WordPress Restrict Content Plugins to Limit Access to Content
Last Updated February 27, 2023
There are plenty of reasons why you would want to restrict access to site content. Some people like to provide exclusive content to members. Other sites want to put gates, or limits, on the types of content visitors can access based on their location or logged-in status. Really, to be honest, the reasons for restricting content are endless now. Unfortunately, for those using WordPress, there are no default options to restrict content. Thankfully, as always, the WordPress developer community has saved the day. Take a look at our list of WordPress restrict content plugins you can use to limit access to content on your site.
Popular WordPress Restrict Content Plugins
These WordPress restrict content plugins are all available, for free, from WordPress.org today. You can download and install them from the plugin repository. Or, if you prefer, you install and activate these from within the WordPress admin itself.
We said these plugins are free, and that is true, but some of them are freemium as well. In essence, this means that while there is a free version available you can purchase an expanded version, with more features, for a price. The following list contains feature summaries of each plugin and, when necessary, explains what is in the paid versions as well. Our hope is to give you enough information so that you can make the right choice and select the perfect content restriction plugin.
PPWP is a WordPress restrict content plugin that ensures a strong, all-in-one solution to improve website security with the power of passwords. If ever you would want to password protect different areas of your site such as categories, WooCommerce products, posts, or even the whole website itself, you can accomplish it through the plugin.
PPWP features include:
- Protect your pages and posts with unlimited passwords
- Use reCAPTCHA to stop prevent password abuse
- Unlock password-protected content without page refresh
- Protect sections and content partially
- Show or hide content at specific times.
The plugin supports page builders and you may customize password forms and messages. Password-protected content may also show up in RSS feeds if you wish. You can show excerpts of your protected posts as well.
Note that this plugin does not cover the protection of images, media files, or uploaded files. Also, understand that the passwords storage takes place in the post meta. A cookie will be set for access to your protected materials. By default, you will not have to re-enter your passwords until their cookies expire.
This product was first published by its creator in July of 2018. It is actively on version 1.8.8 and last saw an update on April 6th, 2023. The most recent update runs on WordPress 6.2.2 and requires at least PHP 5.6 to operate on your server. This plugin is currently working on over 30,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 452,110 downloads. There have been 10 help requests with a 90% response rate. PPWP – Password Protect Pages is well supported by its creator. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the end-users who left a piece of feedback found this plugin to be wonderful.
Security Issues and Vulnerabilities
There has been one recorded security or vulnerability issue with PPWP. The security problem was fixed and here are the details.
|1/10/23||Authenticated (Contributor+) Stored Cross-Site Scripting via Shortcode|
This was a medium concern issue that was fixed in version 1.8.5.
PPWP Pro is the paid and premium version of the plugin that comes either billed annually or through a single lifetime purchase. There are three plans with support for three, ten, and fifteen websites. You may protect custom post types, products, custom fields, and custom page templates with PPWP Pro. The pro version also supports unlimited passwords per user role, makes the same passwords for multiple roles, and has wildcard passwords. You can manage all these passwords while editing content or via the plugin’s settings. You can unlock all content at once, set the same password for multiple pages, or even protect the entire shop page.
Restrict User Access
Restrict User Access is a plugin that creates memberships in WordPress to restrict content quickly. You can set up a paid membership for your users in different tiers. Users can be granted access after purchasing items in your shop. You can set memberships to last a certain amount of time. Unauthorized users can be redirected to another area when attempting to click on restricted content.
You may restrict access to posts, pages, and categories and then combine the conditions in which your content is protected. A few of such conditions are the likes of tags, custom taxonomies, page templates, post type archetypes, author archives, search results, and many more to choose from. These access level capabilities that you set grant and deny permissions to your members. Override permissions set by roles and other plugins. You can hide widget areas and navigation menus. Site owners can even restrict content from other plugins. The API is developer friendly and you can polish your content visibility further with a shortcode.
This plugin was initially published by its owner in March of 2015. It is actively on version 2.4.3 and last had a revision on July 4th, 2023. The newest release functions on WordPress 6.2.2 and requires at least PHP 5.6 to function on your server. This plugin is now working on over 20,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 484,990 downloads. There have been 4 support requests with a 0% response rate. Restrict User Access – Membership & Content Protection has below average support from its creator. Reviews for Restrict User Access – Membership & Content Protection are very positive. Many of the users who left an evaluation found this plugin to be useful.
