CM Expert Directory (CMED) + Community + Payments - Use Case - Charging Users For Suggesting Experts in Directory

Use Case - Charging Users For Suggesting Experts in Directory

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Note: This guide covers features from


The CM Expert Directory allows you to create a listing of experts, or members. 

By combining the Payments and Community add-on, you can charge users for creating and managing said profiles.


Use Case Front-End

Quick Read: How It Works

  • Users must be logged-in to pay for creating an expert profile.
  • Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce provide the platform needed to collect payments for listings. 
  • You can choose for how long users will have access to the creation and editing feature. When this period ends, you can send automatic email reminders. In order to charge them automatically, you require WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions.
  • Once a non-logged in user submits a new expert, their email is saved and a password is sent once the listing is approved. This process does not create a WP user associated with the listing. However, it still allows user to update their expert listing information without having any access to the WP dashboard or having any other privileges related to WP users.

Use Case Assumptions

In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to charge users for suggesting and claiming experts in your Expert Directory.

We consider that you have already bought the addon, but not installed it. 

This documentation follows:

Installing The Addon

The process is the same for all CM plugins and addons.

  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin  → Plugins settings
  • Click on Add New
  • Activate it and add the license

Installing Payment Plugin (EDD or WooCommerce)

You must choose between either Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce.

EDD or WooCommerce? No Difference For The Plugin

As far as Answers Payment is concerned, there is almost no difference between using either EDD or WooCommerce. 

Both are free and provide free and paid add-ons. The only difference is that you can offer automatic renewals by using WooCommerce and its paid WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on

Head to  Admin Dashboard → Plugins → Installed Plugins and click Add New

Search for either Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce and install it.

Configure Payment Plugins

Don't forget to configure the payment plugin! This way you can connect it to payment providers such as PayPal or credit card companies.


Be sure that your payment plugin has the correct Checkout and Cart pages set up. They are used by the plugin.

External Resources

Setting up a Directory

First, set up the directory if you haven't done so. Since this article focuses on the payment use case, it mostly list the relevant documentation for this first step.

Checking Settings

Navigate to  Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory → Settings. Then click on the General tab.

Read more: CM Expert Directory (CMED) - General Settings (Permalink, Default Image, Admin Edit Link)

Adding First Expert

Head to CM Expert Directory Pro → Add Expert.

Learn more: CM Expert Directory (CMED) - Getting Started - Add Expert

Useful Guides

Letting Users Suggest Experts

Now, allow users to suggest experts. We'll also skim through this part to focus on payments.

Navigate to the  Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory → Settings.

Under moderation settings, choose the roles who can add experts.

Setting Up Payments

Now that the directory is set up and users can suggest experts, it's time to configure payments.

1) Selecting Payment Plugin (WooCommerce / EDD)

Let's start by telling the plugin which payment platform we are using (EDD or WooCommerce). Navigate to  CM Expert Directory Pro → Settings → Payments tab → Payment System Selection section

Only one system can be enabled at a time. In the example below, it's WooCommerce.

TIP: Section is Empty?

Note that in the same screen we can choose the Payment provider: EDD or WooCommerce. If only "disabled" is shown, it means these payment plugins are not activated.

2) Requiring Users to Pay for Adding Experts

Now onto the most important settings of the use case.

Head to the Add New Expert Payments section and check "Require payments for adding new experts". We'll talk about the two other options in a moment.

Then, create a new WooCommerce/EDD product or assign the purchase with an existing product.

3) Requiring Users to Pay for Claiming Experts

You can also charge users for claiming experts. Turn on the option in the Claim Expert Payments section.

And then set the product, like in the other payment settings.

User Perspective

Users can claim existing expert listings by going to the listing page and clicking  show by Claim this Expert.

They only need to add their name and valid email address to receive an email notification with instructions on how to pay for the listing. 


The rest of the process is the same as  Suggesting an Expert:

  • User gets an e-mail.
  • Pays.
  • Gets another e-mail with an activation link.

Learn more: CM Expert Directory Community (CMEDC) - How To - Let Users/Visitors Claim Experts

TIP: This Defines How Much Users Will Pay to Submit Expert

Technically speaking, users will buy a WooCommerce/EDD product that will grant them access.

4) Requiring Users to Pay for Renewing Experts

Automatic Reminder vs Automatic Renewal

There's an important distinction.

  • This Add-on- When the subscription expires, it is not automatically renewed. Instead, the user receives a configurable notification.
  • This Add-on + WooCommerce Subscriptions - When the subscription expires, it is automatically renewed and the user is billed. Learn more below.

