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How to Make WordPress Private & When You Should Do This

How to Make WordPress Private & When You Should Do This

At present, more and more webmasters are looking to set up a private or partially private WordPress website, with which they can share the content to their designated readers only instead of the whole public. Here, if you want to privatize your online platform that is based on WordPress, you can check the following parts to learn the detailed steps about how to make WordPress private.

When You Need to Privatize Your WordPress Site

In fact, there are a lot of reasons for you to do so. We simply list some common situations as below.

  • You want to have a private diary online that will not be shared to any other people.
  • You want to share something personal to your relatives and friends, such as the photos of wedding events, family events and babies.
  • You want to showcase some advanced contents to readers who are registered to your website only.
  • Your website is under construction, so can only be checked by you and other contributors.
  • Your website is about the special project so you only want to grant the access to your team.

How to Make WordPress Partially Private

If you only want to prevent the public to check some of your posts or pages but not the entire website, you can leverage the default feature of WordPress for content visibility.

Note that the controlling of visibility for your posts and pages can only be decided from the editing screen on the individual basis. This means you need to do this in a manual way, and privatize the posts one by one.

When entering the editing page, you can find a special Publish box from the top-right section of the whole screen. Here, you can find the Visibility setting. Simply click the Edit button to open the drop-down menu.

Visibility Setting

Now, you are allowed to choose from three options for this aspect – Public, Password Protected and Private. The Public option allows your content to be visible to the whole world as soon as it is posted.

As for the Password Protected option, it allows you to set up a special password and to showcase your content only to those who have the password. In this case, when people check your content, they can merely find the title and the password prompt.

Password Protected Post
The last option is Private. If you choose this one, your content can only be checked by you and some other users who have the permission to see the private posts and pages.

Here, it is clearly that you can choose either the Password Protected option or the Private option to privatize your website partially. In addition, we highly recommend you to control the user permissions of Editor and Administrator, for users who have these two roles can check, modify and publicize your private content from WordPress admin.

How to Make WordPress Completely Private

In fact, if you want to make your entire site private, your first option is to start a registration system and turn your site into a membership one. In this case, only your website members can access your website. Or, you can choose to use the My Private Site plugin. With it, you can restrict your whole site from being viewed by the public, but can be checked by registered readers who already log in.

To use it, you firstly need to install this plugin and configure it from the Settings tab. After clicking the Private Site button, you need to set up 5 aspects in total.

Make Website Private

Even if this plugin is activated, the private function is currently disabled. Therefore, you need to check the box for Private Site to make your site completely private.

Make Website Private

Allow Registration On the Own

As readers must get registered and logged in to view your website, you need to allow the self-registrations for all the common visitors. For this, you should go through two steps.

  • Go to the General Settings of WordPress to enable the registration function and decide the default user role to Subscriber.
  • Go back to the plugin setting page and scroll down to the Allow Self-Restriction area. Here, you should tick two boxes for Membership and Revel Restriction Page.

Allow Self-Restriction

Decide the Landing Location

Now, you need to decide the exact webpage your visitors can check after the successful login. Here, you can bring them to your homepage, to the WordPress administrative panel and to the same URL before they log into your site. Even, you can decide a special URL as the landing location.

Personally, the “Return to same URL” option is highly recommended.

Landing Location

Determine the Custom Login

By default, the login URL of your WordPress site might be “yourdomin/wp-login.php” or “yourdomain/admin”. If you want to improve the admin security, you can determine the custom link for login.

Custom Login

Add the Visible Exclusions

By default, people who fail to log into your site can only check the login page once you privatize your site. To arouse people’s interests to register to your site, you’d better make the homepage visible to the public. Also, you can add additional visible URLs based on your preferences. Personally, the “Contact Us” and “About Us” pages are recommended to be made public.

Visible Exclusions

That’s it! You have already made your site private totally. If people enter your site without the successful login, they can only be presented with the below screenshot but not your valuable contents.

Private Site