How (and Why) to Create a Private Post in WordPress

A WordPress website is a wonderful place to share your content with the world. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want this kind of exposure for everything you create. You may have some posts that you’d rather limit to certain users – or even just to yourself. 

Fortunately, WordPress has a built-in feature to help you create private posts. By understanding how to wield this setting, you can have maximum control over who can view and edit the content on your website.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few reasons why you might want to create private posts in WordPress. Then, we’ll show you two different methods for doing so. Let’s dive right in! 

Why You Might Want to Create a Private Post in WordPress

Private WordPress posts enable you to control access to your content. They determine a person’s ability to interact with an article based on their user role:

  • Admins can create, edit, and delete any private post by any user
  • Editors can create, edit, and delete any private post by any user
  • Authors can only create, edit, and delete their own private posts

Visitors who don’t fall into these categories – such as subscribers – won’t even be able to view private posts. 

If you do want some visitors to be able to view private posts, you should set these posts up as password protected instead. Method 2 below outlines this process.

But Why Would You Want To?

Limiting the content that your audience can see might seem counterintuitive. Still, there are actually a few ways that restricting posts can come in handy.

For example, let’s say that private content is a vital part of your website. This may be the case for a personal journaling website where users don’t interact with each other. Using private posts is one of the easiest ways to ensure that individuals can only read and edit their own work.

Additionally, private posts can help you create gated content. With the help of password protection, you can publish work that’s only available to hand-picked users. Thus, they’re a straightforward way to create exclusive content if you run a membership website

Nevertheless, these kinds of posts don’t just have to serve audiences. For example, suppose you’ve created a blog for internal business purposes. In that case, limited access based on user roles can ensure that sensitive information is only available to those approved to view it. Therefore, using private posts can maintain overall company security. 

Given all these possible applications, private posts can be impressive resources regardless of your niche. Learning how to use them can thus be a simple yet powerful way to add more value to your WordPress website.

How to Create a Private Post in WordPress (2 Methods)

There are two main ways to create private posts in WordPress. We recommend learning both of these methods, as they can help meet different needs.

Method 1: Create a Standard Private Post

Let’s start with a standard private post. It will automatically control access as determined by the user roles we discussed earlier.

First, create a new post. You can also edit an existing one if you like. Add whatever content you’d like to be private, then go over to the publishing module on the right-hand side. 

Find the Visibility option and click on the default Public setting:

At this point, you have three options: Public, Private, and Password Protected. For this method, we’ll be focusing on Private. Select that option. 

You’ll then see a pop-up confirming that you’d like to publish your post privately. Click on OK to complete the process:

This change will apply to your post page too. You can see this for yourself by going to Posts > All Posts:

If you look near the top of this page, you’ll also see a whole Private section. If you want to view all your restricted work in one place, you can click on this link to do so. 

Method 2: Create a Password Protected Post

Using user roles is a reliable way to limit access. However, you might want a more tightly controlled audience for some content. In that case, you can create a private post that only those with a predetermined password can view.

Start by creating a new post or editing an existing one. Access the visibility rules that we talked about in the first method. 

However, this time you’ll want to select Password Protected to access this option:

Enter your desired password in the box, keeping in mind that it must be under 20 characters. Afterward, users will need to fill in the credentials on the following screen to view the post correctly:

Once you submit the password, your browser should remember it. That means you’ll only need to enter it once. However, this principle only applies to a single password at a time – if you access a different post with a different password, you’ll need to reenter the first one. 

Wrapping It Up

WordPress websites can be powerful communication tools. However, that doesn’t mean you need to make every piece of your content available to the general public. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that. By creating private posts, you can tightly control who has access to your work.

In this article, we showed you two ways to create private posts:

  1. Create a standard private post with access determined by user roles.
  2. Create a password-protected post for more precise limitations and to allow visitors who know the password to view the post.

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