This is the stuff the WordPress guru will probably forget to mention….
WordPress is a wonderful/fantastic blogging tool and simple content management system(CMS). It gets great ratings, but it has a few shortcomings when being used by an association with the intent of integrating to the AMS.
Out of the box, WordPress does not understand the concept of users(members) and their groups(roles). WordPress has 4 roles built in (Administrator, Editor, Author, and Contributor) These roles control who can create and publish content. This is wonderful inside the association, but what about the members? What about the integration?
When integrating an AMS to a CMS there are two types of integrations:
- A site button that says “Member Login”
This might take you to an AMS specific website with the AMS features you expect (Update my info, buy, renew, register, donate, etc….)
- A page level complete integration where the AMS and CMS become one
Integrated Membership, member roles, commerce, join, renew, committees, etc…, Commerce content integrated at the page level, not the site level.
The issue is that out of the box, WordPress does not understand users (members) and groups( roles, membership level, committees, boards, chapters). You can’t have users that belong to the Transportation committee and see content only for that committee. You can’t have a role called “NeedsToRenew” and show content to the members that need to renew. You can’t have a role called GoldMembership and verify users have purchased that level of membership.
So, what do you do? If you’re stuck on WordPress, then either put a button on the home page that says “Member Login” and take them to your AMS specific website, or … buy a 3rd party WordPress role management system for WordPress and integrate with that provider. They will need to write custom code so that you can reconcile membership, roles, etc… We have done this integration successfully, but don’t underestimate the amount and type of work involved.
It can be difficult to iFrame a Microsoft based AMS site into WordPress because they will probably be sitting on two different types of servers(Windows and Linux) which can easily cause certificates errors during credit card checkout.
Having said all that, I have seen some of the best membership sites done in WordPress. I am a fan, but there are over 1000 CMS available and the top 20 can all do everything WordPress can and support groups, roles and the concept of users and members. Some associations don’t care about member roles and page level integration vs. site level, and for those, I think WP is the best.