Your website is the first touch that new and current members have for your organization. Having a membership site that looks beautiful, is easy to navigate and loads properly is key. This is true for associations, chambers of commerce, nonprofits or any other member-based organization. A well-designed membership website will elevate your mission, engage members and help win over potential members. If you’re interested in creating or updating your member website, a membership site builder can help. What is a Membership Website Builder? Your membership website builder is the platform you use to design your website, publish and maintain your membership website. Membership website builders should have the tools to help you easily maintain, update and personalize your website. A membership website builder should let you: Publish articles / blogs posts Build informational landing pages Host member application forms Update a members calendar Share your mission and vision with the public Building your website isn't just about what you put on it. Your membership website builder should make it easy to build beautiful pages for your current and potential members. Membership Site Builder FAQs What is a membership website? A membership website is a website that caters to two audiences — current and prospective members. Prospective members can use the site to: Learn more about your organization Explore member benefits Fill out a member application form Existing members should be able to: Access members-only content Log in to your online community or community forums Pay dues and renew membership Access event calendars Explore job postings on your job board Take online courses to interact with your organization and their fellow members. Job Board example What features should I look for in a website builder? You want a functional, robust website that drives new membership and engages current members. Having a membership website builder that is easy to use is key to achieving these goals. Some website builders offer a bare-bones design platform. Others are fully equipped with many features to guide your website-building process. These are the "must-have" features you should look for when browsing website builders: Integration with your membership management system: Having an integrated website and membership management system saves you time and hassle. Plus, it means you don't need to manually update data between systems. Design tools or support: If you’ve got a more experienced web designer on staff, search for an option that allows you to build pages and forms from scratch and integrate your Google Analytics account to access website analytics. If you’re a web design beginner, look for a provider that offers design support services, too. Members-only content: This feature is key because it allows you to separate members-only content from content that’s freely available to all visitors. Permissions should include distinctions between public and private content, member and non-member content, board member-only content, and other labels. Membership directory: Your website builder should be able to handle the creation and ongoing maintenance of a membership directory that brokers authentic member connections. This allows members to view one another’s basic contact information to enable networking opportunities. How much do membership website builders cost? The price range for membership website builders varies depending on each provider and the level of features and functionality they offer. Some website builders are included in your association management software price or offered in a bundle along with other management solutions. Be sure to ask you AMS provider about their website building options. The cost of your website isn't just on the website builder. There are other costs that go into a membership website. Domain name: Domain name = your URL. Some membership website builders allow you to purchase a domain name within their platform or you can purchase one from a domain registrar like GoDaddy. Website hosting: Once you’ve created your website, it needs a place to “live” on the internet. A web hosting service allows you to rent space within a server and store your website’s pages and files. Most website builders offer different tiers of web hosting to serve clients’ unique needs. Design: Plenty of website builders offer templates to help get started with creating your site. But if you don’t have anyone on your team with a web design background, you’ll probably want to hire the help of a specialist to design your website so that it’s functional and professional. Membership plugin: If you’re using a website builder designed specifically for membership organizations, this feature will come built into the platform. But if you’re using a more generic website builder, you’ll have to invest in a membership-specific plugin to add membership management functionality. Payment processor: You’ll need a way to accept payments for membership dues, event registrations, merchandise, and more. Often, the costs associated with payment processors are just the transactional fees that accompany each payment. Some organizations without web designers on staff prefer website builders that offer all these various elements in-house. In contrast, others take a more DIY approach to invest in several providers, building these elements to create the website from scratch. Top Membership Website Builders There is an abundance of membership website builders available, but when it comes to features, functionality, and price, one option stands out as the top option: MemberClicks. MemberClicks’ Membership Site Builder MemberClicks is an all-in-one membership management software provider that features a robust, extensive membership website builder as part of our package of interconnected solutions. Our website templates are built to help you create a membership site that will give the best user experience to your members. Building your membership site through MemberClicks means that your public-facing website syncs with your back end membership database. You can upload and update content easily, and any forms or data input will sync with your back end reporting. Cool, right? MemberClicks’ membership website builder has a lot