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].
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.