Setting your posts – or entire blog – to private


January 14, 2009

If you’d like to make particular posts private or password protected, or have your whole blog only accessible to certain people, WordPress has options for you. Here’s how to go about it.

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Michael Pick 114


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72 Responses to “Setting your posts – or entire blog – to private”

  1. Dette

    How would it be possible to have the third option on a self hosted blog ( install)? Is there a plugin that does this exact thing: my blog to be invisible to users I choose?

  2. Tony Wildish

    thanks for the videos, I’ll be trawling them for info soon!

    my posts take me a long time to prepare, I rarely have the time to finish them in one go. What I would like is to have my posts set to be private by default, not public, so I can keep them hidden until they’re ready. If I forget to set a new post to private it will go out to the world before it’s ready, not good.

    I know I can set the publication-date to the future instead, but that is just the same problem in a different guise. Unless I remember to change something when I make a first draft of a post, it will be published prematurely.

    Any chance such a feature will appear sometime?

    • Michael Pick

      Thanks, Tony. If you save your post as a draft, you needn’t publish it until you’re ready. When you’re done for the time being, click Save Draft instead of the Publish button. You’ll then be able to access the draft from the “recent drafts” pane of your dashboard, or via the Posts> Edit menu.

  3. Mr. X

    Heres an idea. Why not put related videos on the same area. Or after main video is done at the end. In the video window.

  4. oripsolob

    I tried to make my entire blog private, but when the user tried to log in, they needed not only a login name but a password, too. Am I missing something? Do these users need to have WordPress accounts, and thus their own passwords?

    I am trying to create something private for my organization with the minimum amount of obstacles for access. All I want is a single password for everyone without having to create an account. Is this at all possible?

    • Michael Pick

      Your users would need to have accounts, as you can only invite other users to collaborate on/visit your private blog. For more information on privacy settings, there’s an entry in our support section.

      • jeffsf

        This is critical information that is completely missing from the any of the documentation, as far as I can tell. I’ve spent an hour looking for this info. Glad to have it, but more helpful to have it in the privacy docs.

        Jeff Byers

  5. Tony Wildish

    Hi Michael,

    Oops, I guess if it’s that easy I should have read the documentation first :-/ Kudos to you for not just telling me to go away and read it, thank you!

  6. Michael


    The third option under privacy settings that would make the whole blog private isn’t there. Only the first two options show.

    Please help.

  7. Margaret Week

    My present, and only blog, is not private, but with all the features WordPress has, I am considering this possibility — after I get in the groove of my public blog. Thank you for your thoughts.

  8. Bonnie Woolley

    Is WordPressTV meant for users only, then?? If so, that should be made clear; if not, there should be some kind of icon system so we’ll know which videos apply to which platform…

  9. Chris

    Is there any form for non wordpress visitors to register for a userid & password to view my blog? Key word “maintenance free” on my part.

    • Michael Pick

      Hi Chris. You could direct any user to sign up at – so long as you then add their username to the list of people allowed access (assuming you’ve set it to private), they’ll be able to view it. It’s also possible to send out an invitation to sign up right from your blog’s Users menu.

  10. Meadow S.

    Want to allow posters to post video or pictures with their comments. Is that possible? I see I can post my own.

  11. mike


    In old versions of wordpress I was able to make a post both private AND password protected, can I still do this in 2.7?


  12. john

    Hi Michael,

    I am aware of this feature and how they can get access to the blog, but I’m wondering if there are any future plans to present them with a screen that is not just the login form. I think that some users might not understand that they need a WordPress account to login or that I as the admin need to explicitly add their accounts to allow access.

    It would be nice if they could request access somehow. A small CAPTCHA protected form or perhaps allowing the blog owner to specify a bounce page that viewers are redirected to.

    I’m curious if this kind of request has ever been considered or if there is another workaround that have the same basic behaviour.


  13. jaffasoft

    This is no good as i will have lots of members and do not want to manually add users. Plus i dont see that it should be a charged service for more since this is a free WordPress. But still i would not pay because i can not just click and all users are automatically added! It’s close to what i want though.
    This is feedback to hopefully help developers improve it :).

