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Subscribe versus account- best practices?

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Throwing this out here since I'm having *splendid* luck with assistance via PL staff today (Yay Rob!).


I've got a site... don't we all?


Running WP/Pagelines with Woocommerce- blog and store. All 3 pieces of this puzzle have their own way of allowing access/maintaining subscriber/customer/user databases. And it seems EXTREMELY dumb + confusing + redundant (in the bad way) to have 3 different ways for someone to become part of your list, all with different functions.


Has anyone had this issue before? How did you solve it? Do you choose one and dump the others? Don't want that because I want people to have the benefit of all 3 (commenting, subscriptions, store account). Could they be smushed together in some seamless and elegant way? Am I in over my head? (WAIT- do NOT answer that last one!)


Okay geniuses, I await the brilliance of the PL hive mind.


Bree :)

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James B

Hi Bree


Are you intending for customers to sign up to an account prior to purchasing?


Rob would really be the best person to advise on this as he runs a large site with a subscription and ecommerce facility. I'm not sure how he manages though. I've copied him in this thread and he'll be in tomorrow so he'll be able to let you know his setup or the options he's tried previously.

Kindly search the forum and read the documentation before posting. It will help you resolve many issues.

For CSS help be sure to check out W3Schools first and be sure to download FireBug for FireFox for troubleshooting.

James B

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Thanks James!


Ideal functionality:

  • Users will not need to sign up prior to purchasing but an account will be created via the purchasing process.
  • Users must sign up to comment
  • Users must sign up to subscribe to the blog



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James is partially correct... I do have a large site, but my ecommerce is all done via Amazon.


The ecommerce plugin has to be able to manage your client account registration, but to be honest, consumers are very wary of those sites which require any registration and there's no security certificate (you'd see a locked padlock in the browser).  They don't like putting credit card info, addresses, names or email addresses into forms that are not secured.


To force a person to sign up before commenting, you need to go to Dashboard > Settings > Discussion and review the options there. You'll find one that says something like "User must be registered before commenting" or something like that. 


Use a 3rd party commenting system like Disqus if you'd like. That helps reduce spam.  Also make sure you have an Akismet account setup (usually free if you do it right) and activate it.  That helps kill most spam.


Now subscribing to the blog is not as difficult as it would seem.  I use a great membership plugin called s2Member that compels registration before accessing certain pages.  It's free and does a great job.


Shop around for the best pricing on security certificates (SSL) for your site.  This is going to be an annual cost, which shouldn't cost more than $79 for your site.  You'd buy those from companies like Verisign or your registrar.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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Hi Rob- good morning (and thanks for the great info)!


I currently have all 3 options set up (subscription through Feedburner, have not chosen a payment gateway yet), but it feels so darn cluttered. For example, if someone has already subscribed they still need to create a user account to comment. Or if they have already created their store account they cannot automatically comment. Have you implemented anything to streamline/sync this options?



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Feedburner is an RSS subscription process.  Totally different from what you described.


I'd use s2Member. 


Include comments only on the posts that are within the membership area. That way, they don't have to subscribe to comment separately from subscribing to view the protected posts (or content). You streamline it into one process for the viewer and yourself. As for the store aspects, protecting that so that someone has to be registered to purchase is a function of your ecommerce solution.


Payment gateways are tricky because you have to evaluate so many variables.  Its not something I deal with, so you'll be best to get advice on this from a hosting company or from solid due diligence into the various programs available.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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Thank you buckets and buckets, Rob!

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No problems.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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