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Gary R Smith article on Internet marketing

If you have decided to start a membership site, then one of the most crucial choices you will make is which script to use. Prices vary from scripts that you can get for free to others that can cost several thousand dollars.

Before you even start looking for a suitable script you should make a short list of requirements for your site. Lets look at some of the most important specifications that you will need to check.

  • Payment Processor - Do you already have a payment processor and/or merchant account? You will need to know which processors are supported. Most scripts support PayPal, 2CO and but if you are using a different payment processor you will need to know if your processor is supported.
  • Membership Payments - What sort of memberships will you be offering? Will they be a single payment or monthly recurring fees?
  • Domains/Sites - Does the script allow you to use it on more than one domain or is it a single site license? A script may seem quite well priced, but if you plan on running multiple sites and the script is only licensed for one domain, this could end up quite costly.
  • Templates - Does the script use templates for the design? How much control do you have over the look and feel? Can you create different member areas for each membership level?
  • OTO - Most internet marketers like to provide a One Time Offer. You will need to check whether the script will allow you to do this.
  • Membership/Commission Structure - How flexible is the commission structure. Does it allow you to pay commissions on products, OTOs and upgrades?
  • Special Promotions - Will you be running special offers and promos? If so, you will need a script that allows you to provide customers with a special 'promo code'.
  • Customization - Some scripts use encryption to protect the intellectual property of the script author. This also limits the degree to which you can customize the script. If you think you may want some customized features, check whether the script comes with full source code.

As you can see, when we start looking at some of the possible requirements for a membership script it can end up being quite a long list of necessary features. So, it's best to take your time and choose a script that suits the way YOU want to operate your site.

Membership scripts, like any other script, vary greatly in their design and features. You also need to consider how difficult it is to install and configure the script. Ideally, you want a script that is easy to install and user friendly for the admin and the members. Ask around on internet marketing forums. There are many other people running membership sites on the various scripts and they're usually more than happy to provide some information about the script they use.

The script you choose will be the engine room of your membership site. If you spend some time and create a checklist of essential features before you make your purchase, you won't find yourself in a situation where you need to change the script AFTER you have members already using your site.

Gary Smith is a self confessed membership site junkie. He is involved in the development of the Launch Formula Marketing script and runs a membership site directory at

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