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How to setup basic Paid Subscriptions for VB 4.x (and 3.x, they are the same)


  • How to setup basic Paid Subscriptions for VB 4.x (and 3.x, they are the same)

    Apologies for no screenshots at this time, I will add some in when attachments get better supported in the near future. In the mean time I have made the instructions very specific as to where you need to go- everything is inside the Admin CP.

    Often Administrators want to setup their forum so that users who register can purchase a paid subscription when they register. Unfortunately the way vBulletin works that is just not possible without some sort of custom modification. Instead we will do the next best thing-

    1) Guests will have permission to view but not post at the forum
    2) Registered users (who register for free) will also have limited permissions but they will see a notice at top with a link to allow them to purchase a subscription
    3) Users who have paid the subscription can view and post to all the forums Registered Users used to be able to post in

    This process involves multiple steps in the Admin CP, so to start log into the Admin CP of your forum.

    1) We start by making a new usergroup which we will call “Paid Users”

    a. Make sure Registered Users group has all the permissions you want your Paid Users to ultimately have. This usually means they can post and see all your forums except private staff only forums
    b. Go to the Admin CP -> Usergroups (on the side menu) -> Add New Usergroup
    c. Choose “Registered Users” from the Create Usergroups Based Off option at the top and press GO
    d. Give the new usergroup the name Paid Users and a short description.
    e. Press SAVE at the bottom, you now have a duplicate of your Registered Users group called “Paid Users.”

    2) Now we must remove permissions from the Registered Users group you do not want free users to have. From now on “Free Users” will basically be interchangeable with “Registered Users” because that is the free users usergroup.

    a. Go to Admin CP -> Usergroups -> Usergroups Manager -> Registered Users -> Edit -> Go
    b. Scroll down to Post/Thread permissions
    c. Set all options under Post/Thread Permissions to NO except perhaps “Can Rate Threads” – that is up to you.
    d. Press SAVE at bottom of the page.

    3) Registered users no longer have permission to post, now we must create the subscription that allows them to post again if they purchase it. First we need to setup PayPal if it isn’t setup already

    a. If PayPal has already been setup skip to step g, otherwise go to the Admin CP -> Paid Subscriptions -> Payment API Manager
    b. Press “Go” next to the Edit on the top (PayPal) option
    c. Set Active to YES
    d. Set Supports Recurring Paymentsto YES
    e. Set the two required email address, if you use your primary PayPal email address for both set them to be the same address
    f. Press UPDATE when done
    g. Go to Admin CP -> Paid Subscriptions -> Add New Subscription
    h. Set a Title and Description. The description can use HTML if you wish.
    i. Usergroups Options- Here you either need to change the Primary Usergroup or Additional Usergroup of the user. For our example lets change their Primary Usergroup to the “Paid Users” group
    j. Best to ignore everything else and scroll down to the very bottom to set a price
    k. Set a price (in US Dollars / and / OR / any of the other currencies), for example 25.00
    l. Set the “Subscription Length” to 1 Year
    m. If you wish to make it automatically recurring (user will get charged again next year) check the box
    n. Leave all other fields blank and hit SAVE
    o. On the next page click on the “Go” button to go back to the subscription
    p. Scroll to the bottom, you will now see a second line where you can add an additional payment option for the same subscription
    q. This time we will offer a monthly option instead of a yearly option
    r. Enter 2.50 for the price in US Dollars (and/or other currency equivalent values), enter 1 Month for the subscription length, and be sure to click the Recurring box.
    s. Click UPDATE at the bottom to save.
    t. We now have 1 subscription with 2 payment options, monthly or annual payments. The annual option is a little cheaper than paying each month.

    4) Our final step is to create a notice telling free users they should purchase a paid subscription.

    a. In the Admin CP -> Notices (on the side menu) -> Add New Notice
    b. Enter a title such as: Upgrade to a Paid User
    c. Enter the notice HTML- this is the content of the notice and yes you can use HTML- we should include a link to the page where you buy subscriptions so customize the following text to your needs and then paste it in the box:
      Hello {username}, the next step is to purchase a paid subscription so you can post on the forums. <a href=”payments.php”>Click here to buy a subscription.</a>
    • Remember you can customize the notice as much as you want, add images, big fonts, or anything else to help people to notice
    • You may need to provide the full URL ( to your payments.php page if you keep your CMS or Blogs in a different directory than your forums. If all pages are in the same directory the shorter relative address is OK.

    d. Set Active to Yes, Persistent to Yes, and Dismissible to No.
    e. Check the box under the first option “Display this notice if…” to User Belongs to Registered Users
    f. Hit SAVE at the bottom

    You have now completed the setup of your first paid subscription. New visitors to your site are already advised to register for free in a built in notice.
    After they register a new notice will tell them to now purchase a paid subscription.

    Clicking on the link will take them to the Paid Subscriptions page.

    They will have an option of an annual or monthly subscription. If you included values in multiple currencies they will have the choice of currency too.
    After purchasing a subscription their usergroup will be changed to “Paid Users” where they will have the ability to post and any other options you wish to give them.

    • Bteck
      Bteck commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok thank you. lol and I don't know what I meant by setup like guest either so how ever many subscriptions I want I just repeat your instructions but change what each subscriber can or can not access?

    • BirdOPrey5
      BirdOPrey5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes... Each subscription will make the user part of a different usergroup. Create usergroups for each "Level" of membership, where Registered Users is the lowest / free level. Give each level above that more permissions and more privileges. The each paid subscription level you tie to one of the usergroups you created.

    • Bteck
      Bteck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Joe I will give it a try here
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