|Posted: Tuesday Jan 29th, 2013 at 5:18 am #39875|
[Apologies for posting this here – I couldn’t find an appropriate forum for suggestions, or a private contact option].
First of all, I think that s2Member is an absolutely BRILLIANT product – I’ve used it for over a year, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for this type of software. However, I do think you could do more to differentiate between the free and paid versions of s2Member, to encourage more users of the former (like myself) to upgrade to the latter.
I’m not suggesting that any of the functions of the free version should be disabled. After all, the main reason that I chose s2Member in the first place was because (unlike many of your competitors) your free version doesn’t restrict any of the core functionality – e.g. it has no time limits, no limits on the number of members, etc.
However, once on the free version, I suspect that for many people (like myself) there’s not enough incentive to upgrade to the paid version. I’m therefore suggesting that certain additional features could be added to the paid version to differentiate it from the free version.
As an example, I currently run a site where members pay a set fee via PayPal for 1 year’s access. PayPal allows people to pay without registering for a PayPal account (i.e. just using a debit or credit card), so I don’t need any of the other payment options provided by the paid version of s2Member (e.g. Google Checkout, ClickBank, etc). The onsite credit card processing would be a disadvantage for me, because I believe most people would feel more comfortable entering their card details on the PayPal website, rather than on my website. Although the login widget and the thank you page redirect are very useful, bbPress provides me with a login widget similar to the former, and your forums taught me how to use an s2-hacks file to achieve the latter.
Indeed, for me personally, the only real advantages of upgrading would be the ability to export users (primarily for me to use as an additional form of backup) and the ability to redirect members after login to the page they were trying to navigate to.
My two suggestions for additional features that could be added to the paid version to differentiate it from the free version are as follows:
I don’t use the PayPal recurring options, because I believe that people are more likely to agree to pay a set fee for 1 year’s access, rather than to commit to paying a recurring fee each year (even though they can obviously cancel the latter). This means that for me, it’s very important to be able to encourage members to renew their membership when they get near their EOT. My suggestion for EOTs is as follows:
– It would be really useful if there was an “EOT” shortcode that could used to display a member’s EOT 1) on webpages (e.g. on the Membership Options Page), 2) in emails to members (e.g. in the New User Email Message), and 3) on members’ profiles. For info, the 3rd-party plugin “s2Member Buttons” enables option 1) but doesn’t enable options 2) or 3).
– It would be really useful if there was some system for sending out a reminder email when a member gets near their EOT – e.g. either an email direct to members, or a notification email to the administrator. It would be useful if the administrator could customise the date that such an email is sent out (e.g. “2 weeks before EOT”, etc), and could fully customise the content of this email.
At present, it’s possible to customise the “New User Email Message” and the “Signup Confirmation Email Message”. Such customisations are incredibly useful – they enable the adminstrator to give important information to the member (e.g information about terms and conditions, etc) and to significantly improve the consistency and professionalism of the website. However, there appear to be several other emails (or other types of messages) that are sent to members for which there doesn’t appear to be an easy way to customise. For example, when users renew their membership, they’re sent an automatic email that it doesn’t appear possible to customise, and when a user clicks on a registration access link that’s expired they get the message “Your Link Expired: Please contact Support if you need assistance”, which it doesn’t appear possible to customise. Similarly, it doesn’t appear possible to customise the “Password Reset” email, although I’m not sure whether this is a WordPress email rather than an s2Member email. My suggestion for Email Customisation is therefore the following:
– It would be really useful if it was possible to fully customise every type of email that is sent out by s2Member, as well as the expired link message (and any other types of message that are automatically displayed to members). Ideally, like the “New User Email Message”, it would be useful to be able to choose to BCC such emails to the administrator (although I appreciate that passwords shouldn’t be displayed in such emails).
As said at the start, I really do think that s2Member is a brilliant product. I’m just concerned that there are probably quite a lot of people like me who will happily continue to use the free version forever, unless more is done to differentate between the free and paid versions. In a way, the problem is that the free version is such a good product that it’s probably very difficult to make the paid version significantly better!
Thanks very much,
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