MembershipWorks vs. Squarespace Member Areas

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MembershipWorks vs. Squarespace Member Areas

MembershipWorks icon squarespace

Looking for a Squarespace Member Area Alternative?

While both MembershipWorks and Squarespace can help you create a membership site, the types of people and organizations that are a fit for each service are quite different. Squarespace Member Areas are ideal for creators who generate content and/or courses that they want protected behind a paywall. For example, yoga instructors, podcasters, and subject matter experts like cooking class instructors can all benefit from the suite of membership features Squarespace offers. Alternatively, MembershipWorks membership plugin for Squarespace delivers features that are needed by organizations such as nonprofits, associations, clubs, groups, and chambers of commerce. 

Organizations with Squarespace websites can easily add MembershipWorks’ membership plugin into their site. They can also use MembershipWorks to require a member login to view content. See a sample Squarespace site with MembershipWorks.

Why Choose MembershipWorks Membership Management Plugin

  1. No added transaction fees. Each membership software approaches pricing differently. Squarespace focuses on offering a lower monthly fee in combination with higher transaction fees. Squarespace adds on a fee for every membership — up to 7% depending upon your plan. These fees are in addition to what your payment gateway charges to process transactions. If you are on their cheapest Member Areas plan, you’d be likely to pay close to 10% in fees for each purchase. MembershipWorks does not charge fees on top of what you’ll pay to your payment gateway.
  2. Free phone support and live screen share training. Get your membership platform questions resolved quickly by email, phone, or live one-on-one screen share training with MembershipWorks.
  3. Group memberships. MembershipWorks enables your organization to sells family or corporate memberships where multiple family members or staff people need memberships under one account.
  4. Proration and adjustable renewal dates. MembershipWorks allows for membership prorating and also enables organizations that use Stripe or payment gateways to edit member renewal dates. Squarespace doesn’t offer the ability to prorate membership dues for new members, nor can you adjust renewal dates.
  5. Built in member directories, job boards, forms, classified ads, shopping carts, and announcement boards. MembershipWorks customers can easily add these membership software features to their website at no extra charge, all of which have the potential to generate non-dues revenue. See how easy it is to build a Squarespace membership site.
  6. Import and manually add members. MembershipWorks is a better choice for organizations that are bringing in existing members as it offers bulk importing. Admins also have the ability to manually add in members. These features are not available with Squarespace Member Areas.
  7. Easy member content restrictions. With MembershipWorks, you can allow a page’s content to be accessed by all members or a subset of members. This is a helpful feature if only certain groups or tiers of members are given access to a given page. With Squarespace, you would need to duplicate content to be able to provide access to different sets of members.
  8. Member approval process. MembershipWorks customers can set up an approval process so that prospective members don’t have full access to member benefits and member only content until an admin screens and approves them.
  9. Membership portability. MembershipWorks integrates with other website builders like WordPress, Wix, Weebly and more. So you aren’t stuck in one website platform if your needs change. Squarespace Member Areas can’t be used on other platforms.
  10. Email marketing portability. Squarespace offers its own email marketing platform, so Member Areas does not integrate with MailChimp or other similar email software. Should you ever decide to move your website to a different website platform, your members, email marketing system, and historical data would not move with you.
  11. Member-generated events. With MembershipWorks, you can allow members to submit events to be listed on a community calendar. These events can automatically post or can be screened by an administrator to provide approval. Chambers of commerce especially appreciate this feature.
  12. Separate admins for separate tasks. To avoid mistakes and increase security, it’s a best practice to set admin permissions as restrictively as possible. When using a Squarespace membership plugin like MembershipWorks, you can provide your membership manager or chair with access to specific parts of your membership data and/or events while preventing them from being able to edit the rest of your website.
  13. Free plan for fewer than 50 accounts. Access to a free plan is helpful whether you are seeking to test out selling memberships or if you have an organization that’s just getting started. MembershipWorks offers a free plan with no time limit that includes some of the most popular features: member directories, member billing, members only content, and event calendars. Other features — including multiple admins, event registration, and the ability to have more than 50 accounts in your member database — are available on paid plans.


MembershipWorks vs. Squarespace Member Areas Comparison Chart
MembershipWorks Squarespace Member Areas
Price per month starts at $0 for 50 Free Plan; paid plans start at $35 (300 or less accounts) $9 plus transaction fees (not including website fee)
Setup Fee $0 $0
Additional per-transaction charges (beyond payment gateway fees) $0 up to 7% depending upon plan level
Member Only Content Yes Yes
Directory Yes No
Event Calendar / Registration Yes Online events only or add on other paid Squarespace features
Classifieds Yes No
Job Board Yes No
Announcement Board or Forum Yes No
Donations (aside from memberships that are donations) Yes Yes
Shopping Cart Yes Yes
CMS compatibility WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, Wix, Duda, WithoutCode, Drupal, Joomla, Spacecraft, HTML5 sites Squarespace
Key Integrations MailChimp, Quickbooks Online and Desktop, Xero ConvertKit and some extensions
Payment Gateways Stripe,, PayPal Stripe, PayPal
Support Free phone, email, and live screen share training Chat, Email


Note that pricing and features may change from the information we have gathered here. Providers regularly evolve their product offerings and price points.

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