Wild Apricot Alternatives: Comparing Wild Apricot to Competitors
Are you looking for a Wild Apricot alternative for your online course or membership site?
Read our in-depth overview, comparisons of popular competitors, native software features, and pricing.
Before we dive into our Wild Apricot comparison
We always want to know who is behind the reviews we find for products online, so we want to give you the full disclosure before we dive into our Wild Apricot review.
We are the creators of the AccessAlly LMS plugin for WordPress, and we are affiliates for some of the tools that we compare on our site. This means that we may earn a commission if you buy from one of our recommendations.
This makes it possible for us to test and provide reviews based on our in-depth and hands-on experience with a lot of the course and membership tools you might be comparing. However, we never let an affiliate incentive sway us in our reviews.
Let’s get to it and see how Wild Apricot compares to some of the other membership management platforms on the market, and why people might start looking for a Wild Apricot alternative in the first place.
Why people choose Wild Apricot
Before we get into our list of Wild Apricot alternatives, let’s look at why you might consider investing in Wild Apricot to manage your membership.
- All-in-one platform: You won’t need to worry about getting a bunch of different solutions to work together when you use Wild Apricot to manage your membership site, and you can start putting online courses up for sale in a relatively short amount of time. You can create members-only content on your site, and host your main website all on Wild Apricot. You can even collect payments and dues, send out newsletters, and give members access to a mobile app for managing their membership.
- Member Directories: If your business, organization, or membership uses member directories, either private or public-facing, Wild Apricot is a solid option. This is a comprehensive feature native to the platform – easily searchable for your users with a clean and organized display.
- You host live events for your members: Wild Apricot makes it easy to manage and sell tickets for your events. You can set up any number of events and publish them in an events calendar on your Wild Apricot site. You can even add them to a WordPress site using a widget that pulls in content for display from Wild Apricot. Both existing members and public visitors can view your upcoming event details, purchase tickets for the event, and pay for their tickets or registration fees online based on the display permissions you set. You’ll even be able to send out event reminder emails through the Wild Apricot system.
- Forums: Wild Apricot’s native forum feature helps diversify them in the membership management space. This is becoming a popular feature many platforms have on their development roadmap or have released a beta version for recently. With Wild Apricot, not only can you restrict access to boards on your forum based on membership level, but you can also create public-facing forums for potential members to engage with and learn more about your organization or membership.
Why people recommend Wild Apricot
You might have posted in a Facebook group asking people what they use for their membership site or organization and received a lot of “Wild Apricot” answers. Why is that?
- You can get started for free: If you run a small organization and don’t plan to scale your membership beyond 500 members it’s a fairly affordable option. You can get started with their free plan for up to 50 members.
- It’s an easy place to send people who have no existing systems set up: Another reason membership site owners, especially organizations, recommend Wild Apricot is the fact it doesn’t require any other systems if you’re just getting started. If you don’t have an email marketing platform or a website yet, then Wild Apricot can help you get up and running faster. If you do have some of these systems in place, it might not be the best option.
Why people look for Wild Apricot alternatives
If you’ve tried Wild Apricot and found it limiting, or you’re looking to expand on your membership offering and want to provide trainings and online courses to your members, you might already know why you need a Wild Apricot alternative. Here are some of the other common reasons why users look for Wild Apricot substitutes.
- No LMS functionality: Wild Apricot is best known for its membership management functionality. It is not a traditional LMS and lacks an online course builder. Wild Apricot is better suited for organizations or Chamber of Commerce sites who really only need discussion forums and member directories for their members.
- Expensive: Wild Apricot offers 8 different pricing tiers. As your membership scales you’ll quickly find yourself investing in the next plan, then the next plan, and so on, eventually paying upwards of $6000/year in, what could be, a short amount of time. It is not the most affordable platform on the market so if you have a large customer base or membership you may want to consider a Wild Apricot alternative instead.
- Lack of design options: Wild Apricot’s website themes are easy to use, but aren’t the most modern on the market, and lack design flexibility. You’re restricted to Wild Apricot’s framework and don’t have full control over your site layout. This can feel restrictive for those who value custom designs and want to be able to put their unique stamp on their courses and membership area. Alternatively, you can choose to build your site on WordPress and place Wild Apricot widgets into specific areas on your site accessible for members only.
