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Feature: Released Thoughts on Changing "Donate Hosting" to an "Upgraded Membership"

Discussion in 'Feature Requests' started by John Davenport, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. I've been toying with the idea of changing the donation method here at PhoGro to an upgraded membership of sorts.

    Currently you can donate towards the hosting costs of PhoGro, but there's no added value for you other than the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that you helped keep the site going for another day.

    So the idea would be to try to add some value to this option and essentially create a new tier of membership here at PhoGro.
    • More flexibility with signatures: (Example: I could limit the ability to add a link to your signature to the upgraded membership).
    • Ability to have more customizable options of the layout (Example: See attached photo of the what it would look like if you could minimize the sidebar of the homepage).
    • Fewer Ads (Many of the ads you see would be filtered out when on the upgraded membership)
    • Maybe some sort of banner swag? (Example: My banner says "Staff Member" - maybe an upgraded member could have some sort of banner to showcase their contribution)
    • Other thoughts/ideas?
    This is just a early thinking-out-loud sort of thing. Nothing is definite and I'm not even sure how I'd implement all of these things, but I think it'd be nice to have the option of adding extras for those who are willing and able to help support the site.
    René likes this.
  2. I think it's a good idea, and would be in line with most if not all other sites. Even some of the non-tangible benefits of this site (the people we interact with) would be "worth the admission price" alone.
    One other though comes to mind - upgraded member only forums, or selectable forums where you could choose whether or not to participate. This may lessen the chance of some people being offended by some discussions that may occur.
    René likes this.
  3. Hi John generally speaking I am not against the idea of a "membership fee" but feel it needs to be kept moderate so that people feel able to easily afford it as we still want to attract new members. Even if you do it as a 6 months registration or what ever to let people try us out before they fully commit. With the Banner swag do you mean like "Silver member" or "Gold Member"?
  4. It sounds a good idea John but I think a small trial may work but do we really need flags for benefits you are going to get some that may think they are more elite than others and there are some that may not be able to afford fees for these benefits Those of us who are on pensions and other circumstances. There are those who like to support the site privately. I really think that a flat membership fee would be a better idea and one fee for a couple if everyone put in $50 a year it may be enough to keep it up and running just my thoughts
  5. I feel a flat fee might be the way to go and then every one is on an equal footing. It might also help if we could pay each six months for those on pensions.
  6. @John Davenport "but I think it'd be nice to have the option of adding extras for those who are willing and able to help support the site."

    @Ron & @Lynne, it seems as if John wants to implement a fee to replace the current donation option. This fee will be optional and not a prerequisite to be a member.

    Good idea John. As I'm always logged in, I never see the "donate" section and to be honest, I forgot about it. Perhaps this can be part of the forums, so that we old timers can see it regularly! I think there should be (as now) different fee options, thereby enabling everyone to contribute. I also like Peter's idea of an extra "paying members forum".
    #6 René, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  7. Yes exactly this wouldn't be moving to a paid access, just an extended donation of sorts for those who want to and are able to contribute a little to the site rather than just felling good about it they can get a little extra bonus too.

    I was thinking about this... but what kinds of paid forums would we offer? I wouldn't want to create overlap with the main part of the site because it's important that people continue to use it. Boudoir Photography is one idea because it doesn't really fit with the current policy of the site, but anything else?

    I could add an extra menu item that links to it? ;)
  8. @John Davenport "I could add an extra menu item that links to it? "

    Good idea, then we'll see it every time we visit Phogro.
    John Davenport likes this.
  9. Yes, something like this, but maybe a little more creative. I'd have to brainstorm ideas. I'd try to do something photography related, or even look into allowing the premium member to create their own banner (idk if that's possible though).
  10. Testing.... 1.... 2.... 3... :eek:
  11. Here's an example of what a premium member might look like.
    • Special Banner (Still trying to come up with a more creative name, but IDK maybe premium member will stick).
    • 3 lines for signature + increased 1 link to 2 links.
    • Working on adding customization options for how you're able to view the site. For example changing the colors of various elements, or the background of the site.
    The idea is to start small and build from there. So I plan on taking feedback from premium members and adding features over time that will help add value to this add-on. My hope is to have at least the basic structure finished by March.
    René likes this.
  12. In an effort to get some more information on this project I put together a short 7 question survey. Please take a moment and fill it out this will help me greatly as I build this over the next couple of weeks. Thank you!

    Take the Survey Here
  13. Done from here John
  14. done john
  15. Survey completed.
  16. Thanks everyone the results have been both very interesting and very helpful!

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