How to Create a Video Membership Site

How to Create a Video Membership Site

Creating a video membership site is largely similar to any other type of membership site with one big exception – the complete reliance on video. Serving video content to members is a great way to increase the value and digestibility of content – especially if it is tutorials or how-to type content. The big hurdle membership site builders must overcome is how to modify their decision making process to place a larger emphasis on video.

How to Create a Video Membership Site

1. Decide How to Host and Deliver Video Content

If there is one decision which will largely dictate every other decision it is how the video content with be stored and delivered to members. There are two fundamental options to choose from: relying on a 3rd party hosting solution and self-hosting videos. Each option has a unique set of benefits and limitations to consider.

A Brief Summary of 3rd Party Hosting

When most people think about hosted video solutions there are a few key options that come to mind. They are YouTube, Vimeo, and Screencast. YouTube offers excellent overall video quality, visibility, and speed. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to secure the content entirely because URLs can be shared. Vimeo features excellent functionality but can impact website speed because of the large amount of java script which must load. On the plus side, Vimeo makes it easy to rebrand the video play to match your membership site’s brand. Vimeo also makes it easy to protect and secure videos. Screencast is generally easy to use but suffers from many of the same drawbacks as relying on YouTube without the visibility benefits YouTube offers.

A Brief Summary of Self Hosting

Self-hosting all of the video definitely offers maximum control. There are a number of different ways to leverage self-hosting through your website’s servers or through cloud storage located elsewhere. This provides maximum security and flexibility. Unfortunately, it can be noticeably more expensive. This is especially true when you consider both the costs of storage/bandwidth as well as ongoing maintenance.

Keep in mind there are effective ways to combine both 3rd party video hosting and self-hosting to leverage the benefits of both while minimizing the drawbacks.

2. Choose the Right Platform/Member Management Tools

There is an ever-growing number of platforms which can be used to create and manage a video membership site but WordPress has consistently proven to be the best solution. Not is the core architecture solid but it is also versatile. Plus, WordPress easily integrates some of the most robust and easy to use membership site plugins/software on the market. In fact, many of the 3rd party solutions have been specifically designed for WordPress.

3. Choose the Right WordPress Membership Plugin

The final step is choosing the right WordPress membership plugin. This can get tricky because so many popular options are available. A common mistake is to focus solely on plugins dedicated to video membership sites. While the ability to fully support videos is critical there is no reason to choose a video-only membership plugin if a more fully featured solution is equally effective. By selecting a more comprehensive type of membership plugin you give yourself the ability to provide additional types of content to boost the value of your videos and overall value of your membership site.

Once you know how you will be hosting your videos and what WordPress plugin you will be using the rest of the setup process is fairly straightforward. Once the basics of your video membership site is setup the primary focus will shift from creating a video membership site to generating membership growth, developing content, and creating a marketing/promotion strategy.

1 Comment
  • James S. Holbrook says:

    Choosing the right platform/membership management tools is important but choosing the best way to host videos is critical. The problem is the right hosting option is largely dependent on the number of members you will have. If it is a small membership site then using a cheap 3rd party host or keeping them on your server are both options. If you are going to have a lot of members streaming content on a regular basis then using a 3rd part host like Amazon or Vimeo is a great way to support your videos without worrying about any bandwidth restrictions. It can also make scaling a lot easier in the long term because you simply pay for more bandwidth from the video hosting provider on an as-needed basis rather than committing significant resources upfront.

    Does anyone have any thoughts regarding what type of video is best? I have experimented with slideshow videos and in-front-of-the-camera tutorials/discussions. Both have gone fairly well but I have been thinking about trying an over-the-should video. It seems like it will take a little longer in terms of editing but might be a popular addition from a tutorial perspective.


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