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I have a password protected page which I recently was asked by my client to change the password. The password protection is done from the WordPress dashboard by using the Status and visibility option from Page-> PageName -> Edit option and selecting Visibility: Password Protected and editing the password. The previous password had worked fine for many months but once I changed the password, the new password was not accepted. I keep getting the prompt for the password no matter how many times I enter the correct password.

Cache busting or a clue?

Interestingly if I add a cache busting querystring like ?a=0 to the end of the protected page's URL, I am let in! What's up with that? Does the page/WordPress know that I previously entered the correct password?

With WordPress, does the user need to enter the password each time they visit the password protected page or only the first?

Here are the installed plugins:

Akismet Anti-Spam

Activate | Delete Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep. To get started: activate the Akismet plugin and then go to your Akismet Settings page to set up your API key.

Version 4.1.4 | By Automattic | View details

Aweber Forms by Optin Cat

Add New Optin Form | Support | Deactivate Aweber Optin Cat Helps You Get More Email Subscribers. Create Beautiful Campaign Monitor Opt-In Forms In Less Than 2 Minutes.

Version 2.4.1 | By Fatcat Apps | View details

BackWPup Pro

Deactivate WordPress Backup Plugin

Version 3.7.0 | By Inpsyde GmbH | Visit plugin site | Documentation

Beaver Builder Plugin (Agency Version) Activate | Delete A drag and drop frontend WordPress page builder plugin that works with almost any theme!

Version 2.3.0.2 | By The Beaver Builder Team | Visit plugin site

Boxzilla

Deactivate Call-To-Action Boxes that display after visitors scroll down far enough. Unobtrusive, but highly conversing!

Version 3.2.22 | By ibericode | View details

Contact Form 7

Settings | Deactivate Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.

Version 5.1.7 | By Takayuki Miyoshi | View details

Easy Google Fonts

Settings | Deactivate A simple and easy way to add google fonts to your WordPress theme.

Version 1.4.4 | By Titanium Themes | View details

Easy Media Download

Activate | Delete Easily embed download buttons for your digital media files

Version 1.1.4 | By naa986 | View details

Elementor

Settings | Deactivate The most advanced frontend drag & drop page builder. Create high-end, pixel perfect websites at record speeds. Any theme, any page, any design.

Version 2.9.8 | By Elementor.com | View details | Docs & FAQs | Video Tutorials

Elementor Pro

Deactivate Elementor Pro brings a whole new design experience to WordPress. Customize your entire theme: header, footer, single post, archive and 404 page, all with one page builder.

Version 2.9.3 | By Elementor.com | Visit plugin site | View details | Changelog

Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Activate | Delete The best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. See how visitors find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back.

Version 7.10.4 | By MonsterInsights | View details

Hello Dolly

Deactivate This is not just a plugin, it symbolizes the hope and enthusiasm of an entire generation summed up in two words sung most famously by Louis Armstrong: Hello, Dolly. When activated you will randomly see a lyric from Hello, Dolly in the upper right of your admin screen on every page.

Version 1.7.2 | By Matt Mullenweg | View details

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Activate | Delete Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.

Version 8.4.2 | By Automattic | View details

ManageWP - Worker

Activate | Delete We help you efficiently manage all your WordPress websites. Updates, backups, 1-click login, migrations, security and more, on one dashboard. This service comes in two versions: standalone ManageWP service that focuses on website management, and GoDaddy Pro that includes additional tools for hosting, client management, lead generation, and more.

Version 4.9.6 | By GoDaddy | View details

Master Slider

Deactivate Master Slider is the most advanced responsive HTML5 WordPress slider plugin with touch swipe navigation that works smoothly on devices too.

Version 3.5.8 | By averta | View details

MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress

Activate | Delete Mailchimp for WordPress by ibericode. Adds various highly effective sign-up methods to your site.

Version 4.7.6 | By ibericode | View details

MOJO Marketplace

Activate | Delete This plugin adds shortcodes, widgets, and themes to your WordPress site.

Version 1.5 | By Mike Hansen

One Click Demo Import

Deactivate Import your content, widgets and theme settings with one click. Theme authors! Enable simple demo import for your theme demo data.

