WooCommerce hidden products: how to set product visibility in your store

Create WooCommerce hidden products with flexible product visibility options

There are many reasons why you may want to create WooCommerce hidden products in your online store. For some online sellers, this may be because they sell to both retail customers and B2B buyers. Or, membership site owners might want to make exclusive products (like merchandise) available to members only.

The good news is that there are several different ways you can hide WooCommerce products in your online store. For this, you will need the WooCommerce Members Only plugin.

In this article, we’ll explain:

Depending on the type of online store you’re running, you can set and control WooCommerce product visibility however you’d like. Before we begin, let’s quickly take a look at some examples of WooCommerce hidden products and how WooCommerce handles product visibility by default.

What are WooCommerce hidden products

Lots of online sellers create WooCommerce hidden products. These are products that are added (and published) on the WooCommerce store but are “hidden” from the main shop page and product archives.

More specifically, by WooCommerce hidden products, we mean products that fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • WooCommerce products that aren’t visible to some (or all) users in the main shop page or product archives
  • Products that aren’t accessible by a direct URL
  • Products that are invisible to search engines i.e. they’re not indexable

Generally speaking, online store owners create WooCommerce hidden products for a variety of reasons. The main idea, however, is to make certain products available to specific types of customers only.

Hidden products use cases

Here are some common use cases:

  • Wholesale stores. WooCommerce wholesale stores and B2B stores that sell to both retail and wholesale customers might need a way to make certain products available to wholesale customers only. For example, these could be product bundles or different products altogether.
  • Membership sites. WooCommerce membership sites often sell exclusive products in addition to the products they sell to regular (non-member) customers. These may include tickets to events, engraved merchandise, or limited-edition products.
  • Members-only stores. Members-only stores are those that make products available to logged-in members only. In other words, to view and purchase products, you need to be a registered member.

There are, of course, dozens of more scenarios where you might need to create WooCommerce hidden products. The different methods we cover later on in this article can be adapted to just about any online store looking to hide WooCommerce products.

The standard method to hide WooCommerce products

Out of the box, WooCommerce provides a simple way to hide WooCommerce products from the main shop page. This is possible with the ‘Catalog Visibility’ setting.

WooCommerce's default catalog visibility option

Open up the product you’d like to hide in the ‘Edit product’ screen. The ‘Catalog visibility’ option (in the ‘Publish’ widget to the right) lets you decide which shop pages the product will be listed on. Select the ‘Hidden’ option.

The main drawback of this method is that anyone can still access the product if they have a direct URL. In addition to this, it’s not suitable for store owners that need to hide multiple products since it requires you to edit each product manually.

Advanced methods for hiding products

The good news is that you can easily make use of several advanced methods for creating WooCommerce hidden products using the WooCommerce Members Only plugin.

WooCommerce Members Only

The WooCommerce Members Only plugin lets you hide WooCommerce products from your online store in a variety of different ways which we’ll cover in detail below.

Plugin features

The plugin offers:

  • Password options to hide individual WooCommerce products, WooCommerce product categories, or all WooCommerce products at once.
  • User role options to hide WooCommerce products for specific user roles only. This is great for membership sites and stores that sell to different types of customers.
  • User ID option for only allowing specific users access to hidden WooCommerce products.
  • Log-in status option for allowing only logged in users to access the WooCommerce hidden products. WooCommerce store owners that want to offer exclusive products to customers with user accounts, for example, might find this option useful.

Essentially, it gives you fine-grained control over WooCommerce product visibility and lets you choose how you’d like to restrict access. Put simply, it allows you to decide exactly who can view and purchase your WooCommerce products.

The WooCommerce Members Only plugin also comes with a built-in user role manager. You can use it to create new roles, assign capabilities, and update existing roles.

Hiding products individually, by category, and all products

With the WooCommerce Members Only plugin, you can easily hide:

  • Individual WooCommerce products
  • All products in a specific category
  • All WooCommerce products in your store

To hide an individual WooCommerce product, open it up in the ‘Edit product’ screen and scroll down to the ‘Product data’ section. Click on the ‘Members Only’ tab.

Restriction methods for individual WooCommerce products

Restriction method

Select a ‘Restriction method’ from the dropdown menu. If, for example, you choose ‘Password’, you’ll need to enter a password (or create a list of passwords) that unlock the product. In order to hide WooCommerce products by category or hide all WooCommerce products in your store, head over to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only from the WordPress admin panel.

Restriction methods for specific WooCommerce categories

Choose a ‘Restriction Method’ and set the ‘Restricted Content’ option to ‘Specified Categories’. Finally, enter the restricted categories in the ‘Restricted Categories’ field, set a password, and decide where you want the password form page to appear.

You can hide all WooCommerce products from your online store the same way. Simply set the ‘Restricted Content’ option to ‘All WooCommerce Pages’.

Hiding products according to user role

Assuming you already have user roles created, you can create WooCommerce hidden products according to user role in just a few steps.

Hide WooCommerce products according to user role

For example, let’s say you want to hide multiple WooCommerce products by user role(s).

  1. Head over to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only and select ‘User Role’ as the ‘Restriction Method’.
  2. Decide if you want to hide products in a specific category or all WooCommerce products using the ‘Restricted Content’ option.
  3. If you select ‘Specified Categories’, you can also specify exactly which WooCommerce product categories in the ‘Restricted Categories’ field.
  4. Finally, enter one or more user roles in the ‘Permitted User Roles’ field. These are the user roles that can view the hidden WooCommerce products.

