Membership product types are linked to security roles, which can be used for a wide variety of things. When this type of product is successfully purchased, the customer is added to a security role in the CMS. This security role could then be used for access to sections on the site, newsletters, new features/capabilities on the site, or simply as a grouping for other features both on and off of the website. You could even take this further, such as giving access to areas you created for digital product distribution and other online content.
The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:
- Have access to your Hotcakes store administration
- Have an understanding of security roles in the CMS
- Have at least one security role created specifically for the product
If you haven't done so already, you should first create a new security role to use for your membership product type.
Membership Product Types
Membership product types can be found in the Catalog section. Click the menu item to view a list of memberships for your catalog.
Initially, there won't be any membership product types available. You'll need to create one. To create a new membership product type, click the Add Membership Type button in the left panel.
The membership product type editing view is the same for new and existing membership product types.
|Name||This is the name of the membership, as you wish for it to appear when editing your products. It will also appear in the grid view here.|
|Membership Role||This drop down list will be loaded with all of the security roles found in the CMS. Choose the one you wish to associate to this membership product type.|
|Expiration Period||There are two fields associated with this setting. The first allows you to enter a duraction in the form of a full number. The second is a drop down list that allows you to define the duration interval, such as days, weeks, months, or years. This is the period of time that the customer will remain in the security role this membership assigns them to.|
Once you have at least one membership product type added, you'll begin to see a grid listing them out. This allows you to see what's been created already, and to edit or remove them.
|Name||This is the name you entered to identify the membership product type for identifcation here and when editing products.|
|Role Name||You'll see the name of the security role you selected here.|
|Expiration Period||The duraction you specified is shown in this column.|
|Period Type||This reflects the duration interval you selected.|
|[no name]||The first option allows you to edit the membership product type. The second option allows you to permanently delete this membership product type.|
Now, these membership product types will be available in the same way that the other product types are. You'll see them available whenever you edit products.
Important Dependency Notes
It's important to remember that this feature works by a chain of features that work together. If any part of the chain is removed, it will cease to function. As an example, if you or someone else accidentally deletes the security role from the CMS, then customers won't receive the product benefits they expected.
On occasion you might have a customer that attempts to purchase the same membership product a second time. This is expected in many scenarios, especially when they might want to renew the membership. They'll likely re-purchase the membership prior to the current membership expiring. When this happens, Hotcakes will simply do the math and add the requisite additional membership time to their existing membership.
As an example, if the membership is for a year and they purchase it again with a month left, the customer will end up having a membership for 13 months, or 1 year and 1 month, once the payment is successful.