Pay to register

gstar

Member
I'm looking to implement a pay to register feature.

I've found a couple of add-ons but they all appear to not be available anymore.

Is there such an add-on that is compatible with latest Xenforo version?
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
XenForo has a user upgrades system built in.

A user has to be registered first to use it. Once they are registered, they can purchase a user upgrade which promotes them to another user group, and it could be that user group that actually gives them access to the premium parts of your site. Upgrades can also be on a recurring subscription basis meaning they have to pay continually every X period to retain access, if they cancel or stop paying then they are demoted back to the user group that can't do anything, until they purchase it again.

https://xenforo.com/help/user-upgrades/
 

gstar

Member
Hi Chris, thank you for the clarification. Unfortunately, this is not what I require. I wish to not allow any registration unless payment is complete. Is there no functioning add-on that allows for this?
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
I've seen people assert this need before, but it seems strange to me how this built in function doesn't meet that need.

If registering an account gives you access to nothing until there is a payment, the end result is the same.

I'm not aware of any other way of doing it, but it seems to me like the built in functionality is perfect for it.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
I'm not aware of anything.
The built in version will allow endless registrations that may or may not upgrade once registered.
In terms of managing that specific scenario, it's relatively easy to purge accounts using the Batch Update Users tool. It's a manual process, but you can delete all users who aren't in the paid user group who registered between X and Y.
 

Verringer

Active member
Hi Chris, thank you for the clarification. Unfortunately, this is not what I require. I wish to not allow any registration unless payment is complete. Is there no functioning add-on that allows for this?
I just wanted to give my opinion here. Allowing registrations has a the benefit of allowing you to send out periodic emails to users who aren't upgraded and offer a support forum if anyone has an issue paying.

Also, not sure what this is but it says "paid registration" - https://xenforo.com/community/resources/xencentral-invitation-paid-registration-system.2332/
 

Sadik B

Well-known member
OK I pressed Post Reply too soon. To add to my post,

It is absolutely vital to conversion that people can pay to register instead of registering and pay. My main expertise from freelancing for several years now has been working with big and small membership sites. Working on these paid membership sites, it usually boiled down to the following scenario.

- Owner wants to restrict content behind a paywall. Chooses wordpress and one of several available wordpress membership plugins.
- Realizes he needs a forum. Or in many cases wants a forum from the beginning
- Sometimes he / she wants to keep all paid content inside forum itself.
- Finds out there is no way they can have both the best of wordpress and forum and also be able to manage paid members.
- Too many systems... HEADACHE! :)

Mostly people who make a good amount of money from their paid members end up hiring people like me to help... One client got so tired of having to manage so many different softwares (wordpress, amember, xenforo, crm) that he asked to build a plugin in xenforo which could do pay to register utilizing all of xenforo's available user upgrade functions and that is how I coded pember.

I've seen people assert this need before, but it seems strange to me how this built in function doesn't meet that need.

If registering an account gives you access to nothing until there is a payment, the end result is the same.

I'm not aware of any other way of doing it, but it seems to me like the built in functionality is perfect for it.

What happens Chris is that online sales is a game of numbers. You will have X number of people in your email list. Y, which will be a percentage of X between 0.5 to 10 percent is what converts from sales page visitors to people who actually buy. If you inject even one additional click to the buy process it affects your conversion rate. It may seem superficial that people don't want to buy if they have to add a username , password first but that is actually what happens.

Traditionally forums were not built for sales, so such considerations have not been factored in any of the major available softwares but this is one area where xenforo could really improve. A sales page creator, pay to register, upgrades, downgrades and refunds auto adjusted, more payment processors, membership stats etc. if implemented in xenforo could dramatically change how xenforo is seen in online business circles.
 

Will Franco

Active member
I've seen people assert this need before, but it seems strange to me how this built in function doesn't meet that need.

If registering an account gives you access to nothing until there is a payment, the end result is the same.

I'm not aware of any other way of doing it, but it seems to me like the built in functionality is perfect for it.
Hey @Chris D

The end result may be the same but the amount of money that hits your bank account will not be.

Register then pay vs Pay then register.

For a paid community, the psychology of the payment process is radically different.

The same difference is found between Cancel membership to update card vs Update card and automatic renewal. Coming from a system that does that latter, as does every other e-commerce platform, for example, Shopify, Stripe, WooCommerce, [with respect] the former seems ass-backward. There's a reason these companies do it the way they do.

In regards to Pay then register, the act of paying first initiates the commitment stage. The user has paid and the desire to register is primed. In the Register then pay flow, the user may second guess the decision and the clunky upgrade process may give them doubts about the quality of the community.
 

CivilWarTalk

Active member
The same difference is found between Cancel membership to update card vs Update card and automatic renewal. Coming from a system that does that latter, as does every other e-commerce platform, for example, Shopify, Stripe, WooCommerce, [with respect] the former seems ass-backward. There's a reason these companies do it the way they do.
This is the best explanation of this problem I've seen yet.

