Since I first launched this site in 2008, I’ve been using the same membership plugin. Changing membership plugins is no small feat on a site. There’s tons that can go wrong.
Before I dive into this post, I want to apologize in advance if there are any hiccups in the next week or so as I iron out any problems. Please do report anything to me via email, the support forums, our Slack channel, or even right in the comments on this post.
Out with the old
In 2008, I bought my first “premium” plugin.
And, only about 10% of it actually worked.
The only redeeming quality about the plugin is that it actually allowed me to get paid. I won’t mention the plugin I purchased at the time because I don’t want to send the developers any type of traffic. This isn’t just because it was a bad plugin; it was the poor support experience as well.
Like I said, I could still get paid. I just had to build all the membership stuff myself.
Fortunately, this led me to create my most popular plugin, Members. Of course, that plugin doesn’t have a payment system built in.
Between the purchased plugin, Members, and a lot of spaghetti code that I cowboy-pushed to my site over the years, I had something that sort of worked.
In with the new
I pushed 4 new plugins, 1 plugin update, and deactivated the old plugin today. Here’s a list of the new plugins if you’re interested in what’s running the site.
- Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) – The name says it all, really.
- EDD Members – EDD add-on plugin for memberships by one of our own community members.
- Role Map – EDD Members – Custom plugin I wrote to work with EDD Members and map user roles to the membership options.
- Theme Hybrid EDD – Custom plugin with minor EDD changes.
I decided to go with EDD for a few good reasons:
- It’s made by Pippin Williamson, a developer I have a lot of respect for.
- The code is beautiful. If you’re a developer, I recommend just reading the code to see what code should look like.
- The plugin is easy to extend, which means I have a lot of flexibility to do custom stuff.
- The EDD Members add-on was available, which I only needed to add one feature to.
- I plan to offer digital downloads for purchase other than memberships in the nearish future.
- Easily integrates with my own Members plugin.
I thought I’d be building all of this for weeks. In reality, the bulk of the work was done in one afternoon. I think that scares me more than anything. It was almost too easy.
Issues, comments, etc.
I was able to get rid of a lot of old, janky code on the site. However, I’m still integrating an old system into a new system. So, there’s bound to be an issue or two. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you find a problem.
If all goes well in the next week or two, I’ll do a complete write-up on building a membership site with these tools.