Product restriction happens to be one of the most effective strategies to boost business revenues and retention rates. Apart from offering great content, limiting access to certain products may trigger grabbing buyer attention and interest. This can result in the upgrade from standard members to premium and notch up sales.
According to the newest WordPress plugin statistics, WooCommerce powers over 29.35% of all online stores. As a store owner, you might be searching for an ideal solution setting up WooCommerce product restrictions to limit access to your products.
In this article, we’ll shed a strong light on multiple ways to protect WooCommerce products. By the end of this post, you’ll get the insight into:
- Why You Need to Restrict WooCommerce Products
- Protect WooCommerce Products by WordPress Default Visibility Feature
- Restrict WooCommerce Products by User Roles
- Limit Access to WooCommerce Products based on Access Level
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Why You Need to Restrict Your WooCommerce Products?
Not all products rack up the same profits for your e-commerce sites. While some can be purchased by the vast majority of customers, several limited-edition products, such as a leather-made bag or a custom-design shirt from a famous designer, should be reserved for premium users only.
This comes in useful when justifying higher prices for these products. In fact, savvy retailers have pointed out that many clients are willing to pay extra for some specific items that they can’t find elsewhere.
What’s more, setting restrictions on your products significantly helps to keep the prying eyes out of your stores. In terms of digital products, this equals adding a protection layer to ward them off unauthorized access and download.
Depending on your business styles, you can decide the suitable strategies for WooCommerce product restriction. Below are some common strategies that you can choose from:
- Restrict an entire product page.
- Partially protect product pages such as the price section or the premium version.
- Lock an entire post type
- Secure post and page under specific categories.
Along with that, the process of applying restriction methods on WooCommerce products basically centers on 3 options: subscription levels, access levels, and user roles. In the next sections, we will show you 3 ways to restrict products on WooCommerce based on access level, user role, and by default. Don’t worry, they’re not rocket science!
Password Protect WooCommerce Products by WordPress Default Visibility Feature
WordPress offers a built-in function that helps you hide your pages and posts as well as WooCommerce products pages from the public via the “Visibility” settings.
What you need to do is:
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Products” under WooCommerce.
- Open your desired page.
- In the sidebar on your right-hand side, look for the “Visibility” option.
- Edit the “Visibility” option by checking the “Password protected” box.
- Enter your password in the password box. Hit “OK” and you’re done.
Once you update or publish this product page, it will be hidden from your customers. They have to enter the passwords to view your products.
Though this method is convenient, it still proves some limitations on the flexibility in password usage.
To restrict WooCommerce products on multiple pages, you need to reuse the same passwords all over your pages. This is time-consuming as you have to visit every single page, customize settings, and manually password-protect them one by one. Assuming you manage hundreds of product pages, a huge amount of your precious time will be wasted!
Moreover, WordPress isn’t able to let you place an additional security layer, such as applying user roles to your passwords. This means that users from different roles with correct passwords can easily unlock your protected product page and gain benefits from it.
In this scenario, you should seek a better alternative.
Restrict WooCommerce Products by User Roles
Gaining over thousands of active installations in the WordPress plugin directory, Password Protect WordPress (PPWP) proves one of the top-notch plugins that allows you to easily privatize WooCommerce products. It supports all types of WordPress pages, such as posts, product pages, and other custom post types, including WooCommerce Products.
By now, the limitation on the WordPress default visibility is not a big deal. The plugin is able to take that weight off your mind in a minute, thanks to its ability to set multiple passwords against specific user roles.
Password Protect WooCommerce Product Pages
To start password protecting your WooCommerce products, first, you need to have the plugin installed and activated.
- In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugin,” click “Add New.”
- Search for “Password Protect WordPress” in the search bar.
- Install and activate the plugin.
- Upon activation, head over to the page you intend to password protect. A new Password Protect WordPress section will automatically show up in the sidebar.
- Input your password in the password field.
- Click “Submit” to save your password.
This free version only allows you to set one password per user role. By upgrading to the pro version – PPWP Pro, you’re able to set multiple passwords per your needs. Different user roles can be granted different custom passwords, which thereby they must use the right passwords to log in and get access to the protected product pages.
Set Multiple Passwords for Different User Roles with PPWP Pro
Instead of configuring individual pages, PPWP Pro supports you in generating and managing passwords all in one place without hassle. Passwords can be auto-expired at any given time and after a number of clicks.
