When you're planning a website for a membership business, you need to consider both how to structure a website AND how to structure an online course. Correct planning early on with save you lots of time and prevent many potential headaches.
How to Structure a Website for a Membership Business
For membership businesses, the structure of a website is generally divided into 2 halves:
Below I've listed what the hierarchical website structure of a typical small membership site would look like for both of these areas. This is a simple website development plan that you can follow for your membership site:
1) Public facing area of a membership site:
- Home page
- About page
- Blog page
- Squeeze page (for email funnel)
- Sales page
- Payment page
- Registration page (Post payment)
- Login page
- Contact page
2) Private members area of a membership site:
- After registration page
- After login page
- Community discussion area (forums)
- Quiz/examinations area
- Insiders blog/news
- Bonus resources section
- Upgrade to the next level (sales page)
- Member profile editing section
- Courses page
- Module page
- Lesson page
- PDF docs
- Powerpoint presentations etc.
To see this website content plan in action, then sign up to the membership site that comes with this course.
How to Structure an Online Course for a Membership Business:
The next thing to think about when planning a website for your membership business is how the courses and training modules within your membership site are going to be structured. Consider some of the following:
- How many membership levels will you have?
- What content will be assigned to each membership level?
- How long will the membership last? (Annual, Monthly, Weekly)
- One-time payment
- Recurring payments (annual, weekly, monthly etc.)
- Free trial for a limited time (then pay for upgrade to full membership)
- Free trial for a limited amount of content (then pay for upgrade to full membership)
- $1 trial (then charge full membership fees once trial period is over)
Course content release schedule:
- Content released all at once
- Content staggered (drip feed) over several days/weeks/months
- Free content available for the first few modules and then afterwards an upgrade is required
Writing Your Own Website Plan
Planning a website and course structure ahead of time will prevent many headaches later on. Also, if you're handing off the development to another person it will make their job much easier.
If you're undecided about which options to choose then I would recommend you keep things simple. So this means just having 1 paid membership level that comes with a monthly fee and does not have staggered content. It also means not creating any of the extra stuff such as the forums, insider blogs, examination pages, bonus resources and upgrade pages. Just stick to delivering the course content for the membership area and later on you can add these things once you are comfortable with the platform.
Take Action Now
For your membership site:
- Write down your website structure using the above website planning guide.
- Write down your course structure using the above online course structure guide.
With a plan for your website and course created, you'll be ready to start thinking about product pricing strategies. Also, don't forget to check out the previous article on membership site ideas if you have not already done so.