Subscription Websites on the Rise

Join the Club

America loves subscription sites. According to a recent article by Forbes, the number of visits to subscription-based websites has increased by 800% since 2014. Why have subscription-based websites selling knowledge increased in popularity so much? The answer to this question is simple. We all want to be informed. Whether it be to become a better professional, get good grades in school, or to learn more about health and nutrition, we all want to become experts in something.

But Why?

There are people out there who are willing to pay for your expertise and knowledge! The best part is, anyone with the drive to earn extra money or be his or her own boss can become the owner of a subscription-based business. It does not require a specialized degree, or any prior experience. So, how do you get started with building your subscription-based site? This article will help answer that question, so you can start getting paid for your knowledge.

Membership Model

A membership model is essentially a business plan that will determine how and why people join your subscription service, and what they get in return. In order to create your model, you will need to answer a variety of questions. Some of the top questions you should ask yourself before you launch your subscription website include:

  • What value do customers get for joining?
  • Are there different membership levels? If so, what are they?
  • What price-point will customers be willing to pay for my information or service? This will require research on your part.

Road Map

Choose Your Website Platform

There are a variety of website builders you can use to launch a subscription-based website, but WordPress stands tall against the competition. WordPress makes creating a subscription-based website extremely easy, even for those with little to no web design experience. WordPress is by far one of the most user-friendly website builders on the market.

Find the Right Hosting Site

One of the most important things you need to do before launching a subscription site is to pick top quality hosting. Not picking the right host from the start can cause a major headache down the road. An SSL certificate will be necessary in order to collect payments securely, also make sure your payment processor is PCI-DSS compliant. You can expect to pay anywhere from $49 to $249 per month for quality hosting. There are less expensive plans out there, however most of the shared hosting plans that are less than the range mentioned before are not going to be able to handle the traffic or server load that a membership website requires.  So, be sure to build this into your cost/benefit analysis when you are considering what to charge.

Select A Domain Name

Picking the right domain name for your subscription-based website is almost as important as picking the right host. Not picking a good domain name could be detrimental to your success. Here are some tips to helping you create a rock-solid domain.

  • Select .com over any other option, as this is the trusted format amongst most consumers.
  • Include keywords in your domain to help search engines and users understand what your site is about.
  • Keep your domain short. Short domains are easier for users to remember.
  • Avoid hyphens.
  • Stay away from repeated letters if possible.


WordPress has many membership solutions that are available to purchase. A membership plugin will be essential to the success of your subscription site. It will help you set up pricing pages, login and account features, thank you pages, and more. Some great membership plugins to consider include LearnDash, MemberPress, Restrict Content Pro, and S2 Member.

Is This Right For Me?

Starting your own business is a lot of work. It will take a lot of time, energy, and dedication. Before you launch your business, make sure to have a solid business plan in place. Take your time building your site, and think about conducting some research to find out what people would be willing to pay for, and how much you should charge. There is potential to make a lot of money with a subscription website. The question is, are you ready to work for it?

Colby Albarado

Colby Albarado

Colby is a fullstack developer

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