Association Software versus Blogging Software
Before anyone thinks that you can use WordPress and a membership plugin to accomplish what you can with the major association software packages, let’s look at some major issues that make this approach unsuitable for larger organizations.
Though the plugins will allow you to have multiple levels of membership and even restrict the site in terms of what each membership type can see, membership in a large organization is often quite a bit more complex than just the level and amount. Medical societies, for instance, typically require members to be vetted by their boards prior to membership. There is no such capability in the typical plugins.
Secondly, once we get to the shopping cart issue, the plugins can’t address the incredibly complex discount structures that these associations offer. Now, whether such a complex discount structure is actually benefiting the association is another question entirely. I previously posted my views on this!
Next, you’ll find that membership in large organization permeates everything that an association does and affects meeting registration, subscriptions, expositions, personal transcripts and more. Making simple software do complex activities may be a fool’s errand.
On the other hand, compared with what you could do five years ago versus what you can do virtually for free now is quite amazing.
Next, I’ll explore the shopping cart issue…