Paid Member Subscriptions
Paid Member Subscriptions is a plugin that creates membership programs to provide or restrict content based on selected plans. The plugin is easy to set up and offers a full membership experience. It will allow for the creation of subscription tiers, accept payments, and manage your members. You can create a members-only shop and provide discount offers based on chosen plans.
Membership emails and messages are customizable and can be by default or displayed after users perform certain actions. You may even provide a free trial period for your consumers. This plugin offers many ways to control subscriptions. Member records and payment data can be exported into CSV files. This plugin also integrates nicely with WooCommerce.
This plugin was originally published by its owner in November of 2015. It is now on version 2.10.2 and last underwent a change on September 28th, 2023. The most recent version works on WordPress 6.3.1. This plugin is presently operating on over 10,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 1,210,850 downloads. There have been 10 support requests with a 90% response rate. Paid Membership Subscriptions – Effortless Memberships, Recurring Payments & Content Restriction is well supported by its creator. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left an evaluation found Paid Membership Subscriptions – Effortless Memberships, Recurring Payments & Content Restriction to be useful.
Security Issues and Vulnerabilities
There have been 2 recorded security or vulnerability issues with Paid Member Subscriptions. All of those security problems have been fixed. Here are the details:
This was a high concern issue that was fixed in version 2.4.1.
|8/6/21||Reflected Cross-Site Scripting|
This was a medium concern issue that was fixed in version 2.4.2.
The premium version of Paid Member Subscriptions contains two annual premium plans: Basic and Pro. Basic provides add-ons for a single website while Pro has more add-ons and can be used on unlimited sites. Basic add-ons include:
- Global content restriction
- Unlimited discount codes
- Fixed period membership
- Pay-what-you-want options
- Navigation menu filtering.
The Pro add-ons give you:
- Pro-rated subscription upgrades and downgrades
- Support for tax and EU VAT
- Group memberships
- Multiple subscriptions per user
- Schedules for content
It also extends payment options by accepting recurring payments for PayPal Standard, PayPal Express, and Stripe Gateway.
Restrict Content is a WordPress plugin that helps you monetize access to your content with the use of memberships. With the plugin, you can completely dictate who views your content on your WordPress site. Your pages can adjust their content based on what membership tier the user viewing it belongs to. Restrict Content can handle multiple membership tiers or it can simply hide a page or post of your choosing.
Access can be limited for custom post types, media, and API requests. Some of the plugin’s key features are:
- Automatically generated member pages
- Multiple payment gateway options
- Member emails
Your membership levels have no limit and these subscriptions can be sold as products on your site. Data on your membership records can be imported and exported to MailChimp or Excel. Finally, you may customize messages shown to users without permission.
This plugin was initially released by its owner in July of 2010. It is actively on version 3.2.6 and last had a revision on August 10th, 2023. The newest release operates on WordPress 6.3.1 and requires at least PHP 7.4 to work on your server. This plugin is actively working on over 10,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 462,370 downloads. There have been 12 assistance requests with a 25% response rate. Membership Plugin – Restrict Content has below average support from its developer. Users score this plugin as average.
Restrict Content Pro is the plugin’s premium counterpart. It adds exclusive features and 34 add-ons by buying a yearly paid plan. These plans come available for one site, five sites, and unlimited sites. With Pro, there is discount code support. This lets you give your customers discounts or create promotional codes for their membership purchases. There is also detailed reporting to view your total earnings. Another pro feature is the option to add free trials. Membership emails can be customized to personalize the experience your users have on your site.
Page Restriction gives you control over the content in your WordPress sites. Content is accessed and restricted based on one’s user role. This gives you the ability to prevent users from getting to a page or post. You can apply restrictions to either all pages or only a select few and especially restrict those to users that are not logged in.
You may curate access towards individual ones or all. Users who do not have access to certain areas will be given default and static error messages. Even complete site restriction is possible as well for those not logged in. To go even further, there is an option to restrict only excerpts or blocks of a page or post if you so wish. Content may be restricted based on one or more WordPress roles, and the plugin allows you to create, modify, and update these roles as needed.
