10 Ways to Set Up Hidden Premium Content In WordPress
These days there are all sorts of ways you can choose to keep content in WordPress hidden from the general public. There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to do that.
In this post we’re going to look at 10 solutions that will let you hide your content, but then also let you reveal it if the visitor takes the right action. That action might range from putting in the right password to paying for it through PayPay to tweeting out a link to it first.
Membership is WPMU DEV’s own premium membership plugin. This full-fledged plugin will allow you to create sophisticated membership programs that you can either charge for or give away for free. It allows you to release content by levels, by time (dripped content), or all at once.
With this plugin you can make any part of your site part of the membership areas, including forums, wikis, video areas, or anything else.
You can set up a number of different “courses” within one system, letting users pick and choose as they like. It integrates with major payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize. Net, 2Checkout, and more.
There is also a free version of the Membership plugin that can be found in the WordPress.org directory. This free version will let you do most everything the premium version allows with the exception of unlimited levels.
Billed primarily as a plugin to run user communities, this plugin also lets you hide content from non-members. The communities (and the content) can be put behind a paywall if you like. The plugin integrates with PayPal, and you can also run a free community, of course. Membership can be set to a specific time, or it can be unlimited.
The community aspect also comes with a private message system. Another plus for this plugin is that it integrates with MailChimp, allowing you to automatically add users to a mailing list.
The User Access Manager plugin lets you create groups, assign users to those groups, and then decide what they have and don’t have access too. While not a full-fledged membership plugin like WPMU DEV’s Membership above, it can perhaps act a simpler way of restricting content to certain groups.
While you can password protect an entire post or page out of the box in WordPress, WPMU DEV’s Password Protect plugin lets you password protect only parts of a post or page, giving you more refined control when you need it. Visitors are met with a password box when you’ve protected something, and the only way in is to know the password.
Social Marketing is WPMU DEV’s content locking plugin that will help you gain more social media exposure. You can easily lock any type of content from text and photos to a discount coupon or a download. In order to visitors to gain access, they must first share your page on social media. The content to be shared is built in custom post types and can be called into any post or page you like.
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You can also use it in conjunction with our Schedule Selected Content plugin to create a time limited offer.
The OnePress Social Locker lets you easily wrap content in shortcodes and then require visitors to like it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, or share it on Google+ if they want to see it. You can change the headline and the text for the message in the backend with a visual editor.
This is a simple plugin that will hide content from visitors depending on the type of shortcode you wrap it in. Shortcode choices include logged in or logged out, user levels, user capabilities, URL keys, password entry, and clickable links.
While not sophisticated compared to some other solutions here, it may be what some are looking for.
WPMU DEV’s Pay Per View plugin will allow you to sell digital content either as a one-time payment or on a subscription model. The plugin lets you accept PayPal payments or payments by credit card. You can also choose to offer different payment levels right at the same time. To make it extra easy on users, they can sign in with Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Locking content is as easy as pushing a button on the visual editor.
The Content for Money plugin lets your wrap selected content in shortcodes and require visitors to pay to view it. It should be noted that visitors who pay for content will only have access to it once. If they leave and come back to the content later, they will once again be met by the locked content message. The plugin uses PayPal as its gateway.
Many people overlook it, but it’s easy to password protect a Post or Page in WordPress right out of the box. On the write/edit screen, simply click “Edit” in the Visibility section in the top Publish section in your right-hand sidebar. That will open to give you some choices. One of those is to password protect the post and to enter the password needed to unlock it.
Photo credit: Craig Sunter