Follow the guide below to turn this idea into action:
- Download the Password Protect WordPress Pro plugin, which is packed in a zip file.
- In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to “Plugins,” click “Add New,” choose “Upload Plugin” and select the zip file you’re already downloaded.
- In “Pages,” click on the “Password protect” link under the product you want to restrict.
- Hit “Password protect this page.”
- A new section popup that lets you define your settings.
In the image above, the Usage Limit refers to the number of times customers can use a specific password to access your restricted products. Meanwhile, the Password Expiry defines when your passwords will be deactivated. This feature wins praise from lots of site owners as it brings huge benefits in many ways.
You can make use of it to offer special deals for their loyal customers to boost revenue. They can use passwords to access the pages containing restricted premium products with discounts within 24 hours. After 24 hours, these pages will automatically no longer be accessible and you’re free from manually deactivating them.
- Next, move to the “New Password” tab. Switch “Types” to “Roles” and choose which roles you want to assign these passwords.
Limit Access to WooCommerce Products based on Access Level
While the PPWP pro works best on restricting physical products, it doesn’t include any features to protect your digital ones.
Imagining you run a photographic website and plan to restrict some of your highlight images to respectively golden and silver users, how can you ensure only “them” gain access to those images?
It’s when a file protection plugin like Prevent Direct Access (PDA) Gold comes in handy.
Endorsed by thousands of customers from pole to pole, PDA Gold is recognized as one of the top media file protection plugins in the market. It offers numerous striking features to set access restrictions on your digital products.
The plugin excels in protecting all media files, including audios, videos (MP3, MP4), images (PNG, JPEG), and documents (PDF, DOCX, PPTX) that you upload to your site under the Media Library.
Once published, only admin users and file’s authors can have direct access to these files. Any attempt to view and download these file URLs from/unwanted users will be directed to a 404-not-found page.
On top of that, with its WooCommerce integration extension, you can freely restrict your WooCommerce product files and order pages from being shared by others using IP restriction.
By setting the IP restriction to the WooCommerce product files, you take over control on:
- The number of IP addresses from which your customers can access their order page and product files after making a purchase. Even if these file URLs are shared with others, they’re not able to access them.
- Which certain WooCommerce products can be applying IP restriction, and different IP restrictions for specific orders.
Out of the box, the combination of WooCommerce integration and Private Magic Links can boost your product protection efficiency.
With this feature, you can embed your private download links directly to your content and:
- Set expiration time for your link.
- Determine which users can view the restricted images, files on your product pages.
- Display your restricted files on your site as normal but block direct access to the file URLs.
This feature proves helpful in creating time-limited member subscriptions, i.e, grant access to exclusive products to premium members in 7 days. They are able to view and download these files after they place an order during the given days.
Assuming that you have the PDA Gold plugin along with WooCommerce integration and Private Magic Link extension installed and activated, the following guide will assist you in setting IP restriction and magic links with ease.
Set IP Restriction to WooCommerce Product Files
First, log in to your WordPress dashboard, select “Prevent Direct Access Gold.”
Then choose the “IP Restriction” tab and fill out the IP addresses you want to blacklist in the IP field.
Save your changes.
Configure the Magic Link Settings
Click on the “Magic Links” tab next to IP restriction, which opens a screen containing several options to modify.
- Define your desired expiration time by day, hours, minutes, or second on the “Expiration Time” option.
- Select custom roles which you want to allow access to private magic links in the “File Access Permission” option.
- Input the user roles that you want to grant access to in the “Grant access to these user roles only” field.
- Enable the search and auto-replace features by sliding the “Search & Replace” toggle.
Ready to Restrict Your WooCommerce Products?
It’s significant to secure your WooCommerce products, either physical or digital ones from unauthorized users.
This article has walked you through 3 pain-free ways to restrict your WooCommerce products, based on user role, access level, and by default feature.
If you run a small online store, password-protect WooCommerce products can be done within a WordPress site thanks to its built-in visibility feature. Meanwhile, larger-scaled businesses are required to come up with better solutions, which PPWP Pro and PDA Gold happen to be the most ideal ones.
While PPWP pro allows you to shield WooCommerce products by multiple user roles and passwords, PDA Gold with its WooCommerce integration and Private Magic Links together take the lead in limiting access to products based on access level and private download links.
All in all, both of them significantly save your time and effort in protecting your WooCommerce products for a better bottom line.
Are you ready to secure your WooCommerce products? If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comment section below!