re: I’m using Memberpress for my membersite.
Well, that is very odd… many of the membership plugins I’ve run into use roles to define their levels. Guess they do it different. There’s nothing wrong with different as long as it works well. Just unfortunately since they do not use roles it is more complex than it needs to be.
re: I am already using 4 of your plugins to try to make this work. All I wanted was a way for my paid members to be able to share their business/contact info with each other by adding it themselves and being able to edit their own entry.
Which Connections and Link does and is all that is required. You wanted Form so that could be done on the frontend (I’m assuming).
re: Seems like it shouldn’t be so complicated
It is not really. You do have a little more of a complex setup / set of requirements so that does make it a little more complicated than installing Connections/Link and adding a check to a couple checkboxes (explained here and in the installation instructions) … which is all that most others need.
re: I shouldn’t have had to spend weeks & buy and have multiple plugins hogging up my site trying to get this set up correctly…
Actually to counterpoint… bundling all these features into a single plugin which most people do not need or even want while adding unnecessary complexity to the core would be far worse. This way only those that need those features get them. Take Memberpress as an example… they have many add ons (not even counting those from third parties) that can be installed separately from the core plugin. Same thing, they just have a different pricing structure.
The extensions do not hog up the site… they are very feature focused and add very little overhead whatsoever to the site. If these features were part of the core plugin, the same amount of resources would be used. This is a very old myth that the number of plugins slow down WP. It is actually only the quality of the plugin that matter. A single poor plugin can bring a site to its use far more resources than many quality plugins.
Hope I explained things clearly and concisely as to not cause any confusion. Please do not take any offence as none is attended at all. I assure you none is intended, I only wish to comment on a few of the critical points you raised. I’m still here to assist you if you need any further assistance.