Message Boards limited to paying members

I have Pro Sites installed with NO free blogs. I'd like to create a forum/message board that is ONLY accessible to paid blog owners.

Is there a way to specify Pro Site levels for ACCESS to a core site install of the Forums plugin or to a particular page on the site? Or a way to use another plugin (community? upgrades?) in conjunction with the Pro Sites levels to automatically allow access to for paid members to a forum?

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Hello ProSapien,

    Let me get things straight, forgive me if I say things that you already know, or if I get too basic.

    Pro Sites is a plugin to limit features of a Sub-Site and like you said its more for Blog Owners than users.

    If you check out the Modules/Gateways section of Pro Sites settings in the Network admin, there is a module called "Premium Plugins". You could make the forum plugin as a premium plugin so that only paid users can use it.

    If you are looking at a plugin to restrict access to parts of a site, you should be thinking of the Membership plugin.

    I hope I have given you the solution, let me know.

    Cheers,
    Arun Basil Lal

  • ProSapien

    Thanks Arun.

    It's not limited plugin access by sub site owners I need. It's access to a message board on the core site.

    I was told a few weeks ago that Membership and Pro Sites cannot be integrated. Has that changed? In any case, could you guide me as to how to do it? Here's what I'm would like:

    1- A message board (I like SimplePress better, but perhaps could use WPMUDev's forum if necessary) on my core site (PopCred.net).

    2- Site accessible ONLY to those who own PopCred subdomain sites.

    3- Automatic permission to access message board upon purchase of subdomain site and retained access as long as payment is current.

  • Paul Barthmaier

    Yo Pro!

    I, too, am setting up ProSites for the first time and my understanding is a bit different than what you stated above. I think when you say that ProSites and Membership can't be integrated, it's more about them accomplishing different functions. That is, ProSites is about providing premium plugins and themes to specific sites on your network, ie supporting specific sites, and Membership directs the functionality of Members of the network, ie individual customers.

    That being said, Membership and ProSites can be, but don't need to be, integrated, if by integrated you mean working together on the same network. The link that ties the two together is the Supporter Integration that Arun talks about. Supporter, by the way, was the original name for the ProSites plugin and perhaps in future iterations of the Membership plugin, the Supporter Integration will also be rebranded ProSites integration. I suspect that the Supporter name was retired specifically because it lacks the immediate semantics conveyed by ProSites. It is difficult to discern the difference outlined above between a Supporter vs Membership plugin, whereas, ProSites vs Membership is more readily apparent.

    So back to your specific questions, and mind you, I'm pretty much of a WP noob, but I learn by teaching, I spose:

    1. Message Board: if you're Message Board is part of a site that has a portion of it open, then you are restricting what members of that site can view and therefore need the Membership plugin to help you.
    2. Access to a specific site as an owner of another site on your network: This would be ProSites: access to a whole site. I believe there is a functionality in ProSites that gives access to up to 5 other sites by being a ProSites owner, or something like that.
    3. Not sure if I confused what you were looking for in 1 above, but if restricting a portion of site, Membership, if restricting whole site, ProSites (or Membership, I think).

    Hope this helps.

  • ProSapien

    Hi Pali:

    I understand the different functions of the two plugins. It's the integration between the two I was told didn't exist. Two plugins working alongside each other doesn't mean they are integrated, so I was surprised at this assertion, since it counters what I had been told before (assuming I understood it).

    the Memership plugin, it has Add-on named "Supporter Integration". It can work with Pro Sites :slight_smile:

    From reading the membership docs, it seems that means that you can give particular pro sites levels USE of the plugin on their sites. But that isn't what I'm looking for. What I want it so give certain pro site levels ACCESS to varous things on MY core site.

    In this case, I want to put a message board on MY core site (ProCred.net) that can ONLY be accessed by those who are current, paid site owners on my multisite.

    Does that make sense?

  • Paul Barthmaier

    Hey Pro,

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I was kind of hoping that someone else might chime in, but from what I hear you say above, you're going to be looking to Membership to accomplish this.

    To parse this a little more, tho, what I am hearing has to do with People, not Sites. That is, it may be the people who own the site in question, ie the ProSite, but a ProSite couldn't go anywhere or post anything on a message board. Having said that, someone who has access to a ProSite might also get access to another site, but I'm not sure that you could restrict it to a PORTION of another site. That's why I'm coming down to Membership.

    Perhaps one of the other much more capable folks around here could illuminate us otherwise. And realize this is only my two cents FWIW.

  • Aaron

    Well as Arun said, pro status is not tied to any particular user, but a site. However due to alot of demand and confusion around that, we do provide a function

    /**
     * Check if a given user is a member of a Pro site (at any level)
     *
     * @since 3.0
     *
     * @param int $user_id optional - The ID of the user to check. Defaults to current user.
     * @return bool
     */
    function is_pro_user($user_id = false) {

    Which checks if the user is a member of any valid pro site, which works but is a bit resource intensive and a bit wacky at best, because a pro blog may have a thousand users, and they would all be "pro_users".

    Currently the function has no level support or user role support (all roles of a pro blog are pro). You can very easily add that by creating a customized version of that function though.

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