Jul 202015

WordPress Simple Membership Levels Settings post shows you how to add different membership levels for your registering members to choose from.

Last Updated: November 11, 2020

Latest News: Updated the documentation.

Having a membership site is important but it is also equally important to have in place the correct membership levels. You want to allow your registering members to choose the correct membership level based on their requirements. For example: You might choose to have free and paid membership levels in your site. Once you have decided on the different membership levels you need, then you will need to work out what content needs to be protected using the corresponding membership levels created.

The membership level list below is an example of a typical scenario used in many membership sites. However, in some cases you might only allow free membership registration in your site. Click on the following link simple-membership-registration-form-shortcode-generator to learn how to only allow free membership registration in your site.

Members Level Example:

  • Free
  • Bronze = $25
  • Silver = $45
  • Gold = $75

What You Need:

WordPress Simple Membership Levels Settings

Step 1 ) Go to WP Membership -> Membership Levels to start adding your membership levels, protecting your categories, protecting your posts and pages and more. See the following image.

Membership Levels Options

  • Membership Levels
  • Add Level
  • Manage Content Protection
  • Category Protection
  • Post and Page Protection

Step 2 ) Go to WP Membership -> Membership Levels -> Add Level to start adding your membership levels. See the following image.


Step 3 ) Once you click on Add Level tab as illustrated above you can begin to set up the following options.

Add Membership Level

  • Membership Level Name (required)
  • Default WordPress Role (required)
  • Access Duration (required) (For this post I selected No Expiry (Access for this level will not expire until cancelled)
  • Once you finished click on Edit Membership Level button

Note: In some situations you might want to allow your members to update their membership level for free. To learn more about how to achieve this, please click on the following URL manual-button-to-allow-updating-changing-membership-level.


Step 3-a ) The following image allows you to set up the following options.

Add Membership Level Continued

  • Access Duration (required) = (For this post I selected No Expiry (Access for this level will not expire until cancelled)
  • Email Activation = If you enable this feature, your members signing up for a free membership level will need to click on an activation link that is sent to their email address to activate the account.
  • Once you finished click on Add New Membership Level button when you are finish with the settings.


Step 3-b ) The following image shows the WP User Roles available in this site. It is important that you pay attention when assigning a WordPress user role to a membership level. Especially if the other plugins in your site have added new user roles. In the following image you can see the default WordPress user roles and other user roles added by other plugins.

WordPress Default User Roles

  • Subscriber
  • Contributor
  • Author
  • Editor
  • Administrator

User Roles Added By Other Plugins 

Note: In your site you might have other user roles or none, just WordPress default.

  • Translator
  • Affiliate
  • SEO Editor
  • SEO Manager


Membership Access Duration Information

Note: It is important to select the correct duration period for your members. For more information, check the following documentation adding-membership-access-levels-site.

If you specify a duration value in the membership level then, simple membership will set the account to “unsubscribed” when someone cancels. So the user will still have access until the duration time is over. If the recurring payment keeps coming every 30 days (assuming you have a 30 days recurring payment setup) then they will keep getting access for another 30 days.

If you select No Expiry (Access for this level will not expire until cancelled). The moment the member cancels the account their account will be set to expired. They will not have access to the protected content anymore.

Membership Access Duration Important Note

Important Note: It is a good idea to offer 1 or 2 extra days by setting the access duration value to something like 31 or 32 days. Because of the way PayPal’s IPN works, the plugin can’t offer hourly granularity. Giving access for an extra day is really nothing but it offers the customer full satisfaction.

It is a standard business practice, especially in banking, to measure time using a 30 day “business month.” That is why the closing dates for credit cards and bank statements tend to drift by 1 to 3 days. Even Microsoft Excel, via the DAYS360 function, measures a “business year” as twelve, 30 day months. You can read more about it from the following forum post.


Step 4 ) In the following image you can see an example of the different membership levels added. Each membership level has the following information included.

Membership Levels Information

  • ID
  • Membership Level
  • Role
  • Access Valid For/Until

For example, membership level Silver has an ID of 10 with an Author Role and No Expiry. This is very important information to take note of when adding membership buttons like, Free, Subscription and or Upgrade.


Manage Content Protection

Step 5 )  The following image Manage Content Protection tab shows you to protect your content.

Important: The following URL https://simple-membership-plugin.com/apply-content-protection/ can help you further.


Carry out the following steps to apply protection to your content. This allows you to control which member or members have access to the content.

  1. Edit the Post or Page that you want to protect in WordPress editor.
  2. Scroll down to the section titled ‘Simple WP Membership Protection’.
  3. Select ‘Yes, Protect this content’ option.
  4. Check the membership levels that should have access to that page’s content.
  5. Hit the Update/Save Button to save the changes.

(The above is quoted from the plugin)

Step 5-a ) The following image shows you the options you can enable to control the content. In this example there are three membership levels Free, Silver and Gold. The following Yes, Protect this content has been enabled. This means that all three available membership levels have access to the content. Any one visiting this page or post will not view the content unless they become members.

Note: When you enable content protection in posts it also protects the RSS feed. So when you go to yoursite.com/feed you will not see any blog posts displayed.

Simple WP Membership Protection

  • No, Do not protect this content.
  • Yes, Protect this content.

Select the membership level that can access this content:

  • Free
  • Silver
  • Gold


Step 5-b ) The following image shows you the new feature added to the plugin. There is a message displayed when editing a post that belongs to a protected category.wordpress-simple-membership-level-settings-content-protection-message

Category Protection

Step 6 )  Click on Category Protection tab to start protection your categories for each membership level you have added to your website.

Important: The following link simple-membership-plugin-category-protection can help you further.


Step 7 )  The following image shows you a list of membership levels that has been created for this post. Remember in the previous step it told you to first globally protect your categories from non logged in members.

Membership Levels created for this post:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Free Membership
  • Platinum
  • Admin Access Level

Note: Remember the above is just an example of different membership levels you can create in your website. Your website you will probably have different levels set up.


Post and Page Protection

Step 8 )  Click on Post and Page Protection tab to start protection your post, pages and custom posts for each membership level you have added to your website.

Protection Tabs

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Custom Posts

Important: Please make sure you read the documentation in the box before you begin protecting your posts, pages and custom posts.



Q1 How do I add a membership level using select or radio buttons in the registration form?

Solution: This plugin does not function in that manner. Please read the following reply how-to-display-membership-levels-using-select-or-radio-btn-on-regist-page by one of the developers.


Q2 How do I set up different renewal pages based on membership levels?

Solution: You can read the following forum post for a solution provided by Ant Wilcock.


Q3 How do I stop the number of members from joining who belong to certain member level id?

Solution: You can read the following forum post for a solution provided by mikecrf121.


Q4 Is there a way to get a list of Post, Pages, and/or Files that are currently being protected without checking each item one by one?

Solution: Go to WP Membership -> Membership Level -> Posts and Page Protection, select the “General Protection” drop-down to see what you have protected. Click the following link forum post to learn more.


Q5 Is there a way to list all post and pages per membership level?

Solution: At present the only way to achieve this is by using the “category” protection option:
https://simple-membership-plugin.com/use-category-protection-membership-site/. You can list all the posts from that category. For example: you can have “category-1” that will have all the posts for “membership level 1”. So you can try to organize things using the category. Click the following link forum post to learn more.


Click on the following URL Settings to continue with the settings.

If you have any questions please let me know.


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 wordpress.org forums. I have been writing tutorials since 2011. Now I am learning how to manage my own VPS "Virtual Private Server.

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