Best Membership Site Platforms for 2021

The Software As A Service Business Model has exploded in the last few years which has given rise to several membership site platforms being available for you to choose from.


Choices are good, but can get overwhelming, so in this post let’s talk about the 3 best options available for membership site platforms and how to choose the right one for your business.


  1. Kajabi


Kajabi is an all in one platform that provides you with the tools to create and host membership sites, as well as sell them with sales pages and checkout forms.


Kajabi is one of the most popular platforms when it comes to membership sites because of the ability to create a customized membership interface that not only is easy to use for membership site members, but is also easy to set up for you as the membership site owner.


Kajabi also offers a community aspect that can be used to build your paid community along with the membership.


You can create automations such that once someone signs up for your membership, it triggers an automated email sequence to help you onboard the new member.


Kajabi features:


Kajabi includes all features to start and grow your membership site, you don’t need any other membership site platform if you choose to use Kajabi.


The features including are:

  1. Course/ Membership site hosting
  2. Pages ( sales pages/ landing pages)
  3. Checkout forms
  4. Pipelines ( Sales funnels)
  5. Payment processing : you can connect Kajabi to Paypal or Stripe. Kajabi does not charge a transaction fee
  6. Community
  7. Email marketing
  8. Automations


Kajabi pricing:


The basic Kajabi plan starts at $149/ month when billed monthly and gives you the ability to create 3 products and 3 pipelines.


The basic plan includes everything that you would need for your membership site platform.


If you are all in for your membership idea and are really to invest in your business, Kajabi is the best choice.


Related: Kajabi vs Thinkific


2. Podia


Podia is a great affordable platform when it comes to creating an online membership site.


The goal of the platform is to provide a simple affordable option for small business owners. 

Simplicity also means that the platform lacks customizations when compared to other membership hosting platforms.


A lot of bloggers are switching from Teachable/ Thinkific to Podia, reason being that it is easier to use and provides a slightly better membership interface when compared to Teachable.


Having said that, in my opinion, Podia lacks one important feature – sales funnel builder.


With the rise of all-in-one platforms like Kajabi, that offer sophisticated customizations for sales pages and also have a really good looking and efficient membership/ course hosting platform, Podia falls short in the sales page building category.


Although, when compared to Kajabi, Podia is more affordable, starting at $39/month.


Podia is a relatively new platform and is constantly adding new features in the hopes of completing with other all-in-one platforms.


Some of Podia’s features that stand out are:


  1. The ability to connect your membership site with your Facebook group or Slack channel to make sure only paid customers are able to join
  2. You can use your membership platform as a blog, to share updates or ask questions
  3. Integrated live chat 
  4. Offsite buy button


Podia pricing


The Podia mover plan starts at $39/month.


This plan includes the following features:

  1. Free migrations
  2. Website homepage
  3. Digital products
  4. Email marketing
  5. Webinars
  6. Zero Transaction fees
  7. Messaging


The Podia shaker plan starts at $79/month and is still cheaper than other all-in-one marketing platforms.


The shaker plan includes the following features in addition to those on the Mover plan:


  1. Affiliate marketing
  2.  Memberships
  3. Zoom integrations
  4. Offsite buy buttons
  5. Blog


3. Membervault


Membervault is a great free option to help you get started with a membership site if you are just starting out and do not want to invest upfront.


One of my favorite features about Membervault is their gamification capability which lets you engage your users through their journey inside the membership.


You can also get an insight into your warm and hot leads based on if they click through to other paid products they haven’t bought, and you can then reach out to them offering them a discount for the product they clicked on.


Membervault features:


  1. Course/ Membership hosting
  2. Checkout forms
  3. Payment processing
  4. Gamification in the form of quizzes and lead scoring
  5. Integrations with other tools like Convertkit, Active campaign etc. are available


Membervault also has the sales pages feature but it is pretty basic so if you choose Membervault as your membership site platform, you will need another sales page builder and email marketing platform.


Membervault Pricing


Membervault offers a forever free plan which means that you can use all Membervault features for free. The free plan is capped at 100 people.


The starter plan starts at $19/month and is capped at 1000 people. 


4. Mighty Networks


Mighty Networks is a combination of an online community platform plus a course/ membership site hosting platform.


The community aspect of Mighty Networks is available on the free plan but and you want to use the course aspect, you need to get on the paid plan.


I’ve seen mixed reviews about this platform. Some people find it very confusing, whereas others like the fact that you can host the community as well as the membership site on one platform itself.




I tried getting my paid membership community on Mighty Networks as a substitute to Facebook groups but a lot of my members mentioned that it was easier for them to interact in Facebook groups since they already spend time on that platform, rather than signing into another platform altogether.


Which makes sense. But I do like the fact that the Mighty Networks community platform takes you away from all the Facebook distraction.


Mighty Networks Pricing


Mighty Networks offers a free plan which is limited to their community aspect. So you can use the free version to build a community for your paid offering, and this will not include the hosting aspect of your course or membership site.


The free plan also lets you charge for your membership but has a 5% member subscription fee, which is pretty high.


The community plan starts at $23 per month for the annual plan and includes features like unlimited moderators and hosts, polls and questions ability, and more.

You can not create online courses on the base plan, and the base plan has a 3% member subscription fee.


The pro plan starts at $81/month on the annual plan and is the only plan that lets you create online courses. The pro plan has a 2% member subscription fee.


Best membership site platform – Our recommendation


In my opinion, if you are ready to go all in with your membership site, Kajabi is the best option. It provides the best of a sales funnel builder, membership site hosting platform, as well as a community.


If you are looking for a good option without breaking the bank, Podia is a good choice. They are still new and are constantly adding new features, and $39/month is a good deal.


Which platform do you use for your membership site? 


Let me know in comments.

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