What is the best way to build this multifunctional site?

HI! I'm trying to build a multifunction site, but I'm unsure of the best approach. I have a test site setup, but I'm still struggling to get clarity on a number of issues - so I'm hoping you can help me with the big picture, then I can ask specific questions as they arise.

The site will be Multisite + BuddyPress and will offer the following functionality (with the plugins I think I’ll use):

• Marketplace – etsy.com style site. Members pay per listing or an annual fee for unlimited listings. Products will be digital downloads or physical. MarketPress + TT MarketPress Frontend + Pro Sites + New Blog Templates. Or would Membership be better than Pro Sites?

• Directory/Classifieds – paid members can advertise time-limited or no-expiry offers. Classifieds or Directory plugin – which integrates best with BuddyPress and Pro Sites/Membership?

• User Accounts:
– free membership just gets a basic profile, added to a specific group, access to some forums
- Paid membership gets a full profile, Classifieds listings displayed, MarketPress shop, access to private forums, access to private pages, blog.
BuddyPress, bbPress, Membership, Classifieds.

• Blogs – Paid members can set up blogs that they can publish on their sub-site, or submit for inclusion on main site.

• Affiliates – however membership is sold (Pro Sites or Membership) need to be able to offer an affiliate program.

• MU Support System – ticketed support system for paid users only.

• Private Member area – paid providers get access to business support ecourses, ebooks, private forum.

There will be 2 types of members – each with different levels of access:

• Public – 1. No registration - Browse all free content, buy from MarketPress shops. 2. Free Register for access to forums, user profile, ability to leave reviews/feedback

• Providers – 1. Free – access to some private pages and forums. 2. Paid (per listing or annual) – set up MarketPress shop, directory listings, sell to everyone, display profile. 2 different provider types that may need to be differentiated later.

The site layout will be:
• Home page – introduction, latest products (auto populated from MarketPress shop listings), Featured Articles (moderated blog posts from all sub-sites), info and Sign Up.
• Main site – BuddyPress, bbPress forums, support ticketing system, private member content.
• Sign up page presents these options:
- Free public registration = basic user profile and forum access
- Free provider registration = select provider types (provider or B2B). Basic profile, access to some private pages, forum access
- Paid provider access – select from different pricing options and type (provider or B2B). Full profile, Classifieds listings, MarketPress shop, blog, forum access, access to private pages.
Each level needs to be added to a different list in Aweber.

I know – it’s a lot – thank you for reading!!

So – I think my main questions are:
- Pro Sites or Membership? Which is the best way to charge for access to different areas of the site and functionality?
- Do any or all of these plugins integrate with BuddyPress? Ideally I want a single sign in and one profile for use in all areas.
- Simple process – how can I make the register+pay process as simple as possible? Do I need a custom sign up form or can I use the in-built functionality of one of the plugins?
- Am I missing anything – can you see anything that just won’t work?

I hope you can shed some light on the best approach because I’m having a hard time getting clarity on this. I can provide more detail by email if you require (flowcharts, checklists, etc)

Thank you so much!

    Patrick

    Hiya @bluekimberlite

    Welcome to the forums!

    Well, you have quite a project laid out for yourself.

    - Pro Sites or Membership? Which is the best way to charge for access to different areas of the site and functionality?

    In the scenario you have described above, you will need both actually. Membership is user-centric and restricts/grants access to content on your site depending on the access levels and subscription plans you create. Access (whether granted or restricted) only applies to the site where the plugin is installed. It cannot restrict/grant access to URLs that are not directly a part of the site. In other words, it cannot restrict/grant access to sub-site content. (Unless the plugin is activated on a per-site basis, but that would require user registration on each sub-site, which isn't what you want I think.)

    On the other hand, Pro Sites is site-centric and enables you to create premium packages with features & functionality that can be added to user's sub-sites in your network. Things like access to collections of premium themes and/or plugins (that you define), upload space, etc.

    - Do any or all of these plugins integrate with BuddyPress? Ideally I want a single sign in and one profile for use in all areas.

    That is the default behavior of WordPress, BuddyPress and Membership (when network-activated). A user who signs up will signup on the main site in the network, and will have a BuddyPress profile area on the main site. All plugins that integrate with BP, and which have links to profiles (for whatever reason) will redirect the user to their BP profile on the main site.

    - Simple process – how can I make the register+pay process as simple as possible? Do I need a custom sign up form or can I use the in-built functionality of one of the plugins?

    The Membership plugin handles all that for you. A user will select the subscription plan from those you have set up and made public. They will then fill in their profile details, be directed to PayPal to pay for their subscription, then brought back to your site.

    I hope you can shed some light on the best approach because I’m having a hard time getting clarity on this. I can provide more detail by email if you require (flowcharts, checklists, etc)

    Unfortunately, we cannot offer support via email as the accounts team has no direct access to support & development staff. Also, if you really need assistance to develop and deploy your project, you may want to consider hiring the services of a developer. You could try our jobs board at https://premium.wpmudev.org/wpmu-jobs/ or perhaps a firm like Tweaky at http://tweaky.com/

    Hope this helps! And thanks for being a member

    Patrick

    @bluekimberlite

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    That's an excellent bit of advice from @thebigA

    Take it slow, one step at a time.

    @alalondon

    Those are all themes that are designed specifically for our MarketPress e-commerce plugin. But they are by no means necessary to any project. Themes are simply what determine how your content is presented to the end-user. With MarketPress and its shortcodes (and the native WordPress templating system), you can use pretty much any theme you like to display your store content.

    thebigA

    @bluekimberlite

    Sure, essentially the site I am working on is an etsy-esque site however it is for antiques/collectibles so it is always single items that are being sold.

    Multisite is vital to me since the users are often in the situation of not having a website of their own or one that is very poor functionally. They will push items from their site to the main site that will be included as group items.

    Had multisite working for almost three weeks now and despite some headaches I am getting there

    Right now I would prefer to take more discussion off here but feel free to message me directly, in fact I would love to hear more

    BTW I have been a web developer since 1995 and worked on php for over ten years and have been web producer for TIME.com international edition and also worked on SEO tools for hilton hotels...