Publish Settings

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In the Visibility section, you can choose who's allowed to see your post. The default setting is public, which means that anyone can read it. Just below this option, you'll see a checkbox labeled Stick this post to the front page. Making a post "sticky" means that it always appears at the top of lists, including archives, as well as your home page.

The other two Visibility settings are not as intuitive as they appear to be. A private post is one that only registered users of your site can read, if they have permission (in WordPress parlance, the capability) to read private posts. By default, only editors and administrators have this capability. You can change that fairly easily, but it requires a few lines of code in your theme files. You can also use a plugin like Role Manager or my own Private Suite.

A password protected post is not public, but visitors don't have to be registered users in order to read it. When you choose the Password protected option in the Visibility box, you'll be asked to provide a password for the post. You can then give that password to anyone you like (in an e-mail, let's say). When they visit your site, they'll see the title of the post but not the content. In place of the content, there will be a password field. When your visitors enter the correct password, they'll see the post content.

The Status setting provides a rudimentary workflow for your posts. When you begin a new post, it remains in Draft status until you press the blue Publish button. At that point, the status changes to Published and the post becomes visible to your visitors. A contributor, who doesn't have the ability to publish posts, would see a Submit for Review button instead of Publish. The contributor's post status would then change to Pending Review, and an Editor would have to approve and publish the post.

You can leave posts in Draft mode indefinitely. If you need to close the editing screen before you've finished writing, press the Save Draft button rather than Publish.

■ Note: While the Permalink, Visibility, Status, and Publication Date fields have their own OK buttons, none of your changes to these settings will take effect until you press the blue Publish (or Update) Post button.

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