Improve a Level’s Pricing Statement with the Custom Level Cost Text Add On

Our newly extended Custom Level Cost Text Add On allows you to modify the default level cost text per level, per discount code, or globally via advanced settings.


Special shout-out to David!

The enhancements to this add on were completed by our summer intern, David. This was the first project that David worked on with our team here at PMPro, and we’re very impressed with the end result. David is a Computer Science student at Haverford College (our CEO Jason Coleman’s alma mater).


How it Works

This plugin adds a “level cost text” field to Membership Levels and Discount Codes, allowing you to override PMPro’s default level cost text. When crafting your custom level cost text message, you can use completely custom text or variables based on the level or discount code’s settings.

You can also modify the cost text globally via Advanced Settings. These settings include some of the “most requested” changes to your level price statement:

  • Remove the word “now” from level cost text.
  • Use the word “Free” (or its translation) instead of $0.00.
  • Use “/” instead of “per”.
  • Hide unnecessary decimals. (removes the “.00” portion of the monetary value)
  • Abbreviate billing periods “Month”, “Week”, and “Year” to “Mo”, “Wk”, and “Yr”

Better Level Cost Text with a Better Levels Page

You can use this add on in conjunction with the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode Add On to really tighten up the appearance of your pricing pages. The Custom Level Cost Text Add On filters not only the price on the membership checkout page, but also on your levels page and in emails to the member.

I achieved the price appearance in the screenshot above by setting the Memberships > Advanced Settings to use the word “free”, use “/” instead of “per”, and use abbreviations for billing periods.

View the Add On

 

Approvals Add On Now Available

The Approvals Add On allows you to set up a unique approval or application process for your membership site. After a member signs up, the admin will have the ability to approve their membership or deny the application.

View the Add On


The diagram below explains how approval fits into the standard membership checkout process.

How it Works

Using the add on, you can set your membership levels to require approval with a few options. Not only can you set a level to require approval, you can also set a level to require an approved membership from another level in order to complete checkout.

This allows you to offer a two-step membership application and full membership registration model. You can place an application fee on the application level, and then charge your full recurring membership fee on the primary membership for approved members. Extend your site further by using fields add via the Register Helper Add On to gather member information that will help you decide whether to approve or deny the membership.

View the Add On

 

Make the Most of Your Ad Space with Level Specific Ads Targeting

Advertisements are a classic method of monetizing your website, and ad-serving networks such as Google Adsense make it fast and easy to start displaying ads.

It’s important for a membership site to consider which ads to display for non-members, per-level or completely hidden to members for an “ad-free” experience. Read on to explore how to control ads for your PMPro-powered membership site.


Considering Ads for a Membership Site

Your site’s membership is often the most lucrative product sold through your website. That said, ads can still be a component of your revenue stream if you make smart choices about ad placement for free members and site visitors.

With the methods outlined below, you can target which ads display to which users. This unlocks a unique opportunity to target your ads for each membership level, not only to hide ads for members, but to show premium ads with exclusive partner offers to your paid members.


Ad Networks, Affiliate Ads, and Direct Ad Sales

The simplest way to insert ads is via an ad network. These services connect advertisers with sites that want to make money by displaying ads. You’ll be provided with a script or other integration method to dynamically embed third-party ads on your site. Some popular ad networks that you may be familiar with include Google Adsense, Facebook Audience Network, and Amazon a9.

Alternatives to an ad network include affiliate networks or direct ad sales. For this case, you would be obtain ads (graphics, links and promos) directly through company’s affiliate program or via a service such as ShareASale or CJ Affiliate. These methods take a bit more time to set up and manage, but generally offer a higher commission than an ad network.

Option 1: The pmpro_displayAds() Function

This PHP function checks against the “Hide Ads from Non-Members” settings under Memberships > Advanced Settings. It allows you to wrap and insert ad blocks that will load based on how you have configured the admin setting.

if(pmpro_displayAds())
{    
    //insert ad code here
}

Option 2: The [membership] Shortcode

If you are inserting ad blocks into posts or pages, you can simply use the [membership] shortcode to wrap your inserted content. Using this method, the ads will only be shown to the specified visitors or members.

View Shortcode Documentation

Option 3: The pmpro_hasMembershipLevel() Function

This PHP function allows you to check whether a user has any membership level or a specific membership level. You can then insert your ad blocks wrapped in the appropriate conditional check to achieve the desired result.

