Buddypress + cartt66; Have you done it?

I'm sure someone here can tell me about their experiences with using buddypress and cart66 together.

I know that cart66 doesn't "officially support buddypress."

So, how well do they work together? What hacks did you need to do to make them play nicely? And please excuse this probably ridiculous-sounding question, but you need to disable the BP login and let cart66 handle logins, right? (And if so...uh, how do you do that?)

Finally: any frustrations with trying to make the two work together? Do you feel an urge to warn me against taking this path? Or are you pleased with your decision to use the two plugins together?

Thank you, all you smart, brilliant, beautiful people!
Katy

  • jordanskole

    I used to use cart66 but i stopped because it doesnt work on a multi-site install. You are able to create 1 store, but it puts its tables in the global database. That was a few minor releases ago so perhaps its changed.

    I also stopped because your shoppers tables are NOT mapped to your wordpress users tables, so that means that a customer who is also a buddypress member will need to juggle two accounts, and they dont really like to do that.

    If you want to set up just a store, its a pretty darn good store, but those two problems are deal killers for me.

  • katypurviance

    Thanks for the input, Jordan! Having to have separate accounts for BP and for cart66 is a big problem.

    Cart66 seems to have some cool things going for it, like the membership functionality and the store functionality are integrated. And I like that I can put my Buy buttons wherever I want instead of forcing everything into a "store" -- I have memberships, courses, and then a regular store, so that's three different "stores." If I went with MarketPress, I was thinking I could show category archive pages in order to separate Courses from Store...but then it's still a separate cart than memberships. If I use both MarketPress and Membership, a user can't purchase a membership and a course in the same transaction. Plus, after seeing how Digital Access Pass does drip content, Membership's methods seem rather clunky.

    I have been researching e-commerce solutions for six months. So far I haven't been able to find anything that does everything I need. I found a developer who may be able to help me with a custom solution, but he's backed up with another client.

    Anyone else have any words of wisdom on buddypress and cart66? Or comments on any other membership/commerce plugins that work well with buddypress?

    Thanks!
    Katy

  • jordanskole

    How do you currently have your courses set up? What is a 'course'? do students enroll and only consume content (lynda.com, treehouse.org ), or do they submit 'homework' and receive some sort of feedback 'grade'

    I'm asking because you and I seem to be working in very similar spheres, and are having very similar problems. (you can check out a site i built to manage MSU's entrepreneurship courses here http://entrepreneurship.msu.edu/course/ run with cart66 I can create a login/pw for you if you are interested). Cart66 handles membership through a SaaS membership solution called spreedly. They also have their own membership solution that is integrated with the WP users tables (http://spreedly.com/) but is pricy ($20/mo?). Had politics not intervened I would have been integrating scholarpress this past semester http://scholarpress.net/ http://scholarpress.net/courseware/ it provides the crucial grading/quiz functionality I had been missing.

    In instructional design, and when trying to scale online courses, access to the experts time is the limiting factor, and what I typically charge (or have my clients charge) a premium for, but it defiantly also seems to be the most difficult problem I have.

    One of the things I had been considering with a similar setup would be to integrate eventespresso to handle the 'courses' component. I would run the store with marketpress, and then be able to offer courses at two different price levels, a discounted level for paying members, and a premium for a la carte style non-members.

    Anyway its a lot of information, i'd love to know what you finally end up doing!

  • katypurviance

    Hi Jordan,

    My courses are still in development. I have about 25 of them right now, and I would like to offer different course delivery methods depending on what makes sense for each particular course; for example: For some courses, it would be appropriate to deliver it five different ways, but for other courses, it only makes sense to do it one way. So, a course could be an instant download, or it could be a "dripped" course where every few days the student receives an email telling him that is next lesson is available, a course could be shipped to the student and could consist of perhaps a workbook and a DVD, a course could be delivered through live streaming video, and/or a course could happen in real life in a real place.

    To answer your question, most, but not all, courses would require "homework" from students, for which they would receive feedback.

    (I LOVE the way Digital Access Pass does dripped content. In my research, it seems to be the only plugin that really understands dripped content, and the set up couldn't be simpler: Check off which posts you want to drip, and tell it how many days apart they should each be delivered. 99% of other plugins that claim to do dripped content require you to move users through a system of "levels" in order to drip content. That sounds like an aneurysm just waiting to happen.)

    Additionally, I have memberships, which is really access to a particular category, where each category is a collection of educational resources on a particular topic. Students could buy a day pass or a weekly pass for access to the information.

    And then there are regular products: books and kits.

    I thought I had finally found (almost) what I've been looking for with cart66, but through a series of conversations with their pre-sales department, I learned that cart66 can't handle users having multiple memberships...which just sounds incomprehensible. Do you know if spreedly can handle users having more than one membership? Though I'd prefer to stay away from anything with a monthly fee.

    I considered moodle for a while, since it's intended for schools...but I just couldn't get past the circa 1996 design, and a lot of its features didn't match with what I needed.

    I also looked at nanacast, which seems 150% amazing, but the $150/mo price tag sent me away.

    I am stunned that I haven't seen ScholarPress before now. Thank you for pointing it out to me! I'll also examine eventespresso. I'll keep you posted! Go team!

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