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Selling Subscriptions in Commerce

A great way in which to monetize your community, can often be to sell subscriptions to your members, in exchange for Benefits around the site (or indeed off the site). The commerce application allows for this with a simple subscriptions system.

It is important to know, this is meant as a walk through to show example of use. More extensive guides on commerce, and its features, can be found under the Suite Applications section on the left of this guides area.


In this guide we will be creating a subscription system for our fictional site, that will allow our members to pay to increase their attachment storage space, gain access to a new forum, and  create private/restricted gallery items. There will be 3 tiers, of which offer more features the higher the subscription that is purchased

  • Bronze Subscription
  • Silver Subscription
  • Gold Subscription

Creating Groups

The first thing we wish to do is to create some new member groups. We will create groups corresponding to the subscriptions we will also set up. So therefore as Bronze, Silver, and Gold group. For more information on the creation of member groups, please refer to the following guide

On the creation of these groups, they will have the same basic settings of the member group, with the exception of the following items.

  • Bronze - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 1000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application)
  • Silver - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 5000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application)
  • Gold - Set "Total Maximum Storage" to 5000kb (Content Tab). Switch on "Can create private albums?", and also "Can create restricted access albums?" (Gallery Tab - Requires the gallery application). 

Sorting Permissions

Now we have created the groups, create a new forum for Subscribers. We have named this "Subscriber", but you can name the forum anything you wish. Please see the following guide on how to create new forums

When creating the forums, you will need to set up permissions so that only members of Bronze, Silver, or Gold have access to this new forum. You can read more about permissions in the following guide


Creating Subscriptions

We are now going to create some subscriptions for the new groups. Here we want to achieve the following

  1. Allow someone to purchase a subscription for Bronze, Silver or Gold
  2. Promote to the relevant group on purchase

To create our first subscription, we go to the following location within our AdminCP

Commerce -> Subscriptions -> Subscription Plans

Here, we click to create a new subscription plan in the top right. In the box provided, give it the name "Bronze Subscription". 

We are going to create monthly subscriptions. So we want to set an initial charge for this of $5, and then $5 every month afterward. For this you need to switch on "Renews". You should have something set up as the following so far.


Name and Price Setup

Now we have the name and price set up, we need to tell the system what to do when someone purchases the item. We set up here that we want these users to be moved into the Bronze Group, when they purchase this item. In addition, we want them to be moved back to their original group if they stop paying for the item. 

Once done, add a cover image if you wish, and a description for your new subscription. The final part of your setup should look like this.


Subscription benefits


Complete these steps for a silver and gold subscriber set, and you will then have a set of subscriptions. The subscription system automatically allows users to upgrade/downgrade between subscriptions, if allowed to do so within subscription settings. You can read more about that in our full subscriptions guide

Further Reading

Our full subscriptions guide can be found in the following location of our guides area

For information on setting up payment methods for your users to use, please see the following guide

If you have not yet purchased our Commerce application for your site, you can add this on simply and easily, by following the instructions in the guide below. If you are a cloud hosted customer, you already have this product, so you are good to go!



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