s2Member Framework Intro

Hi there, my name is Jason Caldwell and I'm the Lead Developer for the s2Member plugin for WordPress, and it is my pleasure to introduce s2Member to you.

In this video I'm gonna --this is just an introductory video-- I'm gonna talk a little bit about what s2Member is, what it does, what it's capable of. And I'm also gonna show you how to install it and how to get started with it as quickly as possible; which is actually pretty easy, especially if you already have content that you want to protect and sell access to.

Alright, so let's get started. I'm here at wordpress.org and I pulled s2Member up from the plugins tab here at the top. You can just search for s2Member using the search box here, and that'll bring you to this page, and of course you can learn all about s2Member from this page.

However, you can also go --I'm gonna switch tabs here for a moment-- you can also go to s2member.com/framework, or just go to s2member.com and here at the choose the Framework. This is the free version of our plugin that we were just looking at at wordpress.org.

And I'm actually on that page right now. You can use these tabs across to learn all about s2Member and even follow along with our changelog to see how we're progressing as we move forward with s2Member.

Farther down the page here you'll find a list of features; these are expandable, so you can open them up and take a look, and a feature comparison between s2Member and s2Member Pro.

If you have questions along the way, we would encourage you to use our search box here at the top, or you can navigate through our support panel here in the support menu.

You'll find that we have a Codex for s2Member were all of the source code has been documented, along with over a thousand hooks and filters that are available for developers to integrate s2Member in more creative ways.

Here's a Knowledge Base for s2Member, where we have our support reps who have written many, many articles about s2Member, to address common questions and problems and ways to work around those. You can also take a look at other video tutorials. Our FAQs.

And our support forums are available. If you'd like to join our Community forum, you can use this link here at the top-left, where it'll bring you to our free registration form. And you can get into our forums and get help from other site owners, share ideas. So we would encourage you to do that.

We also have s2Member Pro available. You can learn more about s2Member Pro in this area of our website, where we have support for on-site credit card processing through additional payment gateways like PayPal Pro, Authorize.Net. ClickBank and Google Checkout are supported by s2Member Pro as well. And with your purchase of s2Member Pro you also gain access to priority support through our Customer support forums. So this provides other features and additional functionalities.

Alright, let's take a look at how to install the free version of s2Member, the s2Member Framework.

I'm just gonna switch tabs here for a moment where I've already got a test--a quick test site where I've put this together for the video. And this is the back end of that site, and it's powered by WordPress obviously, and I'm here in the Plugins menu and I've chosen "add new".

Now I just type "s2member" into the search box and let's search for s2Member, so that we can install it. And here it's the first item in the list, we're looking for the s2Member Framework.

And we're --right now at the time of this vdeo--we're at version 120213, which actually indicates that this version of the plugin was released on February 13th of the year 2012. So that's how our version numbers work, they indicate the release date as well.

So we just choose "install now" and let's choose "OK" just to confirm that's what we want to do. Okay, so the download begins. WordPress will download the latest release of s2Member from the plugins repository, it will unzip it and install it into the proper location.

Okay, so that's pretty simple. Now, if you were to do this manually, perhaps through an application like FileZilla, where you were FTPing the application to your website...

Let's take a look, I'm gonna open up another window here. Let's pretend for a moment that this were your installation of WordPress. You will always have a wp-content folder, and then you will have a plugins subfolder; these are things common to all WordPress installs. Okay, and this is where you will place the s2Member folders. So you'd download the zip file, unzip it and place the s2member directory here.

And upon activating s2Member, you will also get the s2member-files and s2member-logs directories. s2Member creates these directories for you, automatically. Okay, just to be aware of that, these directories should remain writable on your web server. This one will hold log files, should you choose to enable logging in the future. And this is designed to hold protected file downloads, if you decide to use that aspect of s2Member.

One thing to be aware of, if you do a manual installation, is to be sure you don't accidentally nest two s2member folders together. If we open the s2Member folder, we should have immediately inside the s2member.php file. That's the core plugin file. What we want to avoid is if you have wp-content/plugins/s2member... then another /s2member directory, and then these files, then you've done something wrong.

You should have wp-conten/plugins/s2member/ and then these files and subdirectories, where you have s2member.php. This is correct.

