtual calls, and more.
12. Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute at the University of Buffalo provides helpful information about the research institute and its contributions to the field of biology.
There’s a membership program for donors who want to contribute. High level donors get access to a VIP platform where they get benefits like members-only events, behind the scenes information, and more.
13. Teach Beside Me
Teach Beside Me is an online community for homeschoolers looking for creative teaching ideas. There are all kinds of free content, including an active blog and podcast.
Premium members can get access to done-for-you teaching ideas and free access to the growing premium content library.
Booooooom is one of the most popular online platforms for new artists to get discovered. It’s helped to launch the careers of many artists across the globe.
There’s a paid membership program where artists can apply for open calls, submit their work to be featured, and get discounts in the online store.
Toolshero is a global online community dedicated to helping its user learn new skills. There are all kinds of valuable resources to help support professional development, like articles, original research, and videos.
There’s a premium membership plan where users can access professional articles, worksheets and templates, questionnaires, an ad-free reading experience, and more.
16. The Sweet Spot
The Sweet Spot is a local business that offers customers an interactive Topgolf experience. It has activities like golf and sports simulators, golf lessons, and more.
Customers get different perks like discounts, reservations in advance, and more, depending on the membership level.
17. Bulletproof Musician
Bulletproof Musician is a WordPress website dedicated to helping musicians perform better under pressure. There are all kinds of free resources like articles and introductory courses.
It makes money by selling one on one coaching, group coaching, and in-depth courses powered by a membership program.
18. See JH
See JH is a travel website that provides all kinds of helpful information and live stream videos of the Jackson Hole region.
There’s also a membership portion where users can access discounts, high-quality live cams to see the weather conditions, and more.
We hope this article helped you find some of the best membership site examples using WordPress. You may also want to see our picks of the must have WordPress plugins and tools for business sites and our guide on how to choose the best domain name registrar.
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