How To Unpublish WordPress Site

There are many reasons as to why you might want to unpublish a WordPress website. Doing so takes it from public to private, showcasing a page that either says it cannot be viewed or that the site is coming soon.

Turning your site to private gives you the chance to change your content behind the scenes without losing anything. This means you can change details before relaunching it again, or remove it completely offline without deleting any of the content.

How To Unpublish WordPress Site

It gives bloggers or large websites the chance to make big developments without other people seeing what is happening in real time. However, it does take the site ‘off air’, albeit temporarily.

In this article we shall take a look at how to unpublish a WordPress website, whether that is a .com or .org. So, let’s get to it!

Why Might You Unpublish A WordPress Website Or Page?

When it comes to creating and hosting a website, you might find that you want to edit the website, or a particular page. Unpublishing can help you to make the adjustments without them being seen ‘live’.

This is especially helpful if you are trying something new such as a design, or even some writing. Unpublishing it makes it private so you can make the changes without internet users seeing it.

Or, unpublishing can remove the website or page entirely without deleting any of its content. This means that if you don’t want to have your website viewed by anyone, unpublishing it to make it private is a good idea.

Fortunately, unpublishing a website on WordPress is super easy. You can do so by following a few simple steps.

Is There A Difference Between WordPress.com And WordPress.org?

How you unpublish the site all depends on whether you are using a .com or .org WordPress. A .org WordPress means that you are using WordPress as a standalone tool that has been installed onto a server that you own.

It is certainly more flexible as a way to use it, however, it is also a lot more complex. This is why most users choose the .com option.

A .com means that the user is building a site hosted on the WordPress servers. It is the easiest choice, and means you have no software to install. 

Step-By-Step: Unpublish A WordPress.com Site

Here is a simple guide to help you unpublish your website:

Step 1: Login To WordPress.com

Before you begin, login to your WordPress.com account that hosts the particular site and go to ‘My Sites’. Here you will be able to select the particular site you want to unpublish.

Once you are on the admin page, go to the ‘setting’s button on the left hand sidebar which will open a menu. 

Once here, click on ‘General’. 

Step 2: Change Privacy

Once you are in ‘General’, scroll down until you see ‘Privacy’. Here you will be faced with three options: Private, Public and Coming Soon.

Your site will be set to ‘Public’ currently which shows your site to everyone.

If you choose ‘Coming Soon’, then WordPress will show a generic page that states the site is coming soon and will not show any content.

If you choose ‘Private’, then nobody will be able to see the content unless you have given logged-in users permission. Also, you will be able to see the content when logged-in too. 

Step 3: Finished

Once you choose one of the above steps, it will change your website from public to private, and vice versa. 

Step-By-Step: Unpublish A WordPress.org Site

Step-By-Step: Unpublish A WordPress.org Site

Whilst making a site private on .com is easy, it can be a little more fiddly with a .org WordPress. 

Step 1: Look For A plugin

Whilst you can quickly make a .com private via the settings page, you will need to use a plugin to do the same thing for a .org. 

On the left hand sidebar click on ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add New’. Here you will be able to search for a plugin to make the site private.

Step 2: Choosing The Plugin

Once you are searching for a plugin, look for either the ‘Maintenance’ or ‘Coming Soon’ plugin. You will find that there are so many of this kind, however, the most popular are by Seedprod.

These include ‘Under Construction’, ‘Coming Soon’ and ‘Maintenance’. 

Step 3: Choose A template

What is so great about a plugin is that you can also choose a template so the site’s page doesn’t look boring. You don’t have this choice with a .com.

It also means you can use a template that reflects your own brand, giving it a professional look. 

Step 4: Saving

Now that you have chosen the template and are happy with the overall look, you can ‘Save’ it and ‘Publish’.

To republish your website, all you need to do is unpublish the plugin. Easy!

Final Thoughts On Unpublishing A WordPress Site

It can be difficult to know how to unpublish a WordPress site due to most of the information around telling people how to delete their website, rather than just temporarily unpublishing it. 

If you don’t want to delete the content and website, then you do have the choice of unpublishing your site for a few days – or for as long as you desire. There is no particular time limit on how long a site needs to be ‘offline’. 

This enables you the chance to do major or simple edits, or have a few days off away from site content if you do not want it to be ‘live’. 

There is also the difference between unpublishing a .com compared to a .org WordPress. Whilst the latter may at first appear complicated, it actually is not. With the help of a plugin, you can achieve the exact same effect as the .com WordPress.

If you are looking for other help when it comes to your WordPress website, take a look at the rest of our website where you will find some helpful tips and information!

Matthew Jacobs
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