Paywall

What Does Paywall Mean?

A paywall is a feature of a website or other technology that requires payment from users in order to access additional content or services. Paywalls are increasingly being used to restrict access to content on a website to those who pay for it.

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Paywalls represent a shift in terms of Web content, which has traditionally been free for users and paid for by advertising. However, as part of the flood of content from print media to the Web and mobile devices, the paywall has become an important tool for providing revenue flows to some businesses, especially news sites.

Techopedia Explains Paywall

Paywalls can vary in design. Some experts refer to "hard" or "soft" paywalls that are more or less restrictive to users. Some hard paywalls are set up so that users cannot gain any access to a site without payment. Soft paywalls, on the other hand, may allow for limited viewing free of charge.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.