View Function Documentation

Option 4: Using Advanced Ads Pro

Advanced Ads Pro has just released a native integration for Paid Membership Pro. You can now target ads on your membership site in relation to the membership level of your visitors.

View Premium Plugin

Option 5: Integrating with Other Ads Plugins for WordPress

Many ads plugins for WordPress make use of shortcodes to allow you to insert the “ad block” into your content, then manage the content of the ad in a central place. In most cases you can use these shortcodes in combination with the [membership] shortcode method outlined above.

Alternately, I have seen ads plugins that offer ads widgets. You can use these plugins in combination with the hide widgets for members recipe outlined in this post.

Lastly, if your ads plugin automatically inserts ads on pages or posts, please post a topic on our support forum (Core or Plus membership required) and we can help you locate available filters in your plugin to conditionally display ads based on membership status.

Network and Multisite Mega Post for Paid Memberships Pro

If you’re setting up a Network or Multisite environment for WordPress, here’s a summary of different ways you can implement Paid Memberships Pro across the network:


Paid Memberships Pro Cannot be Network Activated

Some plugins allow you to “network activate” across the entire network. Not PMPro.

Using a membership plugin on your multisite network means something different for each use case. So, we’ve built a restriction into the core plugin to not allow network activation. This post covers various ways to use Paid Memberships Pro with your network site, the most basic of which is: treat each site in the network as a separate install and only activate the plugin on each install you need to. Paid Memberships Pro is fully compatibility with the multisite environment, just read this post to see more information on how to properly configure based on your multisite network needs.


Ok, so what is WordPress Multisite?

A multisite network is a collection of sites that all share the same WordPress installation. They can also share plugins and themes.

WordPress.org Codex

This setup adds a new user role “Super Admin” that has visibility into all sites grouped in the network, as well as the ability to create or modify sites, allowed plugins, themes, and users for all sites in the network.

Network sites can share a single domain or each have their own domain name. For example, the main network site may be located at www.network.com, and a subsite can either be located at www.network.com/dogs or www.dogs.com. All of the

View Codex Docs on Creating a Network

1. Membership to a Single Network Site

Separate Paid Memberships Pro environments for each subsite.

Activate Per Site Needed - Membership to a Single Network Site

This is the most basic way to use Paid Memberships Pro in your multisite network. Simply install the plugin via Network Admin > Plugins > Add New.

Then, edit a specific site in your network by hovering over “My Sites” in the left side of the admin bar, select a site from the dropdown, and click “Dashboard”. From here, you can treat the site as a standalone installation. Navigate to “Plugins”, locate “Paid Memberships Pro” in the list, and click “Activate”. Now you are ready to begin the Initial Plugin Setup.

A site visitor can sign up for membership at any site in your multisite network just as if it were a single site. Users who purchase membership at more than one site in your network will use the same user account (username and password) to log in to any site in the network.


2. Sell/Create a Network Site at Checkout

Create a network site for the member as part of membership to the main site using the Member Network Sites Add On.

Member Network Sites Add On - Sell/Create a Network Site at Checkout

Allow a member to purchase one or more sites as part of membership. Once configured, the member can purchase membership at the network’s main site (the primary domain of the network) and specify the “Site Name” and “Site Title” for their new site on the network.

Any sites attached to a member will be deactivated when membership expires or cancels.

You can limit and pre-configure the themes and plugins available to the site created at checkout via the tutorial in this post.

A member’s site on the network can also have the Paid Memberships Pro plugin installed and activated. For example, some businesses use this add on to sell an “Online Training” bundle site, where the site owner can then set up PMPro and create their own membership site in the network.

Member Network Sites Add On Docs and Download


3. Membership Across the Network

Manage memberships at the network’s main site (the primary domain of the network) and provide/restrict access on subsites in the network using the Multisite Membership Add On.

Multisite Membership Add On - Membership Across the Network

Sell a membership level at the main site that provides access to members-only content on a site or sites throughout the entire multisite network. For example, let’s say you have a network site about all types of pet care. You have a main site (www.petcare.com), and a site on the network for various type of pets (birds.petcare.com, cats.petcare.com, and dogs.petcare.com). Using this add on, you could offer a membership to one specific pet’s subsite (Bird Level OR Cat Level OR Dog Level). Then, you could also offer a Premium Level that includes access to all of your pet care subsites.

All of the membership levels and users are managed on the main network site. The subsites look to the main network site’s database to mirror the membership levels available and to check a user’s access.

