The internet can sometimes seem like the ‘Wild West’, especially given some of the content you can find online. As such, keeping certain types of content away from younger or impressionable visitors is a critical concern for many businesses.
For example, if you sell adult-themed items on your eCommerce site, you want to ensure that you are not selling to minors. Similarly, if you run a gambling or alcohol-related site, you’ll want to verify that the visitor is legally able to access it.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to add age and identity (or ‘ID’) verification to your WordPress site. However, before that, let’s discuss the age verification concept. Let’s get going!
WordPress Age Verification
Simply put, age verification is the process of validating whether a user should access a particular website based solely on their age.
One of the most common reasons you may want to restrict age is to prevent minors from accessing sites with adult-themed content. Some industries require age verification by law, including sellers of alcohol, tobacco, betting, cannabis, and more.
As you can imagine, the ramifications of not verifying a user’s age could hit you incredibly hard. Fortunately, WordPress lets you implement this with ease. Let’s take a look at some of the standout plugins to choose from.
The Best WordPress Age Verification Plugins
The five plugins below aren’t presented in any order, so check each one out, and weigh up the pros and cons of each before settling on a solution. Let’s take a look!
The free version implements a splash overlay on your site, prompting the user to confirm their age. There are a number of images you can use out of the box, and the developers have recently removed ads from the free version – handy for those sites that don’t want to display ads.
The premium version of AgeVerify starts at $29 per year. It comes with even more options, such as the ability to upload your own background image and use custom colors. Additionally, you can choose where to redirect your users if the verification process fails for them.
2. Age Gate
Age Gate is a completely free age restriction plugin that lets you brand your restriction dialog, and choose other custom styles and images.
You also have control over what type of verification is used – drop-down menus, text fields to type in a birthdate, or ‘Yes/No’ buttons.
Finally, you can also choose a specific redirection URL, add legal notifications to your splash page, and a number of other features to help create a verification page that meets your requirements.
The simply named Age Verification plugin is another fairly new solution to opt for. It adds a pop-up to your site prompting the user to confirm their age before entering your site.
You can easily customize the pop-up’s appearance – including the background image – and also lets you set a minimum age requirement.
Overall, this is a very simple plugin that could be just the ticket if you need to get up and running quickly. However, given the limited features, it may only be suitable as a stop-gap solution.
The premium-only Age Checker for WordPress plugin offers plenty of customization scope, and is a solid choice for verifying a user’s age.
It lets you choose the cookie duration (i.e. how often a user will be asked to re-enter their age between site visits), as well as three types of age verification methods, and custom visual options. You can also change the date format, and preview your changes instantly.
While the basic version of the plugin costs $18, this rises to $75 for use on a commercial site.
Our final plugin in this list is Age Verification System for WordPress. This premium plugin offers a number of features, such as the ability to add image effects to the overlay background image, and custom typography.
It’s also compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and enables you to skip asking logged-in users to verify their age. You can also set the number of days you wait to ask a user to re-verify their age.
While a regular licence for Age Verification System for WordPress costs $19, a commercial license costs $85.
WordPress ID Verification
In a nutshell, ID verification is similar to its age-based sibling, but looks to verify an entire person, rather than just their age. As such, the process by which this takes place is usually more complex, both on the front and back ends.
For example, you’ll often find that a specific system needs documentation, photographs, and other personal details in order to build a profile – some solutions piece a user together based on online accounts to create a more comprehensive identity profile.
ID verification exists for many of the same reasons age verification is used. There’s usually a legal need to restrict access to certain websites. For example, think about states where cannabis is legalized. It’s important that only authorized people have access to legal forms of the drug.
However, there are also a purely business reasons for employing the technology. Take, for example, military discounts. If ID checks were not present, it could mean that a business takes a hit due to fraudulent customers – ID verification protects both the consumer and business in various ways.
The Best WordPress ID Verification Plugins
Below are three of the top ID verification plugins available. As with age verification, they’re presented in no particular order, so feel free to check each one out in turn before making a decision.
Token of Trust Identify Verification is a premium service that offers ID verification for online use. They have easy-to-use software for safe, encrypted submission of ID documents, which should result in a smooth verification process.
There’s a free WordPress plugin available to help connect the service to your WordPress site. Currently, you can integrate Token of Trust with membership plugins such as BuddyPress and Ultimate Member. You also have the option to configure a custom setup using shortcodes.
Token of Trust in currently in a private beta stage, so if you’re interested in testing the service, contact them for more information.
Another way of verifying a user’s ID is by using the Single Sign On (SSO) protocol. This verifies whether a user has another account that uses ID verification, such as Facebook or Google. For example, if a service requires a phone number upon registration, you can be more certain that the account belongs to a real person.
The SAML SP Single Sign On – SSO plugin is a relatively simple way to set up the protocol on your WordPress site. It offers a number of different authentication methods – in fact the developers state “all known” solutions are supported.
Finally, the basic plugin is free, but a premium version starts at $99 per year, per 100 users.
Our final plugin on the list is BlueCheck’s Photo ID verification. The premium solution offers custom photo ID verification tools for WordPress websites.
The service collects a user’s ID, compares it to multiple datasets, is then manually reviewed, then either approved or rejected. The service can also be integrated with some WordPress eCommerce plugins, such as WP EasyCart. Overall, it’s a robust solution that also offers age verification.
Unfortunately, there’s no explicit pricing mentioned, which usually means a price is custom and expensive. As such, we’d recommend this if you’re a medium- to large-scale business with a budget to match.
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