SMF2.0:Paid subscriptions

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Paid subscriptions is a method to give forum benefits to your users in exchange for a monetary donation or payment. With this function, you can choose the name of the donation, amount, and a membergroup that will be automatically assigned to the subscribed user, as well as other options.

Once you have set up subscriptions, your forum members will be able to buy the subscriptions from Profile > Actions > Paid Subscriptions.

Enabling the Paid Subscriptions

The subscriptions must be enabled first. This can be done by going to to Administration Center > Configuration > Core Features and selecting the Paid Subscriptions option. For each subscription you plan to create, you will also need to create a membergroup, and set that membergroup's permissions accordingly.

To provide recurring subscriptions to your users with PayPal, you need to have a PayPal business or Premier account. PayPal will return an error otherwise.

Settings

PayPal is currently the only payment service supported by SMF 2.0.x.

It is not necessary to enable Instant Payment Notification (IPN) in your PayPal account for paid subscriptions to work. Your forum sends a notify_url, which contains the return url, when it posts a payment to PayPal. This overrides the account IPN settings, and PayPal will send an IPN to your forum regardless of the account settings. If you enable IPN, you will receive an IPN when any payment is made to the account for any reason. If the forum receives an IPN for a payment unrelated to paid subsciptions, it will generate an error, and send an error email to admins if notification is enabled.

  • Send Notification Emails - Inform the admin when a subscription automatically is paid or changes.
  • Email for Correspondence - Comma separated list of addresses to which email notifications are sent in addition to other forum admins.
  • Select Currency - Selects the currency (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) (See More).
  • Enable test mode - This puts the paid subscriptions into "test" mode, which will, wherever possible, use sandbox payment methods in PayPal, Authorize.net etc. Note: The "test" mode must be disabled to make real payments.
  • Paypal email address - The email address which that links the PayPal account. Leave blank if you do not wish to use paypal.

View Subscriptions

Once you have set things up in Settings, you will see a list of all the subscriptions you have created. You may use the Add Subscription button to create a subscription.

Add Subscription

From View Subscriptions, click the Add Subscription button, fill in the settings, and click the Save button to save it.

  • Subscription Name - The name of the subscription.
  • Description - A description of the subscription.
  • Allow user to auto-renew this subscription - Allow users to renew automatically the subscription before this finished.
  • Active - The members must be active to join a subscription.
  • Primary Group upon Subscription - Giving a primary group for users who pay the subscription.
  • Additional Groups upon Subscription - Giving an additional group for users who pay the subscription.
  • Send Reminder Email - Send a reminder email before the subscription is finished.
  • Email to Send upon Completion - Send a email notification once the payment is finished.
    • {NAME} - Name of the user who pay for the notification email (Example: John Doe).
    • {FORUM} - Name of the forum for the notification email (Example: My Community).


  • Subscription for fixed price and period - A fixed price for the subscription in a fixed amount.
    • Cost ($): - The price of the subscription.
    • Length of Subscription - The amount of time the subscription will last.
  • Subscription price varies on duration ordered - You can supply different prices, depending on the duration the user selects. This will allow you to offer a discount to users who subscribe to a full year of your service.

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