Your comments

Depends on how you're delivering your ads and other factors, and there are a lot of specifics and different ways to do it based on what you want to achieve, but the big answer is you're going to require a developer / web designer who can write some Javascript in order to do this.

Kevin, we run the metered paywall. It works about as you would expect. I am not familiar with the details of the hard paywall, but that model would be more enforceable than the metered paywall, because all of the tracking of the metering is done on the client, so it's easy enough to sidestep.

In a hard paywall situation, you would just check if the logged in user can read the article and if they can, display it. On a metered paywall, you allow them a certain number of free views, but you store which articles they have read and how many they have left in a cookie/local storage on the web browser. Because of that default-on situation, the paywall is bypassable. It also has the side effect of skewing your analytics, as analytics cookies are getting cleared more often. So session numbers and New User % numbers that Google attempts to tabulate are probably inflated.

Private browsing modes are available on all devices now days and that's all it takes to defeat the metered paywall, as the client stores the info. Depending on your user base, who knows how much attrition that results in?

Our paywall has always been porous and we've just lived with it. As Nick says, it's more important to build that relationship. Re: advertising, there are some issues. Ultimately, network ads don't pay the bills, so increasing page views at the cost of subscriptions is probably not going to net dollars if you can't sell guaranteed inventory to local advertisers. You're just going to make more inventory that you can't really move. These are some questions we've had to think about with our own site.

I did approach 3:

I still feel that capturing request parameters and using them in block query rules is one of the most powerful things TownNews could add to BLOX.

I'm curious about this too, we'll be headed down this path shortly.

You don't need a shared user database between the two, you just need the app to authenticate with TownNews and get back the user's services. From there, you could track views in the app and implement the paywall. Your app developers would have to write the paywall, tracking app views and enforcing the limit when a user hits it.

Views and metering are tracked locally in the browser AFAIK, the server isn't storing your manifest of visited articles, sending it back and forth and enforcing it. The app would be the same way if you did metering on the app. They could get 5 views / 30 days on the app and on the desktop, separate but both enforcing that 5 view limit.

The documentation on this is pretty well documented, my bad for not checking this out a bit closer before posting

If the image meets any of the following criteria, it will NOT display with the "Buy now" link:

  • the image is not high resolution
  • the image is from the Classifieds or Businesses application
  • the image has a byline that contains 'courtesy' or 'associated press'
  • the image has a caption that contains 'contributed photo' or 'ap photo'
  • the image is flagged with 'AP' or 'Contributed'
  • the image is tagged with a keyword of '#nosale' or '#ap

You can pretty easily become an unwitting man in the middle if you allow this. It's okay if someone tells you the password, that's their fault. But if you were allowed to see the passwords of all users? How many of those folks are using one password to rule them all? I mean it's 2016, but you can bet most people aren't going through the trouble of 2 factor authentication, having separate strong passwords for separate sites, etc. You might quickly find yourself giving out the gmail and bank passwords of your users to strangers who claim to be them on the phone.

This sort of "social engineering" is a big part of what people call "hacking". Better to be out the loop entirely.

I'd think the best way is to just advise them to use the forgot password functionality. They get an email, click the link and can enter a new password without knowing the old one.