How to Choose the Right Membership Platform: A Community Growth Strategist’s Guide

You’re ready to launch your membership site, but you’re stuck on one crucial decision: which platform should you use? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Let’s dive into how to make an informed choice that aligns with your business ecosystem and membership experience.

The Real Cost of Choosing a Platform

Don’t just look at the monthly subscription fee. Consider the technical support, transaction management, and ongoing updates. A cheaper platform might save you money upfront but cost you in customer support and manual upkeep later.

Three Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Asking in Random Groups: You’ll get a variety of answers with zero context.
  2. Choosing Based on Cost Alone: This could lead to a platform that doesn’t align with your larger business strategy.
  3. Ignoring Your Business Ecosystem: Your new platform needs to integrate smoothly with your existing tools and processes.

Switching Up Your Thinking

Don’t design your membership experience around the limitations of your chosen platform. Instead, define your membership experience first, and then find a platform that can deliver it.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Where will your sales page be?
  2. How do you handle core communications?
  3. Where is payment being processed?
  4. How is access controlled?
  5. Where is the service delivered?

The Real Talk on Facebook

Facebook might seem like an easy option, but it’s not always the best choice for delivering impact. The platform you choose should enhance, not hinder, the member experience.

Your Role as a Community Leader

Your job isn’t just to provide content; it’s to guide your community members. Invest in a robust onboarding experience that makes new members feel welcomed and oriented.


Choosing a membership platform is a decision that should align with your community-building goals and business strategy. Do your homework, plan your membership experience, and THEN make your platform choice. That way, you’re not just picking a tool; you’re choosing a partner in your mission to create a thriving community membership.

Want the quick list of my favorite platforms?

All about that Community First Experience? I’m gonna recommend Mighty Networks, for most communities. With the huge caveat that you should have your community PLANNED before you go trying to set it up on the platform. (This behind the scenes vid is from a while back, but it will give you an overview of how things work inside Mighty.)

I think Skool is another great option to consider. It’s average in the community part, but it’s integrated with the course content, and has gamification that would really lend itself to your audience participation and keeping members longer term. It’s all about consuming content, engaging with others, and creating a very vibrant discussion.

Going for an information membership focused platform? Need some serious sales funnel tech? Thinking about affiliates? You’ll LOVE ThriveCart. It’s a lifetime deal, and it’s one of the best in the biz. The only reason I would leave ThriveCart is if I was gonna upgrade with Spiffy which is more about the SYSTEM and it doesn’t “deliver” content.

Going hard with a B2B membership? You should consider LearnWorlds. It’s a fantastic platform that has admin features and scalability for licensing, seat management, multiple instructors/admins, and more. This is where the certification baddies go to play.

FYI: These are affiliate links – if you decide to pay to use the platform, I may make a couple dollars. I appreciate your support!

How to Choose the Right Membership Platform: A Community Growth Strategist\'s Guide

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