Case Study #2: Building a Membership Site Like Platform University by Michael Hyatt
June 14, 2015 0 Comments
Platform University is a very well-known community for people who want to build their audience, it was established by Michael Hyatt and it has literally hundreds, if not thousands of active members so far.
Platform University is using Wishlist Member to manage the membership site, and in this case study we go over the overall structure, flow and integrations used to manage the community.
The purpose of this case study is to give you a “backstage pass” of how other membership sites are managed as it may help you in building your own membership site.
You can also get more ideas in our case study about the Wishlist Member online community – Wishlist Insider:
Table of Contents
Structure & Flow
The Platform University’s homepage is structured as a landing page. The registration to the website is limited and is opened every X number of months. In the homepage there is an option to register to the PU mailing list to get updates about the next enrollment period. Existing members can login using a link in the top / bottom.
You can view the Platform University homepage in this link
Limiting the registration capacity can be done using Wishlist Registration Cap plugin
The Members’ Dashboard
The PU members’ dashboard is the first page you see after you login to the members’ area and it contains a welcoming video, the member’s profile and links to important parts of the membership site, as you can see in the below screenshot:
You can use these plugins to stylize your members’ dashboard:
Wishlist Dashboard 2.0 – WishList Dashboard 2.0 allows you to create multiple dashboards which can be used within you membership site. You have the option to create a different dashboard for each membership level.
Wishlist ID Card – WishList ID Card allows for a stylized widget to be added to sidebars which will feature the member’s Gravatar image, name, membership level, CubePoints total (if installed), and links to edit their profile and log out.
Wishlist Welcome – Create personalized messages which are displayed to membership levels within a light-box once a member logs in.
The PU membership site does not use content dripping, but you get access to all the content right after you register to the membership site.
*** Important Update (07/05/2015)
There are currently 3 dripping plugins for Wishlist Member.
Please read our tip: Tip #50: How to Drip Content using Wishlist Member & Which Option to Choose
*** We also recommend checking Wishlist Drip Dynamic Shortcodes plugin which is much a much robust plugin for content dripping.
The PU error page is quite simple and it does not contain many information, only a simple “Oops! This Content is Members Only” notification with a link to sign up (the link is pointing to the homepage).
Here is a screenshot:
Related Reading (requires free registration): Creating Your Membership Site’s Error Pages (3 tips)
Platform University is using Stripe as the payment gateway which allows you as a membership site owner to register members from within your website, without leaving it to an external payment form (such as PayPal Standard), and it also has a great benefit for your members as they can cancel / update / renew their subscription on their own from within their membership profile.
Related Reading (requires free registration): Tip #57: Allowing Members to Cancel Their Membership On Their Own – Yes or No?
Platform University uses IP.Board to manage their community’s forum. The forum is closed and can be accessed by members only.
Related Reading (requires free registration): Managing a Forum within Your Membership Site (3 tips)
Platform University is using the Get Noticed Theme, which was built specifically for the Platform University community, is owned by Michael Hyatt and is available for sale separately.
Related Reading (requires free registration): Tip #29: How to Choose a Theme for Your Membership Site Plus Recommended Themes to Use with Wishlist Member
The Platform University uses Wistia to manage and play their videos.
Related Reading (requires free registration): Tip #55: How to Protect Your Videos to be Viewed by Members Only