How to Create a Membership Website with Gated Content

Softr provides non-tech founders or just anyone with an easy-to-use tool to build a web app or website on Airtable in just a few minutes. Very often, the project can require creating a website with membership functionality, where users can register, manage their profiles, and have access to specific content only after registration. Basically, a membership website has a gated area with exclusive content, community, functionality, etc. that is accessible by members only, and you can also charge for access. 

 

In the example we consider further in this article, we create an educational website with online courses for startup founders, setting up a gated area so that only registered members can access the page with courses. For a different example, you can check out our article dedicated to building a job board, where we’ve examined the possibility of providing the users with a form to submit their job postings and making the form available to members only (as well as potentially charging for submissions). These are just a few possible use cases, while there are endless potential applications.

 

As you can imagine, our potential and existing customers brought up the membership functionality a lot since Softr was launched, so we are glad that they can now give it a try and let us know what they think. It was also crucial for us to make it as simple and straightforward as possible, as there are many no-code tools out there that require a quite complex setup and integrating numerous paid services in order to create a basic membership website. In the following sections, we will demonstrate the process of setting up memberships in just a few quick steps. So, let’s move on.

User Accounts Blocks

Since Softr apps are built using blocks, let’s first see what new blocks are available for the membership functionality. We’ve added a  whole new group of blocks that can be accessed under the User Accounts section. It includes signup and signin forms, a block for users to manage their profiles, as well as “forgot password” blocks to reset the password if needed.

signup form

Block and Page Visibility

Now that you got familiar with the building blocks, let’s move on to the most important aspect: how to create gated areas on a Softr web app. To achieve this, we’ve introduced a new concept: block and page visibility. Through the visibility feature, you can, for example, hide log in/sign up buttons on the site header from logged in users. But most importantly, you can make certain areas of your web app accessible for logged in users only. In our detailed tutorial on Memberships, we have used one of our templates to show how you can create an educational website with online courses and make the courses accessible to logged in users only. The gif below shows what it will look like from your users' perspective.

website signup process

As we emphasized above, we have tried to keep it simple, so in order to set up a membership website, you just need to configure the signin/signup blocks along with reset password and user profile forms and define page and block visibility for your gated content. That’s it.

You might also wonder how one can view and manage the user registrations. To make it easy for our customers, we’ve incorporated a dedicated section right into Softr studio. Let’s see what it looks like.

Data Section

Thus, there is a separate Data section with the list of all registered users, where you can view their profile info and see when they’ve signed up. We’ve also added a View Test Data switch to allow for testing the registration process in preview mode. See below what that looks like.

data section

Charging for Access to Gated Content

One of the most important aspects of the membership functionality is the possibility to monetize what you’re offering to your members if you think they are ready to pay for it or, perhaps, if you’re not sure and want to test that assumption. Anyways, the Membership feature wouldn’t be complete without an option to collect payments for members-only content. Therefore, you can sign up (or just check it out if you are already using Softr) and play around with what’s already available until payments are added as well. Paid membership will be implemented through native Stripe integration, where you can charge for one-time products or subscriptions, and will be available on the first week of February 2021. Even more additional functionality and improvements will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Conclusion

To sum it up, it’s apparent that the membership feature is a really valuable addition to the existing Softr functionality, significantly expanding the potential of our no-code tool. As we tried to demonstrate, you just need to perform a few simple configurations to create an educational website with gated online courses or, for instance, build an online community with user registration. Hope you found the article useful. We offer a free plan, so you can sign up and give Softr a try at any time.

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