Zenbership Reviews

Zenbership

Free & open source membership management software

3.9/5 (37 reviews)
John M.

We tailored/launched Zenbership in 4 days; support issues hold back realisation of full potential.

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/06/19
Review Source: Capterra

Zenbership has enabled our NFP to operate in a manner which looks clean and effective (the member signup process has a very smooth appearance), and our volunteer committee spends almost no time dealing with membership issues. If it were not for the lack of support process or timely response, this product would be rated 8+

Pros

The software is highly tailorable, appears to be well written, and has very rich function. It's an extraordinary product, especially good value at the price. It's also very quick and light on resources. Onboarding members is a completely hands-off process, and renewal processing is largely automatic. The helpdesk-format interface for admins allows most tasks to be handled easily. Backing out a financial transaction (eg: a refund) is especially easy.

Cons

The lack of support and followthrough is a major challenge. Several major bugs are not only holding us back, but are causing problems with our members. Castlamp has not adequately completed a piece of support for which we paid at the beginning of 2018. We cannot log into two of the instances that we created, including a development instance which went rogue and charged members for renewals in parallel with the production instance. The software is somewhat quirky, and (as far as we can tell) it's not possible to tailor existing reports or add new ones. We cannot work out how to use the function which makes assets available only to members.

Apart from poor responsiveness and inability to contact the developer, the thing MOST missing is a forum or other user community environment which would encourage self-help. We don't know who other users are, or from whom we might get help without relying on the developer.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

4.0/10
Richard T.

No Title

Used Weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2019/01/16
Review Source: Capterra

For managing a group association or club it is great. if you can figure it out.
with the updated standards you can't attach anything to an email but composing and sending worked fine
After 1 year I had to deactivate the software as it refused to cooperate with me about the activation/deactivation membership feature.
I am now looking for something else that works .

Pros

It has almost everything you need for managing an association from small to large
It sets up easily when you have the correct server software
Technical knowlege is not critical
Worked almost perfect for about a year. I managed to explore and solve all problems except 1.

Cons

THE LACK OF EASILY UNDERSTOOD DOCUMENTATION. i.e. NO DOCUMENTATION. I managed to figure out almost everything.
It worked very well for 1 year and then started inactivating members. When I re activated them, changed dates.etc. the software promptly inactivated them again. It gives no warning until after it has done the job.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

2.0/10
Frank E.

We eventually abandoned this after three tries. Seems to require more tech knowledge than we possess

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/06/21
Review Source: Capterra

A better appreciation of our technical limitations.

Pros

The feature set is impressive and seems to offer a very robust all-in-one package. The ability to publish events and manage payments was most enticing, as was the ability to customize certain areas of the site.

Cons

It appears that the technical level required to administer this software is higher than we possess or could allocate resources towards. A few days after setting it up and testing it, our hosting account was suspended "due to several connections executed to the index.php file and due to this apache service in the server causing issues. We have noticed this issue multiple times and at that time, large number of apache queries were executed."

We were advised to optimize our php scripts as per http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2014/04/optimize-php-code/

Not having the resources to do so, we reinstalled. We then experienced this problem a second time.

We reinstalled a third time and did not experience this issue again.

We did, however, then find that the event payments system acted inconsistently. At times we received proper notification of a signup, and the "count" rose accordingly. On two occasions this did not happen, and we were only aware of a signup due to PayPal's alert of a payment being received.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

3.0/10
Rita P.

Established program with great potential

Reviewed on 2016/03/29
Review Source: Capterra

The program has been around for a while but recently went open source. Despite that it has incredible promise. I downloaded it about a month back when it first went open source and since then they've released an update and have another one coming.

What it does you ask? A lot.

First of all, it is free. Despite that, it feels like it shouldn't be. The program is a membership tool, so you can build a custom database with custom fields, but it is also a full shopping cart and a email and sms marketing platform. It has a CRM system built it which they seem to be going heavy on improving even though for my purposes it works very well.

The developers are very responsive and even answered some of my questions without making me buy the support plan. That was pretty cool of them.

The reason it gets a 4 and not 5 is because the CMS and template editor could be improved a little, but that's splitting hairs. I talked to Jon and he told me they have an aggressive update schedule planned for the summer and part of that will be updating the CMS tool. Can't wait to see what that brings.

Installation requires a little technical knowledge, but they have a video walking you through the steps. That's helpful.

