WordPress Simple Membership Troubleshooting provides solutions to some of the most common questions asked in the forum.
Last Updated: September 23, 2021
Latest News: Updated the documentation.
The solutions found here are compiled from both of the forums. The list will grow as I come across more questions asked by the users.
What You Need:
- Simple Membership plugin.
- (Optional: Documentation you might want to read how-to-deal-with-the-common-challenges-of-a-membership-site)
- (Optional: You might be interested in the following documentation adding-a-terms-and-conditions-and-privacy-policy-to-member-registration-page.)
WordPress Simple Membership Troubleshooting Solutions
The following links can further help you troubleshoot your issues apart from the list of tips posted below.
- Various Troubleshooting Resources
- Common Reasons for Content Protection to Not Work
- Common Reasons for Member Login Related Issues
- Email Sending Issue On Your Site
- Test For Plugin And Theme Conflict Before Posting An Issue Or A Bug
- Premium Membership Registration Issue
Note: Before you go ahead reading below to troubleshoot any of your issues, please check the following link.
Q1 There are some questions being made in regards to Emails, plugins future and Security.
Answer: The following response was quoted by Admin in the forum.
Q1 How do I redirect users to a different URL (different from the home page) after they log out?
Solution: You can use the following tweak to do a custom redirection after the logout event. Add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file and that should do the job.
$url = 'http://www.example.com/after-logout-page';//TODO - Specify the URL that you want to redirect to
(Solution provided by Admin Simple Membership)
Q2 How do I redirect a user to a custom URL after they submit the registration form?
Solution: You can add the following function to your theme functions.php file.
$url = 'http://www.yourwebsite.com/thank-you/';//TODO - Specify the URL that you want to redirect to
Q3 I’m using PHP to check if the user is logged in from the following page: https://simple-membership-plugin.com/simple-membership-miscellaneous-php-tweaks/. A problem occurred when I deactivated the plugin. The PHP code actually caused the site to go down. How do I prevent this from happening again in the future?
Solution: You should check if the method exists. That will prevent any error from happening if the plugin is deactivated. Check the following forum post for the solution.
Add Attributes To Existing Forms
Q1 Is there some code I could add to an existing login form template I have setup that would login users?
Solution: The following solution was provided by ryanboyd in the support forum.
If you already have a dummy login setup on a part of your site just simply add name attributes as needed.
<form name="swpm-login-form" method="post"> <input type="text" class="" placeholder="User Name: " name="swpm_user_name"> <input type="password" class="" placeholder="Password: " name="swpm_password"> <input type="submit" class="" value="Login" name="swpm-login"> </form>
Q1 In some cases you might want to change the date format for when memberships accounts expires?
Solution: Go to your WordPress general settings and make sure you have selected the date format you want to show for the expired membership accounts.
Q1 We would like to offer a coupon code for a discounted membership. We want to track usage of this coupon and limit the number of times it can be used. We currently have WooCommerce plugin installed.
Solution: You can add WooCommerce Simple Membership Plugin Integration. And manage the coupon discount via WooCommerce because this plugin accepts coupons. This works fine if you are going to be using WooCommerce to handle the payment. When you use Simple Membership WooCommerce integration addon, it will simply handle the user account creation after the transaction has been processed by WooCommerce. So you will use coupon in woocommerce and handle the payment via that plugin.
You can read more about this solution from the following support thread in the forum.
Q1 Action hook swpm_payment_ipn_processed doesn’t work for recurring payments. Why is that?
Solution: It should get triggered both for the first payment and the recurring payments. Please enable the debug log feature of the plugin. Check the following support thread for more information.
Q1 I have an issue with my sandbox transaction, it is not working. Do you support this?
Solution: No, we don’t really support troubleshooting sandbox issues. The reason is because our plugin already works in live mode. Trying to troubleshoot sandbox issue is time consuming. Check the following link forum post to learn more.
Q1 I am having problems with subscription payments. I created a trial period of 3 months before paying a subscription with paypal, but after 1 month some users switch status to expired. If I activate them again, they get switched to Expired at their connection.
Solution: For a subscription payment, you should be using the “no expiry” settings in the membership level. When the subscription ends or is cancelled, the access will be revoked by the plugin.
