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best advice for creating membership websites2534

SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
Just wondering if anyone has a paid membership website where information is offered for a monthly fee?

I teach ESL students, and source a lot of information from a website where I can download teaching resources. Anyone can access the information, but you have to be a member to be able to download it - this is the sort of thing I'm looking for.

I am interested to know if there is WordPress theme/s which is easy to set up.
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Steve private msg quote post Address this user
Sounds easy as to put together ...
suggest you speak with @Rev

Here is a link to a few themes someone has put together for membership websites.
Post 2 • IP   flag post
Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@SusanDay

Thanks @Steve for the referral! I have done a number of membership sites and I have several of my own at the moment. My main web presence, WizardsPlace, is a membership site though I am only using it for the WP Classroom on the membership side.

I am in the process of developing two more, one to market private label rights (PLR), and other, content, and the second to sell online courses.

The second one has some complexities:

1) courses are displayed and non-members may purchase any of them.

2) upon purchase of a course, site membership is conferred.

3) members may receive discounts and other benefits when they purchase additional courses or other materials.

4) members will see member pricing and even additional materials and courses not shown to the general public.

All of this is built on a WordPress foundation with a free membership plugin.

The key is in picking the right membership plugin for your needs. Don't just think about what you need now, but extend it out to what you might want to add later -- and consider flexibility that will let you do things you can't even imagine right now.

Membership sites tend to grow as you think of new things to add. Be sure your choice of plugin will support that future growth.

My best advice is, DO NOT choose functionality in a theme. That belongs in plugins. If you tie it to your theme you are stuck should you need (or want) to change later. Remember that WordPress is designed with four separate components -- Core, Theme, Plugins, Content -- for a reason.

I provide initial plugin and theme selection (with configuration) support, and complete site development (and/or site management) if it is needed.

Here's an existing site in the ESL arena that I have been contracted to overhaul, up-grade, and extend starting next month:

http://platinumenglishonline.com/

Besides updating the look, I'll be adding membership layers and other course software.
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morrnel private msg quote post Address this user
@SusanDay
I am developing a membership site for esl as well. I use Wishlist Member. It is a paid plugin. I avoid free when I can't live without the plugin. Author needs to be paid somehow. I'd rather spend money up front rather than the author putting hooks in my site. I also get great support from the authors. Good luck on your project!
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SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev and @Steve Thanks so much.

It's actually for my dog training site, but hey the principles are the same.

I have so much information floating around on the site I thought why not make it exclusive for a small monthly fee.

I'll have a look at some of the plugins and see what others are doing.
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SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@morrnel Thanks for the tip. My idea was for my dog training site.

I agree with you when you say authors need to be paid. If I can help you share your site, let me know.
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Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@morrnel

You probably shouldn't use WordPress then. After all, it is free.

S2Member is free, open source, and GPL just like WordPress, with no site hooks/ads/etc. and, if you check it out, I think you will find the people that created Wishlist Member used S2Members open source code in the effort -- and they haven't kept pace with S2M development since.

Additionally, WM is not GPL licensed making it in contravention of WordPress licencing rules. At some point the pigeons will come home to roost.

I kinda like the original! It's cheaper (free) much more feature rich than WLM, and has much greater flexibility. Dunno. That works for me.

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morrnel private msg quote post Address this user
Good points @Rev.
Wordpress is an Open Source Project and is well supported by the community it serves. Contribute with your time and energy.
You can also contribute using wordpress.com or purchase any one of Automatics other products.

Check out https://automattic.com/. It appears Matt is making a boat load of money to afford 548 people and a kewl San Francisco office.

I just happen to use WM for the features until a better solution comes along.

I see s2member also has a pro version which you can purchase. Very good! That may be the better solution. You got me to check it out.

WM and S2 Pro (paid) features are similar. Actually didn't know there was a S2 Pro.

My point is to spend money on the tools you use to support developers.
Post 8 • IP   flag post
Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by morrnel
My point is to spend money on the tools you use to support developers.


Absolutely. I often make donations to producers of free software that I like and use.

I have yet to find a need for S2Member Pro -- if I do, it's an easy update, not a separate installation. All the membership sites I have built so far have been S2Member Framework -- either originally (I currently don't use anything else) or switched up later.
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