How to Make Your WordPress Blog Completely Private

Do you want to make your WordPress blog completely private? Often we get requests from parents who want to use WordPress to share baby photos with friends and family. In this article, we will show you how to make your blog completely private. We will also cover how to create a private and password protected post in WordPress for those who want to have a public blog with a private area.

When and Who Needs a Private Blog?

  • A private WordPress blog is useful for sharing your family events, wedding photos, baby pictures, etc. with friends and family. See some of the best WordPress themes for family blogs for inspiration.
  • A private blog can be used as your own private diary or journal.
  • Teams working on projects can collaborate on a private blog.
  • An under construction website that is not yet fully ready for public viewing.
  • A classroom website can be made private and accessible only to registered students.

Video Tutorial

If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

Making a WordPress Blog Completely Private

First thing you need to do is install and activate the My Private Site plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation you need to visit Settings » Private Site page to configure the plugin settings.

Private site settings page

First you need to check the box under ‘Make Site Private’ section to enable the plugin and make your site private.

The next section is to allow users to register on your WordPress site. If you don’t want users to be able to register on your site, then you can skip this section.

Under ‘Landing Location’ section you can choose which page users will see when they login. By default, the plugin will return them to the same URL they requested before login. You can also redirect users to homepage, WordPress admin dashboard, any other URL on your WordPress site.

Landing location

The custom login page section is only applicable if you are using a custom login page on your WordPress site. Simply check the box, and provide the URL of your custom login page. The plugin will then start using that URL as login page.

Custom login page settings

My Private Site plugin also allows you to exclude some parts of your website from being private. For example, if you are using a static front page and want users to see it, then you can add it as an exclusion. You can also add other URLs like a contact form or about page into exclusion list.

Exclude pages to be always visible

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

That’s all, people visiting your website will now be asked to login before they can view your website. Depending on your settings, users may be able to see excluded pages or they will just see the login page.

Making Individual Posts Private in WordPress

WordPress comes with a built-in feature which allows you to make posts or pages private and password protected. Here is how to make a WordPress post private.

You need to start by creating a new post in WordPress or edit an existing one. On the post editor screen, you will see the Visibility option under the publish meta box. Click on the Edit link next to visibility.

Edit a post's visibility

There you will see the options to make a post Private or add a password protection to the post. Choose the appropriate radio button to make a post private or password protected.

Making a WordPress post password protected or private

If you choose to make a WordPress post password protected, then WordPress will ask you to enter a password. Users will need to enter this exact password to view the post. You can send this password to friends and family by email, and they can view the post by entering the password.

Important: Please note that users with the user role of Editor or Administrator can view a password protected or private post by logging into the WordPress admin area. However if you are the only user on your site, then you don’t need to worry about that. For more information please see our guide on how to add or remove capabilities from user roles in WordPress.