Leaky Paywall


Leaky Paywall is a subscription management platform built natively for WordPress. It lets publishers and developers implement a highly customizable subscription system for news, magazine, and content creators.

Our open-source solution offers a suite of tools to nurture reader engagement, streamline subscription processes, and maximize revenue opportunities, all while ensuring compliance with SCA and GDPR regulations.

Leaky Paywall flexibility presents an opportunity to tailor the subscription experience to fit the unique needs of each publisher.

Key features

  • Content restrictions include articles, categories/tags, custom post types, and multimedia content like PDFs, videos, and audio files
  • Customizable paywall settings (metered, dynamic, hybrid, hard, time-wall)
  • Customize access using our hooks and filters
  • Content indexed by search engines and socially shareable via metering or referrer source
  • Subscriber only newsletter capabilities
  • Group, IP address and corporate subscriptions
  • Donations
  • UniPress iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Incognito browsing blocking
  • Registration wall for email list building
  • Multiple-website access via MultiPass
  • CRM integrations such as MailChimp, HubSpot, ZOHO, Campaign Monitor, Pipedrive, and Zapier
  • Circulation software integration such as simplecirc, Darwin, Omeda, PSA, PCS, MagHub, RunMags, Interlink
  • Payment gateways include Stripe (we are a Stripe Verified Partner), Authorize.net, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google pay, WooCommerce, and 100s more
  • Insights provides actionable data from subscriber behavior
  • Leaky Paywall’s ecosystem is further enriched with over 40 add-ons, enabling functionalities like recurring payments, trial subscriptions, pay-per-post access, multiple subscription levels, premium archive access, and custom registration fields. For developers looking to extend the platform’s capabilities, the add-on system provides a flexible way to meet the diverse needs of publishers.

The platform is backed by extensive documentation, Zoom level support and a community of contributors on GitHub, encouraging ongoing development and innovation.

This core plugin lets you set up 1 non-recurring subscription level with Stripe or PayPal integration. It also supports all of our extensions.

Learn more about Leaky Paywall or grab a demo. We would love to show you around.


Leaky Paywall
Copyright (C) ZEEN101, LLC

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


  • Leaky Paywall general settings
  • Leaky Paywall content restriction settings
  • Leaky Paywall subscription level settings
  • Leaky Paywall payment method settings
  • Leaky Paywall visibility settings let you overwrite the default restrictions on a per content basis
  • Leaky Paywall subscriber table to manage current current subscribers and add manually add new subscribers
  • Leaky Paywall subscribe nag after a reader has reached their article limit
  • Leaky Paywall subscribe cards
  • Leaky Paywall register form for both free and paid levels
  • Leaky Paywall account page for a subscriber to manage their account information


  1. Upload the entire leaky-paywall folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  2. Go to the ‘Plugins’ page in the menu and activate the plugin.


How does Leaky Paywall work?

The Leaky Paywall meter restricts by X number of free articles over a Y time period. days, weeks, months, years. There is a visibility setting on the post edit screen you can use to override the global meter setting. EG: make an article always free or always require a subscription

What payment gateways do you support?

We support Stripe and PayPal by default. CyberSource and ESP requires some setup, and other gateways can be integrated with our API. We highly recommend Stripe to give both you and your subscribers a state-of-the-art experience.

What kind of subscriptions can I create with Leaky Paywall?

You can sell daily, weekly, monthly, and annual subscriptions, both one time and recurring. You can also offer a free subscription in exchange for an email address.

If I deactivate Leaky Paywall will I lose all my subscriber data?

You can deactivate Leaky Paywall at any time without losing any subscriber data. All subscribers are stored as WordPress users in your database.


