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Plugin License Key Won’t Activate on My Site

Every so often, a customer will find that they’re having trouble activating one of our plugins’ license keys on their site immediately after purchase.

Try Deactivating A Few Possible Culprits

There are a few possible culprits that might be contributing to the issue including:

  • Security Plugins: Some security/protection plugins also may get in the way of the licensing event.
  • Coming Soon Plugins:¬†sometimes these can block the license requests.
  • Another Plugin Conflict: The issue could be related to another plugin activated on your site that is neither a security or a coming-soon plugin.
  • .htaccess file: if there’s something out of the norm in terms of this config, it too can interrupt the communication between the site and our servers.

If you have any of these, the first step would be to temporarily deactivate them, try to activate your license with our plugin, and if successful, go back and re-activate them afterwards.

Troubleshooting Security Plugins

Easy Digital Downloads (our software licensing system), makes note of the following:

Security plugins for WordPress often have features that interfere with the license key API requests. These features tend to make the activation (and other API requests) return an unexpected response, causing the activation routine to fail.

The iThemes Security plugin is known to have a setting that can cause this issue. The setting is called Filter Suspicious Query Strings in the URL. To resolve the issue, simply disable the Filter Suspicious Query Strings in the URL setting. If you’re not using iThemes Security, it will be named something different, though similar.

If you do not use iThemes Security, but have another security plugin (WordFence, WPShield, etc.), please try temporarily disabling the security plugin, attempting to activate our plugin, then re-activating your security plugin afterwards.

Checking for Plugin Conflicts

If you’re simply not sure which plugin could be causing the issue and have A LOT of plugins that might be the culprit, one option could be to perform plugin conflict debugging on your site. The idea being to disable all plugins except for ours and then testing to see if activation works. Even if you don’t find out which plugin is causing the conflict, the debugging process could fix the activation issue in the process anyway.

Plugin Conflict Debugging

Warning: Please perform a full backup of your site before attempting this

Troubleshooting .htaccess File

Easy Digital Downloads (our licensing system) suggests the following:

Some sites will add special rules to the .htaccess file in order to block certain IP addresses or add additional protection to the site.

If you have any special .htaccess rules in place and license keys are not activated, try removing the rules and then activating license keys. If the license keys activate properly now, you will need to adjust the rules to allow the licensing API routines to function.

Updated on February 3, 2021

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