I see more and more website using content lockers to force users register to their page or to share/like the content before they read it. In this article I will talk about the content locker plugins in general and what are the benefits and the downsides of using a content locker on your wordpress site.
What is a content locker plugin?
As the name already reveal, it is a wordpress plugin that is used the lock, or disable part or of the content for the website user. The user will be still able to access the content but in return or a social like or share or even registration.
A very popular content locker plugin is Social locker, which has a free and paid version as well. The design of this plugin is very nice, with 3D buttons and nice box that will mask the content. Locking content with this plugin is very simple, just use the shortcodes in your post editor and your content will be hidden by the users.
If you wish to use the above mentioned social content locker plugin for your website with lots of more features, I suggest purchasing the pro version of the plugin.
The plugins has lots of features, you can set any URL to like/retweet, the author claims that is SEO friendly, that means the bots from Google and Bing and other search engines will be still able to access the content. It is highly customizable so you can style it for your needs, remembers the users who already shared the current content, it is compatible with all major web browsers and can lock any type of content such as: text, images, videos, even forms!
It is a very well developed and feature rich plugin, thumbs up for the author.
What are the downsides of content locker plugins?
Personally, I don’t like content lockers. Here is why:
- Why would you share a website/content or link with your Facebook friends if you don’t know what it is, or maybe after reading it you totally disagree with it or would never share something similar to your twitter or facebook account.
- If I write a tutorial or a blog post that may help users, why should I force them to share it? If the content was really helpful and they would consider sharing it with their friends, they will do it without forcing them.
- Hiding content from users and showing it only for bots is a bad SEO practice. It is called content cloaking, Google really hates this; I have seen many websites penalized for this reason.
Should I use a content locker for my site?
In my opinion with content locking you may gain quickly lots of likes and tweets, but in the long run you will be losing readers, because they will be overwhelmed with it. If you still want to use these type of plugins on your website, make sure that you don’t use it on all of your articles and certainly you are not locking huge amount of content, because as I wrote before, it is bad for search engine optimization. Lock content only if necessary and ask your readers to like your website and do not force them.
I hope that this article was helpful to decide if a content locker plugin is good for you or not. If I did help with this article, please share it, but only if you wish 🙂