Easy way to offer a choice of themes or styles?

I am testing the membership 2 plugin.
I will use new blog templates on multisite so the new sites for new users will all have the same pages, content & menus for each new site.

I want to allow users to customize the look of their sites. I have another site where I did this with a free theme that I customized and it seemed a lot of people would get things confused when they started changing logos, menus & colors. To me its so easy but I guess you will always have people that find it challenging.

There are some paid themes that I like that really give you a lot of options but I am sure that would be too confusing for the new wordpress user as it gets overwhelming when you give them too many options.

I guess I will start by installing 3 or 4 simple to use themes that don't have too many options so that they don't get confused and submit too many questions via support tickets. Then I guess I could offer a custom site update at an additional cost.

So if I have a few themes all network activated where all the users can choose from, what if I wanted to customize theme for one site only?
Could I somehow apply a chlid theme stylesheet to one individual site since they all share the same theme?

Any tips appreciated from staff or anyone else who has done this in the past as I go through trial & error testing to figure it out :slight_smile:

thanks!!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Thanks for the question!

    Yes, so when you're wanting to use the same theme multiple times, it's best to create multiple child themes if you want to make specific customizations per site.

    If it's just CSS customizations then you can use a plugin such as this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-custom-css/

    Then you can add CSS through the dashboard of each subsite and it will only be applied to that one site, even if it's using the same child theme as another :slight_smile:

    The child theme option would be required if you wanted to change any of the template files. As long as your child themes don't share the same theme name then you can create as many child themes of one parent theme as you like.

    Another option would be to try out our Upfront themes. All the changes to the theme are saved in the database for each site so you don't actually need to create child themes. For example, if you use Spirit then any changes made will reflect only on the site you made the changes for. So you can provide them with a New Blog Template at the beginning then if they need custom work done you can go in and change anything you need too without having to worry about it breaking things on other sites :slight_smile:

    If you have any more questions on either scenario here just let me know and I'll be more than happy to help further :slight_smile:

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Sorry for my delay here!

    So is membership 2 more for giving access to specific pages in ONE website to its members where if I used pro sites, that would be better if I am giving each member their own sub-site?

    Yes, Membership 2 is awesome for protecting content on your site or on your network as well as we've recently added full multisite support to it :slight_smile:

    Pro Sites is for when you want to give each member their own site then limit what they can do on that site.

    Also after reading the threads in pro sites it looks like auth.net gateway has been requested a lot but never delivered, was that ever completed?

    Authorize.net hasn't been added but we have fully integrated Stripe :slight_smile: you also have the options of PayPal Express/Pro and/or Manual payment.

    Also I would like to offer a trial period that automatically starts billing at the end of the trial but look like maybe that was not implemented either in pro sites but these are both avail in membership 2 right?

    This will actually work in both plugins now :slight_smile: in our 3.5 update to Pro Sites we completely re-designed the checkout process so you can now select a pro site level right at registration and you can implement a trial period if you like where it will still collect payment information but won't bill until after the trial.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • George

    Here are a few other thoughts...
    Basically the most important feature I need is to be able to create the signup page/form that creates the new sub-site & lets them choose the site name(url) & title like in prosites or edublogs but also allows for payment via auth.net as in membership pro.

    So Pro Sites is out since auth.net is not going to be an option any time soon. You mention stripe & paypal but I have clients that use auth.net already and like it and its cheaper for them so not going to get them to switch.

    On the m2 pro page under important notice it says you can use pie or gravity forms etc for the registration page.
    So can I use membership 2 pro to collect the payment and also create the new users site in multisite? I have a gravity forms dev license so can use the user reg addon or maybe that is not even necessary?

    I don't need any advanced features and am only going to charge one price, no upgrades just a trial.
    Just enter your personal/contact info, desired url/site name & make a payment and have the user account & site created automatically upon successful payment.

    I know this can be done in pro sites but I need auth.net
    I can do this in paid membership pro but then need pay another annual fee to them for an addition add on but then can accept auth.net.

    I have a plugin like this:
    http://evantageaz.com/default-template/msr/
    that creates sites but doesn't accept payments. So before paying someone to modify this for me thought I may be able to do this with available plugins?

    So what do you think? Can use m2 pro to create new sites?
    Sorry if I am not explaining this correctly :slight_smile:
    Thanks!!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Hope you're doing well today!

    I think the easiest way to do this and avoid needing custom development is to use M2 to protect the site creation form you make with Gravity Forms(or default wp-signup.php). That way they need to first sign up for the membership before they can access the form to create a site. Once they have paid you can direct them to the form page and they can go through with creating the site :slight_smile:

    Would that work?

