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Jared Gold6,586 Points
Which Tools Should I Choose to Create an Online Membership Site?
Hey Treehouse Community!
Long story short, I plan to create an online membership site - somewhat similar to the functionality of Treehouse (except far different purpose). The basic purpose is to provide sports handicapping information once a week from a team of experts - likely via a short video.
- User signs up on website/landing page.
- Payment form comes up where user enters info. At the end of the process, the user can also enter email addresses of friends to invite them. If friends sign up, the person who referred them gets a discount as long as they remain active customers.
- MailChimp (or another email provider) sends an auto confirmation email, along with a unique referral link that friends can send to others.
- Users would access the information through one of the following (not entirely decided yet): password-protected page, email, or some sort of portal with a log-in (with the latter being ideal, though probably the most complex to set up). It'd be great to have one location for all information - in a perfect world.
Considering the following tools: -Subscription billing: Recurly (alternatives: PaySimple, BrainTree, or Stripe) -Site creation: Squarespace or Unbounce/Optimizely/LeadPages - do you all know if Unbounce/Optimizely/LeadPages pages are responsive? -Email tool: MailChimp (alternatives: Infusionsoft) -Referral service: ReferralCandy (alternative: something like ReferralSaasquatch) -Automation/linking between various systems: Zapier -Membership software (e.g. for the private portal I mentioned above): CustomerHub (from InfusionSoft) - seems to be all-in-one...? (alternative: Memberful)
Does anyone have thoughts/recommendations? Know which services/tools to use and how to integrate them to automate this process? I'd prefer feedback on the systems/tools in place rather than the viability of the idea.
To answer the question of "Why won't people just sign up for one account and share/post everywhere?" Quite possible. Hopefully by the time it gets to that stage, there is a better system in place to help prevent that. However, we believe that the referral system (tiered similarly to that of Treehouse) will help prevent sharing the information to a degree. Also, if there is a short video with that information on a login portal, instead of just emailing out text information, that may help mitigate this risk.
Thanks so much for reading this ridiculously-long post and looking forward to hearing your feedback!
Jared Gold6,586 Points
Hey Stone, thanks for the feedback.
To be totally honest, I would not want to build this from scratch. I'd like to automate this through a series of SaaS platforms to sort of serve as an Minimum Viable Product. If this thing really takes off, an all-in-one integrated platform that is custom would be the next step to scale (if needed).
*I agree that Ruby/Rails is an excellent framework.