Choosing Your Marketing Funnel Platform

One important choice for you in growing your business online is choosing a funnel platform that fits your needs, your budget and allows you the ability to grow in the direction and to the scale you ultimately desire.

In my professional opinion, you have two choices. First, there is ClickFunnels and second, there is a WordPress based funnel.

This quick post will look at these options from a few angels. Specifically focusing on the real cost of each, the time requirements for each and the additional benefits and detriments that don't fall into the financial or time-related categories.

Ready? Good… Let's begin!

First, let's start with the $$$ numbers! Now, I'm all about the ‘lean startup' concept and am proud that I have bootstrapped my business online for a little more than a couple hundred dollars and a ton of effort.

With that said, when I started my business online I was flat broke and had no other choice! But really, I don't think anyone enjoys paying thousands of dollars more than necessary, even if they have that kind of money laying around.

First, we will look at ClickFunnels… Their pricing is simple.

You have two options, first $97/mo for no email service and up to 20,000 visits per month.

Second is $297/mo with an email service and unlimited visits per month.

That equates to either $1164 per year without email or $3564 per year with email…

A quick note about the email side of Clickfunnnels. You still have to integrate, configure and pay for a SMTP email provider to physically send the mail. Clickfunnels only offers the interface so there are other fees depending on how much mail you send, but they are small.

Next, let's look at the cost of creating a marketing funnel on WordPress.

Now, this process requires hosting, a theme and an email provider which all work together seamlessly.

You will need web hosting with an SSL (this is the green lock and allows you to have a ‘secure' website where you can accept credit cards) and a dedicated IP.

For one full year, this is $100.86 with A2 hosting's WordPress hosting package. You can get the same package for $31.33 up front and $13.99 per month thereafter if you are super-budget conscious.

Best part? They install WordPress for you and ‘secure' the installation from hackers and this package could handle 200,000 visits per month or more!

Then, you need a ‘Theme' that includes a funnel building system. For this, I recommend the Thrive Themes Membership which you can get by clicking here.

Thrive Themes Membership is $228 per year. If you would prefer to pay quarterly, it is $75 per quarter.

Installing the theme takes about 5 minutes and they show you how in their tutorials here.

Installing their content builder plugin takes another 5 minutes as shown here.

With these two items installed you can build your first funnel on WordPress and they show you how to do that here.

Now, let's add up the totals real quick and see what the difference is.

WordPress + Hosting + Thrive (200,000+ visits/mo) = $328 per year
Clickfunnels up to 20,000 visits/mo = $1164 per year
Clickfunnels over 20,000 visits/mo = $3564 per year

Then you will need an email service…

For you, starting out… I recommend (and personally use) Aweber.

Aweber costs $19/mo after their 30-day free trial for up to 500 subscribers.

As your list grows, you do pay more and the next step is $29/mo for up to 2500 subscribers.

If you average $29/mo in Aweber fees, that brings your total costs to:

WordPress based: $676 per year
Clickfunnels based: $1512 per year up to $3564 per year.

So why is Clickfunnels so much more expensive?

To be honest, it is because they pay out 40% per month in recurring revenue to affiliates… This means if you sign up for ClickFunnels through my affiliate link here (and yes, these links in this post are indeed affiliate links) over the course of the year, you would pay $1164 and they would pay me $465+ in commissions.

If you fall for their ‘Full Suite' upsell which is $297/mo or $3564 per year, that would put $1425+ in my pocket every year… For making the recommendation.

This is why… #1 – So many people claim ClickFunnels is the “BEST EVER” …They are saying that out of self-interest trying to make commissions.

…And #2 it must be more than twice as expensive because they have to pay for their staff, their services, and the affiliates.

Now let's talk about time… Can ClickFunnels save you time in creating funnels?

Time is money, right? And if it saves you enough time, it's worth it, right?

Honestly, yes… Clickfunnels can save you time.

You can probably save a few hours in the initial setup and maybe an hour per month… But as you learn how to use Thrive Themes' system, you will easily become as efficient (or more efficient) than using ClickFunnels.

The only people I recommend using Clickfunnels is people who make six figures per year or more who spend 10 hours/day at their real job and have a burning desire to build an online business.

If you are not in the top 10% of income earners right now and you want to grow into that through an online business, WordPress is without a doubt, the way to go.

And realize… I am potentially giving up on hundreds, even thousands of dollars in making this recommendation.

