Clients often ask this question – “Should we deploy our membership site on a sub-domain?”
“Or can we keep it on the same domain as our lead generation website?”
Regardless of what lifecycle stage your membership site is in, my recommendation has mostly been to keep them separate. So yes I recommend a sub-domain.
This rule is not set in stone. Real answer always depends on your unique business needs and context. In this post however, I would like to explain why keeping your membership site in a separate domain helps.
There are workarounds for google analytics to measure activities of members vs non-members. But it is a lot easier if you had two different properties or views. One for your lead generation site, and one for your membership website. Every other tracking or measurement plugin is easier to maintain when they are on different sites.
Your lead generation site will receive a lot more traffic than your membership website. Also your membership site can be resource intensive on the server and needs a different set of WordPress plugins and other technologies.
For example, you can cache most of your lead generation website. Whereas, you can only cache a few parts of your membership website, as many parts of it are dynamic for each member.
Plugins like memberium strongly recommend you to not host on shared hosting. But with the right combination of caching and CDNs you can safely run a lead generation website even if it receives a good amount of traffic.
Also its very important you provide a really good fast-loading membership site experience to your members. Its vital to keep them happy and engaged with your membership website.
But keeping your lead generation site separate, you can safely hide your membership site from google. Its easy to do this in WordPress. This already avoids a lot of internet bots regularly using google to scan for sites with vulnerabilities.
While you are not completely off-the-grid, as you might link your membership site from the lead generation website. There is nothing stopping you from having no links, and letting new members know your sub-domain only via email after they signup. Like a secret-exclusive club 🙂
There are definitely a lot more reasons, but these in my opinion are the most important.
Leave a comment
- If you have other reasons you want to add to this list
- If you disagree and have reasons why its better to keep on the same domain
- If you experienced problems due to the nature of your membership site setup and how you solved them.