To configure this add on, you would:

  1. Install Paid Memberships Pro via Network Admin > Plugins > Add New. Do not “Network Activate” the plugin.
  2. On your main network site, activate and configure Paid Memberships Pro by following the Initial Plugin Setup guide.
  3. For each site in your network that has members content, navigate to the site’s Dashboard > Plugins. Activate Paid Memberships Pro AND the Paid Memberships Pro – Multisite Membership Add On.
  4. Make sure that the constant PMPRO_NETWORK_MAIN_DB_PREFIX is properly defined for your main network site. For example:
    define('PMPRO_NETWORK_MAIN_DB_PREFIX', 'wp');

Multisite Membership Add On Docs and Download

 


In summary

I hope this post helps you understand the various ways you can use Paid Memberships Pro on your multisite network. Configuring a multisite environment is an advanced WordPress process, and using the add ons described in this post will require customization via code. Please consult with your developer or our support team for guidance as you implement the methods above.

Track Membership Signups and Stats on a Mobile Device

Stay on top of membership site signups (and your membership site revenues) on a tablet or mobile device using the Responsive Reports Dashboard Add On or via SMS Membership Checkout (text) Messages.


pmpro-reports-dashboardResponsive Reports Dashboard Add On

This streamlined dashboard loads outside of your WordPress admin and pulls in the default reports displayed under Memberships > Reports, plus any additional reports you have added via this method. The included reports can be modified using the pmpro_reports_dashboard_reports filter.

Jason and I use this add on multiple times per day to track signups for our support membership options. We both have saved the direct link to the reports dashboard on our mobile phones. Here are the instructions for adding the report link to your device.

View the Add On

pmpro-sms-notificationSMS Membership Checkout Messages

The code recipe below sends a short email/text message/sms with each Paid Memberships Pro Membership Checkout (for the specified levels).

Copy and paste this code recipe below into your theme’s functions.php file or a helper PMPro Customizations plugin (our recommended method). Then modify line 9 with your mobile email address and line 12 with the level IDs you wish to receive notification for.

This code recipe requires a PMPro Core Account or higher.

View Membership Options


What other notification methods would you like to see?

If you have another service or method that you would like to connect to your membership site reports, let us know in a comment below.

Enhance Your Membership Levels Page with Member Badges

We’ve just added hooks to the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode Add On, allowing you to add unique content before and after the level information.

This recipe integrates the Member Badges Add On and displays the badge associated with each level in the output.


Member Badges on a Three Column Layout

The Code Recipe

This code recipe requires a PMPro Core Account or higher.

View Membership Options


Member Badges on a Table Layout

The Code Recipe

This code recipe requires a PMPro Core Account or higher.

View Membership Options


Available Hooks in the Advanced Levels Page Shortcode v.2.4+

Hooks for the “div” and “column” layouts:

do_action( 'pmproal_before_level', int $level_id, int string $layout );
do_action( 'pmproal_after_level', int $level_id, int string $layout );

Hooks for the “table” layout:

do_action( 'pmproal_extra_cols_before_header' );
do_action( 'pmproal_extra_cols_after_header' );
do_action( 'pmproal_extra_cols_before_body' );
do_action( 'pmproal_extra_cols_after_body' );

Note: hooks have not yet been added for the compare_table layout

Set a Member Author’s Posts to Draft When Membership is Cancelled

If you allow guest authors on your membership site as a feature of membership, this recipe will demonstrate how to automatically change their posts’ statuses to “draft” when membership is cancelled.

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How to Name Your Membership Levels or Subscription Options

How you name your membership levels is one of the most important components for conversions on your membership on site.

Let’s spend some time thinking about membership level names. We’ll cover the classic membership site structures and provide examples for naming the membership levels or subscription options for each case. (And there’s even a nifty “level name” playground that tests your name within various plugin-generated phrases.)


Take a step back and evaluate your membership level names.

I work with thousands of membership sites and have seen a lack of clarity (and creativity) in this key area. The membership level name identifies what the member is receiving in exchange for their membership fee. In some cases, the name is a badge of pride for your members, turning them from the anonymous “visitor” to a member of the “in-crowd”.

Putting all of this touchy-feely stuff aside, the level name is also used in various default “phrases” within your membership site system. You need to make sure your level name “reads well” within these phrases. I’ve created a simple tool at the end of this article that provides a litmus test for your level names within the key system phrases in Paid Memberships Pro.


