Registration Module in WordPress: WP-Members

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WP-Members™ is a plugin to make your WordPress blog a membership driven site. Perfect for newsletters, private blogs, premium content sites, and more! The plugin restricts selected WP content to be viewable by registered site members. Unlike other registration plugins and WordPress itself, it puts the registration process inline with your content (and thus your branded theme) instead of the native WP login page. WP-Members™ works “out-of-the-box” with no modifications to your theme, but it is fully scalable for those that want to customize the look and feel, or want to restrict only some content. It is a great tool for sites offering premium content to subscribers, and is adaptable to a variety of applications.


  • Can block posts, pages, both, or none by default
  • Can override the default block setting at the individual post/page level
  • Login/Registration inline with content rather than the WP login page
  • User registration and member information management integrated into your theme
  • Sidebar login widget
  • Can set fields that will display in the registration form
  • Can set fields to be required
  • Notify admin of new user registrations
  • Hold new registrations for admin approval
  • Turn registration off completely (for admins that want to control registrations in some other way)
  • Show excerpt on pages/posts for better SEO

By default, WordPress allows all content to be “open” and viewable by anyone and allows the site owner to restrict specific content if desired by setting a password for the post. WP-Members™ operates with the reverse assumption. It restricts all content by default and allows the site owner to “unblock” content as desired. WP-Members™ now offers the ability to change the default plugin settings. For those that simply want utilize the member management features and possibly restrict some content, the default setting can easily be toggled to block or unblock pages and/or posts by default. No matter what the default setting, individual posts or pages can be set to be blocked or unblocked as well.

The plugin adds custom fields to the registration process to include name, address, phone, and email. All of the registration process is inline with your theme and content rather than using the WordPress login page. This offers you a premium content site with a professional and branded look and feel.


WP-Members™ is designed to run “out-of-the-box” with no modifications to your WP installation necessary. There are also optional features that, if implemented, will require you to add some php to your theme.

Basic Install:

  • The easiest way to install is through the WP plugins admin panel.
  • From the WP admin panel, select Plugins > Add New
  • Search for term “wp-members” or author “cbutlerjr”
  • Select “Install Now” and follow instructions.

Alternatively, you can download a zip of the current version and upload it yourself.

  • Upload the entire folder containing the plugin files to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  • Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

That’s it! You are ready to begin using WP-Members™. Follow the instructions titled “Locking down your site” below. Or check out the following:

Original Sources:

Note fore upgrading from 2.1 or earlier: If you are running a previous version “out-of-the-box,” you should be able to upgrade without any problems. If you did any customization to which registration fields are used and/or required, you can simply set this in the new admin panel to match your current usage. However, if made changes to the code to customize the fields beyond this, i.e. field names or types, you should not upgrade at this time. Also, if you made code changes to the inline registration and login forms, you should download and compare the new code to your customizations before upgrading.

Locking down your site:

  • To begin restricting posts, you will need to be using the <!--more--> link. Content above to the “more” split will display on summary pages (home, archive, category) but the user will be required to login to view the entire post.
  • If you want to restrict comments from being viewed along with posts, add the following at the top your comments.php template file: <?php if (!is_user_logged_in() && !get_post_custom_values('unblock')) { $post->post_password = wpmem_generatePassword(); } ?>
  • To further protect comments, we recommend setting “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” under Settings > Discussion
  • Also on the page Settings > General, we recommend making sure “Anyone can register” is unchecked. Although not required, this will prevent WP’s native registration from colliding with WP-Members™.
  • Under Settings > Reading, we recommend that “For each article in a feed, show” is set to “Summary.”

Additional Settings and Information

A “Quick Start Guide” is available in PDF format. The guide outlines the installation process, and also documents how to use all of the settings.