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • George

    Thanks Tyler, that should work, will have to try & see.
    I never used GF for the user reg form before but it seems to be easy & allows additional fields.
    I just used it to create a signup page for a site & collect payment in one step on one page using gravity forms with the user reg & auth.net addon and then would not need a membership plugin at all.
    I still may need some features of M2, will just try it both ways and see.
    thanks!

  • George

    So if you use M2Pro to create a membership then send to the signup page as you requested you have a few issues.
    When you fill out & pay on the M2Pro form it asks for your name, username & email and you make the payment.
    Then if you send them to the signup page to create their site, then they have to enter their name, username & email address again. Of course they can't enter the same info so they get an error and end up creating 2 user accounts.
    How do you avoid that so there is only one user account for both?

    I can just add the auth.net payment to my signup form & bypass M2pro altogether but I like the data the user is able to display like the membership info & payment history which I get with M2Pro.
    Did I do something different than what you suggested?
    How do I use m2Pro to also create a site & only 1 user account?

    thanks!!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Sorry about that, I assumed that if you were logged in already then the Gravity Froms user registration wouldn't ask you to sign up again and would just give you the site sign up. I could be wrong there, do you mind granting support access so I can have a look?

    You can grant support access via WPMU DEV > Support > Support Access > Grant Access.

    You could always use the default wp-signup.php instead of gravity forms and then just protect that page instead. I've just tested this on my install and it works :slight_smile: you can view the wp-signup.php after signing up and it will allow you to create a site.

    Hope that helps! Look forward to hearing back.

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • George

    You could always use the default wp-signup.php instead of gravity forms and then just protect that page instead. I've just tested this on my install and it works :slight_smile: you can view the wp-signup.php after signing up and it will allow you to create a site.

    Hey Tyler, when you go to signup, doesn't it again ask for a username & email?
    I granted access, its just a new site for testing virtualgeorge.info/bc

    I did figure out how to do this with paid membership pro so the payment & site creation are all done on one form but would rather use yours so I get support :slight_smile:

    How does this tie in? I did add the function, not sure if needed?

    If you’re using a plugin to create a custom registration page, like BuddyPress, Pie Register, or Gravity Forms, be sure to select THAT registration page here, rather than the default one created by the Membership2 plugin.
        If you are using another plugin for registration, be sure to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file so the Membership2 plugin knows about it (this is not required for BuddyPress, but it won’t interfere if you add it anyway):
        add_filter('ms_frontend_handle_registration', '__return_false');

    thanks!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Thanks for the reply!

    Hey Tyler, when you go to signup, doesn't it again ask for a username & email?

    If you're logged in and visit the wp-signup.php page then it just gives you the fields for creating a site, not the username. It recognizes that you are already logged in :slight_smile:

    How does this tie in? I did add the function, not sure if needed?

    That function is just to let Membership 2 know that you're using a different registration page so it can make sure the registration flow works correctly. If you're using BuddyPress then you don't need it, as it mentions; however, if you use it with Gravity Forms then you will need to make sure it's there.

    I tried logging into your site, but the support access has an invalid cookie. Can you try re-voking then re-granting access? That should fix it.

    Look forward to hearing back!

    All the best,
    Tyler

  • George

    Hey Tyler, re-granted access.
    So I must just have something mis-configured.
    As long as I go right to my signup page after purchasing the membership and then it doesn't ask for user & pass then that should work, right?

    Do I set my signup page in the "registration complete" setting in M2Pro?
    Maybe thats where I went wrong?
    I guess I will try that next and if I can also send to my reg form I created with gravity forms that would be great so I could customize the signup form :slight_smile:

    Although I think when creating a reg form with GF it may require some of the same fields like "email" so not sure?

    thanks!!

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey George,

    Aplogies for my delay!

    As long as I go right to my signup page after purchasing the membership and then it doesn't ask for user & pass then that should work, right?

    That's right. It shouldn't if you're using the wp-signup.php, I tested this on my own site. With Gravity Forms it looks like it might still ask for those fields even if you're already logged in.

    Do I set my signup page in the "registration complete" setting in M2Pro?
    Maybe thats where I went wrong?

    Your sign up page just needs to be the "register" page. Although, the "register" and "memberships" page both share the same shortcode. [ms-membership-signup]

    Sorry to ask again but the support access looks to have expired, could you re-grant that? Then I can make sure your M2 pages are setup correctly.

    Cheers,
    Tyler

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