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Why I switched from Restrict Content Pro to Memberful

Hey there,

My name is Ivaylo Durmonski. I run a membership site where I publish book summaries of famous, and not-so-famous, titles. I started back in 2018 with no clear idea of what I'm doing.

In 2020, I started a membership program on WordPress using Restrict Content Pro (RCP in short) were supporting members can read the full summaries published.

And while the plugin (RCP) was doing its part for more than 6 months, today I decided to switch to Memberful.

Why I did it?

First, let me tell you why I started with RCP:

Why I build my membership program first with RCP

Three main reasons:

  1. I've watched the development of this plugin for years. I don't personally know the guys behind the company but I really adored their values and why they created the plugin in the first place - to solve their own problems.
  2. By that time, Stripe wasn't available in my country (Bulgaria).
  3. The price per year was/is reasonable - 99 USD per year for the basic plan.

Why I switched?

I was thinking about making the move to Membeful for a couple of months. I evaluated all the possible problems and the two main sticking points of moving all members to a new platform were these two:

  1. A lot of work to make the transition
  2. Since Memberful is powered by Stripe existing users must add CC if they want to keep supporting me. Previously, I used Braintree and PayPal. And while there is a way to migrate the payment info from Braintree, I was reluctant to touch the payment method of the people who decided to support me.

And while making people to add their CC again was not good in terms of keeping existing users active - most of them will probably decide not to stay members - there was something else that forced the switch: The recent acquisition of RCP.

Here's a link: https://sandhillsdev.com/2020/09/a-long-bright-future-for-restrict-content-pro-with-ithemes-and-liquid-web/

We know how these things work out, don’t we?

The buying company is incapable of adopting the values and principles of the original creator.

When you build something, besides hoping that it will get you money, consciously or not, you embed other values in your creation. Essentially, there’s a strong emotional relationship between you and what you’ve created. But if something is given to you after it is built, you rarely adopt the whole package.

For the new owner, the tool is simply a new additional way to make money. A chance to expand his portfolio. The relationship between the new owner and the tool is purely transactional. After all, he did not shed a drop of sweat to create the tool.

Acquisitions are usually a bad sign for the product.

Once I received the news, I immediately started planning my escape.

The actual move to Memberfl...

After taking a couple of days to plan the whole process, this is what I did:

  1. Created a free account on Memberful on a test site to see how the platform works
  2. Create a new free account on my own site
  3. Added the memberships I need prior to making the move
  4. Exported the required info from RCP to create new accounts on Memberful
  5. Send email to active members about the move a week in advance
  6. Added all members to the corresponding plans
  7. Terminated all previous data and also subscriptions on Braintree and PayPal
  8. Updated my site with new links
  9. Removed the old plugin
  10. Send another email notifying users that it's all migrated
  11. Hoping they'll continue to support me (pray)

These are the main steps. There are other smaller things (and also big) that I did, of course, but they are not worth mentioning.

Interested in reading the pros and cons of the two platforms?

I'll most probably create another post if enough people are interested in the above.

I want to check my site, visit this link:
https://durmonski.com/

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