💡 Patreon WordPress locking options guide

Simple lock

This method is the easiest method to lock your content. To use it, just find the “Patreon Level” metabox on the right hand side in your WP post editor.

With current default post editor for WP 5+ (Gutenberg):

Or, if you are using Classic Editor:

As you will notice, this select box will have your Patreon tiers loaded. If tiers do not appear, you may need to force your browser to refresh your browser cache using the method for browser for forcing the refresh of the page. For example, in many browsers running on Windows platform, this would be CTRL+F5. Doing this should force the refresh of your tiers by pulling them from Patreon.

The tier selection box will show the names of your tiers if you have named your tiers. If you havent, they will be named “Tier 1, Tier 2 etc”. The $ value of the relevant tier will also be shown alongside.

Select the appropriate tier for which you want to lock your particular post, and update the WordPress post. Or if you were posting a new post, just publish the post.

This will mark that post locked with the relevant tier, and any user who wants to access that post will need to be a patron from the required tier or higher.

You can lock your content simply by using this option without having to use the more advanced options below.

If you wish to use more advanced locking options, you would need to click “Show advanced” and make them appear since they come hidden by default.

Precise $ amount

This was the former way to lock posts that required entering a amount. Now you can use this box to lock your content for a particular amount which you dont have in your tiers. So that only currently active patrons who have that $ amount of pledge and higher can see this content.

Using this box is not necessary since the tier select will accomplish the same task. You should use this only when you want to lock a post for a specific $ amount which is not found in your tiers. When used, this box overrides the tier select box.


Require active membership at post date

If you check “Yes” for this option, the content you are locking will require the user to have been a patron at the date or before your content was posted. This is in addition to the $ amount required in “Simple Lock” earlier.


A user visits a particular content you locked for $5. S/he has $5 membership or higher. S/he has been your patron before you posted that content. Fulfilling both criteria, the content is visible to him or her.

Another user visits that same content. S/he has $20 monthly pledge, which is much higher. But s/he has been your patron for only a few months, whereas the content was posted 6 months ago. This user wont be able to see this content and the plugin will notify him or her why the content is locked.


Total lifetime pledge

This is an all powerful option that allows you to override all the others.

When you add a $ amount here, the plugin will check how much total pledge the user has, and will allow him/her to see the content if s/he has enough. This allows you to reward your long time patrons, and even patrons who were long time patrons but now who arent active.


A content is locked with “Simple Lock” and/or “Require active membership”. The content also has $300 total lifetime pledge option set.

A user visits the content. S/he pledges $3, which is not enough for the $5 content. Moreover, s/he was not an active patron at the date content was posted. But s/he has $350 total lifetime pledge. All other options are overridden and the content is visible.

Another user comes. S/he is no longer an active member. But, s/he has over $500 lifetime pledge. Since the $300 total lifetime pledge, the content is again visible.

Another user has $10 pledge, but was not an active member at post date. And s/he has only $200 lifetime contribution. Content is locked.


Together with the earlier two locking options, this option gives you the capability to reward your long time or higher tier patrons.

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Alright, but is there an option to hide only a certain section of the website?

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Yes, that is possible using the custom locking code below:

You can use custom locking code to lock/show any part of your site (theme parts, plugin output etc) by placing it in your theme where the relevant content is shown. This code can be used to either show that content only to patrons of a certain $ level, or, hide it from patrons. This is a Patreon WordPress feature (free).

Additionally Patron Pro (a premium addon to Patreon WordPress) has a non-patron only shortcode feature which can be used inside post/page content in order to hide parts of that post/content from patrons.

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Ok, I see it, 2 more questions:

  • The users must have WordPress user profiles in my WordPress installation?
  • What about caching?
  • Users dont need to have already been registered to your site. PW will take care of registration, login for unregistered users automatically.

