Multiple Levels Membership


I am trying to setup Membership but I a little confused by the way levels are assigned to users.

I want have free membership as well as 2 different levels of paid membership.

Should I be using the standard wordpress registration for my free members and then assigning free members to my a membership level?

This is how I have it set up now but the problem is when a member signs up for a higher level than Free using the membership plugin it is assigning them the level Free as well as the level they signed up for. So they would have multiple levels. This is a problem because I can not then show content designed just to be seen by free members to only free members for example "Upgrade to see more"

I have tried this both with the "allow incomplete sign ups" ticked and un-ticked

If I create a free subscription using the membership plugin ie not adding a price to the plan it still shows the paypal button.

What is the best practice when trying to achieve this? How can I make sure users only have one membership level?

Kind regards


  • Kimberly
    • Champion of Loops

    Hi Paul!

    Glad to see you are using our Membership plugin!

    It is very powerful and can indeed be a little confusing at times when offering a Free membership.

    What Subscription and Access Levels to you currently have created?

    Do you have a Free Subscription or are your users registering and being assigned a standard WP role?

    I am trying to understand if WP is actually taking over your registration or if you are using Membership to do this (as Membership hijacks the WP registration)

    You should have a Free Membership subscription created and the hierarchy set up within the subscription page. i.e. free membership, first paid level, second paid level in the drag and drop area. If your wordpress registration is indeed assigning members to a standard wp-role (like subscriber) and not a Membership role then you can associate your Free Membership level with a WP role by going to the Access Level associated with that subscriber level and navigating to the Advanced rules tab. You can scroll to the bottom there and see where you can associate a wp-role with a Membership level. This should help with Free accounts.

    If you have the Free Payment Gateway enabled then you will see a PayPal style button but it will not lead to PayPal.

    Waiting to hear from you :slight_smile:



  • pauldoffman
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for you help. Let me try to clarify what I am trying to do.

    I want to have 2 access levels:

    Level 1 Free
    Level 2 Paid

    I want users to be able to sign up as either Free or Paid with limited content showing to the Free members. so for example a post might look like this

    Basic content
    Want to access more ?

    Valuable content

    So I don't want the members subscribed to plans giving access to Level 2 Paid to see the content that is shown to Level 1 Free. I want them to be completely separate so I can fully control who see's what in order to up sell to the free members without annoying the paying members.

    So here is how I have thing set up at the moment (a bit different to the other day)

    I have my two access levels and two subscription plans:

    Free subscription - Level 1 Free
    Paid subscription - Level 2 Paid

    I have the option "User registration roles" set to "none".

    I am using only the membership plugin's registration form.

    When a user signs up to the Free subscription they are asked to click the paypal subscribe button to confirm their subscription. ( i have changed the button to a less paypal looking button) I find this to be an unnecessary step for free members to have to click this last confirm button. I think a high percentage of users will fail to click this leaving them with no access level at all. Also after clicking this button they are directed to the same than you page as a paid member would be. This is not good for analytics goal tracking but this is maybe a different topic all together.

    When a user signs up to the Paid Subscription they are only assigned the Level 2 Paid access level. ( exactly what I want)

    However when I change the option "User registration roles" set to "Free Subscription" the following happens.

    When a user signs up to Free subscription they are given this access level Level 1 Free automatically and do not have to click on anything after hitting registrar. They are told they have the free subscription and are promoted to upgrade. This is much better and they are not sent to the thank you page triggering my goals.

    When a user signs up to Paid subscription they are now given the access level Level 1 Free as well as given the access Level 2 Paid. Coursing me lots of problems.

    So basically I don't seem to be able to have it both ways!

    Is there an option to allow only 1 access level per member? the last one they subscribed to taking priority.

    I was using a none Membership plugin called Theme my login to interact with standard wordpress registration ( at least i think its just using the standard word press registration) This worked when I had the option "User registration roles" set to "Free Subscription" but coursed basically the same problem with the Paid subscription.

    If I were to use the setting in the individual subscription plan to associate the Free subscription with the word press role subscriber then use the standard wordpress registration for free members will I not just recreate the same problem? As paid members are also automatically set to be wordpress subscribers roles and then they would be given the Level 1 Free access level as well as the Level 2 Paid.

    I can use things the way they are its just a shame about the extra click for free members but it would be great if there was a better way to get this set up.

    What will happen when a member upgrades from Free subscription to Paid subscription? will they keep both access levels as this would also cause me the same sort of problem.

    Sorry about the really long reply! I'm trying to think it all through as best I can.

    Any help or advice would be great!

    Thanks again


  • pauldoffman
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Hi Kimberly,

    Just to let you know I think I have worked this out now and it only took me 15 hours!

    Ok so when I was using Membership for my free members I was using the Freepayment gateway. This meant that they could not upgrade. It would say "upgrades not available".

    So re thought the whole thing and ended up just having my free members only registrar with wordpress and not give them any subscription plan.

    I then use the members_only tag to show content to them. I then set a negative rule in my paid level to not show content with the members_only tag.

    This way I can show exactly what I want to each.

    Let me know if you think this is the best way to do this.

    Thanks again


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