Silicon Themes

How to make your WordPress site private

Last week, while checking emails from our visitors, we came across two, almost identical messages. Their subjects were: “How do I make a post or page private on my #WordPress site?” and “How do I make a whole WordPress website private?”. These two messages aroused our curiosity on the subject and made us want to take a closer look at the options that exist.


Wait! Who would want their WordPress blog to be private?

The answer is a multi-dimensional one. Possible usage for a private WordPress website would be:
•    As an Intranet (i.e. an internal network) of an enterprise. The existence of such a website guarantees that only the agents of the enterprise will be able to see content existing to the enterprise.
•    As a personal diary. The owner of the website would grant access only to relatives and friends to his or her valuable content.
•    As a private online area where parents or family members would share family content without risking to expose their families to the outer world. How would you like it if strangers had access to photos of your kids or yourself? Wouldn’t it be terrible?
•    As a membership area for your business. You could provide your customers with access to this area as a bonus for subscribing to your newsletter or acquiring goods or services from you.
Whichever might your case be, it should be clear by now that knowing how to make your WordPress site private, or parts of it, could prove very useful. Yes, you’ve read it right. You can either make individual posts and pages of a WordPress site, or you can limit the access to it entirely. In the following two paragraphs, we will examine each option in detail.

Option No1: How to make a page or post private on a WordPress site.

Luckily for you, WordPress has built-in functionality that allows its users to limit access to a post or page. No plugins or coding required! The only thing you have to do is after you finish writing or editing your content, is change its visibility. What this means is that you will have to modify the default option which makes the post or page public, and select either the private or the password protected option. If you choose to make your content private, only users that have the URL leading to it will be able to view it. If you, however, decide to protect your content using a password, no one but the users who happen to have the password will be able to unlock it. In either case, after you finish writing your content, locate the “Publish” section in your WordPress editor and choose the visibility option that fits your needs best. The following picture should give you an idea on how to do this:

Option No2: How to make a whole WordPress website private

To make a WordPress site private in its entirety we will use a WordPress plugin specifically designed for this purpose. Its name is:”My private site.” Not much of a surprise here, huh? As you are about to find out, this totally free plugin does exactly what its name promises: It renders your whole WordPress site inaccessible to any unauthorized view unless a visitor has a username and a password to unlock and see it. This means that your site will be visible only to registered users. Cool, isn’t it? Let’s see how you can install and configure this plugin quickly:

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
Step 2: Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
Step 3: Type “My private site” in the search button that exists at the upper right of your screen.
Step 4: Once you locate the plugin, install it by clicking the appropriate button.
Step 5: Navigate to Settings > My Private Site.
Step 6: On the plugin settings screen, activate the plugin by ticking the appropriate box, as shown in the picture below:

Step 7:  After activating the plugin, click on the “Save Changes” button. This will render your website private and will ask from your visitors to input a username and password should they wish to access your content. That’s it! Your site is now protected from unwanted visitors.

Optional Step(s): As you might have noticed, the plugin comes with a variety of customization options. You can modify many things on how the plugin will work. You can select custom login screens, you can choose if and how new members will self-register, you can exclude pages from being blocked, and you can select where your visitors are taken after logging in. You can finally lock yourself out of your site if you like. This is not a joke! You really can do this! But why would you want to lock yourself out of your own website? Feel free to experiment with the options that the plugin creators offer. Be cautious, however, and proceed to changes only if you know what their effect will be.

Conclusion

This concludes our short guide on how to make your WordPress site private. Even if WordPress offers built-in functionality on making separate posts and pages private or password protected, some plugins excel at making whole WordPress sites private. One of these plugins is the “My Private Site” plugin. In this guide you’ve learned how to install and configure this free, yet powerful plugin to make your entire website private. This way your visitors will be prompted to input their usernames and passwords before they can access your precious content. Go, now! Protect your websites, or create your membership and mastermind groups for only those who are worth your content.

P.S. If you liked our guide, feel free to share it with your friends or family as it might prove very useful to them as well. Thank you for reading! Good luck in protecting your websites!