I have been recently working on launching a membership site, the technical aspects are being worked out as I write this post. To set up the membership site I was looking for a WordPress Membership Plugins that can handle critical aspects of the site.
I came across this relatively new product in the market. It’s called SiteManPro. From it’s name I thought it’s just another CMS. I started digging more information about it on Google and gathered few links on forums mentioed below:
What’s SiteManPro all about?
It’s NOT a CMS, if you are guessing that from its name. And it is NOT a membership script or a WordPress plugin either.
SiteManPro (SMP) is a business centralization engine that is capable of doing a lot more than selling digital goods or creating a membership site.
Base Version is Free
The base version is free and you can download it from the homepage by submitting your name and email address. With the base version, you can sell digital products (ebooks, pdf, software, videos etc ). Your customer buy your products and then they can download the products from a secure private customer area. And there’s no limit on the number of products you can sell through the free base version.
The free version supports two payment processors – Paypal & Clickbank. And I confirmed from the developer that all future payment processor integrations will also be free.
Extensible by Paid Add-ons
This is where I think SMP really impresses v/s other competitive products. Let me show you what I found and I’m sure you will be pretty amazed too.
The base version, which is free, is actually the core engine of the software and has a modular architecture. This allows to extend the functionality of SMP by building add-ons or modules. It is something like WordPress plugins where 3rd party developers build plugins for WordPress to extend its functionality. Similarly, anyone can extend the functionality of SMP by writing new modules.
So are there any modules that exist and extend the functionality?
Yes, there is (and I was blown away by what it does) – WordPress Membership Plugin. This plugin allows anyone to build a membership site on WordPress. The beauty of this plugin is its simplicity.
Let me paste an example right from their site as they have explained it really well:
Let’s say person A wants to start an online business and she has an eBook as the primary product. So what’s the biggest need of her at this time? A tool to sell her ebook and provide a secure private area for her customers to download the ebook, after they have bought it from her. Right?
So SMP’s free version does just that. It is integrated with PayPal and ClickBank out of the box and person A can install it under few minutes and start selling online.
After few months, assuming A’s business has grown and now she wants to start a membership site. Well imagine what – all she has to do is buy a $40 plugin for SMP that integrates with WordPress and that allows her to create a membership site in under 15 minutes. Neat..
The beauty is that all her existing customers can join this new membership site without having to create a new member account.
Let’s assume that A’s business starts growing and now she want to build three more membership sites. Well, all she has to do is install WordPress on her three new sites and use the same plugin to integrate WordPress with SMP..all done under 20-30 minutes. And still all her existing customers will use their same login details to whatever membership site they join of hers.
And not only does this plugin allow you to create traditional style membership sites, but also the fixed term membership sites where you set up your content in a sequential delivery format (day 1, day 2, day 3..and so on). I think this is pretty awesome plugin.
NOTE: Here’s a quick video that shows how to build a wordpress membership site using SMP and this plugin. Or here’s a written tutorial in their docs section that show how to create a wordpress membership site using this plugin.
What Caught My Attention
Something caught my attention while I was reading their sales page. I think it’s phenomenal.
As per their sales page, SMP offers “Platform Independence”. What this means is that if you build a WordPress membership site today and want to move to Joomla platform tomorrow, it will be as easy as installing Joomla, and installing SMP Joomla plugin. Your members will be able to logon to your new site instantly. Isn’t this awesome?
What’s Not Good About It?
The only thing that I found missing was a dashboard in the admin. When you login to the backend admin, it straight away take you to the product listing page. I wanted to see a dashboard with nice charts that can show me how my business is doing. I checked with the developer and he says they are working on building a dashboard. But as of now, it is the missing piece.
What do I think about SMP
Awesome. With other membership site plugins you are tied up with wordpress. Also, if you want to launch multiple membership sites (specially using different platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or something else) we end up buying and installing different scripts.
If you happen to be on some other CMS than WordPress. The company has plans to release plugins for Joomla and Expressionengine soon.
If you have more questions about the SiteManPro, I recommend you check out this thread on Warrior Forums.
Ready to download? Click here.