How to Create a Live Stream Membership Website

How Do I Create a WordPress Website?

Over the past couple of years, I have been developing and refining a web-based membership platform that offers a bi-weekly, in-person, and webinar-based Seminar. The seminar is the focus and the reason the website and membership exist, and it all started in our living room.  
In this blog, I will give you an overview of how to build and design your very own WordPress membership website and webinar. But first, I will walk you through the journey of why I needed a website and how the live broadcast of a seminar came into play.
My wife, Lisa, is a licensed clinical social worker and has a successful private practice. She has been practicing for over 25 years and has developed her practice, and focus on the power of energy. Or, more specifically, quantum physics. She saw a need for people to remember that they hold all of the power and that they are the ones creating their reality. Many of her clients preferred doing this type of therapy as opposed to processing or more traditional analysis. So, her practice grew, and she focused on doing "Energy" work and created a space where her clients could learn this new process of understanding themselves and the power they have always held.  
As more people started to learn about what Lisa was teaching they started asking if she could have an open seminar so their friends and family members could come and learn. The idea was new for my wife, but she thought it might help if people could get the information in a more open forum. She agreed, and she quickly set up her first live seminar.
As the months went on, her students started asking if they could get a recorded version of the seminar so they could go back and review the material.
This is where I come in. Lisa asked me to build a website and create it as a membership porthole so people could join the group and have access to the seminars whenever they wanted. Today her Website and Business are called STATE, your center for being.  Have a look around and see what you think.  
This blog is a chronological version of how I got started on creating her online membership and live seminar business.
Lisa had a need to support her members virtually, and I was willing to support her and the group, but I had never built a membership website in my life. I was a salesperson throughout my corporate career, and I didn't know where to start.  

Searching For The Best Solution 

So, I did what you are all doing now, and I used google and typed in, what is the best membership website builder? I was inundated with the search results of top sites, and every one of the links was an affiliate marketer.   
Now, remember, this was about three years ago, and Click Funnels was the membership platform that was featured. I did my research and noticed that it was a lot of money to put down per month ($297/month) for a new business. I did more research and came across a YouTube video from a guy named Miles Beckler, and he created a video called: Why I Left Clickfunnels... And why I migrated my membership site to Thrive Themes. This video got me started in developing and building my wife's membership email platform.  As it turned out I was able to do more with Thrive Themes and save about $200/month at the same time.  
My recommendation is to do as much research as you can stomach. There is a lot of information out there about this type of website building and the money you can make on having a membership-based business. My intention is not to talk about the money you can make but to offer you a chance to build a business that can support your customer's so they can have access to your information at any time they choose.  
Here is a list of the companies that I chose to use and the monthly costs associated with each of them:  

Recommended Products

  1. 1
    A2 Hosting     $9.99/month
  2. 2
    Thrive Themes     $19.00/month
  3. 3
    Aweber    $16.15/Month
  4. 4
    MemberMouse     $32.33/Month
  5. 5
    Stripe     2.9% + .30
  6. 6
    PayPal   2.9% + .30
  7. 7
    Zoom      $149.00/Year
  8. 8
    Vimeo     $7.00/Month
  9. 9
    YouTube   Free

Total Investment Per Month

$96.96

These tools/applications will get you up and running with a fully hosted, WordPress website based membership platform that you can market to and from, all while hosting videos and live webinars. I also added YouTube because I use it as a free video service to host 5-minute samples of Lisa's Seminars. It also supports one of her social media channels and functions as a video tool for the website.   
As I said, there are lots of different companies out there that you can use for each aspect of your business, so you can plug and play with the ones you think work best for your solution. Here is how I use each application to serve as one cohesive, fully functional membership website.  

DataBase

The base of any website is the hosting service you choose. This service is key to the speed at which your page loads and its availability on the web. If you use a cheap and unreliable hosting service, that is what you'll be offering your visitors, and the experience will be similar.

WordPress Website Builder

On top of the hosting service, I use Thrive Themes as my WordPress builder, theme template provider, and centralized plugin support tool. I chose to use Thrive because it is an easy click and drag WordPress building tool that offered a separate and private membership area. They call it Thrive Apprentice, and it allows you to create courses or house protected content for your members. It also has API capability with my email client, payment integrator, and membership platform. It is the hub that I use for all customer information and billing needs.  

Email Marketing

I selected Aweber because of their cost and relative ease of use. There are a lot of email providers, so go with the one that fits your needs best. But make sure your provider is GDPR compliant as these new Data Protection laws can cause you a lot of problems. Fortunately, Aweber has focused on supporting GDPR and CAN-Spam laws. They use a double opt-in process to make sure people who sign up to your email list are legitimate.  This also helps keep your list filled with people who actually read your email content.    

Membership Platform

MembersMouse is an adequate tool to use when you are starting a new membership business. They can support you up to your first 1,000 members at a relatively low price, and you have room to grow. They also provide you with WordPress templates for login pages, membership pages, as well as checkout templates to make your site looks and feels professional. I also like that they integrate with Aweber to send an email confirmation once your customer pays for your product or service. And they just recently added a drip campaign option to help you better engage with new or prospective clients.

Payment Gateway

Payment services are a necessary evil and support your ability to conduct business anywhere in the world and receive prompt payment. The two services I use are for my customer's convenience are Strip and PayPal and are both widely used and reliable. It also offers your clients the choice to use a payment method they most prefer. Integration with MemberMouse was as simple as setting up an API and clicking connect. 

Zoom

Currently, this tool is my choice to provide webinar services. Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, it has become increasingly more important to be able to offer our clients remote access to the live seminar we produce. And with the new security features, it is easier to make sure only your clients get access to your content.
The downside of Zoom is you can no longer embed it into your website as your video streaming service on the cheap. I direct my members to our website and then to the page I have the embedded webinar Zoom link, and that directs them to their Zoom app to access the live content. I do this so that the client is always sure to use our website first. Eventually, I will find a better solution, and Lisa's clients can go to a designated page on her site through their login credentials and have direct access to the live seminar.

Vimeo

I use Vimeo for Lisa's protected content as it is more secure and easy to hide from people who want to copy your videos. In 2019 YouTube took away its content protection, and you no longer had a way to keep your videos private. So, for $7 a month and 5GB a week of space, I have full control of the video content and can protect them within my website under the membership privileges page.

9 Applications That Create A Live Streaming Membership Website

You Can Run a Membership Business for About $100/Month

I hope that this information will get you excited about building and supporting your very own membership web-based business. I can tell you from experience that it is a lot of fun and very rewarding to know that people can have access to your information anywhere and anytime, no matter where they are in the world.

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