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Recommendation for a website builder for a paid video course site (Website + LMS + Membership Area)?

Update: Thank you to everyone for sharing your recommendations.I decided to try the new Kajabi (app.newkajabi.com)and so far it seems to be exactly what I was looking for. Beautiful templates with the commerce and marketing functionality that I need. I'll update the thread with additional feedback as I build out my site.

Also, if anyone else is interesting in using Kajabi, I have 3 codes for the closed beta that expire on Jan 31st. I'm listing them here so it's on a first come basis:




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Original Post:


I'm looking for a recommendation on a platform to use to development my site. I have been exploring the Rainmaker platform, and it has most of what I need, but the templates seem VERY limiting from a design perspective. rainmakerplatform.com


I do not have coding experience, so I'm looking for something with templates that I can edit or a WYSIWYG builder. The website will have some free video content and paid video courses. I'm using YouTube to host the free content and Vimeo Pro for the paid content. I need to be able to charge for the video courses through the site and provide a membership/login where users have access to only the content they have paid for.


I don't need everything in one platform, but here are the things I need:


  • Website template with modern design
  • Membership area for video courses
  • Transaction options for each video course
  • Affiliate links and tracking
  • Blog functionality
  • Ability to add YouTube & Vimeo videos
  • Email subscription functionality


Here are the platforms I have considered so far:


Rainmaker - It has most of what I need, but the templates seem VERY limiting from a design perspective.


Squarespace - great design options and easy to use, but lacks the login/membership functionality to limit access to only content paid for per user.


Wordpress - I believe there are plugins to do each of the things I need, but it would require using an installed version of wordpress.org and then piecing together plugins and trying to get everything to work together. Again I don't have coding experience so I'm hoping to use something that is not incredibly complex to setup.


Does anyone have experience building a similar type of site and/or any recommendations for other platforms to consider?

21 Replies

Brent Laminack
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Brent Laminack Entrepreneur
Principal at OpenFace Systems, Inc.
I'd go an open source content management system such as WordPress or Joomla. Yes, you'd need a developer but such are very common, check your local meetups. After all, that's all Rainmaker is. Yes, look under the covers and RainMaker is just a pre-packaged (and rather pricey) WordPress site, at least that's what their html says to me.
Ron Yang
1
0
Ron Yang Entrepreneur
Director of Product Management, Aha! -- #1 product roadmap software
Consider a platform like teachable.com or udemy.com where they are specifically for people who want to create and sell online courses.
David Butler
1
1
David Butler Advisor
Connector, Advisor, ‎Serial Networker
Renee Teeley
0
0
Renee Teeley Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer @ Startup Studios: Looking for Guest Bloggers & Marketing Partners
Ron, I want to have them on my own site so I can build up my own audience and offer additional things in the future. Thank you for the recommendation though.

Brent, yes rainmaker is an expensive pre-packaged wordpress platform. Still hoping I can find a solution without the need for a developer, but I may end up needing to go that route like you recommended.
Amish Gandhi
0
0
Amish Gandhi Advisor
Technology Entrepreneur
I'd suggest wordpress + learndash.

Or Open edX.
Ron Yang
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0
Ron Yang Entrepreneur
Director of Product Management, Aha! -- #1 product roadmap software
Teachable can allow you to integrate it to your site
Renee Teeley
0
0
Renee Teeley Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer @ Startup Studios: Looking for Guest Bloggers & Marketing Partners
Oh that's a good option. I know they have a wordpress plugin, if I go that route, but I'm not sure what other integration options they offer. Thanks! -- Make it a great day!
Katherine Chalmers
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0
Katherine Chalmers Entrepreneur
B2B software marketing executive
Take a look at Wordpress + WooCommerce + WooMember
Joanan Hernandez
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0
Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
Hello Renne,

Just to clarify, you don't need to use wordpress.org to use wordpress. You can have an standalone installation of wordpress which is very flexible. The only technical part will be to set it up, after that most thingsshould be point and click. Most web hosting services can help you with the initial setup so you don't have to mess with that.

That said, this is very important: If you do decide to go with a standalone wordpress installation you'll need to have it up to date. Meaning you need to keep an eye on your wordpress installation and not allow it to become delayed on updates packages or plug-ins. This to avoid hacking (in many ways) to your website.

We do use an standalone Wordpress for our site (granted not with your requirements). We love wordpress for it, however we also are discipline on maintaining it to avoid headaches.

Best of lucks!
Renee Teeley
0
0
Renee Teeley Entrepreneur
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer @ Startup Studios: Looking for Guest Bloggers & Marketing Partners
The installation and maintenance part is what I was concerned with, but maybe it's not as complex and I'm assuming. This is helpful, thanks! -- Make it a great day!
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