Integrating New User Approve WP Plugin with WooCommerce

I originally wrote this guide to work with the WP Approve User plugin, however it appears to not be well maintained any longer, so this is a similar guide for the “New User Approve” plugin instead.

When building an ecommerce website with wholesale functions, there were two key modifications that needed to be completed to WooCommerce in order to make it work for the customer’s business:

  1. New users (distributors) must be able to be moderated by an admin so the site owner can choose to approve or reject them as distributors of their product
  2. Visitors must be blocked from seeing pricing and adding items to their cart until they have been registered and approved

Catalog Visibility

In order to hide pricing and block adding items to the cart for users that are not logged in, WooCommerce already has a fantastic (albeit paid) plugin called Catalog Visibility Options. This plugin worked perfectly for what we needed using just a couple drop downs. What it doesn’t do (nor does it claim to do) is manage user registrations – the other half of the puzzle.


User Moderation

Although the New User Approve plugin is a well devised addition to WordPress, the custom registration and login capabilities of WooCommerce do not play nicely with plugins that use registration and login hooks. Additionally, WooCommerce has some great email notifications built in, whereas New User Approve has its own designed notifications.

Upon installing New User Approve, the user registration process goes like this:

  1. User registers
  2. WooCommerce automatically logs them in [PROBLEM]
  3. If the user logs out, they can’t get in again since they have yet to be approved

Removing / working around auto login

So at this point, the registration is not obeying the WP Approve User plugin when it automatically logs the user in, but the login form *is* obeying the hooks provided by WP Approve User. In order to fix this automatic login during registration, I wrote the following hooks to be placed in your theme’s functions.php file:

function ws_new_user_approve_autologout(){
       if ( is_user_logged_in() ) {
                $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
                $user_id = $current_user->ID;

                if ( get_user_meta($user_id, 'pw_user_status', true )  === 'approved' ){ $approved = true; }
		else{ $approved = false; }

		if ( $approved ){ 
			return $redirect_url;
                else{ //when user not approved yet, log them out
                        return get_permalink(woocommerce_get_page_id('myaccount')) . "?approved=false";
add_action('woocommerce_registration_redirect', 'ws_new_user_approve_autologout', 2);

function ws_new_user_approve_registration_message(){
        $not_approved_message = '<p class="registration">Send in your registration application today!<br /> NOTE: Your account will be held for moderation and you will be unable to login until it is approved.</p>';

        if( isset($_REQUEST['approved']) ){
                $approved = $_REQUEST['approved'];
                if ($approved == 'false')  echo '<p class="registration successful">Registration successful! You will be notified upon approval of your account.</p>';
                else echo $not_approved_message;
        else echo $not_approved_message;
add_action('woocommerce_before_customer_login_form', 'ws_new_user_approve_registration_message', 2);

This accomplishes two things. It takes care of making sure the user is logged out immediately after WooCommerce logs them in, and second it notifies the user that their registration completed successfully, but they cannot login until they have been approved. The successful registration notification was never needed by WooCommerce because it normally just logs them right into their account – something we can’t do in this case.

Notification Emails

New User Approve has a couple of Action Hooks we can plug in to for sending out notification emails. Although I didn’t make use of the unapprove hook, you can easily duplicate my existing work to make that happen if you wish.

You will want to first do as WooCommerce suggests: “For more advanced control copy woocommerce/templates/emails/ to yourtheme/woocommerce/emails/.”

Once you’ve’ copied the templates for adjustment, head to yourtheme/woocommerce/emails and edit the customer-new-account.php file.

Note that with WooCommerce 3.0 and newer you can now do this from the UI by going to WooCommerce > Settings > Emails and clicking the cog icon to the far right of the “New account” email template in the list. Click the “Copy file to theme” button. Once done, you can then click “View Template” to edit the file and make your changes.

You will want to add to this template something that indicates that the account has been held for moderation. This way, the email template is sent out to indicate to them that they cannot login immediately.

We also need an email template that is sent when the user is approved by an admin. In yourtheme/woocommerce/emails, create a file called customer-account-approved.php and paste the following in:

<?php if (!defined('ABSPATH')) exit; ?>

<?php do_action('woocommerce_email_header', $email_heading); ?>

<p><?php echo sprintf(__("Good news! Your account has been approved. You can now login here: %s.", 'woocommerce'), get_permalink(woocommerce_get_page_id('myaccount'))); ?></p>

        <li><?php echo sprintf(__('Username: %s', 'woocommerce'), $user_login); ?></li>
        <li><?php echo sprintf(__('Password: %s', 'woocommerce'), $user_pass); ?></li>

<p><?php echo sprintf(__("Thanks for registering with %s!", 'woocommerce'), $blogname); ?></p>

<div style="clear:both;"></div>

<?php do_action('woocommerce_email_footer'); ?>

Now that we’ve got our email templates ready to roll, we need an action hook to send off the approval email when the admin clicks “approve” for any user. Again, enter the following in your theme’s functions.php file:

//Email Notifications
//Content parsing borrowed from: woocommerce/classes/class-wc-email.php
function ws_new_user_approve_send_approved_email($user_id){

	global $woocommerce;
	//Instantiate mailer
	$mailer = $woocommerce->mailer();

        if (!$user_id) return;

        $user = new WP_User($user_id);

        $user_login = stripslashes($user->user_login);
        $user_email = stripslashes($user->user_email);
        $user_pass  = "As specified during registration";

        $blogname = wp_specialchars_decode(get_option('blogname'), ENT_QUOTES);

        $subject  = apply_filters( 'woocommerce_email_subject_customer_new_account', sprintf( __( 'Your account on %s has been approved!', 'woocommerce'), $blogname ), $user );
        $email_heading  = "User $user_login has been approved";

        // Buffer

        // Get mail template
        woocommerce_get_template('emails/customer-account-approved.php', array(
                'user_login'    => $user_login,
                'user_pass'             => $user_pass,
                'blogname'              => $blogname,
                'email_heading' => $email_heading

        // Get contents
        $message = ob_get_clean();

        // Send the mail
        woocommerce_mail( $user_email, $subject, $message, $headers = "Content-Type: text/htmlrn", $attachments = "" );
add_action('new_user_approve_approve_user', 'ws_new_user_approve_send_approved_email', 10, 1);

function ws_new_user_approve_send_denied_email($user_id){
add_action('new_user_approve_deny_user', 'ws_new_user_approve_send_denied_email', 10, 1);

As I mentioned above, you can do the very same with denied users. If you wish to do this, use the same code from the approve function and copy/paste it to the denied function that currently returns nothing, then create another email template like above.

I hope this helps anyone else trying to use the New User Approve plugin! Please leave your comments and suggestions along with any problems you may have encountered — I’d love to help!

Jordan is a computer, security, and network systems expert and a lover of all things web and tech. Jordan consults with project management for software companies. Jordan is a founder and managing partner at Websavers Inc.

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