Independent Sports Supply is a Wholesale Distributor in the Shooting and Hunting Industry based in Cedar Rapids, Ia.
This was a newly formed company so our website design strategy wasn’t based on upgrading an existing site. The focus was creating a members only website to help a distributor communicate private wholesale price lists to their dealers.
The next priority was maintaining a public website to attract more business and be a source for dealers nation wide.
We started with the iThemes Patriot Theme as it was very “American” and “Red-White-Blue.” One of our designers Chris created an awesome logo with gun site and more! He then faded the US flag, US Constitution and American Eagle into the header image. The home page rotating images were focused towards the shooting and hunting industry.
Next we had to lock down the blog so the owner could post updates to his dealer network. We’ve used WishList Member and s2Member on many WordPress membership sites but this client had a different request. He wanted to manually approve all members AND because of that we needed to collect more information on dealer registration.
On our registration page we needed name, address, phone so the owner could call and verify the dealers who were applying.
Wishlist Member only collects First-Last Name and email but does allow manual approval. Problem was he needed the phone number to call.
s2Member wouldn’t allow for manual approval but we could have set up a free registration then after the owner called to verify he could move them to a “Dealer” level created in s2Member. Problem here was it allow people to become a “subscriber” so if they were denied he would have to delete them.
So we settled on WP-Members (not to be confused with WP Members no hyphen) as it gave us the ability to collect name, address, phone, email and hold approval till the owner called to verify the dealer. Upon approval the owner simply uncheck a box and the dealer is sent an approval email with a login name/password.
I highly suggest this plugin for manual approval sites and Chad Butler was awesome to work with. We didn’t need to collect payment via Pay Pal or anything like that but I know Chad is working on a new release.
We opted to use MailPress for email subscription management for news and updates. This allows for HTML or text emails to be sent to all members and MailPress syncs with WP users. So when the owner approves the dealer a user account is created in WordPress and automatically added to MailPress for email updates when anything is posted to the blog.
In summary we have a website open to the public for the owner to advertise his business and locate more dealers across the country he can work with.
Next if a dealer applies to be a member the owner calls and verifies the dealer and approves them. Automatically a WP account is created and they are added to the MailPress email database.
Now as the owner updates the blog with the most current price list, products, specials, his dealers ONLY see this information. If anyone not logged in tries to access this information they are blocked.
Finally we added BackupBuddy from iThemes for schedule DB and Full Theme and file backups!