Subscription Website Archetype: The Application Website

What is an application website and what makes it a subscription website archetype?

While there is no single model for a Subscription Website, an application website is typically software based and allows users to download the software they desire internally. The Minimum Information Unit is a software application that often requires access to information in a proprietary database.

For most application websites, the majority of their revenue comes from user fees, and they usually accept little or no advertising. To keep fees rolling in, the application website publishers have to continue to provide customers with the information they want in an easily accessible manner.

When non-members arrive at any subscription website, they should be presented with conversion architecture designed to encourage becoming a registered, paying user. This may include sample content combined with an offer to join and a message that premium content is only available to registered users.

On the other hand, subscribers should immediately be presented with architecture designed to help them quickly find the information they want.

Here are three examples are benchmark sites for the Subscription Application Website Archetype. All require registration and payment for full access.

  • offers stock market analysis, investment research and portfolio tools.
  • helps you search and sort through millions of consumer and commercial data records to create customized databases.
  • The Job Description Manager allows you to create, maintain and organize job descriptions.

Application websites also include online document databases, which usually require payment to access. is a database of  hundreds legal documents. Answer a few relevant questions to complete the desired document and pay for your session. Your legal document is then emailed to you, ready for signing.

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While there may be hundreds of individual and hybrid subscription websites being used, Mequoda studies the following six subscription websites archetypes:
Subscription Website Archetype #1: Reference Website –
Subscription Website Archetype #2: Membership Website –
Subscription Website Archetype #3: Periodical Website –
Subscription Website Archetype #4: Newsletter Website –
Subscription Website Archetype #5: Application Website –
Subscription Website Archetype #6: Magazine Website –


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