How to Create a Membership Website
Have you always wanted to create a membership website but don’t know how? Or maybe you always thought it was too hard? That would need to know programming and learn design?
Then this step-by-step tutorial is for you. It shows a fast and a simple way to create a website without having to learn HTML/CSS coding, or read long, boring tutorials.
In this guide, I will show you how most web developers build their sites and how you can avoid expensive website builders that are often too limited for a bigger site.
I also help you avoid some mistakes that I did when I started out.
Before You Start, Read This:
There are hundreds of different website building platforms and website builders around the market.
WordPress, Wix, Joomla, Drupal… Just to name a few.
You can also code your website from scratch, but I wouldn’t recommend it on mainly two reasons:
- It just takes too much time (seriously)
- Your end result will be mediocre at its best…
But which one should you choose?
As you can see from the graph above, in 2019, the most popular website builders (or content management systems) are:
- WordPress (free) 52%
- Wix (paid) 7%
- Joomla (free) 4%
- Progress Sitefinity (free) 4%
- SquareSpace (paid) 4%
- Weebly (paid) 2%
Here’s Why Most People Use WordPress to Build a Website
Unlike website builders, it’s completely free.
WordPress is the easiest platform I’ve ever worked with, but it’s flexible enough to suit everyone – small business websites, online shops, bigger organizations and so on…
But more importantly:
- WordPress vs. HTML & CSS: Learning HTML from scratch can take 6+ months, let alone CSS and PHP. Having a basic knowledge of HTML can help you gauge things more quickly, but if you want to create a website within a day or two, learning HTML isn’t a viable option.
- WordPress vs. Website Builders: Website builders are expensive and often very limited. They are good for one-page websites, but not more.
- WordPress vs. Joomla/Drupal: WordPress is just so much more user-friendlier.
If for some reason you don’t want to build your site with WordPress, check out my Drupal, Joomla and HTML5 guides as well. They are all FREE to use.
But for the beginners, I strongly suggest sticking to WordPress.
Step 1 Get Web Hosting and Register a Domain Name
In order to set up your WordPress (or any other type of website), you’re going to need two things:
- Domain Name (a web address like YourSiteName.com)
- Web Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
In order to store your images, content and website files, you are going to need a web hosting. Without web hosting, your website will not be visible on the Internet.
Owning your own domain name looks far more professional than having your site on someone else’s domain (like yourbusiness.my-free-website.com), and it’s super affordable, too. Most hosting providers offer domains FREE for one year (usually ~$12/year).
In a nutshell – without a web hosting and a domain name, your website will NOT exist.
Where do I register a domain name and get web hosting?
Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you end up purchasing Bluehost through my referral links in this guide. This helps me to keep WebsiteSetup up and running and up-to-date. Thanks for your support.
I’ve mostly used A2host as a web hosting and domain registrar.
Use this link to get a free domain (for the first year) with your hosting.
Their introductory price starts from $2.75/mo and they’re currently throwing in a domain name for free (first year)– so it’s worth checking them out.
They are also one of the most popular hosting providers on the market, so they are definitely well-established and secure enough to host your website.
Although most of their servers are based in the US, they can handle a lot of traffic from across the world. And it’s probably cheaper than your local host. As someone who lives in Europe, I still prefer to use them.
Already have a domain name and hosting? Go ahead and skip ahead to step 2, where I’ll explain how you can set up your website.
Here’s how to sign up with a web hosting provider (and register a domain name if you don’t have it yet).
1. Go To A2Hosting (or Any Other Web Host)
Remember: Since We’re using A2Hosting myself, We’ve negotiated a small discount for MagicMembers.org visitors. Use this link to activate it.
2. Choose Your Website Hosting Plan
Once you click “get started now,” you’ll be taken to a page to select the hosting plan of your choice.
If you are on a budget, you can use their “basic” plan. It’s great for smaller sites with low or no traffic.
However, if you want to scale or expect more traffic to your website, I recommend choosing their “choice plus” plan. It’s truly unlimited.
Whichever you choose, you can later upgrade or downgrade based on your needs.
If you don’t want to deal with all of these, we do have an installation for you. You can purchase and we can install Magic Members plugin for you.