This is the Uncanny Groups for LearnDash update that many of our customers have been eagerly anticipating. After months of development, we’re excited to introduce a feature unique to our plugin that will completely transform B2B group subscriptions for LearnDash: support for adding seats to existing subscription-based groups.
We wrestled with the logic for months. How would someone manage multiple subscriptions linked to a single group? What if one of several subscriptions was cancelled? Could we minimize the confusion of having multiple subscriptions for individual groups? And would all of this be easy enough for end users to understand?
In terms of the visible changes to Group Leaders and admins, it’s all very straightforward. Administrators see a new section under Uncanny Groups > Settings to enable the option (we don’t want it to appear with no context for existing sites) and to set up a link so users can learn more about adding seats to subscriptions. We do recommend setting a page up with more details because the behaviour will be different depending on your settings around synchronization in WooCommerce Subscriptions.
And for Group Leaders, the Group Management page gets a new Add Seats button just like the one they’re probably used to seeing for groups purchased via one-time payment.
It’s a powerful new module, but to make this work and to deliver what we think balances the user experience with technical restrictions, there are some tips to keep in mind as you use this new feature. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Completing an order with additional seats for an existing group will create a new subscription in addition to the existing subscription. We strongly recommend enabling “Synchronise renewals” under WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions > Synchronization to align renewal dates across multiple subscriptions. This will avoid situations where customers are flooded with renewals on different days each month.
- We modified subscription behaviour so that if 1 subscription associated with a group is cancelled, all subscriptions for that group are cancelled. We do warn Group Leaders about this at the time of cancellation, and it’s because there is no safe way to keep some seats active and not others. If a group with 20 students and 20 seats has a subscription for 4 seats cancelled, which 4 students would lose their seats? There’s no way to address this that would be intuitive to Group Leaders, so we cancel all subscriptions for the group. Similarly, when a subscription is reactivated for a group, we create a new, single subscription for the group that matches the number of seats required for the group.
- The option to add seats to subscription-based groups is a global setting; it cannot be enabled and disabled for certain groups only.
- It is not possible to add courses to subscription-based groups. That’s a different and more significant level of complexity that we may or may not be able to support in future.
- The new functionality works with existing subscription-based groups, not only new groups.
As this new feature is a huge change, we suggest testing it on a group before rolling it out and announcing it to all of your Group Leaders.
It’s a big release
We could have definitely made the Uncanny Groups 4.3 release a 5.0 update instead of 4.3, but we’re trying to keep numbering aligned with our other plugins. The new functionality for group-based subscriptions is amazing, but there are some other huge additions to this release.
- New report exports. Many of the reports in Uncanny Groups previously had CSV export options. But why some and not others, and why CSV only? We conceded and added about 10 new export options to reports in Uncanny Groups. Please note that because these are new exports and new options, most are not shown by default and must be enabled using shortcode attributes. More information for each report is available in our Knowledge Base.
- New columns in the Course report. It’s now possible to show the course enrollment date and group name in the Course report. These optional columns are invaluable with exports in particular, since group name is shown on the report inside WordPress but the export was missing the additional context.
- Choose score type in the Quiz report. Would you rather show points in the quiz report instead of percentages? Now you can, thanks to the new “score-type” attribute. Use score-type=”percent” to show a percentage (the default) and score-type=”points” to show points instead.
- Automator set count updates. The new version supports updating the seat count for a group when seats are removed via an Uncanny Automator action.
- Group subscription cancellation date is now deferred until a subscription becomes cancelled, not just when it is pending cancellation. What this means is that users who cancel a subscription don’t lose the access they paid for immediately, instead the group access is only removed on the subscription end date.
For a full list of updates and changes, make sure to check out the Uncanny Groups changelog.