Support » Plugin: s2Member Framework (Member Roles, Capabilities, Membership, PayPal Members) » Separate memberships rather than hierarchical

  • Resolved itonstandby


    Is it possible for S2Member to (easily) allow unique memberships for content such that members in one “group” do not have access to the content in another?

    If I understand the way S2Member works, all membership levels are related. For example, any level can upgrade to the next one and have access to extra content. And there is certainly a high demand for that type of structure.

    But what if I desire to have, for example, protected content for gasoline engine mechanics in one area and another for diesel engine mechanics? If a gas engine mechanic needs the diesel content he/she could buy access to that content and vice versa.

    This non-hierarchical structure would fit my needs better and I could still use it for “upgrades” to a next level simply by allowing paid access to an additional area.

    I suppose another way of looking at it is “a la carte” style rather than bronze-silver-gold style.

    Thank you for any assistance or advice.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • I think that Custom Configurations may do what I need.

    Would still appreciate some feedback from S2Member staffer if possible.

    I’m a newbie, so please forgive me if I’m way off the mark. But if I’m understanding your question correctly (member levels separate, but not hierarchical):

    This video describes API/Scripting where you can customize the capabilities and content distinctly available to each membership level (check example #3 in the video).

    *post edit: Video @ minute 4:42 may be what you’re seeking?

    There may be other ways to accomplish this, too, but I’ve only been at this a few weeks and I’m feeling a bit squishy from brain overload, lol.

    Good luck!


    Thank you for reaching out.

    I took a look a that video where you indicated and that is the Custom Capabilities functionality being described.

    Custom Capabilities “may” be able to handle the “a la carte” style membership, but I’m not sure.

    The three videos I’ve watched on it never actually show an end result (i.e. a functioning example from the member’s perspective) and therefore it is a bit difficult to grasp whether he’s talking about multiple ways to create access to the same content OR if he’s referring to different content areas (e.g. card tricks, guitar lessons, baby sitting tips) all on the same website.

    Plus, there is a fair amount of coding involved which circumvents the ease of the WordPress administrative area.

    However, in the Custom Capabilities videos he specifically mentioned they were considering ways to bring this functionality in to the WordPress backend so it is menu driven. Since the videos were uploaded in 2011, I would think they’ve either dropped that idea or haven’t figured out an understandable way to handle it.

    Bottom line, I’m stuck. 🙁

    Haha ya, it’s hard when you arrive at a “blocking” point and “can’t” (or at least it feels that way) move forward without a solution. I believe the answer is out there, and for my current WP issue I’ve decided to work on the assumption that I WILL find a way and for the time being I’m going to take a break from hitting my head against the wall and work on another angle of the product. So I can return with a clearer head (and perhaps more forum responses). 🙂

    On my dashboard, there is a drop down Page Level Restriction list that I assume follows the hierarchical standard, but directly underneath there’s a box to enter custom capabilities (“*See API Scription –> Custom Capabilities”) so I take this to mean that at this point the expectation is to still use the php coding.

    I wish I could be more help! Good luck!!


    I love s2Member and use it a lot. I particularly like the hierarchical roles. But that doesn’t mean that it (or they) are the best fit for every site or usage.

    It seems to me that this is an example where you would be better off using another plugin, whose basis is independent roles or capabilities. I suggest you have a look at Members, which I believe can be used together with s2Member, or else look for one of the many membership plugins which are based on the concept of independent roles. I haven’t found that any of them suit my own needs, so I can’t give recommendations, but there are plenty out there.

    I found a specific answer on S2’s support site (prior to switching here) and S2 will indeed handle non-hierchical member roles using Custom Capabilities.

    Here is the article:


    That’s what the Members plugin would help you with.

    KTS915 – Thanks for that tip. I checked and that plugin hasn’t been updated in several months, albeit several hundred thousand downloads. Also, it appears to be written by and presumably supported by one developer.

    For a revenue generating site I’d definitely want something current, backed by an established company, and in this case not cause support issues with S2member.

    That said I plan to buy the pro version of S2.



    Sorry, but that’s just ill-informed. Members is written by Justin Tadlock, one of the very best known of all WordPress developers, with a very well-developed support network and a highly succesful business! (Just check his profile.) If you have a support request, you just go to his own site.

    By all means, don’t use his plugin if it doesn’t suit your needs — I don’t need it for my own (hierarchical) sites — but don’t reject it because you think it’s not current, supported or the product of a “non-established company.”

    s2Member is, of course, fantastic; I use it on several sites, and find the support provided by Jason, Cristian, and Raam exceptional. And it just keeps getting better.



    Thanks for all the responses and input.

    I’m considering this issue resolved (see previous comment with link to S2Member support site.)

    Justin Tadlock


    WordPress God

    I just noticed this topic, so I’m a bit late in replying.

    Theme Hybrid, my plugin and theme business, is one of the longest-running commercial ventures in the WordPress community (started in 2008). I do run things myself rather than with a larger team. That’s the way I like it. However, we have a large network of developers who contribute back to the code of the Members plugin and the other plugins/themes available. Feel free to check it out sometime and shoot me any questions you have.

    I’m kind of obligated to keep the Members plugin current as well, considering it’s the foundation of my own membership site. 🙂

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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