The WPMU DEV Supporter plugin has now become the WPMU DEV Pro Sites plugin. It’s got loads of new built in features making it the number one plugin for monetizing your WordPress network.
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Ever wanted to create a monetized network like WordPress.com? It’s a great model – create a network, give a away a free blog and then charge for extras.
We use the Freemium model ourselves at Edublogs – the largest Education blogging network on the planet (I’d hazard a guess that it’s the biggest in the universe too – unless there’s an alien edublogging network…..). Pro Sites is how we are able to run such a successful WordPress Multisite Network.
This tutorial is going to show you how to use Pro Sites to create a fully monetized WordPress Multisite Network. By the time you’re done you’ll be raking in the cash.
Let’s get going.
1. Install WordPress Multisite
If you’ve got the Pro Sites plugin then likely you’ve already installed Multisite. If not, you can learn how to here.
2. Install Pro Sites
Download and unzip Pro Sites.
Upload the /pro-sites/ folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder
Note: if you are using the Supporter Plugin you must remove all of the old files before installing Pro Sites. If you have existing user subscriptions with the old PayPal or Amazon gateways, make sure to copy the backwards compatibility IPN handlers to your webroot from the gateways folder.
Navigate to Network Admin > Plugins and activate the Pro Sites plugin
3. Check out the Plugin
Pro Sites will now appear on your WordPress Network Admin menu.
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Before we go further let’s take a look at some of the new features:
Pro Sites > Statistics
We’ve added a whole load of new statistics. These include:
- Monthly Activity Summaries
- Weekly Activity Summaries
Pro Sites > Coupons
You can now create coupon codes to offer discounts to users.
Pro Sites > Levels
You can now have different site levels , giving access to more advanced features as your levels increase.
Pro Sites > Settings
You can now set up Pro Sites to send automatic emails.
Pro Sites > Settings
Check out the new powerful Paypal Express Gateway and Pro Gateway
4. Create Your Levels
Pro Sites now has in-built levels so that you can have different types of member. Like with our Membership plugin, you need to do some planning here. Having all of this planned out in advance will save on lots of confusion in the future. For the purposes of this tutorial I’m going to create 2 levels. You can create as many as you want.
Tip: Your each level aggregates the settings from the levels below. So, anything that Semi Pro has, Pro will have too. And if I have an Elite level that will inherit everything below that.
Here’s my plan:
- increased upload space
- has access to ten additional premium themes
- can embed using HTML
- limit the number of pages they can create to 10
- disable advertising on main site only
- access to Facebook plugin
- domain mapping
- has further increased upload space
- has access to all premium themes
- can create unlimited pages
- access to premium support
- disable advertising on main site and five others
Go to Pro Sites > Levels
Edit level 1 to be your lowest level. On Pro Sites a level will have access to all of the features for its number and for all of the numbers below it. So 1 has access to 1, 2 has access to 2 and to 1.
Unlike our Membership plugin, you do not need to create a free level. Anyone signing up will have access to whatever you set up with WordPress and Pro Sites lets you add features or take away restrictions. Think of it as a plugin that lets people upgrade.
Once you’ve created your lowest level create a new level and select add.
Once you have created your levels you can have a play around with your settings.
There are some settings that you can change here:
- Change the name of “Pro Sites” – you can call it Awesome Sites, Full Sites, whatever you want.
- Create a signup message to show on the signup page – you can use HTML here so be as creative as you want!
- Create a sales message for your checkout
- Give free trials
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I’m going to give everyone who signs up a free trial of my Semi Pro level for two weeks. Like so:
6. Create Your Modules
When you select something from Pro Sites > Modules/Gateways, its contextual menu will appear under Pro Sites > Settings
I’m going to activate all of the modules that I need for both of my levels. For my purposes I need:
- Post/Page Quotas
- Premium Plugins
- Premium Support
- Premium Themes
- Unfilter HTML
7. Set up your Modules
Once you have activated your modules navigate to Pro Sites > Settings
Navigate to Pro Sites > Settings and scroll down to Advertising
I want the following settings for each level:
- Semi- Pro Sites – disable ads on main site only
- Pro-Site – disable ads on main site + 5 more
You can change the name of the feature but I’m happy with “Disable Ads.”
I’m going to enable Additional Ad-Free blogs, then attach 5 to Pro. Like in the screenshot below:
You can also change the sales message to encourage people to want to get rid of adverts.
And you can attach “Enable Premium Themes” to enable premium themes as well as getting rid of adverts.
We don’t want to do this as we want to limit the number of themes available to different levels.
b) Post /Page Quotas
Scroll down to post/page quotas.
I want to restrict the number of pages a Semi-Pro site can create to 10. Pros can have unlimited.
Choose “Pro” for Site Level and set the Pages Quote to 10. You can also change the sales text here.
c) Domain Mapping
On your Network Admin menu go to Settings > Network Settings and scroll down to Domain Mapping.
Set “Supporters Only” to “Yes”
d) Premium Plugins
I want to give all of my supporters access to various social media plugins. You can use the Premium Plugins settings to give plugins to different levels. I’m going to give my Semi-Pro users access to our Ultimate Facebook plugin and Pro sites are going to get Floating Social as well.
Navigate to Pro Sites > Premium Plugins
Note: You will already need the plugins installed for this to work.
Again, choose the lowest level that gets the plugin. Anything above this will also get it.
I’m also going to Auto-Activate them.
e) Premium Themes
Navigate to Pro Sites > Premium Themes
You’ll see a list of all of your installed themes and you can activate them for different levels. This list only shows disabled network themes – i.e. if you haven’t enabled it you will see it here and can control it with Pro Sites.
I’m going to set 10 for Semi Pro and the rest for Pro.
f) Premium Support
Navigate to Pro Sites > Settings and scroll down to Premium Support.
I’m going to enable Premium Support just for my Pro users. This means that they will be able to email a special support email address which will give them access to priority support.
Navigate to Pro Sites > Settings and scroll down to Quota. Here you can set the amount of space each site can have. I’m going to give Semi-Pro Sites 100 MB and Pro Sites 500mb.
f) Unfiltered HTML
Filtering HTML prevents users from doing things like embedding videos. This setting gives them full access to HTML editing. I’m going to enable this for Semi Pro users and up.
And our modules are set up!
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8. Set up your Payment Gateway
Navigate to Pro Sites > Modules/Gateways
Currently Pro Sites supports PayPal Express/Pro and Manual Gateways. We may be adding more gateways in future updates.
I’m going to choose PayPal Express/Pro.
Navigate to Pro Sites > Settings
You need to insert your own settings for PayPal, including your country, currency and API details. You can get instructions on the PayPal API here.
You can also edit the design of your payment page here.
And your Pro-Sites plugin is good to go!
WPMU DEV Members can download Pro Sites now and non-Members can buy it for only $39!