Having spent several weeks working with a membership script called Easy Member Pro which solved the biggest failing of the alternative option Wishlist member, I have come to the realization that all of my work will have to be undone.
Now it pains me to write this as I am a good friend with this scripts creator and was determined to make this software my default choice when it came to rolling out membership sites. Especially after discovering a fundamental flaw with the alternative I had been using.
The problem that I discovered whilst developing my primary site, increasedgrowthonline with Wishlist Member was that whilst it was easy to setup and apparently secure your content, any determined visitor with a basic knowledge of this scripts folder system could simply navigate to your supposedly secure content and take whatever they desired.
With Easy Member Pro the protected content is hidden from view and thus protected from novice attempts at content theft. No system will ever be 100% secure and that is a good thing because if it was then you would become a worthy challenge for the hackers of this world.
So what was wrong with Easy Member Pro?
A little irritation was that their upgrade system is not fully developed and thus if you were planning to offer a multi-layered membership site then the alternatives get rather complicated.
However the most crucial factor for me was that despite having developed an integration system with JvZoo my affiliate network of choice it appears you cannot use it.
Under the terms of JVZoo you need to use their buy buttons if you want to use their affiliate network however to do this fundamentally changes the way your membership site will work.
With Easy Member Pro, before making the payment you have to register with the site, this to me makes more sense and is actually more in line with the legalities of service provision. After the registration and completion of the payment you are returned to the login screen and are now able to access the content.
By Using JvZoo, you are taken directly to the payment screen and post payment it is up to a clever piece of code called an IPN to inform the membership script that all is well and that this member can now have access to the site. It is at this point that you either register your details with the membership script or use those that were automatically generated for you.
Unfortunately it would appear that Easy Member Pro does not have this piece of code available and my coder mentioned that creating this could become very expensive.
But why not just use the integrated affiliate system?
The problem with this option is of course that you need to work twice as hard as you would by using the services of JvZoo.
In the first instance you need to develop an attraction strategy that allows fellow marketers to find your affiliate page and be sufficiently interested in it to sign up. Secondly you need to build sufficient rapport with them such that they feel confident you are going to pay them.
Then of course you need to manage this affiliate network and all of the others that you are running in this style.
With JvZoo everything is in one place.
The marketers that are looking for items to promote are already there. Their affiliate management system caters for your entire solution portfolio whilst allowing potential affiliates to see how each offer is converting and the detailed sales reports allow you to optimize your marketing funnels for the benefit of you and your affiliates.
Thus for the moment at least, I am once again taking another look at Wishlist Member because apparently the issue with the insecure folder layout has been resolved.
I am at the moment testing this on a development site and will return with my findings