Members-only websites are created using two primary methods, either through password protection or by using content management system software. The choice between the two methods usually depends on the number of members using the site, according to The Site Wizard.
Smaller sites tend to use password protections while larger sites use content management system software. A simple password-protected site uses a single password for the entire site. Members are provided with the password, which is used to log into the site. While this enables the site's creator to limit access to the website, security depends entirely on the site's password not being shared with non-members.
For larger sites, especially where there is a constant flow of new members, content management system software is used to limit access and provide security. This software allows the site administrator to create a database of users, with each user provided with a unique password. New users are typically vetted before being allowed access to the site, and must be added to a database. Security concerns are handled through the separate passwords. By creating a unique password for each user, the content management system software limits the dangers of password being spread around, enabling the site administrator to shut down compromised user names and passwords without affecting the membership as a whole.