  14. Neil

    I am confused – please help…

    I am in the process of setting up a family Blog which I only want extended family members to see. I have followed all of the above guidelines. I solely want my family members to view the Blog and not be able to post etc, so I would like to add them as “Subscribers”. My problem is that, for some reason, I do not appear to have that option in my drop-down set. My only options are “Contributor”, “Administrator”, “Editor” and “Author”. None of these are appropriate as they all allow the reader to have extended access.

    I am using the free service if that helps…

    Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

    • Neil

      … it’s okay, I have worked it out!

      Thanks anyway.

      • Michael Pick

        Hi Neil – sounds like you worked it out, but if anyone else has this problem: by adding users to your private blog (see the support post about this) you enable them as readers only. To add them as actual contributors, you’ll need to go through the Users > Add New Users menu (support content here).

        • Jeff Byers


          I think a lot of confusion comes from the fact that there are two separate places to create “users.” One is to create a list of allowed readers. Another is to create collaborators with various levels of editorial or administrative control. Calling them both users and putting the controls in different places, with no mention in either place of the other kind of users is bound to lead to confusion. Neil is not alone. I struggled with this for a long time. It would seem sensible to put all permissions set-up in one place. Ideally that would be where the three levels of collaboration are now. There would be a fourth, lower, level called “readers” or “viewers.” I think doing this would save your constituents a lot of time, would help engender positive feelings toward WordPress (which, by the way, you all deserve, for putting such a great tool on the web for free), and would save you and your colleagues a lot of explanation time.

          Jeff Byers

  15. Griff Wigley

    Hi Michael,

    If the blog is NOT sitting on the home page of the site, how can I password-protect it?

    I tick the checkbox for the password protection on the ‘blog page’ but it doesn’t work.

    My installation is sitting one level down from root.

  16. Rebekah

    I want to make it so I can give one name and password out to many people so they can just log in before they see my account. Don’t want everyone to have to sign up for WordPress. Is this possible, and if not, is there a blog that I can use that it is possible?


    • Michael Pick

      Hi Rebekah, for security reasons and issues of ownership, it would be better to have people sign up for their own accounts. Especially if you give them any editing rights, as this could lead to problems otherwise. You could plausibly create an account yourself and give the details to anyone you wanted – but this is definitely not recommended. If you’d like further control over your blog (beyond the capabilities of the one you have on, you might want to consider self hosting your own WordPress blog rather than using the service.

  17. amisimms

    Is there any way to have 200+ individuals, each with their own username and password that I select, be able to access posts I create (only)and have them alerted to new posts through an RSS feed? Private? Password Protected? WHAT?! So very confused….

    • Michael Pick

      For 200+ individuals, you can upgrade to “Unlimited Private Users” from the upgrades tab of your blog (for self-hosted blogs you wouldn’t need to upgrade). You can set your blog to private, but private blogs aren’t able to send out RSS notifications. See this forum entry for more information. If you’re self-hosting there are plugin solutions to this problem (setting up private RSS feeds) – running a search from the plugins browser of a self-hosted blog for “private feed” “private RSS” etc

  18. TBrowne

    Hi. Like the others I am having my blog be private and just for a certain group. What I can’t determine is whether I still need to mark each post as private or does making the blog private mean that I leave the individual posts as public?
    Thanks for any help.

    • Michael Pick

      If your blog is set to private, members have to log in to read it. Anyone trying to read the blog will just see a login screen at your URL – all of the content is hidden.

  19. John Morehead

    If I’m setting up a blog as private for invited-only users, is it a problem to use a template (Regulus) which has RSS feed buttons. I wonder if it would be possible for an invited user to enable the RSS feed on another site, thereby the supposedly “private” posts are publicly fed? Thanks for any advice.

  20. Grey Group

    I have just read all of this and very very confused. I want to create a company blog that only staff members can see. I dont want to ask them to have to set up their own wordpress page. Its hard enough getting them to go to the blog, let alone creating that kind of barrier. I have read all the above posts and still dont understand how to simply, make my blog private and allow staff members to add blog entries, comment etc. It is for internal comms only. The i want to add an RSS feed in Outlook that will link back to the blog. Help!!

    • Michael Pick

      It’s possible to sign up for a account without setting up a blog of your own – this is an option in the 1-2 minute sign-up process – all that’s really needed here is an email address, username and password. Having an account is required is for security and liability purposes. If you’re running a self-installed version of WordPress there are various plugins that allow you to create member-only sites – run a search in your plugin browser for “members” and you’ll be presented with some options here.

