The content selling technology is built upon the access permission assignment which is the basic principle of Bitrix Site Manager. Each user group is granted a unique set of permissions allowing their members to obtain access to the specific piece of information. When visitors buy a specific information, they are added to a list of members allowed to access the purchased content.
Hence, the content selling process comes to selling the user group access permissions. Access permissions may be sold for a definite period of time (subscription) as well as without time restriction.
Generally, the content selling process involves the following actions:
- creating a user group allowed to access the required information resources;
- enabling the user group access permissions to be sold;
- creating and customizing a commercial catalogue to be used for content selling;
- setting up the e-store;
- publishing the content to be sold;
- receiving and processing orders.
As an example, we are going to sell subscription for articles. The starting point will be creating the Subscribers user group. You can do this in the User Groups form (Settings -> Manage users -> User groups).
Click the Access tab, where you can assign permissions of the created user group to access the administration part of the system modules. Since members of the Subscribers group should have access to information of the public section only, leave the default setting.
Create an information block whose content we are going to sell:
Please note that here we define the site section in which the article view pages will be stored: /e-store/paid/.
Add elements to the created information block (Paid Articles):
Create another information block whose elements will act as products. We shall use this information block to sell content.
To make elements of this information block act as "sellable" products, enable the corresponding options (Is commercial catalog and Content selling) in the Catalogs tab of the Commercial catalog module settings.
Finally, on the Permission Selling tab, mark the user group whose members should have access to the paid content. In our case, we are going to sell permissions of the Subscribers group:
Next, add a new element to the information block "Selling subscription to access paid articles". Give it a name "1 month subscription":
On the Prices (ext.) tab, set the discount in such a way that it would apply for subscriptions over 6 months:
A new section (Subscription parameters) will appear on the Parameters tab:
Here you can set the following parameters.
- Payment type:
- One-time – means that a customer can buy the product only once. No further actions will be performed on the product.
- Recurrent – instructs the system that, when the specified period expires, a customer is to be billed again to renew the product usage.
- Trial – implies purchasing a trial version of the product (e.g. trial access). When the specified period expires, a customer will be billed to buy a full version of the product.
- Payment duration – Period of time on expiry of which the system will bill a customer again. This field should be filled for the payment types recurring and trial.
- Time unit of payment duration – The time unit used to define the payment duration (month, day, hour etc.).
- Trial for (only for trials) – If you have chosen a trial as the payment type, specify the full version here. When the trial period expires, a customer will be asked to purchase the specified product (full version).
- Silent renewal – For use with the recurring payment type. If this option is active, the order total amount will be calculated when renewing (subscription), but an order will not be created in the system. This option may be useful if small regular charges are to be drawn off the user internal account.
Additionally, if the catalog elements are used to sell content, the Commercial catalog section will also contain the Groups tab:
This tab defines a user group to which a user who purchased the paid content, would be added. If the subscription is time-limited, the Active period field can contain the required subscription duration. When the specified period expires, a customer will be deleted from the group.
Next, create pages that will display elements of the Paid Articles information block. Create a new folder: paid in /e-store/, and a new page index.php in it using the visual HTML editor. Add the component List of news to that page.
This component displays short descriptions of information block elements as links to detail.php regardless of permissions of a current user. If a user has enough rights to access the article contents, the link would bring them to detail.php; otherwise the authorisation form will be displayed.
Add the News detail component (Content –> News) to detail.php. Enable the option User groups allowed to view detailed description (Properties -> Additional settings).
Save both pages in the section specified in the information block preferences. In this example, the section is /e-store/paid/. A good idea is to add a link to index.php to the left menu.
Now configure permissions of the Subscribers user group. We shall restrict access to the details view page (detail.php) – make this page accessible by the group members, while other users will not be able to view this page. To change the permissions, open this section in Site Explorer (Content -> Site Explorer -> e-Store -> paid). The work area will show the contents of /e-store/paid/:
Open the file access inspector for detail.php by selecting Access in the menu action:
The paid access configuration is now completed. Let us take a look at the results ensued from our manipulations. This is how index.php would look like:
If we are a member of the Subscribers user group, we can view the whole, unabridged article: