CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - Use Case - Creating a Paid Articles Site
Creating a Paid Articles Site With Pay Per Post
RequirementsThis use case requires these to be installed and activated:
- Pay Per Post + EDD Direct Payments Add-on (You receive both products upon purchase) - To block content.. This document uses version 2.3.5
- Either EDD or WooCommerce - To send charge users and send them to checkout
- Subscriptions are not automatically renewed. Once a subscription expires, users should buy a new one
- You can lock any type of post (post, page and even pages created from other plugins)
The CM Pay Per Posts gives the ability to charge users for accessing content on your site.
How It Works
To allow payments, the plugin uses either EDD (Easy Digital Downloads) or WooCommerce. Both plugins are free and grant access to payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe (note that some gateways might be paid)
TIP: Can I Lock Only Posts? Or Pages Too?
You can lock any content type: post, page, and even custom post types from other plugins!
For the sake of brevity, we mostly use "post" in this article and in the plugin interface.
Use Case Assumptions
In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to charge users via direct payment to have access to parts of your website, such as pages or posts.
We also consider you bought the plugin, but not installed it, and that you have not installed either EDD or WooCommerce.
- Installing the plugin
- Payment plugins
- Choose - Charge for accessing each post or for the whole website
- Create options for prices (also called subscriptions)
- Select price for accessing your post or posts
- Define what is shown before payment
- Restrict part of the content (shortcode)
- Set notifications for new subscriptions
- Admin View - Manage subscriptions
- Restrict content created with other plugins
- Translate the interface by changing labels
Installing The Plugin
The process is the same for all CM plugins and add-ons.
- Download the add-on 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 Plugins
Direct Payment: EDD or WooCommerce
EDD or WooCommerce?
As far as the plugin is concerned, there is no different between them. Both have the same features
Head to Admin Dashboard → Plugins → Installed Plugins and click Add New.
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.
Choose - Charge For Accessing Each Post or For Whole Website
The first decision we have to make is how to charge users.
So let's head to the Settings → General tab, where you can configure just that in the "Subscriptions" section.
- User purchases access for each post - Edit a post to set a price for it
- User purchases access for groups of posts - Create a price group, then edit a post to assign it
- User purchases access for either individual posts or groups of posts - Edit a post to either assign an individual price or a price group
Effectively, it's a combination of the previous two
Create Options For Prices
How It Works
- Create a price option
- Assign it to a post
- (Optionally) Create a pricing group and bundle multiple posts into it
In the plugin settings you can define several options: create groups and set its pricing. In the following example, both groups have three subscription tiers.
TIP: Section is Empty?
If there's no option to create a pricing group, ensure these are activated
- Pay Per Post EDD add-on
- WooCommerce or EDD
TIP: For Decimals, Use Periods
When setting prices with decimals, use periods (.), and not commas.
- Good example: 2.99
- Bad example: 2,99
TIP 2: Period Options
You can create options in: minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and lifetime
Select Price For Accessing Your Post or Posts
Time to determine which posts are locked behind a paywall.
First, create or edit the relevant post.
Then, scroll down to the CM Pay Per Posts metabox.
Which options (1 and 2) are available on each post depends on the settings.
- Setting a price group
- Optionally, set one price that will apply only to this post
Now, you should edit each content to set its pricings.
Example: Post With Multiple Pricings
First, we edit the desired post.
Then, we check the metabox "CM Pay Per Posts" and add the price option. In this case, there are two:
- Pricing group "Basic articles"
- Individual price - lifetime access for $40
Now, users will be prompted to pay before accessing the content.
SEO: Show Full Content To Search Engines
For SEO purposes, you can enable indexing the full post content by the search engines' crawlers by enabling the option " Show full post for search engines' crawlers".
The plugin will serve the entire post instead of the payment box for crawlers that request your website with the specific User-Agent HTTP header.
This setting allows search engines like Google to "see" the full post, even if it's behind a paywall.
If the search engines can't "see" the content, they will have a hard time indexing and ranking it properly.