Importing Members From CSV File
Q1 When I bulk import members, the data is imported correctly but the password is not imported. What can I do to fix this issue?
Solution: (Quoted by admin)
The user password for is not a plain text field so you can’t just import a plain password text directly into the database and expect it to work. Its encrypted using the same encryption the is used by WordPress (it is a one way encryption). This guarantees that only the user will ever know the password. This is the best security practice for storing user password.
Q2 When I bulk import members the data is imported correctly but the membership level is not imported. What can I do to fix this issue?
Solution: (Quoted by admin)
In the “Membership Level” column of your CSV file, you need to put the ID of the membership level (not the name). If you look at the example file, you will see that it has a value numeric value of 1 as the example (meaning it is an ID value). Membership level is something referenced from a different table so using an ID value is a proper way to reference it (a name value won’t work there).
Q3 When you bulk import users. If the user name column is not found, try the following solution.
Solution one: When you are creating a CSV file using Microsoft Excel for example; if the following CSV (Comma Delimited) format does not work, try CSV (MS-DOS) format.
Note: Click on the following URL simple-membership-bulk-import-member-data-csv-file to learn how to import members using a CSV file.
Email Related Issues
Q1 If you receive the following e-mails when the Notify User is enabled you need to use a third party plugin to control WordPress core default system. WordPress does that when a user’s password is changed.
This notice confirms that your password was changed on [WEBSITE NAME.]
If you did not change your password, please contact the Site Administrator at
This email has been sent to [MEMBERS EMAIL ADDRESS]
Q2 Email Shortcodes don’t work with Email Settings (Bulk Account Activate Notification)?
Answer: wp.insider wrote:
The bulk email can’t do the dynamic email tag filtering because it sends the same email text in bulk. Otherwise it would slow things down and cause problems when the number of members on the site increases.
You would need to use generic text for that bulk email.
Q3 Is there a way to set up the email address as the username?
Solution: You can instruct your users to use their “Email Address” in the username field. And then in the future they will be able to use that to log into the site.
Q4 The Admin is not receiving any emails?
Solution: Make sure you have enabled the following feature Send Notification To Admin under WP Membership -> Settings -> Email Settings?
Q1 I installed Form Builder add-on and after I received the following error message. How do I fix it?
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/content/46/6017046/html/Wordpress/wp-content/plugins/swpm-recaptcha/classes/class.swpm-captcha.php on line 78
Solution: Your server maybe using a very old version of PHP. The Google Recpatcha library requires at least PHP v5.3.2. Ask your hosting provider what version of PHP they are using on your site and if they can upgrade to a version highert than PHP 5.3.2.
Q2 If you see the following error after a payment:
FAILURE :Error! Failed to insert a new member record. This request will fail.
Q3 I have installed the Form Builder Add-on and I see the following error Error! Form not found.?
Solution: When you install the Form Builder Add-on, if you have enabled Free Membership in the Settings you will need to create a new Free membership form.
Q4 What does the following error message mean?
WordPress account exists with given email. But given username doesn’t match
Explanation: WordPress doesn’t let you create multiple user accounts with the same email address or username. So when you use an email that ALREADY has a WP user account, you are going to get the error message you see above.
Solution: Go to your WP users menu and do a search using that email address. Delete that user account if you are not using it. Now you can use simple membership to create a NEW account using that same email address.
Alternatively, use a DIFFERENT email address that is not already in the system to create your user account.
Q5 I setup 2 membership options, Basic & Executive Membership. When I click on the button, I receive the following error message. How do I fix this?
“Things don’t appear to be working at the moment. Please try again later.”
Solution: Check to make sure you have the correct PayPal account. In this instance the person had a personal PayPal account and when they upgraded to a business account the error went away. You can check the following support thread to learn more.
Q1 The post protection status doesn’t seem to be stored anywhere in the post meta and I can’t see any hooks/filters that will do it. Where could I find this info in the database?
Explanation: It should be in the “swpm_membership_tbl” DB table.
Q1 What is the difference between inactive and expired members?