This plugin was first published by its creator in August of 2020. It is presently on version 1.3.4 and last experienced an update on February 17th, 2023. The most recent version functions on WordPress 6.1.3 and requires at least PHP 5.4 to function on your server. This plugin is currently working on over 1,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 17,470 downloads. There have not been many help requests from users. Reviews for Page Restriction WordPress (WP) – Protect WP Pages/Post are very positive. Many of the users who left an evaluation found this plugin to be worthwhile.
Security Issues and Vulnerabilities
There has been one recorded security or vulnerability issue with Page Restriction. The security problem was fixed and here are the details.
|4/9/22||Admin+ Stored Cross-Site Scripting|
This was a medium concern issue that was fixed in version 1.2.6.
Page Restriction Premium is the paid iteration of the plugin. It includes more features on top of all the features within the free version. Premium comes with the ability to restrict more specific items within your site. You can go as far as to restrict access to tags, navigation menu items, widgets, custom post types, and access to the meta box. To lessen the hassle of editing every single post, you can control content visibility based on post categories or restrict it by login status. You may also customize and create the error message for those without permission to view certain areas. Redirection is also possible. You can redirect people to a certain URL or straight to your login page where they may sign in.
My Members Only
My Members Only is a WordPress restrict content plugin that makes protecting your content easy. The plugin uses a members-only system and shortcodes to achieve its goals. This plugin is simple and flexible. Its shortcode can be used alongside other shortcodes. It is also lightweight without causing strain on your site.
My Members Only allows you to restrict access to several areas, such as downloads, articles as a whole or excerpts, and videos. In order to see these, your visitors must be logged in to your site. New features recently added include:
- Presenting a register or login link to those not logged in
- Redirecting users to the page they were viewing once they are logged in
- Customizing default text to those without access
You may also create a protected post or page, choose to protect items that already exist, and place shortcodes around the content you want to restrict. Private forums and premium support are also included if ever you may need them.
This product was originally published by its owner in June of 2014. It is presently on version 6.8.5 and last underwent a change on March 11th, 2021. The latest release functions on WordPress 5.7.9 and requires at least PHP 5.4 to operate on your server. This plugin is actively functioning on over 100 WordPress websites. It has had over 6,320 downloads. There have not been many support requests from end-users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the customers who left an evaluation found this plugin to be worthwhile.
Restrict Anonymous Access
Restrict Anonymous Access aids you in removing visibility to specific content, whether it be a paragraph, image, or anything else. You can choose if you want your content hidden to either those who are not logged in to your site or those with a specific role using a shortcode. Customized notes can be displayed to your users as well. CSS classes may be used to design and hide your restricted content if you wish.
Examples of different user roles one can set visibility based on include:
When certain text is restricted, you may place an info text box on it instead. The info text box can be customized as well.
This piece of software was initially published by its creator in June of 2017. It is presently on version 1.2 and last experienced a change on September 11th, 2023. The newest update functions on WordPress 6.3.1. This plugin is now functioning on over 90 WordPress websites. It has had over 2,040 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from end-users. Reviews for Restrict Anonymous Access are very positive. Many of the customers who left a review found this plugin to be worthwhile.
Find the Best WordPress Restrict Content Plugin
There are countless reasons and ways to limit access to content inside of a WordPress site. Hopefully, now that you’ve reached the end of our list, you’ll be able to find the right WordPress restrict content solution for you.
Remember, as we said at the top, these plugins are free but there are premium versions available. We always recommend to readers that they try free versions before making any purchases. A free version is a great way to know, without paying anything, if a pro version is worthwhile.
Regardless of your choice, we hope one of the plugins on this list will be able to help you limit access to content on your site.
Looking for More Ways to Improve WordPress?
Are you working with WordPress for your client projects? You might want to learn more about our White Label WordPress plugin. Our plugin was built from the ground up to let you customize and modify the WordPress admin. It’s a great tool to help your clients have an easier time working on their sites without the confusion of the overwhelming default admin experience.
White Label gives you the ability to rebrand WordPress with a custom login page, color scheme, and even logos and footer text. You can also use the plugin to modify menus, create custom dashboard elements, and much more. Check out the plugin’s complete feature list to learn all of the ways it can help your WordPress business.
Related Posts from Our WordPress Blog
Sharing content on Twitter can be a difficult task alone. Learn how you can have your visitors help with a WordPress click to tweet plugin.
Interested in adding encryption capabilities and features to your site? We’ve made a list of the best WordPress encryption plugins to help.