If you’re setting up a Network or Multisite environment for WordPress, here’s a summary of different ways you can implement Paid Memberships Pro across the network:

Paid Memberships Pro Cannot be Network Activated

Some plugins allow you to “network activate” across the entire network. Not PMPro.

Using a membership plugin on your multisite network means something different for each use case. So, we’ve built a restriction into the core plugin to not allow network activation. This post covers various ways to use Paid Memberships Pro with your network site, the most basic of which is: treat each site in the network as a separate install and only activate the plugin on each install you need to. Paid Memberships Pro is fully compatibility with the multisite environment, just read this post to see more information on how to properly configure based on your multisite network needs.

Ok, so what is WordPress Multisite?

A multisite network is a collection of sites that all share the same WordPress installation. They can also share plugins and themes.

WordPress.org Codex

This setup adds a new user role “Super Admin” that has visibility into all sites grouped in the network, as well as the ability to create or modify sites, allowed plugins, themes, and users for all sites in the network.

Network sites can share a single domain or each have their own domain name. For example, the main network site may be located at www.network.com, and a subsite can either be located at www.network.com/dogs or www.dogs.com. All of the

View Codex Docs on Creating a Network

1. Membership to a Single Network Site

Separate Paid Memberships Pro environments for each subsite.

Activate Per Site Needed - Membership to a Single Network Site

This is the most basic way to use Paid Memberships Pro in your multisite network. Simply install the plugin via Network Admin > Plugins > Add New.

Then, edit a specific site in your network by hovering over “My Sites” in the left side of the admin bar, select a site from the dropdown, and click “Dashboard”. From here, you can treat the site as a standalone installation. Navigate to “Plugins”, locate “Paid Memberships Pro” in the list, and click “Activate”. Now you are ready to begin the Initial Plugin Setup.

A site visitor can sign up for membership at any site in your multisite network just as if it were a single site. Users who purchase membership at more than one site in your network will use the same user account (username and password) to log in to any site in the network.

2. Sell/Create a Network Site at Checkout

Create a network site for the member as part of membership to the main site using the Member Network Sites Add On.

Member Network Sites Add On - Sell/Create a Network Site at Checkout

Allow a member to purchase one or more sites as part of membership. Once configured, the member can purchase membership at the network’s main site (the primary domain of the network) and specify the “Site Name” and “Site Title” for their new site on the network.

Any sites attached to a member will be deactivated when membership expires or cancels.

You can limit and pre-configure the themes and plugins available to the site created at checkout via the tutorial in this post.

A member’s site on the network can also have the Paid Memberships Pro plugin installed and activated. For example, some businesses use this add on to sell an “Online Training” bundle site, where the site owner can then set up PMPro and create their own membership site in the network.

Member Network Sites Add On Docs and Download

3. Membership Across the Network

Manage memberships at the network’s main site (the primary domain of the network) and provide/restrict access on subsites in the network using the Multisite Membership Add On.

Multisite Membership Add On - Membership Across the Network

Sell a membership level at the main site that provides access to members-only content on a site or sites throughout the entire multisite network. For example, let’s say you have a network site about all types of pet care. You have a main site (www.petcare.com), and a site on the network for various type of pets (birds.petcare.com, cats.petcare.com, and dogs.petcare.com). Using this add on, you could offer a membership to one specific pet’s subsite (Bird Level OR Cat Level OR Dog Level). Then, you could also offer a Premium Level that includes access to all of your pet care subsites.

All of the membership levels and users are managed on the main network site. The subsites look to the main network site’s database to mirror the membership levels available and to check a user’s access.

To configure this add on, you would:

  1. Install Paid Memberships Pro via Network Admin > Plugins > Add New. Do not “Network Activate” the plugin.
  2. On your main network site, activate and configure Paid Memberships Pro by following the Initial Plugin Setup guide.
  3. For each site in your network that has members content, navigate to the site’s Dashboard > Plugins. Activate Paid Memberships Pro AND the Paid Memberships Pro – Multisite Membership Add On.

Multisite Membership Add On Docs and Download

In summary

I hope this post helps you understand the various ways you can use Paid Memberships Pro on your multisite network. Configuring a multisite environment is an advanced WordPress process, and using the add ons described in this post will require customization via code. Please consult with your developer or our support team for guidance as you implement the methods above.

Thank-you, but seeing levels are controlling category access, does that mean we need identical categories in each subsite? If not, how is the subsite category access controlled?

That’s a good point. You should avoid locking posts down by categories unless you have the same categories (in same order with same ids) across all sites.

I realize that could be a burden on some sites. We haven’t developed a work around for it yet. It would take some coding to get it working on one site and even more coding to get it working in general.

Ok, fair comment and I’m glad I raised this before motoring ahead. A good case of forward planning saves some work. Thanks Jason for the heads up.

How customizable is the form in the Member Network Sites Add On (when users purchase a site)? For example, can I add a few more input fields and use the responses from those fields to create the site address?

I want to test this out. I have a main site and two subdomains that are test environment domains only. Can I put this on one subdomain and test it with the other subdomain?

Hello folks! I didn’t understand very well abou the command:


Should this be added to wp-config.php on the WP Install?

Should I change ‘wp’ for my DB prefix? Without the “_” after it? In example: my DB Prefix is ‘dbprefix_’ so I should add ‘dbprefix_’ or ‘dbprefix’ on my wp-config.php?

Thanks for the help, I want to implement this! Cheers!

Hi there. Actually the updated version of the plugin figures this out automatically so you shouldn’t have to deal with this.

Getting technical here, but the way this plugin works is it tricks some subsites into getting data (for PMPro) from the “main” site’s database. WordPress uses a different DB prefix (e.g. wp_ or wp_2_ …) for each individual subsite. So tricking the site into using the main site’s prefix gets it to pull PMPro-related settings from there.

Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

For faster support related to issues on your specific site please open a ticket in our members support area.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *