How to Disable Right-Clicking on Your WordPress Site

If you have a lot of images on your WordPress site, or you’re creating an image-heavy site for, say, a photographer, it makes sense to do all you can to protect your copyrighted content.

While there is no way to completely stop people from stealing your images, you can make it harder. Disabling right-clicking is one method you can use to deter casual theft.

In today’s Weekend WordPress Project I”ll show you a couple of great plugins for turning off the ability to right-click, and we’ll also discuss whether it’s actually worth doing.

Plugins for Disabling Right-Click

  • No Right Click Images Plugin

    Deter leeches from nicking your images with this handy plugin, which uses JavaScript to change the right click action on IMG tags to disable the context menu.

    It disables the menu on images only, so other other right click actions, such as links, should work normally.

    Image uploaded using the WordPress media uploader will open in a window if clicked and the image will not be protected. In order to get around this, you need to make sure any images you upload are not linked.

    Also, some browsers prevent JavaScript from altering the context menu behavior. To get around this, the plugin uses a replacement image that briefly replaced the clicked image.

    Interested in No Right Click Images Plugin?

  • WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click

    This plugin takes disabling right clicking a step further.

    In addition to turning off right click, WP Content Copy Protection allows you to disable the CTRL+A, CTRL+C, CTRL+X,CTRL+S or CTRL+V (and equivalent keys on OS X) as well as disable the ability to select text. This means you can protect your images and your words.

    This plugin adds a sub-menu item to the admin sidebar where you can access some basic options for this plugin: post protection and homepage protection using JavaScript, and static page’s protection.

    You can also enable or disable CSS protection.

    The basic features of this plugin are free, but you can upgrade to the premium version for more features like the ability to display alert messages and compatibility with major theme frameworks.

    Interested in WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click?

Should You Disable Right-Click?

While disabling right-clicking will stop everyday users from stealing your copyright images, ultimately it’s not effective. Users who really want to take someone’s images can simply take a screenshot, or disable Javascript to turn right-clicking back on.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s bad for usability and accessibility.

Sitepoint warns against the practice and offers some tips on how to protect your images.

WordPress.com also offers some advice on protecting site content, including having a clear copyright notice on your site, obtaining an appropriate Creative Commons License, and watermarking your images.

What do you think about disabling right-clicking? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

5 Responses

  • Chief Pigeon

    I hate sites that disable it, there are legitimate reasons for needing it.

    When sites start disabling things like mouse clicks and keyboard keys, it makes it harder to debug issues for them when they need help.

    Ultimately if you want to rip off content you will get developer tools open, or you will simply screenshot as mentioned above and then run through an OCR if you want the text. If you want to protect your content 100%, don’t upload it, don’t share it, hide it away from the world. Simples :)

  • Flash Drive

    I’m creating a membership site. The ONLY way to make enough money to do the site is right-clicking disabled. Why? Cos my punk pals either think they are ‘helping’ me when they copy/paste my text and photos, or they believe in freely sharing. Then they demand I post more punk photos and stories. Can’t have it both ways.

    I’m willing to do the work as long as my bills are paid. As long as either clueless or nasty folks are around, it’s good to have this option. So many of my photos have been bootlegged on clothes, in books, mags, discs and sites through the yrs. People have been downright nasty about it. Shudder.

    I’m thinking of doing the same with some pages in my other sites. It’s astounding to see ppl take my work, repost it, and claim they are ‘helping me.’ They are helping themselves to free content at my expense. I’ve been posting my work for 20 yrs now. I’ve seen a lot, believe me. Partially it’s the punk community, who tend to not understand the concept of duplicate content, of not taking someone’s work, and not paying for it. Some mean well, some are just out and out thieves. I’ve dealt with too many people to say never disable right-click.

    Depends upon your market and audience. Thanks for posting, very timely for me, although I am familiar with the plugs listed.

    • Chief Pigeon

      Those people that believe in free sharing will most likely already know ways around this, opening developer tools in Chrome, or Firebug, etc. They can easily access that content to copy without restriction.

      Using something like Awesome Screenshot to snap it all up quickly.

      Using a content scraper or site downloader.

      Disabling keys and clicks can also create issues for those with visual impairments, it could alienate them from using your website. Personally I’m just never a fan of sites (or anything) that hijack my computers functionality.

  • Flash Drive

    PS I have been watermarking my images for years. I always post clear copyright statements. Doesn’t matter. Sadly, many of the bootlegs and not credited images are scans from mags and books. But IF I were to post non-watermarked images, my photos would be everywhere w/no credit.

    There’s just so much you can do short of disabling copy/pasting IF you are dealing with people determined to steal your work. Even new agers, who talk about love and peace, use my photos for their Facebook ID and can’t bother to credit me. They are supposed to be my friends. Hmm. Some friends.

    We don’t have the funds nor time to deal with Copyscape. To each their own. For a private membership, absolutely necessary in the punk arena. But it’s not something to mindlessly enable. If it works for your audience, fine. If not, fine. Good to have the choice.

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