A website has to fulfill different tasks. In most cases, it’s to showcase your work, to show your contact details, or to capture the contact details of your visitors. Sometimes, it’s to sell your products and other times it’s to host events and lectures. What if you need a website that does all of the aforementioned and also tracks any transaction within your business? These include events, who came (members), and yes, also who paid when (cash transactions).
Previously, such as system was cobbled together using tools such as Outlook, Excel, perhaps WordPress to manage themselves and show the content. But if you need to also track who can see what according to what they paid, this is where it’s easier to hire one or more membership managers or to get a membership management tool.
Wild Apricot takes away the pain of membership management and combines it with a drag-and-drop website builder with which you can create public pages for all to view and private-ages for members. It keeps tabs on any transaction within your business so that you can track members sign up and process payments.
- Pros and cons of Wild Apricot
- Who is Wild Apricot for?
- How easy is Wild Apricot to use?
- Wild Apricot website builder
- Wild Apricot design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Wild Apricot?
- Wild Apricot integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Wild Apricot have?
- Payment options
- Wild Apricot security
- Wild Apricot customer support
- Wild Apricot pricing
- Is Wild Apricot the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Wild Apricot
As an all-in-one tool, Wild Apricot manages your event registrations, membership subscriptions, invoicing, donations, and your website. So instead of using Excel, Mailchimp, Outlook, Eventbrite, and more, you get it all under one roof. You can get up and running by importing your existing spreadsheets and some tweaking. It’s a cloud-based service and so you can make updates and announcements wherever you have an internet connection.
- Forever free plan
- You can test-drive each plan for 30 days
- An easy interface that lets you do what you need with a few simple clicks
- It’s a convenient Jack of all trades that help you move from rudimentary tools to manage your members
- The themes don’t give you full control
- The blogging tool feels like an afterthought
- Outside of events and membership management, it’s a master of none
Who is Wild Apricot for?
Are you running a fitness club? Language learning group? Alumni association? Networking group? If you want to create or manage a membership-based website, take a look at Wild Apricot. It manages members from sign up to renewal, while you’re at the steering wheel and can still take decisions at each step.
Though not specifically mentioned, if you’re a course creator, a consultant, or running a type of expertise-based business, it’s also a good place to start. But since Wild Apricot is focused on membership management, you won’t find built-in tools to create and host your courses.
How easy is Wild Apricot to use?
Even if you don’t need to be a tech crack, the signup process is more cumbersome than other services. First of all, you need to your organisational type (that is, will your site be for an association, church, group, etc). Secondly, to activate your account, you need to give your mobile number.
The interface is tidy and easy enough for you to find your way within minutes. It’s functional and intuitive, you may find that it looks a bit dated. Still, you can manage your contacts and events, process payments, and do other tasks with a few clicks.
Wild Apricot website builder
As an all-in-one, you also get a website builder with a drag-and-drop editor. If you already got a website, you can simply link it to your Wild Apricot membership site and add its widgets (aka plugin) for more functionality.
Wild Apricot premade a site for you that you can customise with the help of the drag-and-drop editor the layout, text, font, colour scheme, and more. You can add gadgets (plugins) to add dynamic functionality such as event calendar, membership directory, or application forms.
Wild Apricot design and templates
You can choose from a range of themes or create page templates that apply default layouts to your template. Even if the themes are easy to use, you may find them to look outdated and that they also lack design flexibility. This means you don’t really have control over your website layout and are kept within the boundaries of its framework.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Wild Apricot?
Out of the gates, a store is included in Wild Apricot. You can list both digital and tangible products and Wild Apricot handles payments. If you sell digital goods, you can either send purchases to a download URL or upload your products directly to Wild Apricot and let them handle distribution for you.
For physical goods, you need to do the logistics yourself, while Wild Apricot tracks inventory. Since it’s primarily a membership management software, you can’t expect it to have the features of a fully-fledged ecommerce tool.
Wild Apricot integrations
On the one hand, you can add Wild Apricot widgets to any website that allows embedded code so that you can show your even list, membership application, and more. If you want to extend its features, you can use Integromat to automate processes and connect between services. You can also use its API so that you can develop a custom integration tailored to your needs.
What marketing and SEO tools does Wild Apricot have?
Wild Apricot comes with a set of tools to help you stay in touch with and update your members. But you also want to be seen by people who don’t know about you yet.
Wild Apricot is built to be search engine friendly. You can define global meta tags for your entire site but you can also edit them for an individual page.
You need to first add the blog gadget to a page. Then only do you have a blogging tool. The blogging tool is quite basic. You can write your posts with a WYSIWYG editor and also schedule them. That’s it.
Besides automatic and trigger-based emails for reminders, confirmations, and invoices, you can also send event invitations and personalised content. The contact management is quite nifty and you can go as far as: I need to see event attendees based in Amsterdam but who didn’t attend this year and then send a personalised email with Wild Apricot’s email marketing system. The email marketing tool comes with a campaign builder including templates.
Wild Apricot handles payments with its own payment system, but you need to apply for a Wild Apricot Payments/AffiniPay account. There are no transaction fees levied by Wild Apricot. You can also connect your account to Paypal Checkout, Stripe, and Authorize.net, or accept manual payments. Just know that it will levy 20% on credit card processing if you don’t use its own payment system.
Wild Apricot security
Since Wild Apricot offers its own payment gateway, it has to comply with the highest payment security standards and is thus certified Level 1 PCI DSS. Your site is automatically secured with an SSL certificate.
Wild Apricot customer support
Wild Apricot comes with a ton of features, so it can happen that you hit a wall. Then, you can look up your question in the searchable help centre. If you have a question for tech support, you can chat with the support desk Mondays to Fridays 10:00 – 17:00 EST.
Wild Apricot pricing
Wild Apricot bases its pricing on the number of contacts you have. You get the same feature set for all plans.
Is Wild Apricot the right tool for you?
Wild Apricot is a convenient tool for small to mid-sized associations, groups, and organisations that have been getting by with a bunch of tools such as Excel and Outlook. It gives you a solid membership management tool, especially if you don’t have the tech capabilities to build such a website from scratch. It’s also a solid contender for businesses with a lot of events.
If you don’t care for building a community/member base or if you’re a large organisation offering membership services, you’d be happier with a service that has deeper features or even a custom-built site.
Compared to similar membership website builders, Wild Apricot gives you value for money. Why not test-drive it and see if it fits the bill? With its credit card-less signup and 30 days test period it’s risk-free.