Membership Site Structures Covered include:


Tiered/Hierarchical Levels

This flavor of membership site offers more (or fewer) features based on membership level. This is the structure of our own site here at Paid Memberships Pro. We offer a Free, Core and Plus level. I think the level names are OK, and they do imply a tier (Plus being the highest membership option available).

Here are some level name ideas based on the “tier”

Tier 1
  • Basic
  • Beginner
  • Starter
  • Primary
  • Bronze
  • Baby Bear

Tier 2
  • Intermediate
  • Enhanced
  • Standard
  • Secondary
  • Gold
  • Papa Bear

Tier 3
  • Advanced
  • Ultimate
  • Extreme
  • Professional
  • Platinum
  • Mama Bear (just right!)


Price/Payment Term Structured Levels

Use this level naming structure when all membership levels offer the same package of features, but vary based on price or term. First, try to think of something clever based on your specific name, brand or site topic.

If your membership site was a sports team, what would you call your fans?

You can give membership an overall brand, such as “Trekkies”, “Bronies”, or “Cheeseheads”. Then use your level names to clarify the price or payment term.

You may still have an idea of “tier” in this structure, such as a Foodie Box site that offers 3 Month, 6 Month, and Annual subscriptions, with the option to “add on” a dessert box. For this case, I’d suggest reading through my post on price-adjusting Register Helper fields to have a selection at checkout modify the level price. Easy as pie.

Here are some level name ideas based on the price/term

  • Daily *
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Yearly

  • Annual
  • Per Annum
  • Bi-Weekly
  • Bi-Monthly
  • Semi-Annual

  • Half-Yearly
  • Perennial
  • Lifetime
  • Forever
  • Eternal

* Note that not all integrated gateways offer “daily” subscriptions.


Content Vertical/Category-specific Levels

In this type of membership site, the membership levels differ not by features, but by type of content or “vertical”. This is common in a stock or investing site, nationwide membership chapters site, or an online dating site where identifying the member’s “interest” is handled via the membership level selected.

Here are some level name ideas based on the content vertical

  • Stock/Investing Sites: Technology Sector, Gas and Oil, Retail, Pharmaceuticals
  • Member Chapter Sites: Country Name, State Name, County Name
  • Online Dating Sites: Man Seeking Woman, Woman Seeking Man, Man Seeking Man, Woman Seeking Woman, etc.

User or Member-type Levels

This is a category of membership site where the member receives a different level/price/package based on the type of member they are. Check out our Sponsored/Group Members Add On if you have a membership level that offers parent/child account relationships.

Here are some level name ideas based on the user/member-type

  • Individual
  • Student
  • Parent
  • Family

  • Senior
  • Corporation
  • Volunteer

  • Teacher
  • Non-Profit
  • Military: Active Duty and Veterans


Content Delivery/Subscription Type Levels

For this type of membership site, the levels differ by how the content is received. It will make more sense after reading the level names below, but basically this case is used when the content is offered in various formats (online, print, email), and the selected level determines the members’ preferred method(s) of content delivery.

For this case, you could use the same membership branding concepts covered in the Price/Payment Term Structured Levels section above, then use the level names to clarify content delivery.

Here are some level name ideas based on the type of content delivery

  • Online Only
  • Print Only
  • Online and Print
  • Email Newsletter

Sponsorship Level/Benefactor Tiers

If you’re a non-profit organization, you most likely think about membership a bit differently than most other site types. In your case, membership level is actually sponsorship level, and you have a chance to get really creative in how you name your tiers.

A great approach to level naming is to pull ideas from the goals of your organization, your location, the group or cause you represent.

Instead of coming up with my own examples, I’ve compiled a few non-profits and their benefactor/membership tier names below:

The Franklin Institute’s Benefactor Society

  • Pendulum Partners
  • Baldwin Circle
  • Celestial Circle
  • Ambassador Circle
  • Kite and Key Circle
  • Franklin Fellows
  • Inventors Circle

Colonial Williamsburg’s Donor Societies

  • Duke of Gloucester Society
  • Capitol Society
  • Colonial Williamsburg Assembly
  • Colonial Williamsburg Burgesses
  • Colonial Williamsburg Associates
  • Raleigh Tavern Society

The Kimmel Center’s Founders Circle

  • Partner
  • Benefactor
  • Artists Circle
  • Leadership Circle
  • Presidents Circle
  • Chairmans Circle


Go Forth and Name Ye Levels!

