Managing membership levels

I have a WP Multi Site and BP setup.

It is my first time using Pro-Sites/Membership and I was hoping to get some advice on the best way to set it up for the levels/functionality I want.

Here are the levels and abilities I want:

1) BP user only - FREE
2) BP user and blog owner - FREE
3) BP user and blog owner - PRO
4) BP user and blog owner - PRO.

The difference between levels 2 - 4 is access to additional BP and blog functions.

My user base consists of 2 basic types of members - business owners and customers. Only verified business owners can get a level 2 - 4 membership.

My challenge lies in the best way to differentiate between levels 1 and 2. As I understand it, at registration all users will have the option to create a blog. Is there a way to only have blog creation as an option after sign up?

My concern lies with non business owners (the bulk of the members) who are not eligible for a blog. I suppose I could use the Pay to Blog module so their blog stays inactive it seems messy to have a bunch of non active blog and seems confusing for users.

I would like be able to approve just the members that apply for level 2 - 4.

My thought was that even though level 2 is free to put a price on it but use a lifetime FREE coupon to make it free. In the follow up email after signup instruct those that would like a level 2 membership to send an application and if approved I would send them the coupon code.

Am I over complicating this? Just hoping for as smooth a process as possible for users and admins.

Also, I am planning to use the Membership plugin to restrict access to a page on the main site to level 2 - 4 members.

Any advice from those that have used these plugin for something similar?

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey David.

    My challenge lies in the best way to differentiate between levels 1 and 2. As I understand it, at registration all users will have the option to create a blog. Is there a way to only have blog creation as an option after sign up?

    Whilst Membership is capable of selling blogs in a multisite installation, they first create an account, then a subscription and can then create sites. (You would use the membership signup form over wp form)

    With Prosites, they signup for a site through Wordpress whilst creating an account (or afterwards) and can then upgrade their blogs.

    You mentioned both plugins before, so I wonder if you mean just Pro Sites or if there is some confusion here between the two?

    With membership all levels can be upgraded or downgraded to another. There wouldn't be a way to stop someone from upgrade level 1 to level 4.

    My concern lies with non business owners (the bulk of the members) who are not eligible for a blog. I suppose I could use the Pay to Blog module so their blog stays inactive it seems messy to have a bunch of non active blog and seems confusing for users.

    You could make it clear in the sales blurb that a blog is a premium feature they pay for.

    My challenge lies in the best way to differentiate between levels 1 and 2. As I understand it, at registration all users will have the option to create a blog. Is there a way to only have blog creation as an option after sign up?

    Thats really a WordPress process, they can sign up for a blog whilst register or afterwards with both options.

    My thought was that even though level 2 is free to put a price on it but use a lifetime FREE coupon to make it free. In the follow up email after signup instruct those that would like a level 2 membership to send an application and if approved I would send them the coupon code.
    Am I over complicating this? Just hoping for as smooth a process as possible for users and admins.

    I think its getting overly complicated. I'm not 100% on which plugin you are referring to in parts... Membership or Pro Sites...

    There is no way to admin approve signups with these plugins. If there is a charge then once paid they get upgraded..

    With Membership you could restrict the normal members access, to prevent them creating blogs. Then use Pro Sites for the blog premiums. Is this where you were heading?

    Take care.

  • david10

    I will be using both Pro Sites and Membership plugins. Membership primarily to restrict some pages to certain levels but I may as well use it for additional tasks as long as it is installed.

    I haven't read the Membership PDF yet - only the overview and some forum posts. If I use it for sign ups can I prevent the new blog creation option from showing up on the registration page?

    I am not so concerned with approvals for Levels 3 and 4 - I figure the cost will keep out the bad guys:slight_smile: Its the free blog (Level 2) that could be an issue.

    For now my plan is to set a price for Level 2 (even though it will be free) and use the Pay to Blog module to restrict access to any blogs that are set up at registration.

    If someone wants a free blog (Level 2) - and I approve them - I will send them a lifetime free coupon code. If people pay for a blog (Level 3 or 4) I wouldn't be approving.

    I don't think there is any way around some form of approval for the free blog - and my "lifetime coupon" strategy doesn't seem too bad.