The additional benefits of WordPress are noteworthy, too.

The first additional benefit is the SEO potential on WordPress. My main WordPress site that we have added a ton of blog content to receives over 725,000 visits per month, every month, from organic traffic.

Clickfunnels will never be as efficient in the eyes of the search engines for SEO purposes.

The second benefit is the fact that you will be learning a skill… Once you have basic WordPress skills, you can begin sellinWordPressss site creation services to friends, family members, local business owners, etc.

For me, this was one of the first real, true, honest online businesses I succeeded with… And I wasn't great at it… I outsourced all the work to people in other countries.

The third benefit is that WordPress open source and is the most popular platform online with nearly 30% of websites running on it. This means you have an army of smart nerds updating the core of WordPress and building cool functionalities on top of it… So it is infinitely customizable.

this also means you can hire people in the Philippines, India or Eastern Europe for a fraction of what developers make in the USA (usually between $5 and $15 per hour) do all of the ‘WordPress work' for you.

Did this give you enough info to make an educated decision for yourself?

Which platform are you going to build your marketing funnel on?

Leave me a comment below and let me know!

About the Author Miles

Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.

Leave a Comment:

Aaron says February 21, 2017

Hey Miles, I have really been enjoying your Youtube videos, thanks a lot for the value you are providing! I see you are (or have been) in our home country NZ (I grew up in Rotorua, I actually played some rugby with/against Ben Smith who I saw in your video the other day!). My wife B and I have been travelling for the past 4 years (currently in Spain) running our personal growth website as we go, she’s the public side of things and I am the website/brand/analytics/tech guy. I can’t help but see the similarities between you guys and us, although we are probably a good few years behind where you are at! We have been running live online 6 week programs + paid coaching services and are now looking to setup more evergreen and membership based products, plus get into the paid advertising and setup our funnels. So it’s a great for me to help upskill myself with your knowledge and experience at this time so appreciate that. Apart from connecting and saying thanks, I was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction of membership plugin/solution for wordpress. We are onboard with Thrivecart but need to find an suitable membership plugin that works well with thrivecart. If you have a recommendation, happy for you to flick me an aff link to purchase it. Thanks mate.

Mike Perez says February 23, 2017

Hi Miles im new to the network marketing world. I know its possible to do all the things you have mentioned in all your videos and im just learning and trying to build myself throught the internet

    Miles says February 24, 2017

    Absolutely… The best way to build a NM business is to brand you as the leader and grow an email list around you and your brand. This positions you in a way that no matter what happens in the future, you can take your audience with you!

Matthias says March 12, 2017

Hey Miles!

I just went through your post and found it really informative.

I currently use clickfunnels and I am now seriously considering changing to wordpress.

I have a question.

Is it possible to do split testing and to run multiple funnels from 1 domain?

Thanks in advance bro!

    Miles says March 14, 2017

    It is… I use google’s experiments to run my split tests and you simply tell Google… Here is page a, here is page b, here is the destination a successful conversion reaches… Google gives you a snippet to put on page a… and it is done.

    You can set up as many experiments on one domain as you want, so every ‘content upgrade’ or funnel entrance can have its own test.

Lenard Graham says March 13, 2017

Definitely going with WordPress

Zach says March 13, 2017

Thank you, this is really helpful. What would you recommend for promoting affiliate products across different niches? I’m interested in the Thrive theme because I want to have a blog in the main niche I want to focus on, but I also want to test other niches at the same time. All I really need is a blog and to be able to create landing and thank you pages. ClickFunnels just seems overpriced for what I need.

If I create landing pages for other niches would they be under the same domain as my blog site? Also, would I be able to install Thrive on multiple domains or just one?

Thanks for any recommendation you can give. I really appreciate your content.

    Miles says March 14, 2017

    Hey Zach… I’m all about the ‘authority site’ model too… one big WordPress site that gets all my energy and efforts to grow it, so it gets lots of traffic over time. It totally works.

    You can setup multiple funnels on one site with Thrive, but if they aren’t relevant to the topic, you can also setup a niche site that is just a funnel… With the Thrive themes membership, you can put Thrive on as many sites as you’d like that you own. With their ‘agency’ membership you can use the themes for client sites too…

    But if you own the sites, you would be fine with just their main membership level with all the themes and plugins.

    For the niches/funnels… Let the relevance of them be your guide… If relevant, sure go for it on one domain!

