Are you interested in creating content for your website that isn’t available to the general public? Do you want to provide more value to members of your site by keeping certain content exclusive? Creating gated content on your WordPress website is a great solution.
In this post, we’ll discuss what it is, why it’s important, and some of its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll also walk you through how to gate your content so you can ensure that only the right people have access to it.
What is gated content?
In a nutshell, gated content is content that is restricted from users until they provide information, such as their contact information, or perform an action, like sharing a post on social media.
In exchange for sharing this personal information, users can receive valuable pieces of content, such as white papers, e-books, newsletters, special offers, webinars, and more.
As you can imagine, if your users happily give you their contact information, this can be a great way to build your customer database and generate leads.
Let’s have a look at a couple of real-world examples of this:
1. Klood’s ebook: The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
The only way to access this free ebook is to give away your personal information.
Creating ebooks has become common with gated content. Once you’re done researching, writing, and packaging your book, you can allow users to access it in exchange for their information.
2. Kissmetrics makes use of gated content by offering a demo to website visitors.
Live demos are a way to engage with a potential customer, one on one. This is a great way to get the customer to understand exactly how your product works and can help them.
3. Gillian Perkins uses a community-based model
A community-based model is where you encourage people to join a community so they can access exclusive content. Many marketers and business owners charge for this type of gated content.
Why is gated content helpful?
Creating gated content is one of the most powerful ways to generate new leads. By capturing a user’s information, you can then use it to contact them directly with news and updates relevant to your brand or industry. It’s an easy way to ensure that people interested in learning more about you stick around and stay up-to-date.
It effectively helps to create a valuable exchange between businesses and prospective customers — customers benefit from exclusive access to certain information (e.g., white papers or case studies). At the same time, companies get to follow up on an individual basis much easier.
This lead-generation method also allows you to continue engaging with your audience. As you get to know them better through the process, you can create materials tailored to their needs.
There are many notable advantages and disadvantages to gating your content. Here’s a brief breakdown of them:
- Capture more leads for your business.
- It allows you to segment your leads to continue providing them with the most relevant content.
- Some gated content (e.g., webinars and live demos) allow you to show potential customers how your services or products work and how they can help them.
- Keeping your website content gated can be a great way to boost user engagement. However, if you go overboard with it, it could hurt your search engine optimization (SEO). Google’s algorithm is built to scour the web and reward pages that are helpful and accessible. If you have parts of your site that are blocked from view, those pages won’t appear in search results as often, which can hurt your overall rankings on the SERP.
- Too much gated content on a website can overwhelm new visitors and present too high of a barrier for entry.
💡 With these pros and cons in mind, it’s essential to find the right balance when setting up gated content.
Trying to gate every piece of content on your website might cause users to grow frustrated and not want to sign up for anything.
On the other hand, keeping everything accessible has its drawbacks too — users won’t have the incentive to give their contact information.
That’s why a balanced approach is key — aim for selective gating, where lots of information is openly accessible and enough valuable content gets locked away, and users see that signing up gives them access to more exclusive resources.
How to create gated content on your WordPress website
Now that you know what gated content is, let’s get into our step-by-step guide on how to create gated content on WordPress.
- Use the Restrict User Access plugin to manage content access
- Use Contact Form 7 Gated Content to create a gated content form
- Use Otter to restrict access to editor blocks
1. Use the Restrict User Access plugin to manage content access
Restrict User Access is a great tool for managing the content on your website. It offers an easy way to keep certain content public while making other content available to a select group of viewers who have permission to view it.
Current Version: 2.4.2
Last Updated: March 2, 2023
Install the plugin
To get started, head to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins → Add New.
Enter “Restrict User Access” in your search bar and install and activate your plugin.
Once you’ve installed your plugin, you can navigate to User Access → Add New.
Create restricted access levels
To create a restricted level (i.e., gated content), just enter the name of it in the title field.
You will notice that there are four tabs below the title field:
- Access Conditions
Each of these tabs allow you to set conditions on who will access the content.
The Access Conditions tab allows you to restrict access to specific posts or pages.
To do so, just click on “New Condition Group” and select the content that you want only this access level to receive. For example, if there’s a specific blog post you want to restrict, click on the Access Conditions tab, then navigate to New condition group → Posts/Blog.
You can then enter the specific post or blog in the field as shown below.
Once you’re happy with the restrictions you’ve set, just click the blue Create button on the right and you’re all set.
Now, only users who are logged in to your site will be able to access this content.
If needed, you might also want to create a custom registration form so that users can easily register to access gated content.
2. Use Contact Form 7 Gated Content to create a gated content form
With Contact Form 7 Gated Content, you can easily make your content available only to those who take a specific action, like subscribing or filling out a form.
Current Version: 1.4.4
Last Updated: May 21, 2020
Essentially, it lets you create a download button for a file that’s only visible after a user fills out a form that you’ve created with Contact Form 7. You can use this download button to link to eBooks, PDFs, images, templates, or any other type of file download.
To use it, you’ll also need to install the core Contact Form 7 plugin and create a form. Then, this plugin adds a new option to the form so that you can use it for gated content.
You can access these settings from a new Gated Content tab that appears after installing the Contact Form 7 Gated Content plugin.
3. Use Otter to restrict access to editor blocks
Themeisle’s Otter offers a more flexible way of creating gated content. With this option, you’re able to gate content at the block level in the new WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg).
Current Version: 2.2.3
Last Updated: March 6, 2023
Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll then be able to decide which blocks you want to restrict.
Let’s say you’re writing a new blog post and want to gate a couple of paragraphs.
After writing your content, simply click on the block or blocks you wish to restrict, and on the right, click on the drop-down arrow for Visibility Conditions → Add Rule Group.
This allows you to restrict the block’s visibility based on different rules.
For example, you could create gated content by only providing access to logged-in users on your site. If you combine this with a custom registration page, you can create a very slick WordPress gated content solution.
Once you’ve chosen the rule that applies, remember to click on the blue “publish” button in the top right corner.
In addition to restricting content that appears on the page, you could also use this approach to restrict access to a download button that links to a downloadable file.
Experiment with gated content today 🏁
Gated content is a powerful lead generation tool that can help you increase conversions by protecting your best content and making it available only to those who are interested in what you have to say.
Creating gated content on WordPress is easy to do with the right plugin, and it’s worthwhile if you want to generate more leads and grow your business.
😎 For some other ways to grow your business and website, you can check out 👉 our full collection of 17 ways to grow a blog.
We hope this article has helped you learn everything you need to know about creating gated content on WordPress. If you have any other questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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