Use Passwords to Unlock WordPress Protected Files


One of our customers is a University teacher who also works as an online tutor outside of office hours. She wants to share the teaching materials with her students online. She is using our Prevent Direct Access (PDA) Gold to protect her private lectures and documents against outside students, which works just fine.

But what about her content? It needs protection as well, doesn't it?

The problem is if she is to use a standard membership website, she has to create multiple accounts for her students to access these materials. This apparently wastes a lot of her time, energy and hindered her from growing the class size.

Proposed Solution

The ideal situation is her students will have direct access to the protected study materials without an account or log in. Password protection comes in handy in this case. However, she still needs to give her students access to the private documents and files as well, which requires user accounts anyway.

We then realize why not integrating these two methods, i.e. file protection and password protection of content into one? That means her student will be able to access all the private protected files automatically after unlocking the password protected pages or posts.

In order to achieve this, we cannot use the protected links as usual which requires file access permission, i.e. user accounts. We need to generate an expiring magic link for every protected file. These magic links, as their name says, doesn't require user login yet stops her students from sharing the material files.

Protect WordPress Private Content

How to Unlock Protected Files with Passwords

You'll need to install these 2 premium plugins:

  1. Prevent Direct Access Gold: to protect your private media files
  2. Password Protect WordPress plugin:
    • Password protect the WordPress page or post where your protected files are embedded
    • Expire the password by usage or time. These passwords will become invalid after that.

First, protect your private documents with our Prevent Direct Access Gold whose file access permission can be set to admins or logged-in users. These files shouldn't be accessible to anyone except for your target users. Second, embed them in a page or post together with your premium content. Finally, protect it with a password.

That's all you have to do. Now simply share the password with your users. If they enter the right password, they will automatically have access to your protected files. They don't even need to log in, have an account or do anything else.

In short, here are the 3 simple steps:

  1. Protect your private document and image files
  2. Embed these protected files on a page then password protect it
  3. Create a password or multiple passwords and then give them to your users

Future Improvement

It will be even better if users could control the expiry of the protected file links just like what they can do with the passwords. At the moment, our private magic links expire after 1 click by default.