Saturday, 15 Jun 2024

Log in with Patreon: The Incomplete Experience

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Hi there,

Have you ever tried logging in with Patreon for the first time, only to find that the process feels unfinished? It seems that when using an existing Patreon account in a WordPress installation, you should be prompted to log in with WordPress first. However, instead of receiving an error message, nothing happens.

You go through the OAuth screen, authorize the connection between Patreon and WordPress, and then get sent back to the login page without actually being logged in. Interestingly, there is a query string added to the URI when redirected back from the OAuth permissions screen: “?patreon_message=email_exists_login_with_wp_first”. Looking at the source code of the login page, the plugin defines CSS styles for a “.patreon-msg” class, implying that there were plans to display this error message to the user.

Unfortunately, there is no HTML element on the login page that actually applies the “.patreon-msg” class, so the error message remains hidden. Even if the error message were visible, the user experience in linking the existing WordPress account to Patreon seems confusing.

Although the average user does not have access to the back-end, even if they did, there is no clear “link Patreon” option in the user profile edit section. Furthermore, the “my account” page that WooCommerce adds does not provide a “link Patreon” option either, which would be an ideal location in my opinion.

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Currently, the only way to link the accounts is to return to “wp-login.php” after already logging in with the WordPress account and then use the “log in with Patreon” button. This does link the accounts together, but it’s an unrealistic process for users to follow since they don’t usually have an obvious route back to wp-login.php once they are logged in.

In my opinion, there are a couple of quick fixes that could greatly improve the user experience:

Quick Fixes for a Seamless Experience

  1. Add the necessary HTML elements to the login form so that existing users can actually see an error message about the existing email when they attempt to log in with Patreon.
  2. Create a custom page (preferably integrated as a tab on the WooCommerce My Account page) that offers users either the “Log in with Patreon” button (if they are not linked) or a summary of their current permission status (if they have already linked).

These simple improvements would make the process of logging in with Patreon and linking accounts much smoother and easier for users.

On a side note, let’s take a look at the usermeta data added when linking a WordPress user to Patreon. It might be safer to change the “user_firstname” field to “patreon_user_firstname” and the “user_lastname” field to “patreon_userlastname”. All the other meta information already has a “patreon” prefix, and it’s generally a good idea to maintain a consistent naming scheme to prevent conflicts with other plugins.

In conclusion, by implementing these quick fixes and ensuring a consistent naming scheme for usermeta data, the log in with Patreon experience can be greatly improved. Users will have a seamless journey, and the integration between Patreon and WordPress will be much more user-friendly and efficient.

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Let’s work towards enhancing the log in with Patreon feature and making it a delight for all users.