Membership plugin - free memberships with separate access levels

The Plan:
The main and existing membership for the invited members works well. Members [Neighbours] were imported from a preexisting email lists (about 100), and are members by invitation only, manually added. [Neighbours] can access and communicate with a (bbpress) forum that is secure behind their login, their default status is 'forum user'. Every time a member posts a new topic everyone on the list is notified by email (bbpress plugin). [Neighbours] should also have access to the new type of member-level [Friends].

The new type of member [Friends] are people who can contribute stories to the site. They can access a gravity form to submit their story/pictures which will be monitored and added to the site content on approval. [Friends] can register, and have access to the page with the form but are blocked from the [Neighbours] area.

[Visitors] are site visitors and have no access to either [Neighbours] or [Friends].

The Question:
I am struggling to find the right way to add the [Friends]. Both memberships are free. It's a live site and I have to make sure that I don't screw up the [Neighbours]. I want to be able to make sure that the mere action of registering name and email does not give access to the [Neighbours] level, but also that I can add to the [Neighbours] level the rights of [Friends].

How do I add the [Friends] level (a simple sign-up with name/email) the best way. Hopefully without having them select a membership, as the [Neighbours] are essentially 'hidden'.

I hope I am making this clear. Thanks for your help.

  • hhessami

    Hey man i was going up and down to find a simple login system for all of my members there is a part, which you can put different tiers for your users,
    lets say tier one visitors , tier 2 friends and tier 3 which are your most important users of all (Neighbors)
    so go to this section of the plug in
    membership --> Subscription plans and assign the correct levels.

    for example you can move upward from a a user to a friend , and from a friend you can be a Neighbor (or what ever you have in mined )

    I think this can solve your issue, I hope I could help

    By the way set all the payments to free

  • aecnu

    Greetings Pixeldrummer,

    Thank you for the interesting membership configuration.

    Personally I would be using URL groups to restrict the new friends level to the areas I want them to be allowed to have access to or depending on perspective do not want them to have access.

    How do I add the [Friends] level (a simple sign-up with name/email) the best way. Hopefully without having them select a membership, as the [Neighbours] are essentially 'hidden'.

    Unfortunately they need to go through the Membership signup just like other members. This will be the toughest part, isolating the registration which will certainly require custom coding.

    Indeed hhessami came up with a thinking outside the box idea, some rep points for trying.

    Please advise which worked out best for you.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Pixeldrummer

    Yes, guys, I am so close, soooooo close. What I wanted is actually functional. And most of this success has to be attributed to the membership plugin and some to the sidebar login plugin. Here it is.

    It's all done with negative rules and roles.

    [Visitors] have all access to either membership blocked, blocking forums, pages, url groups, menu access (I love that menu option) - they have no role assigned.

    [Friends] have all access to [Neighbours] privileges blocked, same as [Visitors], except they have access to their menu option and one page (a form) by which they can submit stories and upload pictures. Their role is Subscriber.

    [Neighbours] h ave access to everything, so no negative rules just assigned their role, which is Forum User.

    After login members go to a Welcome Members page. This is redirected by the sidebar login plugin and the membership plugin. On that page [Neighbours] can navigate to the forums or the form, [Friends] only see their welcome everything relevent to [Neighbours] is blocked with short codes.

    All of this works without setting up any gateways. Here it's where it gets a bit klugy:
    The signup area: http://kyebay.ca/signup/

    1) It would be great to optionally turn off signup for a membership, or make the form conditional so that one needs an invite code, the other doesn't. In my scenario all membership levels have to be public.
    2) As it stands, if you select either of the memberships offered, they sign up by default to [Friends] (remember [Neighbours are by invitation only]
    3) I'd like to have the [Friends] as the first choice (on the signup page) and don't know how to change that.
    4) I had the 'invite codes' turned on, but turned them off a while ago, but the field still shows up, after you sign up. How so I turn this off?

    I also would like to know how to turn on the confirmation email feature. That was in the membership plugin, right? I'd like everyone who registers through the signup form to have to confirm their registration via email reply.

    So, all that remains is to make the signup process a bit more elegant. Perhaps an integration with gravity forms and a few signup options would perfect the amazing membership plugin. BTW the plugin doesn't play well with Bullet Proof Security, a plugin I like a lot and for which I got incredibly good support. But the combination doesn't work.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Pixeldrummer,

    Thank you for the fantastic input which is greatly appreciated and about the plugin not working well with Bullet Proof Security - actually there are a lot of plugins that do not play well with Bullet Proof Security but considering the number of them I would have to say it is the other way around that Bullet Proof Security has the issue of blocking certain actions including php executions under some circumstances which I have yet to identify the exact pattern.

