The Ultimate Guide to Building Association Websites with WordPress and MembershipWorks

This guide offers a deep dive into using WordPress and MembershipWorks to create effective association websites. We’ll cover why this combo is a winner, feature choices, and essential tips for success.

Why WordPress and MembershipWorks are the Perfect Match

WordPress offers unparalleled flexibility, while MembershipWorks provides specialized features for associations. Together, they create a robust, user-friendly platform for your association needs.

What Makes an Effective Association Website

An effective site offers more than just a pretty interface. It needs to be functional, secure, and provide value to its members. There are many different routes to choose, but we highly recommend MembershipWorks for its specific focus on membership organizations, seamless integration with WordPress, robust features for membership and event management, and integration with MailChimp and QuickBooks. If you’re still unsure, take a look at HubSpot vs. MembershipWorks: A Comparison of Association Management Systems for Trade and Professional Associations Integrating with WordPress. Sold on MembershipWorks, but don’t know how to get started? That’s where this guide comes in.

Setting Up

First, let’s talk about Creating a MembershipWorks Account: Your First Step to a Robust Membership System. You’ll want to get signed up and choose a plan. Feel free to start off with the free version to see how everything works and get accustomed to the admin area. Many will likely need a paid subscription later on, but for now let’s focus on how to Install MembershipWorks on WordPress: Your 7-Step Comprehensive Guide. These 7 steps will walk you through plugins you need and how everything will connect with WordPress.


There are many shortcodes that can be used to display a variety of MembershipWorks content, including a member directory, an event list, member account management, and more. Setting Up Your Member Directory requires some careful consideration if this is something you plan to include. Will it show your members on a map? What kind of information do you want to display on their profiles? What do you want users to see first? MembershipWorks offers Online member profiles and directories made easy. Based on what you decide to include, your members will be able to add bios, images, social media links, contacts, and addresses. You can also include the recommendations feature, which gives visitors the option of providing a simple “thumbs up” or a written review on the page. You can rearrange information as you see fit, and either add or remove content to tailor your directory towards your specific audience. Nothing is going to be one size fits all, so feel free to play around a bit until you find what works best.

The same goes for Creating a Personalized Dashboard for Members. MembershipWorks itself does not offer a full dashboard right out of the box, but you can arrange different shortcodes alongside links out to different areas of the site your members will utilize most. Think about what your members will be using your site for, and how you can make that easier for them. You might want to show them a list of upcoming events, or let them edit profile information. Always keep in mind that your members may be accessing your site from a mobile device, so you’ll want your layout to be responsive so they can easily find what they need, no matter the device they’re on. We highly recommend utilizing a page builder like Elementor, which allows you to visualize your site on a variety of screen sizes and offers an easy click-and-drag interface.


Events are pivotal in fostering a thriving association. They not only generate revenue, but also entice new members to join. With the events calendar and registration features integrated into the MembershipWorks plugin, accessing, signing up, and making payments for events are all conveniently streamlined on a single page. Visitors can easily locate events on the calendar, which can be displayed either in a comprehensive monthly view or as a scrollable list, with color-coded categories for quick identification. You can even allow members to Register for an event directly from your site calendar.

Tickets for these events can be set up with a wide array of configurations. For instance, if your banquet has limited seating, the system can restrict the number of tickets available for purchase. MembershipWorks allows you to restrict events to members only, or even to set up special pricing solely for members. You also have access to all of your registration data, which can be exported into a spreadsheet. Following the event, invoices, payments, and fees can be integrated into QuickBooks so data can be recorded as needed.


You’ll want to consider which payment gateway you’ll be using if you plan on having paid memberships or events. Add member billing and easy online payments to your association website with a variety of payment options on multiple different membership levels and add-ons, as well as event tickets. Streamlined Payments Made Easy with MembershipWorks mean you can offer a hassle-free experience, even allowing members to request an invoice be sent to their email. This was previously a manual process, but MembershipWorks is constantly improving to offer better processes for both you and your members. As with anything that requires users to make a purchase, always make sure you test these features before you take your site live to ensure your members will have a seamless experience.

Advanced Customization

If you’re in need of something a little more robust, you’re in luck. As a premier provider of custom web design and development services for associations, Keybridge Web is excited to unveil the MembershipWorks API: Revolutionizing Member Management in WordPress. This cutting-edge tool broadens horizons, enabling advanced functionality and customization options. With early access granted to Keybridge Web, we’re pioneering innovative solutions tailored precisely to our clients’ needs, leveraging the full potential of the MembershipWorks API for groundbreaking results. Some of our accomplishments with this API so far include self-service contact labels and an automated email system that integrates with MembershipWorks events.

We’re committed to unlocking the complete potential of the MembershipWorks API, consistently innovating to provide fresh, impactful solutions that propel our clients toward success. If you’re ready to experience the transformative power of the MembershipWorks API for your organization, reach out to Keybridge Web today.

Member Management

You have your site seamlessly integrated with MembershipWorks and members have started signing up. Now what? Online membership management for professional associations is made easy with the options to categorize members and place them into folders based on various criteria such as specialty, membership level, or committee affiliation. From the administration panel, you can efficiently send emails to either all members or specific groups.

MembershipWorks supports group memberships, allowing each contact within the organization to have an independent sign-in. This allows each individual to sign in and update their personal account details. They can also conveniently pay dues or manage billing preferences, opting for recurring or one-time payments. Primary members have full control over their personal profiles, enabling them to modify images or text as needed. Additionally, all members can access exclusive content on the association’s website, which is inaccessible to the public. You can even restrict content access to members in a specific folder or membership level.

Obtaining comprehensive membership metrics is effortless. Administrators can access a range of data, from individual member histories to overall metrics such as membership signups, renewals, or event sales, all conveniently displayed on a single page. You can grant administrative access to as many people as you need through the Admins tab under Organization Settings. From there, you can grant each admin the permissions they require, while blocking them from anything you don’t want them having access to. These settings are individual to each admin.


All in all, we can confidently say that MembershipWorks is a standout among membership platforms. We hope this guide equips you with the knowledge to create a tailored online presence for your association by leveraging both WordPress and MembershipWorks. An effective association website goes beyond aesthetics; it must be functional, secure, and valuable to its members. WordPress and MembershipWorks are indeed the perfect match, offering unparalleled flexibility and specialized features tailored for association needs. Together, they create a robust and user-friendly platform that meets the diverse requirements of association management.

Moving Forward

If you are interested in getting you association set up with WordPress and MembershipWorks, feel free to reach out to Keybridge Web. We love helping associations prosper through technology. Feel free to give us a call at 877-302-2185, or email me directly –

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The Ultimate Guide to Building Association Websites with WordPress and MembershipWorks

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