of great features: A team of experts to help you build your website. Give your website credibility and professionalism by leaning on the advice of experienced designers. Custom pages and forms based on your needs. Use forms to collect information from website visitors. Google Analytics connection to help you track performance. Rely on your data and website performance with this trusted tool. Filter between public and private content. Publish gated content for members-eyes only while other assets can be available for the general public. Build an online calendar to keep everyone in the loop. Link directly to registration forms from this calendar to get more attendees at all your events. Build-in member directory. Give members access to this valuable networking resources that can help them build meaningful relationships with each other. Use the sponsored advertising tool to display and track sponsored ad engagement. Retain advertiser support with real-time analytics and proof of engagement. Perform organizational elections right within your website. Send surveys and collect results with reporting features. Pricing Annual subscriptions for most products start at $4,500. Specific pricing depends on your needs, organization size and what product is the best fit for you. Explore pricing, product features and book a demo today! WildApricot WildApricot is another powerful membership management solution that features a website builder in its suite of software tools. This means your website integrates with your membership database and an email system to keep track of and communicate with members easily. With Wild Apricot, organizations can: Create a new website using one of 12 mobile-responsive membership website themes. Customize your site to match your color and font preferences and use your own domain name to personalize your site. If you already have a website, use widgets to embed membership-specific features. You can keep using the platform you’re comfortable with, with the added benefits of membership management functionality. Easily update your website using a drag-and-drop designer. The interface is similar to other common programs like Microsoft Word, so you can make changes without an extensive web design background. Engage your community using blogs and forums. Add news articles or other multimedia updates to your website, so members stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Design members-only or board members-only areas to facilitate private discussions. Associations, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, foundations and charities, clubs and sports clubs, and educational/training institutions all use Wild Apricot to create their membership websites. Pricing Try WildApricot for 60 days free to see if it's a good fit for you. Demo and free trial available upon request. Squarespace Squarespace is a website builder that all types of organizations and individuals use to create customized sites. They offer a “Member Area” feature for membership organizations to enable members-only content restrictions within their main site. You can either add Member Areas to an existing Squarespace site or build a new website by customizing one of their templates. Top features of this website builder include: A platform to share online classes to engage members with valuable educational content. Community-building features such as email updates, shared event calendars, and group workshops. An integrated newsletter to manage subscriber lists and send updates all in one place. Templates that are designed for membership organizations and can be customized to fit any organization’s requirements. This website builder is typically recommended for small businesses or individuals who don’t require a high degree of customization or features. However, it is possible to configure a Squarespace site for membership purposes because of the Member Areas plugin. Pricing The Starter Plan is $9/month if you pay annually and $10/month if you pay monthly. Choosing an annual subscription can save organizations up to 13%. Free trial available. Weebly Weebly is a free website builder that’s popular among small business owners and bloggers. Their templates and designers are geared toward small online businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers, but membership organizations can just as easily design a winning website using this platform as well. This website builder features tools such as: The drag and drop editor structure that small businesses and small-staff organizations cherish for its ease of use. The ability to add scrolling effects and engaging web design to make your site stand out. An image editor to create stunning, professional photos without having to leave your web builder. Site search functionality that helps visitors find exactly what they are looking for. Weebly is helpful for organizations looking to take a more DIY approach to web design. Pricing You can start with a free plan, or paid options start at $6/month for annual billing or $9/month for monthly billing. SubHub SubHub is a dedicated membership website builder. Their templates are designed so that any membership organization or individual looking to create a membership program can create a website with exclusive content available to members for a fee. Their site features the various organizations who’ve created websites using their platform, ranging from news organizations to fitness communities to online learning providers. Users appreciate SubHub for features like: Multiple membership tiers that provide different access levels to various member groups. Integrated payment processing using simple, convenient platforms such as PayPal and Stripe. Member community tools including a membership directory, event calendar, and social media integration to share opportunities and events with all members. Course creation features that enable organizations to create educational opportunities for members. An excellent option for membership organizations looking for a platform that allows them to get started with all of the features they need quickly. However, it comes at a bit of a steeper price, making this a better option for organizations with a larger budget. Pricing The Starter Plan is $47/month. Organizations