Pay to Blog / Supporter Integration

I'm new here, so I'm testing a lot of your e-commerce plugins out on my dev server. What I really need, and what I can tell you're working on, is multiple levels for Supporter. Making up prices, I'd want something like $10/month for Basic level, $30/month for Pro, with appropriate discounts for 3 and 12-month terms.

I can't hold off development and product release waiting for this, so I'm hoping you can suggest the best way for me to move forward in the meantime.

Here's what I need...

1) Only paying users can create blogs -- Pay to Blog seems to work here, with caveats below. They get one blog for the standard price, but can use Upgrades to pay for additional blogs (billed monthly). The restrictions on storage are enforced across all blogs they have, and they can pay for more space with Upgrades too.

2) Basic level Supporter and Pro level supporter -- Until you release multi-level Supporter, I'm thinking that Pay to Blog will provide the Basic level (i.e. $10/month for most common features) and then Supporter will allow people to be a Pro (i.e. another $20/month).

3) Pro level users will have extra themes, plugins, revenue-generation tools, etc. Supporter obviously provides this.

The questions I have and potential problems with this solution, and others I'm considering, are:

1) People will get charged at least twice a month for what essentially is the same service (in their mind).

2) What if their Pay to Blog payments expire before Supporter does? They can't blog anymore even though they're paying a customer. Seems weird.

Thanks!

  • DavidM

    Hello arch,

    First of all, welcome to WPMU Dev! We're glad you're here!

    Taking a look at your list there, I didn't notice anything about our Membership plugin and I was wondering if you were aware of it? It's detailed at the following, in case you weren't.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/membership

    It provides a lot of the same functionality you're describing and it does have multiple levels of subscriptions and memberships all of which you define. It provides access rules that you can apply as you like to whatever membership levels you like.

    The only thing I see in your list that it might not be able to provide in and of itself is access to premium themes. There are workarounds that might work for you though, one of them being that you can provide an initial theme that everyone has access to and then charge for access to all the rest of the themes. Another might involve a slight bit of coding, which you may or not be comfortable with but the possibility does exist. :slight_smile:

    Hopefully that helps you out there. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

    Cheers,
    David

  • arch

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your help. I have reviewed Membership and I like it a lot, but want to make sure I'm not missing things that Supporter offers. What am I giving up by not doing Supporter?

    As for Themes, what do you mean by charging for access to the rest of the themes? Would that be an additional fee to users on top of the membership charge? I don't want that. Here's my idea for themes:

    1) Basic Users get roughly 1-5 themes.
    2) Pro Users get roughly 5-10 themes.
    3) Some users can pay for custom, personalized themes with all their own branding (like a custom website). Only that user would have access to that theme. This will either be a one-time charge (using Upgrades or an separate billing system charge) or a recurring charge done via another level of subscription.

    I'm totally comfortable writing PHP to extend it, but I want to make sure I don't do anything that would make it hard for me to upgrade when you release a new version.

    Thanks,
    Evan

  • arch

    Hi Aaron,

    I was afraid you'd say that. Any update on a release date? What would you suggest is the easiest way for me to start charging people to setup blogs *now* that will enable a relatively smooth transition to the next version of Supporter? Perhaps I could offer my first release as a one-time charge paid Beta until we can get our desired payment structure in place. The challenge then, is would everyone need to re-enter their billing info so I could transition them to be Supporters rather than, say, Pay-to-Blog users?

    Thanks,
    Evan

  • wpcdn

    I'd advise against the combination of Pay to Blog and Supporter, for the very reasons you mention. Users will be managing two separate subscriptions for what is (as you said) the same service in their minds.

    And I'm not sure if Membership is your answer either. It's more about selling access to content, not selling the ability to create blogs and use certain themes and plugins.

    WPMU DEV, I know that the desire is to make Supporter 3 a very comprehensive upgrade. But, of course, lots of new features will mean more development time. Is there any chance of adding multiple subscription levels (hopefully including different upload quotas per level) and getting that version released, then focusing on any new features for an additional release? Since multi-level seems to be the most-requested feature, that would make a lot of people happy (including us). We're eager for a multi-level solution too.

    It never hurts to ask. :wink:

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