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Scoping out a membership web app

Tim Bowerbank web developer

Tim Bowerbank - 10 Mar, 2020


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1. Background

As a web developer it’s good practice to have side projects to further develop your skills. I am currently mapping out a project that will support business networks. We already have a strong interest in membership type business models for two reasons. 

  1. If you haven’t already, then have a read about our education membership web app - Club Roy.
  2. I used to look after the marketing for a thriving business network. I did this for 12 years. I was part-time and coding interactive education apps during the rest of my week.

During this marketing role, I managed many aspects of running a busy business network. Some of my tasks included organising:

  • Conferences 
  • Workshops 
  • Networking events
  • Public relations
  • Directories (online and printed)
  • Social media broadcasts
  • Email marketing
  • Recruiting for members
  • Marketing coaching

The main challenges of any paid-for business network include…

  • Awareness: Creating awareness of the network and its benefits to recruit new members
  • Conversion: Converting prospects into members
  • Engaging members: Ensuring that members engage with activities. Disengaged members are always more likely to drop-off the radar and not renew.
  • Networking and collaboration: Encouraging members to network and collaborate with each other.
  • Identifying disengaged: so communication can focus on them and encourage future participation.
  • Reporting on engagement so that members can see their return on investment
  • Offering tools that will benefit the membership
  • Profit: Creating value for the members whilst creating profit to ensure sustainability. And minimizing the admin overheads along the way!

Using my coding skills, and first hand knowledge, I am going to build a solution to tackle these issues.

It’s going to use the best of the modern web. So, that will include a front-end framework and a serverless approach.

2. Membership web app wish-list


  • SEO optimized front-end (high performance and accessible)
  • Embedded social media

Network Management Features:

  • Top level super administrator
  • Network staff logins for viewing member info
  • Quick and easy sign-up process
  • Automated subscription payments (monthly or annual)
  • Searchable directories: businesses, events and jobs
  • Discussion forum
  • System notifications, e.g. when staff post an activity. Or when a renewal is due.
  • Member dashboard with engagement reporting
  • Member profile management with admin moderation
  • Messaging (member to all members, member to member)
  • Chat with network staff
  • Tendering management
  • Event management (promotion, sign-up, automated remind, attend and post-event follow up). Paid for option.
  • Assets for sale board
  • Recruitment board
  • Member only content areas
  • Data management for app


  • Surveying services needed by the membership
  • Recently viewed content by member
  • Engagement levels
  • Surveys for tracking satisfaction


  • Advertising banners for members and others
  • Sponsorship management
  • Event management for associates
  • Paid-for listings for members within directory
  • E-commerce - sell products

I’m sure this list will grow!

Customization for the network business will include:

  • Logo
  • Colors
  • Content

Development specific features

  • Mobile first!
  • Built as a progressive web app, i.e. with offline capability
  • Log in authentication with Google or Facebook account - forgot password functionality
  • Static site pages generated with the Scully static site generator
  • Scalable
  • Serverless architecture
  • Bespoke content management or via a headless CMS
  • Recurring payments through Stripe

3. Tool list

I will be using the following tools to build the web app.

  • Adobe XD for wireframes
  • Angular 9
  • Scully static site generator
  • Bulma CSS library - as Sass
  • Firebase’s Firestore NoSQL database
  • AngularFire
  • Netlify’s content delivery network
  • Git and GitHub
  • Twilio for email and SMS
  • Flamelink Headless CMS system? Or not?

I look foward to updating you on the system as I scope, wireframe and the progress as I code it.

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