- No sales and engagement campaigns: Wild Apricot’s native e-mail sending functionality is best suited for sending newsletters and e-mail announcements to members of your organization or membership. It’s not designed to be used for sales and engagement campaigns. You’ll need a CRM or marketing automation system with a campaign builder that will allow you to add/remove users based on actions they take or purchases they make to manage this area of your business.
- E-commerce Integrations: Wild Apricot’s payment processor, Affinipay has similar transaction and processing fees like many popular gateways such as PayPal and Stripe at 2.9% + $.30 per transaction. However, if you prefer to collect and process your payments through PayPal or Stripe, Wild Apricot withholds an additional 20% of your revenue. That means if you sell $10,000 worth of memberships using a Stripe or PayPal integration, instead of Affinipay, Wild Apricot will keep $2,000 of your hard-earned money.
- Lack of integrations with other systems: Because Wild Apricot strives to be an all-in-one system, they haven’t focused as much on integrating with other systems and tools you need to power your business. Not to mention, keeping all of your eggs in one basket could prove to be a “weak link” in your business if that system goes down.
One client's story about finding a Wild Apricot Alternative
"AccessAlly is the better option, hands down
Honestly, Teachable or Thinkific would have been the *easier* option, but AccessAlly with my WordPress theme is hands down the *better* option. It’s going to grow and scale with me over time, and that’s unbeatable.
AccessAlly allows me to provide a dashboard for all members, and it also allows me to create a member-directory (great for forming that community), an editable profile, plus lots of gamification features that can help members track their progress and reward them for their achievements.
I also love that my students can take notes right within the site. How cool is that?
The fact that AccessAlly integrates directly with my ESP also gives me incredible functionality to track my students’ progress, send them reminder emails, and keep them coming back to the membership.”
The capacity to do just that ensures that I can retain members long-term by engaging with them and providing them with an experience unique to them. That’s priceless.”
-Eden Fried, EdenFried.com
Compare Wild Apricot Competitors' Pricing
Wild Apricot’s different pricing tiers are based on the number of members you have within your membership.
Their pricing ranges from free for just 50 contacts, up to $6,480/year for 50,000 contacts or members. One important thing to keep in mind regarding their free plan is not only the contact limit, but you’re not able to process payments or collect donations.
While cost shouldn’t be the sole factor for you to consider when comparing membership software and platforms, it is an important piece to the puzzle.
Here is the cost breakdown for some of the most commonly compared Wild Apricot substitutes:
Includes only 3 products, and limit of 10,000 contacts
100 Products, 100,000 contacts, limited email sending
Unlimited courses and students
Additional features and groups
Plus 5% transaction fee
No transaction fees, includes bulk student enrollment
No memberships or affiliate functionality
Includes 3rd party code and embedded checkout forms
|Mighty Networks|| $280/year
Community forums only, no online courses, plus 3% transaction fee
Includes online courses, plus 2% transaction fee
|MemberPress + LearnDash|| $448/year
No course or student limits, basic functionality
Includes group licensing, affiliate functionality
Ecommerce and CRM addons included
Quizzes, groups, and social learning
Unlimited courses and students, affiliate, and bulk courses
All LMS functionality
Want more in-depth Wild Apricot Replacement Comparisons?
Now you know why some people choose or recommend Wild Apricot as the most ideal membership management software. You’re also aware of the challenges Wild Apricot can present for other users. Let’s take a look at possible Wild Apricot alternatives.
In these in-depth comparison pages, you’ll see where each tool shines and where it falls short so you can make the best decision for your particular business and online teaching needs.
Wild Apricot might be right for you if...
- You already have a website
- You want to have your courses up and running quickly, so you can test your ideas without worrying about design
- You are looking for a simple, easy way to create a few courses and sell them to your clients.
- You don’t want to deal with behind-the-scenes setup like theme design, hosting, and other site maintenance
- You don’t mind giving up full control to have your courses hosted for you on a 3rd party platform
- You don’t have plans of scaling your course project into a full, interactive site.
Researching course platforms on your own is great, but if you want to talk to someone, we're here to help!
If you’re wondering whether you’re on the right track or not, we can help you sort out all of the different options. We’ll let you know if AccessAlly is a good fit or not, too.
We’ll start by asking you a few questions and guide you in the right direction.