  • If you want to display the user’s login status, and the following function call to your template: <?php wpmem_login_status(); ?>
  • To add the login box to the sidebar (if desired) – if no widget support, call the function <?php wpmem_inc_sidebar(); ?>. If you do have widget support, you can just drag the WP-Members™ widget to your sidebar.
  • If you want to have your users be able to edit their login information, add a page (not a post) with a slug of “members-area”. In the body of this page, place <!--members-area-->where you want WP-Members™ to display its content. (You may place content before and after this if desired.) This page will allow registered members to edit their information or change their password, and will display the registration form for new members. (If you are using the default permalinks, i.e., then you must be certain this page title is “Members Area”. Check Settings > Permalinks to see your settings.)
  • If you would like to have a page to direct users for registrations, WP-Members™ now offers you a registration page. Similar to the “members area” page setup, create a page (not a post) with a slug of “register”. In the body of the page, put the placeholder <!--reg-area-->(Just like the members area, if you are using default permalinks, you must title this page “Register”.)

Frequently Asked Questions

I activated the plugin and went to test it and it didn’t block my post?

Make sure you log out of the admin before you test. If you are logged in as admin, you will be able to click through to view the post. (To know if you are logged in, we suggest using the WP-Members™ login widget, included in the installation. However, you must have the widgets plugin and a widget enabled theme to use this feature.)

Also, be sure you are using the <!--more--> tag. The blocking only takes place one single posts (or, optionally, pages). Without this tag, a full post would display on your home page or on an archive/category page.

How can I show the login status on the sidebar?

If your theme is widget enabled, activate the widgets plugin, then add the WP-Members™ widget to your sidebar. If you do not have widgets, you can call the function by adding this to your sidebar:<?php wpmem_inc_sidebar(); ?>

I’m really only using this to add user fields and have the login integrated into the site. I would rather that posts be unblocked by default. How do I do that?

WP-Members™ gives you the ability to change the settings for how the plugin blocks content. The default setting is to block posts and allow individual posts to be set to unblock at the post level. You can change this setting so that all posts will be viewable by default. If you then have a post that you want blocked to registered members only, you can set the post to block at the post level.

How do I block (or unblock) an individual post (or page)?

If you are using the default settings (as mentioned above), and you have a post that you want to be unblocked (viewable by any user, not just logged in users), on the Edit Post page add a Custom Field with the name “unblock” and set the value to “true” or “1” (either will work). This post will be now be viewable by anyone.

Likewise, if you have set WP-Members™ to unblock by default and you want to block an individual post, use a Custom Field with the name “block” and set the value to “true” or “1”.

How to I change the registration fields that are used and which are required?

These settings can be managed on the WP-Members™ admin panel found under Settings > WP-Members™

Where do I find the users registration information?

WP-Members™ was designed to fully integrate with WordPress to allow maximum compatiblity not only with WP, but also with other plugins that rely on WP user registration information, such as discussion forums, email newsletters, etc. The user information is in the main WP users page under Users > Users, then click “Edit” under an individual user. Any non-native WP fields (WP-Members™ custom fields) are added to the bottom of this page and are fully editable. (Note: if you don’t have any registered users yet, i.e. a clean install, these fields will not display until there is data in them.)

Users are not being emailed their passwords, what is wrong?

WP-Members™ uses the native WP function wp_mail to email passwords. This is the same function the WP uses if you are using the WP registration process. If it’s not configured properly or for some other reason not working, neither will WP-Members™’ registration process.

You can test this process by creating a new user via the WP admin panel. Go to Users > Add New in the menu and create a new user. Make sure when you do this “Send this password to the new user by email” is checked. If you do not get an email, then wp_mail is not working. If that is the case, you are probably going to have to do some troubleshooting to fix it. Try the WP support forums for this.

Can I customize the way the login and registration forms look?

Yes! There are three IDs available for customized CSS specifications – wpmem_login, wpmem_reg, and wpmem_msg.

The wpmem_login and wpmem_reg IDs wrap the login and registration tables. The dialog messages that display on form validation or registration success are wrapped with the wpmem_msg ID. This allows you to set things like cell spacing, padding, borders, backgrounds, and more via CSS.

Other Notes

Statement regarding the name WP-Members™

WP-Members™ is a trademark of

There are a number of commercial vendors offering products called WP-Members™ or a derivative thereof. These products are neither free, nor open source. The original plugin hosted here has been publicly available since 2006 and in no way associated with any of these vendors. Tagging your support request in the forums attaches it to this plugin. If you are seeking support for one of these commercial products, you should seek support from the vendor.

An official statement is available here.