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Complexity Levels in Password Protected Content

Welcome back to Answering the RFP where we unpack questions that accompany website RFPs to help our agency partners provide clear answers. So far in our series we’ve covered the biggest RFP question of all – how much a project will cost, as well as questions relating to project schedules, search engine optimization, hosting, and more.

This video will consider a less universal RFP question but one that’s common enough that you need to keep an eye out for it. Not every RFP will list password protected content as a requirement, but when they do you need to ask some strategic questions. 

At the simplest level, in WordPress, any individual page can be password protected. So if the client simply needs a repository for some internal documents, that uses just one common password for an internal group, WordPress provides that functionality right out of the box.

But more often than not password protected content requires the creation of individual user logins. Especially, if you need to remove individual access over time. As soon as user account creation is a requirement the complexity level rises. Now there are a host of plugins that offer this core capability, but configuring the entire login/account process involves a number of logistical and content considerations. For example, do accounts need to be pre-approved? And who’ll be responsible for approving? And then there are several automated email forms in the process of account creation whose exact content needs to be written and applied. 

An even higher level of complexity comes when there are costs associated with creating an account. For example, subscription sites or sites with pay-wall content, not only require account creation, but also e-commerce transactions, expirations, renewal reminders and so forth.

Taking it up even one level more, sometimes clients need to integrate website login with their existing contacts in a CRM like Salesforce. This usually requires implementing a Single Sign On system so users don’t have to login in both places or maintain two different usernames and passwords. 

Lastly, whenever you add a login system to a website, minimally you’ll have extra interface design elements to include. The navigation will need login buttons and status indicators and additional pages need to be created for login success, account management, and  error messages. Any account creation system needs all those basic features, but most sites with password protected content will have many instances of conditionally displayed content and messages triggered by whether or not a user is logged in. 

For all of these tiers of complexity WordPress has many excellent professionally supported frameworks to manage the technical aspects of user account creation, payments, renewals, and dynamic conditional display of content. But even with these tools, password protected content still adds significant production costs to a project for the coordination, configuration, and the extra content required. 

So when you see that single bullet point in a list of project requirements for password protected content, know that you need to follow up with strategic questions to identify what level protection is needed in order to properly account for all the details involved in your project fee.  

If these kinds of website RFP answers are helpful to you, please share, like, and subscribe to this channel. 

And until next time…

Be Clear. Build Trust. Win Clients.

Why do some charge $1,000 for WordPress development and others $100,000? Everything about WordPress pricing is explained in our eBook “Why Pay Less?”