Cannot get summary to show (levels & More Tag not working together)

I have a very content rich site at http://www.2bbiz.co.za. I have three levels of membership:
Readers - don't have to log in; don't have to pay
Subscribers - login but free
VIP - log in; paying

The problem: I MUST have a summary of a post visible on the page - even if the particularly membership level cannot access the full post content. Ie. Let's say they are a Reader. They should see a post excerpt/limited content, title, picture etc - but when they click on Read More, they get taken to the No Access page which asks them to sign up for the appropriate level of membership.

But all I am getting on page is a blank space under the category heading....

Some background:
1. To delineate what content the various levels can see, I use the Category list extensively. So drag the category list into the negative rules for the Readers level, and then tick off all the categories of posts I don't want the Readers to see.
2. I have been to the Membership Options page and with the More Tag function I have tried both the Yes and the No function.
3. I have tried both the Yes and the No function in conjunction with both the negative rule and then with the positive rule on the Readers level page. (ie 4 combinations - just to make sure that I wasn't overlooking anything or getting mixed up).

BUT still nothing....
I really, really need to show a teaser on the main pages. It is a real train smash for me to have blank spaces in these places.

  • Philip John

    Hiya!

    When you protect a post using a level, Membership effectively hides that from any users not on that level.

    So... when a visitor or free member tries to access posts that they're excluded from (including as part of an archive/category page) Membership tells WordPress there is no content.

    In order to provide an excerpt you should instead use the more tag and protect that.

    Phil

  • Ann Williams

    Yes - I really get the concept of not being able to access a post or page if it is on the negtive rules list for a specific log-in level. To be able to have levels that have different access is the whole reason why I am spending my money on WPMUDev...

    As I said above (no. 2) - I HAVE tried using the MORE TAG. It's NOT WORKING - that is why I wrote this topic. (As soon as it is combined with the categories - it comes up a blank.)

    Please, please, please. I am running a site with a lot of categories etc and this is really, really important to me.

    I also tried using the short codes option instead. Once again - an absolute blank on the main page as soon as Categories are added. I control everything by categories.

    I need to have something which shows a teaser without allowing access to the actual page. (This is the norm these days for websites with paying levels.)

  • Ann Williams

    I don't think anyone is getting the drift of what I am trying to say here...

    I desperately want something where the category will still show when I put it in a widget, and that the summary will SHOW up in the correct place - but when you click through the No Access page will come up.

    This is how paywalls work - you get to see the teaser but not the full article so that it whets the appetite of the reader to see more and thus sign on as a paying subscriber.

    Having everything disapear where a category of posts is only available to higher level members is not just a little problem - it leaves a great big blank space in the middle of a page and it's a train smash for getting people interested in buying into a higher (paid) level membership.

    Please, does anyone have any ideas with this because this is the whole reason why we are using WPMUDev in the first place.

  • Ann Williams

    Hi Phil

    I can assure you that we HAVE gone through every single combination that is available in this plugin. It took a while but we gone through everything on its own and in combination with the categories function.

    1. The More tag is a total mess (I have another thread about that where I was told just to switch off any plugins that may clash with it - not helpful) with what I suspect is the SEO module running wild within it. What happens is that it produces a post with the SEO tagged words running over and over again in the space where the text would have been as well as in the header space. It really is a mess of keywords and the post is totally unreadable.

    I am also not willing to turn off the SEO module because it is used extensively. So it means that we CANNOT use More Tags. (But I see the objective of the more tag being for it to be used for a handful of stories here, and there - NOT for whole sections of the site. That is what the Categories function should be doing.)

    2. Using the Categories just blanks everything out everything though (as per this thread)- yet still allows access if I hard code in the URL! This defeats the objective of having a visible teaser summary but not being able to access the posts in defined sections of the site. Basically, why bother having the Categories function!

    3. I am currently using the URL Groups at the moment as a stop gap. It works. I can get the teasers showing while blocking the access. I will keep using this for now, but I really would like WPMUDev to look at the Categories function, because....

    My site runs a LOT of stories. There are already hundreds of posts up and within the next year it will carry thousands of stories.

    Having to put in More Tags (which looks dreadful even if when it works) is a mission doing it for each story and then keeping track of it if I want to move them to a category that is visible to everyone (besides which - as I say above - I cannot use it anyway.)

    Using the URL Groups is just as much a mission and is going to mean that I land up with HUGE lists of URLs in my groups. All of course which have to be hard-coded which is once again a mission when one is running a site that is updated daily, and it gets to the stage where I just can't update the URL groups before I get timed out.

    So I keep coming back to why Categories doesn't provide the basic teaser/hide post function for which it would be absolutely ideal?

    Thanks

  • Philip John

    It really is a mess of keywords and the post is totally unreadable.

    That's obviously an issue with the SEO plugin that. If that wasn't there it's safe to assume the more tag solution would be a workable one.

    Using the Categories just blanks everything out everything though (as per this thread)- yet still allows access if I hard code in the URL!

    This points to a misconfiguration in your levels. If you can show us screenshots of all your levels and subscriptions then we can look at them for you and see where they might be falling down. Also check that the posts your trying to protect aren't made public by other categories assigned to them.

    So I keep coming back to why Categories doesn't provide the basic teaser/hide post function for which it would be absolutely ideal?

    The category rules are for protecting content based on category, and it does that. If you want a teaser you will need to use a different method.

    Phil

  • Ann Williams

    As I have said a number of times now:
    1. We know the More tags are clashing with the SEO module - but I wouldn't use it any even if it did work.
    2. We are using the URL Groups quite fine - but it's a mission.
    3. There is nothing wrong with our configuration of the categories or the use of the negative and positive rules.

    The point is that it would be nice - ans a hell of a lot easier - to be able to use categories to show a teaser but block access to the whole post if one is not on the applicable level.

  • DavidM

    Hi Ann,

    Working with Phil on this, it seems what you might want is a customized version of the Category rule, one which doesn't wholesale hide the posts, but makes them accessible in a way similar to the More Tag, providing just the excerpt. Is that correct?

    If so, as we haven't had any prior requests for something like that, we could perhaps take a look at that as a feature request.

    If you need that right away though, it would probably be best done via custom work. To help with that, you could take a look in /membership/membershipinclude/includes/default.rules.php where all the default rules reside.

    Cheers,
    David

  • Ann Williams

    Great. thx Dave. I will certainly have a look into this.

    I'm not a fan of the more tag concept as I think it just looks messy (and yes, I'm talking about when it does work properly).

    I prefer the URL Group concept where you can see whatever summary you set up in the widget for that category area, yet when the unauthorised reader goes to the actual page then they get the "No access" page instead. But with the overall access being controlled by category instead of individual page URLs.

    For the next few weeks I'll continue to run with the URL Groups as both hubby (who is our main technical geek) and I are writing exams. In November we'll have a look into it again in more detail and get see what can be done.

    We will also be looking at a number of other things that we would like to get going from paywalls, upgrading BuddyPress etc so we will see a lot more of you foks in the forum then.

    And I'm sure that you all will be earning the little bit of money that we pay you for our monthly membership as we will be pushing the functionality to its limits even more! We are continually amazed at what you folk have put together here and are great fans.

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