There are services that will help you add password protection to your site for free. All you have to do is sign up and add some code to your homepage. There are two I have looked at for you. They are both pretty much the same though.
After you sign up you are given a code to add to your HTML. This code creates a box for your readers to enter their username and password so they can get to your password protected pages.
The cool thing about this set up is that you only need one link box for all your password protected pages. The page they are brought to is determined by which username/password combination they enter. You can have one page for friends and another for family. Give your friends one combo and your family another. They will automatically be taken to the appropriate page but they use the same link box. They will never know another page exists.
Another security feature is that when they are brought to the page they will never see the direct URL at the top of the page in the address line. They will only see the link box URL. This way they can never get to the page directly and will always have to go through your homepage to get there. This way if you ever decide you don't want a certain person to be able to access the page anymore you can change the password and only give the new password to everyone else and not the person you want blocked.
The downside to this type of password protection is that if someone somehow does get hold of the direct URL of the page they will still be able to access it. If you truly want this page to not be promoted or found by search engines then you have to do some things to prevent it from happening. See How Much Information Is Too Much for tips on how to do this.
Whenever someone tries to enter your page, no matter how they found it, they will be prompted to enter a password. You tell the script what happens next. If they enter the right password you can have them sent to the page they are trying to get to. If they enter the wrong code you have them sent somewhere else.
When you use a script like this you don't have to worry about a search engine finding it. You will need a separate link for each password protected page from your homepage though. When you enter the script onto each page you want protected you will need to change it slightly by telling it the URL of the page you are putting it on so the person trying to access it will be taken to the right page. You can also change the pop-up messages your reader will see when they click on the link. It's not hard, I'll walk you through it.
This is what you need to do if you want to use BraveNet's Password Gate to password protect your site:
- Sign Up - Sign up for BraveNet. This only takes a few minutes.
- Sign Up For Password Gate - Once you're signed up for BraveNet you can sign up for any of their services for free just by clicking on the sign up link.
- Put Code On Your Page - Copy and paste the code you are given onto your homepage where you want the link to your password protected pages to be on your page.
- Customize Your Service - You can change a few things to make Password Gate fit your page better. Here is what you should do next:
- Under "registered services" click on "Password Gate".
- Change settings, colors, fonts and images. Later you can come back and view your stats.
- Under "User Accounts" click on "Manage User Accounts".
- Enter username, password and URL of pages you want protected.
If you want to use PoppyDog's Password Protector service this is all you need to do:
- Fill out the registration form.
- Modify your colors and other options.
- Click "Password Protector" in member's area.
- Edit: Add username, password and URL for up to 10 pages for free, more if you pay for the service.
- Add the code to your page where you want the link to your password protected pages to be on your homepage.