The Groups extension for WooCommerce allows you to offer grouped memberships. Using this free extension in combination with the Subscriptions extension will give you the ability to setup membership content access.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the Subscriptions plugin. In this post, I will look at the Groups extension’s features and thereafter at how it can be used in combination with the Subscriptions extension.

How the Groups extension works

The Groups extension allows you to sell memberships based on products. For example, when a user buys a product at checkout, it will require the user to login or register. By doing this, the user’s profile is added to a group based on the product that he or she bought.
Next users will be able to view membership information if you chose to display this information on your website. Membership information displays the group that they are in and the date that their membership will expire (for time-limited memberships).
Another feature of this plugin is access control. Access to content can be restricted by groups where you can choose to show parts of content to certain groups. For example, restrict access to posts, pages and custom content based on group capabilities.

Combining Groups and Subscriptions

Groups and Subscriptions compliment one another in an efficient manner. Subscriptions compliments Groups in the sense that it allows you to charge recurring payments. Whereas Groups compliments Subscriptions by allowing you to restrict your subscribers’ access to content.
Although the Groups extension allows you to offer membership access, you will need to use the Subscriptions extension to charge for a recurring subscription fee. For example, when you use Groups on its own, one time payments will grant a member unlimited time access to content. And by adding the Subscriptions extension, you can now allow the member access to content for as long as the subscription is active.
Now let’s take a look at a real life example. PharosOnline is an extensive library of online dictionaries. They offer three different dictionary packages, namely General Dictionaries, Subject Dictionaries and a combined package. These packages fall under the “Subscriptions” extension, because it manages recurring payments and time-limited memberships.
Groups extension
But the Subscriptions extension needs to be supplemented with the Groups extension because PharosOnline works with content restricted packages. For example, a user that is subscribed to the “General Dictionaries” package won’t have access to the “Subject Dictionaries” content.
Lastly, we will take a look at how they would group their users. “Tertiary Institutions” is a group, and this group receives access to all content. Whereas a “Single Dictionary Set” is a group that has access to only a certain section of the dictionary content. Another group is the “Free Trial” group, where users belonging to this group have access to all content for a certain amount of days.

Conclusion

The Groups extension is a very useful free tool to manage your members. And in combination with the Subscriptions extension, you can create a very powerful system.