Show Demo Gallery for Non-membership Users


You are a visual artist, graphic designer or photographer whose WordPress website presents a lot of pictures, banners, posters, and photo galleries. Or you are owning an image stock website where you show, share and sell your photographs online.

You provide a creative environment for your customers to explore your photographs and download their favorite pictures. But you are still aware of protecting your photos from any unauthorized access.

Later on, you might realize your images once uploaded online will be vulnerable to the Internet market. Because a lot of people out there are attempting to access your precious works without your consent. Hence, finding a way to protect all the media files in your posts and pages is urgent now.


In order to prevent people from getting into your site and see all the private collections, you provide a membership site. This is where only paid members or logged-in users are allowed to see and download them. With this method, you can control all the access in advance without worrying about unwanted direct entries.

Creating a password to protect your entire site is also a popular way to block any unauthorized access. Only people who have the correct password are enabled to enter your site and receive the right to see and download private photo galleries.

Having a membership or password protect site will eliminate the chance of unwanted site intrusion. Unfortunately, it accidentally blocks the potential customers as well. Since whenever non-members enter your site, they can’t see anything or just see some small sections. They will lose their interest and never want to go back.

As a photographer, you want your imagery to be spread out to as many audiences as possible. Limiting the site access will lead to the limitation of brand awareness of your image stocks, and your website, in large.

Proposed Solution

It would be better if you enable non-members to peek a little bit about your galleries but won’t let them see the original photos unless they become members.

In this case, you want to show a mini-gallery (say one to three images in your albums) on a public page to introduce the galleries to new users. Once they are members, they will be able to find it again. If they don’t log in, the photo on that album in the original page will disappear.

To do that you need to have all of your root photo collections and galleries protected first, and then provide a demo page where you will build the content and display the demo pictures of your targeted galleries. Once people find it impressive enough, they will automatically register to be a member to dig deeper into your albums.

How to Show Demo Gallery for Non-membership Users

To do this, you’ll need to install the following 2 premium plugins:

  1. Prevent Direct Access Gold:
  2. PDA Access Restriction:

First, start with the Prevent Direct Access (PDA) Gold. It will disable any direct access to your protected files and redirect them to the 404 error pages. In other words, PDA allows you to protect every single photo in your albums, even if users have the original links or find them from the search results.

After your images are all shielded, you can insert some of them into the demo page. On this page, you can design content like any other page on your website. To entice new users, you should put a couple of pics of your photo galleries to suggest them for visiting your original collection folders for more beautiful photographs.

Once you’re happy with this “bait” page, go to the PDA Access Restriction setting panel to determine which custom roles and custom users can get your permission for image access.

Under the Folder Protection, you will see the Allow Referrer Links option; this is where you place your demo page in. Once you put the links there, PDA Access Restriction will understand that you want to show those particular pictures on that page. But when users click on the picture or any provided links to the original galleries, they will not see the photos unless they are members or register to be ones.

Future Improvement

At this moment, Prevent Direct Access and its extension Access Restriction work well with the top two photo gallery plugins including Fancy box and Photo Gallery by 10Web.

You are free to design and display your galleries as creative as you want. These plugins are the efficient supporting tools which offer plenty of beautiful gallery layouts and effects.

You can prevent but can’t eliminate all potential risks that may happen to your photo galleries. If someone attempts to steal your work, they will try whatever methods until they get the results. We are trying to find more effective ways to reduce their chance to the minimum, or even to zero. You can show a mini-gallery with your watermarked images to introduce visitors to your protected photo collections. Especially block all right-click actions to your demo photos as well. It will be the best ideal solution that we want to provide to you in the nearest future.