Want to get loads of leads and followers? These WordPress gated content plugins build your mailing list, grow your socials, and make the most out of your content.
Approximate read time: 6 minutes
Maybe it’s just us, but we find it pretty surprising that email marketing still offers one of the best ROIs. Yes, even in 2024! Shocking, right?
But that’s why building your mailing list is so important.
Your mailing list is full of people who want to hear from you and are already fans of your website or brand. And that’s really valuable.
Whether you’re struggling to grow your email list or just launched your WordPress site, gating content can dramatically increase the number of email addresses you collect.
So today, we’re breaking down what gated content is and how it can help you. Plus we’re giving you our tried-and-tested list of the best gated content plugins for WordPress.
Already know why you should be creating gated content? Go ahead and jump down to our list of the Best WordPress gated content plugins.
What is gated content?
Gated content is kind of like having a VIP section on your website. Basically, users have to join your mailing list or take a specific action on social media to access it. It’s a different kind of velvet rope!
Instead of making your most valuable content available to everyone for free, gating your content means visitors have to provide their email addresses or other contact information before they can access it. 🔐
It's a way to offer exclusive resources, such as eBooks, reports, or premium guides, that aren't available to just anyone.
By sharing their info, visitors gain access to valuable and specialized content while website owners and businesses get a chance to connect with potential customers.
⚠️ Wait, are you looking for a membership plugin instead?
Let’s take a second to discuss the differences between gated content and paywalls.
If you’re simply searching for a way to require users to enter an email address or like your social media accounts to access a specific page or PDF, a gated content plugin will work for you.
On the other hand, if you want to build a paid membership site and put part of your WordPress website behind a paywall, you’re better off picking a membership plugin instead.
Why use gated content?
Using gated content on your website can be a real game-changer!
It's like reserving your most valuable content for your email subscribers.
You can offer exclusive goodies like eBooks or White Papers that they won't find anywhere else, all in exchange for their email address.
Not only does it make your users feel special — and reward them for signing up for your newsletter — but it also builds trust between you and your audience by offering them something in return.
And for website or business owners, it’s a great lead-generation tool that helps you build relationships with potential customers.
Best WordPress gated content plugins
Time to get down to the nitty-gritty!
Sure, you could manually code some types of gates for content, but it’s way easier to use a gated content plugin. There are quite a few out there, so we’ve narrowed it down for you and are sharing only the cream of the crop.
- Formidable Forms
- Super Social Content Locker
- Thrive Leads
- WordPress gated content plugins that didn’t make the list
1. Formidable Forms - Top pick
When you’re looking for a gated content plugin for WordPress, a form plugin may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Formidable Forms can do it all and makes it super simple too!
Its drag-and-drop WordPress form builder lets you quickly create and customize the kind of content gate you want with the form fields you need. Email address, name, phone number, and more. All you have to do is click and drag to add it to your form. 🏗️
Then, just go to the form settings to offer a download or redirect to a restricted page on submission. You can even add a PDF download button to display as soon as someone submits a form entry.
Sounds perfect, right?
Plus Formidable works seamlessly with all WordPress themes and even WordPress page builders. To add your form to a page or post, just add the Formidable block and select your lead capture form.
Now you’re ready to start collecting email addresses in exchange for exclusive content!
Pricing: There’s a free version of Formidable Forms, but for loads more features, paid plans start at $39.50 per year.
OptinMonster is a popup and opt-in plugin that makes it easy to supercharge your email lists and make money from your content.
Its content locker lets you easily blur or hide content below a specific point on any WordPress page or post. This clever plugin gives visitors a sneak peek at your content, and then encourages them to subscribe to access the full article or page.
Pricing: OptinMonster starts at $16 per month
Bloom is a plugin by Elegant Themes (best known for their Divi WordPress theme). It’s honestly a fantastic option for gated content. This visually appealing plugin offers various opt-in form types, such as pop-ups, fly-ins, and inline forms, making it easy to capture your visitors' attention.
With Bloom, you can create stunning forms and control when and where your gated content is displayed.
And just like Divi (and Formidable Forms too!), it uses a visual, drag-and-drop editor. No coding required!
Pricing: Access to Bloom starts at $89 per year. But it’s worth noting that this gives you access to way more than just this gated content plugin. You’ll also get access to the Divi theme as well as Extra and Monarch.
4. Super Social Content Locker
This premium plugin is the one for you if you want to give a big boost to your social media accounts 🚀.
Super Social Content Locker makes it incredibly easy to put content behind a social media gate so that users have to follow to access content.
It also lets you require sign up or sign in to access your gated content.
Pricing: Starts at $25 for a license with 6 months of support.
5. Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a comprehensive email list-building plugin that includes a powerful gated content feature.
Another one with a drag-and-drop editor, you can design eye-catching opt-in forms to lock your premium content. Thrive Leads also offers advanced targeting and A/B testing capabilities to maximize your conversions.
Pricing: From $99 per year
Other gated content plugins that didn’t make the list
If you’ve looked at any other WordPress gated content plugin lists online, you may be wondering why Contact Form 7 Gated Content and Content Locker Pro didn’t make our list. 🤔
While they were good options in the past, they haven’t been maintained over the last several years (3+ years in the case of Contact Form 7 Gated Content). And it seems Content Locker Pro doesn’t even exist anymore — we can’t find any current information about this plugin.
How to use these plugins for gating content
That’s all well and good, but how do you add gated content to WordPress?
We have a few posts that’ll give you some ideas, including this article on how to require email to download files in WordPress and the quickest and easiest way to create gated content on WordPress.
They also tell you how to hide your gated content from search engines!
Plus we’ll soon be sharing more tips on restricting access to content on WordPress, so stay tuned! A new how-to article is on the way!
Ready to boost your mailing list and social media?
From the powerful features of Formidable Forms to the lead generation prowess of OptinMonster, these plugins offer user-friendly solutions to enhance your website's engagement and capture leads.
So, pick the one that suits your needs, roll up your sleeves, and start creating gated content to take your content strategy to the next level!
Oh, and in case you didn't know, as the most advanced WordPress form builder plugin, Formidable Forms can help you with way more than just gated content.
Online calculators, viral Buzzfeed-style quizzes, newsletter signups,... the possibilities are endless with this powerful tool!