Decided to lock your WordPress posts so no one can see them? Is your goal to let select individuals, such as your writers, editors, and administrators see them, so they can keep working? We should also ask you if you’re running a membership site, or locking a portion of your content for people that have gained or paid for viewing permissions? These are all common requests and this CMS (Content Management System) wouldn’t live up to its name if it wasn’t up to the task. However, you may need extra help while you learn how to lock posts in WordPress. Let’s begin.
1. Lock your WordPress posts with a password
We bet this was the first thing that came to mind when “locking” was mentioned. After all, passwords are employed across the board nowadays. Lucky for you, we already demonstrated ways to password protect a page in WordPress, which also applies to posts. This is handy if you don’t want to tweak settings and permissions, or when you need to provide temporary, even one-time, access to content. It warrants no further explanation—only users with a password can access posts, including on the backend.
2. Put your posts in WordPress on lockdown from internal misuse
Since WordPress version 3.6, posts that someone is writing and editing are protected from intrusion. When opening such a post, users will get two options — Preview and Go back. Only user roles with necessary permissions, such as administrators or editors, have an option to select Take over. Within up to 15 seconds, the original editor will be notified that another user took the reins. However, we know you may require extra protection without coding or advanced knowledge. Thankfully, though we aren’t affiliated, there’s a simple solution:
Employ Post Lockdown for WordPress
Post Lockdown by Andy Palmer is a nifty, lightweight WordPress plugin you can install. It couldn’t be any simpler yet more powerful. In one fell swoop, you can decide which user roles have access to editing, sending to trash, or deleting a WordPress post. This saves you time from assigning permissions to users individually.
While it doesn’t prevent users on the front end from seeing the post, it will stop an enraged user, say a writer or editor, or a hacker, from editing or wiping your website’s content on the backend. To do so, go to Post Lockdown under “Settings” in the sidebar on the left side of WordPress Admin. Assign posts and user roles and click the Save Changes button.
3. Lock front end access to posts in WordPress
This is a crucial component of many membership plugins for WordPress. You can set it up so only certain users or user roles have access to content on the front end. We plan to publish a complete guide to creating a member-only website. For now, we’d like to help users of a top-rated (but paid) membership plugin, MemberPress. If you’re on a budget, MemberPress has a free version, simply called Members, on the WordPress repository. With that said, here’s what to do:
- Purchase, install and activate MemberPress on WordPress.
- Go to the MemberPress → Activate tab in the WordPress admin.
- Enter your license key and click the Activate License key on <website name> button.
- Go back to the tab from step 2 and head over to the Memberships option.
- Click the Add New button.
- Configure the name for the membership, add a description, and set up the price, and if paid, the type of billing (one-time, monthly, annually, and so on), and access period (days, weeks, months, lifetime).
- Scroll down to the “Membership Options” meta box and configure the minute details about that membership level/plan.
- After saving changes, switch to the Rules tab under MemberPress in the left sidebar.
- Click on Add New once again.
- Under “Protected Content” select All Content Tagged, then add the name of the level, for example, “Paying Members”, and choose a slug, such as ‘paying’.
- If you want to release content in small increments, select Enable Drip. Moreover, if you decide your content access will expire after a certain number of reads, click Enable Expiration.
- Click on Save Rule, then open the WordPress post in question.
- Find the Tags meta box (Classic Editor) or click the cogwheel icon, then go to Tags (Block Editor).
- Add the tag you used as a slug (in our case, “paying”).
- Go to the “MemberPress Unauthorized Access” section. Decide what happens when regular members open the post.
- You can check the status after logging out, using an incognito window, or a different browser.
4. Blur a portion of your WordPress website content
Another trick many website owners use is to give others a taste of the post content but blur the rest. This forces them to pay or sign in to unlock the rest. Though we have no affiliation with the developers, and you can use a plethora of others for this purpose, the OptinMonster WordPress plugin features a simple solution. Here’s what to do:
- Install and activate the plugin. Go to OptinMonster → Dashboard in the WordPress Admin.
- Sign in to your OptinMonster account or create one.
- Click the Campaigns option below “Dashboard.”
- Click on Create Your First Campaign and select “Inline” under “Select a Campaign Type”.
- Pick any template that seems like it will prompt users to unlock the post. We’ll pick the first, simplest, and most popular option, named “Action”.
- Give it a name, such as “Content Restriction” or “Paywall” and click Start Building.
- You can now work on the visuals of the pop-up: font, color, size, and much more. Decide what happens when people unlock or reject to gain access to the WordPress post.
- All that’s left is to blur a portion or the entire post. To do so, head over to Inline Settings in the menu on the left. Now, toggle “Lock Content Below Campaign” to on.
- Select Remove (content will be missing altogether) or Blur (letters and images will show, but won’t be legible).
- With that done, head over to the “Published” tab at the top and click Publish under “Publish Status”.
- Go back to the menu from step 3. Select Output Settings and decide between two modes:
- Automatic. This option will automatically lock all WordPress posts after a specified number of paragraphs or words on a page.
- Manual. If you want to lock some posts, copy the shortcode. Start editing any WordPress post, and paste the code where you want the lock to begin.