This means that they provide services to organizations that want an online courses space to manage all of their membership functions, from membership-only digital content to payment processing for things like subscriptions and merch.
If you’re looking for a platform from which to launch your very own membership site, you’ll be interested in how the top-rated platforms compare with one another.
Two platforms that we’ve heard organizations frequently struggle to choose between are MemberPress and Kartra.
Both MemberPress and Kartra are excellent choices in the world of membership platforms, but depending on what kind of organization you run and what features you want available to your members, one might serve you better than the other.
Read on for an individual overview of MemberPress vs Kartra’s key features and their pros and cons as well as a side-by-side comparison to help you choose the perfect membership platform for your organization.
Introduction To Memberpress
MemberPress calls itself the Number 1 WordPress Membership Plugin.
As you might have anticipated from the name of the service, it’s a plugin designed to help other users to create membership sites using WordPress.
This software isn’t only designed for the making of membership sites, though.
It’s also a useful payment processing tool for those who have membership-exclusive content or merchandise on their membership sites, complete with various security options for safe, reliable payments.
MemberPress makes it easy for you to tailor the accessibility of content within your membership site, so only certain people can see it.
This is ideal if you are offering tiered memberships, since you can limit certain posts, entire pages, or even individual tags to a specific audience.
MemberPress offers various plans, so there are beginner-friendly options for more basic membership sites, as well as high-level plans for people with programming experience.
If that’s you, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of your use of MemberPress.
Memberpress Main Features
Having provided you with a basic overview of MemberPress, it’s time to take a look at some of the main features the platform has to offer.
Knowing the different features available on these membership platforms will be crucial when it comes to making your decision.
WordPress Website Builder
As we mentioned earlier, the main selling point of MemberPress is the fact that it’s a WordPress plug-in.
WordPress is one of the easiest online courses for website creation, so if you’re looking for a user-oriented, beginner-friendly platform to create a membership community of your own, MemberPress is the perfect choice.
The beauty of WordPress is that it’s easy to work with and super convenient to use.
Even if you have no idea where to start with creating a membership site, you can simply pay the fee for the WordPress plugin and install it onto your PC.
Once you have done this, you simply use the configuration settings and the membership area of your website will be taken care of for you.
A good membership site should always have strict security in place.
This is especially important if your membership site will be processing payments from customers, which is something that MemberPress does offer.
You can use third-party integrations to include various payment gateways in your membership site, which means you can select the payment gateway that you feel will work best for the site you’re building, and security features are built into these gateways to ensure that your customers’ payment details won’t be compromised.
Additionally, MemberPress offers access controls to stop people from gaining access to your content and sharing it outside of the membership site.
You can choose from various security plug-ins (available through WordPress) and install password protection.
By adjusting the User Roles on WordPress, you can stop unauthorized access to your content, and this should be enough to keep your content safe as long as you don’t download any unofficial plug-ins.
One of our favorite MemberPress features is the ability to create forums for your members to interact with one another.
Not only does this save you or your members the trouble of creating a forum external to your site, but it makes your membership site feel more like a community space.
Member forums on MemberPress are another way to make certain membership tiers (if this is the structure you’re going for) feel more exclusive.
You can limit access to forums based on tiers and create a Premium forum, motivating the purchase of premium subscriptions.
If you use MemberPress to create your membership site, you can take advantage of the MemberPress Reports feature, which uses site reporting technology to provide users with metrics.
These metrics include how many transactions have been completed over a period of time, how many new subscriptions there have been to the site, and your total income, just to name a few.
All the metrics provided by MemberPress Reports are in real-time, so you can assess the latest statistics for free.
Unlike some other membership platforms, MemberPress won’t make you pay extra to get these analytics since they’re available no matter what plan you pay for.
This might not be one of the first features you look for when choosing a platform for your membership site, but it’s a unique feature that we think is well worth considering when choosing between MemberPress and Kartra.
With MemberPress, you can create your very own coupons for members to use on your site. This can include coupon codes or 3 types of discounts for members.
MemberPress’s sales coupon feature can be instrumental in encouraging members to select higher membership tiers when paying for their subscription because you can make coupons valid only for certain types of memberships.
You can even install a plug-in called Easy Affiliate, which allows sales pages made with coupons to benefit a selected affiliate marketing program in the form of a commission.
Introduction To Kartra
We have already established that MemberPress is a great choice of a membership platform for almost any organization.
However, one of MemberPress’s biggest competitors is Kartra, and once you’ve heard what this platform has to offer, you may be tempted to go with this service instead.
Unlike MemberPress, which has been around for years, Kartra is a relatively new service that only launched recently.
However, the platform has grown immensely during the short time in which it has been operational, and many organizations are now using Kartra to build and grow businesses and membership communities to help with developing online courses.
One of the big selling points of Kartra is the features that drive people toward the sites created on the platform.
The service offers as automated marketing campaigns email and helps you to create landing pages and funnels to drive more traffic to your site and keep visitors interested.
You can set up payment gateways through Kartra using the checkout system building function, which uses a drag-and-drop method that users of all website building levels will find intuitive and easy to work with.
Not only that, but Kartra helps platform users to understand and analyze rates of subscription thanks to the tracking and analytics reports included with the service.
Basically, from the outside, Kartra seems to have everything you could possibly need to build a successful business and membership site.
You can use it to set up your marketplace, design your website, and drive more subscriptions every day.
The part is that you can try the Kartra trial today for 14 days only.
But how does Kartra compare to MemberPress when we take a closer look at the main features?
Kartra Main Features
As we have seen, although MemberPress makes its services user-friendly by integrating with WordPress, it still has plenty of very useful features to offer.
