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Content and Paid Membership

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2:53 am on Nov 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've been asked to research the possibility of putting together a "fan club" paid membership site, but haven't the foggiest idea where to start. We're hoping to offer exclusive articles, interviews, chat, message boards, downloads and things of that sort. Is there a good piece of software out there that will both charge the credit cards and email the new members their username/password in addition to the content portion?

Someone suggested PostNuke to me as a possibility, but will it handle the "paid" part of things, too?

Thanks,

5:32 pm on Nov 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a PostNuke site myself, but don't offer any service, though... but I think it's quite easy to do.

In PN, you can assign certain users to groups.

PostNuke has a powerful (but a bit complicated) way of handling permissions. You can allow particular users or groups to do certain things (for example view or administrate) with certain modules.

Those credit card companies allow you to use their api - this way you could execute some php script (PN is php-based) that would make appropriate changes in the database every time someone makes your richer.

That's all you need to know... now here's what I would do:
1. create a group (called "premium" for example).
2. set appropriate permissions ("only members of "premium" group can view certain modules")
3. create a new table in your database, where you would store nicks (or ID's) and expiration timestamp.
4. create a script that would remove users from group "members" if time < timestamp_in_that_table.
5. run this script regularly (CRON or something similar).
6. create a script which would would be executed by every purchase. it would just add payee to the "premium" group (if he's not there yet) and add (or update, if he's paid before) that table from point 3.

I'm not sure if you'd need separate modules to display free and premium content - you'd have to ask at Post Nuke forums (http://forums.postnuke.com).

Keep in mind I'm not an experienced programmer, so there might be better solutions.