How to Unpublish WordPress Pages, Posts, and Entire Site

No matter what kind of blog you run, there might be times when you desire to close your site temporarily. It could be a developing website which you don’t want users to see or a broken site set in maintenance mode.

Whatever the reasons are, you can use several methods to shut your WordPress site down. Placing a coming soon page informing visitors that the site has not been available yet is highly recommended. You can also password protect the directories at the server level.

You may be surprised how easy it is to turn published pages, posts, and the entire website into draft mode. Let’s discover a few different options that will keep your WordPress content inactive.

2 Methods to Unpublish a WordPress Page or Post

People avoid deleting pages and posts permanently for a couple of reasons. It’s because your page is not usable at the moment, or it has taken you a lot of time and effort to create and you want to keep it for future uses. What’s more, some content needs to be updated so it’s necessary to prevent users from viewing the work.

WordPress comes equipped with a default feature allowing you to switch a publish post to the draft mode.

Unpublish a WordPress Page or Post

Take these 6 simple steps to quickly unpublish your WordPress pages and posts right in the content edit screen.

  1. Head to Pages or Posts section in your WordPress admin dashboard
  2. Pick your desired post
  3. Look for the Publish box
  4. Click Edit next to the publish Status
  5. Select Draft option
  6. Update the post

Your WordPress post or page becomes inaccessible to everybody now, except the website admins and the post author. There are several other options you can try to make the content private right in the Publish box.

Edit the post Visibility then choose from Password protected or Private. The former requires you to create a password for your content manually. The latter, meanwhile, turns your post to a 404 not found page when visitors access it.


Hide pages and posts by user roles

The controls over this feature are pretty minimal. You’re incapable of protecting pages and posts by user roles. That’s where an advanced password protection plugin comes in handy.

Assisting over 2 thousand WordPress users with content protection in less than 6 months and receiving a 4.4-star rating on the WordPress repository, Password Protect WordPress (PPWP) is a must-try plugin.

This free solution enables you to lock your content with one or multiple passwords by user roles. As a result, only logged-in users entering the correct passwords are permitted to open the post. To get started using our PPWP plugin, you need to:

  1. Click Add New under Plugin in your WordPress admin dashboard
  2. Type “password protect wordpress” in the keyword box
  3. Install and activate the plugin
  4. Visit the Pages or Posts section and edit your post
  5. Look for the Password Protect WordPress option
  6. Select a user role from the Role dropdown list
  7. Enter your password
  8. Update the post

The following video will help you quickly visualize the steps above:

Avoid publishing content accidentally

Some people make their content visible to the public accidentally. Consequently, they have to find ways to hide it. It would be even worse if Google already indexed your posts and show them up on search results. When you take the posts down, visitors will see a 404 not found page. This affects a lot to your brand as well as the user experience.

To stop yourself from accidental publishing, you can install a publish confirmation plugin for better publishing management. Upon application, a message will display and ask for confirmation whenever you hit the Publish button.

How to Unpublish Entire WordPress Site

It’s possible for you to shut your site down by discouraging search engines from indexing it. Simply tick the Search Engine Visibility option under your WordPress Reading settings. Your website will no longer appear on search results.

However, this method is not suggested by many users and WordPress masters due to its limitations. Your content will still be indexed if it’s linked from other sites. What’s more, this feature just makes it harder for Google to analyze and shield your private content.

To effectively hide or unpublish the content, you should use other methods such as entire site password protection or “noindex” meta tag.

The Password Protect WordPress free plugin above helps secure single pages and posts as well as the whole website. You can protect every page and post on your site at the same time with a few simple clicks.

  1. Head to the Password Protect WordPress icon on your navigation menu
  2. Go to the Entire Site tab
  3. Enable the Password Protect Entire Site option
  4. Enter your password
  5. Save your changes

Not only the website is locked with a password but the plugin also discourages search engines from indexing it by default. Visitors won’t be able to find your site or access it on any search engines even they have the direct URL.

Ready to Unpublish Your WordPress Site?

Taking a WordPress site off would not be a complicated task if you find the right method. Just want to shut down some pages or posts? Turn them to the Draft mode in the post edit screen. You can also make it Private so that only Admins are authorized to view the live content.

Intend to unpublish the whole website? Assign a password to it and nobody can open or access it without your permission. Password Protect WordPress plugin would be a perfect solution to prevent users from searching for or viewing your content. It also helps block search engines from indexing your site.

Download PPWP Pro plugin and have your WordPress site unpublished today!