How to Create Private Categories in WooCommerce

How to Create Private Categories in WooCommerce:- Mostly you don’t need to create private categories in WooCommerce. The aim of your WooCommerce store is to sell products as many as possible, not to exclude visitors from certain categories. However there are occasions when you want to hide or make some categories private. So in this post we are showing how to achieve this.

What do you mean by private category?

When we say private category, we also use the terms like ‘restricted’, ‘protected’ or ‘members’ only. When theses terms used with categories, can be used the same mean-namely those categories or their products are not accessible to everyone. So a private category in WooCommerce only be accessed by certain customers.

Why create private categories in WooCommerce?

It seems like counter-intuitive to make categories as private. After all the main purpose of an online store is to sell best possible products. Preventing users from accessing products seems to obstruct this purpose. However there are various good reasons for creating private categories, some of them might even leads to more sales. Common reasons include:

  • Staff Only:- Lets think online store is only part of your overall business. However you sell products online, you may also want to access your WooCommerce store to supply your staff with some products.  These may be perks for your staff, specialist accessories or products at staff only discounts.  Whatever the reason is, it makes a valid sense to assign these products to “staff only” category and make it private so that visitors can’t access it.
  • Members only:- if you are owning a membership site, it’s pretty common to restrict some contents to your members. After all, there has to be some benefits to become a member of your website.
  • Wholesale/ retail:- one approach to building different pricing structure for wholesale and retail customers is to create different categories for wholesale products. You can make these categories as private to hide it from retail customers.
  • Age Restricted sites:- if you need your visitors to verify their identity in any way before they buy your products, then creating private categories is the best option to prevent non-verified users from making unauthorized purchases.

How to create private categories in WooCommerce?

So, creating private categories in WooCommerce is not unreasonable as we thought. Let’s have a look how to create them. Here we are using WooCommerce Members Only Plugin.

WooCommerce Members Only Plugin:-  it’s easy to setup and also allows you to do some powerful things with your store. Once installed & activated, navigate to WooCommerce-> settings-> members only to configure settings. The great thing of this plugin is that it has only few settings so you can easily configure it.

How to define which customer can make use of private categories?

There are various ways to decide which customers can use private categories and which are restricted. Use restriction settings between ‘Log in Status’ that means only logged in users have access to private categories; password means that users will need password to access content and ‘User role’ means you can specify user roles which are permitted to access private categories.

How to define which categories are private?

It can be done easily. Under “restricted content”, select “specific categories” then in ‘Restricted categories’ field enter categories that you want to keep private. That’ll within a few moments you can create private categories on your WooCommerce store.

How to hide protected products in archive pages?

One of the main choices you have to make about private categories is how you want them to private. I think the options are:

  • Visible but not accessible
  • Completely invisible to users who don’t have access

If you choose “Hide Products in Archive” option then you make private categories invisible, meaning all restricted users will be removed. So shop page, archive page and product page will not be visible.