Why isn't my site content being protected?

This question is also in the Membership Documentation troubleshooting section, but the answers there haven't helped. :disappointed: I've started by setting up my Stranger access level, but my premium content is only protected when I use negative rules. Positive rules would be much more appropriate for my site structure. What box have I not checked to ensure only my positive selections are visible? I am not signed in as an Admin, and Membership is 'enabled'.
Thanks in advance!!

  • melaniesloan

    Maybe I haven't explained my issue very well... There are 5 pages I am trying to make public to my Stranger level. When I list these 5 pages as positive access, Strangers see ALL of my pages - nothing is protected / hidden. If I instead list every page except these 5 as negative access, the system works and strangers only have access to these 5 pages.
    For my site structure, though, it would make much more sense to list positive access points rather than negative access points. Is this not an option?

    Thanks again!

  • Brian Purkiss

    I'm sorry, but I'm still not quite following what you're asking.

    You want strangers to have access to all of the pages? Then why do you need the Membership plugin?

    If you want to grant access to free users, then you don't need to do anything to it. If you want only premium users to have access to content, then you need to have negative rules for the stranger access and positive rules for the premium access.

  • melaniesloan

    Hm. Okay, negative rules only, then. I can do that.

    Because I'm still confused, though, I'll ask this: Is all of my content hidden by default?

    I thought if I used a positive rule, it would immediately hide everything not selected. This is what I was trying to do. Assign 5 pages to the stranger level using a positive rule, and allow everything else to be hidden.

    Thanks for your patience, guys. If I can understand how it works, I won't need to fill the forum with future questions!

  • Brian Purkiss

    You have to set content to be hidden. There is an option to have all content hidden, but that would require a manual enabling.

    If you want to hide something, you have to have negative rules.

    Positive rules are required to make hidden content visible.

    So here's how it works.

    Say you have Page X that you want hidden to non members. You set up a "visitor" access level with a negative rule for Page X. Then for the paid subscription, you set a positive rule for Page X.

    Or, if you had the entire site restricted, then you would need positive rules to grant access to paid levels.

    I hope that clears things up.

  • melaniesloan

    Okay, I'm back. :disappointed:

    Using negative rules, I was able to lock and unlock my first Subscription to the workshop Resolutions to Realities. BUT once I introduced a second workshop, Communication 101, being a member of both workshops effectively locked you out of both.

    Resolutions' access level includes a negative rule for the Communication URL group, and vice versa.

    I came back to the support page and tried another tactic – using the "Member" subscription to 'lock' all the pages with negative rules, then setting each of the workshop subscriptions, Resolutions, Communication, etc., to positive rules.

    In this scenario, Resolutions' access level includes a POSITIVE rule for the Resolutions URL Group. It has no negative rules.

    As an admin, I can still view the site. But as a Resolutions Subscription, I get a timeout error: "Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete."

    I've got some kind of infinite loop going here... help!

    terrysloan.com is my site, if exploring is helpful. Thanks in advance!!

  • melaniesloan

    The more I think about this and try to figure it out, the more certain I am that I need to create a 'positive-rules system'. Meaning a site in which each subscription uses positive rules to reveal content rather than negative ones.

    In an earlier post, Brian, you stated "There is an option to have all content hidden, but that would require a manual enabling."

    How do I go about making this happen?

  • ThePath

    Hi Melanie,

    Just got a email in your inbox and I know I havent been massively helpful on this topic but looking over it quickly again I still dont get why you want positive rules to control things?

    I think a more detailed overview of your site structure may be required for me to fully grasp why these positive rules are more effective for you.

    I think the neagtive rules are far easier to implement and make logical sense.

    Im definitely willing to help and conceptulise etc but think I need more details on why you need to build it this way.


  • melaniesloan

    There is a possibility that I'm overlooking or misunderstanding some function of the membership plugin, so you could be right. I'll do my best to explain my site below:

    I am using membership to organize a site where I offer online workshops. These workshops run like classes in a standard semester-like structure. A student logs in to the website (as a Stranger, as recommended in the Membership documents), signs up to become a Member(Subscription type Member, which has infinite access to certain portions of the site), and then selects a Workshop to take.