Overall, exceptional. It does everything very well. Highly highly recommended!

Response from Castlamp

The CMS is most certainly getting an overhaul! Thank you for your kind words Rita, we're looking forward to working with you moving forward.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Joan D.

Powerful Membership Program

Reviewed on 2016/04/05
Review Source: Capterra

I installed this for a client that needed to create a membership section on their website, and also needed to upgrade and centralize their customer database (at the time several employees had Excel spreadsheets with different information). They have been using Zenbership since it's inception (and it's predecessor ppSD2 before it). It is a very powerful program with tons of features - and as such, the learning curve is pretty steep as there is so much available. Once you do get the hang of it, it is very flexible and you can set it up to suit your needs. We were also able to get custom programming done to add additional features to meet the company's business needs. Unfortunately, while custom programming was a selling feature, it turns out the the admin section was not built in a pluggable way to allow for custom functions. Every time there is a program update, our custom programming is lost. Maybe this will change with future development.

Response from Castlamp

Joan, thanks for your review. While in the past the plugin system wasn't fully mature, you'll be happy to know that in the upcoming v108 it has been completely revamped making extending the admin control panel much simpler and more importantly not causing it to be overwritten during updates. We've also improved the ease of use of the control panel. Shoot us an email we will be happy to help you get updated and get your customizations transfered over to the new plugin system!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Quick and easy to set up a paid membership portal

Used Weekly for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/06/15
Review Source: Capterra

It was a low cost and easy way to get a paid membership site up and running. It would have been far more time consuming and cost prohibitive to attempt to set something up like this in Drupal or Wordpress

Pros

This software was very easy to set up and because it was open source I was able to fully understand how it worked and even make some changes. The plugins were extremely helpful, especially for making member profile pages. We were easily able to connect Zenbership to our payment processing service and get things moving quickly.

Cons

Updating Zenbership was sometimes painful and while there is a lot of movement on github it didn't feel like there was much of community contributing to the platforms development. Hopefully that will get better in the future.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Will W.

After juggling back and forth between CMS programs, we found Zenbership had everything we needed.

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/06/19
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

We liked the versatility and the customization Zenbership offers. Many of the other CMS programs wouldn't allow you to see their source code or allow us to make changes to better suit our needs.

Cons

It's not that easy to get started. The installation process should be more automated and it lacks clear and concise documentation. It was mostly trial and error for us.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

5.0/10
Hassan A.

it is great but needs a bit of improvement

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/06/20
Review Source: Capterra

managing our non for profit organization

Pros

fits with different organizations needs. I like the way database was set and the way it handles the information.

Cons

1- still does not send sms to members
2- only one theme available
3-forms not easy to be modified
4- can hide some unwanted functions
5- when we logon does not go in but user name and password prompt again

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Scott S.

Perfect Solution!

Reviewed on 2016/03/31
Review Source: Capterra

This has been a great find!
I was searching about a month for a member management system, when I discovered Zenbership software on Hotscripts. To save time, I chose to have the system installed on my host server by the Castlamp specialists, and now I'm almost ready to go live with it.

The page customization tools allowed me to create member pages quickly, and connect them to member sections on my website. The pages utilize the latest php and html script too. I'm impressed with the versatility that is built into the system, and how easy it is to change and then test the different options, such as, Email handling, registration handling, or managing member content.

It took a couple of days to comprehend the system layout, but it is built to be intuitive, so I picked it up easier than I thought I would. The documentation covers just about everything, and Castlamp support(if you opt for the installation) is there when you need them.

Response from Castlamp

Thanks so much for choosing Zenbership. I'm thrilled to hear it's working out for you. We're here when you need us, just let us know!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Vaughn H.

Zenbership

Used Weekly for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2018/09/25
Review Source: Capterra

We hope to increase communications with our 400 club members with the news and events capablities, and we hope to simplifiy dues collection with the subscriptions sending reminders and providing a means to pay for dues / paries via cards on the web.

Pros

The admin dashboard is intuitive for the most part and the user interface menu is customization from the dashboard. Their install video and instructions are very clear. The event management is very capable. all the rosters (members, vendors etc) are easily tailored with additional fields and additional sub categories. Blocks of Emails can easily be sent

Cons

Thought they have updated the user documentation it is still fuzzy in many areas, like how to create a new form/content on the site. A video on that area would be very useful The SMS messaging doesn't work on my site, some additional information on how that hooks up would be useful The membership list download seems to work in IE and not in Mozilla. The reports area is fuzzy on what it does.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Brad B.