can save 15% with an annual subscription. They also offer a free 14-day trial. WordPress WordPress is one of the most well-known website builders on the market today—in fact, 41% of all websites on the web have been built using the platform. This platform is undoubtedly a dominant presence in the website builder space, with millions turning to the convenient medium to create their own sites. To design a membership-specific site, you will need to purchase a membership plugin. The WordPress platform comes loaded with features such as: Hundreds of customizable themes, with new additions added every week. An intuitive interface that supports audio, video, and photos. Mobile and desktop apps so you can work on your website from anywhere. Built-in social sharing tools that make engaging with members easy. WordPress has membership plugins that help organizations block off members-only content and create valuable resources such as learning courses or member forums. The widespread popularity of WordPress means there are a ton of educational resources and web design professionals who specialize in designing WordPress sites. Pricing Getting started is free, but personal plans start at $4/month. Wix Wix is a highly user-friendly platform that offers free website templates for a wide range of organizations. They even provide an artificial design intelligence feature that can build an entire website for you—you only need to answer a few questions about what you’re looking for. Or, if you’ve already got an idea in mind, you can quickly start customizing a template without any need for additional coding. The Wix website builder also includes these features: The ability to turn your website into a membership site by adding a members-only area. An online store where you can sell any merchandise or course offerings using their eCommerce platform. SEO tools that help boost your website in search results, captivating a wider audience with your message. A mobile editor makes it easy to view and edit the mobile version of your website to optimize it for all devices. This website builder is best for membership organizations looking to boost profit using Wix’s eCommerce tools and apps. This is also a great option for those who desire a high degree of customization. Organizations looking for more guidance regarding web design can hire a designer using the Wix Marketplace. Pricing The basic plan is $14/month. For organizations looking for more fantastic eCommerce features, the basic business plans start at $23/month. GoDaddy While many know GoDaddy for its website domain register, it’s also been a leading website builder for many years. You can choose a template, design your site for free, and connect your custom domain. Because this is not a solution specifically built for membership organizations, you’ll need to add membership plugin. Users also appreciate GoDaddy for the following features: 20+ theme filters to change your layout, colors, and fonts until your site matches your brand and organizational personality. Social media post creation using the Over app to engage and impress followers with a high-quality marketing campaign. Email marketing and campaign tracking to assess the effectiveness of your email outreach and adjust your strategy accordingly. The ability to accept and process payments using PayPal and Square. GoDaddy is an effective website builder for associations, chambers, and other membership organizations looking to enable eCommerce features. It’s also easy to get started, with an intuitive interface and pre-built, professional templates. Pricing The basic plan is $6.99/month, and prices go up to $17.49/month to enable eCommerce. Novi AMS Similar to MemberClicks and Wild Apricot, Novi AMS offers association management software that comes equipped with a CMS to build a membership website. You can edit your site on the front-end with just a click and easily update navigation by adding or rearranging pages. Users appreciate this CMS for its manageable range of formatting options that offer a good variety without overwhelming web design beginners. Novi AMS also offers features like: Members-only content to lock events, pages, or articles and make them available to just members. A MemberCompass dashboard that allows members to manage their profiles. The ability to feature content on the homepage to display essential updates front and center. A blog engine to facilitate news updates and keep members informed. Novi AMS is an excellent option for associations that use QuickBooks as their accounting software. Pricing Since Novi AMS is a full-fledged association management software solution, it comes at a higher price than a standalone website builder. Pricing starts at $650/month, billed annually, with a $2,095 onboarding fee. Membership website builders: Extra resources Remember: if you don’t feel equipped to design the site on your own, most of these choices include design help and support. You can also investigate options for bringing on a third-party developer who has experience with your chosen platform. Our last piece of advice? The cheapest isn't always the best option. "Free" platforms or plans won’t always come with all the functionality and scalability you need as your organization grows. You could end up paying for add-on features or tools and spending more in the long fun. If you’re just getting started with your website builder research, we’ve got plenty of additional resources for you to explore, including: The Top 10 Professional Association Websites in 2023: If you’ve been tasked with finding a website builder and creating the perfect website for your professional association, you might not know exactly where to start. Check out this article for inspiration and ideas. 10 Chamber of Commerce Websites to Inspire You: Similarly, if you’re working on bringing your chamber website to life, you might be looking for resources and sources of inspiration to model your website. Take a look at the top chamber of commerce websites to get some ideas. What is an AMS? Understanding Association Management Systems: If you’re interested in finding the best management system, take a look at this overview of what association management systems are and what they can do for your organization.