Create a Paywall With WordPress.com

Are you ready to create and monetize premium content on your site? If so, you should think about using a paywall. It’s one of the most popular ways to monetize your site. Here’s an introduction to what paywalls are, why businesses and entrepreneurs use them, and how you can set up a paywall with WordPress.com.

What is a paywall, and why do businesses use them?

A paywall is a feature that requires website visitors to pay a fee in order to access content. You may have noticed it while browsing specific news websites, where you’re typically allowed to view a specific number of articles each month for free. You’re then invited to pay a subscription fee if you’d like to access additional articles. Other businesses put premium content behind a paywall, like an in-depth article on a topic that they know is of special interest to their audience, or a members-only podcast.

As advertising revenue declines, many businesses and entrepreneurs have used paywalls to create revenue streams that keep their companies profitable. A paywall is a great way to monetize website content, reserving special content for your most dedicated fans while still making a certain amount of your regular content available to casual visitors, who may decide that they want to become subscribers after getting a taste of what you have to offer.

How to create a paywall with WordPress.com

You’ll need a WordPress.com Business plan to create a paywall on your website. First, think about how you want your paywall to work. Do you want to go with a pay per view model, charging by the article? This may be a good option if you don’t publish a lot of content. Another option is the subscription model, in which you charge a monthly or annual price for unlimited access to the content on your site. You could also take a metered approach where you offer both free and premium content — charging only for the latter.

Now it’s time to select a WordPress.com plugin. A WordPress.com Business plan allows you to install thousands of plugins that extend the functionality of your site, including ones that help you create a paywall. Here’s how to add a plugin for that purpose:

  1. Go to My Site Plugins
  2. Find the search bar at the top right hand corner of your screen.
  3. From there, you can search for paywall plugins by functionality by typing “paywall” in the search field or entering the name of a specific paywall plugin that you’ve heard about.
  4. Choose the plugin that looks best for your site’s needs. Many are free to install, while some may require a fee. Check to make sure that the plugin is compatible with your WordPress.com plan (this should be indicated on the bottom right corner).
  5. Once you’ve selected the paywall plugin you’d like to use, click Install Now.

Install plugin example

If you need help, WordPress.com Happiness Engineers can provide general troubleshooting related to third-party plugins. More advanced support may be available from the plugin’s author, too — see the plugin’s documentation for details.

Monetize your website with a paywall

With a paywall, you can turn your content into income and reap a greater financial reward from all of your hard work. You can also give your most devoted followers special access to exclusive content that keeps them excited and engaged. If you’re looking for ways to earn more revenue from your site, a paywall may be the answer.

Create your new blog or website for free

Get Started