Next to referrals from our own clients, independent web developers are our largest source of new Membee clients. Our goal continues to be to make it as easy as possible for these independent developers to do great sites full of great member features and functionality that is EASY to deploy. As a result, we developed Membee in a manner that allows web developers to create new websites for our client organizations and provide great functionality on the new site by "plugging in" Membee's features.
The following information is designed to answer the common questions asked by web developers creating new websites for an organization using Membee.
Note that this doc explains how our features work and what they do. The links to the actual documentation is available only to Membee subscribers. If your client hasn't yet subscribed to Membee, this document will give you all the information you'll need.
What is Membee?
Membee is a web-based membership management system designed to permit client organizations to manage their membership base in a professional and efficient manner.
Can Members and Anonymous Site Visitors Use Membee?
Yes. Membee has two interfaces commonly referred to as the "user" interface (used by staff) and the "outward-facing" interface used by both members and public users.
How do I Deploy Membee's Features on My Client's New Site?
Membee uses a "widget" driven model. Membee's widgets are iFrames that provide all our advanced functionality in a simple copy and paste format. In general, the widget is configured in Membee and we generate script that you use to display the widget.
All you'll need to do is copy the script and paste it onto a page on your site - Membee does the rest.
You should allow for a displayable content area width of 630 pixels in the template for a page where you plan to embed a Membee feature. Once the widget is embedded, the feature can be revised in Membee without the need to re-embed the widget in the site. For example, a decision to allow a member to update a new field in their member profile is a simple process of exposing that field to the member by changing a setting in Membee.
We also expose the CSS in each widget so you can customize them to match your client's website. Once your client has subscribed to Membee, they'll be able to give you login credentials so that you can view our help document on how to customize customize the styles.
What Membee Features Are Common on a Client Organization's Website?
All of Membee's outward-facing features can deployed on any site. Typically the features that are outward-facing include the following
**Note: we have included links to the help files that contain the step by step instructions on how each of the features are implemented. In order to access the information you will need to have been granted access to Membee by your client.
- Online event display and registration
- Searchable member directories
- Feeds to dynamically display a list of information from Membee on the new site and other vehicles such as the client's Facebook page. These include:
- Event Feed(s) - create events in Membee and have them automatically listed on the client organization's site with a link to full event details and registration
- Special offer Feed(s) - members can provide special offers as a component of their listings in Membee's member directories. This feed pulls all of those special offers into concise rotating list of special offers that can be placed anywhere in the client organization's site - typically in sidebars. A click on the special offer takes the site visitor to the member's directory listing and the full details of the special offer. A member "referral" stat is automatically trapped by Membee.
- Sponsored Listing Feed(s) - A keyword can be assigned to each member listing. This marks the listing as being a "Sponsored" listing. For example, if you assigned the keyword "Bank" to a listing that listing is now a sponsored listed. The sponsored listing feed includes all listings that have been assigned a keyword.
- Featured Listing Feed(s) - any member directory listing can be designated as "featured" often to further reward a member for other contributions such as financial sponsorship. Such listings are emphasized whenever they are returned in search results. This feed allows a client to place a list of featured listings anywhere on their site to further promote such members.
- New Member Feed(s) - when a new member is created in Membee' this feed automatically displays a rotating list of new members. Settings in the feed determine how long a new member is listed .
- Member profile to allow for self-service updating of member information
- New member application form integrated with Membee to allow new members to sign up online and upon acceptance create the record for the user in Membee
- Access to outstanding membership and event invoices
- Mobile Integration
Can I Secure Other Content & Features on My Site Using Membee-Managed Usernames and Passwords?
Yes. In fact, this is the preferred methodology since it provides the best experience to the member in the form of a true "single-sign-on" regardless of what secured feature the member accesses first on the site. This approach also provides the essential capability for membership-based organizations to grant and remove access based on the state of the member's membership. Membee provides you with a couple of options:
- WordPress Plugin: The plugin's purpose is remove the hassle and additional work related with managing member access (activating/deactivating login access, controlling which members see what content). Once you have the plugin working, you're done and from there, you manage your members in Membee knowing that the member's access to content is managed via the plugin WITHOUT additional effort on your part. While the plugin synchronizes a member's access to your WordPress site content, it does not provide the ability for you to designate on a page-by-page basis which members can see which pages. Thankfully, there is a plugin for that! :-) You can find the information on how this is implemented by clicking here.
- Other CMS Systems: Membee's Member Single-Sign On Service is a free service, is cross-platform compatible, and is standards driven. A developer with exposure to either Oauth 2.0 (Facebook uses this) or OpenID (Google, Yahoo, etc.) will be able to implement Membee's method on their site regardless of programming language or Content Management System (CMS) used. Detailed supporting documentation for the web service is available by clicking here.
Can I Secure Content for Viewing By a Specific Subset of Members?
Yes. Inside Membee, the client organization can define an "Access Role" and assign that role to a group or committee. In turn, the people in that group inherit the "role" and we make that role information available via the Member Single Sign-On Service described above. As a result, a content page(s) can be made visible only to a specific list of members. A common example would describe the creation of a "Board of Directors" page on the new site where the contents of the page are visible only to the client organization's Board members.
Can I Support Social Network Login for Use By Members?
Yes. Membee's features and its Member Single Sign-On Service allow the client organization, at their option, to permit their members to access secured features and content by using the member's Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, or LinkedIn usernames and passwords. The member's preferred social network username and password is associated with their record in Membee allowing the client organization to maintain control over granting and removing member access while allowing the member to enjoy a hassle-free login experience. The social network credentials are included in the Member Single Sign-On Service stream allowing you to extend the member's use of their social network credentials to secure content areas of the new site. For the business case supporting the use of social network login, see this post in Membee's Latest Buzz blog.
Can I Style Membee's Outward Facing Features?
Yes. Generally, the generated content (a directory listing, directory search results, a member's profile, or an event listing as examples) that Membee generates is controlled to a very granular level via a style sheet. Revisions to the styles are done in Membee's Admin section, typically within a widget's configuration page.
Got a question?
We're here to help. Just drop us a note with your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get right back to you.