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We specialize in online course and membership website designs. Just for you!

Uniquely Designed, High Converting, and Easy To Use Websites

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“Harrison is more brilliant than he realizes.  His ability to research and find the most optimal features for a website place him head and shoulders above other site developers.  Harrison listens, really listens and that is rare.  He waits until he is clear on the client’s vision before moving forward.  Harrison holds the broad vision of serving his clients for years to come so he does not skimp or hurry as he builds.  He knows he is saving everyone future trouble by thinking things through and working with fierce precision.  He is my tech-hero!”

Jennifer Lynn

Global Yoga Flow – Online Membership Website • Maui, Hawaii

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Membership Website Design

Ever want a file, a piece of info or find the perfect solution to your problem only to find out that you have to be a member to a paid site to get it? It’s very frustrating but that’s what membership sites are for, premium, hard-to-get and sometimes exclusive content, products and services. You could set up one as well based on what interests you and tons of like-minded people. If you’re into photography, you could set up a paid photography membership site where members can share stock photos with each other. If you’re into toy collections, you could set up a community of collectors and offer up exclusive collectibles, offer a newsletter subscription and set up conventions. You could collect monthly, quarterly or annual membership fees as well as ad revenue to boost your income.

Here are seven easy-to-follow steps in designing and creating a membership website:

  • Begin, even if you feel you’re not ready – if you have enough passion for something and have even a bit of entrepreneurial flair, you’re ready. Just like writing, or acting, you’ll never know until you actually write something and enter in auditions. Going into any business is a risk but you’ll never know ‘til you start. All journeys begin with that first step. Once the site is set up, start rounding up members with good content and ridiculously low fees, plus something like free paperweights upon membership.
  • If you’re already a membership site member, study it – you’ll definitely need a basis or a framework for your membership website. There’s no real definitive guide to creating websites, just mainstream principles that can be adapted for various purposes. So the best reference for any fledgling membership site are other membership sites. What does your current membership site has to offer? The ability to comment on articles? The ability to post in the forums? Free downloadable white papers? Free access to exclusive content? Websites of course are not perfect so if something’s not right on the site you’re a member of, correct it on your new site. Don’t start until you’ve experienced membership yourself. Subscribe to one you’re comfortable with for a month or two and absorb what you can.
  • Constant interactions with members – members need to know you exist which gives them added comfort that there’s someone to suggest or complain to in order to get their money’s worth. Membership sites with active owners and admins give visitors a compelling reason to join in. It means you or someone else is active in keeping with the promised content of the site. Interactions can include:
    1. Live seminars, webinars or podcasts where members can ask important questions
    2. Regular posts in the forums to keep members updated on what’s going on
    3. Live chats
    4. Private Facebook page
    5. Contact forms to an email account that issues read receipts
  • Have group events or online challenges – if you feel your members aren’t interacting enough on your site, hold some sort of online event complete with challenges. Something like a scavenger hunt, a video, photo or writing contest. Prizes are often great motivators along with long speeches about attaining certain goals.
  • Free slots – it’s recommended to have your membership site open to casual visitors with free content but keep the juicy ones to yourselves. Nothing invites free-floating non-affiliated repeaters that haunt your sites more than free membership. They’ll pay eventually to keep the juicy stuff flowing in. Others are just itching to give their opinions on something and a free membership gives them the license to rant, rave or claim power, which they’ll gladly pay to keep.
  • Be supportive of newbies – In the fortuitous event your website becomes successful, by then you’ll have amassed a great library of content. Newbies often ask for content or questions that have already been discussed in detail. Design or improve the site so they’ll find that content quickly and easily and answer anything they didn’t get. Have a noticeable search box ready on every page and design the site with a good indexing functionality.
  • Adapting to members’ needs – As websites grow, so does the need for improvement. Calls for improvement will come from your members which must take precedence over your own epiphany. Monitor and take note of any suggestions from members and try to follow on the most requested. Don’t hesitate to ask for their opinions in case of cricket noise which does imply you need to improve.

