WordPress’ built-in password protection is great for smaller sites. Simply set a password for any page or post and its content will be hidden on the front end, replaced with a single form field where users must enter the password to see the restricted content. But sometimes when you want to restrict content you need more granular control or, as in one client’s case recently, a security audit flags the simple-password-approach as being too simple.

Restrict Content with WordPress Plugins

Restricting content on a user/role basis can be complex and there are an overwhelming number of plugins to address the needs, with a bewildering variety of feature-sets and approaches.

I tried a terrible plugin and I tried an excellent plugin. Here’s what I found.

Simple Membership 3.3.7

On the back end, Simple Membership’s user table does not integrate well with the standard WordPress Users table. More crucially, the plugin did not send registration emails to new users or to the site administrator. I checked the plugin support page at wordpress.org and saw some of the bug reports from other users, and a few responses from the developer. I knew it was time to move on.

Ultimate Member 1.3.72

I should have installed this one first. Installation is a cinch. It integrates any existing users and provides an easy-to-use systems for both front end users who need to register or log on, and for back end site managers who need to approve new memberships. The automated emails are easy to edit and there are many options that can be set with simple toggle switches.

  • Front-end user registration
  • Front-end user login
  • Front-end user profiles
  • Custom form fields
  • Conditional logic for form fields
  • Drag and drop form builder
  • User account page
  • Custom user roles
  • Searchable member directories
  • Custom e-mail templates
  • Content restriction
  • Conditional menus
  • Show author posts & comments on user profiles
  • Mobile adaptive & responsive
  • SEO optimized
  • Developer friendly with dozens of actions and filters
  • Multi-site compatibility

Copy Protect Website Text & Images

One more layer of protection you can add to your site is to disable simple copy-and-paste functions on a visitor’s computer. This means they can’t easily copy your text or images. It’s not perfect but it prevents casual/lazy theft. The following plugin is popular with over 40,000 installs and is free.

WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click 1.5.0.6

  • Protect your content from selection and copy.
  • No one can save images from your site.
  • No right click or context menu.
  • Show alert message, Image Ad or HTML Ad on save images or right click.
  • Disable the following keys CTRL+A, CTRL+C, CTRL+X,CTRL+S or CTRL+V.
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