Version 2.5.2 | By ProteusThemes | View details

OptinMonster API

Deactivate OptinMonster is the best WordPress popup plugin that helps you grow your email list and sales with email popups, exit intent popups, floating bars and more!

Version 1.9.6 | By OptinMonster Team | View details

Pro WP Limit Login Attempts

Settings | Deactivate Limit rate of login attempts and block ip temporarily . It is protecting from brute force attack.

Version 2.6.3 | By Arshid | Visit plugin site

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

Deactivate Small and fast plugin to display in the sidebar a list of linked titles and thumbnails of the most recent postings

Version 6.7.0 | By Martin Stehle | View details

Riddle Quiz Maker

Deactivate Create 14 types of quizzes, personality tests, surveys, and more on Riddle.com - then use our plug-in to easily embed them into any page or post.

Version 4.2.0 | By Riddle Technologies AG | View details

Smush

Settings | Docs | Upgrade | Deactivate Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API.

Version 3.6.1 | By WPMU DEV | View details | Rate Smush | Support | Roadmap

Sucuri Security - Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening

Activate | Delete The Sucuri plugin provides the website owner the best Activity Auditing, SiteCheck Remote Malware Scanning, Effective Security Hardening and Post-Hack features. SiteCheck will check for malware, spam, blacklisting and other security issues like .htaccess redirects, hidden eval code, etc. The best thing about it is it's completely free.

Version 1.8.24 | By Sucuri Inc. | View details

W3 Total Cache

Activate | Delete The highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.

Version 0.13.2 | By BoldGrid | View details

WooCommerce

Activate | Delete An eCommerce toolkit that helps you sell anything. Beautifully.

Version 3.9.1 | By Automattic | View details

WooCommerce Blocks

Activate | Delete WooCommerce blocks for the Gutenberg editor.

Version 2.5.11 | By Automattic | View details

WP File Manager

Buy Pro | Donate | Deactivate Manage your WP files.

Version 6.4 | By mndpsingh287 | View details

WP Retina 2x

Deactivate Make your website look beautiful and crisp on modern displays by creating + displaying retina images.

Version 5.6.0 | By Jordy Meow | View details

WPForms

Activate | Delete Beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. Use our Drag & Drop form builder to create your WordPress forms.

Version 1.5.6.2 | By WPForms | Visit plugin site

WPForms AWeber

Activate | Delete AWeber integration with WPForms.

Version 1.2.0 | By WPForms | Visit plugin site

WPForms Conversational Forms

Activate | Delete Create Conversational Forms with WPForms.

Version 1.3.0 | By WPForms | Visit plugin site

WPForms Form Abandonment

Activate | Delete Form abandonment lead capture with WPForms.

Version 1.2.0 | By WPForms | Visit plugin site

WPForms Surveys and Polls

Activate | Delete Create Surveys and Polls with WPForms.

Version 1.4.0 | By WPForms | Visit plugin site

  • A quick tip for getting great answers: Many experts are busy people. Help them get to all the facts as soon as possible (without asking follow up questions such as "how does this password system of yours work?") and you will get many more answers. Check our guide to asking good questions if you need to. – Matthew Brown aka Lord Matt Jun 10 at 9:24
  • @MatthewBrownakaLordMatt I updated the description of the problem. I described how the password is set using the built-in WordPress functionality and added a list of the installed plugins. – DaveB Jun 11 at 18:12
  • Caching is, to me anyway, clearly the issue. If the caching plugin does not have a method to clear the stored page then you'll need to wait for it to expire. Depending on your hosting environment, there may be additional caches to clear. – jdm2112 Jun 11 at 18:39
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RESOLVED!

See that Sucuri plugin?

The DNS for my site points to a Sucuri server which does caching.

I logged into the Sucuri site and added an exclusion for the WordPress password protected page to the caching setup using the UI. Now the new password works and the page behaves as expected. No cache busting required.

The login page posts to a PHP file which hashes the entered password, stores it in a cookie and sets its expiration date to 10 days in the future so you can visit the password protected page for 10 days until you will be prompted for the password again. This is assuming that you are accessing the page from the same device and browser.

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