A paywall is such a system that prevents visitors from viewing certain content without a paid subscription. It’s a little bit similar to password-protected content, but users should pay extra fees rather than entering the password to access the webpage content.
Many popular websites like The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal have implemented paywalls to increase revenue, and this guide will introduce different paywall models based on their popularity. As shown, the first part covers the pros and cons of using a paywall, and the last section discusses how to add it to a WordPress site.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Paywall
One advantage of using a paywall is that you can gain more revenue than the traditional advertising, such as Google AdSense. Besides, it can be an implied statement that your WordPress site is offering premium content.
Of course, you can earn money from readers provided that your content is absolutely outstanding or in high demand. A big downside of using a paywall solution is you won’t get any income if your blog content is sub-par. Also, a paywall usually introduces another dependency, which may bring unpredictable results when the third-party vendor goes down or has network issues.
Notes: Paywall is not the same as a membership subscription, and perhaps the biggest difference is the degree of access.
- Generally there are different degrees of membership for a website, and how many content will be available is depending on the so-called “Basic” or “Premium” membership.
- However, a paywall is typically single-level model, and users either have access to the content or they don’t.
Besides, membership solutions value the relationship between you and your readers, while a paywall emphasizes the content monetization.
Popular Paywall Models
There are various paywall models based on the content type that is being locked and the business model of a site. The following is a list of the 4 most popular paywall models.
- Hard Paywall, also known as “Pay Per View”, usually displays an article title and some introductory paragraphs before prompting you to pay. This model is used to target a niche audience and may boost online revenue due to the uniqueness of the content and the reputation of the author.
- Metered Paywall or “Soft Paywall” is a brand-new model that allows a specific number of articles within a certain period. Unlike the “Hard” model, this model sets no limits on the free content, but you shall commit to a purchase when hitting the quota.
- Fixed-Time Access, which means you can get free access to a website for a limited amount of time before paid subscription. That’s a great solution if you want to get a general idea of the content before making the financial commitment.
- Subscription is such a model that offers unlimited access to paid ones for a period of time. That’s often used for content that delivers high commercial value and works well offline.
How to Add a WordPress Paywall Using Tinypass?
There are many solutions for different uses of paywall, and we will focus on the Tinypass plugin that supports all aforementioned paywall models. This solution allows payments as small as 2 cents and provides 24+ currencies without charging your website’s existing layout or structure. The newest 3.0 version can be downloaded via the WordPress repository or the following URL.
Free Download: https://wordpress.org/plugins/tinypass/
Step 1: Once activated, a new tab labelled “Tinypass” will appear from the left sidebar menu. Click to choose “Paywall” and register a free publisher account via this link. Here, your email address, business name, website URL and password are required.
The “Sign Up” button will open the dashboard page, and you shall paste the “Paywall ID” and “Sandbox Paywall ID” in above fields.
Step 2: Scroll down and choose the tags of the content you’d like to restrict. All those tagged posts will be the so-called premium content.
Step 3: The next “Miscellaneous” section is where to disable/enable features of additional behavior. For instance, you can click to keep record of the homepage visit and disable Tinypass for privileged users.
Step 4: Once done with all settings, go to “Tinypass” > “General” and choose between “Sandbox” and “Live” for current environment. There is a shortcode for adding Tinypass popup in your blog posts, and this “text” attribute is your link text. Remember to save changes lastly.
[tinypass_offer text="Here Is Your Link Text"]
Notes: Tinypasss is a typical cloud-based solution by which you can sell access to any type of content without worrying about ongoing maintenance. If you want more control over the functionality and less dependency on a third party host, then a local solution may be the best choice.
Two of the most popular local-based solutions are Leaky Paywall and Pay Per View. Note that, the former one only supports metered paywall, while the latter one accepts hard paywall, fixed-time access as well as subscription models.