Settings

Settings » Privacy Settings

Your site’s Privacy settings control who can view your site, allowing you to make the site public, private, or “Coming Soon”. This guide explains each setting you can use on your site.

Table of Contents

Launch Your Site

Launching your site means you are ready to share it with the world. To launch your site, go to Settings General and click the Launch site button. If you do not see this button, it means your site has already been launched. To un-launch it, use the Privacy settings described in the next section of this guide to change it to Coming Soon.

The Launch Site button is shown.

Before launching your site, you must verify the email address you used to sign up for your account. If you did not receive the verification email in your inbox, make sure to check your spam and junk mail folders. You can also resend the verification email from the notice under Settings → General.

Privacy - Confirm your Email

Once you have verified your email address, you can launch your site.

Find the Privacy Settings

To access your site’s privacy options:

  1. Visit your site’s dashboard.
  2. Go to Settings → General.
  3. Scroll down to the Privacy section*

* Do not confuse this with Settings → Privacy on a plugin-enabled site, which is used for creating a privacy policy.

Settings selected in the options

The Privacy settings look like this:

The Privacy section of Settings  → General with the "Private" option selected.

The three options are explained in the following sections:

Coming Soon

To give you time to create your site before you officially launch it, new sites are set as Coming Soon by default. New visitors will see a landing page letting people know that a site is being built. You don’t need to worry about your unfinished site being viewed before you’re ready.

A blue screen with the text "My WordPress Site" and a larger text that says "Coming Soon". At the bottom of the blue screen there is a WordPress logo and the message "Build a Website. Sell your stuff. Write a blog. And so much more." next to the message are two buttons labeled Log in and Start your website.
If someone visits your site address before you’ve launched your site, this is what they will see.

If you have a plugin-enabled site and do not see the Coming Soon setting, ensure the WordPress.com Editing Toolkit plugin is active on your site. You can also install an Under Construction or Maintenance plugin to design your own custom ‘Coming Soon’ page.

This section of the guide applies to sites with the WordPress.com Business or Ecommerce plan.

With Preview Links, you can generate a unique preview link for your WordPress.com site, allowing your team or clients to access the Coming Soon site without having to log in. This way, you can easily show off your work-in-progress and get feedback from your stakeholders without having to resend invites, update user roles, or reset passwords.

Your site has to be either unlaunched or in Coming Soon mode for this feature to appear. To create a preview link, follow the below steps:

  1. Visit your dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Settings → General.
    • For a site that has not been launched yet, locate the Launch site section.
    • For a site that has already been launched, locate the Privacy section and ensure the site is in Coming Soon mode.
  3. Generate the link by clicking on Enable site preview link toggle button:
The privacy settings are shown with the "enable site preview link" option switched on.
  1. Click the Copy button to copy the preview link and share it with anyone you would like.

Public

This is the setting used by most sites. It allows everyone to see your site and enables your site to be included in search engine results and other content sites.

Discourage search engines from indexing this site

If you want all human visitors to be able to see your site but don’t want your site to appear in search engines, this option will block most web crawlers for search engines. Please note, however, that not all search engines respect this setting.

Private

Select this option to make your site private. If you want specific people to be able to view it (and add comments if you’ve enabled them), you’ll need to invite them.

View a Private Site

After marking your site as private, visitors will see a “Private Site” page if they’re not logged into the WordPress.com account they created when you invited them.

If you’d like to add people to a private site, please follow the invitation instructions on this page. All users added to a private site must have a WordPress.com account. Logging into a WordPress.com account ensures that only those people you’ve authorized can view your site.

Private Site message displayed on sites set as private
This is what someone sees when they attempt to visit a site marked Private

A visitor can request access to a private site by clicking on the “request access” link when attempting to visit a private site while logged into their WordPress.com account. The site owner will receive a notification that the visitor wants to view the site, and it will be up to the site owner to approve or decline the request.

Change a Site with Followers from Public To Private

If your site is public, but you’d like to make it private, you can change the settings to private at any time by following these instructions. To follow a private site, someone must first be invited.

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