When I first got started with website builders in 2014, their membership capabilities felt very thin. Actually, you were lucky if they allowed you to password-protect your pages.
However, Wix has always been (at least) one step ahead of their competition in terms of innovation, and back in the day, you were already able to provide users with a personal login and password for your website.
Wix hasn’t stopped improving their system and their capabilities are much more advanced – (*spoiler alert*) you can even sell membership subscriptions now.
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What is Wix Membership?
Wix has built a coding-free system for website owners to let visitors register and get access to exclusive content. Additionally, it’s also possible to sell paid subscriptions online without third-party integrations.
On top of that, you can combine these sets of features with other Wix apps like Wix Bookings or your Wix blog.
Note: If you just want a simple password-protected site (without user credentials), this option is also available with Wix’s editor.
How much is it?
Wix Membership prices are simple; all the features are free unless you require payment processing and/or bookings online. If you do, you’ll need to purchase one of the Wix Business & eCommerce packages.
These business-focused tiers offer 3 options: Basic, Unlimited and VIP. In my opinion, unless you know you’re going to go over the limitations of the Basic plan (e.g. storage), I would go for the entry-level package as it comes with all the features you’ll need, and you can always upgrade later on if needed.
Pros & Cons of Wix Membership Sites
Even if their range of features is impressive, Wix Membership has some shortcomings you should be aware of. So let me tell you about their most important pros and pons:
- Manage your contacts from the Wix backend, for example, to approve user registrations (or block a contact). Contacts are automatically synced with the Wix email marketing tool too.
- Creating membership areas is available for free, even with the Wix free plan (if processing payments isn’t needed).
- As you won’t need to purchase an external service, this is an affordable premium solution.
- Sell bookings, courses and subscriptions easily. You can even set recurring payments.
- Let users register with their email, Google or Facebook credentials.
- Expand the capabilities of your Wix Membership Site with Wix Velo. For example to create user-generated content.
- No confirmation email is sent to the users when they register if approval isn’t set to manual.
- Unfortunately, there’s not a way to create multilingual membership sites. If this is your goal, I’d suggest you check out WordPress.
- It’s not possible to personalize the registration emails – you can send follow-ups with Wix email marketing automations.
- Difficult to modify subscriptions (e.g. change plans) once users have chosen one.
- No flexibility when displaying the available plans on your website. For example, it’s not possible to show the plans on more than one page in more detail.
How To Create a Wix Membership Site?
Even if Wix makes it easy to create your members-only page (or area), you’ll need to do some work to get it functioning as it should:
Note: Some templates come with a members’ area set up section, but you’ll always be able to remove it or customize it to your needs.
To create the membership area you have two options:
1- Individual members-only pages:
Set an individual page as ‘Members only’ from the Page Settings >> Permissions menu. This will make the page you select only available for registered users.
This is the simplest way of creating exclusive content for members. There won’t be a member area, member profile pages or even a log in/log out button.
Example of Sign Up screen
As you can see in the screenshot above, visitors will see a registration screen. Once they complete it, they’ll be able to access the page. Sadly, you won’t be able to set a manual approval for members using this method, everyone that registers will be allowed in.
2- Creating a fully-featured members’ area:
Where Wix really shows muscle is when creating user areas. This solution includes:
- More registration options (e.g. enable or disable Google and Facebook login and manual and automatic approval).
- Login & logout buttons for users.
- Member profile page to update their information – name, email, phone and more.
- Members page where they can have basic interactions with other members (e.g. follow them).
- Member menu, so users can navigate the exclusive-members pages.
At the click of a button (see screenshot above) Wix will add a new member-only area to your website that you can customize to a certain degree – find out more information.
One thing that really bothers me is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to confirm the user’s email upon registration, like a double-opt-in confirmation. This is not ideal as spammers could take advantage of the openness. You can’t customize the emails that users get after their approval, either.
On the bright side, Wix offers a way to easily import or export your contacts. On top of that, it’s also possible to create custom fields to add further information about your users – you can choose between text, number, URL and date fields.
Selling Plans & Recurring Payments
Some other website builders like Weebly or Webnode offer ways to create membership areas too, though these are less advanced than Wix Membership. What most competition fails to achieve is a way to sell subscriptions, but with Wix this is possible.
It’s a bit counterintuitive, as in order to sell plans, you’ll have to first add your services using the Wix Bookings app and then create the plans you’ll be selling using the Paid Plans Wix app. The process can be a bit complex, but you can follow this video for further information:
Finally, to create a membership site you need to link each membership page (or area) with the paid plan that grants access to it. This can be done from the Settings >> Permissions page menu (see screenshot below).
The system that Wix has created, to me, feels a bit overcomplicated. However, after watching the Wix tutorials (see video above) and with some practice, you should be able to figure things out on your own.
You have to consider that this is a pretty new functionality; it’s a work-in-progress system. Therefore, some of the options you may need aren’t available just yet and it can feel a bit limited.
It was clever of Wix to allow Wix users to send custom email automations, for instance, every time a plan is ordered, cancelled or expired. However, I’d appreciate a few more customization options – e.g. send email A when Paid Plan A was purchased, send email B when Paid Plan B was purchased and not one general email for all plans (A & B).
My biggest complaint is that a bunch of the work you need to do as a site owner is very manual. For example, there is no way for users to automatically cancel their subscription. Instead, they have to let you know (e.g. you create a form) so you can manually cancel their subscriptions.
Last Thoughts on Wix Membership
I have mixed feelings with Wix’s membership system.
I appreciate that they are the only site builder on the market (that I know of) with such advanced features. They actually make it possible for beginners to sell plans and subscriptions online relatively easily.
Many Wix users can benefit from this. For example, you can sell yoga studio monthly passes or even subscriptions to your cupcake online training.
However, it has a couple of glitches that make it a bit clunky. I’d like to see a more straightforward interface and an easier way to deal with plan changes, upgrades and cancelations. It also should provide more flexibility on how and where site owners want to display their paid plans.
The good thing is that Wix lets you try their Paid Plans app for free so you can see for yourself.
If you have any questions, please leave a message below. And if you are a Wix Membership or Wix Paid Plans user, let us know what you think of it.