You can manage the supported search engines by editing the setting " Search engines User-Agent list". Each row is in the text field a separate regular expression that will be searched for in the User-Agent header. You can add your own expressions to match different search engine.
Define What Is Shown Before Payment
Back in the General tab, you can choose what is shown to visitors before they pay.
- Show only part of the content (more options) - Specify how much of the content is hidden.
- Hide only content - Hides the complete content.
- Hide full page - Hides the full page, including content, header, and footer.
- Hide specific page elements (more options) - Specify which elements of the page are hidden.
1) Show only part of the content additional options
a) Use post excerpt
- If enabled, post excerpt will be displayed (if available) until the user pays for the access.
- If disabled, the post content fragment will be displayed.
Excerpt ExampleWith the following excerpt The excerpt is shown before the pay box
b) Show first x% content
Show a percentage of the post content. Only works if "use post excerpt".
c) Apply fade out effect
Gradually hides the content, respecting the percentage value.
50% content and fade out effect.
2) Hide Full Post in Frontend
If enabled, will hide the full post (starting from the Read More tag) until the user pays for the access.
Backend vs. Frontend Example
3) Hide Full Page
Hides all elements of the page.
4) Hide Specific Page Elements
ID of Block (only one) to be replaced with payboxes
ID of Blocks to be hidden
Set the element ID which will be hidden. To add multiple, separate them by commas. E.g "main, content, footer".
The element cannot be inside the post/page content.
Note: Doesn't Include Post/Page Content
This feature does not apply to content inside the page/post. As such, in the following example the IDs box and content1 would not be hidden.
TIP: Finding ID
To find the ID of an element, use the inspect tool of your browser. Locate the element inside the elements list (called DOM tree), and copy its ID. Note that not all elements necessarily have IDs.
Also in this tab, you can set:
Reload Browser When Subscription Expires - If enabled, script will check in the background if the subscription is still active and reload the browser when it expires or user has been logged-out to disallow further reading post.
Allow Subscription Form for Guest User - If enabled, guest users (non-logged-in) will see a subscription form. They will them be able to log in during checkout.
Restrict Part of The Content
You can also o restrict only sections of the content - for instance, the second and third paragraphs of a post.
If the user is not a subscriber, he/she will see a "Restricted Section" box instead of the locked content. A paybox will be triggered at the end of the content. This is done via a shortcode.
How to Use the Shortcode
Locking the content is easy. Simply surround it with the shortcode, as shown:
You can use the shortcode many times in the same content.
TIP: Customizing the Text
You can customize the text of the restricted section box This is done via the labels settings → Restricted Shortcode section.
When using the Elementor page builder, it's necessary to use this shortcode to block any page on top of assigning the post to a price (see How To - Assign a Post to a Price/Subscription (Video).
This limitation is due to Elementor not using the _content hook.
Set Notifications for New Subscriptions
It's important to notify both the admin and users when new subscriptions are active. The plugin always sends notifications to users and you can the admin alerts on or off.
Click on the Notifications tab.
1) For The Customer
Choose the email subject and message
2) For the Admin
Enable/disable, choose the email(s) to notify (separated by comma). Finally, also configure both subject and message.
In both cases (customer or admin) you can customize the email subject and template using placeholders:
- Email subject
- - WordPress defined bog name parameter
- - WordPress defined post name.
- - The username which subscribed
- - The WordPress user login
- - Subscription start date
- - Subscription end date
- - Subscription duration
- - Points amount paid for subscription
- Email body template
- The same placeholders as above plus
- - Website home URL
- - The post URL
Admin View - Manage The Subscriptions
The admin can track all active subscriptions at any time.
Navigate to the Admin Dashboard → CM Pay Per Posts Pro → Subscriptions.
This page displays the subscriptions that have been added. Subscriptions are listed by pricing group, post, user, start, end, duration, points and action.
TIP: Manual Subscription
Add New - Click the Add New button to add a new subscription to the page. This option support adding a subscription manually.
You need to indicate a post which already have a pricing group assigned to it, indicate the username and the duration. Adding a manual subscription let you also add non paying users to the subscription.
