downloads URL masking applied, but no access to files

Hi All,

I'm having a really hard time setting up the 'membership' plugin. I've devoted over ten hours to it today, and nothing seems to work as expected. I have to admit, I'm getting pretty tired. I really wish this were better documented! Is the simplistic little 'installation & use instructions' really the only documentation?

I have several questions but will break them into separate forum posts for clarity.

First question:

(1) set Membership > Options > Download URL to the current location of the uploads folder on my server (e.g.
(2) set Membership > Options > Masked Download URL (e.g.
(3) add a Membership > Options > Protected Group called 'protected_download'.

I am assuming the above is the correct setup, but it is yielding unexpected results:

(4) I head to my site, and URL's are properly masked (i.e. '' is rendered as '')--which is good!--but the image doesn't appear, because the link is apparently broken. Images show up as little question marks, and if I click a link to a file download (, I am redirected to the home page of the site.

#4 above happens exactly the same no matter if I'm logged in as Admin, a stranger, or a test user with a membership level that grants access to 'protect_download'.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go drive my car off a bridge now.


  • DavidM

    Hi Adam,

    Sorry you're having a bit of trouble with that, we're definitely looking into the documentation for Membership, to make things much clearer and we'll have some helpful updates on that all soon.

    For the moment, the following article from the blog, while in reference to a previous version of the plugin, does still provide a good overview of how things would be setup:

    That said, it sounds like you've got things generally setup correct, however, as Admin, you should be able to see the site without restrictions. Just to clarify then, even as Admin, you're seeing broken images on your site?

    If you deactivate Membership does that sort that issue?

    If so, and the issue's definitely coming from Membership, could you let us know which versions of WordPress and Membership you're on? Also, is this a Multisite and are you using BuddyPress?


  • adamohern

    I think this is some kind of bizarre bug. I disabled all other plugins, and the problem persists.

    I have found a way to get it to work, but it's really strange.

    Starting with:
    Actual download URL:
    Masked download URL:
    Result: Broken links.

    THEN, change the parameters by adding a forward slash (/) at the end of each:
    Actual download URL:
    Masked download URL:
    Result: Working links.

    Eureka! But I changed my mind on the masked download link name, so I changed it:
    Actual download URL:
    Masked download URL:
    Result: Broken links.

    Dangit. So I try deleting the forward slashes from the ends of the lines to see what happens:
    Actual download URL:
    Masked download URL:
    Result: Working links.

    I know it sounds completely insane (I admit, I'm feeling pretty fuzzy-headed at this point), but I've repeated the process several times, and round and round she goes.

    The good news is that once I get it working, it seems to keep working until I change the link title again.


Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.