WordPress Blog Post Publish Options: Draft, Private, Password-Protected 4

Blog Post Statuses and Visibility


Yesterday a few new WordPress users (beginners class) asked me about the “Status” and “Visibility” options when writing a post. Good question! This important aspect of publishing your posts in WordPress sometimes goes overlooked.

I suspect most of us write out our thoughts and then give it a review before clicking the “Publish” button. Maybe you even use the “Save Draft” option, like I do, and have numerous partially-written posts in limbo on your Dashboard. No? Just me?

Check out these workflow options and post visibility options that WordPress allows. You may find them indispensable, too. These options are located in that “Publish” box to the left of your writing window when you’re not in fullscreen mode. Here’s what you need to know.

Status: Draft = An unpublished page or post that you plan to get back to at some point. Eventually. Maybe. Use this for jotting down ideas that need further research or if you are waiting for the outcome of the game before you rave about your team. Or your cat refuses to let you get to your keyboard (Only me? Really?) No one sees the Draft except you (and other users with Editor or above privileges, if you are collaborating). From here, you can work on your post another time, put it in “Pending Review” status, “Publish” it or, of course, trash it.

Status: Pending Review = a post in this status is simply put in another folder much like a draft. If you have a collaborator on your site, you might use this for their review or to check SEO before you publish. Maybe your photographer adds photos and this is a good bucket for them to use. Some themes used to flag a “Pending Review” post, but I have yet to see that on a theme in the latest WordPress 3.8.1. I like the separate option better anyway.

Status: Published = You have clicked the “Publish” button and it’s out there on the net. Who sees it now is a matter of “Visibility” which is located just under Status.

Visibility: Public = The blog post is visible to everyone who uses the site; the default and most used setting. The option to “Stick this post to the front page” does exactly that, but only on those sites where you have enabled “Show Posts” on your front page rather than a “Show a Static page.” (This is option is in Settings > Reading and is set by an Administrator.)

Caution: If you are using the WordPress blog post subscription service that comes with JetPack or any plugin that allows your new post to go immediately to your subscribers, keep this in mind. When you click “Publish” they see that particular version of your post. Changing the “Visibility” after you publish does not remove the post from their inbox. It simply changes what happens when they click your post to view on the web. Don’t frustrate your readers, people.

Visibility: Password protected = The general public will see that there is a post, and see its title, but they cannot see the content of the post. A password box is offered to them for access. This is great for creating a members-only area for a small group (for larger group access and features, check out BuddyPress) or for limited access for clients, friends, etc. It’s only as secure as those who hold the password keep it. You can change the password, of course; just notify those concerned.

Visibility: Private = The post is only visible to authorized users with editor or above permissions (or, of course, whatever you set up if you use a plugin for that). That means YOU will not even see it if you are not logged in.

Happy Posting!




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4 thoughts on “WordPress Blog Post Publish Options: Draft, Private, Password-Protected

  • Geert ter Horst

    How to change the status of a blogpost from “privately publish” to public? The only alternatives are offered in the window that opens are “draft”, “pending review” or “scheduled”. The category of publicly publish is lacking and nowhere to find.

    • Valerie Post author

      Hi GtH, The options you see are the default options. You can see more options by clicking on “Edit” to the right of these. In your case, to go from “Public” to “Private,” click “Edit” opposite the “Visibility” option. From there you can choose “Private.” Be sure to click “Update!”

      This is for WordPress 4.1. Make sure you keep WordPress updated. I will change the graphic to match soon.