May 142020

How Visitors Register For Free Using SMP tutorial shows you how visitors register using Simple membership plugin and more.

Last Updated: March 6, 2024

Latest News: Updated the documentation.

What You Need:

The following tutorial shows you how simple it is to set up free membership registration in your site. This is similar to paid membership registration however the process is done a bit differently. The following URL registration process overview has more information regarding the registration process between paid and free membership.

How Visitors Register For Free Using SMP

Simple membership plugin works with WP Users. Each time a new member is added to your site they will also have a corresponding WP User account created. Which means that when they log into your sites members area, they will also get logged in as a WP user automatically.

So if they are logged in as a member and they post a comment, that comment is also posted as a WP User (because they are also logged into their WP user account).

To learn more about the expected behaviour of the plugin read the following note. (Added by The Assurer in  the forum.)

This is the expected behaviour.

  • The Membership Level “Role” designations only serve to populate the initial WP User table entries, whenever a new Member profile is first created.
  • The scope of operation for SWPM is “content access.”
  • The scope of operation for WordPress User Roles is “to give the site owner the ability to control what users can and cannot do within the site.”
  • Role escalation & de-escalation is beyond the scope of operation for SWPM.

Note: If someone signs up as a WP User they will not be added to your members area unless you enable the following feature Enable Auto Create Member Accounts. This is located under Advanced Settings. Alternative, you can use the following addon simple-membership-wp-user-import.


Step 1 ) The following image shows you the registration form visitors need to fill out to become a member of your site. These are the default fields available in the plugin when you install and activate Simple Membership plugin in your site. The order of these fields cannot be changed and you cannot add more fields. Only the Form Builder addon allows you to manage the order of the fields and also add extra fields to your registration form. Check the following documentation wp-simple-membership-form-builder-plugin to learn more.

SMP Default Registration Fields:

  • Username = This is a required field
  • Email = This is a required field
  • Password = This is a required field
  • Repeat Password = This is a required field
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Membership Level


Step 2 ) The following image shows you the error messages displayed if the following fields Username, Email, Password and Repeat Password are not completed when you click on the Register button.


Note: Remember, if you want extra fields and also manage the order of the fields you need to purchase the form builder addon.

Other Important Information

You can also make the free members click on a link in order to activate the account. All you have to do is enable Email Activation located in WP Membership -> Membership Levels -> Add Level.


Q1 When someone registers they need to fill in the form but if they use a username that already exist they get an error message. I want to avoid this check using mobile devices. How can I achieve this?

Answer: Usernames have to be unique per site. So this check has to be there for our plugin. Otherwise it won’t work. You can check the following link forum post.


Q2 How can I prefill the data into the registration form?

Answer: Someone in the forum posted a solution that you might like to try. Check the following link forum post to learn more.



Q1 I am using LiteSpeed cache plugin in my site and the text boxes overlay the comments that come after the user inputs data, so those comments can’t be read easily.

Answer: The LiteSpeed cache plugin needs to exclude certain files from Simple Membership Plugin. The following link forum post provides a solution by the user.

List of files to exclude:

  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/membership-login/
  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/membership-registration/
  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/js/jquery.validationEngine-en.js
  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/js/swpm.validationEngine-localization.js
  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/css/swpm.common.css
  • /wp-content/plugins/simple-membership/views/add.php

Recommended Links:


That is how simple it is for visitors to register in your site using Simple Membership plugin.

If you have any questions please let me know. I will be updating this tutorial from time to time.


Simple Membership Plugin Tutorial List:

I have been working in IT since 1999 and I enjoy the challenges it brings me. I love developing websites with WordPress. I spend a lot of time helping out in forums. I have been writing tutorials since 2011. Now I am learning how to manage my own VPS "Virtual Private Server.

  6 Responses to “How Visitors Register For Free Using SMP”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the walk-through, it helps understand what goes on.

    Something I can’t quite figure out: I see that when someone registers, it creates an entry in “WP Membership > Members” (referring to the WordPress admin menu here), and it seems to also create one under “Users > All users”.

    However, there are users that exist in “WP Membership > Members” and for whom I can’t find a corresponding entry in “Users > All users”.

    Can you explain why that would be the case? Are the users doing something differently? If so, what?

    (Perhaps relevant: I don’t use the “Force WP User Synchronization”, as I’m not quite sure what it does, and I had a weird event once where my admin user account was overridden with another user’s email address, which was quite scary)

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Pierre, how are you?

      Did you add these members manually? Or are these members that their account expired? Or did you delete the WP Users accounts for these members?


      • Doing good thanks, hope you’re well, too!

        I have done none of the above, I think. I use accounts that don’t expire (free membership) and the only accounts that were deleted were deleted through the admin screen, although I don’t know if that’s what you’d call manual?

        • Hi Pierre,

          Lets carry out a test. Add a new member to your site manually and one via the registration form. Make sure they are different members. Check to see if it has also created a corresponding WP User account? Let me know how you go.

          Thank you

          • Sorry for the slow response, I needed a window to carry out the test carefully.

            – When I add the user manually (here I assume you mean via the “add member” tab in the WP Membership admin panel), a user account appears in the Users panel as well.
            – When I add the user via the Simple Membership form that is publicly accessible on the site, there is also a user account that appears in the Users panel (and in the WP Membership panel, for that matter).

            In other words, both action seem to have identical results.

            I have conducted yet another test, which is to register via the WordPress default login screen (wp-login.php?action=register). Though it’s not linked to anywhere on the site, it’s still a valid path for registration. Here again, accounts are correctly created in both lists.

            IMO, this suggests inconsistent behavior from the plugin, depending on some unknown parameter. This would be consistent with what I see when I look at the accounts, and with the test we just ran.

            Do you know how the plugin runs? Does it insert a user in Simple Membership and then in Users? If so, is it possible that the second insertion fails, and not the first one?

          • The first test is correct. That is how the plugin works. The second test, do you have the following feature Enable Auto Create Member Accounts enabled under Advanced Settings tab? If you do, then that explains why the account created via WordPress registration is also added Members in SMP.

            Thank you

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