You spent a lot of time writing your blog content, taking photographs, and producing high-quality downloads. That someone could just visit your website and steal that content from you drives you crazy. If only you could protect your content and keep it safe from illicit downloaders.
Well, you can’t. Not really and certainly not with any surety. That is not to say that you can’t try, but you will never be totally successful. For every better mousetrap, there is always someone out there inventing a better mouse (or something like that). There are some things, though, that you can do to limit how much you lose from malicious visitors and their actions. We are going to take a look at a few plugins and techniques that can help you to protect what you have made.
There are two plugins that try to thwart the casual copier of your blog content. The first works by disabling right-clicking and the selection of text on your website. This should stop the casual visitor from simply highlighting your blog text and copying it or from right-clicking on your images and saving them. If that strikes you as kind of a severe reduction in basic blog functionality, then there is another clever option. This plugin embeds a link to your site in whatever text has been copied. So, if you can’t stop them from copying your stuff, you can at least get a sneaky backlink out of it.
There are few things less secure on the internet than images. Regularly stolen and passed off as other people’s work, there is a gut-sinking, awful feeling that comes with having your unique artwork show up on someone else’s site with their name on the masthead. Here as well, though, we have a couple of different options:
- The most popular choice nowadays is the watermark. It lets people know who the original image belonged to and where they can find it. This plugin will allow you to add a watermark to any uploaded image.
- To prevent people from being able to simply click on the image and save it to their computer, the No Right Click Images plugin should do the trick.
Perhaps most important, though, is protecting your products. Blog content and images are meant to be shared with casual visitors to your site – your products are not. The most basic method is to simply password protect the page or post linking to your file using WordPress’s native capability (a tutorial for the curious). Beyond that, there is the user-friendly and surprisingly effective Download Protect plugin that uses shortcodes to limit downloads to logged in users of the site.
The easiest thing to do, though, is to use the built-in controls and safeguards of a good e-commerce or membership platform. The Marketpress and Membership plugins from WPMU DEV protect downloads mostly through masking the location of the actual file. Other membership or e-commerce frameworks, like s2Member, do a little more to protect your download, but also have their own limitations.
One of the more complicated of ways to protect against content theft is to alter the .htaccess file on your server. This is not to be done lightly, as alterations to the .htaccess file affect all downloads to the site and can be difficult to undo depending on your webhost settings. Nevertheless, there is a WordPress plugin that can handle some basic image protection through your .htaccess file. For DIY types, these tutorials from DevMoose and WPTidBits are a good start.