Password Protecting Individual WordPress Pages and Posts

Lock and Hasp by smig44_uk, on Flickr

By default, when you set up your WordPress site on the Commons, it is accessible to search engines and to anyone on the Web.  There are three ways that you can clamp down on your readership pool.  In Settings>>Privacy, you can specify that you would like your site to be only visible to members of the Commons, or only visible to members of your site, or only visible to Admins of your site.  You can change these setting whenever you choose.  For more information, see How To: Adjust Your Blog’s Privacy Settings.

But what if you want an extra level of privacy?  For example, you want everyone to see most of your site, but several pages or posts you want to keep private.

A member of the Commons had such a use case.  She wanted to include a number of syllabi on her public site.  But these syllabi contained copyrighted materials protected under “fair use” for a subset of her readers (her students), but not for everyone.  I was excited to find that password protection is “baked in” to WordPress for pages and posts.

Hidden away under the “Publish” tab in the dashboard for each page and post, you will find how to do it (see image on the left).

The default for a published page or post is “Public” – all your readers can see it.  If you set it to “Private,” only admins and editors of your site can see it.  If you set it to “Password protected,”  a text input box will appear, and you’ll need to set up a password, which you will then need to supply to whoever you want to read it.  When these folks click on the page or post, they will be prompted for the password.

Hope this helps manage sites!

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