We have all heard the saying – “if you want something, just ask!” However, in our current digital age, where attention is the new currency, you need to make sure that people listen to what you are asking. This is where content lockers come into the picture.
As you can guess by the name, a content locker will “lock” your content and won’t allow readers full access unless they complete a specific task. For website owners, content lockers are an excellent way to ask users to share the content on social media or subscribe to weekly newsletters.
Either way, it’s an extremely useful tactic to capitalize on your most alluring content to help your site grow bigger, faster.
We will be taking a look at the Content Locker Pro WordPress plugin. Developed by the talented folks over at MyThemeShop, the plugin offers one of the best ways to increase your content’s share count and expand your mailing list.
But how good is it really?
To answer that question, we have put together a concise review of Content Locker Pro, where we take a look at all its features and functionalities. We have also included a helpful tutorial guiding you through the user interface and giving you an idea on how to use the plugin.
So let’s not delay any further and jump straight into our in-depth review of Content Locker Pro: A Content Locker Plugin For WordPress.
Content Locker Pro – Features
Here is a quick look at all the different bells and whistles offered by the plugin:
#1. Two Types of Content Locker
As mentioned earlier, you will get access to different options for locking your content.
a. Social Locker
If you want to increase your social shares, you can use the social locker. This will make it compulsory for the readers to share the content on their social media handles if they want to access the content.
b. Signin Locker
The second one is the subscribe or sign-in locker. Here the content will be locked unless the user creates an account on your website. You can simply ask the user to sign-in using their Facebook, Twitter, Google, or even LinkedIn accounts. Once done, the plugin will grab the email ID and user name associated with the account and add it to your mailing list.
#2. Unique Locker Designs For All Screen Sizes
The plugin gives you access to 16 unique locker designs – 8 social locker demos & 8 subscribe (sign-in) locker demos. This gives you plenty of variety to help you create a content locker interface that is most consistent with your overall sites design and aesthetics.
Needless to say, keeping up with modern trends and how more people are browsing the internet on their smartphones, the content lockers are designed to be fully responsive and mobile-friendly.
#3. Advanced Analytics
Some content lockers on your site will help increase social share counts and lengthen your mailing list, whereas some will displease users and affect bounce rates. So how do you know which is content locker is working to help your site grow?
To answer that question, the plugin includes a dedicated panel where you can get a detailed analytic breakdown on how the content lockers are performing. You get full insight on each individual content locker to scrutinize its performance and decide on what is working best for you.
In addition to all of this, the plugin also brings in integration with Google Analytics to help you collect and base your decision on more insightful data.
#4. Optimize For Enhanced User Experience
It goes without saying that the most important aspect, at the root of all content lockers, is the overall user experience.
Just imagine what happens if after pressing the share button, or signing up with your mailing list, the reader is left stranded as your content didn’t become available. Or what if, in the process of locking your posts, you’re making the content way too heavy which is affecting loading speeds?
Luckily, Content Locker Pro steers past all such problems, ensuring the best possible user experience.
You will get access to Ajax loading for your content. So, as soon as the user shares the posts or signs up using their social profiles, the content will load up seamlessly in front of their eyes, without any extra page loading or other issues.
You will even get an option to tantalize the users by blurring the locked content, making them more eager to press the call-to-action.
But just in case, the reader doesn’t want to share or commit to your website, and you don’t intend on losing valuable traffic, you can configure the locker to unlock after a set amount of time.
This makes your content accessible to everyone, offering easy accessibility as an incentive to people who are willing to share or subscribe.
#5. Advanced Lock Options
The plugin will give you access to a powerful settings panel from where you can manage and fine-tune your content locker.
Here you get access to enable/disable all the features mentioned above, decide how much of your content you plan to hide away, and what part of the content users get to see before pressing the unlock button.
However, it is advised that you manually lock all your posts by using the generated shortcodes that come with each content locker you create using the plugin.
#6. Compatible With Various Email Marketing Services
The plugin supports full integration and compatibility with all the major top-rated email marketing services. This allows you to easily seamlessly import all the email IDs you captured using the content locker features. The list includes: MailChimp, MailerLite, AWeber, Active Campaign etc.
There a lot of email marketing services. But you don’t find the service you are using?
In that case, you can also export all your collected emails in a CSV file and upload it manually to any unsupported email marketing service.
