E-Commerce · Membership Site

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

Renee Teeley Looking to join an early stage startup as a CMO or CCO - expertise in video marketing

Last updated on May 21st, 2018

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:





Original Post:

I'm looking for a recommendation on a platform to use to develop 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 by users.

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?


January 14th, 2016

Consider a platform like teachable.com or udemy.com where they are specifically for people who want to create and sell online courses.

Kunal Lodha

January 14th, 2016

Hello Renne,

WordPress & available plugins can definitely serve your purpose looking at the high level requirements mentioned. Also put some efforts to find the features for each plugin prior to integration. Will save you sometime. It is quite possible that you are able to find the plugin and may have to do a few changes to the plugin to actually use it.

There are managed Wordpress hosting plans which automatically adds security updates, etc. and keep your website up to date. Beware there are a few reputed hosting companies that may not rank well on Google search engine. So choose the right one!

If your purpose of the website is just sharing information, building strong identity/ presence as well blogging; I would have recommended you to do it on your own but as you will have customers buying videos from your website please use someone who has done a few Wordpress websites before to ensure everything works well and you deliver a great experience to your customers. Just my 2 cents.

Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

January 23rd, 2016

We have recently built a membership community for customers of our product. We used Wordpress with Lifter LMS for both free and paid courses and training, and bbpress / BuddyPress for the discussion/Forum area. 

Payments for classes or a couple of other products that we also offer to our customers are handled by WooCommerce. 

It was a super cost effective approach for us and has been working really well. 

Brent Laminack Principal at OpenFace Systems, Inc.

January 14th, 2016

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.

David Butler Serial networker, Startup advisor!

January 14th, 2016

Renee Teeley Looking to join an early stage startup as a CMO or CCO - expertise in video marketing

January 14th, 2016

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 Technology Entrepreneur

January 14th, 2016

I'd suggest wordpress + learndash.

Or Open edX.


January 14th, 2016

Teachable can allow you to integrate it to your site

Renee Teeley Looking to join an early stage startup as a CMO or CCO - expertise in video marketing

January 14th, 2016

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 B2B software marketing executive

January 14th, 2016

Take a look at Wordpress + WooCommerce + WooMember