Membership plugin for ClassicPress

So yeah I’ve been talking a lot on this forum and I don’t want to make it seem that I waste all my energy on talking. What I talked is all ideas that I need to expose and get feedback to better understand the vibe of this community. I like the fact that even if some of my words were a bit harsh, the community has always treated them with respect.

I want to give something to the community and I thought that a practical and useful thing is a Membership Plugin.

I have one that is published and works, but I want to redesign it a little bit and also focus it exclusively on CP. And since it is a plugin that I use on several projects, I can say that it’s not somehting that will be abandoned anytime soon.

Also, so that this doesn’t end up being a disappearing plugin, it can definitely be copied/forked.

I wanted to ask: what features are important for you in a membership plugin?

@viktor mentioned a feature to force login, and I will implement that as an option that can be enabled/disabled as a general plugin setting.

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The few important features I’ve used in membership plugins, in addition to forced login, are:

  • Being able to assign different levels of access to users and being able to create these levels (gold, silver, etc.)
  • Being able to specify how content is protected: by category, by tag, specific posts/pages, etc.
  • Being able to protect parts of content using shortcode, although not as important.
  • Integration with Classic Commerce would be important to sell memberships.

@arjayarana was looking for a membership plugin. He might have more insight here.

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The one thing I haven’t found is a combination of forum and membership, which lets members create content but only members can see that content.
Viktor’s list

specify how content is protected: by category, by tag, specific posts/pages, etc.

gives the most common ways, but is all around the default post types and authored by admin.

My use case is a custom post type a plugin creates that users can author (that’s all they can author) and I want to sell memberships for that. I thought I could add features to the post type which is a different membership level, without using a different post type, but I’m not sure how that would tie in to the membership plugin. I don’t want to have to write the membership plugin also.

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This is definitely good news!

Honestly, I’ve given up on CP to make my membership website because of a lack of dedicated membership plugin. (I’m planning to use another CMS, TikiWiki). I sure don’t want to build my members-base on a WP plugin that might become incompatible w/ CP in the near future. But now… I’ll think about it again :wink:

At first, I thought to make only a members-area on my public website, but that makes the website more vulnerable to attacks, and so I decided a separate and dedicated members site is more ideal.

I’m planning to sell membership subscriptions, and as a writer, the only real things I can sell are:

  1. Early view of my final essays and other blog posts (which will be posted later in my public sites)
  2. Special members-only posts
  3. Access to my drafts and writing notes
  4. Maybe the right to comment on my drafts and notes, if the price is high enough
  5. Maybe a private forum, if there are already enough members

And so I would be needing:

  • A way to make the site entirely private
  • Membership levels
  • Integration w/ PayPal (Stripe is not yet available in the Philippines)
  • Maybe a private forum (if I choose to add this)

A feature that will be useful is for the site admin to manage membership manually without that connection to PayPal, because not everyone has PayPal or credit/debit cards. With this feature, I can sell memberships on a separate public page using other payment methods (like an e-wallet that is more common here than PayPal), and then add that membership manually to the site.

Another feature to consider (and I got this idea from TikiWiki) is to sell membership “points-based.” That is, you buy access to the site for a limited time. For example, you buy thirty points, and you get access for thirty days. If you don’t renew, you’ll lose your access (but not your membership), and to regain access, you’ll have to buy again some points. (Of course, for those who want it, there will be an Autorenew feature). This kind of model is useful for those who don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription, and this can be a good way to try out my offerings before committing.

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Toolset (Two single plugins of the entire family, to be precise) does/do that. But Toolset wont work for CP… just sharing it here as you were often wondering what that plugin is good for :wink: and might be useful to look at for DEVs to build their own access versions.

That it is not a membership plugin - Instead, I would divide it in the two things it actually is:

  • Access management
  • Content Management

This allows you to build things that only require access management or only content management (front end forms and “pay for submit” with WooCommerce or CC), or to use both together and when you do so, you have the “membership” solution:

  • with “Access Plugin” you will tell who can do what and where and when,
  • while with “Create, Edit, Delete Plugin” you will tell what to create, edit or delete and how that should look like (forms for user, post and terms).

Using Access control then you control content and amongst other things also those forms, CPTs or else, and using a connection to WC/CC inside forms that let you “connect products to forms” you can charge users to submit any sort of form, and with an intelligent set of hooks you can also let those expire, renew, or even notify folks.
And just like that you have yourself 2 plugins with which you can actually build buddy press but better, fully customised. Or WC Memberships, but full customised. Etc.

The classic “membership” solution (all in one) is a great “solution” but it is as all “all in one solutions” limited at some points as you cannot use it for “other things” that are also related to access and content (which is what membership actually is)

So, TLDR, I would expect 2 plugins, or two major “do things”:

  • access management (for back and front end, all actions inclusive and ability to create and manage user roles)
  • content management (where content is user, term and post)
    Hope that makes sense?
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This is the part that is separate from the two plugins you describe. The access control plugins already exist. So do the content control plugins.
It’s the combination that is needed.