Should you build your WordPress recipe membership website on the main domain or on a subdomain?
What is the difference between a sub domain and main domain?
A main domain is www.yourwebsitename.com a sub domain of that your be www.subdomain.yourwebsitename.com so it's two different installations of WordPress and that is what we want for building our membership or ecommerce website.
Here's an example to explain what I mean. Clean food dirty girl is a huge plant based meal plan membership website based in Hawaii they have over 60 thousand members in their Facebook group. Their main site is https://cleanfooddirtygirl.com their membership portal is on a subdomain called https://members.cleanfooddirtygirl.com
Another example is https://www.collegenutritionist.com membership portal is here on a sub domain https://mealplans.collegenutritionist.com
40Aprons.com is a great example of a food blog that is using a different domain a seperate WordPress installation for their membership site. It's not a subdomain of the mainn domain but the idea is the exact same to keep both sites seperate https://40apronspro.com/40-aprons-premium
Marcia Smart is a cooking instructor, recipe developer and food writer who wants to help you make good, simple meals for your family and friends and her main blog is Smartinthekitchen.com and her cookery school is on a different domain called Smartinthekitchenschool.com
Problems with building your membership site on the main domain
If your membership site is built on the same domain as your main site, you risk confusion with the content permission settings and redirects that come with building a membership site it can get extremely complicated setting up the access rules membership levels for different plans and who has access to which content.
As your sites grow, so does the need to be absolutely precise with who gets sent where.
I only saw this happen this week. I had a client contact me they had their membership on the main domain of their Zoom cookery class website and they have so many different payment levels and packages it has become a total confusing mess and they can't keep track of it. These are the types of problems you are going to face later on as the site grows and you didn't start correctly by building the membership portal on a sub domain.
As an added bonus, keeping them separate means that you can focus on good SEO practices on your main site to draw in organic traffic.
Membership website hosting
WordPress membership website hosting is very specialised and very different to hosting a regular brochure style WordPress website. One of the main reasons for this is because in a membership website we are dealing with people that are logged into the WordPress website. They each have a WordPress user account. The amount of people that are logged into the membership website at the same time is referred to as concurrent users. It's very important to understand this because the amount of people you have logged into the site as the same time with put a lot of demand on the hosting this is another reason we want to different WordPress installations and the hosting caching set up for logged and logged out users is very different.
If you have a very popular main site that gets millions of visitors a month. We don't want the strain of that traffic as well as logged in users on the same WordPress installation. Also we want to keep plugins to a minimum for speed so again it's wise to have two WordPress sites and it makes diagnostic of problems a lot easier.
What problems arise with having two seperate WordPress sites and what about marketing?
The good news is there is no problems with having two different installations of WordPress for your culinary business. We can link both sites together for sales and marketing the technology available now is extremely powerful. We can make sales on your main site www.yoursitename.com and add that user to the membership site www.subdomain.yourwebsitename.com. Both sites can 'talk to each other' they can share the same data.
We can even link more than two websites together it does not even have to be a WordPress website. If you are using business applications such as Practice Better or GetHealthie for your nutrition business we can even link your WordPress membership website to those applications. So if you have a client doing a fitness program on an application like that you can also sell them meal plans from Foodie Classroom.
The only thing is you will have two installations of WordPress to keep secure and updated you can check out our foodie classroom WordPress care plans here to see how much that will cost.
I've seen people try to do all this themselves they end up spending unnecessary money on plugins and wasting so much time sometimes months trying to build it themselves and then coming to me to try and fix all their problems. Don't be one of them get it right from the start and hire a professional who specializes in culinary education websites and knows the business.
With Foodie Classroom everything is tried and tested, ready to go it's all done for you.
Is the foodie classroom system very technical?
Absolutely not I've concentrated on building it as user friendly as possible for both business owners and their students and have tutorial systems in place and have a unique support feature in the Foodie Classroom admin dashboard.
More Membeship Website Hosting information from hosting companies
Why WordPress membership website hosting is quite different compared to a standard brochure or blog type WordPress website.
Gridpane WordPress hosting explaining the demands of membership hosting on a server and what PHP workers are that carry out tasks as members make request events on the server here
Kinsta hosting have a great article also explaining uncached content, a large number of concurrent users, complex queries, stores a lot of data. Find it here