WooCommerce Memberships FAQ

For more details on WooCommerce Memberships, please see the documentation overview.

Have a question of your own that’s not answered here? We’d be happy to help out 🙂 You can submit a question to our pre-sales team.

Customer access ↑ Back to top

Can customers have more than one membership? ↑ Back to top

Yes! Memberships are not tied to a user role, so customers (or any user on your site) can have multiple memberships. They can manage them from the “My Account” section.

When is a membership created for a customer? ↑ Back to top

Membership access is granted for any paid order (status is ‘processing’ or ‘complete’). If you’d like to only allow completed orders, check out our snippet samples for help.

When is membership access granted? ↑ Back to top

If you’ve set content to be available immediately, members can access it as soon as their memberships are active. If you’ve dripped content, it’s available after the delay you’ve set. So for example, if I sign up on January 1, and content is dripped for one month, I can access it at midnight UTC on February 1 (you could adjust this to your server timezone with a snippet, though).

Can guests purchase memberships? ↑ Back to top

No – every member must have an account on your site, because membership access is tied to the account. This is how Memberships knows that a user belongs to a membership plan when they return to your site.

When a guest attempts to purchase a product tied a membership plan, Memberships will prompt them to either create a new account or login to an existing account before they can complete the purchase (as Subscriptions does). Typically, this only adds one or two fields to checkout (for the username and password), though depending on your WooCommerce settings, just an email address might be sufficient to create an account and send an auto-generated password to the user.

Please note that even if your WooCommerce settings permit guest checkout or prohibit account creation during checkout, Memberships will override these settings to force account creation when the user is purchasing a product tied to a membership plan.

Can customers upgrade or downgrade memberships? ↑ Back to top

Customers can upgrade or downgrade memberships if you’re using WooCommerce Subscriptions to sell recurring memberships. Set length memberships cannot be upgraded or downgraded, as Memberships isn’t involved with billing, proration, etc.

If Subscriptions is used, Memberships ties into all Subscriptions actions, so an upgrade or downgrade of a subscription will trigger a change in membership plan. If you don’t want customers to pay a recurring payment, you can configure Subscriptions to only process one charge for the membership, which will still allow you to take advantage of switching (upgrade / downgrade).

Our Subscriptions integration document has more details.

Does Memberships prevent members from sharing their login credentials? ↑ Back to top

No – however, there are a number of plugins available that prevent users from logging in on multiple devices or from different locations at the same time, such as:

Customer experience ↑ Back to top

Can I give shipping perks to my members? ↑ Back to top

Yes! If you use WooCommerce 3.2 or newer, and Memberships 1.10 or newer, you can offer free shipping to some or all members on your site.

Can I redirect members to their content after purchase? ↑ Back to top

As a customer can purchase more than one membership at a time, Memberships can’t reliably redirect a customers to members content — a purchase note is a much better solution for this. Ask customers to go to the “My Account” page and click “View” for the membership to see the membership content and perks.

Memberships will show a link to the account page or members area on the order confirmation and order emails for customers once the order has been paid for to do this as well:


WooCommerce Memberships Order Confirmation

WooCommerce Memberships Order emails

Want to know more about the members area? See more in the membership plans document.

Can I send more emails to members? ↑ Back to top

You can email members directly with member notes, and around the time their membership expires with expiration emails. If you’d like to send additional emails, we recommend checking out the Jilt integration.

How do I disable discount notices? ↑ Back to top

Discount notices can be disabled by clearing the discount text. If you leave the discount notices blank under WooCommerce > Settings > Memberships > Products, they will not be shown to non-members.

Can the Memberships account area be removed? ↑ Back to top

I use subscriptions to manage memberships, so I don’t want to show the “Memberships” table or link in customer accounts. Can it be removed?

First, we don’t recommend this as the “Memberships” account tab is needed for members to access the members area. Second, Memberships will not show member actions (like “Cancel”) if the membership is tied to a subscription — instead, it will force any cancellation / pausing / etc actions to use the subscription instead in order to keep billing and access in sync.

If you don’t want to show this account section, you can remove the “My Memberships” endpoint.

Admin management ↑ Back to top

Can I apply memberships to existing customers? ↑ Back to top

Yes, Memberships has a couple of tools that will help you grant membership access to customers.

First, you can manually grant membership access to a user under the “Memberships > Members” screen to any membership plan. Second, you can retroactively apply memberships when editing a plan by clicking “Grant Access” for existing purchases – if customers have purchased a product that grants access to the membership in the past, a new membership will be added (more in the document on User Memberships).

Can I give away free memberships? ↑ Back to top

Absolutely. You can do so by tying the membership to a free WooCommerce product. We recommend marking this product as “virtual” as well since the Membership does not require shipping. This will let the customer add the free product to the cart and “purchase” it without payment.

If you want to simplify the process even further, you can also create a membership plan that grants access upon “user account registration”. This will create a membership for every registration on your site, such as via the account page, checkout, WP registration, or other processes.

