"Premium" Memberships

TechWiz18

One with Tech
Dec 18, 2008
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So I have considered implementing some sort of "Premium" membership that costs X amount per month or year. The only reason for the option would be for those that want to support the forum financially seeing as ads aren't a horribly effective way to go about it.

For me I'd have the premium membership maybe change some aesthetic things to the user's profile and maybe allow for things like an animated Avatar but nothing that I would think make the other members feel left out since it is available to them if they choose to support the community financially.

What thoughts do you have in regards to Premium memberships on a forum?
 
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Joshua Farrell

Papa Smurf
Nov 9, 2009
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I've been working on figuring out a premium membership option for one of my forums. The forum I am figuring the VIP membership for, is basically a community forum for a mobile game that doesn't keep discussion logs for too terribly long. The basic idea behind mine that I am still working on, is that if a group of people want to be able to have group discussions for their in game group to be private, making a private board or two with a user group would be the basic charge, plus anything else to help identify the group.

I haven't decided on the charge amount yet.
 
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Thomasss

Community Team Leader
Community Team
Jan 28, 2013
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Meeeh. I've never bought a VIP membership form forums. It's hard when most forums are gone after a years time, or forum owners launch a site and expect people to buy premium, so they add all these features to the premium group and leave the normal, non premium members, out in the cold not even being able to edit their signature....

I'd prefer to pay for services rather than a premium membership that really doesn't add anything "premium" to the actual membership..
 
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Hungry Ego

Familiar Face
May 30, 2020
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discussionhub.io
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Meeeh. I've never bought a VIP membership form forums. It's hard when most forums are gone after a years time, or forum owners launch a site and expect people to buy premium, so they add all these features to the premium group and leave the normal, non premium members, out in the cold not even being able to edit their signature....

I'd prefer to pay for services rather than a premium membership that really doesn't add anything "premium" to the actual membership..
Agreed. That is kind of the direction we are taking at DH...

No "real life" currency for those features, just some activity and BAM, you have what you need to unlock pandora's box.
 
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_B_

Up-and-Coming Sensation
Jun 15, 2020
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I would suggest to anyone that is thinking of it to build up their forums first before adding premium features. It's definitely something you should not add immediately (with some exceptions). This is what I'm doing with my site. You can unlock features through ranking up (based on your posts).
 

Matthew

#MasksSaveLives
Jun 28, 2010
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For me, the forum would have to have great value before I considered donating to become a premier member. More so, I'd have to find value in the membership option. An example would be RuneScape. I buy their premier membership each year because we get access to dedicated servers, contests, cheaper membership, etc. I also get access to a premier club forum where they host additional Q and As. I find value in this deal.

Take FP for example. I would likely never buy a premier club membership as none of the benefits have, or have had, any real meaning to me. I supported the site through activity and various staffing positions. A fancy username color doesn't appeal to me (in fact, I helped advocate for the abolition of the retired admin/VC groups). I might purchase a month or two if it came with an FP T shirt. To be honest though, I'd rather just buy the t-shirt outright.

Overall, most forums I've seen don't optimize their donator roles to mean didly squat. Some forums have members donate out of loyalty but you'd really have to build your base there and have something of use (ie, wikipedia asking for donations to help keep it accessible).
 

Cumulus

Marketing Team Leader 📊
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I think the success of such a scheme would be topical depending on the type of forum in-question. I could imagine this successful amongst, say, a gaming or arts forum where there are 'unlockables' and physical perks to be offered. Though, a forum like this or programmers say, would be a little harder to implement unless there was an excruciatingly good premium feature that regular users would desire. Interesting concept though and it's interesting to see what some forums out there offer