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Lesson 12 – Part 6 – Membership Upgrades in WP eMember

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There is one other thing that gave me a bit of pause at first and that I didn’t understand when we began this course and I didn’t explain particularly well.

How WP eMember Works

The way WP eMember works is you can have unlimited membership levels but only one primary level. The length of membership is based on the primary level so if somebody comes here on my site and gets a free membership first, that’s their primary level. When they go to purchase a WordPress 2.01, when they make that purchase, that becomes their primary level.

As their primary level, the length of that level governs how much access they have, both to the free membership and their WordPress 2.01. Now if a month later, they purchase How To Create a Membership Website, that’s now their third level. It becomes their primary level and it’s length of access governs their access to all the rest of the levels below.

For example, let’s just say you have 5 courses and somebody purchases course 1 and each of those courses gives them access to 6 months. If somebody purchases course 1, they have 6 months access to that course. If a month later, somebody purchased course 2, it has 6 months of access. Their access to course 2 is 6 months and their access to course 1 stays at 6 months except its start date changes to the primary level start date.

What really happens and for all practical purposes, they have 7 months access to course 1. If in a month later, they purchase access to course 3, that resets their access to that course or to all the courses to the length of time that course 3 lasts so course 3 lasts 3 months. Now, their first class they have access to is 8 months, 2nd class turns out to be 7 and the 3rd class is now 6 months.

Access Time To Courses

The problem arises here when you imagine a higher course having less access time. If course 3 only has access for 3 months and a week after they’ve purchased course 2 which had access for 6 months, their access to course 2 got automatically reduced to that 3 months starting from the date of course 3, that’s something for you to manage.

If every course has the same length of access then every time they purchase a course, they get access to all of the rest of those courses for that additional time. As long as their primary membership level is active, their access to all of the secondary membership levels remains active. If you don’t want that to happen, your only choice is to manually remove them from the earlier level and that’s quite simple to do from their user base.

At first, I was concerned that was going to be a problem when I realized this here about 3 weeks ago. When I was writing this plugin, I wanted to test what kind of message they would see if they were expired. In that testing process, I discovered that the only way somebody expires is if their latest purchase membership level is at the end of its time.

If you have lots of courses and you are giving access to each course for a month, if somebody owns several courses and their membership has expired, if they log back in as a member and purchase another course, that automatically grants them access to all those other courses that they had access to before.

You can be concerned about that as a limitation of the software or you can think of that as a sales piece, as a reason for somebody to upgrade their account and add another course because not only do they get that new course material but they also continue to have access to their prior courses which I think, is a pretty good idea. I did not explain that well because I didn’t understand it properly when we began this.

I explained it as if they buy course number 1 and it only lasts for 6 months if that’s how you set it up. Course number 1 only lasts for its duration of time regardless of whether or not they buy course number 2 but that’s not the way it works. Every time they purchase a new course, that becomes their primary and the other courses remain automatically available to them.

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2 Comments… add one
2 comments… add one
  • Nana April 14, 2014, 11:40 pm

    This is really helping me to get this done. I have been floundering for a very long time until .. I got into these videos

  • Nana June 26, 2014, 3:11 pm

    Thanks Rick this whole area on teaser code is great. No I have clue and it worked.

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