If you’re running a WordPress membership site and you have multiple membership product tiers, you’ve probably wished that you could make it simple for your customers to upgrade their membership to the next level.
Making the membership upgrade process easy and simple for your customers also makes life easier for you, the site owner, since you’re not manually calculating membership upgrade costs or delaying the process because upgrades can’t be more automated.
Our latest update for the Exchange Membership Add-on, our WordPress membership plugin, features a better way for members to upgrade (and downgrade) their memberships.
This update automatically calculates how much money the customer has paid into their current membership and applies that amount as a credit to the purchase of the next membership level at checkout.
To take advantage of the new Exchange membership upgrade feature, you’ll need the following plugins (with the minimum versions listed below) installed on your WordPress site:
- Exchange (v1.7.18)
- Exchange Membership Add-on (v.1.1.1)
- Exchange Recurring Payments Add-on (v.1.0.17)
- Exchange Stripe Add-on (v1.2.22) or PayPal (default/core add-on) enabled. Note: This feature currently only supports these two payment gateways.
Setting Up Membership Tiers
If you haven’t already set up membership tiers, or levels, here’s an example. With four membership products (Free Trial, Bronze, Silver, and Gold), your customers could subscribe to the Free Trial and then later upgrade to the Bronze, Silver or Gold tiers. If they purchase a Bronze, they could also easily upgrade to Silver or Gold.
To set these membership product tiers up in Exchange, add all of them as new membership products.
Applying Membership Hierarchies
For the membership upgrade/downgrade path to work, each of the memberships must be related. In the Advanced settings area, you’ll see a new Membership Hierarchy menu item.
The Membership Hierarchy section allows you to apply Child Memberships (additional memberships available to this membership level) and Parent Membership (memberships that include content from this membership and all the children of it). The Parent/Child Memberships are really another way of thinking which memberships are above and below the current membership level.
For the Free Trial membership:
- Parent memberships: Gold, Silver and Bronze
For the Bronze Level Membership:
- Child Memberships: Free Trial
- Parent Memberships: Gold and Silver
For the Silver Level Membership:
- Child Memberships: Bronze and Free Trial
- Parent Memberships: Gold
For the Gold Level Membership:
- Child Memberships: Silver, Bronze and Free Trial membership
The Upgrading/Downgrading Process
After a customer has purchased a lower-level membership (in this case, Bronze), the Gold Level membership product page will display their upgrade credit and a revised cart total based on their previous membership purchase.
Note: If you have your memberships set to auto-renew, customers will get free days (instead of a credit) applied to the purchase of a higher-tiered membership, until their remaining balance is used up.
Learn More about Creating a Membership Site with Exchange
Check out these posts and resources for more info on how to set up your WordPress membership site with Exchange.