An online business, one that’s not based on services, will involve selling a product. One of the least used features for building a community around products that business owners ignore is creating a membership platform. Businesses can use it to promote new ideas, reach a community of users who would willingly test your ideas and products, and create a community of people who will willingly encourage others to use your products and your ideas for the betterment of their own.
If you include everything featured today on your website, I think you give yourself the best possible chance of achieving success with your eCommerce store. And the great news is, with an open-source WordPress eCommerce platform like WooCommerce, it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to find all the extensions, plugins and educational resources you need.
Wild Apricot is a very popular membership site software option amongst non-profits, small yacht clubs, small business hubs, and other small-scale organizations that need a simple to use membership management platform that delivers on its promise. With Wild Apricot, you can create a website quickly and easily with our drag and drop website builder; make a mobile-friendly member application form on the web with payments and workflow; automate renewals and activate member self-service to update information; manage your member and contact records securely and enable members-only content and membership directories; and even have an online store to support your membership revenue. You can even integrate members-only content into existing WordPress sites!
One of the big things about Insider is how much teaser content there is. Being that they have the membership and the public site all integrated together, you constantly SEE what members are getting but you run into the paywall if you’re not a member. This is the kind of setup you can ONLY have if your blog and your membership site are one and the same.

I always look for the blog. 🙂 On Guitar Tricks, it is pretty much buried down in the footer. What this shows me is that their entire site is pretty much designed to become part of the membership. Their blog goes under the “News” section of the membership. It is open to the public. I can see the point of this, though, because essentially the entire site is gated. Unless a person finds them on search, by the time a person finds the blog, they’re an email subscriber and have the free membership.
Realize a couple of key facts: A) the prices for e-commerce software have fallen, so you don’t need to spend a fortune unless your needs are complicated, and B) many of today’s e-commerce packages include a full range of tools in one package, from an inventory management system to marketing tools. Many of today’s merchants prefer this “all-in-one” approach because it makes life simpler.

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The site is using aMemeber Pro. What a blast from the past for me! The very first membership software I ever used was aMember. I guess they’re still around. But, I guess when it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. In fact, all around, this site looks a little old-school. The design is quite basic. Once again, a solid reminder that offer matters more than looks.
Google Sheets beat Microsoft to the punch and introduced a Checkbox as one of the Data Validation options. You can go to Insert > Checkbox to quickly create one, and you can customize it by going to Data > Data Validation. I've updated most of the Google Sheets versions of my checklists to use that feature. I hope Excel gets smart and introduces a similar feature some day.
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