Membership Sites
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First Timer Mistakes That Will Tank Your AccessAlly Membership Site Project

If you are building a membership website, please (oh please) don’t start by learning AccessAlly. Do not begin your build by going over all the AccessAlly documentation and the set of features it offers you. Many newbie AccessAlly site builder focus all their attention on the tool itself.

  • They review AccessAlly's interfaces to Infusionsoft.
  • They go over all the detailed tutorials explaining the different aspects of the platform.
  • The analyze and learn the AccessAlly shortcodes.

It's a lot of work and it's NOT the place I recommend you begin.

Don’t get me wrong. The AccessAlly document is super. We've built a good number of AccessAlly sites and we rely on the documentation to make the best use of it.

It is, however, the wrong place to start.

When you head out to build your first membership site, you have to remember first that you are building a WEBSITE and design is critical. I'm referring less to the site's visual design and more about how you organize the site, the navigation and the content so it's easy for your members to use it and get to the information they want.

One really serious mistake we see a lot of people make is they use a single WordPress installation and build both their main site and their membership site in one WordPress install.

Let me explain why that's a really bad idea.

You main site, or your www site, is the place where you promote your business.  It's job is to education people an all it is you do, establish you as a credible resource and show proof that you are who you say you are.  Social proof goes here.

Once members buy from you and arrive at your precious content, your www site has done it's job. The goal now is to:

  • give them easy access to your content,
  • keep members moving through your content, and
  • sell your members on other things you can offer them.

Doing that with a single WordPress installation is difficult.  If you do that you'll struggle with with conflicts over these two competing sets of objectives.  Getting the menus set up for easy navigation will be difficult. You'll have competing priorities when adding content on the site based on what you know about the visitor.

Another reason this two site approach is good is that it enables you to side step possible WordPress plugin conflicts.  AccessAlly is built as a WordPress plugin. Building your www and membership site as WordPress installation, increases the chance of conflicting WordPress plugins.  If you've ever run into plugin conflicts you know they can be difficult to debug.  It's not the main reason to go this recommended route, but it does avoid potential issues that are difficult to resolve.

Let me know what you think of this. I always appreciate the feedback I get from my readers.