Can I test how members will see my content so I know what it looks like? ↑ Back to top

For sure! As an administrator (or shop manager) user on your site, no content will be restricted to you so that you can easily manage your site. If you want to see what your shop looks like as a non-member, you can log out, use an incognito window, or a different browser to view your site.

To view your site as a member, you can use our User Switching integration to easily impersonate a member. For example, this can let you view your site as a temporary gold member so you can ensure your restriction rules are set up correctly.

Does using Memberships comply with privacy regulations like the GDPR & PECR? ↑ Back to top

Yes, purchasing user memberships and storing information associated with them is no different than processing an order and storing its related information. This would fall under processing data to fulfill a contract, so no consent or notice is needed for storing membership data. You can see more about how Memberships works with core WordPress and WooCommerce privacy tools here.

Content protection ↑ Back to top

Does Memberships protect direct download links? ↑ Back to top

Memberships does not restrict downloadable file URLs specifically, as (1) it assumes that an URL for a download you’ll share is one that should be “share-able” and not restricted, and (2) directly restricted downloads happens at the server level (outside of PHP, which is the language WordPress / plugins use), so trying to restrict this purely via PHP code isn’t truly possible and would depend on your server configuration.

To protect downloadable files, we typically recommend taking one of these strategies:

  1. Add the file to a free WooCommerce downloadable product, then restrict this product to your membership. This lets members “purchase” the free product to get access to the downloadable files, and they’re protected by WooCommerce’s user authentication for members only.
  2. Use something like the Subscription Downloads plugin to achieve this instead (if your membership will be using Subscriptions). This plugin lets you “assign” downloadable products to a subscription (these products don’t even have to be purchasable). When a user purchases the subscription for your membership, they’ll have a list of the associated downloads available in the account page.

Are comments or RSS feeds restricted? ↑ Back to top

Any content that is restricted will be removed from your site’s RSS feeds so that it’s protected from non-members. So, if your site uses “Hide complete” or “Redirect to page” as the restriction modes, this content is completely removed from RSS feeds.

If the content is restricted, comments on that content will not be shown. If the restriction mode is “Hide content only”, the comments section will be protected with a “comments closed” message until a membership is purchased.

If I restrict a page / post / etc, will the entire page be restricted? ↑ Back to top

In short, yes. Adding content to restriction rules will hide the entire content, unless your settings show excerpts, in which case the excerpt will be shown.

If you only want to restrict a portion of the content, you can use the plugin’s shortcodes to restrict content sections, or show content sections only to non-members (i.e., log in, content restricted, or upgrade notices).

How does restricting content with Memberships impact my site’s SEO? ↑ Back to top

Search engines can’t index content restricted by Memberships. If you’d like to index some of your protected content for SEO purposes, you can enable excerpts and use the “Hide content only” (recommended) or “Redirect to page” restriction modes.

By default, excerpts display the first 50 words of your page or post. To make the most of your excerpts, you can instead write them yourself from the page/post editor. While more labor-intensive, this lets you strategically craft custom excerpts to include your targeted keywords and ensure they’re indexed by search engines.

Can I restrict custom fields created with Advanced Custom Fields? ↑ Back to top

If you’ve created custom fields with Advanced Custom Fields, you can use this snippet to hide those fields when they are used on a page restricted by Memberships. Please be sure you know how to safely add custom code to your site before implementing this snippet.

Integrations ↑ Back to top

Does Memberships integrate with BuddyPress? ↑ Back to top

At present, the only thing Memberships can do is restrict your BuddyPress pages (such as the registration page, your Groups index, or your members list) when the restriction mode is “Redirect to page”. However, the content is still directly accessible, such as using the direct link for a member profile or for a group’s page, so this isn’t truly a solution for using Memberships with BuddyPress.

BuddyPress does not use WordPress custom post types (instead using several custom tables in your database) to store its information, so Memberships will not automatically detect its content for restriction. You can vote for improved BuddyPress integration here.

Can I translate Memberships into my language with WPML? ↑ Back to top

Sure thing! Memberships is translation-ready, and the text domain is: woocommerce-memberships Most plugin strings can be translated, though if you use anything other than the default “restriction messages”, you may not be able to translate these dynamically via WPML.

However, all strings included in the plugin are always translatable by any translation plugin (PoEdit, LocoTranslate, etc). Please see some tips on translating extensions here, specifically the notes about SkyVerge plugins, as these use a common framework.

Please note that the plugin may not be 100% WPML compatible. We have worked on compatibility with a lot of areas, such as using the Members Area with WPML, but not everything (such as duplicated registration-based user memberships with WPML) can be solved on the Memberships side.

Does this integrate with WooCommerce Bookings?

Yes, a booking type product can be restricted or discounted based on membership plan rules. If a booking type product is restricted for purchase by members, non-members won’t be able to see the booking calendar or cost estimate. Other product details, however, such as the short description and product tabs, will be visible to non-members.

Does Memberships integrate with LearnDash? ↑ Back to top

We don’t currently have a dedicated integration with LearnDash, however, you can use Memberships to restrict LearnDash content like courses and lessons. When LearnDash courses are restricted, the course overview and status are also hidden from view.

Questions & support ↑ Back to top

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