As the developer of a popular (standalone) membership script, my experience has been that there are a couple of areas that many people find difficult when they are first setting their membership site up.
The first problem is the website design. To get an attractive, professional look you generally have to hire a designer and have them create a unique design for your site. A membership site (or any website for that matter) with a poor design can turn people away. It’s the old ‘first impressions’ rule. The second area is the content. Most membership scripts provide a WYSIWYG editor to add your content, but if you don’t know much about HTML and site layout you can end up with a fairly awful looking member area.
WordPress addresses both of these issues.
You can get a really professional looking premium theme for under $100 – or simply choose one of the many free themes that are available – and have a neat, professional look for your site. For the content of your site, the actual layout is already taken care of by the WordPress blog script – all you need to do is add your content.
I’m currently using the ‘WordPress Membership’ plugin from WPMUDev.org and I’ll be providing a review of it and other scripts soon.