Have you ever wanted to create a private blog?
A blog which is only seen to you or probably to only a selected few.
Who would not like to have such a private space.
Wondering how it is done?
First lets understand why an existing blogger may need to create a private blog post or an entire WordPress blog private.
If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably always trying to get more traffic to your website. However, sometimes you might have a specific situation where you want to go the other way and either make a single blog post (or page) private or make your entire blog private.
This can be helpful if you want to make a special page for only certain people (like members-only content) or if you just want a private place to share your thoughts. On a short-term basis, it’s also helpful for previewing content in a live environment without exposing your readers to content that you’re not ready to publish.
In this post, I’m going to share two different ways to make WordPress private. You’ll learn:
Let’s get started…
WordPress actually has the feature to make a post or page private in the core WordPress software. But to get the most from this feature, it helps to know a few tricks. I’ll discuss why in a second.
First, let’s go through the basic process of making a post private:
To access the privacy settings for a post or page:
Then, you have two options:
Below, I’m going to go through exactly how these two options function and share some helpful tricks you can use to make them more flexible.
When you select Password protected, you’ll get an option to enter your password:
The blog post will still show up on your blog archive list (that means anonymous visitors will still see it in the list), only now it will have Protected: display before the blog post’s title:
Anyone who clicks on the post will see a login page:
Only after entering the password can they see the post.
All in all, it’s pretty straightforward. But here’s one cool tip that not a lot of people know about:
If you make all the passwords on your private posts the same, a user can unlock all of those posts just by entering the password once. So once they enter the password on the first post, all the other posts will be available.
On the other hand, if you use different passwords, users will need to enter the password for each post with a different password.
Pretty cool, right?
By making the passwords the same (or different), you can easily make multiple posts private and still have detailed control over who has access.
If you choose to make a post or page Private instead of Password protected, then the only people who will be able to see the post are logged in users with the user role of Administrator or Editor:
Users who are logged in and have those user roles will be able to see the post. The only difference is that WordPress adds Private: in front of the post’s title (instead of Protected: like with the password example above):
Additionally, when you make a post Private, it will not show up in your blog archive page. Again, that’s another difference from password protection.
If someone tries to access the private post’s URL directly, they’ll see a standard 404 error page like this:
Like password protection, I have another neat trick for you to make this functionality more powerful:
If you want people other than administrators and editors to be able to see your private content, you can use a free plugin called User Role Editor to give them that ability.
For example, to let regular logged in users see private posts, you can:
Now, even your regular WordPress users will be able to see all of your private posts and pages (as long as they’re logged in).
Sometimes, you might want to go beyond individual posts and pages to make your entire WordPress site private.
In that case, you have a few options depending on your needs. If you:
My Private Site is the most general private site plugin, so that’s why I’m going to use it for this tutorial on how to make your entire WordPress site private.
Make sure you install and activate the plugin first.
To make your site private after activating the plugin:
At this point, your site is private. Anyone who isn’t already logged in will see the regular WordPress login page if they try to access any part of your site:
You should still configure a few additional settings to control how things function, though.
Next, scroll down to the Allow Self-Registration section and choose whether or not to let people create an account at your site:
In the Landing Location and Custom Login sections, you can:
If you still want to make some content on your site public, you can use the Visible Exclusions section to make:
Final Thoughts On Making WordPress Private
If you just need to make individual posts or pages private, the core WordPress functionality is helpful and, with some of the tricks shared above, pretty flexible too.
To make your entire site private, you’ll need a plugin. My Private Site provides a good general option. But for more specific uses, you might be better off using a membership plugin, maintenance plugin, or maybe even a learning management system.
Do you have any other questions about how to make WordPress private? Share in the comments and we will try to help.
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