Subscription Based Websites

What goes into a Subscription Based Website?

If you're considering selling digital files (such as music, images, or documents), intellectual property, expert advice, or other types of information on a subscription basis, it takes a truly qualified web development firm to plan, develop, and implement the site cost-effectively. With subscription-based websites in our portfolio from image and integrated resource delivery platforms to publication-based sites, eLink Design is ready to build your subscription-based website.

  • Signup / Registration Forms
  • Private Area Requiring Login
  • Overall Design of Website
  • Integration with CRM
  • Members Module
  • Subscription Management & Renewal Options
  • Buildout of Home Page & Secondary Pages
  • Encryption & Security Considerations
  • Payment Processing
  • Configuration of Pricing & Plans
  • CMS Implementation

It seems as though the entire economy is switching to a subscription model

If you are considering building a membership website,
you will want to plan for the following:

Business Model & Plan

If you want to sell information on a subscription basis, you need to understand your potential audience and the value they will assign to that information. A website with sophisticated market information that could be used to create profitable trades would potentially be very valuable, but the audience may be somewhat narrow. Likewise, a website with information or entertainment for the general public may have broad appeal, but it may not be worth as much to users who can gather plenty of free information and entertainment on their own. Make sure you begin by understanding your basic business model, and then follow it up with a written business plan.

Potential Market & Market Share

Next, identify the size of your potential market. For example, if you are building a platform for all real estate agents in the United States, you would have upwards of 1.3 Million potential users. Its helpful to take that number and stress test it with various market share levels. For example, if you are able to get 1% of a potential market to sign up for your platform, you may still be very successful. We prefer projections against 1%, 2%, and 10% market share. If you are planning a subscription based website and think you will get 50% of your potential audience to sign up, chances are you're being overly optimistic and you should plan for lower numbers.

Revenue Projections

Now, you can project the revenue for different scenarios. Make sure to document everything in your business plan, and be prepared to change. It's likely that the market is larger or smaller than you think, the platform may be worth more or less than you think, and your success in signing up users could be greater or lower than you expect. That's why formulas are so helpful, because they give you a framework in which to think of the economics of your membership website.


Once you have revenue projections in place, you need to project your expenses. In addition to the cost of developing your new subscription-based website, you need to plan for the following expenses:

  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Staffing & Payroll
  • Overhead & Office Expense
  • Legal & Regulatory
  • Promotions & Discounts
  • Cost to Produce Content
  • Accounting & CRM Software
  • Design a website that fits your needs
  • Cost of Capital & Debt Servicing
  • Cost of Equity Investment Capital

Break-Even Membership Counts

With solid financial projections, you can determine your break-even number, the point at which you have enough members to cover the costs of developing and maintaining your subscription based website. For example, if your website and total expenses for year 1 are $24,000, and you intend to charge $25 per month, per user, 80 users would bring you $2,000 per month, and after one year, your $24,000 would be covered. In general, any membership number greater than 80 could yield profits.

Check Out Some of Our Subscription Websites

  • All Work
  •    Subscription Sites

Ready to Get Started?

Please call 859-927-3811 or submit the form below to get started. We will learn as much as possible about your planned membership site and put together a detailed and personalized proposal, with no cost or obligation to you whatsoever.

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