5 WordPress Plugins that Restrict User Access to Content

Trying to restrict user access to specific parts of your website may seem like a challenge, but there are lots of great options that make it easy!

If you’ve ever worked in management, you know how important it is to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. I don’t work in management, but I do teach middle school for a living. A huge part of my job feels a lot like herding cats and making sure everyone is working on what they are supposed to. One of the first things that any teacher learns is that you don’t need to give your students access to everything. They need to be restricted and earn privileges in stages. The results otherwise are chaos. (I’ve seen it happen. You don’t want to see what I’ve seen.)

Let’s transition those ideas into your website. You probably don’t want to give your users free reign over the entire website. It might be manageable at first, but as the site grows you may eventually face more traffic than you want to certain pages. Accidents also happen. Your users may mean well, but it’s possible for them to get into something they shouldn’t or to become distracted by other projects to leave things half finished. Also, you may just want some content to be privileged and not available to just anyone.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to manage users to keep them focused and organized? Luckily for you there are lots of options! Let’s take a look at some great plugins you can use to manage your users based on their roles.

Need a tool to register users first? Check this out.

Step one for anyone is to actually begin registering users on their WordPress website. For that there’s a single perfect plugin: User Management. User Management allows you to register new WordPress users, manage your existing ones, and lets users update existing profiles. If you are looking to start a registered user base or to organize what users you already have then this is the place to start.

Already using User Management or have another preferred registration method? Great. Let’s look at how to restrict user access to specific parts of your WordPress website!

5 plugins to restrict user access in WordPress

Like we said above, there are plenty of awesome options that will allow you to restrict user access to only specific part of your WordPress website. Once you’ve got a growing user base, one of these 5 will be sure to fit your needs!

1. Restrict User Access

Restrict User Access is a great plugin by DEV Institute that carries a lot of features with it. You can limit your users to what they can and cannot access, as well as set them up on so that content “drips” over time. You’ll also have the ability to create an unlimited number of access levels while still maintaining the ability to override any user and role at any time. As some added bonuses, you can also control membership durations, redirect unauthorized users away from pages, and even tease content a user doesn’t yet have access to. All of this…for free. If any of this sounds overwhelming to you, don’t worry. This plugin comes with a great amount of documentation to make sure you don’t get lost along the way.

2. Restrict Content

Ok, let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want that adorable purple dragon as guardian of their content? Restrict Content is a simple plugin that prevents users from seeing content unless they are logged in. You can also control whether your site is partially restricted or fully restricted, and it includes forms for user registration, login, and password reset so your members can do these actions without direct admin approval or supervision. If you are looking for a plugin like this but with more features, there is also Restrict Content Pro. The pro version is not free, but it will outfit you with more features such as data reports, payment integration, and the ability to email your users. Either the free or pro versions are great for controlling your sites content access.

3. User Access Manager

User Access Manager is a stellar plugin that does a lot with a little. If you are looking to manage your users and content while still opening up your site to user generated content then this is a great plugin for you. With User Access Manager, you can separate your site for reader and editors, control what times the users can access specific areas, limit access to uploaded files, and more. Though any of those features may sound great on their own, they are stellar when combined with each other. This plugin is perfect for controlling user generated content through its filters, or even setting up contest and fundraisers through its timed access feature. Explore this one more and see if it is right for you.

4. WP Private Content Plus

WP Private Content Plus is another plugin that provides both a basic and a Pro version. It also supports many of the same features as the above plugins, but with one great additional feature. You can create custom menus per user based on their accessibility. That way, your users are further directed to what they can/cannot access or what they are in charge of. If you’re looking for a greater amount of administrative control, WP Private Content Plus is a fantastic option.

5. MemberPress

If you are looking for user management plugin that will offer you a lot of features and a lot of support then MemberPress might be the option for you. MemberPress is a bundled package so, in addition to giving you control of your site’s content access, it also supports a very straightforward installation, the ability to create coupons for purchases and giveaways, subscription management, data reporting, and the ability to build your own forum. That maybe more options than what you were looking for when you started this article, but if you are trying to find the bigger and better, MemberPress might be a good option.

Check out these 5 plugins that make restricting user access to specific content in WordPress a breeze!Click To Tweet

There you have it. Five plugins that that will help you restrict user access on your website. Explore a few of these and see which options will work best for you. Have you found a user management plugin or method that we haven’t talked about? Be sure to share it in the comments below and let us know what you have found works or doesn’t work for you.