Migrating from a traditional membership plugin

Future Women is a premium content-led membership community aimed at professional women.

When technical issues began to hinder business growth, the team at Future Women asked The Code Company to build a modern, low-code membership solution.

The Challenge

Moving away from traditional membership plugins

The original Future Women membership site operated using a WordPress plugin that had been modified to suit the unique needs of the business.

Modifying plugins is fraught with risk because, when WordPress updates, it often overwrites the modified code. As Future Women’s database grew, the risk increased as all user data was housed within the CMS.


A smart, scalable strategy

After reviewing the Future Women website, our revenue strategists recommended migrating from the existing WordPress membership plugin to SaaS solution Memberful.

Unlike other WordPress plugins, Memberful houses subscriber data in the cloud. This means the security of Future Women’s first-party-data is no longer reliant on their CMS.  

From an efficiency and cost perspective, the new subscription strategy was transformational. Overnight, the need for continual (and costly) upgrades and modifications was eliminated

The Future Women team now enjoys:

  • Easy member management via a dedicated dashboard
  • Built-in first-party data collection and members insights (churn rate, lifetime value, recurring revenue)
  • Increased conversion with a one-step checkout process
  • Automatic technical updates

The Code Company knows digital publishing better than anyone.

They don’t talk nonsense. If they say they can do it, they can. They aren’t madly googling the answer while you speak.

Helen McCabe,  Managing Director Future Women

Overcoming tech complexity

A third-party platform handled Future Women’s payment processing.

This added further complexity to a tech stack that was already overcomplicated, and the team frequently struggled to reconcile user accounts with payment accounts.

Due to the frequency of technical problems, the ongoing cost of site maintenance was prohibitively expensive. The sytem was reliant on a modified plugin, so any version change resulted in a mismatch of data.

Payment processing is now managed entirely through Memberful (through a built-in Stripe integration).

Our original membership plugin was no longer fit for purpose. There were errors with member reporting, and accounts still existed for memberships that had expired. It was clear we needed something more powerful.

Kate Neroni,  Chief of Operations Future Women

Technical migration from a WordPress plugin

The first task for The Code Company’s technical team was migrating the user data of almost 5,000 subscribers from WordPress into Memberful.

In order to preserve all user profile information, preferences and payment details, we created a series of custom scripts that converted WordPress data into CSV files.

Once the CSV files were imported into Memberful, we used a unique identifier to map each individual user ID with a WordPress ID. This ensured that no data was lost.

A watertight paywall

Content protection is vital to any publisher with a subscription-based revenue model. However, Future Women’s original WordPress plugin operated with a different protection system to Memberful. This meant that user privileges weren’t automatically transferred during the migration.

In order to create a watertight paywall, our team created a custom integration, ensuring that only paying subscribers are able to access members-only content.