Make your own club today

Substation lets you offer a subscription or newsletter using your own accounts on services like Braintree and Mailgun. It's free, open-source, and easy to set up.

Want to kick the tires?

Test the sign-up with this card:

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Exp: 04/2023   CVV: 123

First things first

Substation is free software. That means independence and control. You can make your community truly yours and customize things however you like. But you'll have to edit a config file and some html. There is set-up. That might sound intimidating, but you can handle it.

We're here to help. Say hi.

Tell me more

Potential members first interact with substation using the sign-up embed. This can live on your site or on a simple page hosted by substation — or both even. There's a dashboard you can use to email all members or export a CSV. It's all built on a simple API that handles email verification, mailing campaigns, and recurring paments.

You can see the sign-up embed in the demo above. Here are a few pictures of the dashboard and email.

The login window, a simple form with just one input for your email address The login verification email sent to your inbox The dashboard — an embed code, a CSV export, and an option to mail all members Composing an email to all members

So how does it work?

Substation is just a few parts stitched together with a library we built called Lodge. For now you'll need accounts with Braintree (payments) and Mailgun (bulk email) to get it all running. Neither service will cost you anything up front except a little time for set up.

Lodge handles the responsive embed, which can open a full-screen checkout overlay on any page, and it's as easy to embed as a YouTube video:

<!-- Substation embed code -->
<script src=""></script>
<embed class="lodge" src="">

Now here's the weird thing: there's no database. We wanted to make substation as easy to use as possible, so we designed around what we could do with just a payment API and email authentication. So all customer information is stored safely with the payment provider, and user authentication happens pretty much like every other site resets a password — except without a password. Just push a button in your inbox to login.

This means all of substation is configured and customized with a single .env file and a few markup/css files for customization. More importantly it makes custom software a lot less intimidating. Databases can cut you.

If you're still reading, then maybe you'd enjoy this README.

What's next?

Substation is a work in progress. Right now we're exploring more payment options and services for Lodge. After that the idea is to move substation towards more of a serverless architecture, but carefully so it can work on services like Glitch and Vercel side by side.

We're going to keep making substation easier and better, because we think it's important for people to have more ways to connect and support each other directly.

Email or tweet any questions.