I frequently have trouble with members who wish to upgrade their premium membership in Xenforo, probably half a dozen times a year. It's always confusing to explain they need to cancel their premium membership first in order to upgrade, if the member gets really confused about what you are trying to explain, and why they need to "cancel their subscription first" which has happened on more than one occasion, they may give up, sometimes after cancelling the old subscription, so then you've got no money coming in. What are you going to do? Complain to the member?

If I disable the rule that says you can only subscribe to one premium option at a time, they end up with two premium subscriptions at the same time, and I have to manually cancel the old one in XF and Paypal. If I forget to delete the old premium subscription, they are charged twice, and that never goes over well. They never understand why they were double billed. One member threatened a lawyer over that. I don't need that stress...

Don't get me wrong, I really like XF, but that's frustrating, especially when someone is trying to hand you more money.... It is a somewhat backwards logic for collecting money in a subscription system.

Sorry if I'm straying off topic a bit, but to my mind, the subscription system could use an overhaul, and I don't think that's asking too much.

I can see the advantage to the Pay then Register schema, or even better: a Pay AND Register in one step schema! One clean simple interface to register and make your payment to get access, isn't that how just about every shopping cart works today?

My forum doesn't currently need that functionality, but if it was available, I might find a use for it. I could even see using that as an Anti-spam tactic with larger successful forums. What to Join? There is a $1 entrance fee. That would probably keep many many spammers out. But it would need to be a turn-key payment & registration option....
 

beerForo

Well-known member
I frequently have trouble with members who wish to upgrade their premium membership in Xenforo, probably half a dozen times a year.
XF is using an ancient version of the PP API.
 

Ralle

Well-known member
The upsides to the version we have today is that you can have a forum such as Staff Contact on my website. It allows for private support with your account in case there is a payment problem or refund issues. You can have the conversation on-site instead of via email. You basically just create a forum where normal users can only see their own threads and staff can see them all so they can respond.

Anyway, just my two cents.
 

CivilWarTalk

Active member
XF is using an ancient version of the PP API.
Thanks for pointing that out, I think I've seen the thread before. Make me wonder why XF hasn't updated the API after all these years. That thread was started 9 / nearly 10 years ago, and they still haven't updated the API? Is there something the old API does that you can't do with the new one? Hard to believe that could be true.

Or is it one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." issues? Because it is broke in my humble opinion, XF is behind the 8 ball and while this might not be a deal breaking issue for any particular forum owner, it's issues like this one, and others similar to this that make some forum owners like me wonder if XF is keeping their design standards in the right place.

Issues like this make forum owners like me wonder if there are better forum platforms out there....

Don't keep me / us wondering.... I want XF to be the place to be.
 

Will Franco

Active member
There's a reason we buy through PayPal and not bank cards. Because people don't want to fill out forms to buy items online.

Register then pay functionality is equal to enter your address to purchase.

Pay then register gets the payment out the way, first. The customer now has the buy-in to complete step two.

I've thought of a great way to describe the benefits of Pay then register against Regstier then pay.

While it’s unclear how much money 1-Click brought Amazon, one estimate, which assumed the technology increased Amazon sales by 5 percent, valued the patent at $2.4 billion annually.

REF: https://digiday.com/marketing/end-era-amazons-one-click-buying-patent-finally-expires/

Amazon's patent has expired, now the big 5 and online retailers are jumping on board.

For a forum with paid upgrades, a one-click PayPal (payment and registration) would be the best payment system. The same system for upgrades. This would yield a significnalgy higher conversion rate compared with Register then pay.
 
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OliviaKind22

New member
XenForo has a user upgrades system built in.

A user has to be registered first to use it. Once they are registered, they can purchase a user upgrade which promotes them to another user group, and it could be that user group that actually gives them access to the premium parts of your site. Upgrades can also be on a recurring subscription basis meaning they have to pay continually every X period to retain access, if they cancel or stop paying then they are demoted back to the user group that can't do anything, until they purchase it again.
Or is it one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." issues?
 

Will Franco

Active member
Or is it one of those "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." issues?
This assumes the {company} forum has a free option. In a 100% paid forum, the register then pay function disincentives sign-ups. For example, I can cite a dozen times where I've bailed because an online vendor doesn't have a one-click PayPal option. The necessity of typing my address, card number, billing address, username, a password is a huge deterant.
 

CivilWarTalk

Active member
Interesting how in the recent Xenforo Insights Video, Episode 5, Community management, part 2


At 54:45 you can hear Mike from Audentio praise XF for offering a Core Community Platform that let's you create a community Premium Membership Model that's your own, that you don't need to share funds with anyone else. Apparently that's a rare feature and maybe that's correct.

Nothing against Mike's comment, but the integration with the payment systems is still in the Stone Age, or maybe at one time it actually advanced to the Copper Age, but it sucks to have my own Premium Membership Model and loose payments, and sometimes clients, because the system isn't robust enough to handle Premium Member's financial requirements without confusion and chaos.

The payment platform integration can go a lot farther to be a part of 2021, and actually serve all our needs.

This problem has been around for 10 years... and all we needed to do was integrate the Paypal NVP API?

I'm not asking for a Light Saber included with the forum, just a payment system that works with our subscriptions....

Good enough... just isn't.

I don't mean to rant about this.... yes I do.
 
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