Best structure for membership site that allows members to create subsites

What would be the optimal plugin stack or configuration for the following functionality:

We have a root marketing site, where we sell memberships as a subscription.

Once you're a member you can create an unlimited number of sub-sites on our network. All sub-sites on the network will be created from a Blog Template with identical theme/plugins/settings.

On the root marketing site, each user will have a publicly viewable profile/archive which links to each of their sub sites.

When a user's subscription finishes, they cannot create new sites, or edit content on the sites that they have already created. Also their profile and currently created sites will not be public.

I'm not sure whether to use a Membership plugin for this or pro sites, or a combination of them both? From what I read pro sites treats everything on a per-site structure, which isn't what we want.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Kasia Swiderska
    • Support nomad

    Hello Carl,

    I'm not sure what do you mean by "From what I read pro sites treats everything on a per-site structure, which isn't what we want." - can you explain that more?

    Because what you described can be only done with Pro Sites and not Membership 2 Pro. Membership 2 pro is created to protect content and you want to "monetize" creating subsite, so this is Pro Sites. Also Pro Sites is integrated with New Blog Templates plugin.

    Also you would might consider installing BuddyPress because it has option to display custom members profiles with list of their blogs.

    Let me know if you have more questions

    kind regards,

  • Carl
    • Flash Drive

    Hey Kasia,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Just clarrifying, we want to specifically monetize the ABILITY to create sub sites, not monetize each sub site. In other words, a member signs up to our root/home site for a year, and then they have the ability of creating sub sites for that year. When their subscription expires, and they do not renew, they lose this ability of creating sites. The sites they have created are also no longer public. They must renew their membership for their sites to be active again, and to have the ability of further sub site creation.

    Is this achievable with Pro Sites?

    I was planning on creating a custom template on our root site for each author/member that would show blogs that belong to each member, rather than having to worry about a buddypress install.

    I'm open to doing a lot of development on this, I am just not sure which direction to go in first.

    If the membership plugin was capable of allowing members to create sites on the network, that would be ideal. Can the membership plugin be made to do this?

  • Kasia Swiderska
    • Support nomad

    Hello Carl,

    Thank you for the explanation. Now I understand your goal.

    Unfortunately without custom coding this will be not possible only with Pro Sites.

    Pro Sites charges for each site - so even with option to create multiple sites, there is charge for each of the site. But if we will add a Membership to that it can work.

    So we need to have a Pro Sites to handle signup page, because we need one that is custom, not the default wp-signup.php - because that one can't be protected by Membership.
    In Pro Sites you can have free levels, there is not obligatory to have paid ones.

    With that we can protect Pro Sites signup page with membership - so only members with active subscription will have access to it. So then with free levels they will be able to create multiple sites.

    kind regards,

  • Carl
    • Flash Drive

    Hi Kasia,

    Thanks for your replies, after considering the Pro Sites and membership routes, I have opted for a custom build.

    I will use WooCommerce subscriptions on the main site, and members can buy access this way. After the purchase is completed there will be user_meta stored for that user stating their access level and expiry date.

    Then we reference this user_meta throughout the network for determining whether this user's sites are active or not.

    Thanks for the help!

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