How to Make a WordPress Site Private (Best 4 Ways)

Do you want to make your WordPress site private? Or are you looking to make a members-only website? There are various ways to make a WordPress site private. You can make your blog completely private so that only you can use it, or you can choose your visitors as well.

For different hosting providers, there might be an option to make your site private. But if your hosting provider doesn’t give you that option, don’t worry, there are several ways to make your WordPress site private. Either through plugins or built-in options. We will go through all of that. In this post, we are going to discuss how to make a WordPress site private and why would you want to make a WordPress site private.

Why create a private WordPress site?

There are several reasons why you might want to create a private WordPress site. Sometimes you have to make a private blog post before making it public. We publish our WordPress blog posts for the whole world to read. But sometimes you might want to create a private blog so that only certain users can view it. You can also make a blog post available to your chosen visitors as well.

There could be several reasons why you might want to learn how to make wordpress website private:

  • A family blog where you want to share your family photos, wedding photos, family updates, etc.
  • A blog that’s not complete yet.
  • A private blog for your journal or private diary.
  • A private space for your team to work away from prying eyes.
  • A classroom or online course website where only the students of a particular class or course are allowed.

As you can see, a private WordPress website could be useful in many different ways. The good news is that whatever you’re looking for, you can make it happen with WordPress. In this post, we are going to show you several methods and you will know how to make a WordPress site private.

How to make a WordPress site private?

As we mentioned earlier, there are a few ways through which you can make your WordPress site private. Either through the use of a plugin or through the default WordPress settings. Also, some hosting providers give you unique website features. Among those features, the ability to make your WordPress site private is one. For example, if you’re using wordpress.com hosting, then there is an option for you to make your WordPress site private. We will talk about that later on.

There are plugins you can use to make your site private. You can also enable a members-only section on your WordPress website. In that way, you can sell membership-based services.

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How to make a WordPress.com site private

If you’re using a hosting plan from wordpress.com, you can set your site to private using the following steps:

  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard
  • Go to Settings > General and find the Privacy option
  • Click on the “Private” option to make your WordPress site private.

You might not see this option on your localhost or other hosting provider as it is only available from wordpress.com. You can also check with your hosting provider to see if they provide this feature.

How to make a members-only private site

Now if you’re trying to make a blog that is only accessible to you and your selected members, you can try this method. First, we need a plugin called MemberPress. This plugin is popular for membership-based websites. An interesting fact about MemberPress, users of this plugin have together earned over $1 billion in revenue.

With MemberPress you can create online courses, manage access control, and add lessons all within the WordPress block editor. It also has good integrations with top page builders like Elementor, Gutenberg, etc. You can also add drip content in WordPress for your premium posts and add content paywalls and lock your content for certain users.

However, if you’re looking to create a simple membership system for your WordPress site, you can also use the My Private Plugin’s membership settings. We’ve mentioned this process down below.

How to make a WordPress site private using a plugin

You can completely make your WordPress site private using another plugin called My Private Site. This plugin allows you to hide your WordPress blog which is useful for families and companies that never want to make their content public. The plugin is free and has 20,000+ active installations. Although the plugin is updated still you might want to check if it’s compatible with your version of WordPress.

installing my private site plugin

If you’re designing your website and don’t want people to visit a half-built website, this plugin can provide you with a “Coming Soon” page.

To make your site private, install and activate the free plugin. After activation, go to My Private Site > Site Privacy from your admin dashboard. Next, check “Enable login privacy”. Finally, click on the “Save Privacy Status” button. The plugin will make your site private.

My Private Site plugin settings

Now that site privacy is enabled, your visitors will see the login screen when visiting your website. This is the same login screen that you see when you visit the /wp-admin panel.

Choose Landing Page after login

You can also select where your users will be redirected after a successful login. Go to My Private Site > Landing Page and select where you want to redirect your users. You can choose to redirect your users to the home page, same URL, WordPress admin dashboard, etc. You can also choose a URL as well.

Choose Landing Page after login options

Make Home Page Private

You may also choose to keep your home page either private or public. The tab next to the Landing Page is the Home Page. Select it and check the box labeled “Site Home” to make your home page private.

Making the Home page private

You can also uncheck this box to keep your homepage public in case you want to show your message to the public. For example, if your website is under maintenance or construction, you can show a message explaining why users can’t access your site.

Create membership login

Using the My Private Site plugin you can also create a member registration process for your site. You can enable an option that allows anyone to register to your site before entering. Beside the ‘Shortcodes’ tab, there is the ‘Membership’ tab. Click on it and check both boxes to allow visitors to register and view your blog.

Setting membership login options

If you don’t want just anyone to register, then uncheck the ‘Membership’ option. After you’re done with this step, remember to click on the ‘Update Options’ button to save your changes.

With these options, you can make your website completely private or choose a membership process in order to allow some users to view your site. This plugin gives you a bunch of options to try out and control your WordPress website privacy.

How to make individual posts private

Since we are discussing how to make a WordPress site private let’s also see how to make your posts private as well. From your WordPress dashboard, click on the ‘Posts’ option and click on ‘Edit’ on any of your posts that you want to make private. You can also add a new post and then make it private.

After you’ve come to the post-editing mode, click on the settings button in the upper right corner of the screen. Make sure the ‘Post’ tab is selected. Right below the Summary section, you’ll see an option called Visibility that describes if the post is public, private, or password protected.

Making individual WordPress posts private

To make it private you can simply click on the radio button of the Private option. That will make this post private so that only the site admins and editors can see the post. And that is how to make a WordPress blog private.

If you are the only admin of the site then this option is fine, but if there are multiple users on your site, and you want to control who can see the private post, make sure to check their user role settings. Remember, only admins and editors can view your private posts.

You can also choose the ‘Password protected’ option so that users need to enter a password in order to view your post.

How to make a private WordPress site public

Based on which method you used to make your WordPress site private, simply uncheck or deactivate the setting option to make your private WordPress site public. It’s easy and simple!

Adding security to your WordPress site

Although this might be irrelevant, but if it is security that you’re concerned with, you can also use security plugins to secure your WordPress site. There are several plugins that you can use that will provide stronger security for your WordPress site.

You can also add Two-Factor authentication to your website. So along with your user credentials, you also need a 2FA code from your phone or tablet in order to login to your WordPress site.

Conclusion

We hope that you now know how to make a WordPress site private. Whether you want to create a personal journey, private diary, family website, etc., there are several options available for you to try on your WordPress website. The My Private Site plugin offers you a bunch of these options, so you might as well go ahead and install that. Of course, there are several more features this plugin provides that tell you how to make a WordPress website private.

WordPress is an amazing tool, isn’t it? Being able to control the users who can view your website or posts is a power given to you. Now you can hide your website from the world and keep updating it. Or create a membership process so that only the selected users may view your post. 

We hope that this post was useful and you learned how to make a WordPress site private. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.

Staff Author
Staff Author

A team of WordPress enthusiasts led by Arafat Bin Sultan, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in tech blogging, content marketing, and video creation.

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