Help needed. Membership. Directory. Recurring Billing.

Can anybody offer guidance?

I am not a programmer and don't have the budget to hire yet.
I am comfortable editing code if given code & instructions.
Willing to try any plugins.

PROCESS DESIRED

1) New customer is given option to join our service by selecting one of the following credit card options:

* monthly charge after 30 day free trial
* annual charge after 30 day free trial
* discounted annual charge paid immediately - no free trial

2) After customer joins, they are taken to a form (Directory plugin?) where they enter the name of their organization.

3) After they enter & submit the name of their organization, they are taken to a page that now has the name of their organization at the top -- BUT -- everything beneath the name of their organization has our text & links (automatically generated by a template?)

4) They are then able to copy the URL and put it on their site.
The result is the page opens in a new tab, but is hosted on our server.
It would be better if the URL was automatically generated and automatically emailed to them.

ADDITIONAL NEEDS

* Easy ability for us to globally change the text & links portion that appears on the customer(s) page. The result is our ability to update all customers at once, so their name remains on the page, but our text & links are updated.

* If the customer ceases payment, we could change the URL by hand, so they no longer have access, but having an automated solution would be better.

* We do not want the customer to be able to see or search for the pages created by our other customers. In other words, we are not trying to create a public directory. We only thought to use Directory, because it seems it could fulfill the automatic creation of a page.

* Stripe is preferred, but have PayPal biz credentials if that is only solution.

Any suggestions are really appreciated.

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi, Don! Let's see what we can do for you here.

    PROCESS DESIRED

    1) New customer is given option to join our service by selecting one of the following credit card options:

    * monthly charge after 30 day free trial
    * annual charge after 30 day free trial
    * discounted annual charge paid immediately - no free trial

    This sounds like a job for Protected Content. It will allow you to create different membership pricing as you define here. From there, you can control which membership levels can view which content.

    2) After customer joins, they are taken to a form (Directory plugin?) where they enter the name of their organization.

    No problem. You can restrict the Add New Listing (Listing is the name of the Directory custom post type.) page to paying members here.

    3) After they enter & submit the name of their organization, they are taken to a page that now has the name of their organization at the top -- BUT -- everything beneath the name of their organization has our text & links (automatically generated by a template?)

    Here's where I'm getting just a little confused. Will all the Listings then be completely identical except for the page title? Do you need a tool to generate unique content based on the title of the page? If it's the first one, no worries at all, we'll just code it right into a custom template. If it's the second, that's a bit beyond what I can do with some hard-coding magic, that's going to be a fairly complex system.

    4) They are then able to copy the URL and put it on their site.
    The result is the page opens in a new tab, but is hosted on our server.
    It would be better if the URL was automatically generated and automatically emailed to them.

    So you'd want a link appended with target="_blank", and that to be emailed to the user? That would take a bit of custom work that's a bit beyond what I can offer you in a support forum. I'd love to be able to code up every custom solution members would like, but there just isn't enough manpower around here to do that and serve everyone who asks for our help.

    * Easy ability for us to globally change the text & links portion that appears on the customer(s) page. The result is our ability to update all customers at once, so their name remains on the page, but our text & links are updated.

    If it's hardcoded into a custom template file, no worries, you'd just change that file, all pages generated from that custom template would change the next time the pages are refreshed or opened.

    * If the customer ceases payment, we could change the URL by hand, so they no longer have access, but having an automated solution would be better.

    Protected Content will let you lock that stuff right down when the user stops paying, no need for manual anything. :slight_smile:

    * We do not want the customer to be able to see or search for the pages created by our other customers. In other words, we are not trying to create a public directory. We only thought to use Directory, because it seems it could fulfill the automatic creation of a page.

    It will take a little work in the beginning to set it up, but Protected Content can do this as well.

    * Stripe is preferred, but have PayPal biz credentials if that is only solution.

    Protected Content will let you use either.

    Hope this helps!

  • Don

    Michelle,

    Thank you for a quick and thorough reply! You're awesome!

    To answer your questions:
    "Will all the Listings then be completely identical except for the page title?"
    -- The answer is, yes.

    "So you'd want a link appended with target="_blank", and that to be emailed to the user?"
    -- Instead of the link with the appended target="_blank" being emailed to the customer, is it possible to have that appear on the page for the customer to copy? Or is that also beyond what is simple to setup?

    --------
    In regard to Protected Content & Directory:
    I understand what you have said about protecting access to the different membership levels, but I have some questions.

    1) With Directory, the option for payment is monthly or one time. Are you saying that Protected Content will override those payment options in Directory? Because we we need three different payment & free trial options.

