Building a Membership Website for Ashburn-based Business Networking Group

Building a Membership Site

We are excited to share that we are working on building a brand new membership website for an Ashburn-based business networking group. Located in Ashburn, Loudoun County, NET 2.0 was started by Melody Page-Ferry in 2017 and currently has over 600 members on their Facebook page. Their weekly networking meeting at Paul Davis Restoration in Ashburn, Virginia attracts over 30 members and guests each week.

In March 2019, the group approached LNI Digital Marketing for building a subscription-based website where members would pay monthly or annual fees to be part of the group to have access to private, educational content. The site would allow group organizers to upload and share private videos, documents, and engage with members through discussion board, all accessible to paid members.

Currently, many people opt to use WordPress because of ease of use with updating content and managing the site. However, in order to build a membership site with WordPress, it requires a number of plugins to be installed and integrated together. At the end, you have a membership site that doesn’t quite work or you have to hire developers to customize integrations and pages. WordPress is good for building a simple website up and running quickly but it is not a platform we’d recommend for building a more advanced site such as subscription-based membership site.

Using our expertise in the Laravel PHP framework, we are building a membership site for NET 2.0 from ground up. In this way, we can build exactly what we need in the way we want it. Using this approach, we can ensure that many components that make up a membership site can seamlessly work together to provide the best experience for both members and organizations.

The components we are focusing on are:

  • Subscription purchase using credit card (monthly, annually, etc)
  • Sharing of private content such as videos, documents
  • Discussion board
  • Member registration & profile
  • Member management
  • Notification system

When you want to build a community of members and want the community to grow, you want to make sure that your members are engaged and having a good notification mechanism is a key. One of ways that Facebook keeps users engaged is through its notification system. The notification we are building will ensure that an email is sent out to all members when new content is available or comment made or discussion started.

Below you can find some screenshots from current development.

Member profile screen. Members can update their photo, name, email, and any other custom fields you want to capture from your members.
Subscription screen. Members can purchase monthly or annual subscription for your products and/or services. They can also update their payment type and download invoices.
Private videos only accessible to members. The videos are hosted on private video hosting platform and not on YouTube. This would be great if your group or organization delivers video content.
Notification screen. In addition to receiving notification emails, members can access the Notification tab to see all notifications.

We are really excited about this project and will share updates as they are made!

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