If this feature is enabled, users must pay in order for their listing to remain visible to the public in the directory. This is also controlled by a (separate) product in  EDD / WooCommerce to allow the payment. 

One huge difference are the time renewal and notification settings.

You can choose after how many days the listing will expire, requiring the user to make a new payment. Also, you can enable a notification to remind the user about the upcoming expiration.

Automatic Renewals With WooCommerce Subscription

If you have WooCommerce Subscription set up, you can enable automatic renewals. To do so, edit the WooCommerce product attached to the expert submission payment.

In the settings, change Product Type from "Simple product" to "Simple subscription". Then choose the price and period of expiration.


After making the payment, the user receives a link to re-activate the listing or a unique activation code to paste on the expert activation page. 

5) Notifying Users

In each of the options above (payment for adding, renewing and claiming), there are also options to customize the email sent to experts. They follow the same pattern, with some changes:

  • "Payment required" e-mail - Check the box to enable the notification.
  • "Payment required" e-mail subject - Topic of the e-mail being sent after the user adds the expert and it passes the moderation.
  • "Payment required" e-mail content - Content of the e-mail being sent after the user adds the expert and it passes the moderation. You can use the following placeholders: {expert_name} {purchase_link} {activation_page}
  • "Payment confirmation" e-mail subject - Topic of the e-mail being sent after the user purchases the product required to add a new expert.
  • "Payment confirmation" e-mail content - Content of the e-mail being sent after the user purchases the product required to add a new expert. You can use the following placeholders: {expert_name} {code} {activation_link}

TIP 1: Limited Free Listings

In the Limited Free Listing section, you can enable exactly that - and then choose which fields will be available in these limited profiles.

TIP 2: Want Different Expert Levels?

You can achieve levels such as Basic, Pro and VIP with the Member Directory Levels Add-On for WordPress.

User View - Suggesting and Paying

With Payments, the user submission process is the same as in Community.

How To Edit Form

We explain in details how to configure the submission form in the documentation CM Expert Directory + Community (CMEDC) - Use Case - Creating Directory Where Users Suggest Experts.

But now, when users complete the expert submission form, they will see a different message than usual. The message will mention payment.


What Happens On Submission?

You can control what will happen from the settings, section Add New Expert Payments.

  • Payment before moderation - If enabled, users will be able to pay even before the admin moderates the submission.
  • Instant payment - If enabled, the user will be redirected to checkout immediately after filling the form. Requires Payment before moderation to be enabled.

Checkout Page Example

TIP: Translate Interface

The add-on has over some labels that can be translated. These can be found in Settings → Payments Labels.

It's an opportunity to change the interface to your site's language and/or style

Admin View - Tracking Payments

The add-on offers a simple way to track every payment made.


Expert tokens are fully automated, virtual items created by the Add-On to keep track of all of the actions requiring payments.

Accessing Token Dashboard

Navigate to the Admin Dashboard → CM Expert Directory →  Expert Tokens.

This screen will show a table with all recorded payments, along with their attached information. 


  1. Token before clicking on activation link from e-mail.
  2. Token after clicking on activation link from e-mail.

Editing a Token

Clicking on the code directs you to the token edit page, where you can change its status manually. Also here values like Purchase ID, email and types can be changed.

TIP: Activating and Deactivating, Changing Permissions

You can also activate or deactivate each token or edit its token type. Meaning the user will gain or lose permission to:

  • Adding - Add experts
  • Claiming - Claim Experts
  • Pay_per_view - Access experts

Extra - Pay-Per-View: Charging Users For Accessing Profile

When Pay-per-view is enabled, users will be asked to buy a plan when trying to access an expert profile. Select the plan and click   Buy Selected Plan.



To enable this feature, head to the Payments tab → Pay-per-view section.

First, click on "Turn on the Pay-per-view". 

Then configure:

  • Easy Digital Downloads / WooCommerce Product Association - Select an existing EDD / WooCommerce Product which will be required to use the "Pay-per-view" functionality. Or choose the name and price and click "Create New EDD / WooCommerce Product" to automatically create and assign a new Product.
  • Pass items - Number of possible items to be displayed after purchasing a single "pass".
  • Pass days - Number of days the purchased "pass" is valid after it's activated.

Learn more: CM Expert Directory Payments (CMED Add-On) - How To - Charge Users To See Experts (Pay Per View)


With all steps completed, your directory will require payments before user submissions are online.

Use Case Front-End

Get more information about the CM Expert Directory Payments WordPress Add-on

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