I'm trying to implement a custom registration process consisted of 4 steps. At the first step user enters her credentials and pushes "continue" to proceed to the next step and the form is sent to the same page.

Here I successfully insert a new user to WP database and I want this user to be logged in right after this. I do it like this:

if ( isset($_POST["user-email"]) && isset($_POST["user-password"]) ) :

// Getting data from the Form
$user_login = esc_attr($_POST["user-email"]);
$user_password = esc_attr($_POST["user-password"]);
$user_email = esc_attr($_POST["user-email"]);

// Composing an array with user credentials data
$user_data =
        'user_login'    =>  $user_login,
        'user_pass'     =>  $user_password,
        'user_email'    =>  $user_email,
        'role'          =>  'student'

// Inserting new user to the db
wp_insert_user( $user_data );

// Trying to log in
$creds = array();
$creds['user_login'] = $user_login;
$creds['user_password'] = $user_password;
$creds['remember'] = true;

// As far as I know whis does the trick
$user = wp_signon( $creds, false );

if ( is_wp_error( $user ) ) echo $user->get_error_message();


The problem starts from here. wp_signon for some reason does not login user, which I check by the following:

if ( is_user_logged_in() ) : echo "Yuppiee!";
else : echo "FAIL!";

And I get "FAIL" all the time. Then I dug up the Internets and tried the following:

wp_set_current_user( $user->ID );

if ( is_user_logged_in() ) : echo "Yuppiee!";
else : echo "FAIL!";

And I have my "Yuppiee!" finally, but not for long. After page is reloaded I FAIL! again.

At the end I've got a new user added in my WP database and I can see her in the wp-admin/users panel and I can login this user through default wp-login form and I've got Yuppiee! all the way. But when I try to login the same user programmatically I got FAIL on page reload.

Can you help me to get through this? Please?!

  • After you call the wp_signon() function, are you redirecting the user, or does your script continue to run eventually calling is_user_logged_in() ?
    – Chris
    Sep 18, 2013 at 18:36
  • @Chris I do not redirect user to anywhere. Please consider these parts of code as a one piece. The algorithm on this SINGLE page is the following: 1. I read POST data >> 2. I insert a new user >> 3. I try to log her in >> 4. I do the check is_user_logged_in() >> 5. I do stuff.
    – LoomyBear
    Sep 18, 2013 at 18:41
  • I couldn't replicate the issue, using your code. I'm hoping you've tried this while deactivating all other plugins and you've checked your theme, if any login filters are being used.
    – Kumar
    Jan 5, 2014 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


I think this may be a Wordpress bug. According to the documentation, wp_signon() is the correct function to log a user in.

In your script, you are using is_user_logged_in() to verify the user was correctly logged in after your call to wp_signon(). is_user_logged_in() uses the global $current_user variable which doesn't appear to get set when using wp_signon().

wp_set_current_user() sets the global $current_user, but does not create the auth cookie needed to keep the user logged in.

Try the following:

$user = wp_signon();
wp_set_current_user( $user->ID );

This way, you are logging the user in (creating the auth cookie) and setting the current user before attempting to verify using is_user_logged_in().

  • Actually that's exactly what I've been doing: first wp_signon() -> wp_set_current_user() -> then I check if is_user_logged_in() and I can't get user logged in this way.
    – LoomyBear
    Sep 18, 2013 at 21:29

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