Building Meetup.com with Events+ and Membership 2 Pro for WordPress
Creating a premium events site for your members, like Meetup.com, Ticketmaster or EventBrite, isn’t out of reach with WordPress – and is easily done when you pair our Events+ and Membership 2 Pro plugins.
Integrating these plugins allows you to create a site – or network – where visitors can sign up to view event information and buy tickets. You could even create a premium membership subscription for members who want to create their own events, and let free members upgrade to a premium subscription to access this feature.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to create a member’s only events site on a single or Multisite installation. I’ll also go through our Events+ and Membership 2 Pro plugins in a bit more depth, and show you how to create free and premium memberships, how to limit features for free accounts, and how to make them available to premium members only.
What is Events+?
With Events+, you can create and manage events on your WordPress site and sell tickets for them, too.
You can also create stunning events pages that match your branding and seamlessly blend in with the look and feel of your site.
The events pages can be created with all the necessary details, plus much more:
- Integrates with PayPal
- One-click RSVP
- Facebook and Twitter login
- Display event attendee avatars
- Compatible with any theme
- Create recurring events
- Front page event editing
- Countdown timer
- Easy cancellations
- Ability to set guest cap
- Export events to iCal
- Many WPMU DEV plugin integrations
- BuddyPress integration
- Social media sharing
- many more cool features
You can share events on your single or Multisite install and update your visitors on what’s happening. You can even earn extra income by selling tickets.
What is Membership 2 Pro?
With Membership 2 Pro you can build a scalable subscription-based membership site – and everything you need to run it is included.
You can create just about any kind of membership site you want with standard, free, guest, and drip content membership types.
You can limit the Read More section of posts, offer digital reading subscriptions just like the New York Times, or create a full-blown social media site.
There are tons of features that are included right out-of-the-box so you can build and manage your membership site with ease:
- Built-in invoices
- Automatic and manual page creation
- Free trials
- Coupon and invitation system
- Place content behind a paywall
- Taxamo for EU VAT regulations
- Protect just about anything
- Assign membership to user role
- Shortcodes to protect content selections
- Protect dashboard access
- Integrates with BuddyPress and bbPress
- Many WPMU DEV plugin integrations
- Protect custom post types
- Even protect shortcodes and URLs
- Pro-rate accounts upon upgrading
- More features than Batman’s utility belt
Membership 2 Pro is great on its own for limiting any content you want to certain members, but when you integrate Events+, you can create a complete solution for a premium events site.
First, install and activate the Events+ and Membership 2 Pro plugins. You can install them on a single site, network-wide or site-by-site in your network. It all depends on the setup you’re trying to achieve.
Configure your memberships and set up the ones you need for your site. For details on how to do this, check out Build an Online Community With WordPress and Membership 2 Pro.
You can create both free and premium memberships and limit creating events to premium members only while allowing both types of accounts to purchase tickets. You can also add other premium features as you see fit.
It all starts with setting up the Events+ plugin.
Setting Up Events+
Go to Events > Settings in your admin dashboard and enter the slug where you want events displayed. For example, if you enter concerts, new events will be displayed at www.your-site.com/concerts/new-concert and if you were to go to www.your-site.com/concerts, you would see an archived list of all the events that have been created to date.
Also, check the first box so you can accept payments and, depending on your needs, check the boxes to enable Facebook and Twitter logins as well as public RSVPs. If you enable this last option, members can click a button to let you or the event organizer know whether they are or aren’t able to attend the event.
When you’re happy with your selections, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page, then go to the next menu item to enter the appearance settings where you can choose an optional style template. If you chose to allow Facebook and Twitter logins, you can enter the API settings for those social media sites on the API Settings tab.
You can get more information on setting up this plugin by checking out the Events+ plugin’s usage guide.
Next, enter your PayPal email address on the Payment Settings page to be able to accept ticket payments. You can also integrate the MarketPress eCommerce plugin to be able to access many more payment gateways.
If you want your members to be able to get event tickets for free when they sign up for a free or premium account, you can skip the payment settings.
Now, go to the Add-ons tab and activate the Capabilities and Front-End Editing extensions. Keep in mind that both of these add-ons are optional.
The Capabilities add-on lets you edit the default WordPress user roles to include access to event features.
The Front-end editing add-on provides the option of creating and editing events on the front-end, rather than in the dashboard.
You can edit the user roles through the Capabilities add-on or through Membership 2 Pro so choosing which method you use to manage your membership features all depends on how you want your members to access the features you enable, how you want to organize the back-end, and where you are most comfortable managing these features in the future. No matter which option you choose, the end result should be similar.