“Precise. Helpful. And incredibly knowledgable. When it comes to WordPress technical problems, Harrison is my go-to guy for solutions. He’s always quick to respond and shows me tricks I never thought possible with WordPress development. On top of that, Harrison is a top notch designer.”

David Anderson

Nitroworks Marketing • Denver, Colorado

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Five Tips to Improve Membership Website Design

Membership websites are a great way to add income for individuals passionate over something as well as for businesses. But for them to be effective, they have to be interesting, helpful, easy-to-use, and is consistent with the vision or product for the community it represents. The following are five tips to improve the performance of community websites.

  • Know your members’ and their needs – this tip works well for starting membership websites or those that already exist and is the most important. As Mr. Spock said before, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. It’s identifying and solving the needs of the many current and potential members of the website. Identify potential the pain-points or issues and problems for your website. Identifying issues of other sites would be a great help aside from communicating with founding and potential members. For existing sites, openly discuss these pain-points with your members. Is the site slow? Is the site difficult to log into? Are there missing functionalities? Is the site secure? Any ideas on how to improve? A good suggestion is for administrators to create other personas to communicate with members wary of the ‘administration’. It’s sometimes the quiet ones that have the most to say.
  • Improve First, Add Later – it’s very easy for projects to get lost in their own expansions. The first few floors of the building are habitable so let’s add the rest. Habitable means bare walls, doors with no locks and no air conditioning. It’s important for the membership site to be functional or to work with minimal issues. The website should be able to accept members, post content, log-in securely and accept payment if any. It has to be attractive on the get-go even without animations, tickers, and smooth menus. They’ll be added eventually and you’ll make sure they know it. But it’s best for the members to be comfortable with the product first. To know that it works without a hitch. The website first needs to be simple to use and understand. Add those features later and over time, while your members are pining for those features, you’ll get an idea of what’s important. By doing this, the website can launch earlier with early members enjoying a working site while waiting for the promise of improvements.
  • Easy Access – the website needs to be easy-to-use. Navigating the website needs to be as simple as possible easily giving access to members the tools and resources they’re entitled to. Hinder them in any way then frustration sets in. Rinse with frustration and repeat, members will let themselves out to dry. Navigation needs to be as simple as possible, easy to understand and not too deep. Members can’t always bookmark their favorite sections on membership websites.
  • Detailing and Support – websites are like apps and software programs themselves. In fact, many websites disguise themselves as apps on mobile devices with the icons serving only as shortcuts to data and functionality in some remote server and not on the device itself. All apps and programs need detailed instructions, manuals and support to guide users on their proper use. Without proper guidance, newer members of membership websites can easily get lost or misguided. They tend to break rules and or get frustrated and lose their membership. A clear, separate rules and FAQ page is essential as well as Terms of Use legalese, but no one other than lawyers bother with such. Having a user forum is an important element wherein members can engage, communicate and assist one another. Membership sites without chats or forums would be an abnormality. Newer members who often seek help and look for content can be assisted by admin or veteran members. Website admins or owners can later empower older users to guide new ones and enforce rules themselves.
  • Engagement Tools – membership websites should not be without some form interaction or engagement. Engagement tools should be factored into the design of the membership website. Members should be allowed to comment on website posts. Opinionated visitors often become website members when they encounter an engaging article and come back for more. Aside from comments, chat rooms and direct to email communications are staples of many membership websites. Other forms of interaction include polls and social media sharing. It’s a good idea for admins and website owners to use analytic tools to gauge member activity so as to improve on much-used engagement tools and lose the rarely used ones to optimize the site.

“Harrison really knows his WordPress stuff. He guided me through some problems I was having with formatting my pages. I still have a lot to learn, and I will schedule another session with him to get my questions answered.”

Donna Mosher

Authentic Living • Tulsa, Oklahoma

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