Explanation: (Explanation provided by wpinsider-1 in the forum)
If an account expires naturally then the account is set to expired. If an account is deactivated for other reasons such as someone cancelling an ongoing subscription or taking a refund etc then it is set to inactive.
Q4 How do you allow the members to delete their account?
Solution: Click on the following URL WordPress Simple Membership Advanced Settings. This will show where you go to set up this option.
Q5 How to renew an expired free membership account?
Answer: admin wrote:
Q1 I would like to implement the payment button in a form that does not recognize the shortcode, how can I do this?
Note: This is not really recommended however you could try the following.
Explanation: Use the payment button’s shortcode on an empty test page that you create in your WordPress page’s menu. Then view the “HTML” code of that page. You should be able to spot the section that is the payment button’s HTML code. Copy the button’s code and paste that in your other HTML page. You can learn more about it in the following forum post.
Themes Related Issues
Q1 What if the plugin is conflicting with your theme?
Explanation: You need to speak to your theme developers to look into the issue. If they won’t fix the issue and you don’t want to change the theme, then you can try one of the following option.
- You can check the following URL study this WordPress codex document; to determine which of your theme’s template files needs modification, and then change the excerpt display behavior to meet your needs.
- You can also complete a Paid Support request, and our developers will fix the theme for you.
Q2 Protection is not working with the new Divi Theme Builder.
Solution: Check the following support thread. Someone in the forum posted this solution.
Q3 I have a problem with Divi Builder. It does not protect the pages or post?
Solution: One of the developers posted some information regarding page builders like Divi, please check the following forum post to learn more. At present we offer the following solution which works with Divi Builder. So most protection will work fine.
Q1 I don’t really understand how the upgrade process works?
Solution: (Quoted by admin)
This is how the upgrade button process works in our plugin.
Lets say a member purchased a $15 membership level A which is for 1 year term. Then somewhere in between the member pays for a $20 membership level B (which is also for a 1 year term). The new time will get added to the end of his existing one year term. So the user will have access for a total of 2 years.
In other words when level A is upgraded to level B before the year is completed — say 6 months into the contract — the member will have access to level B content which also includes level A content for the remaining 6 months and an additional 1 year is added at end of the 6 months period.
This simple method works good when the upgraded membership level contains all the content from the previous level and more. So in the above example, membership level B gives them access to all content from A and more. So an structure like “Bronze”, “Silver”, “Gold” etc. If your membership levels are completely unrelated to one another then it probably won’t work out good. In that case you will need to look for a different plugin which maybe more suited for your project.
Q2 You can’t login to Simple Membership when you are logged in to WP as admin. How can I fix this problem?
Solution: (Provided by wp.insider in the forum)
You can’t log into WP Admin and then in the same browser log in as a member. It doesn’t work that way.
If you want to test the member login functionality, then use a different browser where you are not also logged in as admin. Basically, create a scenario close to what your real users will face. Your real users are not going to be logged into your site as admin.
Q3 How to add a login/password field to header (instead of side widget)?
Solution: (Provided by admin in the forum)
You can use the following code to add the login form in any of your theme’s PHP file, for example the header.php.
<?php echo do_shortcode('[swpm_login_form]'); ?>
Q4 The login redirect add-on is not taking the member to the last page they visited. I am also using the custom message addon. Why is that?
Solution: The member must click on the login link inside a protected content in a page or post for the redirect to be triggered.
The following was quoted by admin in the forum.
The login redirect addon LOOKS for the special login link that the core plugin creates. It then replaces that login link with an extra parameter. If you use the custom messages addon to override the standard protection message of the plugin then the login addon can’t add the extra parameter. This is one of those features where you need to pick one (You can’t get both).
Q5 When members log in and forget to log out and close the browser, the plugin still thinks they are logged in. This causes some issues when the member opens up the browser and see that they are still logged in. How to fix this issue?
Solution: (Quoted by Admin)
Q6 Is there a way to analyze when members are logged in, counting member visits, and other member statistics?
Q7 I have added a 90 day free trial – but the plugin still forces subscribers to enter a credit card on PayPal when signing up. Is there any way to avoid requiring payment info?
Solution: PayPal requires all trial subscription to have credit card. You can’t create a trial subscription without a card.
