• CH


    Excellent built in explanations. if missing old posts in support clarify it.
    Graduated to S2Members Pro.
    It is wrongly run down by most reviewers.
    If installer were added in a future version this would fare even better.

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  • Plugin Author Cristián Lávaque


    Hi @consultusho.

    Thank you so much for the rating and comments! 🙂

    I’m working on an improved interface and updating the articles. What do you mean by adding an installer and what would you like to see? I’d love your thoughts.

    Thread Starter CH


    Not sure if any of this from a non-coder will help you but here it is since you asked:

    I think upfront to reduce some complications and doing that may not require much effort. For example in the framework some gaps in info can be a stumbling block not well attuned to WordPress. Ask lay users to share what was tough and build that in. For instance Jason’s video on having only two tiers of membership- free subscriber + member coupled with custom capabilities is really, very enlightening. But it stops short of telling where the custom capability is to be set up. I know, I know a person steeped on WordPress concepts would have gone looking at page/post configuration. I got info on where to set them up from reading a post in an old discussion forum where someone just like me had asked!

    One key point that S2Members Pro brings is the ability to create unlimited levels of membership. Actually once after getting pro and making pro forms then I realized 6-7 or more membership levels means setting that many types of pro-form multiplied by number of chosen payment option. So I feel this need not be the selling point for Pro – for the four levels of membership in default in framework coupled with ccaps (custom capability) is really great. Perhaps in Pro sell instead the concept of a super pro version equipped with a setup wizard (this is what I meant by in installer) to help in setting up key options, ccaps and first login coupons. Also, it could set up country and currency once in one place and the software picks up for all the pages where this info is required.

    When anyone researches on S2Members whether framework or pro version one favourite flogging point of reviewer is – it offers great configurability but is difficult to set up. And by way of details some reviewers add it has 250 lines of options that require set up across multiple pages. That a developer etc. can configure it, but near impossible for a lay user not well up on managing WordPress etc. and then there are forums with people with the ability to configure s2members. So I think this is being touted as an unsurmountable entry barrier. The interface being dated may not deter most but it can be scary if like me the one researching is not a programmer and won’t know basic coding and will end up never trying. I am sure many won’t adopt the free version fearing inability to configure Pro when they decided on upgrading to it. But when S2members is installed, several default options are already selected in each page. So only a little more is needed to ensure it will work with default options allowed to stay.

    The only page a user of framework of pro really need to configure is the levels and types of membership. And by installer I mean a set up wizard that asks questions to guide through configuration of membership and perhaps even coupons at login and later. For example:
    Want hierarchical membership with the highest level with access to content of the lowest level? Then how many levels.
    Or you want your members organised with common group rights (ccaps) distinct from another group. Or perhaps a hybrid of both.
    Do you want to create/modify page giving upgrade offers to your free and paid members?
    Then ask to fill out 2-3 word descriptors of the CCAPs user has in mind. May be those chosen ccaps will show those as drop down menu in each page and more can be added? Or whatever is feasible.

    How about also building in an array of payment proforms linked to level of membership chosen. I suggest this built in proform creation with stripe.
    Perhaps the installer creates a back up of the encrypted key also, while preventing its deletion and modification if there is even one relevant code alive.
    When a list of short code is flashed to admin etc on click (say on one-time-offers page) make it “copyable” also i.e. create also the ability to copy right from that screen itself can ease transfer of the desired short code. Also list only the current, updated short codes. Ones that are deprecated perhaps remove them and put in the deprecated list for some old user returning to S2members after a gap can access.

    If building a wizard for S2 Members Pro is tough – then sell a service which will ask a few questions, collect a fee and integrate Pro utility on the buyer’s websites which are already or with domain and hosting in place will set it up – all remotely. A site telling a new buyer to interface with coders skilled in S2 member pro adds a layer of scare over and above what the reviewers have achieved.

    Consider some date automation to refresh dates in S2’s help guide files – if content are still valid then they should refresh with more recent date. All of them carry dates five years back and that can be a bit of de-marketing of oneself. If there is intellectual property issue in authorship etc. then better to remove the dates altogether after validating applicability of the help file.

    Beyond this refreshment of existing help as suggested above, make access to support a separately paid feature part of “super pro”- to retain it one must buy support. And retain a person skilled in S2 Members Pro to
    Many queries to it may have replies already made earlier

    Also, some changes in “packaging” is good. For instance why is the additional Pro files provided in a nested folder (I mean one folder in another folder with inside containing the actual utility such that if outer folder with content is uploaded via FTP the pro won’t work. Why S2Member needs to flag this potential – you should not get s2memberspro/s2memberspro/ structure. After I read in some discussion forum I unzipped, removed outer folder and zipped it again to upload only inner folder and it works fine.
    S2Member’s guide says unzip the file and then upload pro via FTP. Why say upload of pro can be only by FTP. Creating additional FTP account etc is not needed – if admin has file manager access via hosting and can upload file as zipped version to desired folder and then unzip it. Anyone habituated to windows explorer etc will find this easier conceptually. If installer like installation via installer like utility is not feasible.

    Since s2 was early on into this, there are much initial plugins on WordPress repository still being used by perhaps the early adopters but as small as 30-90 persons. But plugins were never updated due to perhaps their low adoption. Do they add a useful functionality – is it worth your while to maintain any of them that is seemingly abandoned (maintenance wise) or integrating their competence in the super pro version.

    In one forum post I read you thinking aloud on annual paid renewals.I, a WP code scavenger at best with no coding skills, do understand and appreciate the frustration and the time commitment demanded to maintain any software and offer support. Yet this may need more engagement. The USP of this has been its one time buying cost and usage on multiple websites. These were key considerations in my decision. Instead of making it annually paid perhaps you can consider a fork on the idea of one time payment for pro. Several who are trying out an idea – don’t know if the idea will work and pay any of their initial investment. Some of us living and earning outside the west earning in local currencies like Indian rupee, the dollar values payable for plugin renewal can be large amounts. So building in a renewal concession is good. For comparison lets consider Namaste LMS Premium plugin that has low entry, use on unlimited website offer an interesting 60% off on renewal even if some years you don’t renew. So I would suggest charge more for Pro initially, and also give an initial moratorium – i.e. will get renewals for 2 or 3 years and then say will not. That period the idea has been executed, revenue potential assessed. I would also suggest selling a setup utility or some such that eases first use or can be run one time at first installation by linking to S2’s site and later modifications being manual.

    Someone would need to see compatibility to newer servers and caching solution. I can say you could look into why gzip exclusion is resulting in the following content getting repeated 15 to as many as 56 times in the .htaccess file. the exact lines are
    # BEGIN WordPress
    # The directives (lines) between “BEGIN WordPress” and “END WordPress” are
    # dynamically generated, and should only be modified via WordPress filters.
    # Any changes to the directives between these markers will be overwritten.
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    # END WordPress
    # BEGIN s2Member GZIP exclusions
    <IfModule rewrite_module>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|\?|&)s2member_file_download\=.+ [OR]
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|\?|&)no-gzip\=1
    RewriteRule .* – [E=no-gzip:1]
    # END s2Member GZIP exclusions
    This was pointed out by A2Hosting.com which suggested manually deleting, which I did. But I dont know the reason for its occurrence. On those sites LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress (LSCWP plugin with litespeed enabled hosting. I dont know more on this – I will also write to litespeed too

    Hope this helps in thinking through. All the best.

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