    Bad Behavior is another one, its issues are that it blocks PayPal IPN's by default though I had read somewhere that there is a way to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time to get it to work.

    Regarding the confirmation email, after significant research it appears there is not any and this is the intended use as well.

    Though there is no confirmation email, I have found that some folks are using the communications feature to setup an automated email for after the member has joined it emails them.

    I can see where the confirmation email can/would be an issue for those with completely free sites, but for those with paid sites not an issue at all.

    Do you think that the communications feature will help you to achieve your goal of a type of confirmation email?

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • Pixeldrummer

    As I am delving more into the sign up options that I would like to have, I am noticing that it now seems to be the weak spot of the membership plugin. Setting up an automatic email in communications doesn't force people to confirm their registration (I want it for prevention of nuisance registrations and spam). But being able to customize the sign up form would help a lot.

    Don't get me wrong, the versatility of the plugin allowed me to create a pretty complex setup for my site, quite a bit outside the box, I think. But, if there were short codes that could be used to set up a customized sign-up form (with gravity forms), it could make the whole plugin even more valuable. I guess this would be a feature to add to the wish list.

    I am reluctant to try some of the plugins that could force a registration validation, or add a captcha, and make that process more secure, I think it might break the membership form. So, I'll add the validation code field to the form and communicate some codes to the user that can't be read by bots... kind of use it as a honey pot.

    Do you have some feedback on my points 3) and 4) in my previous post?
    Question: which simple security plugins work well with membership? I have hardened the site, but would try a plugin that is simple and effective on top of that.

  • Mark Wallace

    @aecnu

    Do you have some feedback on my points 3) and 4) in my previous post?
    Question: which simple security plugins work well with membership? I have hardened the site, but would try a plugin that is simple and effective on top of that.

    3) I'd like to have the [Friends] as the first choice (on the signup page) and don't know how to change that.
    4) I had the 'invite codes' turned on, but turned them off a while ago, but the field still shows up, after you sign up. How so I turn this off?

    I am just being a nosy! lol

  • aecnu

    Greetings Pixeldrummer,

    Thank you for your clarification once again which is appreciated.

    But being able to customize the sign up form would help a lot.

    Here is the coding that allows you to customize most of the important items in Membership:

    To override any of the pages generated by membership with your own you can easily define the following in your wp-config:

    MEMBERSHIP_ACCOUNT_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_REGISTRATION_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_SUBSCRIPTION_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_MEMBER_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_UPGRADE_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_RENEW_FORM
    MEMBERSHIP_PAYMENT_FORM
    
    using ('MEMBERSHIP_****_FORM','/full/server/path/to/file/');

    Please advise if this is indeed what you are looking for and the solution for you?

    Cheers, Joe

  • Pixeldrummer

    Thank you for the pointers. Am slow in responding as I can only work in small spurts on this project and I am careful as it's a live site. I'll look at this some more when I can.

    Can you tell me if you are working on more options for the membership plugin? To have some options surrounding the signup form would be great.

    For instance: Is it possible to separate a membership set up [Neighbours] that is by invitation only, users added manually, from a normal WP signup/subscribe box to collect email addys for newsletters?

    I've worked so long now on this that it seems so close to impossible that this could be done.

  • aecnu

    Greetings Pixeldrummer,

    Thank you for the additional questions.

    Can you tell me if you are working on more options for the membership plugin?

    Sorry on this one. Only the lead developer knows and they are going to keep mum on it until it is at least a beta in support testing.

    It is sure the developers are working on another release. However, we have nothing related to Membership going through support Beta right now.

    If there are features you would like to see possibly implemented it is in your best interest to go ahead and create a separate post that can be submitted as a feature request.

    Cheers, Joe

  • aecnu

    Greetings Pixeldrummer,

    We have not heard back from you as to the status of this issue.

    If you are still having an issue please let us know so that we may try to get you fixed up as soon as possible by choosing to check mark this ticket as unresolved below and posting any new errors or symptoms you are noticing.

    This action will also bring your ticket up front back in plain view again within the ticket system.

    Thank you for being a WPMU Dev Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

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