Squarespace for Membership Websites
Considering Squarespace for your Organization’s Website?
Create a Dynamic Membership Website with This Squarespace Membership Plugin
By Amy Hufford
Squarespace might not be the platform most organizations think of first when building a membership site. Some developers might believe that a platform like WordPress or Joomla is required. But organizations that already have a Squarespace website don’t have to move to another content management system to gain membership tracking software. They can continue to enjoy the simplicity of building pages and editing content while using a Squarespace membership plugin like MembershipWorks.
What types of organizations need a membership plugin?
Nonprofits, associations, chambers of commerce, clubs and groups all need membership software. Fix8 Media Squarespace website design experts in Longmont, Colorado, have set up an assortment of nonprofit clients with MembershipWorks, including arts organizations and groups serving United States veterans. “We find that most nonprofits want members-only areas, and want to take advantage of donation tools,” said Fix8 Media Founder and Creative Director, Josh Neimark. “While Squarespace offers both calendaring and donation functionality, for clients that need the direct CRM tie-in and related functionality, MembershipWorks has been a great partner.”
Here are a few examples of Fix8 Media clients who have membership websites:
What can you do with a Squarespace Membership Site?
1. Collect recurring payments and donations. Clubs and groups implement membership plugins to collect recurring membership dues payments and donations. Bloggers can use membership software to handle member billing if they want to charge for access to content. Profitable membership websites have a revenue stream that is predictable or growing.
Membership software along with a compatible payment gateway like Stripe, Authorize.net or Paypal Pro will allow for recurring payments. Revenue will be higher with automatic recurring payments than one-time payments. Members who are asked to take action, such as logging in to enter their credit card information again for renewal, are less likely to sign up again than those who are automatically charged for dues.
2. Create content that is restricted to members. Membership plugins can make it easy to restrict access to content to members only on Squarespace. In the case of MembershipWorks, content can even be hidden from different levels of membership to accommodate tiered membership pricing. Some organizations use add-on items to upsell their members on access to special content, such as annual salary survey results, certification coursework, and more.
3. Display a public or private member directory. Groups such as chambers of commerce often publish business directories. Professional associations publish directories for networking purposes. Collectives of artists use directories to promote their members’ work. Thank goodness that the days of paper directories are mostly behind us; they were often out-of-date from the moment they were published. A public or private member directory allows members to edit their directory profiles themselves instead of staff having to handle the task. It’s not necessary to obtain a separate plugin for this feature, as it is often built into most membership management software.
4. Create events and sell member-only tickets. A primary benefit of most membership software is the ability to connect a membership database to other features, such as an online event calendar. “We’ve seen our clients use a variety of MembershipWorks tools, with the forms and calendaring function being the most popular,” said Neimark.
When member records are tied to event registration, you can create member-only events as well as member-only tickets that require login to access. Members feel special when they receive access to exclusive benefits. Less expensive member-only ticket prices are a great way to show appreciation.
5. Allow members to add events to an event calendar. Chambers of commerce, networking groups, social clubs, and trade associations often post events held by various hosts on a community calendar. Adding these events to a shared calendar can be a tedious task for a staff member, especially as event details can shift and require updating. Membership software streamlines this process. Staff can simply approve events instead of typing them in. Members like submitting and editing their own events. This can be a feature that is an upsell to members who want this privilege.
6. Use a shopping cart to sell items to members or the public. Membership software isn’t just a member database. More robust membership platforms have a shopping cart feature that suits most nonprofit organization’s needs. MembershipWorks’ cart is not overly complex. This allows for a faster learning curve on the part of staff. The benefits of an integrated cart include:
Some cart items can be made available only to members while others are open to all.
Cart purchases can be tracked within each member’s transaction record.
7. Collect form data that ties to a member record. Forms are useful for organizations that have committees or volunteer sign ups and want to know which members have interest in a particular opportunity. A good member CRM should be able to tie form submissions to a member as long as the member entered the same email address from their member record.
“For Fix8 Media Squarespace experts, the MembershipWorks integration with Squarespace is very straightforward,” said Neimark. “More importantly, our clients have always received tremendous support from the MembershipWorks team, making our job of servicing our clients with the tools they need that much easier.” MembershipWorks offers unlimited free, US-based support by phone, email, and one-on-one screen share training sessions.
Amy Hufford is a Technologist at MembershipWorks. She has worked in membership technology for more than 20 years and has experience building membership websites with a variety of membership software platforms.