    To Sign Up for a Workshop (Resolutions to Realities, for example), they Subscribe to it and pay a fee for a finite (60-day) access. After 60-days, they retain access to a portion of that Workshop infinitely.

    This is the premise of my site; sign up for workshops. Now to explain the problems I've been having:

    First let me say I am no computer / internet whiz. So there is a pretty good chance I am making what you would consider an obvious mistake; I don't really understand how the plugin works, I'm just experimenting with cause and effect, really.

    The Problem: Right now, Members cannot subscribe to more than one workshop at a time. I need members to be able to hold two or more subscriptions at once.

    I need to create a scenario in which one Member chooses to sign up for two different Workshops at the same time / within the same window of time. A member, for example, who signs up to take the Communication 101 workshop, and then wants to take Resolutions to Realities at the same time.

    This will be increasingly likely as I add more and more workshops, some of which will be on related topics. Communication 101 and Communication 102, for example, might be taken together or at the very least back to back. As each workshop has a finite length of 60 days, a person who completes Communication 101 quickly (say 30 days) is very likely to be interested in Communication 102 right away.

    What's Happening Instead:

    Now, a member who subscribes to a workshop through the paypal gateway gains access to Workshop One's content. Perfect!
    When they sign up for the second workshop through the paypal gateway, they gain access to Workshop Two's content. Great!
    BUT now if they attempt to access Workshop One content again, they are turned away, redirected to the "protected" page.

    I thought that if I were using positive rules, the subscriptions wouldn't negate one another. Maybe there's something I don't understand about the system; some other way to use it.

    If it helps, I'd suggest becoming a member of my site and attempting to take both of my workshops at the same time. If you attempt to access "Part One - Part Four" of both of them, you will see the error. Right now, the subscriptions are set to free.


    Thanks for your time!

  • ThePath

    OK thanks for that, its a bit clearer for me now.

    Im going to presume that your "workshop" are a series of posts under a specific category, so "Communication 101" has a series of posts attached to it. Im also presuming that you are using the dripped subscription method and setting finite days for the subscription for 60 days

    Right lets see if we can work it out then. I think you need more levels.

    Access Levels:

    FREE/STRANGER - negative rules to block access to all workshop categories.

    WORKSHOP 1 - negative rules for WORKSHOP 2 & 3 (positive rules are inferred for WORKSHOP 1 and free content)

    WORKSHOP 2 - negative rules for WORKSHOP 3 / positive rules for WORKSHOP 1

    WORKSHOP 3 - positive rules for all workshops

    So Im hoping that with giving WORKSHOP 2 positive rules for WORKSHOP 1 means it will still have access if still within the finite 60 day period but perhap support can confirm this.

    So you then have one "dripped subsciption" running from STRANGER->WORKSHOP 1->WORKSHOP 2->WORKSHOP 3 all priced accordingly.

    The key I think is you are right I think you need to use positive rules for your scenario.......if the positive rules still dont allow access within the finite period then Im not sure, its kinda hard to conceptulise everything, without setting it all up and playing with it.

    Let me know if that helps and how you get on.


  • melaniesloan

    I see what you are proposing by allowing one workshop to have positive rules for another workshop, a way of 'layering' or 'overlapping' them. I can set this up to test the theory; the problem is that I can't anticipate in what order someone might want to take the workshops, or which ones the might be trying to overlap.

    IF I did manage to do the all positive system Brian Purkiss mentioned earlier: "There is an option to have all content hidden, but that would require a manual enabling.", I believe I could 'stack' subscriptions on-top of one another, effectively unlocking each Workshop's content as the user subscribed to it.

  • melaniesloan

    I'm back. Apologies for the delay, I've been using the site as-is but now I'm back to my original issue. Whoever volunteers to help me may want to read the conversation above to get a better idea of what I am trying to do, but I'll rephrase it here also:

    I am using Membership to offer online workshops. As it is currently set up, each membership is created by excluding certain pages. Unfortunately, a side effect of this is that no one can join multiple workshops. Attempting to subscribe to more than one workshop results in being locked out of the whole site.

    The website is terrysloan.com and I am more than happy to allow you to become an admin / sign in as me / anything else that will help get this sorted out!

    Thanks in advance,

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