I'm loving it!

Reviewed on 2016/03/17
Review Source: Capterra

Pretty amazing piece of software that I'm using for my membership site.

PROS
- it does a LOT
- set it and forget it type of deal. Once you're past the initial setup, it pretty much runs itself. You just check it, contact your leads, set up your campaigns, run your reports, etc.
- the dashboard design is pretty beautiful
- integrated easily with my payment gateway, and easy to set up all types of products like subscriptions and trial products,
- crm is a nice touch for reminding me to contact leads and tracking ad campaign value/effectiveness
- they seem to be very actively updating the software
- installation was very easy
- it's completely free!

CONS
- at times the UI can be confusing, but once you figure it out it makes sense
- the learning curve is steep, probably because there's so much stuff working together here
- integrating it with your site requires some html knowledge
- wasn't for me, but for some it might be... the program needs to be installed on your web server, meaning it isn't a cloud product

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Jason C.

My search is over

Reviewed on 2016/04/10
Review Source: Capterra

Top notch software here that's .... free!

I communicated with them on and off about the software's capabilities and found that it does a lot of what I've been using other software to accomplish. So far I've been able to central 3 applications into this tool, saving me over $120/month! Those being my email newsletters, my subscription management, and my event management.

The funny thing is that i'm pretty sure I'll be able to use if for even more than that, I just haven't gotten to digging in fully yet.

Setup wasn't that bad, but be aware that you will have to install it on your website. They offer an installation service very cheap though ($99 if I recall correctly) so it isn't a big deal in the end. That comes with some support to get you started learning the software as well!

Bottom line is this software does a lot, and it does it pretty darn well for a free open source tool. I recommend it!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Steven T.

Great tool that is simple, user friendly and VAST

Used Weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/06/19
Review Source: Capterra

increased workflow and reliability.

Pros

free - this is great for a NFP
easy to use - from the front and back end views
highly customisable - can make it on brand and a single platform for all our needs

Cons

still in beta - been like this for a while, i dont feel there are developing any more :(
no to little support - there is a paid service, and a forum like site. but rarely used

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Nicole P.

Free and fabulous!

Reviewed on 2016/03/10
Review Source: Capterra

I must admit that I am quite impressed with Zenbership. For my ecommerce needs, I needed a CRM platform that would be easy in terms of set-up and stress-free in terms of operation for my employees too.

I am glad I found Zenbership while checking my options in Capterra. I am especially impressed with their ecommerce features like managing and selling subscriptions and their email campaign management. Why I would give Zenbership a thumbsup is because it is not only free (open source), it is also easy to set up (integrates well with your website) and simple to operate. And the support team is pretty nifty too! Highly recommended!

Response from Castlamp

Thank you so very much for your kind words Nicole! It's a pleasure working with you and everyone else at Trip Trails!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Justin W.

Using To Sell Video Content

Reviewed on 2016/03/04
Review Source: Capterra

I found Zenbership online through Capterra's directory. The program is a free tool in the sense that there are no licensing fees, which was surprising because it has a lot in it. There was some initial setup that needed to be done that I wasn't technical enough to do, so I paid for an implementation and some customizations and they integrated it with my website. They created all my forms, imported my members, and branded it for me. They also made me a tool to publish my videos from Vimeo directly on my site and then sell access to them. All that ran me ~2k. Very reasonable. The experience was very good overall and I would highly recommend Jon and his team.

Response from Castlamp

Justin, it was an absolute pleasure getting the program up and running for you!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Looks promising, but also looks abandoned

Used Other for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2018/12/15
Review Source: Capterra

I have a lot more to learn about this software, but I’m afraid to commit to it because of the lack of maintenance & engagement on their own site. Their social media looks to be abandoned as well…I just can’t trust this software.

Pros

It's an open source alternative that appears to have all the bells and whistles of other membership platforms without the price tag. Installation was fairly easy, dashboard is clean & code is wide open which makes it highly customizable.

Cons

Lack of community support/engagement. Forums have recently been added to their site, but they’ve been completely overrun by spammers & don’t look to be tended to by the administrators at all. After sifting through some of the spam, I only found a few actual posts relating to Zenbership.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

3.0/10
Ron D.

probably the best open source member software

Reviewed on 2016/03/05
Review Source: Capterra

I was a firm believer in wild apricot, I had it on 4 sites for user management but their customer service was so-so at best. They were never truly able to solve my problems with a single ticket.

