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Membership Site with WooCommerce
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Group218
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February 9, 2015 - 11:38 pm
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Rick, you've mentioned more than once the power of choosing the right tools before you dive head long into building a site... Can you suggest the plugins or boxes you would use for the following paid membership site:

  • WooCommerce 2.2.11 is already integrated into Thesis 2.1 through Serge's plugin
  • Anyone can make a purchase from the store
  • Only Paid members have access to full blog posts
  • Anyone can read the teaser Excerpts to blog posts, but when clicked are prompted to register to read more
  • Paid members have access to the forum
  • Paid members are automatically logged into the forum
  • Someday would want to run online classes from the site limiting content access to those who have passed a specific course , but not needed for site launch
  • Forum is hidden from the menu bar when paid member is not logged in
  • Paypal is the preferred payment processing tool for WooCommerce and membership purchases
  • MailChimp is preferred email marketing tool (which mailchimp box/plugin do you prefer?)
  • Parallax is used on the home page

Thanks Rick,

brad

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Group218
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February 9, 2015 - 11:46 pm
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Thoughts on this WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin? This site would have a monthly fee to participate. http://www.woothemes.com/produ.....criptions/

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February 10, 2015 - 12:09 am
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Another post worth reading about the above concept, although it's not using Thesis 2: http://chrislema.com/membershi.....ocommerce/

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Group218
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February 10, 2015 - 12:20 am
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Here's another thought using strictly WooThemes tools: http://www.woothemes.com/2014/.....nd-groups/

They have a tiered membership "courses" strategy using Sensei and their Subscription plugins... would these work with thesis now that I've got WooCommerce synced using Serge's plugin?

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Rick Anderson
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February 10, 2015 - 6:21 am
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OK, right tools for the job - 

Personally - I wouldn't use WooCommerce for this at all.

For what you are describing I would use WPeStore and WPeMember.  No integrations needed and no conflicts with Thesis 2.1.

You can have a lifetime access to both for less than half of the Woo subscription license and WPeStore is still best in class for managing digital downloads and subscriptions.

This meets all of your criteria easily with Thesis.  Except for courseware.

I am currently building courseware sites with 3 systems; Sensei, WP CourseWare, LearnDash.  At the moment Sensei is my least favorite of them but I'm not yet ready to make a final analysis.

Currently Sensei relies on a template system that will require an integration plugin to work with Thesis.

WP Courseware and LearnDash work fine out of the box.

A Woo centric solution to this will be the most expensive and most complicated system - expense and complication without any benefits.

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February 10, 2015 - 7:35 pm
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Rick, thanks for taking the time to think through this. If I remove the WooCommerce portion and work with one of the other ecommerce platforms, would it be easy to integrate the course platform later? I'm trying to think down the road.

Also, I will go read up on their platform, but does WPeMember allow drip content? Concurrent memberships? Prorating charges? One-click upsells or downsells? 

Also, favorite forum plugin?

Thanks again!

b

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Rick Anderson
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February 13, 2015 - 11:19 am
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Ummm... the suggestion I gave you was based on the earlier criteria.

WP eMember's "drip" facility is too complicated to be worthwhile, yes a member can have multiple concurrent memberships, no prorated charges or 1 ckick upsells.

It sounds to me like you need to do a bunch of decision making and research before you can choose a system.  That said, a woo based system is going to be the least feature rich and the most expensive.

Take a look at WPMU Dev's membership plugin.

My favorite forum is this one - Simple:Press forum

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Group218
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February 15, 2015 - 10:15 am
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Thanks Rick!

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Rick Anderson
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February 15, 2015 - 2:39 pm
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You're welcome - good luck with the project.

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February 16, 2015 - 4:45 pm
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Rick Anderson
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February 17, 2015 - 6:11 am
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Yes, I haven't released it publicly but I'll email a copy of it to you.

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September 21, 2017 - 4:37 pm
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Hi Rick, I have a couple of questions I'm hoping you might be able to answer for me regarding WooCommerce and membership sites.

1) I'm wondering if your opinion has changed on using WooCommerce as a membership plugin? I see they now have memberships and subscriptions extensions that look promising.

2) And how responsive is their support? I ask because I have been using WP eStore and WP eMember for 4 years now and have found their support and software stability consistently getting worse. I have had support issues literally take months to get resolved, and even simple questions can take days to get a reply and then several more days to get followup replies. So I am looking for a different solution.

I purchased Paid Memberships Pro ($200), spent dozens of hours getting it all setup and now that I'm ready to launch and have a crucial csv import question I cannot get a response. They say that they try to respond within 1 business day, but that rarely seems to happen. It seems they're overloaded with questions and are also taking several days to get a response.

This is why I am considering Woo. But before spending $300 I would like to know if they really are able to support their customers with the 24 hour response time they strive for?

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Rick Anderson
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September 22, 2017 - 6:51 am
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BYOBWebsite now uses WooCommerce to process transactions, WC Subsctiptions to manage the subscription process and my own roll your own plugin to manage user access.

I built and manage a site that uses WC, WCS and WC Membership.

So my advice is based on this experience....

1) My opinion of WooCommerce as a membership system hasn't changed, primarily because WC Membership is such a green plugin.  I had to write a Thesis Box to make it work in an acceptable way on my client's site.  It is PRIMARILY designed to allow you to create a membership store, where members can purchase products at a discount.  Otherwise the authors appear to know nothing about the needs of membership sites that restrict access to content based on payment of a fee.

2) Their support is non-existent.  I had hoped that would change with the sale to Automatic but it hasn't.  They tell you that they hope to respond to your support request within 7 days.  I went more than 30 days to get a response the last time I needed help (early this summer).  Needles to say that you need to be able to figure this out on your own or to be able to find support elsewhere.

That being said - I made the choice based on my desire to integrate it with Infusion Soft.  I don't regret that decision, I just know not to count on support.

No one has good answers on CSV import.  The only way to really succeed at it is trial and error.  If you have 100 records or less forget about importing and take the time to enter the data manually.

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September 22, 2017 - 9:51 am
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Thank you for your feedback...that helps a lot! We make our living on subscriptions, and not being a developer myself it's frustrating to not be able to find a membership plugin developer with timely support–especially when things go wrong and every minute down means lost sales and frustrated customers. Well, if you happen to come across a membership plugin developer that has good support let me know. 🙂 Thanks again!

Actually, I have also been looking at MemberPress. Do you have any experience with them?

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Rick Anderson
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September 22, 2017 - 11:16 am
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In my most recent experience - that is in the last 18 months, Wishlist Member support has been the best of the tools I've used.  

I'm told that Digital Access Pass support is phenomenal.  Unfortunately they have a relatively complicated non-WordPress system which I think gets in the way of using it with other WordPress plugins.

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