WordPress Membership Plugins: Groups for WooCommerce

Bill: Jonathan, here we are on Sunday I'm going to start again

Here we go A couple minutes of silence Welcome to WP-Tonic episode 26, with Jonathan Denwood and Bill Conrad Jonathan, here we are on Sunday What're we talking about? Jonathan: Well, it's more about plugins, Bill

Bill: Sunday the 8th Oh, my gosh Okay, let's drive on What're the plugins we're going to talk about today? Jonathan: Well, we're going to talk about one particular plugin, but also we're going be talking about some elements that are around this particular plugin, and it comes from a major source That's WooCommerce and WooThemes, and they do a membership plugin called Groups

The reason why this is important, it's a bit like our previous show where we talked about the iThemes Membership plugin, and iThemes offer eCommerce Well, everybody in the WordPress community's heard of WooCommerce and WooThemes, and it's the big gorilla in eCommerce They do a membership plugin that integrates with WooCommerce That's if you've got a website where not only are you selling membership, but you're also selling physical products, digital or actual physical stuff You got an eCommerce site, but you're also wanting the great membership, so some of the previous membership plugins that we've talked about will integrate with WooCommerce, but if you're going down that road and you're already using WooCommerce, you probably would be interested in looking at their products

WooCommerce and their membership product, their micro-plugin called Groups, are both free, but you got to be aware that to get Groups to work with WooCommerce in an actual commercial situation, you have to buy another micro-plugin that will allow the two to kind of work together Yeah, the two are free, but you actually need a third plugin I just want to get some feedback from you, Bill Can you see that this is already starting to get a little bit complicated Bill: I was trying to figure out how to summarize it for my clients

My clients are the folks just learning WordPress, getting into it They're business people, politicians, and you name, they're out there, entrepreneurs They're looking for a membership site By the way, just a quick note We're going to announce the next episode, at least announce what membership site I'll probably be using for New Media Gold

This looks very complicated, but WooCommerce has such a good name Also about WooCommerce, just a little note Patrick Rauland, from WooCommerce is going to be our final guest on the show in three weeks from today Jonathan: He is, and he's the product manager for WooCommerce, but he also deals with the membership plugin side, and he's going to be coming to the show He's an experience developer in his own right

He's produced a number of micro-plugins for WooCommerce himself When I was talking with Patrick, he has told that WooCommerce are going to be introducing, in March, an upgraded version of their Groups micro-plugin which is going to have a lot more additional functionality It's going to be more simple to integrate their own membership plugin into WooCommerce He's going to be talking about that, Bill Bill: Right

He's an amazing guy: well-educated, a degree of science from [inaudible] I think he's from Green Bay initially, and he lives in Denver now, but he's going to be way up here when it comes to this- Jonathan: Oh, he's very informative Bill: He's way up there Jonathan: He's a very likable individual, and he's also going to talk about his experiences in working with clients He's built himself a number of membership websites for clients, so we're going to get his perspective on that as well, Bill

Bill: Right, real high-end clients, to say the least Jonathan: I don't know I think he's done all sorts of work To get back to Groups- Bill: Okay, I'm confused You asked me a question

I didn't want to say it, but I'm really confused on the WooCommerce WooCommerce has got an excellent name I've seen some WooCommerce sites of our clients who are actually free, some plugins they started that are free, but they're limited Jonathan: Yeah You got WooCommerce, which is free, and then you got Groups that is free, but let's say you got some physical products and you put those into your shopping cart

Then you wanted to buy a kind of membership, so you want the membership to go into the same cart You won't want two separate cart systems Bill: Okay, this is good Jonathan: Right? Bill: Yep, this is very good Jonathan: To get that to work, you've got to buy an additional, third plugin which isn't free, so basically WooCommerce and Groups are both free, but you can see that doesn't really do you any

Well, it's great, but you also need to buy this third plugin from them, that will enable you to combine physical purchases with the membership purchase in the same cart Bill: That was well-explained Jonathan: Did I clarify things? Bill: Yeah, that was very well-explained

Basically we're mixing a site where you have I have a client, a brand-new one You have a physical product you're selling, and his product is purses, believe it or not, custom high-end purses Then if we wants to create a membership site for a small amount of money, or even a free membership site, that you can hook into, you've got to get a plugin so you're hooking eCommerce and membership together in the same shopping cart Jonathan: Yes Bill: WooCommerce does have a membership plugin

