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Have you heard the news?! Squarespace Member Areas are here! The timing could not be more perfect as business owners are planning and strategizing for the start of a new year. As digital content continues to rise in popularity, Squarespace Member Areas will allow you to take your business to the next level and monetize your content seamlessly through gated memberships.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited!
You’re probably wondering what the Squarespace membership is all about. You’ve come to the right place! I’m breaking things down and outlining everything you need to know about the new Squarespace Member Areas. Let’s get to it!
Here’s what you’re going to learn about Squarespace Member Areas…
Squarespace Member Areas allow you to create gated, members-only content on your Squarespace website to not only grow your business in the digital landscape but deepen connections with your audience and website visitors. These member-only pages allow your site visitors exclusive access to gated content you’ve created by creating an account and paying a membership fee if you decide to set one.
Before diving into all the details, I’m going to define a few key terms you should know. I’m a firm believer in always understanding the foundational elements as they are what help set you up for success.
Squarespace Member Areas can be enabled in one of two (2) ways: building a new site OR expanding an existing site. I’m going to break down each of these options so you can decide which is best for your business to grow.
Similar to a traditional Squarespace website, you will first start off by selecting a Member Areas template from the template story. If you aren’t a fan of the template options, you can select any template and follow the steps to manually enable Member Areas.
If you’re looking to enable Member Areas on an existing Squarespace website…
Once you’ve selected to either build a new site or add Member Areas to an existing site you’ll need to select a Member Areas plan from the pricing table and subscribe.
Squarespace Member Areas are available at three (3) different levels: starter, core, and pro. The fees associated with Member Areas are in addition to your general Squarespace website plans and can be paid annually or monthly.
The Starter Member Areas plan is $10 per month when paid monthly, or $9 per month when paid annually. The Starter plan allows for one (1) member area and there is a transaction fee of 7% (yes, 7%…quite high if you ask us!).
The Core Member Areas plan is $20 per month when paid monthly, or $18 per month when paid annually. The Core plan allows for three (3) member areas and there is a transaction fee of 4%.
Lastly, the Pro Member Areas plan is $40 per month when paid monthly, or $35 per month when paid annually. The Pro plan allows for 10 member areas and has a transaction fee of only 1%.
Stuck on which plan is right for you? Thankfully Squarespace has a great breakdown I had to share…
“Transaction fees apply to every membership sold through your site. If you expect to sell a large number of memberships, we recommend the Core and Pro plans for their lower transaction fee percentages. For example, the difference between a Core and Starter plan billed annually is $108 USD per year. If you’re on an annual Starter plan and sell more than $3,600 in memberships per year ($300 per month), you’ll pay more in transaction fees than the difference between the plans. In that case, you’ll save by upgrading to the Core pricing plan.”
All Squarespace Member Areas include the following features…
Whether you have a business or commerce Squarespace website plan, you’ll receive access to select commerce features once you enable and subscribe to Squarespace Member Areas. These commerce features are an incredible inclusion and will truly provide you with essential tools to manage your business.
Setting up Member Areas for your business is as easy as 1-2-3! It only takes a few quick steps and you’ll have your Squarespace membership site going in no time.
You can view and manage your subscription easily at any time, exploring things like subscription details, reviewing your invoices, disabling auto-renew, or even canceling your subscription. You are also able to change your Member Areas billing cycle and pricing plan at any time.
If you switch from annual billing to monthly billing (downgrade your account), you will start a brand new billing cycle. The invoice generated will be based on the cost of the monthly plan subtracted from the cost of the unused time on the annual plan originally signed up for. This refund can take between 3 to 10 business days to process.
If you switch from monthly billing to annual billing (upgrade your account), you’ll also start a brand new billing cycle. Your invoice will be prorated based on the unused time from the month subtracted from the cost of the annual plan.
Before you can begin selling memberships to your gated and password-protected content in your Member Areas, you’ll need to connect to a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. The good news…all it takes is 3 easy steps!
After you connect to a payment processor, any sign-up blocks will automatically update.
Each visitor who signs up for a membership to one of your Member Areas automatically has a profile created that you can view and manage in the Profiles panel. You are able to see key information like their membership history, email address, and total money spent. In the Profiles panel, you can also organize your members using tags and notes.
It is important to note that you cannot import member profiles manually or sign someone up for a member area on their behalf. Each person must individually and personally sign up for a membership and establish their personal customer account and login credentials. If you are using a third-party extension or transferring from another platform with similar features, your members will need to re-establish their membership after you enable Member Areas on your Squarespace website.
To ensure an easy transfer, contact your current members to notify them of this change and invite them to join your Members Areas. Explain to them the benefits of this switch for them (make it about them, not you!) and outline the simple steps for signing up for your Member Areas. Be sure to outline what will happen to their existing membership account and the respective content.
All member profiles in your Squarespace Member Areas memberships display an email address and a name. To view all of your members, follow these steps…
Based on your business and terms & conditions, you will determine and set the precedent for refunds to your membership(s). Members who request and receive a refund will still have access to your member area. If you allow membership refunds, initiate a refund by completing the following steps…
Canceling a membership will come up and it is essential you have terms & conditions in place stating your cancelation policy. If you need to cancel someone’s membership to one (or more) of your membership areas, complete the following steps…
Regardless of your overall Squarespace website plan, you will have access to detailed analytics in the Analytics panel of the main dashboard. There are five (5) key stats that will be displayed and I’m going to break those down for you here.
There you have it – the ultimate guide to Squarespace Member Areas. AndI know that was A TON of information but hopefully, it can serve as the go-to resource for all things Squarespace Member Areas for you and your business. What are your thoughts on this new Squarespace feature?
Looking for even more insight on Squarespace Member Areas? Rebecca from Inside the Square wrote a great recap of her beta test experience – be sure to check it out!
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Through strategic Showit website design and done-for-you search engine optimization, I work with innovative and creative business owners like you to build magazine-worthy websites that effortlessly attract your ideal client—so much so that they’ll never want to leave.
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