2 min read

Wild Apricot - Wildly Easy to Create Member Based Websites

wa-logo.gifI’ve been finding some really great products lately (thanks to Emily Chang’s eHub) and Wild Apricot is one of them. Wild Apricot is “web based software for professional associations and non-profits.” It’s very similar to SiteKreator.com (although easier to use but probably not as powerful).

Audience and Features
Wild Apricot is marketing itself for a specific space, namely associations and non-profits – the organizations that are “understaffed and overworked”. What allows them to do so is that their product focuses on things like Events and Members, the two quintessential features needed by those in this space. In addition to managing members, organizations will eventually be able to do membership e-mailing through Wild Apricot.

One feature I did see missing was the ability to accept payments for Events. That’ll be necessary if they want this tool to be taken seriously. That feature appears set to launch in September.

I really like the Wild Apricot interface – and that’s probably because Bonasource, the company that developed it, are usability consultants (as well as web developers). I’ve seen good web apps come out of usability shops lately (14 Dayz, developed by Brains4All comes to mind).

WA interface

Pricing for Wild Apricot is based on the number of members. For websites with less than 50 members, the service will always be free (although Google Ads will run on those sites). From there, pricing starts at $50/month for 51-200 members.

There is a special right now, where those who sign-up before September 2006 will always have a free site, regardless of the number of members. The catch there is that online payments and membership e-mailing won’t be available in those versions, even after they are released.

Wild Apricot might be able to find a sweet spot in this marketplace. As someone who lives in the non-profit capital of the world (Washington D.C.) and works with them often, I know how difficult the web can be for these organizations. Wild Apricot can make managing websites simpler, as well as more cost effective.

A final note. Wild Apricot is floating an idea on their “Customize theme” page of the backend, whereby they ask:

We are also considering providing tools for graphic designers to develop new custom themes to be used in Wild Apricot system. Let us know if you consider this important.

That would be a real winner, as some of the similar products evolving (SiteKreator.com) seem not to be thinking about that. It would definitely be a differentiator and if they could create a community around the product, it might gain even larger traction.

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