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How To Unpublish Your WordPress Site, A 2024 guide

Ever struggled with wanting to hit the pause button on your WordPress site? Whether it’s for a quick update or a major revamp, sometimes you need a little privacy from the prying eyes of the internet.

This guide is packed with easy steps to tuck away your site, be it one page or the whole enchilada. We’ll navigate this together like pros, and you’ll have that digital “Closed for Renovation” sign up in no time.

Keep reading – we’ve got some website wizardry to share!

Understanding WordPress Unpublishing

Unpublishing on WordPress means taking your content off the web. Think of it as turning a light off so no one can see it anymore. You might do this to fix something, keep things private, or maybe you’re working on a big change.

It’s not gone forever – just hidden for now.

Now, if you want to stop search engines like Google from showing your site in results, there’s an easy switch in the admin dashboard. It tells those search engine robots “Hey, don’t look here right now.” Or you can set pages and posts to ‘private’ so only certain people can see them.

Like having secret club members who need a special key!

Reasons for Unpublishing a WordPress Site

You might want to unpublish your WordPress site for a few reasons. Maybe you’re sprucing up your site with new designs or need some privacy while you make big changes. Other times, you could be switching things around and don’t want people to see the work in progress.

It’s like when someone makes their YouTube channel hidden while they update old videos.

Sometimes, it’s not about the whole site but just one or two pages that should stay out of sight. For instance, if a page has outdated infomaking it private keeps visitors from seeing wrong stuff until you fix it.

Or perhaps there’s a special offer that ended; hiding the page stops more people from trying to use it. It’s kind of like putting away toys so nobody trips over them – neat and safe!

How to Unpublish a Single WordPress Page or Post

Making a WordPress page or post private is simple. Just follow these steps to hide it from the public.


  • Start by logging into your WordPress dashboard. Look for the menu on the left.
  • Find “Posts” or “Pages,” depending on what you want to unpublish.
  • Hover over the title of the post or page you’re tackling – a few options will pop up underneath.
  • Click “Edit” to open up that post or page. Now, let’s make some changes!
  • See that box on the right called “Publish”? Click there, and a bunch of options will show up.
  • Spot where it says “Visibility” and click the “Edit” link next to it.
  • Choose “Private” to keep it hidden or select “Draft” if you’re not ready to share it yet.
  • Don’t skip this part – hit “OK” to save your choice!
  • Finally, press the blue “Update” button. And voilà, your content is unpublished!


Process to Unpublish Multiple WordPress Pages or Posts

Got a whole bunch of pages or posts you want to hide on your WordPress site? No sweat, it’s easy to do with just a few clicks. Here’s how you get those pages or posts out of sight:


  • First, log into your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Posts’ or ‘Pages’, depending on what you need to unpublish.
  • Look for the checkbox at the very top of the list of posts or pages; this selects everything all at once.
  • Now, drop down the ‘Bulk Actions‘ menu right above the post list and pick ‘Edit’.
  • Then hit the ‘Apply’ button next to it and wait for a new area to pop up with options.
  • In this new area, find where it says ‘Status’ and change that from ‘Published’ to ‘Draft’. This makes your content invisible to visitors.
  • Don’t forget to click the ‘Update’ button. Boom! Just like magic, all those selected posts or pages are now unpublished.


Steps to Temporarily Unpublish a WordPress Site

Sometimes you might want to hide your WordPress site for a bit. Maybe you’re working on big changes or fixing something that broke. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard, where all the magic happens.
  2. Look for “Settings,” then click on “Reading.”
  3. Find the section labeled “Search engine visibility.”
  4. Check the box next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”
  5. Don’t forget to save your changes by hitting the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.
  6. Okay, now search engines know they should stay away—but what about visitors? Let’s fix that too.
  7. Head back to your dashboard and pick a plugin like WP Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon or Website Builder by SeedProd.
  8. Install one of these plugins—this is like picking out a nice “Sorry, we’re closed” sign for your site.
  9. Set up the plugin according to what you need—it could be a simple “Coming Soon” page or something fancier.
  10. Make sure only certain folks can get in if needed, like your team or clients, by setting user roles in the plugin settings.


