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vB3, PhotoPost, paid subscriptions, a few issues, and a note re: paypal subscriptions

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  • vB3, PhotoPost, paid subscriptions, a few issues, and a note re: paypal subscriptions

    I just wanted to set down for others some of what I've stumbled across in integrating vBulletin3rc2 and PhotoPost4.6, utilizing the paid subscriptions in vb3. Might help someone else, and some of the existing problems may be figured out by somebody else out there, thus helping me out. I'm posting this to both vb and pp forums, since it affects those of us integrating the two in a certain fashion, and a possible solution may lay on either side of the fence.

    Here's the setup. A vb forum set up where users can register (free) and gain access to post to public areas of the forum. Registered users can then subscribe (paid) to gain access to the private members-only area of the forum. The paid subscriptions move a user up from UsergroupPublic to UsergroupMember. Non-paid registered users have access to view images on PhotoPost, and to post comments, but do not have access to upload images. Paid members have a small amount of gallery space to upload images into. Paid members can further subscribe to an "upsize" membership, which further grants them additional privileges, including additional gallery space on the PP side. This is where we start running into some troubles.

    Ideally, this could be accomplished using the secondary usergroups. A subscribed member's usergroup always remains "UsergroupMember", and additional accesses are granted via the secondary groups, for whichever extra features the member has paid for. However, PP does not yet support granting permissions based on vb's secondary usergroups. So for now, changing PP accesses for different subscriptions has to be accomplished by changing the primary usergroup for the subscription, for example from UsergroupMember-Basic to UsergroupMember-Plus. The Plus member has all the same accesses as a Basic member, plus some, and PhotoPost can recognize the group and assign privileges based on it.

    This brings up a shortcoming on the vBulletin side, however, which is that all subscriptions are viewable to all members. Any registered (free) member can see all of the subscriptions which are available for purchase. If site owners set up a paid subscription for say $50 per year, and offer a special perks package for paid members for say an additional $15 per year, someone first signing up can skip the "membership subscription" and just subscribe to the Plus package, for the lower price, and get all the same access privileges as someone who has paid the full price.

    This in turn can be screened on the payment side, at least using PayPal (which is the only method I have played with thus far). If the site administrator has PayPal set up to not automatically accept payments, then new subscriptions can be screened to verify that they are signing up for the correct package, and not skipping the first level membership package. This, however, means MORE work for the admins, not less, which at least in the situation I'm describing was not the desired result.

    Has anyone else found a workaround for this set of issues? Or have any suggestions?


    Lastly, I have one note about paypal payments for vb subscriptions, regarding shipping fees. I discovered this afternoon that in situations where a site owner has shipping fees set up (for items sold in a site store, for example) on paypal, that a small change has to be made to the functions_subscriptions.php file in vb. I had to add a line to the hidden form fields for paypal over-riding the shipping settings on paypal. Otherwise paypal was charging the flat-fee shipping charge to all subscriptions. I added the following line below line 321:
    Code:
    <input type=\"hidden\" name=\"shipping\" value=\"0.00\" />
    This successfully removes the shipping fee from the subscription charges on paypal.

    Jeniffer

  • #2
    Originally posted by OffLead
    This brings up a shortcoming on the vBulletin side, however, which is that all subscriptions are viewable to all members. Any registered (free) member can see all of the subscriptions which are available for purchase. If site owners set up a paid subscription for say $50 per year, and offer a special perks package for paid members for say an additional $15 per year, someone first signing up can skip the "membership subscription" and just subscribe to the Plus package, for the lower price, and get all the same access privileges as someone who has paid the full price.
    This will probably have to be addressed in a future version. The easiest solution will be able to tie subscriptions to certain usergroups. At this time, vBulletin is not designed to handle tiered subscriptions..

    The PhotoPost issues really have nothing to do with the vBulletin software and should be discussed on their site. Their software is not supported by us, nor do we have anything to do with it.
    Translations provided by Google.

    Wayne Luke
    The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
    vBulletin 5 API

    Comment


    • #3
      My apologies if this post was out of line. I realize that the vb developers do not support photopost, but neither do the pp developers support vb. This is an issue that involves integrating these two scripts together, a not at all uncommon occurrance. My hope in making this post was not to receive support on the pp issues here, nor vice versa, but that I might find others who were running into the same issues in integrating the two, and perhaps one of them had thought of a good workaround that I might be able to utilize. I had to explain the issues arising on both scripts in order to demonstrate the whole problem.

      Jeniffer

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wayne Luke
        The PhotoPost issues really have nothing to do with the vBulletin software and should be discussed on their site. Their software is not supported by us, nor do we have anything to do with it.
        Too bad that's the way you feel, but I also understand trying to separate yourselves from other software too. PhotoPost and their support team praise VB software and try to help with VB problems in their customer service Forums. The integration look and feel of the 2 software pieces is the only reason I ever even looked at VB in the first place. I'm sure by the posts at PP, you would see a lot more people that have switched to VB because of PP.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Offlead

          Hey Offlead,

          I had to abandon the Paid Subscriptions setup in VB to accomplish the same thing you are doing. In the USERCP_SHELL template I modified where the link goes by changing this line....
          <td class="$navclass[paid_subscriptions]" style="white-space:nowrap"><a class="smallfont" href="/payments.htm?$session[sessionurl]">$vbphrase[paid_subscriptions]</a></td>
          ....if you notice it points to my own custom made htm page for multiple billing services for the members to choose (CCBill & 2CheckOut). I still can't automate the process due to limited VB scripts for billing services, but it gets the job done. I hope this helps you in your quest.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by OffLead View Post
            Non-paid registered users have access to view images on PhotoPost, and to post comments, but do not have access to upload images. Paid members have a small amount of gallery space to upload images into. Paid members can further subscribe to an "upsize" membership, which further grants them additional privileges, including additional gallery space on the PP side. This is where we start running into some troubles.
            I'm working on a similair setup although I'm not as far as you yet. Wouldn't it be a better idea to let (non-paid) registered users only view a certain number of photos per day and to let paid users view all photos? I think this requires some custom PP coding but I was told that it can be done. Personally I think that users are generally more interested in viewing photos than in uploading photos. That's why I'm considering to let (non-paid) registered users upload a certain amount of photos (well, certain amount of discspace) which at the same time will be a good reason for non-paid registered users to upgrade to a paid membership. Paid users would of course have more discspace so could upload more photos. What do you think about this approach? It's a bit off-topic but I'm curious what your thoughts are about this.

            Comment

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