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  • How Hard Is It To Do This With vBulletin

    Hi, i'm considering vB in the hopes that it can handle this situation all or mostly out of the box perhaps with additional mods that are currently available:

    * When I sell an eBook by Paypal off my website, I want the customer to automatically get added as a forum member and member of the premium group (there will be maybe one group for non-subscribers that is visible but if they try to post directs them to buy the book)

    * this membership needs to be for limited set time period and with a recurring subscription fee (say $12 a year, for example)

    * if their subscription runs out, they should get cut off from access automatically with a message saying what happened and how to resubscribe

    * At that point of sale, I want a welcome email to go out to them at this time directing them to the private forums with their nickname and temporary password or ideally a generated link that gets them right in.

    * There they can (or must) change their nickname from their default of email address to something of their choosing

    * In the forum there is a sticky thread where the latest version of the eBook is able to be downloaded, which is only accessible to subscribers

    * If someone shares the link to the forum download file and tries to use it outside of being registered in the forum, it is inaccessible ideally with a message coming that they must be logged in

    * In addition to that welcome email after checkout, ideally there should be an auto-return page immediately that the buyer goes to which has the same information as the email, in case they never get the email, which is non unheard of with all the spam filters and IP blacklists.


    OK, so can someone address whether each point is currently possible out of the box, or what extension can do it or how hard it would be to code if none-of-the-above so I can better decide if vBulletin will be right for me?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * When I sell an eBook by Paypal off my website, I want the customer to automatically get added as a forum member and member of the premium group (there will be maybe one group for non-subscribers that is visible but if they try to post directs them to buy the book)
    This would require programming. vBulletin has an API that allows an outside script to create a user and move them to a group.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * this membership needs to be for limited set time period and with a recurring subscription fee (say $12 a year, for example)
    vBulletin does have a paid subscription system, but again you'd have to do some programming to make that happen automatically.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * if their subscription runs out, they should get cut off from access automatically with a message saying what happened and how to resubscribe
    Someone who has a paid subscription can be elevated to a usergroup that has access to a certain area. When their subscription expires, their usergroup would drop back down to not having access.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * At that point of sale, I want a welcome email to go out to them at this time directing them to the private forums with their nickname and temporary password or ideally a generated link that gets them right in.
    More programming on your part.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * There they can (or must) change their nickname from their default of email address to something of their choosing
    Allowing a user to change their username is not a built in feature of vBulletin. You'll have to find a Plugin at vBulletin.org and then modify it so it can only be done once per user. Sounds like a lot of work to me.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * In the forum there is a sticky thread where the latest version of the eBook is able to be downloaded, which is only accessible to subscribers
    You can restrict forums per-usergroup but not threads. You could make a separate page that is only accessible to the usergroup.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * If someone shares the link to the forum download file and tries to use it outside of being registered in the forum, it is inaccessible ideally with a message coming that they must be logged in
    Assuming you've done everything else above, the usergroup permission system in vBulletin will prevent that.

    Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
    * In addition to that welcome email after checkout, ideally there should be an auto-return page immediately that the buyer goes to which has the same information as the email, in case they never get the email, which is non unheard of with all the spam filters and IP blacklists.
    More programming.

    OK, so can someone address whether each point is currently possible out of the box, or what extension can do it or how hard it would be to code if none-of-the-above so I can better decide if vBulletin will be right for me?
    It sounds like one hell of a lot of work for something that should be very simple.

    How many customers do you have per day/week/month/year? Could all of what you are talking about be done manually? What's the point of the forum? To discuss the eBook? How many people buying your eBook do you think will want to talk on your forum?

    I would just sell the eBook and then invite them to your forum and if they register and subscribe, so be it. Every year you can send users an e-mail saying a new version of the eBook is available if they re-subscribe at $12.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your detailed reply. Yes, it's enough sales to be worth the programming effort plus to provide a more quality human-error-free environment. Everyone will want access the forum for the latest updates as well as community of people using the information.

      I'm surprised how much of this requires programming. I thought vBulletin had IPN support...what exactly does that minimally do when a subscription sale comes in? Not even an email, or did I misunderstand your comment about that requiring programming.

      Comment


      • #4
        * When I sell an eBook by Paypal off my website, I want the customer to automatically get added as a forum member and member of the premium group (there will be maybe one group for non-subscribers that is visible but if they try to post directs them to buy the book)
        You can make a private forum to which one can only get access if they purchase a paid subscription. vBulletin offers this, and has paypal ipn support.

        * this membership needs to be for limited set time period and with a recurring subscription fee (say $12 a year, for example)
        This is possible, because paid subscriptions can be set to a period of x weeks/months/years.

        * if their subscription runs out, they should get cut off from access automatically with a message saying what happened and how to resubscribe
        That is exactly what will happen.

        Comment


        • #5
          * In the forum there is a sticky thread where the latest version of the eBook is able to be downloaded, which is only accessible to subscribers
          If you make this private forum + paid subscription you can make the thread sticky and attach the ebook as a file.

          Only those who paid for the subscription will have access and they can then download these attachments.

          Comment


          • #6
            vBulletin has an auto welcome email and paypal supports a redirect back to a set page I think. I don't see why this all requires programming feldon.

            I've done this with my own style and never had problems.

            Comment


            • #7
              Floris, your report is more encouraging and what I expected to hear based off the reports of Paypal IPN.

              Does anyone know offhand if I could get someone to set all this up for me? I could code it myself, but don't have the time so I'd be interested in consulting with someone who can do it for me. I'd feel ready to buy the product if I could see a clear path for solving all my needs with it.

              Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                You requested automatically creating a user account and temporary password under that user's e-mail address, and then allowing that user to change their username AND password to something else.

                Then you go on to request that they automatically be put in a usergroup and automatically be subscribed.

                It's all this automatic stuff that is the issue. vBulletin lets someone sign up for an account, change their password, pay for a subscription, and join any publically joinable usergroups. But making all those things happen automagically in one step is not a built-in feature of vBulletin.

                I think Floris' post sounds good but it leaves out half of your requirements.

                Keep in mind I do not work for Jelsoft, whereas Floris does. So feel free to ignore my posts altogether (many do).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Once you are a customer you can post in the Service Requests forum at vbulletin.org for help with this.
                  Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                  Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                  Steve Machol Photography


                  Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Feldon, thanks. I appreciate hearing from inside and outside the company. I think I have a more accurate idea thanks to your input. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Steve, what is a service request? Hiring someone from Jelsoft to do the work for me at a standardized rate? In other words, is this not the place to find third party contractors as well who can configure vB for me?
                      Last edited by Avimelech; Thu 13 Jul '06, 10:00am.

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                      • #12
                        vBulletin.org is the modifications site for vBulletin. You'd be hiring someone who is not a Jelsoft employee.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Avimelech View Post
                          Steve, what is a service request? Hiring someone from Jelsoft to do the work for me at a standardized rate? In other words, is this not the place to find third party contractors as well who can configure vB for me?
                          We do not provide custom programming services. As feldon23 said you can advertise in that forum for help with this.
                          Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                          Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                          Steve Machol Photography


                          Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ok my confusion I guess came in from you saying "once you become a customer". I want to find out what I'm getting into for the total solution before I purchase. Is that possible there?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I said that because only customers can post in the Service Requests forum at vbulletin.org.
                              Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
                              Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

                              Steve Machol Photography


                              Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


                              Comment

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