In this session we discuss using Shopp with a membership plugin and which ones can be integrated with it. Shopp can be configured so that it creates customers who have accounts and they can purchase products from that account but it doesn’t have a membership component. Shopp is only designed to sell products. We suggest using WP eStore for membership sites because it does have built in integration for WP member, WishList Member and other membership sites.
Member: The other question I had in relation to that was which of the membership plugins, if any, can be integrated with Shopp? Or what I’d like to do is design the site for them such that it has an included store but there’s also a membership section by which they can control content that’s being delivered.
Rick: Oh okay. Well, that’s a different kettle of fish.
Member: Obviously, the store would be accessible to everybody.
Rick: Yeah. Now you can…
Member: Yeah, I don’t think we’re going to… we’re not going to restrict the products but…
Rick: Ordinarily, what you say in a membership site is that something like my site where you can log in to my site that you can’t see if you’re not logged in.
Member: Right. I mean, I guess the question that I’m asking you is this, maybe I’m just thinking of it wrong. I mean, it doesn’t seem like there would be an instance where I would need to necessarily integrate the programming of a membership site with an ecommerce store. I just want to make sure that they play well together. You know, if I have like a stock Thesis installation and I go out and I tweak out say, a child theme for Thesis that is going to be used for this particular client and it includes a membership area where a certain content is restricted and it includes a store where none of the content is restricted. I can program those separately using custom functions to handle that, correct?
Rick: Yes, you can. Now you end up raising a couple of issues that are kind of complex in this question of membership because now you’re asking a question about recurring billing, for example. Okay so it’s a membership site. Does it charge… do you charge on a monthly basis for access to that membership site? Do you charge at all for access to the membership site? You know, there are some models in which you would be charging for access to the membership site so then it’s irrelevant. In Shopp, if you can give… you can configure Shopp so that it creates customers and those customers have accounts and the customer’s account can be a place where the customer can download products that they purchased. That doesn’t require any membership component at all. That’s an ordinary component of Shopp. But Shopp, at the moment, does not interface with either WishList Member or WP eMember or any other membership plugin that I know of.
Rick: And so Shopp would not be a good interface for that. Now having said that, Shopp and WP eStore can probably reside side by side. WP eStore is perfect for membership sites because it does have built in integration for WP eMember, WishList Member and I think, Magic Member or one of those other big membership sites. It has built in integration with those and it can very easily… I’m going to spit this out here. I think it can sit… well okay, it handles recurring payments for example. So if you’re using PayPal’s recurring payment program or you’re using authorize.net’s recurring payment program, WP eStore can interact with that and can send the messages to WishList Member saying, “Okay, they’ve stopped paying.” Well, if they’ve stopped paying then WishList Member stops granting access. So you have this interaction that goes on you know, in a membership site that’s distinct from and unique to that kind of interaction. And Shopp doesn’t have that stuff in it. So you can’t use Shopp to run a typical membership site. It’s really designed to sell products. It’ll sell digital downloads all day long but at the moment, it’s not… it doesn’t work for membership sites.
Member: Okay, but it can exist alongside of a membership site, correct?
Rick: Yes, it can exist alongside of a membership site and I think it probably can exist alongside WP eStore and the two… see, WP eStore is far simpler and does not require any templates in order to work. So it’s a much simpler eCommerce system and it can… I think it can sit side by side with Shopp without any problem. I haven’t really tried that but I have looked at Shopp’s incompatibility list and WP eStore is not one of those plugins that it is incompatible with. And I know the code for both of them pretty well and I don’t see any way in which they would conflict with each other.