Advice Needed: Membership vs Pro Sites

Hey all,

I need a little advice.

I started building a network a few months ago. It's basically a mini-version of etsy but for painters.

I tested out membership and supporter and found that I wasn't a big fan of supporter as it didn't offer enough levels and was a bit clunky. So I opted to go with Membership with a combination of Marketpress (for the artist gallery), Blog Templates, Adminimize, and Custom Themes to do what I needed.

Now I'm finding that it's really difficult to manage the members and the sites, as it's basically two separate systems. A good part of the process is manual and a bit time consuming.

The client already has 500 existing members that are fully paid for a year (with different expirations). I had to make 3 extra private subscription levels with no cost associated with them. Then when the current payment they have is expired, an admin has to go in and change the level. However .... it's a bit of mess now and I've only inputted 10 members.

With Pro-Sites, when the customers picks a level, can it auto-assign a blog template?

Are there admin restriction options, like adminimize built into it?

Can I input members manually to the system, we have about 500 that will need to be done?

The current members, and blogs, will they be migrated?

Just a few of my questions.

Thanks,
Nick

  • Timothy Bowers

    Well first and foremost I would see these two systems as something totally different.

    Membership

    A commerce product used for managing memberships which give access to restricted content and downloads.

    Pro Sites

    An advanced MU hosting site plugin which allows website owners within a multisite install the option to upgrade certain aspects of their hosting, for example space, themes and plugins.

    Both plugins server separate purposes and handle different needs.

    With Pro-Sites, when the customers picks a level, can it auto-assign a blog template?

    No, but with a given level you can give access to extra themes which they can choose from.

    You can choose to auto activate plugins though.

    Are there admin restriction options, like adminimize built into it?

    I presume you mean:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/adminimize/screenshots/

    If so then no.

    It will restrict access to certain things like themes and plugins. You can use something like the Easy Bloggin plugin to give a simplified admin interface. Free site users or all site users can be restricted to use the only the Easy Blog Admin interface.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/easy-blogging

    Can I input members manually to the system, we have about 500 that will need to be done?

    The members are registered with WP, so there accounts remain the same. You would need to manually tell Pro Sites which sites have which level, when it should expire and so on. There is no automated process as they are two different systems suited to different purposes.

    The current members, and blogs, will they be migrated?

    They remain in the same system as far as access and passwords go.

    The subscription and expiry information would need to be manually entered for all websites within the Pro Sites plugins.

    I hope this clarifies everything for you.

  • cfai

    Yeah that helps out.

    I understand the difference between a membership and the mu management. I needed the pro sites a few months ago, but Subscriber just wasn't cutting it.

    I don't want users to have control over plugins, themes and all that. I have a very specific feature set for each level, that I've been managing through Adminimize, however, it's a site by site system, not an over all MU solution. So it's more time consuming if I need to change access.

    I'll install it and give it a whirl. It sounds like it's what I need, just want to make sure I'm not going to put all the work into rejiggering the process, then to just drop back to the first plan.

    If you want to take a look at the staging site it's at http://cfai.actwd.net Maybe that will help you wrap your head around it a little more.

    Thanks man.

  • cfai

    That Easy blogging plugin is awesome.

    Is that controlled at the Network Admin level, then filtered down through the sites based on the Pro Site Level?

    I would need to make a few custom links that I would want on every site... and not have to manage on an individual site basis. I think that is where my main frustration with a lot of plugins is... they're very single site oriented... I need some of them to be network wide but based on subscription level.

    -Nick

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey again.

    I understand the difference between a membership and the mu management. I needed the pro sites a few months ago, but Subscriber just wasn't cutting it.

    Sorry not meaning to sound picky here, but I presume you mean the old "Supporter" not Subscriber?

    If so then yeah I can appreciate that, the lack of levels in that version was the major hold back for me as well.

    The new version "Pro Sites" is much better! :slight_smile:

    I don't want users to have control over plugins, themes and all that. I have a very specific feature set for each level, that I've been managing through Adminimize, however, it's a site by site system, not an over all MU solution. So it's more time consuming if I need to change access.

    If they don't require acces to more plugins or themes, then you need not give them that access.

    But if newer levels got new features through extra plugins, then you could have Pro Sites auto enable those plugins. The end user would not know the difference, only that they have more features.

    Love the art on there by the way!!

    That Easy blogging plugin is awesome.
    Is that controlled at the Network Admin level, then filtered down through the sites based on the Pro Site Level?

    Yeah it is, you can force it for all users if you wish, force it for users of a free level or certain user levels

    I would need to make a few custom links that I would want on every site... and not have to manage on an individual site basis. I think that is where my main frustration with a lot of plugins is... they're very single site oriented... I need some of them to be network wide but based on subscription level.

    I've not thoroughly gone through it all yet, lots of plugins here to learn, ha. But I don't believe there is that level of integration with Pro Sites and Easy Blogging. But if this becomes a feature request then it most certainly has my +1 on it!!

    I'm sure others would as well!

    You can create custom menu links.

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