As an online course instructor, you need a membership site to sell your online courses and training programs. A membership site makes it easy to set up a learning management system and share content with learners in an organized way.
However, when it comes to building your membership site, you might be wondering: should I build it myself or hire help?
Ideally, you want a robust membership site that fulfills all your needs, works seamlessly with the type of content you’re looking to produce and has optimized user flows for delivering an enhanced learning experience to members.
There are plenty of membership plugins, software, and third-party apps out there that can help you build a membership site. The best part is that, for the most part, it’s pretty easy to get started with and you can build your membership site yourself even if you’re not particularly technically inclined.
However, it’s fair to say that some membership sites require much more work than a traditional WordPress website, something you might have a hard time with, especially if you’re new to WordPress.
An alternative option is to let an expert build your membership site for you. By hiring an expert, you not only save time but also save yourself a lot of headaches in the future as most CRM systems and marketing automation sequences are quite complex for new users to set up.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you need to consider when deciding whether you should build a membership site yourself or hire an expert to do it for you.
Things To Consider When Building Your Membership Website
When you’re thinking about building your membership site, here are a few things you should consider before doing it yourself or hiring a developer to do the work for you.
#1: Do you have the skills required to build a membership site?
Building a responsive, quality membership site is no easy work. It requires you to have a firm handle over technologies like HTML, WordPress, CRM systems, and much more.
You also need to choose which membership software to go with. Plus, once you’re done building, you’ll need to integrate it with your existing tools and apps.
Doing it yourself
First things first, to build your membership website yourself, you need to know which membership plugins to use and which ones will integrate seamlessly with the rest of the tools you’re using. For example, you might need plugins for member logins or for accepting recurring payments. Make sure you have a basic know-how of the plugins that let you do that.
Depending on the content you’ll be using on your membership site, you need to be able to do things such as embedding videos, selling online courses or training programs, setting up email drip campaigns, adding pop-ups, and creating opt-in forms for your students.
Additionally, you must also take into consideration the amount of experience it takes to build the sort of website you’re looking for. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you have a good understanding of web hosting and website optimization? Membership sites require you to have a good grip over basic coding and working with web hosting. Hosting a membership site requires specific hosting resources which is why you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.
- How many WordPress websites have you created? The more WordPress sites you’ve created, the better. You must know how to create a basic WordPress website. In addition to this, you should also know how to properly set up a membership plugin.
It all comes down to the type of membership site you need. If the sort of membership site you’re looking to build is beyond your expertise, you might consider hiring someone to do it for you.
Hiring an expert
An expert who has worked with many membership sites before can help you get exactly what you need. But finding the right one might be a challenge for some people.
When you’re considering someone to build your membership site, you can look at their certifications and their experience with membership sites as a tell to how good their work will be. It’s a good idea to take a look at their past projects to get a better feel of their work. Additionally, you can read through the testimonials and reviews left by other clients to get an idea of the provider’s expertise.
You should also consider the technologies they’ll use to build your membership site. Ideally, the expert should help you build a membership site using the CMS you’re familiar with.
#2: Do you have the time needed to build a membership site?
A membership website requires a lot of work in terms of setting it up and managing it. Let’s take a closer look at everything that goes into building it yourself and how you can save time by hiring an expert.
Doing it yourself
Membership sites require a fair amount of time to build and set everything up properly. In fact, it takes a lot of time to do things such as setting up and building your course material into a website, learning and working with CRM systems, setting up marketing automation sequences, debugging problems on your memberships site, setting up a secure system for your students to make payments, and maintaining your membership site after it’s built and ready-to-go. All of these activities will take time away from your core business activities.
If you decide to build your membership site by yourself, other areas of your business might suffer. Having less time on your hands means that your business growth, course quality, and the learning experience you’re able to deliver to students will take a backseat. Additionally, you might also lose customers and experience a drop in sales due to a lack of customer support and marketing.
As a business owner, you already know that time is an important asset. If you don’t think you can manage to do all of these things on top of creating online course material regularly and running your business then hiring an expert is the best option for you.
Hiring an expert
If the expert knows what they’re doing, they can build your membership site for you quickly. Hiring an expert not only saves you a lot of your time but you also get a refined, performance-optimized website. Not to mention, they can offer advice when it comes to picking a membership plugin and CMS based on your specific needs.
By hiring help, you’ll have additional time on your hands. This way, you can focus on other areas of your business, improve the quality of your courses, grow your business, and respond to your student’s questions. In addition to this, you can think of ways to deliver more value to learners through your membership site.
Put simply, an expert can help take your business to the next level without you having to sacrifice your own time.
#3: Do you have the budget needed to build a membership site?
You need some financial investment when it comes to building your membership site. If you’re looking to start your membership site and don’t have the finances to hire a developer, the DIY route is for you. That said, although hiring an expert costs more, it can save you money in the long-term.
Doing it yourself
By building a membership site yourself, you can get away with a basic WordPress site and a membership plugin as a cheap option to jump-start things. However, keep in mind that you’ll need additional tools to integrate with your membership site in addition to the core membership plugin. You can also consider building it yourself if hiring a professional seems expensive to you.
Hiring an expert
If you’re ready to hire an expert to build the membership site for you, you must have the budget to hire a quality developer. You don’t want to hire an inexperienced contractor in hopes of saving a few bucks.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some developers prefer to use plugins and tools that they are familiar with. So, you want to make sure you’re comfortable with the plugins the expert recommends for your membership site.
Additionally, you’ll need to set aside some money for site upkeep after your site is built and set up.
While hiring a quality professional to do the work for you is an additional expense, it can help you build a more robust membership site due to the expertise of the developer. An expert can also help you fulfill any special requirements that you might have in mind for your membership site such as drip-feeding content or setting up a forum.
When deciding between building your membership site yourself and letting a professional do it for you, it’s a great idea to start considering things such as the time needed, the money needed, and the skill required to build your membership site exactly how you want.
What are other things worth considering when building your membership site? Let us know in the comments section below.