6 WordPress Content Protection Plugins to Stop Content Theft
Content theft often remains undetected until stolen material surfaces in search engine results. This article introduces six effective WordPress plugins to safeguard your website’s content. These plugins enhance the security of text, images, and other digital assets on your site, helping to deter content pirates.
While preventing content theft on a WordPress website is challenging due to the inherent vulnerabilities of online material, these tools significantly increase the difficulty of unauthorised content copying, thereby protecting your digital assets more effectively.
How Do People Steal WordPress Content?
SS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are online databases cataloguing a website’s published content and are commonly used for content syndication. However, this convenience also makes them a frequent avenue for content theft.
When a website’s entire content is accessible via its RSS feed, it becomes easy for others to copy it indirectly. To combat this, certain plugins offer solutions like delaying or blocking the RSS feed, making unauthorised copying more challenging.
Alternatively, SEO plugins can add custom content to the feed, such as backlinks to the original website, providing at least some credit and traffic redirection. Beyond textual content, images on a website are also prone to unauthorised use. Users might download these images or hotlink them directly from the server. Effective prevention strategies include watermarking images, disabling image hotlinking, and protecting visual content from theft.
Six WordPress Content Protection Plugins
While RSS feeds have legitimate uses, they can be easily exploited for copying website material. A practical solution to mitigate this risk is partially restricting the RSS feed rather than disabling it entirely.
For WordPress users, a simple yet effective approach is to install the Disable Feeds plugin. Despite not being updated for over five years, this plugin remains functional due to its uncomplicated code base. It allows you to limit the content available through your RSS feed, making it less useful for content scrapers.
This restriction can be implemented directly within WordPress: navigate to Settings → Reading and opt to display only summaries in your RSS feeds instead of full text. This method effectively thwarts most automated, low-level content scraping attempts, the most common form of content theft.
This plugin is freely available and easy to implement. However, be mindful that some genuine RSS subscribers may find these restrictions inconvenient, as they will no longer have full access to your content via their RSS readers.
Delay RSS Feeds
Delaying the RSS feed is an effective alternative to completely disabling it. This strategy helps prevent instances where others copy newly published content from your RSS feed, publish it on their site, and get it indexed by Google first. If Google indexes the copied content before the original, it might mistakenly recognise the other site as the original source.
By delaying your RSS feed, you ensure that Google indexes your website’s content first, reducing the risk of content theft. The Delay RSS Feeds plugin, available for free, facilitates this process. Install the plugin, then go to Settings → Reading in WordPress to set the delay duration. A delay of several hours is usually recommended.
WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click
Enhance a website’s security against content theft with the WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click plugin. This free tool offers essential features to deter content-copying:
- Disabling right-click functionality.
- Blocking keyboard shortcuts for copy-pasting actions (e.g., Ctrl + C).
The main advantage of these plugins is the increased difficulty for users to copy content illicitly. The Pro version further strengthens this with advanced protection techniques. However, be aware that such restrictions sometimes frustrate genuine users, as they impede common functionalities like keyboard shortcuts, potentially impacting the overall user experience.
Better Content Protector
Better Content Protector stands out as a ‘freemium’ content protection plugin, equipped with an extensive range of security features to guard against advanced forms of content theft. While highly effective, some of these features might be perceived as aggressive, potentially leading to occasional lagging and impacting the user experience.
This plugin provides a comprehensive array of options for a robust content-safeguarding strategy. Its key advantage is that it includes a wide variety of content protection features in one package, extending beyond basic measures like copy protection and disabled right-click functionality.
The suite encompasses 15 content protection modules, offering a holistic approach to securing your website’s content. However, it’s important to note that most advanced modules are accessible only in the Pro version. This necessitates an upgrade for users who require the full spectrum of security features that Better Content Protector offers.
- Disables the right-click menu
- Right-click menu restriction
- Copy protection for content
- Image download guard
- Video download guard
- Protect audio files
- Defend development tools
- Check out the source code shield
- Printing shield
- Protect Copy Enabler Extension
- RSS feeds protector
- Hotlinking Defense
- e-mail address shield
- Protect phone number
The Image Watermark plugin for WordPress is a useful tool for preventing image theft. It allows users to apply a text or image watermark to all photos uploaded to the website, including both new uploads and existing images in the Media Library. This feature ensures consistent protection across all images on the site.
One key feature of the plugin is its ability to disable right-clicking on photos. This adds an extra layer of security by making it more difficult for users to download images directly from the website.
The plugin offers flexibility in watermarking, allowing users to adjust the opacity and position of the watermark according to their preferences. This customisation ensures that the watermark can be effective without overly compromising the aesthetics of the image.
However, it’s important to note that it cannot be removed from the image once a watermark is applied. Therefore, it’s recommended to keep backups of original, unwatermarked images. In addition to using Image Watermark, it might be beneficial to use a dynamic image optimisation plugin like “Optimal”. Such plugins can help maintain the quality of the original photos while still offering the benefits of watermarking and image protection.
The WordProof Timestamp plugin leverages Blockchain technology to offer content creators and marketers a unique solution. This tool enables users to timestamp their original content on the blockchain, effectively providing verifiable proof of ownership.
Although it does not directly prevent content theft, it plays a crucial role in establishing and demonstrating content ownership, which can be invaluable when filing a copyright complaint is necessary.
The plugin’s creator is also actively involved in advocacy efforts to increase recognition of blockchain timestamps. The goal is to have search engines recognise and prioritise content with such timestamps, which could significantly advance content validation and authorship recognition.
WordProof Timestamp’s use of blockchain provides a transparent and tamper-evident record of content ownership, enhancing credibility. Visitors who come across a webpage with blockchain-verified content are more likely to trust its authenticity and originality.
However, it’s important to note that while WordProof Timestamp provides proof of ownership, it doesn’t offer a mechanism to prevent theft or unauthorised use of the material.
Users of the plugin can timestamp up to ten pieces of content per month under its free plan, making it an accessible tool for small-scale content creators. This feature makes it an appealing option for those looking to publicly demonstrate the original authorship of their content using Blockchain technology.
Adjusting RSS feed settings can deter low-level automated content copying by limiting access to full text and directing readers to the website for complete content. Additionally, employing tactics like disabling right-clicking on images and watermarking can discourage casual image theft.
While these methods, including disabling image hotlinking, can reduce unauthorised use, they are not foolproof against sophisticated content scraping. The overall aim is to create barriers that make content and image theft more challenging, though complete prevention is not guaranteed. At ARCC, we provide website maintenance and update services in Singapore. We invite you to get in touch if you need more information.