Please help me set this simple scenario up?

On my site I sell educational DVDs. We like to offer free "test drive" full length video lessons so the potential customer can get an idea of the product before they buy it. I will have a single page where
visitors (I guess "strangers"?) can view 3 videos embedded on that page. For each of these videos, there will be an accompanying PDF available to download . However, I want those PDF files on that page to NOT be available to strangers, i.e. people who aren't registered. In other words, I would like the unregistered visitor to be able to view the videos (flash videos embedded on the page), but NOT have access to download the PDF files. In order to download these PDF files, they should register at a free access level.

Next, I would like to offer an access level called paid wherein if they like the three free video lessons, then if they pay a ONE TIME FEE (not a recurring subscription), then they can have access to a category with x number of posts in it to watch the videos and download PDFs in those posts.

Prior to purchasing, Sales and support dude David told me I could accomplish this easily using short codes. But there's so many settings that I'm pretty confused. I can follow instructions if I can get a little guidance on how to set this up. I think this plugin is overkill for what I need to do as I really only want to protect this one little section of my site, but if it's overkill, then it should also be able to do the job.

I also want to ask if it's possible with this plugin to have users edit their profiles via the front end? I hate the idea of users going to the backend admin to update an email address, etc. I found a plugin for this that works, but now that I have the membership plugin, I don't know if I can/should use the other one...


  • DavidM

    Hi Mike and first off, welcome to WPMU DEV!

    I'll be happy to help with that. To start with, the "Creating shortcodes" section in the instructions page, as follows, will help to explain how the shortcodes would work.

    That page also has all the basic information covered which you'll want to know for setting up Membership in general.

    That said, it sounds like, to start with, you'll want to create 2 Access Levels, one for what Strangers will see, one for your paid members. For this example, I'll call them 'Strangers' and 'Paid'. You'll also want to create 1 Subscription Plan and utilize the PayPal Single gateway to charge a one-off access fee.

    Given that, I think the following rough outline will help you set that up:
    1. Create a signup page (we'll name it Signup for sake of discussion) and include the following shortcode in that page:
    2. Create an account page (we'll name it Account) and include the following shortcode in that page:
    3. Create a protected content page (called Join). You can use this as a sales page.
    4. Go to Membership > Access Levels and create 2 levels, Strangers and Paid. Don't worry about configuring any rules just yet, you can leave them blank. Activate both of them.
    5. Go to Membership > Options and for the "Stranger settings" select your Strangers level.
    6. For "Registration page" select your Signup page.
    7. For "Account page" select your Account page.
    8. For "Protected content page" select your Join page.
    9. In the "Shortcode protected content" section in the "Shortcodes" box, enter 'Paid' for your Paid content shortcode. You can also enter a No access message if you like.
    10. Press the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.
    11. Go back to Membership > Access Levels and select to Edit the Strangers level. Drag and drop the Shortcode rule into the Negative rules area and be sure the 'Paid' shortcode is ticked. Then save that change.
    12. Go to Membership > Add-ons and Activate the "PayPal Single Payments Gateway" add-on
    13. Go to Membership > Payment Gateways and select to edit the PayPal Single Payments Gateway then customize those settings with your account details.
    14. Back at the Membership > Payment Gateways, Activate the PayPal Single Payments Gateway.
    15. Go to Membership > Subscription Plans and create a new subscription.
    16. Drag and drop the "Paid" Access Level into the Membership Levels area and enter "Indefinite" for the duration and entering your chosen price for that level.

    That's basically it. You can simply ensure Membership's enabled at Membership > Membership and it all should be accessible from there. This is all fairly specific so it might seem complicated, but it's much less complex than many other setups.

    Hope that helps, let us know if you have any questions on it!


  • dax702

    Hi David, many thanks for your detailed reply. Before starting to do each step, I read through your instructions. While reading them, a thought popped into my mind. Don't I need 3 access levels? Stranger (for people who aren't signed in at all), Free access (for people who register without paying so they have access to download the 3 PDF files on that one page), and Paid access (for people who want to access the additional posts) Maybe I wasn't clear about this when I posted, or perhaps I'm missing something in your instructions that address the 3 types of users?

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