Content is what keeps the web alive. Day by day, hundreds of thousands of content pieces make their way into the web. In recent years, protecting the content of websites has become much more popular not only because it helps to weed out low-quality users but also because it helps to join together people who truly share the same ideas about a particular subject. The highly reputable media publisher Inc. has also taken the approach of protecting its content from visitors who haven’t signed into the service, making its online community slightly more exclusive. In many ways, it protects itself against plagiarism and spammers, too.
WordPress offers several types of content protection. We have membership-type plugins that help to build a bridge between registered user content and content for those who haven’t registered. We also have simple protection plugins that allow you to restrict content for visitors unless they complete an action. An example is liking your Facebook page or sharing your site on social media and such. Some plugins even offer the ability to lock content for a certain amount of time.
Let’s take a closer look at the collection of various content protection plugins below.
MemberPress has proven itself many times to be a reliable membership plugin solution for WordPress. It delivers the kind of platform that can help bloggers create membership sites with exclusive and flexible features. MemberPress offers its users a solid membership platform that integrates features like content control (you decide who can see and browse content). You will have the ability to sell your products and accept direct payments on your website pages. Also, a subscription management module will let you build multiple levels of subscriptions. So, build a community forum platform to organize all your members in one place. With this plugin, you won’t have to configure an external forum platform to work with your membership platform.
With WP Courseware, you can easily transform your existing WordPress website into a full-blown online course platform with the ability to protect your course content. This plugin lets you create pages for online courses, quizzes, surveys, member pages, and much more. Appealing modules include features that allow you to generate a course completion certificate automatically for students who have finished their courses. It’s a truly flexible courseware platform that will change the way you teach your members forever.
WooCommerce Memberships is not just another plugin for restricting your site’s content. It’s an easy-to-use, site-wide membership solution. It brings your content, shop, and memberships together. You can set up the plugin to allow you to sell individual memberships. You can also enable a module to allow gifting memberships to their friends, family, and co-workers.
Moreover, a very extensive “drip” module lets you schedule access to your premium content for certain members. Such a module provides creative opportunities in terms of product releases and product add-ons. You can even set up the plugin to offer premium (exclusive) products to members only. This then allows you to create some sort of a special club out of your online business.
s2Member stands out with an incredibly extensive list of capabilities and features that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re looking to protect individual posts and pages or even specific URLs of your site, s2Member can take care of it all for you with a few simple clicks. On top of that, you can protect certain parts of your content within a post or a page. s2Member is not just for protecting your content either. The whole platform offers a truly remarkable membership-site solution. Easy payment gateway integration and unlimited subscription levels mean that you are in control of how your community grows and which direction it takes.
On this list, so far, PaidMembershipsPro is the most lightweight and perhaps the easiest to use membership/content protection platform. With PaidMembershipsPro, you can easily add extra features to your WordPress site by enabling several membership levels. You can be in full control of how each membership level sees your content and in what way. It comes with an built-in community forum feature as well. Notably, too, everything has been optimized for the best search engine performance.
Many WordPress bloggers consider the UltimateMember plugin as a great solution in creating an effective membership site. It features content protection, front-end user management, and a members database. Specifically, you’ll get a forms builder, custom field extensions, the option to send out member-specific emails. Of course, it has a fully mobile responsive code base to ensure that the site looks equally good on any device out there. This plugin likewise offers custom extensions. They include a social login, real-time user updates, user-to-user reviews, e-commerce integration, and captcha capabilities.
EDD Members is an add-on plugin for Easy Digital Downloads. It lets you set content to private and build a membership site in no time. With this plugin, the admin of a site can easily enable any kind of public or private content to become exclusive for a certain type of site membership. Each post (database entry) can be treated exclusively. So, it’s very easy to make 20 different posts private while making all others publicly accessible.
Restrict Content Pro has evolved as a content protection platform. It helps WordPress bloggers make their content privately accessible to members of the site that have become subscribers. Thanks to its success, the community gets Restrict Content Pro with an extension functionality. This supports addons, such as an affiliate marketing feature, a job submission board, multiple popular email marketing platform integration. Supported as well are features like the bbPress forum.
Here we are moving into a territory of free content protection plugins that provide easy to use methods for keeping your content private when necessary. The Simple Membership plugin is a lightweight membership plugin that will work with your favorite WordPress themes out of the box, and provide you with cool features like media content protection, an ability to tease your visitors with content snippets to help them become full-on site members, to have all comments left on content protected posts to be protected as well, and a full-fledged membership platform that will let you have full access over the member levels of your site and how they interact with content.
In some situations, we don’t need to have a membership platform, all we really need is a way to make sure that our content stays private and only a select few can be able to gain access to it, and with such a thought in mind, the best solution to use would be the Password Protected plugin, a simple WordPress plugin that will let you set up a site-wide password that will be required any time any of the sites pages are being accessed. Certainly a very raw content protection solution!
Here we are entering in the more modern content lock space, the OnePress plugin offers a social lock feature that will ask of your visitors to share a particular piece of content before it is being displayed to them. This does help to increase your social share count by a significant margin, but there have been stories — in select markets — where people don’t find such ‘tricks’ to be very appealing at all. With Social Locker, you can lock anything in your content and automatically unlock it after a visitor has shared your page. All you need to do is select the part of your content you want to lock, click a button and you’re done! It’s a free pay-to-view content locker, and definitely is worth experiment with to play with traffic and social recognition.
Time Lock has built a plugin that will allow you to protect your content from anonymous visitors for a set amount of time, whether it’s one hour, two hours, or two weeks — Time Lock will make sure that the members of your site are first to see the content, so as to enable a more community oriented aspect.
Foruma04 has built a similar plugin to what OnePress is trying to do with their password protect the site feature, but where as OnePress would password protect the whole site, Foruma04 focuses on password protecting individual pages. You can protect your whole site, but also have the option to whitelist certain pages of the site.