February 23, 2024
We are LOVING Leaky Paywall and all its flexibility and insights! Jeremy has been a great help getting us setup and answering our questions. Leaky's flexibility, insights, and extensions make it an excellent alternative to some of the big subscription management platforms out there today. Leaky+Stripe = Win!
August 17, 2023 1 reply
Spent hours setting everything up only to have it do nothing. The signup portal works but there's no paywall showing, no "nag". Tried both methods offered. Even tried customizing my own CSS tag to make it work... Whats the point of a paywall that doesn't hide content? And what's the deal with charging $400 a month for your pro addons? I will never pay that much to have recurring subscriptions. You realize the top paywall plugin only charges $180 a year for all the same features, right?
July 10, 2022
I've spent more hours than I care to admit trying to figure out how to configure a metered paywall/view limit paywall for my site. I'm not confident a hard paywall would work as well to trigger subscriptions at my site, so I felt it necessary to do a lot of research on the best metered paywall plugins, and I tried several of them. There are plugins other than Leaky Paywall that can give you a metered paywall, and some of them have easier setups and lower costs. However, Leaky Paywall is the only metered paywall plugin I've found that enables me to track site visitors by their IP addresses. Every other metered paywall plugin I've tried tracks site visitors with cookies, and that's a non-starter for me. If visitors can get unlimited access to my content by deleting their visits to my site from their browser histories (which, of course, takes seconds), why would they pay for a subscription? I'm sure some might out of principle, but that doesn't eliminate the major undermining of my profitability that would come by using a cookie to track visitors. On some browsers, or with some browser extensions, visitors might not even have to delete their histories to gain unlimited access to my content, if I tracked them with a cookie. If you try to get around metered paywalls at major sites like the Wall Street Journal by deleting your cookies, it won't work, and why would it? How can you charge for content if the content isn't protected? It's bizarre that I can't find another plugin that offers a metered paywall based on tracking IP addresses. What are all these plugins trying to accomplish by giving their customers artificial paywalls? You need to install a Leaky Paywall add-on to track by IP address, which costs extra, but I don't see another option. I give four stars instead of five because the cost is pretty high, and I've wrestled with the setup, but Leaky Paywall has become more reliable over time, and it offers a capability that's hard to find.
May 11, 2022 1 reply
Needs clearer instructions. Took 2 days to figure out.
March 8, 2022
We implemented Leaky Paywall on a client's site, and when we ran into issues the devs at Leaky Paywall were quick to respond and resolve the issue. I appreciate their rapid response and great support. The tool is very versatile and exactly what we needed for our client.
Read all 29 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Leaky Paywall” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Leaky Paywall” has been translated into 5 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Leaky Paywall” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Add leaky_paywall_stripe_checkout_fields filter
  • Update translation strings
  • Fix ampersand display on register button


  • Add check for paypal payment method when using multiple options on the register form


  • Fix renewal email reminder functionality
  • Fix price manipulation during registration
  • Fix to set first and last name of logged in users during registration if they don’t exist yet
  • Add after cancel action if the user cancels in the Stripe customer portal
  • Add user parameter to leaky_paywall_user_has_access function
  • Update stripe sync function to update expiration and plan


  • Fix for free registration levels when using Stripe


  • Add error checking to payment element
  • Add check for succeeded payment intents
  • Add level id when getting all levels


  • Update Stripe to use the Payment element
  • Update Stripe PHP library to latest version
  • Add Stripe Billing Address element
  • Update wording for tracking recurring payments
  • Store nag location after stripe checkout registration
  • Update translation strings
  • Remove Apple Pay Stripe setting


  • Add login form to register page
  • Fix to not allow a user to register for a deleted level
  • Update account shortcode actions
  • Add links to stripe dashboard for stripe customers in subscriber table


  • Fix login form display on profile shortcode


  • Refactor profile shortcode to use actions instead of filters
  • Move cancellation and payment update functionality to extensions


  • Add date filter to content insights
  • Add chart library for use in insights data
  • Add link to renew license if invalid
  • Fix typo in readme


  • Add new interface for Insights
  • Update plugin styling with new Leaky Paywall branding
  • Fix php error for floats for Stripe


  • Fix handling of Apple Pay to allow for coupons
  • Add check for settings link display


  • Add receipt email when using Stripe Elements
  • Set float on Stripe price
  • Fix test mode variable for PHP compatibility
  • Update upgrade messaging


  • Add general settings to Payment tab
  • Do not process a plan for pay per post from stripe checkout
  • Update default modal styles
  • Add leaky_paywall_after_wp_user_profile_fields action


  • Update tested up to to 6.2
  • Add field data during stripe checkout
  • Update wording on account page for trialing subscribers


  • Update restriction rules for accessing a taxonomy when all taxonomies are restricted
  • Update stripe checkout handling for alternative payment methods
  • Check if a user has access when getting their current level id


  • Add setting fields to create a new level if all levels have been deleted
  • Update restriction logic for specific use cases
  • Fix for php8 error handling


  • Fix for slashes in level settings
  • Fix has access value in rest api data


  • Display manual payment as an option on the registration form if multiple payment gateways are enabled
  • Update calculation and display of currency symbol in Insights
  • Display stripe custuomer portal on template shortcode
  • Update help doc urls
  • Update logic for renewal reminders
  • Fix deprecation notices for php8
  • Add Insights link to admin bar menu


