Membership Website Design
You Might Be Missing
The Icing on the Cake
Many business owners choose AccessAlly as their course and membership plugin because they’ve seen beautifully executed websites on AccessAlly.
But if we were to use the analogy of a baking a cake, AccessAlly might be the plate that holds your cake up… while you provide the course membership content (the cake itself) and your WordPress theme is the icing on the cake that makes it beautiful.
Without a plate, your cake will break apart… and a plain cake without any frosting looks unappealing.
COURSE & MEMBERSHIP
There are many ways to add design to your membership portal: from ready-made themes, using a theme builder plugin, to hiring a designer. So let’s talk about the icing and design you're looking for in your AccessAlly website, shall we?
Should you invest in design before you launch?
These statistics apply to many industries and types of businesses, but when it comes to online learning and membership sites… does design pay for itself?
In my experience, investing in branding and design for your membership site will be profitable when you already have a proven product and paying customers.
Let me explain: I don’t think it makes sense to invest thousands in making a beautifully designed course or membership site (or website for that matter) until you have a proven proof of concept that you can scale.
There's a lot to be learned from launching your course, and refining your marketing and branding based on your real world experience.
Instead of investing in design up front in these cases, it makes more sense to use that money to build an audience, and bootstrap your first launch offering.
Once you’ve got people on board, and you’re starting to add more paying members - then it’s time to invest in custom design and branding. At this point in time, it will give you a higher return and help you attract even more customers.
But without a product that people are willing to pay for already, working on your branding and design is a form of procrastination that stops you from making money in your business immediately.
Designers vs. Developers
Not every expert you hire has the same skillsets. Some excel at design, some prefer the coding and implementation of websites, and some are able to do both.
Most membership site and online course projects will require both skillsets. The visuals aren’t functional without the website elements, and a plainly coded website won’t look as professional and put together.
- Focus on branding and visuals
- Come up with creative ideas
- Lay elements out visually, using space, colors, and images
- Think about the User Experience (UX) and flow
- Focus on functionality and making things work
- Come up with smart technical solutions
- Implement visual guidelines and mockups into working websites
- Use code, plugins, and theme builders to do their work
The Good, Fast, Cheap Triangle
(you get to pick two)
There’s a rule that applies to all projects (course and membership sites included!) and it states that:
It can be done fast, cheap, or well - but not all three at the same time, you only get to pick two.
So if it’s cheap and fast, it won’t be very good. If it’s good and fast, it’s going to cost you. And if it’s cheap and good, then it’s going to take a long time.
Keep that in mind as you make your design decisions.
Your Membership Design Options Include:
ACCESSALLY GROWS WITH YOU, REGARDLESS OF YOUR FIRST ITERATION
The bottom line is that AccessAlly will be there with your courses and membership site as your brand evolves and your business grows.
You might start off customizing a simple WordPress theme or builder, just to get your first product selling out into the world.
Then you might revisit your design by hiring someone to up-level the look and feel using a customized template.
Finally, when your business is bringing in more money you can earmark some of it to hire the designer of your dreams.
The most successful businesses are in it for the long term, and they know that bootstrapping and re-investing as money comes in from sales is how growth happens.
Hire a Certified Expert
AccessAlly has trained Certified Expert partners who run the gamut: some are developers, some will customize a simple template for you, and some will take on your fully custom design project.