    2) Will Protected Content only be used to allow access to the Directory page that lets customers add their organization name -- but NOT prevent access afterward -- to the Directory page that is generated that includes their organization name and our links?

    -- We want the page that has their name & our links to be freely accessible without anybody having to login to a protected content area. This is because they will put the link to that page on their website and their visitors will have free access to the page, even though the page is hosted on our server.

    3. You said Protected Content will lock down their page if they stop paying, so if they don't pay, does Protected Content somehow prevent access to the Directory page that has their name & our links on it?

    Thanks so much!

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi there, Don!

    Sorry for the delay here, we had two staff members leave the team, and two lost parents recently, so I'm trying to be four people, plus myself, and I've fallen a bit behind. My sincere apologies, hopefully I can clear up your other questions here. :slight_smile:

    1) With Directory, the option for payment is monthly or one time. Are you saying that Protected Content will override those payment options in Directory? Because we we need three different payment & free trial options.

    You can disable payments in Directory and let Protected Content handle your payments. You'll be able to offer protection for all of the Directory pages, both the add new/edit, and the actual Listings pages that appear on the front end to customize what you want each membership level and visitors to see. This doesn't allow for a pay-per-listing format, but it can control access on a monthly or annual basis. Posting a listing would technically be free, but only available to paying members.

    2) Will Protected Content only be used to allow access to the Directory page that lets customers add their organization name -- but NOT prevent access afterward -- to the Directory page that is generated that includes their organization name and our links?

    Sure thing, you can make the front end Listings pages (individual directory listings and/or archive pages of listings if you have them) viewable by everyone while protecting the ability to add or edit new listings.

    -- We want the page that has their name & our links to be freely accessible without anybody having to login to a protected content area. This is because they will put the link to that page on their website and their visitors will have free access to the page, even though the page is hosted on our server.

    Sure thing, no problem. You can even create a "guest" and "default" membership level to completely control what non-logged in or non-paying members can see. You'll make your single listings and listing archives (lists of listings, if you will) publicly viewable.

    3. You said Protected Content will lock down their page if they stop paying, so if they don't pay, does Protected Content somehow prevent access to the Directory page that has their name & our links on it?

    Nope, if you set Protected Content up to only lock down the add new/edit listings pages, those will be the only pages hidden when their subscription expires. You can customize access however you like. Protected Content will let you hide not only the pages themselves, but also any menu items that link to the protected pages.

    "Will all the Listings then be completely identical except for the page title?"
    -- The answer is, yes.

    Great, you'll just need to create a template file here with your content already added. When paying members go to add a new listing, you can prevent them from editing anything but the title (this will be the custom work bit.) When the new listing is published, it will have the member-entered unique title, and the rest of the content will come from the template file. (You can use single-listing.php as the basis for this.)

    Instead of the link with the appended target="_blank" being emailed to the customer, is it possible to have that appear on the page for the customer to copy? Or is that also beyond what is simple to setup?

    This is actually trickier than it looks. If we had an anchor, like text or an image, this is super easy. Just displaying the permalink doesn't give us anything to anchor the target "_blank" to. Does that make sense? I tried something like this in a template file:

    <a href="<php the_permalink(); ?"> target="_blank" </a>

    But it gave me an invisible link. Sometimes the simplest-seeming things are the most hair-raising in WordPress.

    Hope this gets you a little further! Feel free to ask more questions if you get stuck.

  • Don

    Hi Michelle,

    I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties and I completely understand; I have also had some recent setbacks that have prevented me from returning here.

    That said, can I hire you for this project? I am aware of the job listing area, but for that, a budget must be assigned to a project. I will need to raise the funds, and I have no idea what this project will cost, thus...I can't list a budget figure. Since you are aware of our needs, knowledgeable on the solution, and pleasant (a huge added plus) you are my likely choice!

    I have included with this post, a PDF with a diagram & details of our need.

    Please tell me how to continue.
    Thank you!

  • Michelle Shull

    Hi there, Don!

    I'm not able to do side projects, my heart (and contract) belongs to WPMU DEV. I can help you with specific questions here on the forum, but a developer/expert who can devote large chunks of time to helping you plan this out and implement it will be invaluable here. I know we have some great devs on our Jobs Board; look for someone with a (decent-sized) portfolio of projects that demonstrate they know how to expand and tie into existing plugins to create something new. You'll need someone with PHP skill, primarily, so that would be the first priority for me if I was doing the hiring. You've got a good, clear plan here; the right dev will be able to explain the exact steps they would take to accomplish this for you.

    Sorry for your difficulties as well, I hope things are going a bit better for you.

    Thanks for your kind words, too. :slight_smile:

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