|Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions. If your question isn't answered please email us at email@example.com or call us at 707-251-5859
-How easy and fast is it to get started?
It couldn't be any easier…or faster! There is no software to install with our hosted version! Once you purchase a MemberstarTM website, within a few minutes you will be emailed your access information so you can start building your new site right away! You don't even need a domain name to start building your site. We'll tell you how to transfer your existing domain or register a new domain.
-How easy is it to build my website?
We've designed MemberstarTM so even a complete rookie can have their own membership website set up and operating within days! (hours in some cases) We include 4 website templates, each with 5 different color combinations. That's a total of over 20 different "looks" you can have. In addition you can modify each of the templates in a variety of ways to give them your own personal touch.
-Do I need to know how to program or how to code HTML?
No! MemberstarTM comes with a complete WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Website Builder and Editor so you can build a professional looking website without knowing any HTML coding. You will build your website right through your own internet browser. It couldn't be any easier. Copy and paste content from other applications like MS Word or just type it in with our editor. Photos and other graphics can easily be added.
-How easy is it to change my website design?
You can change the entire look of your website with just a few clicks. All of our templates use style sheets which means you can change the complete look or color of your site to any of our templates with just a few clicks…even after your site is built!
-Why can't I just create my own membership website?
You can, but be ready for a lot of work and even then you may not get what you want. I tried it for several years and it was a real nightmare trying to integrate all the parties involved. In addition unless you have the simplest of websites, be ready to spend a lot of time maintaining the site. MemberstarTM makes it easy to set up and maintain your membership site and does most of it for you automatically.
-Are there any restrictions on the type of site I can create?
Yes, there are restrictions. They are completely spelled out in the purchase agreement and terms of service, however basically you cannot create websites with topics or themes based on adult entertainment, pornography, gambling, anything illegal or immoral, hacking, racial, sites where children are members, etc. This is not a complete list. See the purchase agreement and terms of service for more information, or contact us if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Is my website and data safe from loss?
Yes! Your website and critical data are protected in 3 ways:...
Complete Daily Backups. Your MemberstarTM website is backed up on a daily basis by our hosting company who is consistently ranked in the top 5 of all hosting companies worldwide.
Export Customer/Member Records : You can download all your member/customer information (including credit card numbers) with just the click of a mouse from your control panel. The CSV format makes it easy to upload into a new database.
Backup Site Content:You can even backup your entire site MemberstarTM site content and design anytime you want for even more peace of mind.
How much resources do I get with my account?
You receive a generous: 1 gig disk space and 20 gig/month bandwidth
Do I get FTP access?
You do not receive FTP access on our normal accounts.
-Do I need my own merchant account? Does MemberstarTM work with IBill, Clickbank, Paypal, etc?
We have designed MemberstarTM to be flexible to accept payments by credit card or the leading 3rd party payment company. We are integrated with:
Card Service Interational
You can accept member payments from PayPal or one of these merchant service providers or both.
If you need a merchant account, we have a special arrangement with a top account representative who can help you set up a merchant account without any set up cost and low monthly costs. We've used them for years and highly recommend them.
To learn more go click here.
Again our software gives you the most flexibility. While other content management/membership software forces you to have your own merchant account or rely on a 3rd party service we give you the choice.
Why is this important?
Please stay with me, the answer is long but important and comes from my own frustrations and experience.
On the surface, using 3rd party services is very attractive. They make it easy to start, most don't require a set up fee (or have a small fee) and don't require you to have a merchant account to take credit card orders from your members.
However we've learned from painful experience that the more outside services involved for your membership site, the more potential problems you have.
Here are just a few:
Rigid rules: One of the problems in using some 3rd party companies is that each has their own rules that you must follow. This often means that you can't charge the amount you want or rebill your client in the time period that you want. They may also tell you what kind of services or products you can sell…or can't sell.
Extra cost: Some 3rd party services charge a 15% service fee. If your membership site is bringing in $10,000/month, they keep $1,500 as a service fee, every month! With our merchant account, the service fee is only 2.25%. Which would you rather pay each month, $1,500 or $225? In addition, some 3rd party merchant services have a reserve or hold back reserves to protect them against charge backs. The hold back amount is typically 10% of your volume. This is the amount that they hold in reserve (in other words they keep) for 6 months before they let you have it.
