There are a couple of reasons why one might want to make their WordPress site private. Regardless of your motivation is, this is a common practice, which is very easy to achieve.
When talking about WordPress privacy, there are a couple of ways to go about it. You can either make a single post private or close your site to the public altogether.
In this article, you will learn how to make a WordPress site private.
Why Make Your Site Private on the Web?
You might wonder why would someone want to make a private site. Well, there are quite a lot of reasons!
For example, maybe your blog is a diary used to rant about something. You might be okay with your friends reading it, but surely wouldn’t want your boss to see it, right?
Regardless of the content you post, you might want to make all or some of the content private. This can be very useful if you’re aiming to create a membership website with paid articles. This way only the people who purchased the access can see your content.
Some people also like to use such websites as a development playground. You can make a private WordPress website and play around with the code, without any fear of unwanted visitors.
If you’re looking for ways to hide your site, keep on reading!
Is It Really Hidden?
Even though we use the concept hidden, website or posts are not entirely invisible. For WordPress, hidden means limiting those posts for specific users.
There are lots of user roles in WordPress. They are:
- Administrator. Someone who has complete control over a site – from installing plugins to editing posts, they can do pretty much anything. They can also see private content.
- Editor. This allows others to edit posts and pages. However, it prevents them from performing more technical tasks like installing plugins, for example. Editors can see private posts too.
- Author. True to their name, authors can create and publish posts. However, they can only edit their posts and have no access to private content.
- Contributor. It is similar to an author role, however, contributors cannot publish content.
- Subscriber. Can only log in to your website and see your content.
Since administrators and editors can see your private content, you should choose them wisely.
Activating the Private Feature on WordPress
Now that we have established what “private” means in WordPress, let’s talk about how you can handle WordPress privacy.
Private WordPress Post
The first option is to make individual posts private.
Go to WordPress dashboard and click All Posts. Hover on the post you want to edit, and then click on Quick Edit. You can also click Edit and find the Visibility section.
Note that the step above is for published posts. For a new post, you need to find the Visibility section on the right.
You have two options to hide your post – Private and Password Protected.
If you choose Private, only administrators and editors will be able to see your post.
When you tick the selection, a prompt will ask you if you want to make the post private or not. Just press Yes, and you’re done!
If you look at the page as an administrator or editor, the page will look like this:
Notice how there is the word “Private” before your post’s title? However, if you’re not an administrator or editor, a missing page error will be shown:
When you press Password Protected, a new bar will appear at the bottom for your password.
After choosing your password, click Update. You’ll see the Password Protected indication when the process is done.
Now, only people who have the password will be able to see the post.
That’s pretty neat, isn’t it?
Private WordPress Site
Some people might wonder how to make their entire WordPress site private. After all, there is no built-in setting for it.
However, you can make the entire site private using plugins. One of the best plugins to use is My Private Site by David Gewirtz.
If you set your website to private, search engines won’t be able to find your website.
Here are the steps to install this plugin:
- Click on Plugins, then go to Add New. Find the My Private Site plugin, install and activate it.
- Go to Settings -> Private Site.
- Tick the Private Site option under the Make Private Site section.
- Press Save Changes and you’re done!
If you want, you can add other users to access your website too. You need to add them as administrators, though.
Adding new users is not hard – just go to Users, and then Add New. Fill in the form about the new user.
Make sure to set the role as Administrator. Press Add New User when you are done.
That’s a Wrap!
Turns out that making WordPress private is not hard! Do keep in mind that some users will still be able to see your content, so manage their roles accordingly.
Here are some steps to make your WordPress private:
- Make your posts private – check the Visibility option to Private or Password-protected under Edit or Quick Edit of your posts.
- Make your entire website private – use My Private Site plugin to make all of your website closed to the public.
- Add new users – add them by going to Users and Add New in your dashboard.
Now you don’t need to worry about how to make your content private. Good luck!