#7. Fully GDPR Compliant
As you are as asking users for their personal information like username and email address, you need to make sure that you adhere to the GDPR guidelines. However, the plugin handles that for you by including a link to your terms-and-policies page right on the content locker screen.
Content Locker Pro – Tutorial
So now that you have an idea regarding the different features and functionalities offered by the plugin let’s dive into a detailed walkthrough on how to use the plugin to create content lockers for your blog/website.
Content Locker Pro Dashboard Settings Panel
As soon as you install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website, you will get access to a new Content Locker settings panel in your WordPress dashboard.
When you open it for the first time, you will be taken to the “How to use?” section. Here you will get access to all relevant information on using the plugin offered by the MyThemeShop directly.
Besides this, you can see all the other options available in the settings panel from the image provided above.
The All Lockers section gives you access to all the different content lockers you have created for your website.
To the top left side of the screen, you get an option to create a “New Locker“. The main interface gives you information, such as the content locker name, shortcode, and date. You will need to use the shortcode to place the content locker on one of your post or page.
Now, hitting the “+New Locker” button, you will be asked to choose which locker type you want to create – social locker or sign-in locker.
Let’s start by creating a new social locker.
#a. Creating A Social Locker:-
When creating a new social locker, you will be presented with 4 different tabs along with the social locker title bar.
We are showing the image of the Locker tab down below:
As you can see, here you get to pick which social channels you will support on the social locker. You can also customize the button title, and insert the link to your Facebook page or Website URL if you want the user to “like” the page as the unlock mechanism.
Now here we have the General tab:
Here you get to insert or edit what is shown on the content locker. You can add the Locker Box Title, input a message to display on the locker box, choose a locker box theme, and even configure the button layout as well as the content overlap mode.
Next, we come to the Visibility tab:
Here you can decide whether or not you want the social locker enabled or disabled for website members. Other options include activating responsive design (mobile-friendly), lock & relock the content based on a specified timeframe, and even allow for “show always” which will force the locker to reappear again after the page reloads.
And lastly, we have the Advanced tab:
For regular usage, you won’t have to meddle with the options provided here.
As you can see, you will have the option to enable a close button for the content locker at the corner of the box. This gives users the option to close the box and carry on reading your content, thereby making the content locker function as an opt-in. You can also specify a time interval after which the content becomes automatically unlocked. You can also highlight the locked content after it has been unlocked for better user experience.
Once done, hit the “Publish” button to create your social locker successfully.
As you can see from the image above, the plugin itself is recommending that you use manual locking and has provided the shortcode to insert in your post or page. Alternatively, you can also head on over to the All Locker section.
Just like we mentioned before, here you get to see all your existing content alongside their shortcode to use with your content easily.
#b. Creating a Sign-In Locker:-
Similar to the social locker, while creating the sign-in locker, you will run into all the same sections – Locker, General, Visibility, and Advanced, and each section beside “Locker” has the same options.
Under the Locker tab, you will notice that enabling a social sign-in isn’t as simple as requesting a social share.
Now, apart from simply selecting the social media networks you want to showcase on your content locker, you will also have to enable the service on your website.
For example, if a user wants to sign-in to unlock your content using their Facebook profile, then you will need to register a Facebook App for your website to make the social login service available. The same goes for the other social media channels as well.
Once done, you need to configure how the content locker functions.
For starters, you can enable/disable the option to retrieve the user email straight from their social channels upon login.
You can also specify the list where you want to save all the subscriber details.
There is also another option which lets you choose whether or not you want to create an account for the subscribers who are signing up to unlock your content.
Over to You: Should You Use It?
So this was our concise and in-depth review on Content Locker Pro. As you can see, you will get access to a decent collection of features that will help you leverage your high performing content to increase social shares and subscriber counts.
But with that being said, all these premium options come with a premium price tag – which begs the question, should you buy the plugin?
Well, if you simply want to test whether or not content lockers are right for the type of website you are running, then you can use the free version of the plugin. It is practically stripped of all the useful features that make the premium version so much appealing, however as a simple content locker, it gets the job done.
If you find that using content lockers on your blog or website is contributing to a noticeable increase in social shares and subscribe counts, then you can go with their premium version.
And as a safety measure, you always have access to the 30-day money back guarantee, if you run into any problems using the plugin.
Not impressed with MyThemeShop Content Locker?
Check out our article with top Content Locker WordPress Plugins,