Letting Users Manage Their Subscriptions (Shortcode)
Each user can also view his active and past subscription. You need to create a page which includes the shortcode
- CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - How To - Show User's Active Subscriptions (Shortcode) - CreativeMinds Products Documentation
- CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - Extras - Subscriptions History
Restrict Content Created With Other Plugins
In Pay Per Post, you can restrict any post type, even the ones managed by other plugins. This means that you can restrict content from other plugins if it uses said post types.
We Can't Guarantee Compatibility
Note that is a general rule. We cannot guarantee compatibility with all third-party plugins, as that involves code we don't control.
The technical requirements are:
- Plugin must register post_types - To show the post type in Pay Per Post's settings
- Plugin's custom type must be editable from the Back-End - To enable the subscription metabox
- Plugin must use the "the_content" filter on the Front-End - Only this content will be restricted
Choosing Post Types to Restrict
Head to General tab → Post types section. There, choose which post types to support.
This list fetches all post_types. If you can't find one related to a plugin, it means the plugin doesn't register its content as post_types.
Example: CM Tooltip
Users have to pay to access the whole term page of a term managed by the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin.
Term Page is Restricted
The plugin allows you to translate or adapt the language shown to the users of your site.
Head to Settings → Labels and edit all relevant text.
There are dozens of labels in the following categories
- Pay Box
- Restrict copying content
- Restricted Shortcode
- Restrict Post Availability
TIP: Price Placeholder
The payment labels may, naturally, include the duration and price of the access.
To solve this, we use the placeholders %s for duration and .%.2f for price.
The %.2f expression is special. 2f means there are two decimals. You can change it extensively.
Examples with the cost $2.15
|USD %.2f||USD 2.15|
|%d euros||2 euros|
Learn more: Settings - Labels
Prevent Users From Copying Content
It's possible to restrict users from copying locked content. If the user tries to copy it, he/she will see a disclaimer message instead.
Under the "General" Tab, you will find the option "Restrict copying content". Mark yes
TIP: Modifying the Label
You can modify the text of this disclaimer in the Labels settings.
Restrict the Number of Purchases
You can restrict the number of purchases for your posts. This means that only a set number of users can make a purchase.
To limit the number of users that can make the purchase, navigate to the plugin settings. Under the General tab, you can find the section Post Availability.
To activate, set the option Allow to set limit the post availability for users to Yes. Under Max user number limit, set the maximum number of users you want your post to be available for. Set the number above 0, because if you set it at 0 or below, there will be no limit.
If you want to show a message to your users once the maximum number has been reached, set Allow to set message with limit to Yes.
TIP: Modifying The Label
To set a custom message once the maximum number of users has been reached, from the labels tab. Under it, navigate to the Post Availability section.
You can set a general message, or a message that states the number of buyers that have purchased your post.
Showing Availability via Shortcode
You can show if a post is available or not to the current user by using the shortcode
ID should be replaced with the ID of the post. Learn how: General Support - WordPress - Finding ID of Post/Page/Other Content
Elementor Page and Other Themes Troubleshooting
The plugin will not work or will require special settings when used together with themes that don't implement the "the_content" hook/filter. They are a minority.
So far, this has been reported in the Elementor Page Builder and some other themes.
To block a page that uses the Elementor page builder, it's necessary to both:
- Assign the post to a price (see How To - Assign a Post to a Price/Subscription (Video).
- Use the [cmppp_restricted] shortcode to block the relevant part of the content. Learn more: How To - Restrict Sections Of The Content (Shortcode)
Doing only one of the procedures will cause problems such as triggering the The Content Area Was Not Found in Your Page error. Learn more: The Content Area Was Not Found in Your Page - Docs | Elementor
Other Themes Fix
It's necessary to place the "the_content" hook/filter in the theme templates.
This is an advanced procedure that should be handled preferably by your theme designer.
Adding the_content Snippet
<?php the_content(); ?>
- How To Add Filters | Plugin Developer Handbook
- the_content() | Function | WordPress Developer Resources
- General Support - Advanced - Creating and Editing Custom Templates - CreativeMinds
TIP: Learn More About the_content
Below we show a page where users must pay to receive access.