    I would be nice if I could minimize confusion at registration by not letting Level 1 folks think they can get a blog.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey David.

    Well both plugins work independently, I think what confused the matter for me at first was the sequential naming of the levels.

    Well you could have members fill in a forum which emails your their desire for a free blog, then you create it for them in the admin. That would give you some simplistic form of administration prior to creating a free site.

    You then assign it a level in Pro Sites and mark it as permanent.

    You could use Contact 7, Gravity Forms or Formidable to create a form for this.

    So Membership handles all signups. And then the form becomes available to members once signed up.

    You don't use the wp-signup then and use Membership to get people signing up.

    Membership Level 1 - normal members
    Membership Level 2 - Something paid for content?
    Pro Sites Level 1 - free level you assign people to?
    Pro Sites Level 2 - Premium levels with extra features?

    Hows that sound?

    Take care.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey David. :slight_smile:

    I have never played with Membership in combo with Pro-Sites so I thought I would see if anyone had any advice before I start messing with it.

    Well they work well together, but they don't integrate as in sharing levels and settings, etc. So really they are independent plugins at the moment.

    Using a submit form is a good idea - cleaner than regular email.

    I use this method for free blogs myself and don't allow signups in WP. I got tired of the waves upon waves of sploggers creating sites. Even if you have paid to blog, the splog is still created waisting resources.

    Sorry about the confusion with the levels - those aren't my level names. Ironically, I used numbers in an attempt to simplify it. Opps.

    Nah, don't worry about it.

    If you have any more questions just let me know. :slight_smile:

  • david10

    I played around with Membership a bit now. Pretty amazing level of control it gives you. However, I am really struggling on how to use along side Pro Sites.

    Well they work well together, but they don't integrate as in sharing levels and settings, etc. So really they are independent plugins at the moment.

    This is one of my main struggles - having users sign up - choose a level - and have that choice be used by Pro Sites and Membership to determine what services they can use (Pro Sites) and what front-end content (Membership) they have access too.

    Is this possible? Signing up once and having one payment plan that covers both Membership and Pro Sites levels.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey again :slight_smile:

    I played around with Membership a bit now. Pretty amazing level of control it gives you.

    It is cool, but sometimes very confusing for new users. I remember the first time I looked at it. (old old version)

    This is one of my main struggles - having users sign up - choose a level - and have that choice be used by Pro Sites and Membership to determine what services they can use (Pro Sites) and what front-end content (Membership) they have access too.

    Well thats what I was saying, they will work together, in that they won't conflict. "but they don't integrate as in sharing levels and settings, etc. So really they are independent plugins at the moment."

    Is this possible? Signing up once and having one payment plan that covers both Membership and Pro Sites levels.

    That isn't possible.

    There are requests to make WHMCS work with Membership as well as Pro Sites. WHMCS Provisioning plugin is planned to work with Pro Sites. It is also possible that if demand continues we would support Membership as well in that plugin.

    If that gets enough support from members here and gets developed then you would have one gateway (or many if you wish) and one checkout controlling both Membership and Pro Sites. That would be awesome and something I personally want to see because the possibilities are huge and it reduces the amount of checkout time needed for people.

    Sorry I digress, currently it is not possible sorry.

    Take care.

  • david10

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    I was under the impression that with the release of the new Membership that they did integrate/share levels and that it was just me that couldn't figure out how to make it work. The granular level of control Membership gives is crazy - just wish I could use it for my application.

    Time to figure out Plan B.

    I agree, integration of Membership and Pro-Sites would be awesome. It would get +100 from me.

    Its a vicious circle for your developers - the more features they add to a plugin the more your users realized the possibilities and the more features they ask for. We are a demanding bunch eh.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Dave

  • Timothy Bowers

    Its a vicious circle for your developers - the more features they add to a plugin the more your users realized the possibilities and the more features they ask for. We are a demanding bunch eh.

    Very true, we are just as demanding on new cool things :slight_smile:

    I agree, integration of Membership and Pro-Sites would be awesome. It would get +100 from me.

    As does it from me as well! :slight_smile:

    I didn't see any more questions there and so I'm going to mark this thread resolved for now, but if you wish to reopen it then please feel free. :slight_smile:

    Take care.