Great news. I’m glad S2 Member lives on.
Thanks for coming back Cristián. I see that Jason and Raam jumped ship because they could get good jobs at Automattic. I suggest that one reason this could happen was that S2Member has such a poor business model and does not charge for support - hence they had no incentive to stay. I hope they passed the last year’s income over to you otherwise its means that you have the cost of supporting all the existing members but none of the revenue. Not fair on you I think.
I am sure that many users would welcome the peace of mind that would come from you changing the business model to annual support. You just have to look at MemberPress (https://memberpress.com/plans/pricing/) to see how wrongly priced S2Member is. Unless you fix the business model this will probably just happen again.
While you were away Krum did a good job of keeping S2Member alive. You might want to chat about to him about a joint effort to publish a roadmap which would be the first step to restoring momentum.
Thanks again for your effort.
Thank you so much for your concern, James.
I do plan to change the model a bit. I’ll make an announcement in the coming weeks.
I am in touch with Krum, and we plan to do some things together. I know him from before and want him to be a part of this too.
OMG! You can’t know how happy this makes me! I JUST switched 2 websites to memberpress and I’m sure they’re awesome people that make that, but HOLY CRAP is it a pain in the butt. So difficult to use, not at all thinking of the user. I can’t wait for an update on s2member! OMG!!! This is so exciting!!
I’m really glad that you’re now running s2Member - it’s a big relief after months of uncertainty.
Some suggestions …
I think the main priority should be to ensure the stability of s2Member - e.g. making sure that it continues to work regardless of what changes are made to Wordpress, PayPal, Stripe, etc. It needs to be emphasised that if s2Member stops working, even for just a couple of days, then a lot of people that use s2Member will start losing customers (which would make them much more likely to transfer from s2Member to a different membership software).
There are obviously a lot of new features that people want to see added to s2Member, and you will be under pressure to start adding them as soon as possible (particularly as s2Member hasn’t been updated in 1.5 years). However, noting the above point “1)”, please don’t rush into adding anything that might break the core functionality of s2Member. I think people need to appreciate that taking over a complex piece of software that was largely written by someone else (i.e. Jason Caldwell) is a very difficult process - so please take the time to fully understand the software before making any significant changes.
I think it’s clear that s2Member’s charging model - i.e. paying a “one-time” fee for lifetime access - was always going to fail at some point. It’s a bit like a “pyramid” scheme, because every year you need to attract increasing numbers of new members (who pay the “one-time” fee) to cover the costs of supporting increasing numbers of existing members (who no longer pay anything). It also means that your focus is always on attracting new members (e.g. to cover your staff costs, etc), rather than on supporting existing members. In my opinion, you really need to change s2Member’s charging model so that everyone pays an annual fee to access the updates (i.e. if a member stops paying the annual fee, then their version of s2Member Pro will continue to work, but they won’t be able to access any further updates).
The above point “3” is likely to be contentious - e.g. there will be some existing members who think it’s unfair that they should have to start paying an annual fee for a product when they’ve already purchased a “lifetime access” (which is a reasonable point). My suggestions are as follows:
- Firstly, I think you should offer existing members an ongoing (i.e. permanent) discount on their annual fee - e.g. 50% off the normal cost - to recognise the fact that they’ve already purchased a “lifetime access”.
- Secondly, I think the annual fee for existing members should be relatively small - e.g. no more than (say) $20 per year.
- Thirdly, I think you should emphasise to existing members that the choice was either 1) allowing s2Member to fail, or 2) asking existing members to pay a (small) annual fee - hopefully, most existing members will agree that the latter option is much better.
- Fourthly, I think you should emphasise to existing members that this (small) annual fee will enable s2Member to be better supported in the future - e.g. in terms of bug fixes, new features, staff support on the forums, etc.
As a longer-term suggestion, I think you should make the free version of s2Member more limited - e.g. maybe limit the total number of Members, or remove the ability to send reminder emails, or add an annoying banner at the bottom of each website, etc. At the moment, it’s possible for someone to set-up a successful business using the free version of s2Member (e.g. using PayPal Standard Buttons) and then continue using it for years without paying anything.
Finally, a few months ago, when it looked like s2Member had been completely abandoned and might fail in the near future, I think a lot of existing members were reassured by the work that Krum did (e.g. trying to contact Jason, starting the process to fork s2Member, replying to posts, etc). For example, his work persuaded me to wait a bit longer to see what might happen with s2Member, rather than transferring to a different membership software. I really hope that you can include him in your team, because I think s2Member now needs people with such enthusiasm to help move forward.
the fee could well be 100€ a year - that would be on par with other systems. BUT errors need to be fixed and a new pro-from checkout form - with inline credit card (look at ThriveCart e.g.).
