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Lesson 8 – Part 1 – User Configuration

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Good morning everybody and welcome to this, our eighth week of “How to Make a Membership Website” live class. We are rearranging the schedule just a little bit. Since I started the installation of Simple:Press last week, we are going to do what I originally had scheduled for Week 9 today, in Week 8. We are going to finish up with the installation and configuration of Simple:Press so that the forum is properly integrated into the membership system.

User Configuration Simple:Press and WP eMember

Last week one of the members had expressed some difficulty in getting the forum working properly with WP eMember so I decided I would revisit this conversation a bit so that I could make how to do this properly as clear as possible. In fact I have created a checklist for you. If you scroll down here to Week 8 and you download this “User Configuration Checklist”, this checklist will help you understand the relationship of the different elements that we are configuring and gives you each step to be sure that you have it configured. So I encourage you to download this checklist.

Create a Membership Website – Understanding the Relationships

Before we start the configuration I want to talk a little about the relationship of the different elements together. The objective here is to allow us to control access to the Simple:Press forum based on membership level. So that means we want our free members to have access to the free part of the forum but not to the paid part of the forum, and we want our paid members to have access to the entire forum.

Then we want to potentially mix it up a bit. It can go as far as having one forum per membership level. So you can have a Gold membership with access to the Gold forum, and the Silver level with access to the Silver forum and so on and so forth, if you did it that way. We could have a one-to-one correspondence between the membership levels and the courses that people take and access to their forum. We are not taking it that far, but that is the concept that we are working on here, making it so that everyone doesn’t have full access to the full forum, but everyone has access to that part of the forum which we want them to have access to.

The thing that controls all of that is this WordPress User Roles system. We set the WordPress User Role back in Week 4 which is when we created the new user role for paid members. So the user roles we have currently on this site are the two that we are using for members of the site, Subscriber and Member. In fact we are going to just login and take a look at that for a moment.

This is the Week 8 site, as we created it last week. So come to the dashboard and take a look at our User Roles. Go into Users and we can take a look at all users for a moment, we’ll look at me for a moment. We go to the User Role setting here, I guess I can’t change my user role since I am an administrator, so I don’t get to see all those user roles but if we look at a different user we have this role box here. The roles we have on our site right now are Member, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber.

Create a Membership Website – The Signup Process

The member is the one which we created, and it is essentially the same thing as the Subscriber role. We are making the Subscriber role for free members, and the Member role for paid members. So what we are doing then is we are relating the WP eMember member levels to this WordPress User Role, and then Simple:Press is going to use that user role to assign that user role to user groups and then, via user groups, will assign various permissions to various forums. So the central part of this is the User Role system, and once we have that setup then we need to configure WP eMember to coordinate with those user roles, and then the same thing with Simple:Press. We have already done this for WP eMember but I am just going to walk through it quickly again to refresh your memory. Today we will do this for Simple:Press for the first time.

Create a Membership Website – Setup WP User Roles

So if you look at the checklist here the very first thing to do is to create the user roles that you are going to use. And the only one we needed to create was Member because we are only going to have three kinds of access to the forum. We are going to have guest access, which is essentially read only. We are going to have free access, which is the ability to post to the free section. And then we are going to have paid access, which will have the ability to post to the rest.

Create a Membership Website – Configure WP eMember

We have those three roles already, and then what we did in an earlier lesson, probably was lesson 4 and 5, is we setup WP eMember and the first part to setup is the general settings. So if we come over here and we go over to WP eMember and look at those general settings, scroll down here to about the middle and the first thing to do is coordinate “Allow Account Deletion” and “Allow WordPress Account Deletion” together. So if you are going to allow the member to delete their account, then you need to allow so that when that account is deleted then it should also delete the WordPress account. So these two things are synchronized.

Then the second part of the settings to setup is this part, the “WordPress User Integration Settings”. In this case, each of the three boxes should be checked. This means we automatically create the user role, we automatically log them into WordPress if you login to eMember, and you automatically login to eMember if you login to WordPress. The reverse also works as well, if you logout of one then you have logged out of both. So we have this set.

Then the final part of this is for our Membership Levels where in our Membership Levels we match the Membership level to the WordPress user role. So for example our free membership level is mapped to Subscriber, and we did that here. When you give it a membership name then you can select the default WordPress role that you want to use. So we gave the free members the user role of Subscriber, and our membership site members have the user role of Member, again selecting from the same box.

So that is the WP eMember part of it, and actually there is one other part that I’m not sure we have talked about before, and that is down under Admin Functions. In the Admin Functions setting what you want to do is click this, “Create WP account for eMember users”. Now you only need to do this once, at the very beginning, and if you have everything else setup correctly then it will automatically create from that point on. But, for example, when you are setting it up for the first time if you have an Admin user role it is not automatically added to the WP eMember settings so you need to configure this as well. You just click the button, and that is all there is to it.

Once you have done that, then you have finished the WP eMember settings and you have those things configured. Then what we have to do is move into the Simple:Press Forum configuration, and that is what we are going to do next.

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