Jonathan: Called Groups Bill: Called Groups Is that their only plugin they have for membership? Jonathan: At the present moment, but like I said, Patrick will be talking about they're doing a major upgrade of that plugin system, which he will be able to discuss in much more detail than me I think they're responding I'm only surmising this, Bill, but I think they're responding to iThemes products which we talked about in our last show, which is the same scenario

They offer a full eCommerce system with membership integration in the same shopping cart, so I think that's clarified a bit for you Then there's another part of this kind of system that WooCommerce provides, and that's something called a learning management system Building a membership site, building a structure of deliverables that you're going to offer in the membership site, is not a easy task You're probably learning that yourself, Bill, are you not? Bill: Oh, yeah I have a really basic membership site right now, but yes

Jonathan: Right Building the structure of the offering is not easy, so there's a couple learning management systems They're called LMS for short, and they're aimed at schools and educational, but they can be used by people constructing courses in their membership structure Most membership sites are a learning process They are offering materials over a period of time

They can be very structured Here's a membership course that lasts for 12 weeks Here's a membership course that lasts for six weeks If you're offering that kind of membership site, utilizing one of these LMS� can be quite beneficial, because it gives you a structure that give a framework where you can put week one in, week two in, week three in, week four in This is why I brought this up, because I've gathered what you told me, what you're trying to do, this kind of membership structure probably has some relevance to what you're trying to build? Bill: Right, and here's what I am doing right now under New Media Gold

We went ahead and did all the research, and I actually learned my WordPress a lot of different ways, but WP101 I bought a year ago for $75, an individual membership I have actually gone in and got the rights to offer that to my members, the WP101 You can't beat it, so I'll be integrating that today in our basic membership site, but the next level, we're going to start teaching WordPress, streaming media, and Google+ Those are separate little courses They're lifelong courses

We're going to update them They don't have to be complicated, so that's what I'm really looking for is a membership site that we can allow people to get on and watch those courses Jonathan: Will we have a structure where they will be taken through a number of weeks? Bill: I can do that down the road I will do that down the road Right now, though, I think I'm just going to offer the courses

Here's the seven courses for WordPress Excuse me, 20, but Jonathan: At the present moment, an LMS is not

sometime it might be, so at the present moment, that's one of the strengths of WooCommerce, because they've got this and you'll probably be able to pronounce it a bit better than me, because I'm notorious for butchering Sensei, S-E-N-S-E-I? Sensei They offer this other plugin system which gives you a rather nice LMS Basically, if you're going to sell physical product and also a membership area, and in that membership area you're probably looking at a 6, 12-week, 12-month kind of structured course framework, they offer you this additional plugin that will help you construct that, and it all should work together This LMS they offer is not free, though

There's a lot of planning If you're looking at these free plugins that come from WooThemes, and you're working on a serious membership site that's going to have a lot of course content, this is probably a direction which you're going to be interested in We're already talking about four plugins that come from them, and actually they've got a whole library of other micro-plugins In my experience, Bill, if you're going down this road, you're probably looking at four or five other micro-plugins that come from them It starts getting reasonably complicated, even if you're not doing any kind of custom coding

Bill: And expensive Jonathan: Well, yeah, but it depends on your are you a real hardcore hobbyist when it comes to WordPress? You might not be a top PHP coder, but you got a lot of the experience? If not, I think you'd probably be best looking at somebody to help you with this, because even though if you're not going to do any custom coding, this soon starts to get a bit complicated

Bill: Right Jonathan, maybe we'll talk about this a little bit in the next show, in a lot of detail, but for example I use InfusionSoft in the backside, which is a very difficult program to master InfusionSoft sells a membership site for $70 that you can use, a month, but they're providing expert advice and guidance and that sort of that Jonathan: Well, that's the other factor that's attractive, like what I mentioned with some of the other plugins that do work with InfusionSoft I'm almost 99% sure that there's a micro-plugin in the WooCommerce library of third-party plugins that works with InfusionSoft

Bill: Right InfusionSoft actually offers to host, do everything for the membership site Jonathan: Yeah I can't remark on that because- Bill: It's like one solution Jonathan: I've never utilized that solution, Bill

Bill: I have one friend that uses it a lot He's high-end, making a lot of money, but he just has a lot of money When you're making $2 million, $15 million profit a year, you can contract out a lot of stuff I want to ask one question

On top of what I'm trying to do with a membership site, for our political friends who are running for office, I need to create a great membership site that they can easily use and understand so people can sign up, they can be in that group, get email, and then also be assigned tasks, things of that nature They need a real simple membership site More than just an email list, but some kind of membership site where can get product download, flyers, information, campaign materials, things of that nature Jonathan: Actually what you're talking about is that they need to restrict areas that are restricted only to certain people that got rights to login to certain areas of the website That's what you're really talking about