But let's go back to the Dashboard, because 99% of the time this is how s2Member is installed, because this is really the simplest way. And here, everything happens automatically. Now, after the plugin has been installed, we just choose "activate".

So that's it, s2Member is now installed, it says --actually it's been reactivated because at one point I had it installed in this site, so it just says reactivated, but you'll have a similar message. It says "have fun, make some money". So that's it, s2Member is now installed.

So now the question becomes "okay, what is s2Member going to do for me? What is it capable of? What am I be able to accomplish with s2Member?" So I'm gonna get into a little bit of that and the initial configuration of s2Member in the very next segment of this video.

Okay, s2Member's now installed, so now let's take a look at how to cofigure it. Before I do, though, I'm wanna talk to you a little bit about what s2Member is and what it does.

s2Member is a membership management plugin, it's going to empower your WordPress installation with the features necessary to convert your WordPress site into a membership offering.

If you take a look here, at the s2Member menu panel that's installed with s2Member, you're going to see things like PayPal Buttons, PayPal Options, Download Restrictions, overall Restriction Options, the General Options which establishes the core configuration values for your installation, and then down here you will find some additional methods to integrate s2Member in more advanced ways.

With s2Member, the free version, we're getting integration with s2Member's roles and capabilities, and s2Member's integration with PayPal Website Payments Standard, and that is to say that the free version integrates with PayPal buttons; that's the PayPal Website Payments Standard integration.

s2Member Pro can add additional payment gateway options, along with several other new features and functionalities. But the free version is fully functional and PayPal buttons are a great way to get started selling membership and other types of access on your site.

When you first install s2Member, you'll want to take a look here at the s2Member menu and go to the Quick-Start Guide. From the page that covers the Quick-Start Guide you can take a look at all our video tutorials.

And I would advise you to take a look at these panels before you start configuring s2Member, because they're actually very short. This just covers some of the basic aspects and talk to you a little bit about what s2Member, how it works and how it functions internally. And this will really help you if you just kinda read through this before you get started.

And one of the things you'll discover as you read down through here, is that you need to create two pages. Before you even start configuring s2Member, it's a good idea to create your Login Welcome page and your Membership Options page.

Your Login Welcome page is the first page that a member or another user on your website that does not have administrative access, they will come to this page upon logging in. This is--you can think of this as the My Account page, where the customer or the pre-subscriber, anyone who logs in who does not have administrative access to your site, they will be redirected by s2Member to this page on the front-end of your website, which should be encompassed by your theme.

And this is just a page, like any other page in WordPress. So if I go here to my list of Pages, you'll see that I've already created these two pages.

Initially, when you create these pages, just give them the titles, the generic titles "Login Welcome Page" and "Membership Options Page", and don't even worry about putting any content in those pages. We just need those to be created.

In the beginning --and you can learn more about how these function as you get through s2Member's configuration, this will become very obvious as you work through s2Member.

In the beginning we just wanna give these two pages to the system. Then as you're going through, the first thing you should do is configure s2Member General Options.

And as you work down through the General Options you will see that s2Member asks you to designate one of the pages on your website that you've created, in this drop-down list, to designate as the Login Welcome page. And if you've already created the page, it'll already be in the drop-down for you and you can choose that.

And the same is true for your Membership Options page, which is the page where people who are not members of your site, who might be denied access to certain areas of your site that you've restricted with s2Member, they will be redirected to a Membership Options page.

And ultimately your Membership Options page will contain payment buttons, and if you're using the free version of s2Member you'll be using PayPal buttons. That's where any PayPal buttons that you generate would go, that is into your Membership Options page.

And s2Member makes it possible to generate PayPal payment buttons, with all sorts of different options, including recurring billing, one-time billing, fixed-term access, lifetime access, pretty much whatever you need including trial periods, or what we would consider to be an initial period at a certain price, which might later recur at a different price.

There's lots of options here to generate buttons. And s2Member's buttons are integrated through shortcodes that you just copy and paste into a post or a page in your website.

And normally those buttons would go into your Membership Options page. And I have some here from previous examples, but we will just paste the shortcode in that we got. And this produces the PayPal button.

PayPal buttons are what faciliates the checkout process, and access is granted to any content in your website that you've protected with s2Member.

You can learn more about s2Member through our additional video tutorials, where we cover all of s2Member's configuration options in much more detail.

Thank you very much for watching!

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