Method of approach for issue-based magazine WP w/ subscriber access control

I’m putting together a custom WordPress configuration for a magazine website.

Currently, content that is free to the public is published on the [WordPress] site, and the official issues are released bi-monthly via their Modular Merchant storefront for purchase by single issue or subscription (for one or two years). Each issue is distributed in two formats: PDF and Zmags (digital publishing software). The point of this they say is so readers can download their issues for offline use, and view them on an iPad in Zmags.

My intention is to first of all switch from the Modular Merchant e-commerce platform to a simple WordPress plugin for better integration and to save them about $1k annually. (Not to mention that Modular Merchant is just plain too complicated for no good reason, anyway…)

I was thinking to just use WooCommerce for the e-commerce plugin… But my boss also wants me to look in to a WP-based alternative to Zmags? That I don’t know about, but I at least want to somehow secure/lock access to those, save for their paid consumers… Right now they’re really publicly accessible, the link is provided upon purchase, along with the static PDF link (again, virtually freeforall). If nothing else, I need to restrict public access to these files.

However I also thought it would be pretty rad, if I may, to also have the issues published on the website, in the form of “Articles” (CPT) sorted by “Issue” (custom taxonomy), with subscriber access control set in accordance with their purchased issues. This benefits subscribers by allowing them to converse with one another in the comments, as any readers do on the regular, public posts online. Also I’m sure I could then hook **it up and export each issue directly to PDF upon its release.

They also sell Classifieds and Advertisements (for the website, magazine issues, or both) through their awful Modular Merchant store. For the Classifieds I was thinking maybe to use Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin… though I may be getting ahead of myself here, that may very well be unnecessary. But this [URL=“”]Editorial Calendar plugin is bound to come in handy, for sure.

So I’m just throwing that all out there, welcoming suggestions. If anyone’s got any brilliant ideas or any insight at all, two heads are always better than solo. Thank you kindly.