Be sure to check out our in-depth tutorial on hiding WooCommerce products by user roles for step-by-step instructions.

Hiding products by log-in status

If you’re running a membership site or would like to create WooCommerce hidden products for members only, you might consider hiding products by the user’s log-in status.

Hide WooCommerce products according to log-in status
  1. Head over to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only and select ‘Log In Status’ as the ‘Restriction Method’.
  2. Decide if you want to hide products in a specific category or all WooCommerce products using the ‘Restricted Content’ option.
  3. Specify exactly which WooCommerce product categories you’d like to hide by entering them in the ‘Restricted Categories’ field.

Hiding products with passwords

The WooCommerce Members Only plugin lets you assign multiple passwords (or a single password) to individual WooCommerce products, WooCommerce product categories, or to all WooCommerce products in your store. This is a great option for store owners that need an easy way to run marketing campaigns or offer promotions.

  1. Head over to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only and select ‘Password’ as the ‘Restriction Method’.
  2. Decide if you want to hide products in a specific category or all WooCommerce products using the ‘Restricted Content’ option.
  3. Specify the WooCommerce product categories you’d like to hide by entering them in the ‘Restricted Categories’ field.
  4. Enter a single password (or a list of passwords) in the ‘Passwords’ field.
  5. Select which page the password form should appear on using the ‘Password Form Page’ option.

You can also hide individual WooCommerce products with a single password (or multiple passwords) by going into the ‘Members Only’ tab from the ‘Product data’ settings.

Restriction methods for individual WooCommerce products

Check out this article on hiding WooCommerce products with passwords for more information.

Hiding individual products by user ID

Sometimes, you might need to hide individual WooCommerce products by user ID. This is useful for when you need to make WooCommerce products available to a handful of users only.

Allow specific users to access hidden WooCommerce products

Open up the product you’d like to hide, scroll down to the ‘Product data’ section, and click on the ‘Members Only’ tab. Next, set the ‘Restriction method’ to ‘By User’ and enter the user IDs you’d like to grant access to.

Find user ID in WordPress

How to get the user ID

Note: You can get user IDs by going to Users > All Users from the WordPress admin panel and hovering over that user. The user ID will appear under their username.

You can also choose to hide the WooCommerce product in archives (main shop page, category pages, and tag archives) by ticking the checkbox next to the ‘Hide in Archives’ option.

Check out this in-depth tutorial on creating client-specific products in WooCommerce for more ideas.

Redirecting users away from hidden products

To deliver a good user experience, you may want to redirect users away from hidden products if they try to access them. This is especially useful for WooCommerce membership sites and members-only sites. The WooCommerce Members Only plugin makes this incredibly easy.

Set up redirect using WooCommerce Members Only
  1. Head over to WooCommerce > Settings > Members Only from the WordPress admin panel.
  2. Select a ‘Restriction Method’ using the dropdown menu.
  3. Use the ‘If Restricted, Redirect To’ field to select the page you’d like to redirect unauthorized users to.
    1. You can choose one of the default WooCommerce pages such as ‘My account’.
    2. Alternatively, you can create a custom landing page to redirect users to.

This is the easiest way to redirect users who don’t have permission to access the WooCommerce hidden product(s) to a different page without delivering poor user experience. Not to mention, it gives you the option to encourage those users to sign up for your membership or register for a user account.

Conclusion

The WooCommerce Members Only plugin lets you create WooCommerce hidden products and set product visibility in a variety of different ways.

To recap:

  • The standard ‘Catalog Visibility’ option simply hides the product form your main shop page and category pages. Anyone with a direct link can still access the WooCommerce product.
  • WooCommerce Members Only lets you restrict access to individual WooCommerce products, specific WooCommerce product categories, and all WooCommerce products.
  • Using WooCommerce Members Only, you can choose different restriction methods including single or multiple passwords, user roles, user IDs, and log-in status.
  • The plugin also lets you decide which page to redirect users who don’t have permission to access the WooCommerce hidden products to.

We covered some of the main use cases above though you can easily adapt them to your specific needs, as necessary. Hopefully, you’re in a good position now to take things further.

Do you have any questions about how to create WooCommerce hidden products for your online store or membership site? We’re happy to help; just drop a comment below.


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Rafay

Rafay

I’m a professional writer and co-founder at BloggInc providing data-driven content for B2B companies.

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4 thoughts on “WooCommerce hidden products: how to set product visibility in your store

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Hey, is there any method to hide courses that have been already purchased by student? I am using Learn dash and Woo-Commerce plugin and I want to hide that course if already purchased.

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Hi – hiding courses and other post types is coming in the next version of the plugin.

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Hello, I would like to know if it is possible to restrict individual woocomerce products according to role. If the user does not have the role, the woocomerce product is restricted from buying it, for this the notice appears instead of the shopping cart, as the image that allows the continuation.

https://i.ibb.co/gjMNZv2/see.png
If the user acquires role, he can have access to buy the product.

In conclusion, the user can see the product page and details but cannot buy it or add it to the shopping cart.

Is it possible to do this in this plugin?

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