Discourse Subscriptions

:discourse2: Summary Discourse Subscriptions allows site owners to sell recurring and one-time purchase subscriptions that grant access to a group on a Discourse instance.
:hammer_and_wrench: Repository Link https://github.com/discourse/discourse-subscriptions
:open_book: Install Guide How to install plugins in Discourse

Features

Discourse Subscriptions supports the following features:

  • Create new products and plans from the admin panel
  • Cancel and refund subscriptions from the admin panel
  • Create one time purchase or recurring subscription plans
  • Add free trials on recurring subscriptions
  • SCA/3D Secure support
  • Add/remove users from plan groups as they subscribe/cancel
  • Cancel subscription from user profile
  • Cancellation of subscription at end of subscription period

Terms

  • Subscription - Subscriptions are a recurring payment plan which allow you to control access to content on your community. When a subscription is created or deleted, a user is added or removed from the user group you associate with your subscription plan. A subscription is made up of a product and plans.
  • Product - A product in Stripe’s terms is what you’re selling. A product can contain one or more plans.
    • To add a description to your product, add a metadata field named “description” and use that one instead. You can use Markdown.
  • Plan - A plan contains a price, recurring cycle, and associates with a group to which your subscribers gain access.

:rotating_light: Be very careful to keep your Stripe private keys safe and secure at all times.

:warning: If you were to shut down your instance of Discourse, uninstall this plugin or your site were to go offline, Stripe will continue to bill your customers for your service until the subscription is cancelled.

Configuration

  1. Install & enable the plugin
  2. Configure Payment Gateway (Stripe)
  3. Configure Webhooks & Events in Stripe
  4. Add your Stripe keys (public, secret, webhook secret) under Admin > Plugin > Settings
  5. Create a group for your subscribers to join via purchase
  6. Create a product and plan under Admin > Plugins > Subscriptions
  7. Profit!

Set up your Payment Gateway.

Firstly, you’ll need an account with the Stripe payment gateway. To get started, you can set up an account in test mode and see how it all works without making any real transactions or having to set up a bank account. There is no test mode toggle in the plugin; instead, be sure to use your developer keys (they begin with pk_test, sk_test)

Set up Webhooks and Events in your Stripe account

:bomb: Webhooks are required to make subscription cancellations work fully. Be sure you have them configured correctly.

Once you have an account on Stripe, you’ll need to tell Stripe your website’s address so it can notify you about certain transactions. You can enter this in your Stripe dashboard under Endpoints > URL.

Webhooks address: [your server address]/s/hooks – where [your server address] is the URL of your Discourse install.

You’ll also need to tell Stripe which events it should notify you about via the webhook URL.

Currently, Discourse Subscriptions responds to the following events:

  • customer.subscription.deleted
  • customer.subscription.updated

Add the Stripe API and Webhook keys to your plugin settings

Stripe needs to be authorized to communicate with your website. To do this, it publishes a pair of private and public API keys and a signing secret for your web hooks.

To authorize webhooks, add the API keys and webhook secret from Stripe to your settings page (under Developers).

:warning: Adding production keys will make live payments. If you plan to test, be sure to switch to View test data mode and get pk_test and sk_test keys under Developers.

In your Stripe account settings, see:

Add these keys under the appropriate settings in Admin > Settings > Plugins.

Set up your User Groups in Discourse

When a user successfully subscribes to your Discourse application, after their credit card transaction has been processed, they are added to a User Group. By assigning users to a User Group, you can manage what your users have access to on your website. User groups are a core functionality of Discourse and this plugin does nothing with them except add and remove users from the group you associated with your Plan.

Create one or more products with plans.

Under Admin > Plugins > Subscriptions, click add a new Product. Once you have a product saved, you can add plans to it. Keep in mind that the pricing and billing intervals of plans cannot be changed once you create them. This is to avoid confusion around subscription management.

If you take a look at your Stripe Dashboard, you’ll see all those products and plans are listed. Discourse Subscriptions does not create them locally. They are created in Stripe.

