How to Make a WordPress Blog Private

Protect a WordPress Blog or Specific Blog Posts Only

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Creating a Private Blog with WordPress.com

It's easy to create a blog using WordPress.com and make that blog private so only you or only a select group of people that you identify can read it. Simply navigate to the Settings section of your WordPress dashboard, and select the Privacy link. In the Privacy Settings page, select the radio button for "I would like to make my blog private, visible only to users I choose."

You can then invite people to your blog by navigating to the Users section of your WordPress dashboard, selecting the Invite Users link, and completing the form to invite people to view your private blog. Be sure to select the Viewer user role, so they can only read your blog, not make any edits to it. They'll receive an email instructing them to click a button to accept the invitation. Once they accept their invitations, they can view your blog when they're logged into their WordPress.com accounts.

Creating a Private Blog with WordPress.org

If you use the self-hosted WordPress application from WordPress.org, then the process to create a private blog isn't as simple. There are some WordPress plugins that can help. For example, the Friends Only plugin or the Private WP Suite plugin keeps your blog content and RSS feed content private.

It's also a good idea to navigate to the Settings section of your WordPress dashboard and click the Privacy link to modify settings related to your blog's visibility to search engines, too.

Simply select the radio button next to "Ask search engines not to index this site," and be sure to click the Save Changes button. Note that selecting this setting doesn't guarantee that search engines won't index your site. It's up to each search engine to honor the request.

Creating a Private Blog Post

If you only want to make specific blog posts private rather than your entire WordPress blog, you can do that by modifying the Visibility settings within the Post Editor.

Simply log into your WordPress account and create your post as you normally would. In the Publish module (usually to the right of the text editor in the post editor screen), click the Edit link beneath the Visibility: Public setting. Three options are revealed. You can keep the post set to the default setting of Public, or you can select the radio button next to Password Protected or the radio button next to Private.

If you select the Private radio buttonĀ and then click the Publish button, your post will only be visible to people who are logged into your WordPress dashboard whose user roles are Administrator or Editor.

When you choose the Password Protected radio button, a text box is revealed where you can type in your chosen password. Simply enter your password, click the Publish button to publish your post to your live blog, and that post will not be visible to your blog visitors. Only people that you provide the password to will be able to view that post. Keep in mind, only people with the Administrator or Editor user roles or the post's author can change the post's password or visibility setting.

WordPress.org users can modify the text that appears in the protected post's password form or the text that appears in the post excerpt.

It's also possible to hide links to protected posts on your blog's home page, archives, and other places on your blog where they could appear. Advanced directions and code to do each of these things can be found in the Wordpress Codex Using Password Protection support documents.