Mitch Rosefelt at The Milk Mob, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating medical providers and community supporters about breastfeeding, contacted me because he wanted to change the WordPress membership site plugin they were using from Wishlist Member to s2Member. Switching from one membership plugin to another is never really easy, but in the case of The Milk Mob there were a lot of unique requirements. They needed to collect a lot of custom registration data and also had complex content-restriction requirements. In addition, they had complex mailing list requirements that weren’t being adequately addressed.
We started with a thorough review of the existing Wishlist Member membership configuration. Then Mitch and I spent almost a week agreeing on the membership requirements they wanted to move forward with in s2Member. We had a “map” of where we were and another of where we were going.
We started by cloning the current Milk Mob website to a developmental site we used for building the new site. The new s2Mmeber configuration included switching the payment gateway from PayPal to Stripe, doing most of the content restriction using s2Member Custom Capabilities and conditional statements, and GetResponse mailing list integration. We started the project planning to use aWeber, but ran into problems mid-project when aWeber’s API started throwing connection errors. When we didn’t get that problem resolved in a timely manner with aWeber support, we moved to GetResponse. GetResponse wasn’t perfect either, but it worked with some “kludges”.
In the end, The Milk Mob had working email automations for the various courses and events they sponsor and register via customized s2Member registration forms. The content restrictions were working as intended. That said, the project was not “concluded”. Site Geeks continues to serve as The Milk Mob’s WordPress and s2Member consultant. We’ve recently revised the way the membership levels worked: going to a single membership “level” with content-restriction being handled almost entirely through the use of Custom Capabilities. We also worked around the way s2Member handles Custom Registration Fields (requiring them on forms based entirely on Membership Level) by creating more finely-tuned requirements using highly-customized form templates for each type of event or membership being sold by The Milk Mob.
We continue to work on fine-tuning the mailing list automation workflows. We’re currently working on switching back to aWeber from GetResponse after aWeber finally helped us resolve the connection problems. It turned out to be a problem with variable typing in some mailmerge fields. (aWeber requires all mailmerge fields to be passed as strings.)