Bill: Then they all need an independent login for that website I guess you could do that in WordPress with the users, but that's a lot of work, a lot of data entry You want to do it automatically Jonathan: I think you're utilizing the wrong wording, Bill, but I think I have a clear idea How are we doing for time, Bill? Bill: We're doing about 15 minutes

We got about three to five minutes Jonathan: Right, so in that your particular scenario, let's talk about your specific In the next episode, we're going to talk about some other membership plugins that we didn't talk about

Bill: Right, and we're going to be talking about what I'm going to be using Jonathan: We're going to do a general over and I'm going to recommend some of them For your particular scenario, Bill, I would recommend Pippin Williamson's- Bill: I thought we were going to wait till the next one Jonathan: Well, we might as well do it now Bill: Well, let's go into detail on the next one

Jonathan: Righty-oh Bill: I want to finish up with a commercial for you Jonathan: Righty-oh Bill: WP-Tonic and Mail-Right Jonathan: Yes

Bill: I know you're leaving down to Las Vegas for five days to go see the vets First client are really veterinarians Jonathan: I'm going to be dewormed Bill: Yeah, dewormed I think Mail-Right's got tremendous potential, especially the ability to program out all your social media, the backside

Jonathan: Well, it's more than that actually, Bill I just want to give you a quick because I didn't really explain to you what exactly Mail-Right is

I never felt that I really clarified what I wanted to take this product to, because this is a beta 001 product It's the bare minimum product that's got viability Really what my final ambition with this is, Bill, is that it is a retention marketing automation system, aimed at small to medium-sized businesses, where you can get effective outreach via email, which has still got the highest return on investment of anything It automates it, but also helps automate the social media outreach

You've been doing a lot more under my guidance, but you can see the amount of time it takes up, doesn't it? Bill: You have to systemize yourself It's a whole process Yeah- Jonathan: It takes a lot of time up Bill: We'll schedule next month for a different topic, but in two months, maybe we just need to do four courses about social media Jonathan: Oh, yeah, I think that's right, Bill

It takes up a lot of time, so Mail-Right automates that It's only so far that you can automate it, but I think where we're aiming to automate it provides value, and also gives the ability of the client to still do some of it themselves That's what we're proposing, but the next version up Give you this quick scenario Let's say you got a veterinarian practice, and let's say it's got 2,000 clients Let's say, though, they're 50/50 dogs and cats clients Of those cat clients, let's say over 50% only come in once a year The principle of the practice wants to encourage those particular cat owners to come in more than once a year

It's beneficial for the cat, it's beneficial for the owner, if they do come in more often What Mail-Right would do is that we would provide a email strip system When the vet imports the data into the system, it will have the ability to find all the cat owners that haven't come in for over a 11-month period of time It will list all those, and then it will send a specific email to those cat owners that have not been into the practice for 11-month period Often, there may be a special inducement to come in to the practice to have a general check-up of their cat

Bill: Yeah It's a nice, simple way to manage your clients, to get information out, and to automate, and it's not as expensive as my $200 a month that I pay InfusionSoft Jonathan: Well, some of our products will be on the higher end, but what I propose to offer is different levels: pure, total automation, and then levels where we're helping the client, but we are becoming a kind of consultant to actually help the client build their practice Bill: Okay, Jonathan, what I'd like to do at the end of the next show, one last commercial for you at the end of the next show We'll look about cats and animals, and how it helps them through the veterinarians

Jonathan: [crosstalk] Bill: Let's see how it could help the politician, because I've got some ideas how it could help the politician Jonathan: We're changing it from WordPress into a pet-owning show, aren't we, Bill? Bill: Yeah No, I'm going to talk to about the end of the next show, what I'm looking for the politicians of 2016, what I think they need, and how that kind of can work for them Jonathan: I'd like to say, I'm excited that we're getting Patrick on, because WooCommerce, when it comes to membership, is popular with people because a lot of them are selling physical product If you're in the WordPress community, a lot of people do look at WooCommerce as their shopping chart platform, so a membership that integrates with that is attractive

Bill: Very good, so that's the end of episode 26 It'll be going up tonight, Sunday the 8th We're going to take a break and come back, and record the next episode for next week since we're all going different places I'm going to San Diego You're on the road the week after that, so anyway, good show, Jonathan

I'm looking forward to figuring out what I'm supposed to do with New Media Gold on our membership sites Aloha? Are you talking- Jonathan: Aloha Bill: Say bye Jonathan: Bye

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