What happens if I use Leaky Paywall as a hard paywall?
A hard paywall will generally cut your visitor traffic down to a fraction as it will block Google from crawling your article text, keep visitors from exploring your articles, and keep readers from sharing articles in social media.
You can set up Leaky as a hard paywall and let Google fully index every article (requires some custom coding). The new visitor would be blocked from the content and asked to subscribe.
With Leaky Paywall you can experiment, however, during peak traffic times with the paywall.
A lower meter setting will increase conversions, but at the same time may drive away readers as they get frustrated with the restriction. You should experiment with the setting and find the right balance.
As an example if you have the meter set to 2 free articles per month you can experiment with 1 free article as a first step and if you have a period of high traffic switch it to 0 (to lock all your content down as a hard paywall) for a short time.
With Leaky you can also create a hybrid paywall by locking down specific articles (article types or categories) for subscribers only as a strategy. If you are producing long form content that is premium and mixing in shorter free content, this strategy works well.
Just keep in mind a hard paywall will dramatically reduce the traffic to your site... most publishers are steering away from the locked down approach as their site traffic suffers too much.