CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) + MicroPayments (CMMP) - Use Case - Creating a Paid Articles Site With Subscriptions


Creating a Paid Articles Site With Subscriptions Using Pay Per Post and MicroPayments

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Requirements

 This use case requires these to be installed and activated:
  • Pay Per Post - To block content. This document uses version 2.3.5
  • MicroPayments - To send charge users and send them to checkout. This document uses version 1.9.2

Note

  • 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)

Introduction

The CM Pay Per Posts gives the ability to charge users for accessing content on your site. 

By using it with MicroPayments, you can let users pay for access with their virtual wallets.

Example

Before Payment


After Payment

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. 

It follows:


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

Setting Up MicroPayments 

After installing the CM MicroPayments, every registered user is given their own wallet. 

Don't forget to set up virtual wallets properly to use the integration to its fullest potential. 

TIP: Wallet Page Shortcodes

Some shortcodes that are useful to place in the "My Wallet" page.

  • Apply [cm_user_balance] to  show how many points the user has on his wallet.
  • Apply [cm_user_balance_value] to show how many much money the wallet is worth.
  • Apply [cm_user_wallet] to show the latest transactions on the wallet.

MicroPayments OR EDD/WooCommerce

It's not possible to use both MicroPayments and direct payments WooCommerce/EDD at the same time. 

If you have both installed, there will be settings for both, but in practice MicroPayments will take over and users will only be able to pay with points.

Learn more: CM MicroPayments (CMMP) - Shortcodes - Overview - CreativeMinds Products Documentation


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.

Pricing Options

  1. User purchases access for each post - Edit a post to set a price for it
  2. User purchases access for groups of posts - Create a price group, then edit a post to assign it
  3. 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 different subscription tiers.

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

TIP: Section is Empty?

If there's no option to create a pricing group, ensure these are activated

  • Pay Per Post plugin
  • MicroPayments

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.

In-depth Look

Which options (1 and 2) are available on each post depends on the settings.

  1. Setting a price group
  2. 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 "MicroPayments"
  • Individual price - lifetime access 20 points

Now, users will be prompted to pay before accessing the content.



Define What Is Shown Before Payment

Back in the General tab, you can choose what is shown to visitors before they pay.

  • Hide full post in frontend - Hides the full post (starting from the Read More tag) until the user pays for the access.

    Highlighted Backend vs. Frontend Example

  • Hide comments before purchase - Hides also the comments of the post
  • Use post excerpt - Displays the excerpt (see more below)
  • Show full post in preview - Shows the whole content when the post is seen as preview (for instance, draft). Useful for writers and editors

Excerpt Example

With the following excerpt
The excerpt is shown before the pay box:

More Options

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 - Note that this setting only applies to the Direct Payment (EDD/WooCommerce) integration.

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - Settings - Subscriptions Settings (General Tab)


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:

[cmppp_restricted] any content [/cmppp_restricted]

Example

You can use the shortcode many times in the same content.

Back-end

Front-end

TIP: Customizing the Text

You can customize the text of the restricted section box This is done via the labels settingsRestricted Shortcode section.

Elementor Limitation

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.

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - How To - Restrict Sections Of The Content (Shortcode)


Allow Users To Receive Refunds

You can allow users to receive some time after paying for access.

How it Works

  • Refunds are not moderated - they are automatically granted.
  • You can choose how much time the user has to request the refund.

Flow

User clicks refund button...   

...Chooses reason... ...Is refunded.

Setup

To set it up, click on the Refund tab.

  • Enable refunds - Turns on the feature
  • Refund reasons - Create new refund reason sby creating new field and filling unique flag (left field) and text label (right field).
  • Time limit to allow refund - Set the time limit in minutes to allow refund for users that activated a subscription. After this time user won't be able to refund.

Once set user will be able to view a refund link on the post / pages he has been subscribed to. Once clicked he will need to mark the reason for the refund before it is applied. 


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.  

Using Placeholders

In both cases (customer or admin) you can customize the email subject and template using placeholders:

  • Email subject 
    • [blogname] - WordPress defined bog name parameter
    • [postname] - WordPress defined post name.
    • [username] - The username which subscribed
    • [userlogin] - The WordPress user login
    • [startdate] - Subscription start date
    • [enddate] - Subscription end date
    • [duration] - Subscription duration
    • [points] - Points amount paid for subscription
  • Email body template
    • The same placeholders as above plus
      • [home] - Website home URL
      • [permalink] - The post URL

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - Settings - Notifications Settings


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 [cmppp-subscriptions].

Front-End Example

Learn more:


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

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - How To - Restrict Content From Other Plugins (Custom Post Types)


Translating Interface

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
  • Subscription
  • Shortcode
  • Refund
  • Dates
  • Restrict copying content
  • Restricted Shortcode
  • Restrict Post Availability
  • Payments

Example

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

Label Front-end result
$%.2f $2.15  
$%.1f $2.1  
$d% $2  
USD %.2f USD 2.15  
%d euros 2 euros

Learn more: Settings - Labels


Extras

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. 

Example

Set up

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.

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - How To - Restrict Users From Copying Content


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.

Set Up

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. 

Example

Showing Availability via Shortcode

You can show if a post is available or not to the current user by using the shortcode  [cmppp_availability postid="ID"]

ID should be replaced with the ID of the post. Learn how: General Support - WordPress - Finding ID of Post/Page/Other Content

Example

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - How To - Restrict Number of Purchases


Elementor Page and Other Themes Troubleshooting

Quick Read

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.

Elementor Fix

To block a page that uses the Elementor page builder, it's necessary to both:

  1. Assign the post to a price (see How To - Assign a Post to a Price/Subscription (Video).
  2. 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();
?>
	

Resources:

TIP: Learn More About the_content

the_content | Hook | WordPress Developer Resources

Learn more: CM Pay Per Post (CMPPP) - Troubleshooting - Elementor Page Builder, Other Themes


Result

Below we show a page where users must pay to receive access.

Example

Before Payment

After Payment


More information about the Pay Per Post WordPress  Plugin

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