[Pro Sites] How to set up a "beta" for pro sites (rather than "free trial")

I am setting up Pro Sites for a new multisite install. Do not plan to offer a free level, only a free trial.

I would like to also offer sort of a "beta", to get people signed up as I work out the kinks. What is the best way to go about this?

Can I keep setting up the Pro Sites plugin and allow users to manage sites which include the highest level, and then when I am ready to turn things on and charge for accounts... what happens then to their websites? What would I need to do or they need to do to move them from having access to all features -TO- being restricted to the paid levels that I set?

Thanks!

  • DavidM

    Hi Strategerizer,

    Are you planning to charge fees during this time? If not, you could always manually extend user's accounts and when the time comes, remove those extensions and adjust the pricing as needed, at which point they'll basically have no access to their site(s) and they can then subscribe to get that access back.

    If you plan to charge fees at this time though, you could simply setup the pricing for this beta duration, let them signup as normal, then when the time comes, remove site access, as per above, adjust the pricing and let them signup.

    Perhaps that'll work for you?

    -David

  • Strategerizer

    Beta will be free.

    I see existing subsites are not automatically added to the Pro Sites "pool" (judging by the Sites screen in the dashboard showing "extend" status/link as opposed to "[Level]"). So my understanding is that none of the restrictions of Pro Sites will be applied to those sites. Correct? Existing sites should not be affected at all by whatever I do with Pro Sites plugin, unless I manually add them to the Pro Sites "pool" by clicking on that Extend link and assigning them an actual level? Correct?

    Though I should mention that as I was configuring Pro Sites plugin I did get some reports from subsite admins that they were getting prompted to upgrade when trying to log in (or something like that) - even though I had not added any subsite to the Pro Sites "pool"... Luckily it seems they were able to cancel out of that and go about their business.

    New subsites that I create after setting up the Pro Sites plugin seem to follow the rules I set, meaning that sites are free trial for 14 days with highest level privileges. So I think this is where your suggestion comes in... to manually override that. So here is what I think you mean, correct me please if I am misunderstanding: I would check the "permanent" box allowing those sites to remain at that highest level indefinitely. Then, when Beta actually ends, I would uncheck the Permanent box, so the 0 Months/Days gets activated, which means that the website will require whatever payment is in effect then. Correct?

    Now I assume the free trial functionality will play into the functionality above as well. So my understanding on how this interacts is as follows: Sites made permanent will also be in free trail for 14 days. So if I end the beta for a site before its 14 day trial ends, it will be able to continue its trial for the remainder of that time and only then ask for payment. Correct?

    I also assume that if a site is BOTH in free trial AND Period > 0 - has something in the Period field (Months/Days is greater than zero or Permanent is checked) then the Free Trial upgrade nag notification that appears at the top of the dashboard screens will go away. Correct? So if I manually set the time > 0 OR a user has paid, BEFORE the trial is over, then the nag goes away. Correct?

    Thanks for helping clarify these things. I just want to make sure I am understanding the underlying concepts and logic of Pro Sites so I can design my business rules appropriately.

  • Strategerizer

    UPDATE:

    Free trial notification does seem to go away when Pro site status has been extended manually or purchased; great!

    I also played some more with the settings and it seems that I am able to get what I need from them:

    - For current client subsites, I can manually do a "Permanent" extend so they are not nagged to pay/join -OR- since these are higher-end customers on a custom plans not explicitly available in the Pro Sites levels I created, not add them to the Pro sites at all and then not have ANY restrictions applied to their sites, right?
    - If they somehow get the "Upgrade" prompt, they can click on the Free site option that I noticed to appear on their signup page
    - For new websites I also manually extend them to Permanent
    - Once Beta ends, I will remove all sites from Pro Sites (seems to be the single way to remove the "permanent" status, right?) and then I will re-add them to Pro Site Status. Seems that doing so will no longer instantiate the Free Trial for those websites, right? So unless I will manually extend them with a few extra days at that time, using the Period months/days fields, they will need to start paying before being able to access their dashboards, right?
    - Sites created after Beta, will simply go into Free Trial and convert to Pro if purchased and get disabled when trial expires.

    I think I am starting to get the hang of this.... Could you please clarify the bold above?

  • Philip John

    Hiya,

    Just checking if it was eventually resolved in another thread? Or by yourself separately to us? Or by us over email with you? Or using our live support?

    If so, no need to reply, that's great news.

    If not, could you let us know by re-opening this topic, and we'll get onto it and helping you out asap!

    Otherwise, happy days, glad you got it sorted :slight_smile:

    Thanks!
    Phil

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