It’s just really sad that the checkout of s2member (plus a bit the email management and stability of checkout/emails is so poor).
Thank you. They’re all sound suggestions, and many in agreement with what I will do.
Hi Cristian, I am new to the S2 Member user family. It seems that I came in at a good time. I’m really glad to be here and wish you the best in your goals. Looking forward to getting to know more about how best to use S2 Member. Thanks for being here to help.
I manage a very little site and I cannot pay 100 $ annually (even 20 $ is big relative to my incomes). I choose S2Member because of the lifetime price and paying annual fees will force me to search for another solution. But I can understand the need of new money plan.
Don’t worry, Li-An. I may implement the annual updates for new customers, and any existing ones could subscribe voluntarily as a form of support for the project. Or it will be for a new product that I release.
Anyone that got the s2Member Pro license with lifetime updates, will keep that. Any annual plan that I implement won’t invalidate what you already have.
It’s a very good news for me. I hope you will find some good solution to give you the opportunity to develop these products. Thanks a lot.
Congrats on the new position. Will you be working on all projects by yourself or do you work with a team?
So far it’s been myself, but looking for help. I’ve hired freelancers, although I want a developer I can hire full time. Right now I have someone doing a trial and we’ll see how it goes.
Hi Cristián, glad to see you back here!
I’ve been with s2M for ages and was recently considering moving to MemberPress or something else, mainly because it seemd that s2M was dying and the lack of integrations is becoming a huge roadblock.
I got in touch with Krum to setup some things but it’s been difficult and moving away seemed to be the best choice. Until I came here and saw you’re taking over! I’d LOVE to stay with s2M and I’ll gladly pay a yearly fee for upgrades and proper support
Currently I’m urgently in need of integration with ThriveCart, which integrates with all major membership plugins except for s2M. It could also integrate with the newer autoresponder softwares out there (I’m on Drip and will be moving to ConvertKit soon - s2M doesn’t integrate with any!). A Zapier integration has been mentioned a lot in the past years, it could solve issues for all of this while proper integrations are built (if ever).
Is there a roadmap or can you share any plans about where this is going? Again, I had made my mind about moving to MemberPress but if things are going forward here I’ll definitely stay (and start paying)!
I know @clavaque has lots of plans and he’ll respond soon, but Drip already integrates:
Personally I’m not too impressed with ThriveCart, but the FOMO make me want to buy.
I’d probably also stay on Drip because you can eventually use PlusThis if you want.
Yes, this integration exists but it’s incomplete and doesn’t suit my current setup. Mainly because I have a multisite network and Drip only integrates with the general s2M data - meaning that I can’t access which particular child site or blog the person created their account in. Since Drip integrates with ThriveCart (also does ConvertKit) I have no problems there and the correct campaigns are sent to each client. The ThriveCart integration is very complete and lets me do anything I need depending on the client’s payment behavior.
My main issue (and this is big) is not being able to redirect clients to the WP registration page (handled by s2M) when they buy, so I’m currently forced to manually send each buyer the member registration link.
I’m aware an integration with ThriveCart is too much to ask for (I can’t imagine all Cristián has in his hadns right now!) but if at least there’s a Zapier integration or a promise that there will be a workaround or some other solution in the near future, then it’d be great
Ah. I see.
The modification would be code to receive the data from ThriveCart and then translate it to the format that s2 is expecting.
A programmer should be able to do it pretty easily since most of the code is already written.
A separate thread on the integration with thrive cart would probably yield more useful responses. I’m definitely going to follow and even look into the possibility of coding .
This sound slike a very good choice for now! I’ll get my IT guy to check it out and see if we can make it work for us. Thanks a lot for the sugestion!
I totally agree with point#3 about changing the payment model. As a membership plugin s2member should be supported by memberships! It is the only way to guarantee continuing revenue for the plugins development.
The only scenario I can imagine where someone would complain about switching to an annual fee model would be if they weren’t making any money with the plugin anyway. The cost and effort to migrate a complex membership site to another plugin is mind-boggling and I for one would be more than happy to pay an annual fee for s2member. I think properly communicating why the supposed ‘lifetime access’ is unsustainable would go a long way to helping people get on board.