Top Tips for Researching a Membership Plugin or Platform
Are you currently wondering what membership plugin or platform you should use for your site?
Finding the right software solution to fit in with your vision for your site can be a challenge…
Not only are there are a lot of options on the market when it comes to tech…
But there are also many conflicting recommendations on what you should choose that it can fast become an overwhelming decision to make.
And while we all want to find the perfect plugin for our site (if there is such a thing), it can be easy to get derailed and make some bad decisions.
Well we're here to make sure you don't do that!
Here are some top tips to keep in mind when researching a membership plugin or platform…
1. Asking for recommendations on Facebook groups might not be the answer
“I need a membership plugin, what's the best one?”
This is a question we see almost daily in our Facebook group…
Getting suggestions from fellow membership site owners on Facebook might seem like a no-brainer way to get fast and varied responses from like-minded people.
But this alone could lead you down the wrong path!
Facebook users may have had a one-off negative experience with a product…
They may tell you to avoid a piece of software at all costs simply because they had one poor experience with it five years ago.
But that software could have changed a lot in the meantime…
And while it may not have met their needs, it could be perfect for you and others.
On the flip side, they could be huge advocates for a plugin or software that just isn't right for you.
The thing is these opinions – as well intentioned as they may be – are just that. Opinions.
They're not informed recommendations because quite often those people responding on Facebook have limited experience of what's available in the market…
And more importantly, they don't know exactly what it is you need!
There’s also no way of proving that these people have even used the software.
Someone may be trying to be “an expert,” piping up with a strong opinion based on things they’ve heard on the grapevine.
Sure, using Facebook groups as a way of garnering suggestions is definitely helpful…
So we're not saying don't ask for opinions in Facebook groups…
What we are saying is be hyper specific about what it is you need…
And don’t let this be the only determining factor when selecting a plugin.
2. Be wary of content creators promoting plugins
You may see bloggers, vloggers, and the like recommending plugins and software on their social media profiles.
While a raving review from your favorite YouTuber is great, remember that sometimes content creators are paid to promote stuff.
If you scroll through these creators’ blogs or social channels, you may find that they've promoted lots of similar products as well.
As with our Facebook groups tip, paying attention to what creators are backing isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
Many are genuine and useful reviews…
Just make sure you don’t get caught up in believing the hype and trusting every single thing they say.
Do your research to see if their positivity towards the piece of software they're promoting is backed up by great user reviews.
It’s so important to check that lots of people are saying the same things about the product before you part with your cash.
3. Read as many membership plugin reviews as you can
Just like you would when buying anything on Amazon, checking out membership plugin reviews is essential when it comes to choosing the right option for you.
Of course, every piece of software will have some positive and some negative reviews…
People will always have their opinions…
But getting a general consensus (one way or another) will make you feel more comfortable when making that decision.
You’ll be safe in the knowledge that you really put the time and effort in to make sure the product is a great fit for you.
That being said, our next tip might seem a little contradictory…
4. Don’t only focus on reviews – look into the specifics
Is your membership identical to everybody else’s?
The chances are that it’s not!
Even if you’ve found a plugin with five-star ratings across the board, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for you.
Draw up a list of what you require from a membership plugin or platform.
So when you ask people for suggestions, show them this list.
Ask them, is it good for XYZ?
It's important to be clear on what it is you want and answering questions like these will help:
- Will my previous content be available all at once to new members?
- Does it allow for an automated drip feed?
- Does it offer multiple membership tiers?
- What payment providers can be integrated? (e.g. PayPal or Stripe)
- What email providers do you need to integrate with?
- Do you want to add a forum to your site?
- What stats do you want to track in your membership?
The product might be perfect for the vast majority of membership sites.
But if you want one specific feature and that particular membership plugin doesn’t offer it – you’re back to square one.
Remember, there’s no perfect plugin..
There’s definitely no sure-fire way to find “the perfect membership plugin”.
Truth is, it probably doesn’t even exist…
Every plugin or piece of software has their issues – even ours!
If you think you can find it, you’re unicorn hunting.
As long as the software or platform has most, if not all, of the features you’re looking for, you’re on the right track.
So, to round up…
- Asking for Facebook recommendations is OK – but don’t do just that!
- Don’t trust every word that comes out of a content creator’s mouth – they may be paid to say it
- Shop around and read as many reviews as you possibly can
- Look into specifics as well as reviews
Remember, there’s not always a perfect plugin for your membership.
As long as you put in the research, you’ll find the best fit for you.
If you need more help making your choice, download our Complete Membership Plugin Buyers Guide today for free.