Freemium subscriptions

Is there a feature gating all content behind a paywall, but with the option to allow a certain amount of posts a month per user to be displayed for free? Something similar to what Medium does, where 3 posts are free for non-subscribed/non-paying users, and beyond that membership is required.

Is it also possible to add ads on a Ghost publication, and disable those ads for paying members?

1 Like

That paywalling strategy doesn’t actually work well. Any user with an incognito browser setting can defeat it.

You can certainly add advertising to a publication and only show it to unregistered and/or free members. You’d need some additions to the theme code to get that behavior, unless there’s a theme out there that already provides it. (Anyone know one?)

I know.

How can this be accomplished with Ghost?

Would it also be possible to make posts gated when a user is browsing on incognito but make an exception when it isn’t the case, or does browser fingerprinting doesn’t go that far?

You’d modify your .hbs files in the theme to check if the user is paid/free/unregistered, and change whether you include the advert code or not. That’s vanilla Ghost, just requires some small edits to the theme files (which you’d need to make for including ads anyway).

A quick Google search shows lots of discussion about detecting incognito mode. I took from it “it’s complicated and has changed a lot, and solutions that work today might not work next week”, but you’ll want to read about it for yourself if you’re interested. :slight_smile: Even if you can detect incognito mode, how will you detect that the user has cleared cookies and cache?

The strategy many Ghost users seem to go with uses the built-in public preview. Give non-subscribers/free members a preview of a few paragraphs (or whatever is enough to catch their interest but not satisfy their curiosity) [this uses the built-in ‘public preview’ card], then restrict the rest to paying subscribers, and show a ‘call to action’ link urging them to upgrade to the level that will give them access. Add in a freely available post occasionally, to help those potential subscribers seen the value of what you’re publishing, and that seems to be a good recipe for success for many folks.