Testing

Test with these credit card numbers:

  • 4242 4242 4242 4242
  • 4111 1111 1111 1111 (no authentication required)
  • 4000 0027 6000 3184 (authentication required)

For more test card numbers: Test payment methods | Stripe Documentation

Visit /s and enter a few test transactions.

Going Live

Once you’re ready to go live, change your API and webhook secret keys to production keys. You will need to create new products and plans in live mode.

Do be aware that if if you don’t properly configure Stripe webhooks, and recurring payments fail to process for any reason (expired credit card, etc.), users will still have access to the group . To have Stripe automatically cancel subscriptions, be sure to set your Manage failed payments settings similar to the below image and configure webhooks as described above.

Settings

Name Description
discourse subscriptions enabled Enable the Discourse Subscriptions plugin.
discourse subscriptions extra nav subscribe Show the subscribe button in the primary navigation
discourse subscriptions public key Stripe Publishable Key
discourse subscriptions secret key Stripe Secret Key
discourse subscriptions webhook secret Stripe Webhook Secret
discourse subscriptions currency Default Currency Code. This can be overridden when creating a subscription plan.
discourse subscriptions campaign enabled Enables a campaign banner to promote supporting this community financially.
discourse subscriptions campaign goal The numerical goal for your support campaign (subscribers or amount raised).
discourse subscriptions campaign type Selects the type of campaign to run (subscribers or monthly amount raised).
discourse subscriptions campaign banner location Selects the location of the campaign banner (top or sidebar).
discourse subscriptions campaign banner bg image Upload a custom image to use as the background on the campaign banner.
discourse subscriptions campaign banner shadow color Selects the color of the campaign banner drop shadow.
discourse subscriptions campaign show contributors Show avatars of the most recent purchases of subscription products.
discourse subscriptions campaign product The Stripe product id to send supporters when they click the button on the campaign. If this setting is blank, supporters will be directed to the main products page.

:discourse2: Hosted by us? This plugin is available on all of our hosting plans Subscriptions | Discourse - Civilized Discussion

120 Likes

Is it possible with this plugin to request a payment only to add a new subject/topic into a specific categorie but let the access free for all members to read and comment the subject of this categorie ?

The plugin can add users to a group that can create a topic in a category that anyone logged in can read or reply to.

2 Likes

Thanks and the only one who pays is the one who creates a topic in a category that anyone connected can read or reply to for free?

Understanding groups and category permissions (security settings)

Thank you @pfaffman.
I’m not sure I made myself understood.
Discourse Subscriptions allows site owners to sell recurring and one-time purchase subscriptions that grant access to a group on a Discourse instance.
So I therefore understand that only people who have paid can see and reply. What I’m looking for is to allow the creation of a new discussion in a specific category only for those who have paid. But all forum users can read and reply for free.

It does, but a one-time purchase adds the user to the group forever. If you want a one-time purchaser to be able to post only one new topic, you’ll need to add some logic. It might be possible with the automations plugin, or it might take a custom plugin.

1 Like

There is no “deleted”. Perhaps these are correct?

image

No, it’s there, but you have to search for customer.subscription events specifically:

I’ve been bitten by their search a few times.

3 Likes

Hi, I wonder if someone could advise. I added the subscriptions plugin and set it up with a Stripe account, looks great and seems to work well. However I noticed that Stripe seems to set two cookies as soon as someone hits the Forum, even before they log in. (which seems to be a potential GDPR issue)

Can’t see any options anywhere in subscriptions or on stripe to control this.

Am I doing something wrong, or is there a way to tweak this so it doesn’t add cookies before someone has logged in? (I did try clean / logged out browsers, same issue)

tia

2 Likes

Is it possible to have a solution like this:

Where you see some of the content but a pay box is shown to be able to read it all?

Maybe you find something helpful in Monetisation: how to partially hide posts to non-members?

3 Likes

Hi guys,

Is there a way to enable payments with AliPay through Stripe? I’ve enabled payments with AliPay through Stripe but can’t see the option on the subscriptions page,

Thank you