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XF 1.5 Some Questions About Social Media Integration

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by System0, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. System0

    System0 Active Member

    I'm using the XenCentral Paid Registration system so that new users need to pay a small sign up fee to join my community. It's been the only effective method of tackling spam that I have found.

    * Please note that these questions are not related to the add-on itself but are in relation to how social media integrates with Xenforo.

    The Problem

    Unfortunately, despite only buying the add-on a few months ago, the developers have stop supporting the paid registration and invite system. Several weeks ago I noticed a bug that allowed anyone to sign up and avoid the sign up fee. All they have to do use a social media login.

    Despite acknowledging the error, they have not addressed it and are refusing to answer to any support tickets or posts in the discussion thread for the add-on.

    This is left me in the predicament of either removing the paid registration system or removing social media logins.

    My Questions

    Question 1

    A third option could be to remove social media logins for registration but allow them for members who have registered. Is that possible?

    I have checked the options area and cannot see any options to do this in the registration area or social media integration pages.

    I considered simply removing social media integration for the registration page template, however that page is also used for logging in for existing members. The navigation login menu also displays social media logins and allows people to register if they haven't already did so. Therefore, if I removed social media logins from the registration area I am also removing it for existing members.

    Question 2

    If I cannot remove social media integration for new users, I would have to look at removing social media integration altogether.

    To help me decide whether I should do this, could you advise whether there is any way for me to check who uses social media logins.

    I'd love to see:
    • The number of people who use social media to register for my forum
    • The users who are connected social media profiles to their forum accounts
    • A list of their previous login activity to help me see how frequently they use social media accounts to login to my forum
    Question 3

    Is there a way to use the default Xenforo upgrade system to charge a one off fee to sign up to my forum? If so, none of the issues above are applicable as it means I can charge all new members for registering on my forum natively.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    There's really no ideal way to do this. The integration for registration and logging in is essentially the same thing so blocking one would block the other, as you already summised.

    The first two points, again, are the same thing. There's no distinction here. But the stats can be achieved using User Group Promotions. You can promote your users into a specific group depending on whether they have integrated with Facebook, Twitter or Google. They are all separate criteria. So you could promote users of Facebook into their own group, users of Twitter into another group, etc.

    We don't distinguish between a user logging in with a username and password vs logging in with an external account.

    This would involve effectively removing all permissions from all registered users, and then relying on them going to the User Upgrades system to purchase the paid membership which would promote them into a group which would allow them to do more.

    This isn't strictly speaking designed for this purpose, but some people do make it work that way.

    There is at least one other add-on which offers a paid membership system:
    https://xenforo.com/community/resources/pember-professional-paid-membership-plugin.4214/

    There may be others, but, as ever, ensure you look at reviews and comments from other members using the add-ons before making a decision.
     
    System0 likes this.
  3. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Hi Chris.

    Thanks for responding to this so quickly :)

    The two first points I mentioned are a little different. I should have explained. I was hoping to see who used social media to register and then the total number of people who connected accounts (i.e. those who registered and those who connected accounts later).

    I wasn't looking for users who connected social media accounts to be separate. I was just curious as to whether there was a way to track it. For example, stats that show who uses social media or a database query that shows the number of user rows who have connected social media accounts. It sounds like everything is centralised and this data is not tracked.

    The first method you mentioned sounds like a pain to set up due to the number of permission modifications necessary.

    Pember looks like a great add-on, but is perhaps a little overkill for what I am trying to achieve. It's maybe something I can revisit at a future date, but when I previously used membership plans on my forum I found that the native Xenforo user upgrade system worked really well.

    At the moment all I'm looking for is a simple sign up fee in order to stop spam. That is the main reason for the sign up fee. It is not to generate income. I have tried many different methods of tackling spam and this has been the only effective way of doing it.

    Is a sign up fee something that Xenforo would consider adding to Xenforo 2.0? It doesn't sound like it would be too difficult for them to implement into the core since the upgrade system is already there.

    I was able to remove several anti-spam add-ons when I introduced a sign up fee. It really is the most effective way of tackling spam in my eyes.
     
  4. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Correct.

    A payment wall is frankly a bizarre way to combat spam. We get a lot of spam posted here, but nearly none of it is actually ever seen by members because the measures the software provides ensure that we detect most spam and it is sent to moderation before it can be seen by anyone. We generally have to Spam Clean approximately 20 users a day, mostly via content that is flagged as spam using Spam Phrases. We also have a number of IP ranges blocked that represent common spam sources. We don't use any paid solutions for spam management.

    It's a very niche thing, overall. The User Upgrade system will of course remain, but paid memberships aren't really something we're planning for 2.0.

    Either way, it sounds like you've introduced this with User Upgrades on a XF forum before, so I suggest you just continue with that if that's the route you want to go down.
     
    System0 likes this.
  5. System0

    System0 Active Member

    I have had huge issues with spam on all of my Xenforo forums. I even considered trying other forum software because the situation was so bad and on one of my forums I had to effectively close it down because I did not have the time necessary to maintain it.

    I have used dozens of free and premium anti-spam solutions. The best solution I found tackled spam but it also led to me receiving lots of emails every day with complaints from people saying that they couldn't register etc. From a time perspective, it adds a lot of moderation (which means I'm doing a lot of work that doesn't help my bottom line). Whenever I eased up the anti-spam controls I would get a flood of spam.

    For one of my forums I have set up manual registrations and asked for anyone who registers to email me so that I validate the account. It's not ideal as many people will register and not email me, but it has been the only effective way of stopping spam.

    For my main forum I would prefer a payment wall as it allows people to register immediately and make a post without waiting for their account to be validated.

    It's not paid memberships I'm looking at. That is something that Xenforo currently supports well in my opinion. I was referring to a sign up fee. A simple $5 or $10 fee or whatever that is made on registration.

    I have tried paid memberships but at the moment I am focusing on growth so a small sign up fee and no monthly payment is best for me just now.

    I appreciate your help with this. It doesn't sound like there is an easy solution to this issue so the only way around this is to completely remove social media integration.
     

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