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How to embed meal planning into your membership website

This post teaches you how to embed meal planning into your membership website so you can help your clients and community reach their dietary goals. We’ll start with the recommended option but discuss all four possible solutions.

There’s a need to explain what each solution entails and what to expect so you can choose an app that works for you, now and in the future. (It’ll be a nightmare to start using software only to later discover problems that may warrant a change of course!)

Why you should choose carefully

The wrong choice will not only waste your time and money but also trouble your members by dislodging them from a platform they’re already used to. It could also make you appear clumsy and unprofessional. So, study these options carefully.

We’ll try to cover every aspect of meal planning with these solutions, how each works with your meal plan membership platform, and any advantages or disadvantages.

Option #1: MealPro App

MealPro App is a purpose-built meal-planning software giving it a number of present and long-term benefits, especially considering how it is helping several brands.

For example, The Girl On Bloor, a popular food creator, used MealPro App to launch her membership program into hundreds of subscribers in a matter of weeks.

This meal planning platform simplifies the steps needed to embed meal planning into your membership website, as you can see in our free launch toolkit.

Below are the major characteristics that give it this status.

Specialization

There’s no point in embedding software that doesn’t solve your meal-planning challenges. 

From creating recipes to building catalogs, exporting them, and designing and sharing meal plans and other resources, you need software that simplifies your work, protects your business, and provides the best possible experience for your members.

embed meal planning into membership website

Typically, the best software is specialized, i.e., designed to solve a specific problem. MealPro App is a specialized meal planning software that integrates with your website or blog regardless of the CMS (content management system) or website builder used.

Seamless integration

MealPro App works seamlessly with most CMS and membership platforms, including WordPress, MemberPress, Thinkific, and more, using our Zapier integration

The MealPro App team can help complete the integration; alternatively, you can check out this demo to see how it works. In comparison, some other recipe-making or meal-planning plugins must be installed and managed with little or no help from the developers.

Broad customization

Not only can you easily embed MealPro App into your meal plan membership platform, but you can also customize almost every aspect of the app. It’s a white-label app, i.e., it’s designed as a sort of blank slate from which creators can design meal-planning apps.

This is an advantage since it allows you to customize the app in line with your brand — see how this helped Taylor Stinson, founder of The Girl on Bloor, scale from zero to $2k per month in our free master class.

meal plan membership platform

Most alternative options require some level of coding to make the app truly belong to your brand. So, if you have specific branding in mind, MealPro App is arguably the easiest and most reliable platform to embed meal planning into your membership website.

A proven solution

If you get a custom app developed, then you’ll be on the hook for testing everything — and that can be a lot of work! MealPro App lets you skip this step; once integrated with your website, you can start using it with minimal testing. Try for free to see how simple it is.

Simplicity and automation

With some meal-planning apps, you have to manually generate links from within the app and then share them with your members through emails, ebooks, websites, etc.

Manually posting a link on every page or multiple web pages on your meal plan membership platform is serious work — not to mention the risk of errors. Any significant changes to your offer that affect the links may force you to edit every vital page of your website.

MealPro App (and custom apps) don't have this problem. Rather, it will integrate into your website, so you won’t have to share links before customers can join your membership program.

Customer convenience

No customer would want to deal with two different platforms to solve a single problem when one platform will suffice.

For example, nutrition coaching tools like That Clean Life (TCL) require you to direct users from your website, blog, or social media to your program in their tool. While MealPro App requires redirecting visitors from your current website for now, this process is seamless.

Directing your customer to a totally different and unfamiliar platform or tool can lead to churn among those reluctant to join such platforms. However, because MealPro App is white-label (has your branding), it feels like one cohesive experience for your members. 

This is how MealPro App weaves meal planning into your existing membership website.

Smooth recipe importation

After embedding a meal planning app into your meal plan membership platform, you’ll need to move your recipes to the app for easy access. This allows you and your members to search and modify recipes, create meal plans, and tweak shopping lists. 

While some solutions like Kajabi lack the proper features for importing and hosting recipe content, MealPro App allows you to import recipes from URLs or a catalog.

meal planning for my membership site
  • meal planning for my membership site

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In summary, MealPro App can offer the best of both worlds — convenience and ease of customization. If you’re keen on opting for a solution that seamlessly integrates with your membership website, then consider booking a demo today!

Option #2: That Clean Life

Nutrition coaching tools like That Clean Life aren’t blogging platforms or content management systems where you can host a website; they are apps within which you can interact with one or a handful of clients.

How it works

The platform isn’t built to interface with your website or CMS platform. It’s designed to be a stand-alone app that users cannot access through third-party platforms. MealPro App too operates in a similar fashion except that it has integrations (using Zapier), so it can seamlessly connect to thousands of other platforms.

meal planning app

You won’t technically embed That Clean Life into your membership website for the aforementioned reasons.