I hope this post has given you some direction as you brainstorm level names for your new or existing membership site. If you have a type of membership site that wasn’t covered, post a comment below so we can discuss some level naming conventions for your site.

If you run an existing membership site, you can still rename your membership levels. With Paid Memberships Pro you can simply update the level names under Memberships > Edit Level in the admin. Every member that currently has that membership level will automatically have their membership level name updated.


Time to Play

The Membership Level Names Playground below allows you to enter a desired membership level name and see how it will “read” within various plugin-generated phrases. These are the most common phrases your members will see, both on your site and in membership-related emails.

Test your level name against key phrases in Paid Memberships Pro.

Enter a level name to test:


You have selected the My Level Name membership level.
Shown on the membership checkout page.


Membership Level: My Level Name
Shown in most member communication emails and invoices.


Your My Level Name membership is now active.
Shown on the membership confirmation page.

If you have a level name that doesn’t pass the litmus test, don’t fret. Every phrase in Paid Memberships Pro can be “translated”, and I’m not just talking about languages.

Our blog has several posts on renaming key terms within the plugin, such as this post about replacing the word “Membership” with “Subscription”.

Depending on your membership site, you may need to use these methods or another approach. Just open a topic in our members forum (provided to PMPro Core and Plus members), and we will help you work out any hiccups between your desired membership level name and the built in phrases of Paid Memberships Pro.

Allow Authors to View Their Posts Regardless of Membership Level

If you have multiple authors on your membership site, this recipe will override the post’s membership requirements and always let the author view their content (ignoring their current or past membership level).

Remember you can set new members to the “author” role at membership checkout via the methods in this previous article.

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Offer Multiple Payment Methods to Increase Conversions

Appeal to the highest number of potential customers by offering credit card, PayPal and check/other payment methods at checkout.

This post covers our add ons that extend the checkout payment options and allow you to offer up to three unique payment methods.


But first, why should you offer multiple payment methods?

Ask 5 random friends how comfortable they are making purchases online and I promise you will receive a variety of responses:

  • the 100% “no fear” online shopper,
  • those that are “slightly concerned” buying things online, and finally…
  • the “highly reluctant to enter my credit card number anywhere” customer.

We know that this variety of comfort levels exist, so what can you do as an online merchant to appeal to the largest array of buyers?

You can offer multiple payment methods.


Offering PayPal as a Payment Method at Checkout

PayPal offers peace of mind to buyers that have concerns paying you directly.

PayPal gives consumers a layer of protection when making purchases online. They are a well known merchant with industry-leading security features beyond anything you can put in place for your own website. In addition, PayPal offers simple tools to allow consumers to manage who they have paid, communicate with issues about their purchases, cancel subscription payments linked to their account, and report fraudulent or unauthorized activity.

Our Add PayPal Express Add On adds PayPal as a payment method in addition to the primary payment gateway.

Offer PayPal as payment method at checkout

Note: to add the credit card and PayPal logos, follow the steps in this tutorial.

View the Add On Documentation

Add Check/Other Direct Payment Method at Checkout

When a majority of your target members fall into the “highly uncomfortable making purchases online” group, offering an offline payment method, such as mailing a check, can greatly improve conversions.

The “Pay by check” option is particularly important for “offline” membership groups or associations that are just getting started with an online system. In this case, some percentage of your members are already comfortable making payment by mail and wish to continue doing so. Moving to an online-only system can alienate the members who prefer the status quo (unless the overhead to do so is prohibitively expensive or labor-intensive).

Our Pay by Check Add On adds a “Pay by Check” method in addition to your primary gateway — and it doesn’t have to be a traditional “check” payment. Some sites use this add on to provide bank transfer instructions or to directly invoice members after checkout via other invoicing systems.

View the Add On Documentation

Want to offer Credit Card, PayPal and Check?

These add ons are all compatible, so you can activate and configure both the Add PayPal Express Add On and the Pay by Check Add On to offer three payment methods at checkout.

Note that if you are already using PayPal Website Payments Pro as the primary gateway, you will only need to install and activate the Pay by Check Add on to offer all three payment methods.


Now go give it a try!

These add ons are both simple to set up and will hopefully lead to a higher conversion rate (more $$$) for your membership program. Here are the links to the add on documentation pages for reference:

As always, if you are experiencing any issues with your payment methods or checkout page behavior, please post a topic on our members support forum.