A password protected WordPress page lets you restrict access to content on your website. This is perfect for anyone that wants to offer exclusive content to specific users only, or hide content from regular visitors.
While WordPress offers the basic facility to password protect a page, it has some major limitations. Most site owners need a more professional way to create hidden and password protected pages and posts.
Fortunately, there's an easy solution. The best way to create a password protected WordPress page is by using the Password Protect Categories plugin. Keep reading this tutorial to learn how to create a password protected WordPress page using the plugin.
How to create a password protected WordPress page (and why you shouldn’t bother!)
First, let's look at how to password protect a page in WordPress without a plugin, and why it's a bad idea.
Creating a password protected WordPress page is actually pretty simple:
- Start by navigating to the page’s edit page screen.
- Click on the Visibility button then select Password Protected.
- Now enter a password and click on the Update button to continue.
Here’s how users will be able to enter a password and access the password protected WordPress page from the front-end:
The only problem with this is that site visitors who don’t have the password can still see certain parts of content from the restricted page. It doesn’t fully hide the page from people who don’t have access.
More specifically, unauthorized users will still be able to see restricted content in public areas of your WordPress site including sitemaps, search engines, widgets, and newsletters. As a result, this can cause poor SEO and lead to confusion. They will be able to partially see your page in SERPs but not be able to visit them.
Using the default WordPress functionality to password protect WordPress pages can also be pretty time-consuming for the website administrator. This is because you have to password protect each page individually and then update them one by one. Website administrators don’t have the option to password protect multiple WordPress pages at once or an entire WordPress site, using a single password.
The best WordPress password protected page plugin
The best way to create a WordPress password protected site is by using a plugin specifically designed to let you restrict content by using secure passwords.
Password Protected Categories is the perfect WordPress password protected page plugin. It offers an intuitive way of password protecting certain parts of your site while improving user experience.
The Password Protected Categories plugin works for WordPress pages, WooCommerce pages, and blog posts. It also offers an easy way to password protect any other custom post type on your WordPress site. The plugin isn't just for password protecting pages.
Hide password protected categories
The Password Protected Categories plugin offers a great way to hide password protected categories and all the pages within them from the public parts of your site. This way, people won’t even know the selected password protected WordPress pages exist on your site unless you want them to.
Alternatively, you can leave the password protected pages visible on your public site. When users click on them, they will be promoted to enter the password. Unlike with pages that use the basic WordPress password protection, you can customize the login form. That way, you can add a clear message explaining that the page is password protected and what to do next. That way, you get the best of both worlds for people with and without the password.
No need to password protect pages individually
The password protected pages plugin offers an intuitive setup. All you need to do is set a password for any category of pages and the plugin will cleverly protect all the pages within that specific category.
This way, you save a lot of time password protecting multiple pages on your website.
Better for your users
The Password Protected Categories plugin also offers an easy login experience for people who have the password. You redirect users to an attractive login page where they can enter the password and instantly be redirected to the category of pages that matches the password.
Then, users can access all the pages in that specific category and subcategory, without having to re-enter any passwords. They can freely navigate the restricted content and jump through multiple pages without being distracted by a login form page over and over again.
Supports multiple passwords
You can also create multiple passwords and assign them to specific categories using the WordPress Password Protected Categories plugin.
Alternatively, create multiple passwords for the same group of pages. Give each password to a different user. This means that you can easily revoke (i.e. delete) a password for people who no longer need access.
User and role protection
Additionally, the plugin lets you restrict page categories to specific logged-in users only based on their user role or username. This is a great way to offer exclusive content or create a “members-only” area on your website.
The best way to use this is to give normal passwords for people who don't have their own user account. If you're giving access to anyone who does have an account, don't waste their time by giving them a separate password. Instead, just edit the category and give access to that user. They will automatically get access whenever they're logged in, while everyone else must enter the password.
For your own ease of use, we also recommend giving the Administrator user role access to your password protected categories. That way, you can view them without needing to enter the category password.
Check out our guide on how to password protect custom post types for step-by-step instructions.
How to password protect WordPress pages
Here, we’ll show you how to password protect WordPress pages easily in three simple steps. For this, you’ll need a WordPress site along with the Password Protected Categories plugin.
Additionally, you’ll also need to use a free plugin that allows your WordPress pages to be categorized. We’re using the free Add Category to Pages WordPress plugin to create page categories.
Step 1: Install Password Protected Categories
Once you’ve created and added page categories to your WordPress website, install the Password Protected Categories plugin on your website.
To activate the plugin go to Settings → Protected Categories → License key from the WordPress admin panel.
Untick the Show Categories? checkbox to make sure unauthorized users don’t access the hidden page categories.
Step 2: Password protect WordPress pages
It’s very simple to password protect WordPress pages using the Password Protected Categories plugin. Navigate to Pages → Categories and select the category you want to restrict access to.
Hide the category by selecting the Password protected check field under the Visibility option. You can enter your password in the text field below the selected option and add multiple passwords using the (+) button.
Once you’re done, press the Update button to save changes and continue.
The Password Protected Categories plugin can also be used to restrict access to WordPress posts.
Step 3: Create a login form
Now, we want to redirect users to a central WordPress login form so they don’t have to enter their password every time they visit a different page. To do this, we’ll first create a login page in WordPress.
Navigate to Pages → Add New to create a new login page and customize it however you want. Paste the
You can customize your login page using the Password Protected Categories plugin. Head on over to Settings → Protected Categories from the WordPress admin panel. Here, you can customize the button text, the title, the login form message, and the password label. Once you’re done click on the Save changes button to continue.
Users will be able to access your content by entering any of the passwords assigned to the specific page category. Here’s how the password form looks on the front-end of your WordPress site:
Once the user enters their passwords, they will be able to access all pages or all restricted content without having to re-enter their passwords while jumping through multiple pages. You can also use it to password protect WooCommerce pages.
Where to get the WordPress password protected page plugin
WordPress doesn’t offer much native functionality to password protect pages. This can cause users to still see parts of your page on search engine results pages and on your WordPress site. A better way to create a password protected WordPress page is by using the Password Protected Categories plugin.
Try out the Password Protected Categories plugin today.