This year I decided to build my very first membership site on Squarespace and in this post I want to show you exactly how I did it.
Building the membership site on Squarespace wasn’t exactly easy. But with a lot of dedication, I made it happen.
I first began researching around and read tons of articles on how I could do this. I also decided to take a membership site course which was helpful, but it did not tell me the HOW. It only told me how to make it successful and how to get my first membership site members.
I decided to take on the project by myself after finding no helpful information on this. Now that I’ve accomplished it, I’ve decided to write a helpful article that tells you how to build your membership site on Squarespace. So let’s jump right in!
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How I Did It
Squarespace does not currently offer the ability to provide unique membership-based access to protected pages, such as would be needed for online courses, subscription services, etc.
Which is why I used a handy integration tool called MemberSpace- which can protect the pages and content from anyone who is not a member.
Usually anyone can punch in a few codes and break into a membership site which is why Memberspace has the options to fully protect the content and pages.
Another reason why I chose to use Memberspace is because of its full customization tools. You can change the colors, fonts, and more to look exactly like your website design.
They also have a wonderful support team and a free 14 day trial so you can test it out and set it up for completely free.
Here’s an example of my membership site built on Squarespace:
The Bloggin Ladies Membership is a membership site for female bloggers who want to learn how to blog in a faster way. Get access to monthly bundles that are full of blogging educational videos, eBooks, masterclasses, workbooks, courses and more resources to help you learn how to blog. Learn more HERE and sign up HERE.
Membership Step-By-Step Guide
1. Get a Squarespace Account
The first thing you need to do is to open a Squarespace account. Memberspace requires that you have a Squarespace Business Account for integration. If you already have Squarespace and do not have a business account then you will need to upgrade.
2. Design Your Site
The next thing you need to do is design the actual site. Now this is something I have a hard time explaining over text but I will do my very best.
First you need to choose a theme for your site. I found that the theme DEGRAW was easiest to work with.
Then you will need to have certain pages for your membership site like…
- Homepage (which acts as a sales page)
- Members Access
The homepage will act as your sales page. See mine here: https://www.blogginladies.com/
You will need to insert buttons for them to signup. If you use the DEGRAW theme that I did, then you will also have an option to place a button up in the right corner.
The About Page will be used to tell a little about yourself and why you decided to create the membership site.
RELATED: How to Write a Perfect About Page
The members access page will be the page where only members can see. If someone clicks on this link, they will be directed to sign up and pay for access.
Example of my members access page:
To build this for your membership site on Squarespace- I used a gallery on Squarespace and created the graphics in Canva and then linked them to the specific page on the site.
For example: the bundles page goes to the bundles that I provide each month for female bloggers.
3. Create a MemberSpace Account
Now it’s time to get your Memberspace account and set it all up!
MemberSpace offers a free 14-day trial, so you can set up your membership-protected program completely free.
4. Connect Stripe
If you want to get paid from your members, you will need to add your Stripe account which works very well.
Every time a member pays for their subscription, the money goes right to my bank account within 3 days.
5. Integrate MemberSpace & Squarespace
Next you’ll need to install MemberSpace on your Squarespace membership site. MemberSpace has a very helpful step-by-step tutorial on this. They even offer video tutorials on almost anything you need which is so convenient.
Important Note: Be sure that your website URL is live as you’re completing this step of the process. For example, you don’t want to install MemberSpace on mysite.squarespace.com when it ultimately will need to point to mysite.com.
I made the mistake of using my old blogs URL and then found out that I couldn’t change it to the actual URL.
So please purchase your membership sites actual domain BEFORE you start this process.
6. Create your Member Plans
Next you’ll create your member plans like monthly, yearly, etc. This includes naming your plan and the specific pages and/or content they’ll protect.
Memberspace also gives you a video tutorial that walks you through how to do this correctly and explains each of the options.
7. Set Your Member Pages + Content
Now you’re ready to work on your membership-protected content! Through MemberSpace you can protect:
- Member pages: specific pages on your Squarespace website
- Content links: downloadable content (for example, ebooks, videos, PDF guides, workbooks, etc.)
You’ll need to create your member pages in Squarespace and your downloadable content in Canva, YouTube, and where ever else you are creating content for your members.
Keep in mind that each page needs to be added individually, and the URL needs to match exactly (so, if you change the URL of a page while building it, you’ll also need to update this in MemberSpace).
There are a few ways to customize your member pages:
- Page availability: You can schedule or drip specific content to new members, or provide immediate access.
- Member plans: You’ll denote which member plans have access to each page.
- Page blackout: Set how you’d like the membership-protected pages to appear on your site—should they flicker briefly to tease the protected content, or should membership-protected URLs be blacked out to completely hide content (and boost security)?
Adding membership-protected content is easy—you’ll simply upload files under the “Content Links” tab in the back-end of MemberSpace. Later, this content can be accessed via the unique link associated with each piece of content.
8. Customize Your Sign-Up Process
Under the “Customize” tab in the back-end of MemberSpace, you’ll find numerous options to customize your members’ sign-up experience, including wording and display options, additional sign-up fields (if you’d like to collect additional information prior to sign-up), cancellation policy details, and the ability to manually approve members.
9. Add Branding
Ya’ll know I live for a well-branded site!
Set up your MemberSpace integration to look exactly like your Squarespace website design.
10. Customize Your Email Notifications
Emails are very important to send out to your members especially when they first join!
You will need a compelling and welcoming ‘Welcome Sequence’ to be delivered to them after they sign up!
Customize the wording and appearance of your client email notifications in the back-end of MemberSpace under Customize > Member Emails.
11. Test your Member Experience
Finally, before releasing your membership-protected content, it’s a good idea to test out the member experience by signing up for your membership plan(s) yourself.
Tip: The easiest way to test the sign-up process without paying the fee is to create a 100% off coupon (Member Plans > Coupon). This allows you to walk through the sign-up process and test the membership for free.
12. Add a Sign-Up Link to Your Website
Now you’re ready to link your membership-protected process to your website!
Access your member plan sign-up link(s) in the back-end of MemberSpace (Member Plans > Sign Up Link) and use as needed on buttons, etc. on your Squarespace website.
On my homepage I have the buttons that lead to a sign up page when my membership is open. For example: When they click “join now” on the homepage they will be directed to this page:
To build these tables, I used the pricing table widget on Elfsight.com.
I place the member signup links on the buttons on the pricing table application.
To place the table on Squarespace you will need to copy and paste the HTML code onto the Squarespace “Join Us” page!
Building a membership site on Squarespace was not the easiest thing to do but it was fun and it paid off! I love all of my new members!
Are you ready?
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