Methods for Unpublishing an Entire WordPress Site

You might want to take down your whole WordPress site. Here’s how you can do it:


  • Go to your WordPress dashboard and log in. Look for the ‘Settings’ option on the left side menu.
  • Click on ‘Reading’ under the Settings options. Find where it says “Search Engine Visibility.”
  • Tick the box next to “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” Save your changes so search engines like Google won’t show your pages.
  • Use a plugin if you’re not feeling techy. Plugins like “WP Maintenance Mode” can make things super easy.
  • After installing a plugin, activate it! Usually, there’s a button that says something like ‘Activate Maintenance Mode.’
  • Customize your maintenance mode screen. Some plugins let you add cool messages or a countdown clock!
  • Check if you have any sticky posts. These could still show up even if your site is set to private.
  • Make all your pages and posts private. You’ll need to edit each one and change its visibility settings to ‘Private.’
  • Want extra privacy? Password protect some content! This makes sure only folks with passwords can see those pages.


Setting up Maintenance Mode for Unpublished Site

So, your site needs a quick time-out. Setting up Maintenance Mode is like hanging a “Be Right Back” sign on your digital storefront. Here’s how you make that magic happen:


  • Choose the right plugin. WP Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon or Website Builder by SeedProd are like power tools for this job.
  • Install the plugin of choice. Just like adding a new toy to your collection, go to your WordPress dashboard and click ‘Add New’ under plugins.
  • Activate it! Hit that ‘Activate’ button and watch the plugin come to life.
  • Customize your message. Think of what you’d tell folks who drop by—maybe “Hold on, big changes coming!” or something snazzy like that.
  • Design a cool ‘Coming Soon’ page. Add colors, images, or even videos to make waiting outside the door fun for visitors.
  • Set up access rules. Decide who gets a sneak peek inside—like you and maybe some pals from your team.
  • Save those settings! Make sure all your hard work sticks around by hitting ‘Save Changes’.
  • Test it out—incognito! Pop open a private browsing window and see how the world views your “Closed for Renovation” sign.


Guideline to Republish Your WordPress Site

Okay, you’ve made changes and now want to republish your WordPress site. Let’s get right into what you need to do.


  • First, log in to your WordPress dashboard because that’s where all the magic happens.
  • Find the post or page you fixed up. It’s probably marked as ‘Private’ or hidden away.
  • Click on that post or page. There should be a label saying ‘Visibility’ on the right side, under the ‘Publish’ section.
  • Change ‘Visibility’ from private to public. Just like flipping a light switch, it’ll make your content visible again.
  • If you put a password on it, now’s the time to remove that. Look for the password box and clear it out.
  • Hit the ‘Update’ button—this saves your changes and sends them out live.
  • For extra SEO points, check those meta tags and alt text! Make sure they’re crisp and ready for search engines to find them.
  • You might have a coming soon page up while working on things. Turn that off so folks can see your site again! Find where it says ‘Coming Soon’ or ‘Maintenance Mode‘ and switch it off.
  • Add your page back to any menus if you took it out. Head over to ‘Appearance’ then ‘Menus’ and put things back where they belong.
  • Review everything one last time – double – check links, images, and text just to be sure.
  • Finally, push that big blue ‘Publish’ button (or update if it was already live). And voila! Your WordPress site is back in business!


Frequently Asked Questions About Unpublishing a WordPress Site

You’ve got questions about taking your WordPress site down, huh? Well, let’s jump right in. One hot question is if you can switch a page to private mode without much fuss. Yep, you sure can! Just a couple of clicks and voila – it’s hidden from the public eye but still there for when you need it.

Now, maybe you’re worried about SEO while your site’s tucked away. Fear not! You can use nofollow tags to tell search engines to ignore those pages while they’re on break. This means they won’t lose their spot in line for when you swing back into action later on.

Say you’ve decided it’s time to pull the plug on multiple posts or pages. It doesn’t have to be a headache; select them all in one go and send them straight to the recycle bin—easy-peasy!

And what happens if someone tries to visit your unpublished site? They’ll be redirected somewhere else faster than they can say “oops” – maybe with a pop-up telling them what’s up or just quietly behind the scenes.

So keep these bits and bobs in mind as you manage who sees your content—whether it’s just for now or forever and ever.


Alright, you’ve got the scoop on hiding your WordPress site now! Whether it’s a quick fix or a big change, you know what to do. Just remember – keeping things under wraps can be just as important as showing them off.

So go ahead, take control of your site and make it private whenever you need to. That’s all folks! Stay awesome and keep tweaking that website until it shines again.

Dale Philips
Dale Philips
My love for SEO inspired me to build this website. Getting to the top of search engine rankings is a challenge I'm always willing to take on.

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