how to add content lockers to WordPress

Trying to figure out how to add content lockers to WordPress? By that, I mean “locking” your content behind a notification that requires your visitors to complete an action before they view your content.

As you’ve probably figured out, WordPress doesn’t include this functionality in its core. But you can get it with plenty of handy plugins. And in this post, I’ll give you some of the best plugins, as well as quick tutorials on how to use them to add content lockers to WordPress in various ways.

First – decide how you want to add content lockers to WordPress

“Content locker” is actually a fairly broad term. See, there are a variety of ways in which you can add content lockers to WordPress. So before you run off to start locking up your content, think about what you want to accomplish with your content locker.

Generally, your options are requiring users to:

  • Share or like your post on social media
  • Sign up for your email list
  • Register as a user at your site
  • Pay a small fee

While some plugins let you add multiple methods, most are focused on one specific action.

So, quite obviously, if you want to boost your social media presence, you’ll want a social locker plugin. Whereas if you want to grow your email list, you’ll want something that offers email opt-in locker functionality.

I’ll cover plugins for each different use below.

How to add a social locker to WordPress

If you’re just concerned with adding a social locker to WordPress, OnePress Social Locker is a popular, free, and well-rated plugin for the job.

You can use it to require users to either share or subscribe to three different networks:

You can also get more features in the Pro version.

To use OnePress Social Locker, all you need to do is install and activate the free plugin from your WordPress dashboard.

Once it’s activated, head to Social Locker → All Lockers and edit the locker you’re interested in:

  • Sign-In Locker – requires users to follow you to gain access
  • Social Locker – requires users to share or like on a social network for access

how to add content lockers to WordPress via social media

Then, you can configure the message and styling for your social locker. Below the configuration interface, you’ll see a live preview:

configuring your social content locker

Once you’re happy with how your locker looks, save your changes.

Now, to lock part of the content in your posts, you just need to use the new Social Locker button in the WordPress Editor:

inserting your social content locker

And your social locker is good to go!

viewing your social content locker

A more lightweight social locker plugin

If you want something a little more lightweight (but less flexible), Social Locker & Content Locker – Locker Cat is a good option from a quality developer.

To use it, all you need to do is install and activate the free plugin. You can configure some basics about the social locker by going to the Social Locker tab:

fatcat apps social content locker plugin

Then, simply wrap the content you want to lock in the [lockercat] shortcode to require users to Tweet or share it on Facebook:

viewing social content locker

How to add an opt-in locker to WordPress

If you want to add an opt-in locker to your WordPress site, OnePress, the same developer behind the social locker plugin above, also has an opt-in locker plugin called OnePress Opt-In Panda.

It syncs up with all the major email marketing service providers to require users to sign up for your mailing list before they can view the content.

The interface is pretty much identical to OnePress Social Locker (in fact – if you install both, they’ll actually work together).

Just install and activate it, then head to Opt-in Panda → All Lockers to configure your opt-in locker:

email opt-in locker

Then, you can add the shortcode to your posts using the Opt-in Panda button:

insert email opt-in locker

And the plugin will lock up your content on the front-end:

view email opt-in locker

How to add a paywall and sign-up lockers to WordPress

Unlike the first two uses, there aren’t any popular lightweight solutions for easily adding a paywall or signup locker to your content. They do exist, but none are popular enough that I feel comfortable recommending them.

But while that may be the case, there’s actually already a massive WordPress industry covering this use:

Membership plugins.

If you want to require users to pay or sign up in order to access certain pieces of content, you’re probably best off just using a dedicated membership site plugin.

And, as luck would have it, we actually have an incredibly detailed guide on how to create a membership site with WordPress.

If you really don’t want to deal with setting up a membership site, you can consider a plugin like Content Locker to require users to sign up to view your content. And if you want a paywall, you can find some plugins like Leaky Paywall.

But again – I think that, at least most of the time, a membership site is your best option for these two applications.

Wrapping things up

There you go – a few different ways to add content lockers to WordPress.

If you want the flexibility to stack social content lockers and email opt-in content lockers together, then using the two options from OnePress is a great solution. They integrate together, so you can manage all of your content lockers from one place.

And if you just want a lightweight option for social lockers, I think the plugin from Fatcat Apps is a great solution that gets rid of some of the unnecessary features from OnePass.

Just remember – when you add content lockers to WordPress, you always want to make sure you’re not tanking your site’s user friendliness. That is, use content lockers judiciously.

If you start requiring users to share your post to read every little detail, you may just annoy them to the point they go away.

But as long as they’re used well, content lockers are a solid way to boost your social following, email list, and more.

If you have any questions related to how to enable content lockers in your WordPress site, feel free to submit them in the comments section below.

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