Is your WordPress site secure? I’m sure you don’t want random visitors to access pages on your site that are not meant for everyone to see.
Prevent Direct Access Gold allows you to keep your files, pages, posts, and everything else on your site secure. You can use this plugin to deny people from directly accessing your content through URLs.
In this review, we’ll be going over all of the features and benefits offered by Prevent Direct Access Gold (spoiler alert: it’s really good!).
What is Prevent Direct Access Gold?
Prevent Direct Access Gold is currently used to protect over 15,000 files on WordPress. One of the biggest reasons for this plugin’s popularity is that it’s very easy to use – with Prevent Direct Access Gold, you don’t need any coding knowledge or experience at all to block unauthorized visitors from accessing your files.
Original Links vs. Private Links
The first step to understanding how Prevent Direct Access Gold works is understanding the difference between original links and private links.
An original link is usually produced after you publish a file on your WordPress site. Anyone can download it. It is completely unprotected.
By using a tool like Prevent Direct Access Gold, you can turn an original link into a private link directly from your WordPress dashboard. That way, only people that you have approved (such as regular visitors who are paying you a membership fee for your content) can access the link.
By default, Prevent Direct Access Gold generates random URLs for private links. For example, it would look something like this: preventdirectaccess.com/private/58575f26ae274. These URLs are customizable, though. You can edit the slugs to make them more presentable, like preventdirectaccess.com/private/draft-sourcewp.
Prevent Direct Access Gold has tons of features, including:
Unlimited Files Formats
This plugin is able to secure any kind of media file – PNG, JPEG, ZIP, PDF, MP4, whatever you need. If an unauthorized user tries to access a protected file, they’ll be automatically redirected to a 404 error page.
Block Google From Indexing Protected Files
With Prevent Direct Access Gold, your private links won’t be indexed by search engines. This ensures that they won’t be discovered by unwanted users.
Grant File Access To Specific Users
You can block specific media files from the general public, but leave them open to your subscribers and contributors. You can also block specific IP addresses from accessing your media files.
Track Private Link Activity
You can keep track of the number of clicks that each of your private links receive.
Kill Downloadable Links
Private links can be deactivated with just the touch of a button.
Installation and Activation
After you purchase the plugin, you’ll be sent an email containing a download URL and a Prevent Direct Access Gold license.
You can download the plugin through this link and install and activate it on your WordPress blog through your admin panel.
To do that, go to WP Dashboard>Plugins>Add New. Select “Browse” and upload the ZIP folder that you’ve downloaded. After it’s uploaded, click on “Install”, and then “Activate”.
The next step is to enter the license key of the plugin. From the dashboard, go to Prevent Direct Access Gold>License. Copy the license key from the email and paste it into the blank field.
After that, you’ll see the “Settings”, “IP Restriction”, and “FAQ” tabs appear.
That’s it! Pretty easy, right?
To customize your settings, go to dashboard>Prevent Direct Access Gold>Settings.
We recommend that you activate the “Enable Remote Logs” option. This will help you track issues and debug the plugin if you ever run into any trouble.
By activating the “Grant Access to All Logged-In Users” option, you’ll allow subscribers, the administrator, and all other logged-in users to access your protected files.
You can change the prefix used for your private links. In this example, we’ve changed the prefix to “private”, but you can use whatever word you want.
We recommend that you activate the “Auto-Protect New Uploaded Files” option as well.
Once you’re done, save your settings.
Granting Access To Specific People
There may be links that you only want to share with a specific group of people. In that case, change the settings as follows:
Go to dashboard>Prevent Direct Access Gold>Settings. Instead of activating the “Grant Access to All Logged-In Users” option, leave it unchecked.
This opens up another option: “Grant Access to these Roles Only”. You can restrict access to administrators, editors, authors, contributors, or subscribers.
Protecting Multiple WordPress Files At Once
To protect multiple files at once, go to Dashboard>Media. Then, locate the files you want to protect and simply choose “Protect Files” under “Bulk Actions”. Then, click on the “Apply” button.
Set Download Limits On Your Private Links
You can limit the number of times your private links can be downloaded by your users. Suppose you set the download limit at 10. In that case, anyone who clicks on the link after the 10th download attempt would be redirected to a 404 error page.
You can also set it up so that your private links expire after a certain amount of time has passed.
Documentation and Support
Prevent Direct Access Gold has been extensively documented. If you ever come across a problem, you can probably figure out how to fix it by reviewing the user guides on their site.
And if you can’t find the solution you’re looking for, just contact the Prevent Direct Access Gold support team. They’re friendly, responsive, and always helpful.
There are three tiers of Prevent Direct Access Gold. Each tier offers one year of free updates and one year of free support.
Single: $4.90 per month, billed annually. Can be installed on 1 site.
Plus: $5.90 per month, billed annually. Can be installed on up to 3 sites. This is the most popular and best value plan that you should get.
Unlimited: $19.90 per month, billed biannually. Can be installed on unlimited sites. Supports WordPress Multisite.
The Final Word
When it comes to keeping media files on your WordPress site private, there’s simply no better plugin in the WordPress directory than Prevent Direct Access Gold.
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