  • Add new Insights dashboard
  • Add setting for restricting Stripe assets
  • Fix broken links in admin
  • Code cleanup


  • Add setting for Stripe Customer Portal to My Account page
  • Update currency and tax behavior on Stripe Checkout session
  • Allow for script tracking in subscribe and upgrade nags


  • Fix rounding off error for apple pay
  • Add filters for stripe checkout session args
  • Fix help link for webhooks
  • Add function to format display price
  • Update readme


  • Fix edit link for subscription levels


  • Add leaky_paywall_plugins_loaded action
  • Update Stripe error handling
  • Code cleanup


  • Add new settings tabs and sections
  • Add filters to Stripe Checkout price and currency
  • Update settings for subscription levels to improve performance


  • Fix for logging Stripe charge id on transaction
  • Prevent free content with REST API calls


  • Add filters to disable the new and admin new emails
  • Add general get ip function
  • Refactor location of nag cookie setting


  • Add settings for Stripe Checkout automatic tax
  • Add setting to always show upgrade message on individual content if the nag is triggered
  • Add settings and check for signing secret during Stripe webhook processing
  • Add leaky_paywall_after_stripe_checkout_completed action
  • Update check for renewal reminder processing
  • Set default level price to 0


  • Add a manual payment gateway as the default
  • Only show 2 step registration form if stripe is enabled
  • Do not update expiration date when a stripe subscription is cancelled
  • Add titles back to license key settings


  • Add hooks before a subscriber is updated and after a Stripe Checkout session is completed
  • Code cleanup and nonce checks


  • Code cleanup and refactoring


  • Added Stripe Checkout as a payment gateway option
  • Adjusted restriction handling for certain taxonomy edge cases


  • Fix error during stripe cancellation requests
  • Adjust data for PayPal webhook verification
  • Update error handling


  • Update registration form styles
  • Update Stripe handling in account shortcode
  • Update paypal webhooks verification
  • Remove old add-ons menu


  • Update Stripe library to 7.47.0 ** Requires PHP 7.0 or higher **
  • Update stripe handling when changing recurring subscription levels
  • Sync expiration date during invoice.payment_succeeded stripe event
  • Update logging
  • Fix attaching of Stripe payment id to transaction
  • Fix subscription change when a subscriber currently has a canceled plan


  • Add integration with WP REST API
  • Update minimum required PHP version to 7.0
  • Update admin styles and branding


  • Add nonce to register user validation
  • Update error handling for stripe session
  • Update created date formatting in subscriber table
  • Add check for empty post object


  • Add array check when logging


  • Update handling of Stripe webhooks
  • Add new tools for debugging


  • Fix loop when new subscriber is created
  • Fix current level class on subscribe cards
  • Update full card form fields
  • Add icon images for jquery ui
  • Set subscriber to deactivated when customer.subscription.deleted Stripe event is received


  • Fix restrictions for term matching
  • Add filter leaky_paywall_disable_same_free_level to adjust free registration logic


  • Fix cancel output
  • Add action for payment_intent.payment_failed event type


  • More code cleanup


  • More code cleanup


  • More code cleanup


  • More code cleanup


  • Code cleanup
  • Added missing sanitization


  • Update rounding for apple pay
  • Add additional hooks
  • Do not allow free users to register for the same level again
  • Update alternative restriction handling to work with pages and children
  • Update wording when a subscription is restarted
  • Add submitted fields to leaky_paywall_process_stripe_payment_customer_array filter
  • Update dashboard messaging


  • Add check for no tags on a post


  • Update subscriptions tab to restrictions and levels tab
  • Clear the content the user has viewed after they register
  • Add post_id to leaky_paywall_subscriber_or_login_message filter,
  • Add leaky_paywall_subscriber_current_level_ids filter
  • Add settings for restriction exceptions for post categories and tags
  • Add ability to enter multiple post containers for alternate restriction handling
  • Optimization for long loading registration page when a level has many plan ids


  • Update Apply Pay integration
  • Fix handling of recurring transactions
  • Show subcribe button on cards to expired users


  • Add setting to add additional time to their current expiration date
  • Move registration script to js file
  • Add idempotency key when creating a payment intent and subscription for Stripe
  • Add check for user object in subscriber table


  • Allow for paypal payer_email if custom is not set


  • Make sure correct email is used for paypal purchases
  • Do not update a subscriber if it is a pay per post purchase
  • Reset stripe payment intent on checkout
  • Set default source after user updates card details


  • Add rich content editor to new subscriber email setting
  • Add rich content editor …