In our above example, if your membership site is bringing in $10,000/month they are keeping $1,500 in fees and holding back another $1,000 in reserves (which they won't give you for 6 months) so you only pocket 75% of the amount your site generates each month! With your own merchant account, you keep approx 97% of the money! (Some merchant accounts will also hold funds for accounts they consider high risk)
The bottom line? In the above example with a $10,000/month volume with a 3rd party service you'd receive approx $7,500 …but with your own merchant account you'd receive approx $9,700…That's $2,700 more in your pocket each month if you maintained that volume!
Captive: Finally, once you start with a 3rd party company, you are almost forced to use them from then on, whether you like them or not.
Let's say your membership site is a hit and 6 months from now you have massive amounts of members all paying you to access your website. This brings in many thousands of dollars to you month after month. You're happy, your spouse is happy, your dog is happy and you are living your dream. Then your 3rd party merchant service gets bought out by someone else, or they change their rules, or their service starts to go downhill or in the worse case, maybe they go bankrupt! If any of these things happen you may think you could just change to another 3rd party merchant service or just get your own merchant account, and just keep on billing your subscribers, right?
Wrong! Let me explain…when you have your own merchant service with MemberstarTM you have complete information on each of your subscribers, including credit card numbers and complete billing information. That means that if you ever wanted to change merchant services, (or even stop using MemberstarTM) you could just transfer your subscribers to a new merchant service because MemberstarTM already has their complete billing information.
However when you use a 3rd party merchant service, you don't get access to your subscribers complete billing information. That means that you can't just "transfer" your customers to a new billing service, because you don't have their complete billing information (credit card numbers, etc.)
You would have to contact your subscribers (you worked so hard to get) and ask them to resubscribe to your new billing service. How many subscribers do you think would take the time and effort to do that? Experience shows that you would be fortunate if 25% of your subscribers resubscribed to your new billing service.
Does this help you see the pitfalls of using a 3rd party billing service for your membership site?
However that's why we have designed MemberstarTM to integrate with PayPal and several of the most respected and popular merchant accounts. PayPal has low transaction fees (similar to a merchant account) and normally no hold back fees. Authorize.net and Card Service International merchant accounts are also available so you can bypass all the problems and expenses caused by middlemen.
-I already have my own merchant account? Can I use it with MemberstarTM?
Possibly. It depends on your merchant account. We will have to investigate and see if it is compatible with our billing system. If it is, we will integrate it for a 1 time fee of $125-250.
MemberstarTM is fully integrated with two of the leading merchant services: Authorize.net and Card Service International. If your current merchant service isn't compatible with MemberstarTM and you don't want to pay the 1 time $125-250 fee to integrate with us, then we will help you get a merchant account with one that is compatible for no upfront costs.
-Do I need my own domain name?
Yes you will, but if you don't have one yet (unless you get our stand alone version), you can start building your website until you get one. You can transfer your existing domain name or new domain name when your site becomes live. We will provide you with detailed instructions on how to do this.
-Do I need a web host?
No you don't. Your MemberstarTM website will be hosted on our dedicated server so there are no extra hosting fees. You will need to get a host account if you choose our stand alone versions. We have approved web hosts to make this easy.
-How easy is it to maintain or add content to my site?
It’s very easy. All functions from setting up your website to maintaining your website is done through your browser. To add content all you do is copy and paste content from most applications like MS Word, or use our editor to type it in directly.
Costs involved and billing
-How much does MemberstarTM cost?
You will find that MemberstarTM has more features than 90% of other fully integrated content management/management software but is priced much lower, in some cases thousands of dollars lower. See our pricing section for all the details of our low cost introductory pricing.
-How do I get paid from my members?
Because you use PayPal or your own merchant account, they will deposit your funds directly into your checking account.
-What is the monthly overhead?
Your total monthly overhead will be the monthly amount you pay for MemberstarTM, (if you have a monthly account with us). If you use PayPal there are no monthly fees. If you have your own merchant account, monthly fees typically run about $25-35/month.
Already have a website?
-I already have a membership website, why should I use MemberstarTM?
If you are happy with what you have then keep using it. However if you want more control of your site and reduce the amount of time maintaining it, then explore all that MemberstarTM has to offer.
-I already have a lot of articles, do I need to rewrite them?
No. You can copy and paste your articles and content from most applications like MS Word, or other word processors.
-Does MemberstarTM have an affiliate program?
Yes MemberstarTM has a comprehensive built in affiliate program. You can decide who can become an affiliate, how much to pay your affiliates, and more. MemberstarTM will track all the sales for you and tell you how much each affiliate has earned.
Send us an email or give us a call and we'll be happy to answer your questions.
email@example.com or call us at 707-251-5859
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