How To Set Up a Paywall

Adding new features like a paywall shouldn’t be difficult at all. With the top-notch services and support provided by, setting up paywalls and managing your products on paywalls can be a piece of cake. 

For starters, paywalls are an essential part of subscriptions and in-app purchases. Paywalls provide you with an excellent way to monetize your online content — benefitting content makers and subscribers alike. Here is a brief guide on paywalls, their types, and how you can set up a paywall for your WordPress site. 

What Is a Paywall?

So, what is a paywall? A paywall is a method that has long been in use to restrict access to online content by the content publisher. It originated around mid-2010 among newspaper websites and is still used by many major news portals. It is usually implemented in the form of a pop-up. When users try to access premium content, they are usually blocked by a pop-up that prompts paid subscriptions to access the content. 

Paywalls are often used to provide ad-free content in which the revenue from ad channels is replaced with subscription-based payments received from the subscribers. 

Different Types of Paywalls

Paywalls can be implemented in different modes depending on the revenue requirements and business model you choose to implement. Here are some of the common types of website paywalls. 

Hard Paywalls

These are the strictest forms of paywalls that basically block all content unless you hold a paid subscription to enable access. Sites that only target their most loyal consumer base could use hard paywalls. 

Metered Paywalls

Metered paywalls allow the readers to get a good glimpse of the content provided by the website before asking them to pay a premium for more access. Typically, the user can read about five articles before being prompted to pay for more. This kind of metered approach can be implemented in many different ways; the user could be allowed 3 to 4 free articles per month, or they could have access to just 30% of any article they want to read. This allows the user to get a better idea of the content provided, and if it genuinely interests them, they may pay for additional content. 

Freemium Paywalls

Freemium paywall is a mixed bag of both free and paid content. It allows the user to always access certain website content for free, and more exclusive content is restricted with a paywall. For instance, an entertainment website could provide free access to general entertainment news and put up a content paywall for exclusive celebrity interviews and stories. 

Dynamic Paywalls

Dynamic paywalls are by far the most complex paywall design. The paywalls are designed to pop up depending on the particular user’s preferences and reading interests. Some avid readers may be prompted with a paywall just after their third article on a specific topic. In contrast, someone who has shown the least interest will be given access to more articles before being prompted with a paywall. 

Creating a Paywall on Your WordPress Site

While creating a paywall may seem to involve a lot of backend developer tasks, it is simpler with WordPress. Here are the steps to create a WordPress paywall for your site. 

  • Identify a WordPress Paywall plugin such as MemberPress. Search for the plugin in WordPress > Plugins > Add New page. Install and activate the plugin. 
  • Membership requires a license to work. To add the license, Go to MemberPress > Settings > License page and enter the license key. 
  • Once activated and ready with a license, you will have to add the payment methods you want to support for the paywall. Go to MemberPress > Settings > Payments. Select and add the payment methods you need. 
  • To set up the type of paywall, go to the MemberPress > Memberships page and set up the membership plans. 
  • Next, add in the content behind the paywalls. Go to MemberPress > Memberships and specify the rules to filter out the content that should be placed under the membership plans you set up earlier. 

Once the setup is complete, you will see the relevant access value set to the membership plan for the posts that fall under the corresponding plans. MemberPress provides powerful rules that you can use to effectively implement the exact type of paywalls you want for your website.

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