If you’ve been doing some research and come across Wealthy Affiliate, chances are you’ve heard they’re free. But here’s what you need to know about the Wealthy Affiliate free vs. premium membership options so you have a complete understanding of what the difference really is, and which option is best for you.
So what’s the real difference between the Wealthy Affiliate free vs. premium memberships?
Wealthy Affiliate Starter (free) Membership
This allows you to access the platform for completely free, without putting down a credit card. This is really unique within the industry as nearly every product or program makes you pay money upfront, so having the ability to check it out for free is really cool.
In saying this, it’s important to understand the free membership is best for testing out Wealthy Affiliate and seeing if it is right for you, rather than trying to build a business on the free membership platform.
If you want to seriously start a business online, you’re going to want to buy your own domain and hosting. You don’t want to start a business on a sub-domain. If you upgrade to their premium membership, you’ll have website hosting included in your membership price.
If you do join Wealthy Affiliate for free and don’t want to upgrade, but still want to start a website – go get yourself a domain and hosting somewhere else. I recommend Siteground but Bluehost is also OK for a cheaper alternative. You can read my full comparison between Bluehost and Siteground here for more info.
With WA’s starter membership you’ll get:
- 2 free websites (.siterubix.com sub-domains) This lets you try out their website builder platform and build a website. It’s super user-friendly and it might be hard to appreciate just how simple it is unless you’ve ever tried to build and host a website anywhere else, ever.
- Beginner step-by-step training courses
- Many more members added materials, although these are things you have to find by using the search feature within WA.
- Live chat and the ability to ask questions for your first 7 days only – after your first week, you will no longer be able to message within the community although you still can see the live chat and classrooms.
- If you join from any link on my website, access to coaching from me for your first 7 days
Wealthy Affiliate Premium Membership
Upgrading to premium is what will get you full access to the entire platform. You’ll actually be able to grab the first month for $19, so if anything you could take advantage of that offer.
With WA premium membership you’ll get:
- Full step-by-step courses
- Full classroom and live chat access
- Live Webinars (plus a library of hundreds upon hundreds of past webinars) There’s some amazing material within these!
- Hosting for up to 25 domains you own (plus 25 sub-domains)
- Full access to Jaaxy lite (keyword tool)
- Site content platform
- Coaching from me, if you join through my referral link
- Plus a lot of other pretty cool features
For the value and tools they provide, I think the membership cost is a no brainer if you’re getting started out trying to build a website and make money. You can also grab a pretty sweet deal if you pay yearly, it works out to $29 a month and that includes hosting too.
Remember, you’re going to have to be willing to invest a little bit. If not on Wealthy Affiliate, invest in hosting at the very least.
Are there any upsells once you join Wealthy Affiliate?
No! The only “upsell” would be to get you to purchase a yearly membership, which is only to be helpful since it can save you a ton of money. However, there are no higher membership levels or special tools you’ll need to purchase.
The Jaaxy keyword tool used to be an additional cost, but they have now included the lite version in with the cost of premium membership.
Some people complain there are upsells because you need to pay for your domain, but that isn’t really an upsell. You’re going to have to pay for a domain no matter what, it’s just part of the cost of running a website. (Which is typically less than $15/year) The hosting is what’s included, and the part that can get expensive if you host elsewhere.
And in saying all of this, of course, there are other tools and costs associated with running a business and some things you might want to consider down the road. But none of it is absolutely essential nor is it anything that Wealthy Affiliate will try to sell you.
If you’re a beginner on a limited budget, it’s fine to wait until you actually start making money until you start thinking about investing in anything else.
Tips for joining and staying a free member
In saying this, I know that many people will just want to stay a free member of Wealthy Affiliate, so let me talk about how you can get the most out of your starter membership.
First, take full advantage of their search function if you’re ever looking for information on a particular topic. There is actually quite a lot of member added content that’s incredibly informative and useful that you’ll have access too. While there’s not really a centralized hub of “the most useful content for free members” inside of Wealthy Affiliate, you can search for different things within the platform and see if anything is available for free.
The last point I want to make here is that if you’re serious about starting up an online business, make sure you purchase your own domain and hosting somewhere else. You don’t want to use a free website from Wealthy Affiliate for this. It’s mostly just to test out their website builder platform and membership, plus you don’t want a business on a sub-domain.
Google is your friend too! But…
Google can be an amazing resource, and being able to get answers from Google for specific questions is great.
However, when you’re trying to learn how to do something so incredibly multifaceted, that’s when you can run into trouble. Especially when it comes to trying to learn how to make money online. I know I’ve gotten caught up reading endless forums and articles about particular topics and then realize I still don’t have a very good answer to whatever I was trying to figure out in the first place.
Having all the information laid out in front of you step-by-step (and proven steps that actually work) is incredibly valuable. And having access to a community of people behind you is also a huge deal. It’s going to save you so much time in the long run because you’re not trying to pick out the good information from the bad (if you can even tell the difference) and figure out what works for yourself.
The Bottom Line
At the very least, sign up for a starter membership and test it out for yourself. If it’s not a good fit for you, that’s ok. Just know that you should expect to invest some money somewhere to really get off the ground running with your first website.
You definitely don’t need to invest thousands of dollars, but you just can’t realistically expect to start a business for $0 either. Wealthy Affiliate provides a great platform to get started, and can easily reduce your costs since hosting and tools are included.
If you’re not willing to invest there, at the very least grab your own website and hosting. It’s the absolute bare minimum I’d recommend for getting started making money online.