In this week’s tooltip, we show you how you can prevent members from renewing their membership (and why you might need this).

How to stop members renewing their membership


About the Code Recipe

“Wait a second. Why would I need a code recipe that prevents members from renewing their membership? Isn’t that a little counterproductive?”

I don’t blame you for thinking this. And, in most cases, you would probably be right. Building up your recurring revenue stream is easily the lifeblood of any membership site, but there may be some cases where you would want members NOT to renew their membership level.

Once this code recipe is installed on your site and it comes time for your members to renew their membership they will see an error message that reads:

This is your current membership level. Please select a different membership level.

The recipe allows you to customize this message, as well as set the specific membership levels to restrict. In practice, you most likely only want this block to apply for on one or two membership levels, as opposed to all of them.

This type of restriction on level changes is different from our Lock Membership Level Add On, which is designed to restrict a member from making ANY changes to their membership. Learn more about the Lock Membership Level Add On here.


Some of the reasons you may want to use this Code Recipe:

  1. Prevent members from canceling their account.
  2. Create a ‘trial’ membership level that can only be used once.
  3. Encourage members to upgrade/downgrade to another membership level.
  4. Grandfather members into another membership level.
  5. Automatic migration of members to a level of choice when it is time for them to renew their membership.

A little more about “Grandfathering in”

The one reason that I want to explore more is about “grandfathering” members into another membership level.

Quite often, we are asked how to change the price of a membership levels for new and existing members, as well as how to move current members into the new membership level and pricing structure. In most cases, the reason for this member migration is due to a price change or even the complete closure of the membership level altogether.

With this code recipe, site administrators can now let their members live out the term of their membership and when it comes time to renew their subscription they will be prompted to choose a different membership level.


The Code Recipe

This code recipe requires a Plus Account or higher.

View Membership Options


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Comments (2)

This works well to keep demo level members from renewing their 30-day free membership, but I’d really rather just dim/deactivate the renewal button altogether. The ideal method would be a checkbox “Allow level to renew?” in the level settings.

Thank you for your suggestion – as an open source plugin we always welcome new pull requests or example recipes to share with the community if you or your developer would like to tackle this approach.

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