You can also enable the Events Maps Options add-on to display maps for events if you also install and activate our Google Maps plugin. There are many more add-ons for you to choose from as well that majorly extend the functionality of Events+, so don’t be too quick to pass them over without taking a good look first.
Next, go to Events > Shortcodes to see the list of available shortcodes and options you can use on your posts or pages or anywhere else they can fit with your site’s design. For example, you could use the
[eab_calendar] shortcode on a page you create to display a calendar of all the current events that are open to selling or reserving tickets.
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When you’re happy with the settings you’ve entered, you can use the Membership 2 Pro settings to protect the event pages and anything else you would like by protecting the URL or by making use of the other protection settings. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can check out the Membership 2 Pro usage guide.
Adjusting Member Capabilities
When you’ve protected all the content you need for your specific situation, you can change the user roles for your memberships so that only premium users can create events. There are also three ways you can accomplish this so you can go ahead and choose the method that works best for your site.
1. Editing Capabilities in Events+
Enable the Capabilities add-on under Events > Settings > Add-ons if you haven’t already and click the new Event Capabilities tab that’s displayed. Choose the role you want to edit to reveal a list of options.
The subscriber role is the default role that’s given to members when they sign up so you could keep the settings as-is without adding additional capabilities. Instead, you could add features to the contributor role since the default settings aren’t set as high as editors or administrators. though, it’s up to you and what you need for your site.
There’s also a checkbox toward the bottom of the page to restrict the media files to the author only and you can check it if you want to let only the person who uploaded event media to be able to use and edit the content.
When you’re done making your selections, click the Save Changes button on the bottom right and go to Membership 2 > Add-ons. Find the Member Capabilities add-on and click the toggle button to enable it.
Then, go to Membership 2 > Protection Rules > User Roles and hover over the user role you edited in the Events+ settings. Click the Modify Access link that appears, then select the membership level you want to apply to the adjusted user role.
Your changes are saved automatically and once completed, all visitors who sign up for the membership you selected should be assigned the user role you picked. This means that these members have access to the events features you selected for the user role you edited.
If you prefer to keep all the user role settings in one place, you can adjust them all within the Membership 2 Pro plugin settings.
2. Adjusting Capabilities with Membership 2
Instead of activating the Capabilities add-on in the Events+ settings, go to Membership 2 > Add-ons and click the toggle button on the Admin Side Protection extension.
You can enable the Member Capabilities add-on and click the Details link to display an additional option. Enable the option for Advanced Capability Protection.
Go to Membership 2 > Protection Rules > Admin Side and scroll to the events links that are displayed in the dashboard.
Hover over the event pages you want to protect and click the Modify Access link, then choose the membership whose members you want to have access to this page.
You can also add other user role capabilities to your memberships by going to Membership 2 > Protection Rules > Capabilities. Hover over the capability you want to make available to users and click the Modify Access link, then choose the membership where you want to add the access.
It’s important to note that you need to be fully aware of what each of these advanced capabilities actually does to your site and network. It’s possible to give too much access or not enough to your members. You could end up giving access to features you don’t want users to be able to change, such as your site’s theme or page editing to name a few since all the capabilities to your site are listed on this settings page.
You may also accidentally give too few features to a membership which could severely cripple your users’ ability to get around and use your site so be sure the changes you choose are in fact the ones you need before applying them.
Once you’re done, your visitors who sign up for a membership on your site should have access to the features you selected.
3. Enabling Front-Page Editing
It’s possible to enable event editing and creation on the front-end so your users don’t need to have access to your site’s dashboard in order to take part in managing events on your site.
Go to Events > Add-ons and activate the Front-end editing option. You can also go to the Events > Shortcodes page to find the
[eab_event_editor] shortcode and all the additional options that are available to add front-end event management to your site.
Create a new page and include the
[eab_event_editor] shortcode in it with any options you would like to add. Publish the page, then protect it with the settings in the page editor or under Membership 2 > Protection Rules > Pages.
Your new fron-end event managing page should have all the features your members need to create events while being styled to fit your site’s design so it fits seamlessly with your business.
As long as you grant access to the event managing page to your premium membership type, your free members won’t be able to access this page, but your premium members will and they can easily create events on their own.
Integrating our Events+ and Membership 2 Pro plugins lets you create a scalable premium events site so you can give your members special access to event creation tools while earning extra income from enabling this exclusive feature.
You can even use these plugins to edit the default WordPress user roles and capabilities to further customize your memberships and give access to advanced features for your premium members.
For more information on user roles and capabilities and how to edit them with code, check out one of our other posts WordPress Roles and Capabilities Explained (Plus Code-Based Tweaks).
Now that you have everything you need to create your own events site, what features and capabilities do you want to add to your site or network? What are your plans for these plugins and your membership site? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.