The Internet world is a much different place than it was a decade ago. With the rapid enhancements of digital technology and with always-on access, anyone in the world with an internet-enabled gadget can gain access to your website.
While this has done wonders for companies seeking to expand their reach, it simultaneously poses an issue: how are you supposed to keep out those individuals who are not old enough to view your site content or buy from your storefront?
If you are looking for a way to restrict access to your site based on user age, it is most likely because your site content is not much suitable for underage individuals. Below are some more common reasons:
- Your site has adult humor and subject matter that is unsuitable for children.
- You sell or promote anything like alcohol or cigarette-related products which should not be viewed by anyone too young to purchase.
- Your WordPress site offers sex- or dating-related material or services.
- Your business site has violence or other content deemed inappropriate for younger visitors (think of R-rated or “restricted” movies or songs with explicit lyrics, for example).
- You offer a contest, or membership, or another type of sign-up that needs the winner or member to be of a particular age.
- Your services or products require a valid credit card or a driver’s license.
Regardless of any reason – moral, ethical, or legal – the fact here is that you, as a site owner, need to be much more responsible for upholding this restriction.
In ideal cases, parents, schools, libraries, & anyone else providing internet connection to children would be the ones guiding them about what suitable content is and what’s not, and putting resolute and well-monitored internet restrictions in place. But that’s actually not a realistic expectation.
Age Verification Restrictions: What Important Steps Can You Take?
Below are some crucial steps you can take on your WordPress website to manage and limit the underage individuals.
Privacy policies should include data related to:
- The type of data you collect from visitors.
- How you go about collecting the data: via cookies, sign-up forms, etc.
- Any particular third-party involved in setting up cookies & targeting visitors once they have left your site.
Create an Age Disclaimer Page
Now let’s talk a bit about setting up restriction gates. Depending on how much your site requires restriction (for some of you it may just be a page), an age disclaimer web page might be a good starting place.
While the disclaimer page itself won’t be enough to deter underage users from clicking through to see the rest of your website, it will still notify your site user of the mature content they are about to see (or other types of blocks they can expect to encounter).
There are a few options available for a disclaimer page. You can create a brand new home page, brand it to the rest of your site, and:
- Add a note that displays the age restriction, such as “Are you 18 or older?” Once the visitors click “Yes” they will then be taken to the rest of the website.
- Add a form that asks users to enter their birthdate for the confirmation. If the age is over the given website requirement, they can then enter the website.
- You can add a login or sign-up requirement so that you can control which users can actually gain access to your site.
Again, none of the methods are necessarily going to keep out users who don’t meet your given age requirement, but it’ll at least serve as a first real warning.
Create a Warning
As you can see, each of the above steps serves to build up the number of checkpoints you have on your site. They also can work separately as well from one another. So if full-page gates are not your thing, you may then use more intuitive popup warnings and verification tools.
Popups give you a few more features to work with and also provide more flexibility:
- Select specific pages upon which you want to set the certain gates.
- Create redirects if the users do not pass your age requirements.
- Customize the message, popup colors, & much more.
Whether you are just seeking for an additional warning on your web pages containing more mature content or you prefer this warning option to the entry page gateways, popup feature is another path worth considering.
Best WordPress Age Verification Plugins in 2021
Let’s take a look at three amazing WordPress age verification plugins of 2021.
AgeVerify – WordPress Age Verification Plugin
Is your WordPress store selling products that are only suitable for adults such as wine, beer or vapes? Then, AgeVerify is one of the most suitable WordPress age verification plugins for your website. This plugin is ideal for creating a nice-looking site age verification.
- Provide various age verification methods
- Set cookie duration with respect to hours
- Sort list by various factors
- Ability to add prompt text
- Change border & background color of enter/exit button text
- Clear guidance on the plugin installation
- Simple, easy to use and set up
- Varieties of options and excellent support
Agy – Age Verification for WooCommerce
Agy is an amazing age verification site plugin for WooCommerce and extremely easy to set up. By using this WordPress plugin, you will be able to exclude particular pages, or products from the age gate conveniently. This plugin enables you to display the age gate notification only for non-registered users.
- Exclude specific posts/products from the age gate
- Redirect failed logins to a specific WordPress page
- Use one or two-column mode for the additional explanations
- Let visitors verify their age on page visit
- Add your own logo & set a unique teaser area
- Show the age gate only for non-registered users
- Mobile-friendly UI design
- SEO friendly
Age Checker for WordPress is a premium plugin that you can use on your website. It is only $14 and offers a few unique features and functionalities that the other age-verification plugins above don’t.
The Age Checker plugin provides 3 background modes, a solid color, image, or a video. One of the great features in this plugin is the ability to have a basic checkbox or enter verification method.
You can also redirect visitors, change your form validation text, & cookie life. Crawlers can be omitted from the age verification to make sure this doesn’t harm your SEO.
As a WordPress site owner, developer, or someone else responsible for the control and management of a site, the last thing you need to worry about is putting your online business at risk – or exposing the underage individuals to inappropriate online content – simply due to the fact you allowed the wrong people to view your site content.
All it should take are above mentioned steps (if that) to make sure your content is accessed by the right visitors.