The internet seems to be a place where everyone can access the information they need. However, some pages can’t be accessed that easily. Those pages are quite useful in some cases. The WordPress platform provides you the opportunity to protect data and make pages private. Private pages are used quite widely and understanding their key advantages is important to make your website safe and easy to manage.
So, what is a private page in WordPress? The private page is the page that can be accessed only if the user is authorized and permitted to access the page. Even if you know the URL of the private page, you won’t be able to access it.
This approach helps not only to make your website safer, as you can protect some data from unauthorized users. It can also make website management easier.
Therefore, even if you have a blog where you want to tell people something, you still may want to use such pages. They become extremely useful when you are not the only person who manages the website.
There are two main benefits of using such pages.
Data protection. Nobody can access a WordPress private page unless you want them to (a user has to be authorized and their account should have the corresponding “role”).
Easy to manage. Different users have different rights so they can do only what they are permitted to. If a user has posting rights only, they can’t install plugins.
An example of using private pages can be a website used by a company. You want to provide one department with some specific information. Therefore, you can create a page that only certain users can access. Other departments may not need that information or it may be secret. Therefore, the website looks well-organized (users have access to the pages and the posts they need) and safe—you can be sure that users see the necessary information only.
Therefore, possible cases when you want to use a private WordPress page are:
There are many other cases when you can use this feature.
You can easily assign the WordPress visibility “private” attribute. However, you should remember that only administrators and editors can see private pages and posts. Moreover, the private post can be password protected, so you can make it even safer. As you can see, this platform provides you with unique possibilities to protect your data. Such posts can’t be found using search engines either, which also makes them safe.
An important factor to remember is that the platform uses cookie files to store all the private posts-related information. Therefore, you need to delete cookies files if other people have access to your computer.
Another factor to consider is safety. Of course, private pages are protected and you can even use a password, but you shouldn’t rely on them entirely. You have to remember that all by default administrators and editors can see private pages. Therefore, you need to be careful if you have several of them, especially if you don’t want them to see certain pages.
Keep in mind that private pages don’t guarantee 100% protection. If you have an eCommerce website, you still shouldn’t publish any information about your clients and the products or services they buy. The same is true for contracts—you shouldn’t publish them. Private pages can hide certain parts of your website, but they cannot protect everything. Therefore, you should consider it to be a good way to optimize website management. It’s better to consider other solutions when you need to protect data.
Don’t forget about images that are a part of posts or pages. Even if the page is private—a user can see the image (of course, if they know the URL). It may be difficult to get the URL, but it’s still possible.
As you can see, the whole concept is quite simple and the term is self-explanatory. These are the pages that only certain users can see (for example, it can be password protected). You may need it when you do not want everyone to see the page. It may be something personal, or you may want to ask your friends how your page or post looks before you make it public.
Making a page private is quite easy. The process includes following simple steps:
That’s it. If you log in as an administrator or an editor and open the page, you will see that it has “Private” before the post title. You can also go further and test the status.
Copy the URL of the page and log out. Paste the URL in the address bar and hit enter, you will get the 404 error, which means that the page doesn’t exist. However, it is still there if you log in as an administrator or an editor. As you can see, there is nothing difficult about making a page or a post private. Of course, you can remove the “private” prefix. Check this quick tutorial from Template Monster.
However, this platform is open and many developers create various plugins. You can find a good plugin that can make the whole process even simpler. Moreover, plugins have various additional features, which you may find useful. Some plugins can restrict content by meta values, restrict menus for members and guests, etc. Overall, it’s a powerful solution. The good thing is that there are many free plugins, so you can use them without worrying about anything. There are also “Pro” versions which will cost, but they have even more features that will protect your website and make content management easier.
It’s up to you to decide whether you need to install a plugin. If you just want to make some posts visible to certain users, then you can avoid using a plugin. However, if you need some extra features and some flexibility to protect the website content, then you should consider installing a plugin.
It is important to understand the roles that the WordPress platform has. The hierarchy helps to make the website easier to manage and safer. Sometimes, you may just need to use roles instead of making something private.
Now, let’s consider a simple example that can help you to understand why roles are so useful. You have a blog. Your page is quite popular and you update it regularly. Of course, it’s hard to write many posts on your own, so you have a team of writers. A writer plays a simple (yet important) role—they write new posts and publish them. They don’t need the right to change your website (installing and uninstalling plugins, themes, etc.). Therefore, authors can only add new posts and edit them (they can edit only the posts they’ve posted). Therefore, your website is safe and you can be sure that an author won’t destroy anything. If you have a team of editors who check if the posts are blog-friendly, you can have a page for editors, who can remove certain posts.
The WordPress platform is quite powerful and flexible—you can create almost anything you want using it. However, it has some limitations. Unfortunately, you can’t limit access using user roles. However, some plugins can help you. These plugins are quite powerful and have numerous features. They can help you to create a website that uses the pay-per-view model or a blog for a family. You can also implement the paid subscription model and monetize your website.
Here are some of the plugins that can help you.
It’s powerful, and this is a perfect option if you want to use the paid subscription model. It also has the “pro” version which also adds numerous additional features. These features will help you with subscription managing. You can also add discount codes or printable invoices (HTML). This pro version can work with WooCommerce (one of the most popular and powerful eCommerce platforms) as well. Overall, this plugin is extremely useful.
If you have a website with online courses that you want to sell, then this is exactly what you need. The plugin also helps to create public and private courses. You can add free courses as well. The plugin facilitates everything related to courses and payments management.
Here’s a complex solution that is incredibly easy to use. You just need to install and activate the plugin. It restricts content based on user roles. You can also enter the message that a user (who doesn’t have access) sees.
This plugin is perfect if you need to deal with subscriptions. Again, this is one of the most popular solutions. It provides you with numerous options to make sure that users get the necessary content. This plugin isn’t difficult to use.
This is mainly used for profiles management, but it can be used to restrict content. This plugin uses the user role to limit access to certain content. It uses the Role Editor module. It also has the “pro” version with numerous additional features.
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