  21. MArk

    Thanks. Good article

  22. karolyn

    Hi. I would like to make my blog viewable to the public, but make individual posts password protected. However, it seems that by setting the main page to public, and the posts to protected, it makes everything protected and no one can view it at all, not even the main page. How do I resolve this?

  23. karolyn

    Hi. Another note on my above post. I’ve already tried setting the entire blog to public in settings but it makes everything viewable, even the posts I have set as password protected. I just thought I should mention this since the instructional video says that it will resolve my issue… but it doesn’t.

  24. karolyn

    It’s hosted at

  25. Amanda H

    Is there a way to lock my pictures so no one is able to copy them off of my blog? I don’t want to go private because it will be such a pain for people to log-on to view my blog, but don’t like others trying to copy pictures of my kid and do things like putting your kid up for adoption on craigslist (in the news).

    Are you working on creating an easier way like blogger has setup for people to view a private wordpress blog?
    Thanks for your help

    • Ryan Markel

      There’s a good forum thread here on the topic of images and protecting them. The short answer is that it doesn’t matter what you do to try and protect them; images that are publicly viewable on the web can pretty easily be copied or duplicated if someone wants to do so.

      If you’re interested in seeing different privacy settings on, the best place for you to indicate that is on those same forums. There’s a forum dedicated to ideas and suggestions for

  26. Caluca Tolo

    Nothing will protect your images, no plugin beats a combo of PrintScreen (key on your keyboard) and some basic photoshop skills.

    be careful what images you publish. that’s all…

  27. Was interested reader

    This post and article might be useful if it weren’t for the immovable ad that blocks pretty much 1/4 of the entire screen! I can’t even figure out how to get rid of the bloody ad! Talk about worthless clickthrough ads.

  28. sarashahriari

    Great video. Thanks for the help!

  29. sureforexsystem

    Great video but people going to my private blog are asked for a password as a well as a username. Where do I set this password

  30. Judy Test

    I want my entire blog to be private except for the users I choose. I added a user and they still can not view my blog???

  31. Srinidhi

    I have installed wordpress 2.9.1 on my site. I would like to limit content access to selected users only. This privacy option doesn’t seem to be there.

    • Ryan Markel

      The privacy option you see in this video is available on only. If you’d like to have this kind of option on a self-hosted blog, you should be able to find any one of a number of plugins in the directory that will help you with this.

  32. manydrums

    How do I take a username off my list of users who can see my blog?

  33. sandiejan

    after reading all the above I’m still confused,I’m trying to set my blog to be private and give access to only few ppl to read, I followed the video went to “privacy setting” choose the last option, and “add Used” and it only allowed me to add 2 names there??
    also after i add their names, how can they read my blog? will they need my permission again ?

  34. Alex

    Is there an easy way to create a WordPress blog that is for CEO to Employee communications only (where the company employees are the ONLY people who can view this blog) and no one without a company email address can see it?

    Or does it require some special Microsoft Hosted Exchange development work? And if so, how much?

    Isn’t there a simple plug-in that could do this (and ensure only company emails work for logging into it?)

    • Michael Pick

      In it’s as simple as setting your blog to private and inviting users by email from the Settings > Privacy menu.

      For a self hosted solution (including behind the firewall), you can add similar functionality by searching for a plugin from the Plugins> Add New menu that will give you the same effect. One option I’ve used in the past is the “Members Only” plugin which should do what you’re looking to.

  35. Navigator556

    Quick and simple, good video.

  36. doradueck

    When a blog has gone to private, does pre-private-content still come up? I can’t tell because when I’m logged into my own computer I still see everything. In other words, is there a way to take a blog off the internet completely without the final step of removing it completely, also from Google search? Thanks in advance.

  37. David

    There is no Privacy option in my “Setting” and I am logged in as the Super Admin account! Is it possible that one of the installed plugins has removed that from the options!?

  38. susannah99

    same here, there is no privacy in my settings. but really I would like to know how to either create another blog/post page that I can password protect or put a password on the entire blog, I would like to have it just on the blog page but I will do the other way if I have to. Thank you!

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