Print Subscriber Validation

Ellington’s Paywall has the capability to grant access to existing print-subscribers by utilizing an imported .csv file of print-subscriber information.

Ellington’s Print subscriber importer is not a feature open to much customization. Most request above and beyond the below functionality will be billable as custom development or logged in Ellington’s Feature Request list as considerations for future Paywall upgrades.

Ellington’s Paywall application comes with a standard importer that will recognize print subscriber data located in a .csv file. Print Subscribers will need to validate their Ellington site username with their print subscriber file in order to receive access to paid-only content.

  • The importer will run nightly and will overwrite previous data.
  • Ellington will need to receive the print subscriber file via FTP or placement on an FTP directory at the agreed upon time (i.e. delivery via FTP sometime between 10:00 p.m. and midnight with the importer script to run between 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.)

User Interface and Design

  • Once an end-user encounters the Paywall, they will be asked if they are a print subscriber and presented with a form where they enter information to validate. The form that collects information Requires these components:
    • Account #:
    • Name: [FirstName LastName]
    • Phone #:
  • Once the data is entered, the process begins where we validate the information based on the following matching algorithm:
    • First, we match against the account number if entered. If we get a match, we’re done and the user is validated as a print subscriber.
    • If they don’t enter the account number or its wrong, we look at the combination of FirstName, LastName, and Phone#. If we match all 3, the user is validated.
    • If that doesn’t work, we try to match LastName and Phone#. If that works, the user is validated.
    • If we still didn’t match, we’ll validate the user as a print subscriber but will send your administrator an e-mail stating that we marked “username X” as a print subscriber but couldn’t match any of the information they entered. It will be a manual process and up to your organization to perform any resolution. Assigned resources will have Admin access in case there is a need to revoke the print subscriber status.

Maintenance/Administrative Application

  • Ellington provides an application that administrators can use to mark users as “subscribers” in case the automatic method doesn’t work.
    • Example: a customer doesn’t have a phone number on record and therefore the automated process doesn’t work correctly so they call.
  • End-users will not have access through the web site to cancel subscriptions.

For all bundled or print-only subscription purchases: site owners must enter this information from the notices received from payment gateway into their print system either manually or via some other automated process outside of the Ellington products.

Sample of Print Subscriber .csv file format*


An electronic copy of the sample .csv file can be provided upon request. Please note the only fields that are used to “match” in this file are Account, FirstName, LastName and Phone number. However, Ellington also offers fields for address information as well as a customizable field called “Paper Code” that is optional.

Print Subscribers
Change Print Subscribers

In this example, the print subscriber Sally Welch appears in the nightly .csv file so she will appear in this print subscriber table.

Ellington will check against this existing Print Subscriber table and the nightly .csv file to see if any records have dropped out of the print subscriber file (the governing data source on subscribers). Ellington will keep a subscriber in the table for 5 days after the record drops out of the .csv file.

Online Print Subscriber Validation: What the user sees

When a new user hits the paywall, they will be asked to login with their Ellington username and password. They will also be asked if they are an existing print subscriber. If they are, they will be directed to a validation screen like this one:

What users see

Language at the top of the validation screen is customizable based on business use-case scenarios but the fields are required.


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