How to Restrict Content to Members Only

Remember when you were a kid and you had your secret hiding spots? Those places where you hid items you didn’t want other people finding but also couldn’t throw away? Bad test grades, cheat codes, really old pieces of Halloween candy, that borrowed copy of Mortal Kombat you didn’t want your parents to know you played (Sorry, Mom). Most of the time you would restrict content just for you. If you are like me, however, sometimes someone could earn their way into knowing these locations.

You need to follow this  same concept with your website’s content. You need a corner of your site that only a select few can access it. You need a way to restrict content and gate off your content until someone has earned…or bought their way in. Thankfully, we are here to help with just that and Ninja Shop makes this easier than ever with our Membership feature.

Restrict Content by Activating the Membership Feature for Ninja Shop


If you haven’t already, you are going to need to make sure the Membership feature of Ninja Shop is activated. Once you have enabled it, you will see an “Add Membership” option under the Ninja Shop menu. Click on this to being making membership levels.

Create Membership Levels

Creating a membership level is essentially the same as any product on Ninja Forms. Enter your Title, Price, and Description along with any other information you may need to include.

Set Content Access For Each Membership Level

What is different about creating memberships, as opposed to making products, is that below the membership’s description box you will find the option “Content Access“. This is where you can set what content your members can and can’t access. You have two options here: Add New Rule and Add New Group.

Adding rules lets you control when your content will appear while making groups lets you organize your restricted content. You can also create groups and then set specific rules for just that group.

Add New Group

Since we are talking about dripping content so specific memberships levels let’s begin by selecting Add New Group. In the new text box that opens, give your group a name.

If you need more than one group, simply select Add New Group again to create another group. For now, let’s just stick with one.

Add New Rule

Next, set your rules for each group by selecting Add New Rule and choosing what content type you want to apply the restriction to (i.e. posts, pages, categories, tags, etc). Once your chosen your content type, also select from the drop down menu the specific content you want to restrict from that content type.

Once your don’t, just check your work and save/publish your new membership option the same as you would any other product and you are done! Now your customers will only be able to access the chosen content after the membership is in their purchase history!

Set Membership Restrictions from the Content Page Too!

There’s no need to open and update your Memberships every time you make a new product. Once you have a membership set up, you can automatically place content underneath it from the product page too! On the right side of the product page find the section title Membership Access. Simply select the Add Restriction option and then select the subscription level you have created.

Save or update your product page, and if you go back into the Membership product page you will see a new rule has automatically been added based on what you included in the Membership Access section. It’s that easy.

Memberships. The Perfect Way to Restrict Content.

Restricting content is a great tool to have to help organize your products, encourage sales, and keep your business running smoothly. It’s absolutely something every business owner should know how to pull off. If you have some other tools or strategies to restrict content to your site guest, please share them in the comments below! We’d love to know what features you look for and implement.

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About the Author

James McCluskey

James is an English teacher and content writer for WP Ninjas. His daily motivation is to constantly look for something new to learn. This has tragically turned him into a living encyclopedia of largely pointless information. When not teaching, writing, or learning, James is usually working with his wife, Megan, on fundraising and support for several nonprofit organizations. Excelsior!