Jonathan Santos says March 14, 2017

Wow, Great info. I was doing some research and I found the answer on your blog. Thanks for saving me $$$.

SAMMY BELLAMER says March 15, 2017

Thank you Miles! This is exactly what i was looking for in terms of platform comparisons and costs associated with starting up an online business 🙂

Troy says March 16, 2017

Hi Miles, I started using ClickFunnels and it seemed like a great concept and it might be for some people, but for me, it is pretty confusing once the integration begins. I really like how you laid out the pricing comparisons between CF and WP. I have always been interested in the Arbitrage concept along with Affiliate Marketing and I thing that your videos are AWESOME! I would like some advice and discuss in a PM if possible.
Thanks for all that you do!

Cj says April 4, 2017

So, 1st thankful that I have also found your info. Currently have been working on a regular website through Wealthy Affiliates, but I am also looking to do specific Affiliate connections/funnels. In WA they say that we can create “funnels” but somehow this seems easier. Your 2 cents would be appreciated – truly tired of all the shiny objects.

    Miles says April 6, 2017

    One question for you… What are you going to be promoting with your funnels? Is the goal simply to promote WA to others who want to learn to make money online?

    If so, this is a slippery slope that can leave you tied up in their system, stuck there and paying a lot more than you need to be paying for the ‘right’ to promote their system. Pretty close to MLM challenges and at some point, there is a massive group of people unable to bring in new people who ‘support’ all the people above them with no cashflow… Then eventually the bubble pops.

    If you are going to be doing niche marketing, why not just build it out in WordPress and learn life-skills that you can apply to any business in the world? This video series shows it all :

    I’m all about helping you gain independence and I feel that WA is all about creating dependent people… Because for WA to survive it must have either A) Lots of new people and a big churn rate or B) lots of long term people paying month after month.

    I joined back in the day hoping I could promote it to people wanting to learn how to do what I do… But I didn’t like the cult-like vibe to the whole thing… So much pressure to upgrade. I called people out on this

    I’m realizing that I prefer open source foundations (wordpress) to closed systems… And pretty much why I started teaching everything I know on YouTube free, because I can’t send people to a pressure-cooker to ‘learn’ and sleep at night.

Sandra says April 6, 2017

Hi Miles, I have been following your videos and comments … I am struggling with Clickfunnels. They say that it is easy for beginners who are new on line. Not so and I am no slouch with a computer and pick up things easily BUT I have spent 5 weeks solid learning the system .. started with the bootcamp and working through the maze. My life has been hacked by Clickfunnels. My daughter started with me but I lost her last week, complete overwhelm and confusion (again no slouch either) So much information and the constant up sell is overwhelming. I don’t want to give up on this as I develop my on line presence but its looking like it. CF is way expensive when you look at it and pretty much the FB community pages are geared up for the techno crowd. Yesterday i picked up on a comment that someone had been told by google adwords that they were not allowing their ad because it was clickfunnels … too much for the market. That’s not good. I want to maintain control and looking at some of the funnels I have invested in now in my CF account I am thinking I have to maintain my membership or lose the work I have already done and paid for. Is that what happens when you leave ? Support takes days to get back to you which isn’t helpful when you are in the moment. Seems to me that those who already have successful businesses are with CF and using the software to be even more so, for us at the other end not such a great option when you break it down. I want a membership site ultimately so I am not keen to start with CF and have to migrate later on. How much knowledge do I need to get started ? If CF is to go by I need to get geeky 🙂

    Miles says April 6, 2017

    I think the underlying problem is that they have so many affiliates out there claiming it is the best thing since sliced bread when it is still buggy and their support is overwhelmed. Then you get ‘stuck’ on their system and those $97 or $297 monthly fees (40% of which go to the affiliate) bleed many people dry.

    So, have you watched the wordpress funnel video series from the creator of Thrive?

    He shows how Thrive Themes works in a few videos… And that is what I use. It is similar but a little different…

    I think I may put together a full video training on Thrive Themes, showing step by step how to setup a funnel, soon. If you want to migrate, you can always take screenshots of your pages, copy all the text down, etc. Then just rebuild it in Thrive.

    The unfortunate part is that there is no perfect system… And it does require sleeves rolled up and getting hands dirty. It is frustrating at times, no lie… But once it is setup, it is running and you can move on to marketing which is where the rubber meets the road.

    I completely left Clickfunnels… Not sure if you saw the post why, but it is here:

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