How To Make Your WordPress Blog or Website Private

A Quick And Simple WordPress Guide On Making Your WordPress Blog Private and Hidden From Search Engines.

In previous mini WordPress tutorials that I have written, I have shown you how to change the color of your text and how to move your free blog to self hosted

This time I’m going to share my experience with you in making your blog private. Whether you use your blog for commercial reasons or simply as a way to share your travels and thoughts with friends and family, most people like the fact that their posts are public. Google and other search engines lead more visitors to your site, which increases the popularity of your articles and perhaps leads to increased ad revenue.

But sometimes you want to keep your WordPress blog private. How can you do that? The answer depends on what kind of privacy you want.

Make an Individual Post Private

Sometimes you want to keep most of the content on your site freely visible to visitors, but there’s an individual post, video, podcast, or photo that you want to keep private.

There are many reasons why people decide to make an individual post private. Perhaps you want to share baby photos with just a select group of family members and friends. Perhaps you want to share photos and text from a night out, but you don’t want to have your employer or school see them. Maybe you’re working on some ideas for your company that aren’t ready to share with the public just yet. Perhaps you’re a teacher and you want to share materials only with your students. Or maybe you just want to share some private thoughts that you don’t want the entire internet to discuss.

If you’re interested in making one (or more) of your posts private but not the entire blog, follow these steps:

Make a previously published public post private

If you’ve already written an article and it got published, you can’t protect it from certain archives and web scrapers. But you can prevent people from accessing it in the future.

From your dashboard, select Posts and then click on All Posts.

From there, you’ll see a list of all of your posts. For the one that you want to make private, click on Quick Edit.

From there, look for the word Visibility and change the settings to private. You can choose to make the post only visible to you (as well as anyone else who is an administrator or editor of your blog) or pick a password.

Write a private post

If you’re writing a brand new post and want to make it private, look in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. That’s where you’ll see publishing options where it says Visibility. Select “private” and then decide whether or not to add a password.

Note: you do NOT have to add a password to make a post private. If a post is private but does not have a password, search engines will not index it and only you and any other editors/administrators of your blog will be able to see it. Posts that are private and have a password can be seen by anyone who has the password.

Make Your Entire WordPress Blog or Site Private

Many people choose to make their entire blog private for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because you’re sharing personal information about your feelings, want to share photos with a select group of family members and friends, or simply want a place to develop your thoughts in private, it’s simple and easy to make your entire blog private.

Note: if your blog was previously public, it’s possible that copies or snapshots of your blog are available somewhere in various archives. But once you make your blog private, search engines like Google will no longer visit (or link to your site), and the general public will not be able to see anything on your site. It may take a few minutes for the new privacy settings to take effect.

To make your entire blog private, follow these steps:

  • Go to your blog’s dashboard.
  • Select Settings.
  • From there, select Privacy.
  • You’ll see three options: Public, Hidden, and Private. If you select “Hidden”, search engines will no longer link to your site but anyone who has the address of your blog will be able to see everything. Select Private to make your blog private.

Once you’ve selected Private, only you (and blog administrators/editors, if applicable) will be able to see the site. If you want to share your site with a select list of people, follow these steps:

  • Go to your blog’s dashboard.
  • Click on My Sites.
  • Click on People and then Add.
  • You’ll be given a prompt to add a person’s email or their WordPress user name. Add the information of the people you want to invite to enter your site.
  • Each person you invite to your blog will be assigned a role.

The roles that each person have will determine what they can do or see on your blog. Assuming you’ve already made your blog private, here are the different options for roles:

  • Viewer – This person can see everything on your blog and leave comments but nothing else.
  • Administrator – This person can access, view, and change anything on your blog. Any administrator that you add can do absolutely anything, including deleting your blog, so choose new administrators carefully!
  • Editor – This person can view your blog, comment, and edit all posts written on the blog, including your own.
  • author – An author will be able to view your blog, comment, and post new content using their WordPress user name as a byline.
  • contributor – Similar to an author, a contributor can view your blog, comment, and post new content using their WordPress user name as a byline. The main difference is that contributors cannot upload media to your site or delete comments.

If you want to change a person’s access to your blog, follow the above steps to get to the People section. Choose the user you want to modify, and either change their status or delete them.

And that’s it!!!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re hosting your own version of WordPress or using a free blog hosted by WordPress, all of the above options are available to you. With a few clicks of a button, it’s possible to make either a single post private or your entire blog private.

The following two tabs change content below.

Jamie Spencer

My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 10 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.

12 thoughts on “How To Make Your WordPress Blog or Website Private”

  1. I had to go to “my site” in upper left corner, then to settings to find the privacy button and make it private. What worries me is that whether I put in my site with wp-admin or just end with .com, I can edit. So I’m afraid anyone can edit. At least now it’s private til I figure this all out, so thank you for your help.
    If I just use I get “forbidden to access from this server.” I don’t get it. I started it on this server. I had a blog a year ago on Wordpress and it was so easy. What happened?

  2. When I got to Dashboard, Settings, Privacy. I do not see the three privacy options to make my website private. Instead, I see this.

    Privacy Settings
    Privacy Policy page
    As a website owner, you may need to follow national or international privacy laws. For example, you may need to create and display a Privacy Policy. If you already have a Privacy Policy page, please select it below. If not, please create one.

    The new page will include help and suggestions for your Privacy Policy. However, it is your responsibility to use those resources correctly, to provide the information that your Privacy Policy requires, and to keep that information current and accurate.

    After your Privacy Policy page is set, we suggest that you edit it. We would also suggest reviewing your Privacy Policy from time to time, especially after installing or updating any themes or plugins. There may be changes or new suggested information for you to consider adding to your policy.

    Edit or view your Privacy Policy page content.

    Need help putting together your new Privacy Policy page? Check out our guide for recommendations on what content to include, along with policies suggested by your plugins and theme.

    Change your Privacy Policy page
    Select an existing page:

    • I found this too… instead on the left hand side bar go to Manage > settings > scroll down to privacy and the three options are there to choose public, hidden or private. Then save settings to change it.

      • Hello. I have the same issue but I can’t find the sidebar where there is Manage > settings. Could you help

  3. Thanks Jamie for this article. Just want to make one of my blogs private and found your guide at the right time. Thank you.

    • Yes. If you go to settings, select reading and the click on the tick box next to “discourage search engines” then that would also do it.

  4. Hi Jamie, I think this is what I did with my website that is hosted by hostgator.
    But now I would like to use it again and can’t gain access it to it in any way.
    Even when I type in, i get an error message. How do I get back in so that I can change the privacy settings?

    • Hi Chloe

      It looks like you need to contact HostGator support to sort this out.
      Raise a ticket with them, or jump on Live Chat. Their support is really good, so should have you up and running in no time.



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