WP-Members™ 2.2 update

I am currently working on some significant upgrades to the WP-Members™ plugin. This will be the biggest change since I made the change from 1.8 to 2.0. Version 2.0 brought in a whole new (and I think – better) approach to the plugin and its purpose. 2.2 will usher in some changes that takes it to the next level.

Most of the changes are on the admin side in terms of customization and they come directly from user requests. The two biggest requests are:

  • The ability to change which registration fields are required
  • The ability to change whether posts are blocked by default

The new admin features in 2.2 will give the admin the ability to pick which fields display in the registration form and also the ability to set which of those are required. This will include all of the WP native fields as well as the contact info fields that WP-Members™ currently uses.

I have found that some users want to simply use the plugin to integrate the login and registration features into their site, but not really block the content based on login. This can be done in earlier versions but requires some code changes. Although these are not hard to make, I wanted to make it even easier for those that don’t like to touch code. The ability to block posts and pages by default will now be managed in the admin panel. Admins will still have the ability to assign individual posts or pages to be blocked or unblocked, this just changes the default setting.

Another upgrade includes the ability to customize the error and dialog messages that the plugin delivers during the registration and update process. For example, all blocked posts put the following message above the login and registration forms:

Content is restricted to site members. Site membership is free, register below. If you are an existing user, please login.

Perhaps you’d like that to read:

Dude, my content is so awesome that I don’t give it out to just anyone. You need to register first. (Of course, if you are already a registered user, by all means – login below.)

You’ll now be able to change these dialogs within the admin panel. However, if you want to customize the look for better theme integration, you’ll still need to know some CSS. There is just no way around that. I have tried to keep the style as generic as possible so as to blend with most themes as best we can out of the box, but there are going to be times that some CSS customization needs to be done.

These changes are a reflection of the vast change in the WordPress community over the past few years where we have seen the shift from users that are code monkeys and like to tweak their blog code to a less “hands on” audience. That’s not a bad thing. It has definitely broadened the audience of WordPress – A LOT. And that’s a good thing. It has forced plugin developers to really think about fully functional admin capabilities geared toward a “hands off the code” approach.

Like I said, this is the biggest change to the plugin since the 2.0 release and I think it’s a great upgrade. Most of the heavy lifting is complete at this point, and I’m mostly bug testing now. I also am testing some various upgrade scenarios so that existing users are minimally impacted by any changes. If all goes well, 2.2 should be released after this weekend.

Comments

  1. Ashley says

    I love the plugin, it works great. I’ve managed to comment out the login and registration form on private pages as I am using a plugin to manage paid subscriptions and memberships while adding users to my mailing list software when they register atthe blog. I am just using WP members to make the posts private and public accordingly and is doing a great job.

    It may be down to the WP upgrades but following your PDF guide I can’t get the members area page working. My page is called members-area and have inserted the quick code in the HTML but it doesn’t seem to display what is explained in the PDF. Can you advise on what needs to be done for WP3? Thanks!

    • Chad says

      What kind of permalinks are you using? If you are using the default (http://yoursite.com/?p=123), that could be the problem. You’ll need to be using some type of permalink that uses %postname%.

      The PDF needs to be updated to reflect the new admin panel – it is using the WP 2.7 admin panel, which was kind of an odd transition for WP and they moved things around a little in 2.8 that makes that PDF obsolete. I will be doing an update in the WP3 panel soon to correspond with the release of WP-Members 3.0.

  2. Ashley says

    Hi Chad, I’m already using the permalink %postname% so the members area page is located at domain.com/members-area/. Any initial ideas? Unless the page needs to be a post with that slug instead…

    • Chad says

      Interesting… sounds like it should be working. Do you have a link where I could look at the site?

      Also, you might try the 2.2 upgrade (or a clean re-install). In your previous comment you mentioned that you were not actually restricting posts, just using it to manage members. The 2.2 version has the ability to toggle this for you so you can actually set it to unblock posts by default (and then you could restrict individual posts at the post leve with a custom field, instead of the other way around).

      Hope that helps!

  3. Ashley says

    Hi, you can view the page at http://www.omniousmusic.com/test/members-area/

    In the source code you’ll see:
    Text before members area

    Text after members area

    When parsed, you’ll just see the two paragraphs.

    I’m also using the other membership tool to process payments and manage subscriptions etc so it wouldn’t be an option to use your toll for all aspects at the moment.

  4. Ashley says

    Also, is it possible to show the content directly before the more tag on the actual post page as opposed to just requesting login/signup? I’m just thinking if anyone social bookmarks a page while logged in it’s pointless having a page with no content appear to non-members.

    • Chad says

      That’s a good point. I would say I think it’s possible by using the excerpt. I will play around with that and see what I can come up with.

      As far as I can see from your other issue, it seems to be working. By that I mean, on the members page it would ask you to login or register if you aren’t logged in. But you said you have commented that out. When I go to the page, it is showing the commented out login/registration form when I look at the generated HTML source. That would indicate that the content for the members page is being inserted correctly… It must have something to do with the way you have the registration form commented out.

      You might want to try the 2.2.1 version and toggle the settings to not block posts so you don’t have to have to do that. That might get you closer to what you need.

  5. Ashley says

    Hi, I upgraded to your new plugin, overwriting my changes and it now works fine. I just need to be a little softer with my commenting out to get it to work how I need it to ;)

    Thanks for your help.

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