However, when we tried using Kartra, we were delighted to see that it can do most of the things MemberPress can, with a few extra features thrown in, too.
Here are some that stood out to us:
Membership Site Building
First and foremost, in the context of this article, Kartra provides a site-building feature so that platform users can create their own membership sites from the ground up.
Using Kartra, you can create a whole site, individual web pages, or funnels.
There’s a lot of flexibility here, so you can basically use Kartra for whatever you need, including membership websites.
The site builder available through Kartra is smooth and efficient, and it’s user-friendly despite the professional-looking results it produces.
Landing Page Creation
Technically, this feature comes under site creation, but the ability to create professional-looking and highly effective landing pages is what Kartra is really known for.
The beauty of the landing page creation feature offered by Kartra is that you’re not limited in terms of what you can include on your landing page builder.
Other platforms services might offer fairly basic landing pages that do little to encourage members to sign up, but with Kartra, you can create a squeeze page, upsell page, and sales letters to go alongside your landing page, maximizing its effectiveness.
We discussed MemberPress’s statistics reporting features earlier, but in our opinion, the analytics reports provided by Kartra are even better.
Kartra’s real-time analytics are an easy and convenient way to keep track of the performance of your site and business.
You can filter the results to show you exactly what you’re looking for, whether it’s the conversion rates of sales over the past week or the last batch of automated emails sent to landing page visitors.
Sales can be analyzed individually or looked at in terms of the figures, including total revenue and refunds.
Campaign performance is another thing you can track using Kartra’s analytics reports, as well as the total number of visitors to your site.
Personal Affiliate Management
One reason why many people opt for Kartra rather than MemberPress is because Kartra offers built-in affiliate management, which MemberPress does not.
Using the affiliate management tool, you can view all of your site’s affiliates and the relevant statistics, so you can stay on track when it comes to payments.
You can also keep an eye on your payment milestones and set fixed commissions to make your life easier, plus many more affiliate features that allow you to automatically redirect affiliate traffic and send automated emails directly to your affiliates.
Kartra goes the extra mile when it comes to marketing tools, too.
Kartra’s services allow users to make use of automations in their email and video marketing campaigns, which makes the process of reaching a larger audience much easier and more effective.
Even your landing page can be used as an automated marketing campaign with Kartra since tasks that would usually take a lot of time to do manually, such as emailing site visitors on an individual basis, can be done automatically.
Now that we have seen some of the features that MemberPress and Kartra have to offer individually, let’s see how these platforms compare side-by-side:
Web Page Building
When it comes to web page building, including the building of landing pages, you’ll have an easy time with MemberPress because it’s a WordPress plug-in.
You’ll need to put in minimal effort, and your content will come out looking professional and visually appealing.
Kartra can also be beginner-friendly if you choose one of the more basic plans, which include over 500 customizable templates pages.
Marketing is really important when it comes to membership platforms because effective this marketing tool will help you to reach more members quickly.
There are two main types of marketing campaigns to discuss here: email marketing and video marketing. It’s also important to consider affiliate marketing.
Kartra has the edge when it comes to email marketing because it has its own mail system which includes automation and segmentation.
You can seven send SMS with Kartra and make use of various sales funnel tools.
With that being said MemberPress does offer email marketing services by providing access to services such as MailChimp, Aweber, and ConvertKit.
Both MemberPress and Kartra score highly on the video marketing front.
You can create your own, professional marketing videos with MemberPress and publish them through the service.
This video publishing tool also comes with security features thanks to MemberPress AWS add-on.
Kartra’s video marketing service is similar to that offered by MemberPress, but the editing features are better (you can continue to edit your video after publishing) and you have the ability to see how many people your video has reached.
You can make use of affiliate marketing tools with both Kartra and MemberPress, but you need to get the Pro MemberPress plan if you want the AffiliateRoyale service to be included.
You can still use it on other plans, but you’ll need to pay a fee.
Users can integrate affiliate management software with Kartra, and this software goes above and beyond, providing platform users with a clear overview of their affiliates and associated payments.
Kartra allows affiliate portals to be integrated on an individual product basis and provides affiliate screening tools.
When it comes to analytics for marketing, Kartra is the clear winner.
While you can use Google Analytics to get statistics related to marketing with MemberPress, or pay nearly $400 for MonsterInsights integration, Kartra includes analytic reporting with all payment plans, helping you to track subscriber numbers, conversions, marketing success, sales, and website traffic.
We’ve already talked about some of the add-ons offered by both MemberPress and Kartra, but it’s worth reinforcing that Kartra has the edge here, too.
MemberPress does offer over 40 third-party integrations, but Kartra provides a massive 2000 integrations with Zapier, all of which are pre-built so that they can be used straight away.
As with any subscription-based service, you’ll want to know how much your membership platform is going to cost you before you make your final decision.
There are three plans available with MemberPress, starting at $270 for the basic plan and ranging up to $600 for the pro plan, which is the only one that includes analytics reporting.
Kartra’s pricing is more affordable overall, costing $99 per month for the starter plan, which is already very comprehensive.
The most expensive plan is the platinum plan, which includes unlimited versions of all the features plus 10 custom domains and a maximum of 50,000 leads.
This plan costs $499 per month, which is still less expensive than the most inclusive MemberPress plan.
Users are likely to have a good experience with creating a membership website whether they choose to do so through MemberPress or Kartra.
However, overall, we would recommend Kartra because it has more add-ons and integrations included, has better online marketing services and analytics, and is more affordable.
With that being said, if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly, intuitive platform to create a great membership site complete with member forums and the ability to give out sales coupons, MemberPress should tick all of your boxes.
MemberPress and Kartra are capable of creating professional landing pages, video marketing videos, and secure checkouts, so they both have pretty much everything you need.