JoomSuite Member and User are Joomla components that work together to create an easy-to-use, paid content subscription service on a Joomla Website.
Even though you’d expect to find numerous subscription components for Joomla, there are only two contenders worth looking at: Account Expiration Control (AEC) and JoomSuite Member. AEC is free, but currently not available for Joomla 1.5 Native. But even if it were available, I’d reject it because it requires that you hack core Joomla files and it seems VERY difficult to install and configure. That leaves JoomSuite Member.
While not perfect, Member is pretty easier to install and configure and easy for clients to maintain. But ease of use comes with a price: $149. That’s not cheap. But if you consider the time it would take to configure AEC and to install all of the required plugins, the $149 will start to seem insignificant. Unless, of course, you have more time than money.
I have used JoomSuite Member on two sites now, and once you get is set up, it’s reliable. I recommend JoomSuite Member because it’s easy to use and very configurable. Once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to set up new subscription plans. Below I list the positive and negative points of JoomSuite Member and User.
- PayPal Payment Gateway included
- You can buy an Authorize.net payment gateway plugin for $25.
- Many other payment gateway plug-ins are available from a separate developer, and the gateway developer will build a custom gateway it you need one.
- JoomSuite User makes it easy to add extra fields to your registration form
- Subscription plans are easy to set up and manage
- Subscription Plans are highly configurable For example
- You can protect individual articles, categories, sections, or components
- You can create individual user subscription plans; eg, a workout plan designed for a specific user
- plans can be time based or access based or both
- Support is very good but if you’re in the United States, JoomSuite developers are working when you are sleeping. As a result, turnaround on your support questions, submitted via their support page, is usually 24h
- Complicated to install; eg, there are certain things you need to turn on or off, but these are not clearly documented
- You have to download a license for each component
- Documentation is minimal and poorly translated