Q8 How do I download the latest version of a purchased add-0n?
Solution: You can download the latest version by clicking on the following URL re-download-the purchased add-ons.
Q9 When I add the following shortcode [ swpm_registration_form level=2], the Username is required to have 4 characters. What if I want to change the minimum or maximum characters allowed?
Solution: For user name length, edit the following file, views/add.php and search for minSize.
Q10 How does the Remember Me box work? In some cases when checked it does not remember a username and password after the member logs out.
Solution: Solution provided by The Assurer “Keymaster” in the support forum.
- If the “Remember Me” box is checked, the login cookie used by the plugin is given an expiration date of 14 days and 12 hours.
- If the “Remember Me” box is not checked, the login cookie used by the plugin is given an expiration date of 3 days.
- If the member’s browser is configured to clear all cookies, when the browser is closed; the effect is as if the member is logged out, every time they close their browser; regardless of whether or not the “Remember Me” box is checked.
- Otherwise, the 14.5 or 3 day cookie expiration will be in force. Note: You can read about it in the following support thread.
Q11 Many keep thinking that this plugin should protect posting of comments in a page or post. Please read the following to learn more.
The posting of comment is not restricted to any membership level. Posting of comment is not content.
The plugin ONLY protects actual content (like post/page/comment content) for a particular membership level. The ability to post comment is open for everyone (or to logged in members only). There is nothing to do with membership level when it comes to the comment posting ability.
This is how most of our users want that feature to behave. So we like to keep it that way.
(Solution provided by admin in the forum)
Q12 The plugin is not working with my custom post, I can’t protect the post. How do I fix this issue?
Solution: There is a new custom post add-on. This add-on works with some themes and plugins that rigth create custom post. Click on the following URL Custom Post Type Protection Enhanced to learn more.
Q13 Hi I noticed that after testing a login, the user stayed logged in even when the browser was closed. How do I force logout when user closes website?
Answer: admin wrote:
You can’t auto logout user when they close the browser. This plugin doesn’t work that way. It uses standard login/logout process. So when a member logs into the site, they won’t need to log in again for a period time (even if they close the browser). Just like how it works for most membership systems.
Q14 Can someone buy a gift membership subscription?
Answer: We currently don’t have an addon for this feature. One of the developers provided a couple of workarounds that might help you. Click the following link forum post and also the following forum post to learn more.
Q15 Simple Membership plugin is not working correctly with Jetpack?
Answer: Someone in the forum reported the following solution. Disable the option in Jetpack settings->Settings->Writing->Widgets-> “Enabler widget visibility controls to display widgets only on particular posts or pages”. Click the following link forum post to learn more.
There are times that the troubleshooting questions and answers provided above might not resolve your problem. The following list explains some of the known issues discovered by the developers when troubleshooting some websites.
#1) PHP session on the server is not functioning 100%.
#2) Some kind of caching issue. Could be a caching solution you are using or your hosting provider using caching. I have seen instances where the hosting provider said they are not doing any caching but then when I jumped on a site to investigate, I found that there were using some caching. On the cheaper hosting plans, some hosting companies just do some caching on the server end and they don’t tell you about it.
#3) You may have another plugin that is conflicting our user login functionality. I have seen plugins that just breaks the PHP Session functionality on the site and then when another plugin tries to use the PHP session, it doesn’t work for that plugin.
#4) Sometimes, I have found people to mix up the HTTPS and HTTP pages on their sites. So they have mixed pages on the same site. If a user logs in from the HTTPS page then goes to a non-https page, the authentication will drop due to security reasons. So if your members are login in from a HTTPS page for example and then you have specified an after login redirection that takes them to a non-https page, that is just not going to work. So pick HTTP or HTTPS then stick to that, don’t mix them up in the same site.
#5) The same goes for mixing “www” and “non-www” on the same site. Pick one and stick to it throughout that site.
If you want one of the developers to jump on your site and investigate the issue related to your particular site and setup, then you can use the following option: paid-support-simple-membership-plugin.
I will be adding more solutions to the list above in the future.
If you have any questions please let me know.
Simple Membership Plugin Tutorial List: