Let’s be honest. Building a successful membership website doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, an understanding of what your audience finds valuable, and some technical know-how.
Building your product (your membership website), publishing regular content to keep your members engaged, and encouraging new members to sign up... That’s a lot of work.
But it’s a whole lot easier, faster and even fun, with membership website templates.
Templates cut your content creation process in half so you can create content, even when you’re not feeling that inspired.
And in this article, you’ll learn about 4 great templates you can find in Thrive Suite to speed things up, and how you can use them right now to build and maintain your membership website.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Membership Website?
Are you a creator, coach, or infopreneur looking to establish steady, monthly recurring revenue? — A membership website could be the business solution you’ve been searching for.
Memberships are different from say, online courses, because you’re not selling one individual digital product at a set price. Instead, you’re selling access to valuable content for a monthly subscription.
The kind of content that you can find in many memberships include:
- Exclusive blog posts
- Community access
- Online courses
…and much more!
But, if you’re not a web developer, creating this kind of website is hard.
How can you get all the tools you need to build and run your membership business?
And where do you even start when you’re building a website?
What You Need to Make a Membership Website
To help you take the first step building your membership website, here’s a list of the minimum requirements you need to get started:
- A sales page
- A payment plan
- A checkout page
- A login page
- Content access restrictions
- A display page for your membership content
- Members only content
And that’s before you even think about all the content you need to create to maintain your membership site.
To speed things up, creating a page template which you can use and reuse will make your life easier.
Let's take a look at how you can do that...
What are Membership Site Templates?
Membership website templates are a collection of pre-formatted content designs that make it easier to build and maintain your membership business.
They can be ‘fill-in-the-blank’-style forms or complete pages that you can customize to match your branding.
By using templates, you can benefit from:
- Communicating your professionalism
- Speeding up content creation
- Not needing to hire a designer
- Maintaining consistency across your pages
- Generating more on-page conversions
And Thrive Suite for WordPress includes a great selection of templates to help you create, build, market and sell your membership – all designed to help you make a website that focuses on getting you more conversions.
They’re customizable, flexible and specifically designed to help grow your online business — including memberships. And you have the freedom to edit or delete any part of the template that doesn’t match your product or content needs.
Why Using Templates Will Fast-Track Your Membership Site Success
Website templates for membership sites help you create your membership content faster and more frequently. Which results in more content, more engagement and more subscribers!
The templates included with Thrive Suite encourage you to duplicate the formatting of your most used pages to speed up your content creation, and make it consistent.
Let’s take a blog post as an example. Creating walls of text in your blog posts is just super -meh- to read. You need to engage your readers with images and formatting styles that lead them enjoyably through your articles.
But instead of having to create brand new post designs from scratch every time you need to publish an article, you can make your life simple by creating a blog post template for reuse over and over again.
So how can you create membership-based website templates for YOUR membership website?
Let’s look at some templates!
4 Templates to Make Your Membership Site in Thrive Suite
Speed up the pace of your membership website building process with the following templates.
Thrive Theme Builder Templates
Thrive Theme Builder is a WordPress plugin that makes building your membership website easy.
You can choose between professionally designed, pre-made templates that you can fully customize...
... or you can make your own membership website templates in WordPress from scratch.
It’s possible to create different types of templates including:
- Video content pages
- Audio content pages
- “Normal” pages
- Error 404 pages
And you can make custom templates specific to your membership to make the best experience for your paying customers.
Thrive Architect Templates
You could create your pages from scratch but — unless you’re a designer or have years of experience building website pages — it can feel overwhelming to get started.
Thrive Architect is a visual page-building tool that removes the barriers between the business idea in your head and creating the website that you want.
Thrive Architect templates are twofold — you’ve got pre-built landing page “sets” and block templates. Both are flexible and customizable with a ‘click to edit’ Visual Editor and contain tutorialized copy prompts to make the intimidating work of making conversion focused pages paint-by-numbers simple.
Pre-built Landing Page Sets
There are an impressive 350+ pre-built page templates — grouped into “theme sets” — that are suited to different types online businesses. Each can be easily customized into membership-based website templates.
The templates are designed to optimize your website for conversions. They contain sales pages, lead generation pages, event pages and much more to help you build a marketing funnel all by yourself — even if you've never done it before.
Of course, it's hard for a landing page template to fit your business's exact needs, so that's why Thrive Architect also includes Block templates, which are pro-designed landing page segments that can be added, rearranged and customized to fit any landing page need.
There are over 800 professionally designed Block templates available in Thrive Architect, and include such content designs as product highlights, hero sections, testimonials, calls-to-action and contact forms.
Just filter for the Block template type you're looking for, drag and drop the design where you need on page and customize it as needed.
You can even stack different Block templates on top of each other to create your own custom membership website templates in WordPress with just a few clicks!
Do you wish you had a way to save and reuse all the cool page sections and elements that you’ve made?
A content template is a feature in Thrive Architect that allows you to save entire sections of your pages so you can use them again in future, such as arrangements of text and buttons for eye-catching calls-to-action, or a “quick tips” box with a custom icon and space for text.
A content template speeds up the content creation process for your membership site. It’s a simple yet powerful function that allows you to create the assets you need by creating reusable templates on your page as you go.
To see more examples of what you can do with content templates, check out How to Save Anything in Thrive Architect as a Content Template.
Thrive Apprentice Templates
If you’re creating online courses for your membership site, one of the biggest problems you will encounter is finding a plugin that makes creating your course content easy.
Thrive Apprentice is a powerful visual course builder and membership plugin for WordPress that allows you to customize everything and sell anything. Not to brag but… it’s the most flexible online course, digital product and membership site solution on the market. 😉
Inside Thrive Apprentice, there are two kinds of templates — online course templates and restricted access templates.
Online Course Templates
To create a course with multiple content types — without needing to create a new page from scratch each time — you need to use online course templates.
There are a selection of course templates available inside Thrive Apprentice to help you speed up the process of designing your online course content, including video and audio lesson pages, course overview pages, and your online school homepage.
Making your course templates couldn’t be easier. In Thrive Apprentice, you’re guided through each step of the process with an intuitive school setup wizard. Just select the template design that matches your needs most for each setup step, and then you’re free to customize them as much or as little as you want to create the perfect online learning environment for your members.
Restricted Access Course and Content Templates
Wondering how you can tease your content to non-members?
In addition to Thrive Apprentice’s course building templates, there are default templates for restricted access pages you can customize for your content and courses. It’s what a website visitor sees when they try to access your members-only content.
Restricted access templates can be made and edited just the same as any other template in Thrive Suite, however, the function is a little different.
To make your website laser-focused on gaining more conversions, restricted access templates give you room to create custom messages when non-members try to access your content.
So, in instead of showing a simple “no access” page, you can display a call-to-action related to the content the visitor is trying to view, such as an invitation to purchase the course, join your mailing list, or offer to join your membership.
So, how can all of these website templates be used in conjunction to build a successful membership site?
6 Steps to Making Membership Site Templates in Thrive Suite
Let’s now go through the process of creating membership site templates with the tools available in Thrive Suite to build, maintain and grow your online membership business.
Step 1: Create Your Website Using Thrive Theme Builder Templates
Using Thrive Theme Builder templates, you can get set up and ready to ship your website fast.
The Site Setup Wizard is the first thing you’ll encounter when using Thrive Theme Builder for the first time. It leads you through a series of prompts to create templates for your website pages. You’ll pick from a selection of layout options that you can customize later, including your homepage, single blog posts, blog list page, and site menu.
For a step-by-step walkthrough of how to build your website with Thrive Theme Builder, check out the video below:
By selecting templates for each area of your website, you’re actually creating your own custom design… but instead of spending hours coding — you get it done in minutes with just a few buttons clicked.
Step 2: Create Your Custom Membership Website Templates
Your actual membership area pages and content should look and feel a little different to the public pages of your website. However, it's important to keep the design across your entire website consistent.
To create specific templates for your membership area, you can build custom templates in Thrive Theme Builder. When making a custom template, you can choose what kind of page you need to build — Single or List.
Custom Template Page Types
A Single template is for individual pages
like your membership site homepage,
sales pages, or blog post templates.
A list template displays multiple
pieces of content on one page.
This is for WooCommerce
product listings, blog post list pages,
or membership content list pages.
You can create your own custom template either from scratch using the Thrive Visual Editor's blank template option or by customizing a professionally designed, pre-built page template to suit your needs.
You can see how to do this in the following tutorial:
Custom templates are perfect for pages such as your login or checkout pages. They give you a simple skeleton layout to work from, so you can focus on adding functions to your pages fast.To create your sales page with Thrive Architect, simply create a new page in WordPress as you normally would and launch the visual editor by clicking on the big green "Launch Thrive Architect" button:
Step 3: Create Your Sales Page with Thrive Architect
Your sales page is one of the most important pages of your website. It’s where visitors become customers. But how do people make such visual, engaging sales pages?
Thrive Architect includes a huge range of pre-built sales page templates designed to help you achieve a professional polish, while also prompting you to write conversion-focused copy to sell more memberships.
These templates also come with sample images and content suggestions to get you started.
Just create a new page and click the big green "Launch Thrive Architect" button...
... then select the "Pre-built Landing Page" option when prompted. Doing so will open Thrive Architect's landing page template set library where you can browse through and select the landing page template design that best fits your current content need:
Once the template you selected loads, you can get started customizing your page!
Step 4: Don’t Forget to Use Your Content Templates
Ever find yourself asking “Where did I make that cool section design?” when building a website?
Saving your best designs as content templates as you build them will help solve this problem for you in the future.To save designs as reusable Content Templates when working in Thrive Architect, just hover on the section of your page you'd like to reuse and click the save button — also known as the floppy disc icon:
Then simply give it a name and assign a category so you can find it easily in the future:
Then, when you’re not feeling so creative in the future and you want to ship a custom page quickly, you’ll have access to a bank of content designs saved and ready to go.
Pretty cool, hey?
Step 5: Make Your Membership with Thrive Apprentice
You’re now going to use your membership website templates to build the actual membership section of your website.
To create your membership website, you first need to make all of the pages we listed earlier:
- A sales page
- A payment plan
- A checkout page
- A login page
- Content access restrictions
- A display page for your membership content
Then you can set access restrictions so only active members can see your premium content.
Watch the video below, where Christine walks you through each step in the process of making your membership website using Thrive Apprentice:
Having an online course and membership site builder like Thrive Apprentice reduces costs and the time needed to get your online business published — you’ve got everything in one place!
Step 6: Prepare Your Restricted Access Templates
A crucial part of your membership website is showing website visitors that they cannot access your content unless they sign up for your membership.
You will find restricted access templates among the default template options in Thrive Apprentice.
To customize the restricted access templates, the process is exactly the same as with other templates. You’ll be able to choose whether you want to create a template from scratch or customize a pre-built layout instead. Then you can add your call-to-action to sign up to your mailing list or membership.
Once saved, website visitors who are not signed in will be shown these pages if they try to access your content.
The default restricted access template shows you the space where your blocked content will be.
Restricted access templates double up as conversion opportunities. So this is also a great place to prompt new site visitors to join your membership as paying customers.
Time to Build Your Own Membership Site Templates
Although membership businesses inherently offer the awesome benefit of recurring revenue, running one successfully does require time and commitment to keep your customers from churning.
But by using membership website templates, you can cut the time needed to create your membership content in half.
Now that you're a pro when it comes to creating all of these template types, how will you use them to run your own membership site?
Let me know in the comments below!