How does the WooCommerce Protected Categories plugin work?
It provides a 'Visibility' option for each category (similar to that for posts and pages) allowing you to set the visibility. You can choose whether to make each WooCommerce category password protected, private, or restricted to specific WordPress user roles or individual user accounts. This makes it the most comprehensive WooCommerce protection plugin on the market.
This plugin improves on the basic options built into WordPress by allowing you to protect entire categories and all their products in one go. It also adds extra protection options so that you can restrict categories and their products to specific logged in users or roles. Not only does this save time, it's a more complete solution than having to password protect every product individually.
How do WooCommerce password protected categories work?
If you password protect a WooCommerce category, it will lock down the whole category and any products within that category. Users must enter a correct password in order to view the category page, or any individual products within that category or its sub-categories. Each category can have one or more unique passwords and you can protect as many categories as you like.
Once a correct password has been entered for a category, it will 'unlock' that category so that the category page itself and any products within the category are visible and can be purchased.
How do WooCommerce user and role protected categories work?
You can set any of your product categories to only be available to specific logged in users or entire user roles. Simply choose this option for the category, and select one or more roles/users.
Customers with the correct role or user will automatically be able to access the category when they log into their user account.
Can I hide protected product categories from my public shop?
By default, protected WooCommerce categories and products are listed in the public store, but customers must enter a correct password to access them.
If you prefer, you can completely hide protected categories (and their products) from the shop. Simply untick the box on the plugin settings page. This will hide them from your main store and other locations such as related products and sidebar widgets.
You can also control whether links to protected categories appear in navigation menus. Public visitors will never know that your hidden categories and their products exist!
Can I have a public and wholesale store on the same website?
WooCommerce Protected Categories is popular for building a private wholesale store that runs alongside your public-facing shop. However, it wasn't built specifically for wholesale and you might prefer our dedicated wholesale plugin - WooCommerce Wholesale Pro.
WooCommerce Wholesale Pro has lots of extra features for wholesale, including:
- Wholesale registration form (with or without moderation).
- Dedicated wholesale login page.
- Unlimited wholesale roles.
- Sell the same products to public and wholesale customers, while showing each person the correct price for their role.
- Works with our WooCommerce Product Table plugin for creating quick one-page wholesale order forms.
Can I create customer-specific WooCommerce categories?
Lots of people use WooCommerce Protected Categories to sell hidden products that are only available to one customer. For example, photographers use it to sell photos that are personal to each client.
Create one or more hidden categories for each customer and either password protect it or lock it down to a specific user account.
For WooCommerce password protected categories, the customer uses the central login form and is automatically directed to their own hidden category. For user protected categories, we have provided instructions on how to direct each individual customer to their private category after logging into their account.
Does it work with sub-categories?
Yes, the plugin is fully compatible with WooCommerce sub-categories. Protect a parent category, and all its sub-categories (and their products) are automatically protected in the same way.
The benefit is that if you have hierarchical categories, you don't have to protect each sub-category individually - just protect the parent category and you're good to go.
What if my product is in more than one category?
WooCommerce Protected Categories takes a secure approach where possible. If a product is in two categories - one public and one protected - the product will still be protected, even if accessed from the public category. If you want to sell the same product in a public and protected category, then we recommend using the free Duplicate Post plugin to quickly clone your products.
Each product can only be in one password protected category. You can add a single product to multiple user or role protected categories.
Can I make my entire WooCommerce store private?
Yes! Simply protect all your categories. However, you might be better off with our dedicated WooCommerce Private Store plugin instead.
Will it work with my theme?
We have tested protected WooCommerce categories thoroughly with a variety of free and premium themes and are confident the plugin will work with your theme. If you're using a theme that supports WooCommerce (i.e. includes its own WooCommerce templates), then it will work great as long as the theme uses the standard WooCommerce 'hooks' in its template files. Most - if not all - WooCommerce themes use these hooks so there shouldn't be a problem.
Does it work in my language?
What are the purchase options?
Clicking the Buy button above will take you to the purchase options. You can choose either a Lifetime or Annual software license.
- Lifetime licenses never expire. It's a one-time payment which includes all future plugin updates, new features and support, forever.
- Annual licenses are renewed once a year. As long as you have an active license, you will receive support, plugin updates and new features. If your license ever expires then you can continue using the plugin, but won't receive any further updates or support.
You can also choose the number of sites that you can use the plugin on.
What are the minimum requirements for running the plugin?
WooCommerce Protected Categories is fully tested with the latest versions of WordPress and WooCommerce. We always recommend running the most up-to-date version, but we also support older installations:
- WooCommerce 6.5 or greater (tested to 8.6.1)
- WordPress 6.0 or greater (tested to 6.4.3)
- PHP 7.4 or greater (tested to 8.1.27)
- MySQL 5.7.8 or greater / MariaDB 10.3 or greater