How not to create paywall

  • Gérald Barré

I received an email from a service that catches spelling errors, grammar errors, and broken links on websites. They spam website owners to sell their services. Here's the content of the email:

I wrote 340 posts and there are only 27 errors, I was happy 😃 But getting 0 error is still better. So, I clicked on the link. On the webpage, you can see a few errors for free. Then, you have to subscribe to get the full report.

When I see blurred text on a website, I generally open the dev tools to check if the effect is applied using the CSS filter function blur (filter function). On this website, this is the case:

So, you can simply uncheck both filter properties to remove the blur effect:

The text is now readable:

However, the "subscribe" button is still visible. Let's add a new CSS rule to hide all of them:

I can now take advantage of the full report without paying.


If you want people paying for your service, use an actual protection. If the HTML contains the content you want them to pay for this is clearly not a good protection. In this case, you could replace the actual content with fake text, so even if you change the CSS the content is meaningless. You can also replace the text with a blurry image.

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