Finding the right tools to develop your membership site can be daunting – especially since no two pieces of technology are exactly alike. For businesses that use the automation software Ontraport, our awesome plugin AccessAlly is available as a full-featured, Pilotpress alternative plugin.
More Than Just a Pilotpress Alternative
Ontraport developed Pilotpress as a free plugin option to connect its intuitive automation with websites built on the WordPress platform. PilotPress is the free plugin that comes when you sign up for Ontraport.com – it doesn’t have a ton of functionality, but can be a solid tool for you to use.
AccessAlly, on the other hand, is created by our team at AccessAlly as a full-featured tool readily available for those who are looking for a solid Pilotpress alternative that is compatible with Ontraport.
In this comparison post, we’re going to put AccessAlly and Pilotpress side by side to help you determine which is going to be the best option for you.
1. Ontraport Integrated Plugins For WordPress
There aren’t a lot of WordPress plugins on the market that are designed to integrate specifically with the Ontraport platform.
You always want to make sure that the membership site plugin you use is compatible with your CRM and automated marketing software. This will help to increase the quality of engagement that you achieve with your site. In the world of WordPress-based websites, integration and compatibility can be a challenge.
As WordPress-specific plugins, Pilotpress and AccessAlly are both specifically designed to fully integrate with Ontraport software.
Pilotpress, of course, is exclusively intended for use with Ontraport. This is great if it is the only CRM you ever use. However, if you find another system that will better suit your business, you would need to re-create all of your course integrations.
Within AccessAlly, your membership site is also fully integrated with Ontraport. In the event that you want to switch CRMs, you can simply connect to Infusionsoft (or any of the other CRMs AccessAlly integrates with), for example, choose the tags you want to sync up, and you’re good to go. AccessAlly can flexibly move with you – without losing any of your careful setup and content.
2. Design & User Experience
Membership sites thrive when they follow a more intuitive design that looks like it belongs with the rest of your website.
Pilotpress is programmed to let you set up unique membership sites that correspond with various tags within Ontraport. If your membership program is set up with 3 tiers, for example, you would set up 3 distinct areas for these members to log into.
To enhance the “I want that, too” mentality, we created AccessAlly to offer one, seamless membership site with a full dashboard. This intuitive dashboard gives a visual overview of your membership features – both the ones that have been purchased and a glimpse of “what they could have.”
Plus, with AccessAlly, your customers can instantly purchase another course or program using the 1-click upsell functionality. This greatly increases “cross-selling” opportunities and gives your learners what they’re looking for next!
[Tweet “Increase cross-selling opportunities & give your learners what they’re looking for next!”]
For ease of setup, AccessAlly includes some templates that are designed by a professional designer. They are also fully customizable, so if you have another idea, you can easily change colors, fonts, and drag and drop sections to different places within minutes!
3. PilotPress Alternatives That Are Mobile-Friendly
In addition to the standard desktop computer, online users are using a variety of tablets and phones to access the internet.
Since a large percentage of your membership site traffic is coming from mobile devices, it is extremely important to make sure your website is designed to re-format appropriately to fit on smaller screens.
The theme and design flexibility you have through your WordPress site determines whether your membership site will be mobile-friendly or not.
But with AccessAlly, we went a step further and made sure that each one of our templates is 100% mobile-friendly. (Once again, these templates are easily altered with a drag and drop editor, or good old CSS so that you get the look you need on your site.)
With this enhancement built into the plugin itself, you can be confident that even the busiest of members can participate in your program on the go.
4. Security Backups and Stability
Another big concern with membership websites is the amount of security and stability that you are able to offer to your customers. With WordPress sites, security plugins are available to protect your site and back it up on a consistent basis. If anything happens, you can simply restore a backed up version of the site and continue with confidence.
With Pilotpress, the your Ontraport forms are hosted with Ontraport. Although this “hands-off” appeal is strong for some, it can be risky to depend on another company for your site’s health and well-being. If the Ontraport servers are down, for example, your membership site is in trouble.
