OK we (my client and I separately) have paid for a WPMU DEV membership and use several of their plugins. Many of them have major issues that - if it were my company - would prompt me to fire the entire design team. I've had to write extensive CSS modifications to get these plugins to work and look acceptable on our production site floridanewsflash.com. But let's just focus on the problems with Membership.
For one thing, you would expect a Membership plugin that is designed to control access to to protected content to actually prevent users from bypassing the plugin to register for the site. You can't control this with the plugin at all. If you turn off self-registering in WP settings, then the plugin doesn't work either and users can't register. With it turned on, users can just blow right past the /register/ page and go straight to the default wordpress registration page. When you ask for help from WPMU DEV support, they'll give you different semi-workable solutions with very little detailed documentation on how to implement them, with different support people giving entirely different solutions. REGISTRATION CONTROL SHOULD BE PART OF ANY MEMBERSHIP PLUGIN! NO EXCUSES!.
We were getting 50 signups a day by spammers and hackers through the default WP registration. Finally I was able to get a solution but I didn't get it from WPMU DEV support, I got it from a google search on how to override the default wp registration url. It was so easy, I can't believe it wasn't integrated in this plugin in it's pre-beta stages. We ended up removing 600 users that bypassed membership registration.
NEXT ISSUE: Backend Control implementation is amateurish and rudimentary, barely usable. What it does is make menu items appear and disappear based on how you set up the membership assignments. But if you already have a URL to one of the backend management pages, the plugin does nothing. We have a plugin that allows Vendors to create Deals and post them onto a Deals store. We wanted to prevent non-premium members from getting to the back-end to add and edit their deals, but if we put any links on the site to those back-end pages the plugin does nothing to hide those pages behind the protected content page.
NEXT ISSUE: The MailChimp integration should be a MAJOR EMBARRASSMENT to WPMU DEV. You have multiple memberships capability in both hierarchical and vertical configurations. Memberships can be either dependent on other memberships (You must be a member of group 1 to be allowed to join group 2) or independent memberships (you can join more than one membership). So how do you implement MailChimp? One Single Mailing List for Members!!! How is that supposed to work?
How can you expect a website with five different independent memberships to use one single mailing list? The fact that it's a Membership site with multiple memberships dictates a design pattern that requires you to have multiple lists. Why? Because website operators that use Membership plugins would like to use their mailing lists to market Premium memberships to Free Memberships, or push members of a "lite" membership into a "pro" membership with email campaigns.
If you ask Support why this is, you will get you the unacceptable response that you could hire somebody to custom code that capability. Are you kidding me? It should have been one of the PRIMARY design features of integration with a mailing list API, not an afterthought.
And watch out if you DO choose a mailing list for "memberships". If you have multiple memberships in a hierarchical structure (free joins group 1, group 1 joins group 2, group 2 cancels and drops back to group 1, etc.) the plugin will remove the email address from the mailing list and re-add it back to the same list. I suspect the workaround is to allow users to be able to join multiple memberships at the same time, but I haven't tested this because it doesn't fit with the visitor/free/premium hierarchical structure of our website.
No doubt, any response from WPMU DEV to this review will suggest that it's not their fault because "it wasn't designed that way". Well, I hate to tell you guys over there at WPMU DEV. Your design team is out to lunch. After doing software development for nearly 2 decades, I can assure you that you need to hire somebody who's actually worked developing software for clients to keep your development efforts aligned with reality. Otherwise you're allowing programmers to design software. That's about as good an idea as letting programmers test their own code.
You need to think about the UX more than you think about the UI. Having some missing or kludgy implementation and rationalizing that "the user can program it out themselves" is unacceptable. Your Subscription price for this software is around $500 per year. That's not cheap, and your users will pay this to get "out of the box" functionality they can use on a client website without having to charge hundreds of hours to custom program that functionality.
And finally, UPDATE YOUR VIDEOS. All of the videos for Membership show screens that don't even exist anymore, making it nearly impossible to learn how to use it.
Other than these major issues, Membership does some things well, if you can figure out how to use it.
Jerry Boutot MTA MCAD MCP
CEO - AppDataWorks, LLC
Well written and maintained. Yeah there have been bugs .. but the code itself is like poetry. Pure OO PHP which is refreshing. Very easy to extend, write add-ons for and fix if anything goes wrong.
It works great out of the box for those of you that are not very technically inclined but is also quite modular so you can extend it easily if you are an agency.
One pro tip, it makes sense getting a membership with WPMU DEV if you pick this up. Even if for just a month till everything is setup and running smooth for support and updates as the PRO one is on a better release cycle.
Once you get an understanding of how things work using the plugin, you're alright and can make things happen. But so far, there is one functionality [or feature] I don't like at all about the Membership 2 plugin.
Generally, subscribers can register to your site on the "outside" of the plugin or without using the plugin. Hidden content or material that you plan to use the plugin to protect works just great.
As on my site I have only 1 subscription level - the paid feature. However, using the widget login for your membership also have a "Register" feature or button under the login area. Therefore allowing subscribers to still register for membership bypassing your payment feature.
Keep in mind I don't have content to use the registration feature for. Any content that is available to registering subscribers is the same content available to any visitor without registering to the site.
That "Register" button or feature needs to be removed from the login area or something should be done to prevent them for registering when you are only using the payment method.
Just a suggestion.
There plugin works as fantastic.
Also, the support answers very quickly and clearly.
The possibility at any time to upgrade to the Pro version, if you need more features such as coupons is really impressive.
Therefore, no other assessment than the full 5 stars is conceivable for me.
Keep it up !!!
Although the upgrade dropped all my memberships, which I am still having to fix unfortunately - on the whole it's a great plugin and works generally quite well. I have a site of over 1000 members and it handles the permissions perfectly.
This plugin allows me to run my site professionally and effectively. Thank you.
A lot of the best advertised features (media protection, mailchimp integration, are two examples) are really only basic implementations, which require extensive coding and styling to work well enough for a production site.
There's a lot of potential, but they should focus on polishing and solidifying the feature base before adding anything new.
thanks a lot
perfect on: payment and billing and auto-emails
Was just about to go buy the pro version until I realized that these greedy little idiots actually thinks that someone is going to pay them MONTHLY for it. I don't think so. One set price would suffice unless you plan on taking over the job of administering the entire plugin and manage the members for me as well. I don't pay you to my job. This is a miniscule little piece of junk when you consider all that S2members has to offer at a one set price deal. Nice try... Hang on to those food stamps... ya gonna need it.
A plugin with a lot of potential.
Still a little buggy tho - bbPress forums only showed up for me after turning the add-on off and on a few times. Additional Automated Messages gave me a blank screen, but seems to be working since the last update. So some minor bugs that are annoying but looks like they're being addressed.
I chose this plugin over all the others because it supports content dripping. Sadly, it turns out members do NOT receive an email when new content becomes available. You'll just have to explain to them whenever that happens, and they'll have to remember it and visit the site -_- How can you NOT send an email on new content?!
If that important omission gets fixed and the bugs are all gone, I think I just might go Pro for this one. It really has great potential.
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