I have quite a peculiar scenario.

I have one WordPress site (Site A) where I have a large amount of users that have registered and I use the s2member plugin to subscribe these members to allow access to parts of the website.

I want to release another product that users need to subscribe separately for but a limitation with the s2member plugin means that I can't have two subscriptions for one user at the same time.

I've come to the conclusion that I need to make another WordPress site (Site B) (with it's own instance of s2member) and have my users register there for the additional subscription to access the product.

My aim is to make the process of bouncing back between the two Wordpress sites as simple as possible and try to remove the need to re-register on Site B. I want people to register on Site A, then be able to login to Site B with their login details from Site A.

I've looked at WPMUDev's User Sync plugin but the problem with this is that it will pull all of the s2member data for a user as well as everything else, which I don't want.

So I started looking at using Site A as an OAuth provider and authenticating with that on Site B. I have this working and I can create the logged in session and get all of the user's details (minus the sensitive information of course) on Site B.

This is looking really promising up until the point where I need to give that newly authenticated user on Site B an s2member profile, so they can subscribe to my new product. I can't do this unless they are officially registered as a User on Site B and I can't register the user with their password from Site A because 1) I don't want to send that information through HTTP (or HTTPS) and 2) if they update their password on Site A, it won't update on Site B.

This brings me to my million dollar question: how would you register/save a user without a password to my Site B once they have authenticated with Site A?

If you see any other possibilities with the situation I've explained, I am open to suggestions.


  • 1
    Why not creating a Network (Multisite) and then Sync the users? You can do it with a plugin such as wordpress.org/plugins/multisite-user-sync or manually since you use s2member. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:18
  • I don't really understand what is the wordpress specific issue here. You need to design a protocol that will sync users. So what is it in wordpress core that stands in your way? Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:29
  • @denis.stoyanov I don't want to use Multisite because of performance reasons. The website has a huge amount of traffic with over 116,000 (116k) registered users. That was my first thought but I don't want to run more than one WordPress site on one database. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:34
  • @MarkKaplun So would you suggest that creating a way to sync the users (minus the s2member usermeta) and keep the users in sync when any updates occur would be the best option here? Even with the large volume of users I have registered? EDIT: I'm also wanting this to potentially work with more sites i.e. Site C, Site D, Site E all connected to Site A. If I were syncing users to that many sites, would performance be an issue? Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:42
  • no, best option is probably a network Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


It seems like you are insisting on making your life difficult. Implementing any type of API is error prone to the best of developers and real time sync can fail due to network errors, bugs etc, and I would be very hesitant before selecting such an option.

Using a network is probably the best option for several reason, but if you feel like it do not fit your needs, your other best alternative is to simply connect directly to the DB of site A to get the relevant information. In a way it is a variation on the API idea, but since it has only one authoritative source for the data and you will use battle tested protocols to retrieve the info, the chances of successful implementation are much higher.

  • Believe me, I'm not looking to make my life difficult, I was just trying to think outside the box because all of the obvious options just didn't seem possible! I am planning on going down the route of connecting directly to the DB for Site A since the Multisite option just isn't possible due to the amount of other processes I have running on the server and upgrading the server just isn't feasible right now. So I will mark your answer as accepted since you have given me valuable information and the direction to go in. Thanks. Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 20:00

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