  • There shouldnt be any issues with caching. However:

Caching is something that is within the parameters of your own site or web host. PW has a do not cache define for asking caching plugins to not cache important login/routing pages like /patreon-authorization/, but it doesnt do this for locked content. Its not like that the DONOTCACHEPAGE is obligatory for caching plugins to obey. They may or may not recognize the flag. Host’s server side caching too.

So in that respect is important to set your caching plugin to not cache pages for logged in users. Some have these option (like WP Super Cache) and it may be accidentally turned on. Or your host may have aggressive caching.

Technically PW’s situation is not different from any other plugin that modifies content. Its subject to exact same conditions with every other plugin. So if you dont have issues with other content modifying plugins you shouldnt have with PW.

I will look into a way making it with ajax requests, I think it may turn out cool.
If I succeed, I will post the solution here.

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Is it not possible for you to just put the code into whatever part of your theme has the relevant content shown?

Is there a way to set this up so it’s only initially available to backers, but will be public later, through the plugin?

That can be done through a premium addon, Patron Plugin Pro. You can lock posts or entire post types with ‘Show after X days’ method, or, ‘Lock last X posts’ method. Or ‘show after a certain date’.

The first 2 would apply to your case of course. Locking posts to show after 30 days would make every post public when it is older than 30 days. Lock last X posts would only lock your last, say, 10 posts. When you post one more, the oldest locked post goes public etc.

So I updated it but the tier thing is working for me, its just showing a loading sign.

You mean the tier select box in WP post editor stays in loading?

It means that the plugin is not able to pull your tiers from Patreon via ajax.

You can try a hard CTRL+F5 to force your browser to refresh the javascript and see if that works.

Thank you so much that did the trick.

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Ah, maybe I should have posted my question here:
How do I give multiple tiers access to a post? For example I have a world building course with three modules: basic, advanced, expert.
Patrons who choose a tier that gives them access to the advanced module, also gives them access to the basic module. On my patreon page I can easily do this.
However, in the plugin part of a post on my site I can only seem to be able to select one tier. That is not conform the default options on my partreon page.

I do not offer anything besides the tiers and if I understand it correctly, I should use the pledge amount option in that case.

Thanks for the help!

When you select a tier (or assign a $ level), that tier and all the tiers above that level will have access to that content.

Basically it will act same with your Patreon.

Assign the basic tier to a piece of content? Advanced tier and Basic tier users will be able to access and see that content…

Tier selection and $ amount act similarly.

Ah, in that case I misunderstood the tier selection! I thought it would be for that tier alone. Thanks so muchh for the fast response!

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I’ve been using the Patreon wordpress plugin for a while now, and I love it.

I just have two problems with the plugin, and it’s probably on my end, since I see no complaints about it.

When I update a post, the dollar amount resets, back to $0, and I have to change it back and update it to lock it again. Sometimes I have to do it twice.

Also, I have to use the dollar amount, simply because it doesn’t give me an option on tiers. It just shows an empty dropdown menu. Is anyone else having the same problem?

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This seems to be an issue affecting some sites and happening occasionally and irregularly. It is likely due to the process that asks the api for latest state of your tiers via the ajax request that triggers it failing at a certain point occasionally.

We will think about something for this for the next few releases. Likely we will prevent overwriting of your tiers in case a proper return from the api is not received.

For now, refreshing the page until you see your tiers are properly populated would work.

Also if this happens frequently, you can try opening your browser’s developer console (F12 on Chrome) and see if any Javascript errors are present in console tab.

hello, I have an attached file from a Gutenberg block, but I can’t select it to add the patreon level.

Excerpt gating is a Patron Pro feature. You can open a support ticket at Codebard.com to receive support for this issue.

The excerpt gating is not designed to gate blocks but text/content inside them. Can you try and see if you can select part of the content inside the block and then gate it via excerpt gating?

Hi just have the same issue as Rihaan had follow your advices refresh the page dozen of time but still get this issue.
Also using the dollar amount reset back to 0$ randomly and when it keep the correct amount it doesn’t lock the articles on the website.