WP Session Manager


Adds $_SESSION functionality to WordPress, leveraging the database where needed to power multi-server installations.

Every visitor, logged in or not, will be issued a session. Session data will be stored in the WordPress database by default
to deal with load balancing issues if multiple application servers are being used. In addition, the session collection will
also be stored in memory for rapid use within WordPress.

Session data stored in the database can be encrypted at rest for better security.


Manual Installation

  1. Upload the entire /wp-session-manager folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Use $_SESSION in your code.


Installation Instructions

Manual Installation

  1. Upload the entire /wp-session-manager folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Use $_SESSION in your code.
How do I add session variables?

Merely use the superglobal $_SESSION array:

$_SESSION['user_name'] = 'User Name';                            // A string
$_SESSION['user_contact'] = array( 'email' => 'user@name.com' ); // An array
$_SESSION['user_obj'] = new WP_User( 1 );                        // An object
How long do session variables live?

This depends on your PHP installation’s configuration. Please read the PHP manual
for more details on configuration.

Can I use this plugin without creating new tables?

Absolutely! As of version 2.0, this plugin will create a new table for WordPress to store session data. In general, this is more efficient long-term than using options for data storage. However, if your system does not allow creating a table, add the following to wp-config.php to use the options table instead:

define( 'WP_SESSION_USE_OPTIONS', true );


Good job

Good code quality, very useful when you need the joy of sessions 🙂 Keep it up.

Very useful and reliable

I am using WP Session Manager in several projects since some years. Initially, I was looking for a more reliable session management compared to standard PHP sessions – and found it in WP Session Manager. Thanks for this great plugin!

Read all 22 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“WP Session Manager” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Update: Add support for the wp_install hook to create custom table immediately.


  • Fix: Repair code blocks in the readme
  • Fix: Use a more defensive approach to starting sessions in the event another plugin has started one already


  • Fix: Add back in proper array access support for the deprecated WP_Session object.


  • Update: Pull a Sessionz fix


  • Update: Refactor to use Sessionz
  • Update: Add encryption at rest if WP_SESSION_ENC_KEY is set


  • Fix: Wire the data storage migration to a session init hook to ensure it runs.
  • Fix: Clean up sessions when all data is removed.


  • Fix: Repair data storage that was not returning actual stored session data.


  • Update: Use a table instead of options for storing session data.


  • Update: Use regex pattern matching to ensure session IDs are identical going in/out of the DB to account for encoding differences


  • Update: Additional filters for the setcookie parameters
  • Update: Expose the Session ID publicly
  • Fix: Better handling for malformed or broken session names


  • Update: Enhanced plugin organization
  • Update: Added WP_CLI support for session management
  • Update: Add Composer definitions
  • Fix: Break up the deletion of old sessions so queries don’t time out under load


  • Fix a race condition where session expiration options could accidentally be set to autoload
  • Make the garbage collection routine run hourly to alleviate long-running tasks on larger sites


  • Fix a bug where session expiration was not properly set upon instantiation


  • Implement Recursive_ArrayAccess to provide multidimensional array support
  • Better expiration for session data
  • Implement garbage collection to keep the database clean


  • Switch to object persistence rather than transients


  • Changes implementation to avoid the use of a global variable (still registered for convenience)


  • First version