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  • How to go from free to pay only on an established forum?

    We're trying to go from an established, free forum over to a pay-to-view forum. The question is - how to take current users (registered) and port them over to paid (paid). I've read some of the posts that I can find as far as setting up a new user group, but don't know where to go from there. Something about an administrator announcement and make one forum that the non-paid can see and place the directions in that? Will I need to port them over from registered to paid manually?

    I know this move has been suicide for some forums before, but we are in a niche market and feel that we can pull this of successfully. We're not looking to make millions - it'll be $25 per year. Besides, the amount of hackers and spam we get is sickening (takes hours to police) and perhaps it will help with this as well as we don't have the manpower to hire a dedicated moderator.

    TIA!

  • #2
    Most forums can be imported to vBulletin.
    http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/m...x_introduction

    Personally, your forum will not be 100% free from spam.
    This very forum is not 100% free from spam.

    There are functions to reduce it and additional addons you can use to minimize spam. That is about the best you can do.

    Edit: You can have paid subscriptions that automatically give permission to members to view/post a particular forum.
    I have that giving members more PMs and additional uploading rights.
    ...steven
    www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
    bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
    "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

    Comment


    • #3
      Start slowly. Move certain functions to paying members(think blog, groups, profile, etc). All new functions should be for paying members only. Add forums for paying members.

      Then after some time shift some forums to the paying members section. Explain the need to your members.

      Do this gradually.
      I buy 420 forums

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by brianj2761 View Post
        We're trying to go from an established, free forum over to a pay-to-view forum. The question is - how to take current users (registered) and port them over to paid (paid). I've read some of the posts that I can find as far as setting up a new user group, but don't know where to go from there. Something about an administrator announcement and make one forum that the non-paid can see and place the directions in that? Will I need to port them over from registered to paid manually?

        I know this move has been suicide for some forums before, but we are in a niche market and feel that we can pull this of successfully. We're not looking to make millions - it'll be $25 per year. Besides, the amount of hackers and spam we get is sickening (takes hours to police) and perhaps it will help with this as well as we don't have the manpower to hire a dedicated moderator.

        TIA!
        Be sure your members will support this move. Recently I asked my members what they would feel about having to pay a small fee in order to be able to post. The responses ranged from full support to the usual i-want-everything-for-free-and-if-I-don't-get-it-i-will-leave-attitude.

        Originally posted by 1996 328ti View Post
        Personally, your forum will not be 100% free from spam.
        This very forum is not 100% free from spam.
        That is because some forums here do not require a license to be able to post. I think if posting cost money spammers will not join.
        Best Regards Tommy

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tommykjensen View Post
          That is because some forums here do not require a license to be able to post. I think if posting cost money spammers will not join.
          True. Hadn't thought about that.

          Sometimes I want to charge $1.00 just so people can join. But my spam is under control.

          I don't think I'd pay $25.00 unless I had a taste of the forum first.
          ...steven
          www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
          bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
          "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses..

            We've thought about it and 25$ seems a bit steep at first. We may go to a 3 month recurring fee of 6$ instead. Those not wanting to put out the 25$ at first might do just the 6$.

            Let me reiterate that we are not going from one type of forum over to VB. We already have an established VB forum and want to change it over from free to paid.

            With this said I can assume that these would be the steps we would need to take:

            1. create a new user group called 'paid' or whatever.
            2. lock all forums to everyone except this user group.
            3. create a new forum for everyone explaining the procedures to pay to become a member.
            4. close it to responses to keep the spamoids from infecting it

            After this is done, what are the steps to tell them to pay (I'm assuming an admin announcement)? How do we know when they pay? When they pay, do they get switched to 'paid' status automatically?

            This is the part we need help on.

            Thanks again!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tommykjensen View Post
              After this is done, what are the steps to tell them to pay (I'm assuming an admin announcement)? How do we know when they pay? When they pay, do they get switched to 'paid' status automatically?
              Sounds like you got it.

              With paid subscriptions you can move a person from one usergroup to another automatically based on the subscription options. When the subscription lapses, they are moved back.
              It is all transparent.
              ...steven
              www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
              bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
              "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll look into it and post again if I get stuck


                Thanks for the support!

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's been so long since I created a paid subscription.
                  Members can select paid subscriptions in their user control panel. <I think>
                  I no longer use that option.
                  ...steven
                  www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
                  bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
                  "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

                  Comment

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