However, you can still use it to supplement your meal plan membership platform and simplify the task of serving your clients — since it provides the tools you need to manage your nutrition or dietary programs.

Linking it with your website

Since you can’t technically embed it into a membership website or blog, you might wonder why we posture That Clean Life as a meal-planning solution that pairs with membership websites. 

The reason is that you can add a unique link to any of your website pages. This link will direct visitors to your That Clean Life profile.

This means you must paste this link on every page from which you intend to redirect users, which can be quite tasking if you have many pages of published content on your meal plan membership platform or blog. 

However, the advantage is that pasting a link is easier than embedding certain software or platforms into your website, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy and don’t get the required technical help.

You can also upload PDFs generated in TCL to your membership site. The caveat is that users can neither search nor customize these resources. This can lead to churn since editing a recipe becomes serious work for clients. 

monetize meal planning

On the contrary, MealPro App’s user interface (or app) allows users to customize meal plans and search recipes.

Why we don’t recommend this option

The main reason we don’t recommend The Clean Life to embed meal planning into your membership website is because it can be difficult for your members to search and customize your recipes and meal plans — namely if they are in PDF format. 

This limitation is why Ann Kent, MS, RDN, CDE, and founder of Peas & Hoppiness, stopped using the TCL platform and switched to MealPro App. See this case study on how MealPro App is currently helping Ann Kent simplify healthy eating.

Limited customization

Currently, branding options are limited at That Clean Life. While this might not seem like a big deal, especially when you’re just starting out, you may regret not branding your business in the future, particularly if it grows to serve thousands of users. 

Branding helps prevent customers from leaving you due to the subconscious emotional connection it forges between your brand and the customer.

Option #3: Customize a multi-purpose plugin

You may ask, can I do meal planning for my membership site using a plugin?

The answer is yes, although with a few caveats.

While CSS customization of a plugin is more straightforward than developing one from scratch, not all plugins and platforms allow customization. You can only do this with apps that permit customization to the coding level. A good example is Kajabi (Thinkific is another).

meal planning app creation

Your developer will have a foundation from which to build and, therefore, charge you less than they would for a ground-up job. Though you’ll still spend more than if you were to deploy a white-label recipe platform like MealPro App.

You’ll also face most of the disadvantages that come with coding your app from scratch, in addition to limitations your developer can’t break through. You may even have issues in your setup if there’s any change in a fundamental feature of the app.

Getting the right people to customize these plugins can be challenging; you can’t afford to hire an amateur or unreliable programmer to embed meal planning into your membership website, or you’ll waste time, money, and, even worse, frustrate your members.

This is why we think you are better off using a tried and true solution (cough, like MealPro App), even if you have it in mind to create your own platform someday.

Try MealPro App for free today. 

Option #4: Develop a unique meal planning app

The advantage of building your app from scratch is that you can add any functionality you want. These functionalities will be located where and how you want them to be.

No matter the level of customization of a third-party app, some things can’t be changed. For example, the position of certain icons and the operational concept always remain the same unless the owners decide to make changes, which isn’t in your control.

It means you have to put up with these constants even if you don’t like them. This won’t be the case with an app or platform you fully own since you can take unilateral actions when making fundamental changes.

create membership meal app

That said — most creators don’t build custom meal-planning apps or plugins because of the expense and trouble of finding trustworthy developers for the job. You’ll pay a lot of money initially and continue to pay for maintenance as long as you use it.

If you are thinking about this option, then check our detailed guide on how to build a meal-planning app, which explores a range of options.

Conclusion

If you’re a food blogger, health coach, or wellness influencer thinking of how to embed meal planning into your membership website, this guide has provided four different solutions.

If you’d like to try MealPro App, then sign up for free today to discover the true power of fusing a website, membership app, meal planning app, and payment gateway. 

If there’s anything you don’t understand, or need more explanation on, contact us or check out our other resources, such as our case studies.

Frequently asked questions

Is WordPress good for membership sites?

Yes, WordPress is good for membership sites and may, in fact, be the best CMS option depending on the type of content you create. For nutrition membership websites, you only need a few solutions to manage content creation, membership, and payments. These components include MemberPress, MealPro App, and payment plugins like Stripe.

How to start an online meal-planning business?

To start an online meal-planning business, first build a following based around a particular diet-related problem — don’t just plunge straight into the online meal-planning business. For example, you can start with blogging about meal planning and later introduce membership when you’ve acquired enough monthly page views. You can learn more about starting an online meal-planning business by studying the content of our blog.

Can I create meal plans for clients?

Yes, you can create meal plans for clients. This positions you as an expert and allows you to build a thriving business around meal planning. Given that people are increasingly careful about what they eat due to the prevalence of unhealthy fast foods, you’ll get clients if you know your stuff and market it right. You can get started with our white-label meal planner, which you can customize to match your brand and share plans with clients.