When it comes to password protecting your WordPress site, there are various plugins available to help you achieve this. Unlike WordPress membership plugins, password protection doesn’t require users to sign up or log in, making it a useful option for certain situations. For example, if you’re setting up a private site for internal discussions or while your website is under development, you may want to password protect your entire WordPress site. In this article, we will discuss the top three password protect WordPress plugins that are worth considering.
1. Password Protected
The Password Protected plugin is a simple and straightforward option that protects your entire WordPress site with a single password. Once you turn on the setting option and enter the password, your homepage and all other site pages will be blocked from public access. This plugin allows administrators and logged-in users to access your whole WordPress website without having to enter a password. Additionally, there is an option to keep your RSS feeds public even if your site is protected. Password Protected is rated as the number one password protected plugin on the WordPress plugin repository, having received many 5-star reviews. However, the plugin doesn’t provide any extra features regarding password protection and comes with an outdated UI.
– Straightforward and easy to use
– Grant auto-access to administrators or logged-in users
– Protects WordPress content only with limited options and no other features
– Comes with an outdated UI
2. Hide My Site
Hide My Site offers a more advanced solution to password protect your site against the public or search engines. While you can enable site-wide password protection by simply checking a settings checkbox, the plugin doesn’t stop there. It enables your users to stay logged in for a period of time, meaning they can re-access the site without entering the password until the pre-set time passes by. Additionally, you can set a password hint reminding your visitors of the password. If you’re afraid that unwanted users could guess the password based on the hint, you can leave it empty. Your site could be set accessible to users who log in as admins or come from specific IP addresses. The latter is a useful feature not found in similar plugins. Likewise, Hide My Site provides Brute Force Protection option which helps prevent hackers from guessing your password using “Brute Force” method. Last but not least, there is an option to show a notification message on the login page to let users know this is a private website or the site is under development. By upgrading to the Premium version, you can display a custom notification message on top of your login page. The Premium version of Hide My Site also provides various eye-catching login page themes for you to choose from depending on your website design. Despite those advanced features, there are still rooms for improvement particularly in terms of UI. The settings options, for instance, could be grouped into sections to make it easier for users to browse them. What’s more, similar to other password protected plugins, Hide My Site doesn’t protect images or other file attachments. If people could somehow find the exact URL of a media file, they can simply access and download it.
– Provides various login page themes
– Customizes notification messages
– Allows access from specific IP addresses
– The UI could be improved
– Doesn’t protect attachment files
3. Password Protect WordPress
Password Protect WordPress plugin provides another interesting solution to password protect the entire WordPress site. All your website content including pages, posts and other custom post types, except media files, are protected. For security reasons the password is encrypted, meaning it’s not visible to anyone including the admins. The drawback is you have to reset the password in case you forget it. While securing the entire website, you can exclude one or a number of specific pages. Instead of showing the login page directly, you may want to show a coming soon or landing page to let visitors know that this is a private site. Similar to the Duration feature of Hide My Site, Password Protect WordPress frees users from having to enter the same password again until the password cookies expire. You can change the expiration time on the plugin’s settings page. Apart from site-wide protection features, Password Protect WordPress includes many other advanced features. The plugin enables you to set multiple passwords per page and post. What’s more, each user role can have a different password as well, i.e. one for subscribers, one for editors. Caching plugins & server-side caching may cause conflicts with password protection features. Password Protect WordPress resolves that with minor configurations. The Password Protect Pro version goes even further and allows you to not only manage all passwords under a friendly popup but also create unlimited passwords per user role or the same password for multiple pages. You can customize the error messages as well. Although this plugin doesn’t protect images and uploaded files, it can be integrated with Prevent Direct Access Gold to block the direct URLs access to all of the media files including images, videos, or PDFs. Password Protect WordPress is relatively new to most users. Having said that, its modern UI gives an unfair advantage over the two above plugins. Different sections, dropdown options, and switch buttons are straightforward and easy to use.
– Able to exclude specific pages from the site-wide protection
– Provides other password protected features
– Integrates with Prevent Direct Access Gold to protect file uploads
– Comes with a modern UI and easy to use
– No options to customize login page
– Relatively new to most users
All three of the mentioned plugins are excellent options to password protect your entire WordPress site. Password Protected may be the most popular password protect plugin, but comes with an outdated UI and limited options. Hide My Site provides a more comprehensive solution to password protect the whole WordPress site, including granting access to specific IP addresses. Lastly, Password Protect WordPress enables you to not only exclude some specific pages from the site-wide password protection but also password protect pages and posts by user roles. Ultimately, the choice of which plugin to use will depend on your specific needs and preferences.