The need for additional site stability has led a lot of people to search for a Pilotpress alternative.
With AccessAlly as a Pilotpress alternative, you have full control over your site’s hosting, plus you can upload members only files directly to your WordPress site or via Amazon S3, which keeps your membership materials safe and secure. You have full control over what happens to them – and can choose the hosting and type of backups that you use to keep it all protected. (Need ideas? Check out some of the tools we recommend to keep your site safe.)
We also like to remind our users that any videos used within the membership site can be hosted on 3 different platforms. This will further reduce the risk of outages and improve the site’s redundancy.
5. Time-Saving Convenience
The initial setup of a membership program – from planning and writing content to program it into your website – takes an exhausting amount of time and effort.
Using Pilotpress can quickly give you the basics to get your material up and running without worrying about integration issues.
With AccessAlly, we decided to take it one step further. When you create new membership areas within AccessAlly, it will automatically create the Ontraport tags you need to enable members to access these pages, reducing the amount of time you spend manually setting up the course.
And here again, it’s definitely worth mentioning that the functionality and design of AccessAlly offers a single membership dashboard. As your membership program continues, it will offer unique opportunities to cross-sell and upsell your products with very little effort on your part.
6. Gamification, Webinars & Affiliate Dashboards
A gamified LMS can turn a standard vanilla membership site into one that is a little more interactive and exciting. It can also be the differentiating factor between retaining loyal members and losing them.
Through Ontraport’s marketplace, there are some opportunities for you to add enhancements to your membership site. These can be purchased, then added to the features you already have within Pilotpress.
AccessAlly Pro comes fully-equipped with some of the more fundamental gamification features, such as progress tracking, social media sharing, and quizzes. These can be integrated with automated emails through Ontraport, for example, to remind an inactive member that success is waiting at the other end of the course!
Another great thing about AccessAlly is that it can integrate nicely with other plugins for additional enhancements. (Wondering whether there might be a plugin conflict? Our certified partners are always happy to take on a challenge!)
With both PilotPress and AccessAlly you can display affiliate tracking information for your promotional partners. The difference is that with AccessAlly you can design beautiful pages that let you showcase swipe copy, create customized affiliate links, and display an affiliate’s sales ledger. All in one simple-to-login members area. AccessAlly’s affiliate management features can be used in conjunction with Ontraport’s affiliate functionality or on its own within AccessAlly.
7. Hands On Support
Being able to utilize the full power of Ontraport can be daunting and extremely frustrating for those who have not had a lot of experience in that area.
AccessAlly is a great plugin and fully-featured already. But one of our goals is to ensure that you have all of the tools you need to make this plugin a success from the time of setup to the successful course completions by their members.
We make it a point for excellent customer support and easy-to-follow video tutorials – as well as a support system of talented individuals who are ready to jump in and help you out.
Our support team is available to answer your questions, and our developers are happy to jump in and answer technical questions that pertain to your experience – from setup confusion to unexpected glitches that are unique to your website. Plus, our AccessAlly Certified Partners are here to help you set up your new membership site on AccessAlly, if you prefer not to create it yourself.
Benefits of Both
Truthfully, both Pilotpress and AccessAlly have some great features to run your membership site. The most notable of benefits included in both plugins is that your members have control of their credit card information and payments within the membership area.
They are both fully integrated with the Ontraport system, and can be used to house your unique membership site content.
After that, however, they do differ in terms of functionality and flexibility.
Pilotpress, of course, comes free when you sign up with an Ontraport account. If you’re already fully familiar with that platform and have been using it for a while, it may not be worth the additional time required to transition to another system.
But if you’re looking to enhance your membership site experience, it’s worth remembering that AccessAlly isn’t just a generic Pilotpress alternative. Rather, it is designed to take what Pilotpress already has and increase the features and functionality in a way that benefits the business owner…without costing you an exorbitant amount of money.
For more information, feel free to jump over to our full comparison list of the many great features of AccessAlly and how AccessAlly and Pilotpress compare.