Is it incorrect to separate subscription signup functionality and members signup functionality?

I’m setting up a publication that will have (a) regular posts for subscribers and anonymous readers, as well as (b) private posts for members only. That being so, the idea is to therefore utilize functionality for both subscribers and members. What I’m envisioning is allowing people to become either a subscriber (so that they get email notification of regular posts) or to become a paying member for private posts (which means they’ll also get email notification of regular posts).

A rough visual depiction of what I’d like to do theme-wise can be seen via the Wildbird theme off of Themeforest:

What I’m wondering is what’s the best and/or the proper way to do this. If I’m not mistaken, I recall reading a previous comment by Fabien or Gargol (or some other Ghost team member, but which I can’t seem to find now) that if you do what I’ve stated and which is seen above – allow for separate subscriber signup / member signup – then if a subscriber tries to “upgrade” to a paying member that you’ll end up with two accounts for the same user. Is that correct? And if so, is the methodology I’ve just stated (and depicted above) therefore discouraged?

I ask because, if my concern is correct, what I dislike about the idea of readers having to subscribe first and then become a paying member is that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to see the advantages of the various tiers they could subscribe to. (Yes, tiers. I know Ghost doesn’t allow for memberships tiers yet, and so we’ll be utilizing Patreon functionality until it does.) Likewise, would it not a bit of an extra and unnecessary step to require prospective paying members to have to go through the extra step of becoming a subscriber first and then a member?

Thanks for any clarifications :slightly_smiling_face:

Hey @Stromfeldt!

if a subscriber tries to “upgrade” to a paying member that you’ll end up with two accounts for the same user. Is that correct?

This is not correct :slight_smile: Member will only have a single account linked to their email.

And if so, is the methodology I’ve just stated (and depicted above) therefore discouraged?

The approach you are taking seems completely fine and exactly how members’ subscriptions were expected to be implemented in themes :wink:

Likewise, would it not a bit of an extra and unnecessary step to require prospective paying members to have to go through the extra step of becoming a subscriber first and then a member?

This is by design for the current iteration of members. Having these 2 steps combined at one go created some complexities we didn’t want to include in a beta iirc. Edit: We do allow for signup with the payment first!

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Thanks for the prompt reply! Unfortunately I’m still a bit confused though.

But isn’t directly signing up to be a paying member not the combination of “these 2 steps” in one? If you look at, say, the Wildbird Subscribe page, clicking on the Free “Subscribe Now” button takes you to the Signup page where an email address is to be inserted, whereas clicking on the $9 or $89 “Subscribe Now” buttons takes one directly to the Stripe page, skipping email signup. Is the latter not incorrect, seeing how it skips email signup?

Thanks again.