I gave zenbership a try and have never looked back. I was able to configure everything myself and now all of my sites background is sorted by a single tool. I now have 6 sites (members only subscription sections, selling pdf files , selling photography, photography forum, reselling junk that I buy from overseas, and a consulting website that has a free subscription for news letters)

All of my sites are free and on zenbership.

Just simply try it, you won't look back.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Ed C.

Was a slow start to learn, because of all the features

Used Weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/06/14
Review Source: Capterra

The way to classify memberships

Pros

The ability to create classes in the membership, ease of deployment, being able to understand what code segments were in use was easy

Cons

lack of integrations, webhooks did not work correctly, bugs were present on the layouts, data did not always save correctly

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

6.0/10
Scott T.

Worth it

Reviewed on 2016/03/19
Review Source: Capterra

Using this on my health website to manage members and sell membership/products. It solved a big problem i had of finding software that could manage leads and members but also sell physical and digita goods online.

Little bit of curve to learn but there is documentation and videos and support to help you along.

I anticipate this becoming a big name in the market as they continue to streamline and expand it, which they seem to be doing quite a bit lately.

Recommended if you're looking for an open source tool and don't mind the setup that comes with it (which isnt as bad as i thought it would be).

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Kerrin B.

A good bit of software

Reviewed on 2016/03/11
Review Source: Capterra

Zenbership has made the job of managing subscriptions a lot more simple. There are a few areas where minor bugs need ironed out and I am hopeful these will be resolved in the April 2016 release. It would benefit from some off the shelf third party integrations for such things as xero accounting . In combination with stripe payment gateway it has made a real difference to my operation.

Response from Castlamp

Kerrin, it's always a pleasure working with you. We're working hard to constantly improve the product, including ironing out those bugs as they creep up.

We look forward to many more years!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Richard L.

Needs a lot of SQL Work, not good for visually impaired

Used Other for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2017/10/15
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

It is free, and appears to have a lot of rich functionality. You have the source, and if you have the time you might be able to fix the niggles.

Cons

The SQL it uses is badly written, and relies on non-standard sql_mode settings for your MySQL server to work. because of this, if a bug is fixed in MySQL, or you're running mariadb you will have incessant problems with SQL errors during, and after, the install

There are no logfiles that would tell you what is going wrong; debugging seems to be limited to commented out console.log()messages, but if you have a server-side issue there is nothing that will help you pinpoint the issue.

The fonts are too small, and white on-pale-blue is quite hard for me to read.
You can find yourself in a maze of options with no easy way out, e.g. I tried seeing if there was a way on my personal account for change the colors scheme, but instead it insisted on me retying my password before I could 'cancel'

As of October 2017 I think this needs some more work before I'll re-evaluate it.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10
Chris T.

Rating only

Used Daily for Free Trial
Reviewed on 2017/08/22
Review Source

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Scott R.

Managing My Business Got Much Easier!

Reviewed on 2016/03/17
Review Source: Capterra

Before I learned about Zenbership, I was struggling with several different pieces of software I needed for my eCommerce website selling flooring supplies - one for invoicing, one for customer relationship management and one for managing my store. Zenbership helped me streamline everything that is happening at my eCommerce website at one place and best of all its free. Since I integrated it, managing my business has gotten much easier!

Response from Castlamp

Always a pleasure Scott! Glad everything is working out well for you.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Too difficult to use

Used Other for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2018/06/22
Review Source: Capterra

I was unsuccessful in getting any benefits from this product.

Pros

The sales pitch sounded good. The price was right (initially; my time was worth too much to continue with the frustration).

To be fair, I attempted to implement this platform about four years ago and I have not looked back at it again. It could be better documented today. I have moved on to other projects.

Cons

You have to be very technically literate. I am. It was still not worth my time to figure out. The biggest failing was in the lack of clear and usable documentation.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

1.0/10
Sam V.

Can't ask for much more

Reviewed on 2016/04/15
Review Source: Capterra

We're talking about a free solution here so i felt obliged to post this review. The product is solid and handles our subscriptions and authentication very well. We've started using it for email campaigns recently as well and that has been very useful, what with using criteria to eatablish who gets a drip or emails. Top notch, recommended. 4 starts instead if 5 because the User friendliness could use some work, but apparently that's already started so let's call it a 4.5

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support