How can I view the sign-up process for my CSA the same way my members will see it?

Since the Membership sign-up process is a series of pages that open up one after the other, it is not as easy to view these pages on your website as it is to see the other pages you create. However, it can be desirable to test the sign-up process first before you make it available to your customers.

To do this, you will go through the process on your website as if you were one of your customers signing up for a membership. Since you don't want to enable the sign-up process on your website until you are ready to take customers, we first need to take some steps to "hide" the process from the live site, and then enable it to allow you to test it.

These instructions assume that you have already set up your Season and Sign-up process. For further instructions on how to do this, read the Creating Seasons article and visit the Getting Started in Member Assembler section of the Knowledge Base.

First, log in to your Control Panel and navigate to: Member Assembler > Configure > Season and make sure that the Season that you want to test is enabled. Seasons enabled for sign-up are highlighted in green. Next, navigate to: Member Assembler > Configure > Member Types and make sure that the appropriate Member Types are enabled, so that you may view them during the sign-up process.

Then, open up your public website in a new browser window or tab. You can do this easily by right clicking on the "Open Public Site" link at the top right corner of your Control Panel and choosing one of the "Open link in new.." options. Then navigate to the CSA sign-up page on your website and leave it open. Once you have done this, return to your Control Panel and navigate to: Display > Navigation > Menu Manager. Scroll down to find your Member Sign-Up page and then click the box in the "Enabled" column so that it is no longer checked. Now your sign-up pages are hidden from the public, but you will still be able to use the browser window that you already opened to go through the sign-up process and see it the way your customers would.

Note: If you have a Small Farm Central website along with Member Assembler, you can also get to your Member Sign-Up pages by visiting: http://www.yourfarmname.com/members/types (substitute www.yourfarmname.com in the url with the domain name of your website)

Next, navigate to: Member Assembler > Configure > Display Settings. Scroll down to the "Disable Public Sign-up" section. Uncheck this box to enable sign-up on your site. Then, scroll down further and make sure you allow new members to sign up. Don't forget to click the "Submit Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Note: It's important to go through the whole sign up process when testing so that you receive the confirmation emails that your members would get upon completion as well as the email that you as the farmer receive when new members sign up. Sometimes this means that you will have to change your checkout options to "invoice only" so that you don't get re-routed to Paypal or Authorize.net, which will require you to enter in payment information. If you don't normally offer "invoice only" as a checkout option, make a temporary switch for the testing process by navigating to: Member Assembler > Configure > Checkout. Don't forget to switch this back to your regular setting when you are finished with the testing process.

Finally, return to the window or tab that is displaying your CSA sign up page and click the refresh button in your browser's address bar. You should now be able to choose your member type and continue through the sign-up process. At the contact information section, use your own information and email address, or simply use a placeholder email address of: yourname@noemail.com. (*Note:* if you use a fake email address you will not receive the confirmation email). It is better to create a fake membership than to use the information of one of your existing members. This way they won't receive any confusing confirmation emails. You will delete this fake membership in the next step.

Note: Remember to take notes on how your sign up process looks and what changes you would like to make as you go through. It is better to go through the entire process, make changes, and then return to review it again than stop in the middle to fix something in the Control Panel.

Once you have completed your test sign-up, log back into the Control Panel and delete your fake membership by navigating to: Member Assembler > Members > View Members. You will also want to navigate to: Administrate > Users > Manage Users and delete the User Account that was created for your fake membership as well. You will have to delete this information every time you do a test, so that you can continue to use your email address to receive confirmation emails.

Note: If you did not fully complete the sign up process, you will have trouble deleting your fake membership right away. Our system holds on to member information entered into the sign-up pages for twelve hours, to give your customers enough time to complete the process and pay. You will have to wait until the system times out to delete your fake user.

You may want to "sign-up" after each time you make changes to make sure that everything looks the way you want it. Make sure that you are in the correct Season when you make your changes and then follow this process again.

When you are completely finished testing, return to: Member Assembler > Configure > Display Settings and click the checkbox to disable sign-up on your site. Don't forget to click the '"Submit Changes" button at the bottom of the page. Then return to: Display > Navigation > Menu Manager, find the CSA sign-up page in the disabled section (in pink), click the checkbox to enable it, and then click the "Submit Changes" button underneath the menu items spreadsheet.

Note: Don't forget to change back any settings you switched; specifically if you changed your checkout settings or if you only allow returning members to sign-up (Display Settings).

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