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WordPress Basics: Site Visibility

For more detailed guides on site visibility and privacy, try CampusPress's guide on Settings & Privacy.

Video Transcript

This video explains site visibility settings in WordPress. Site visibility settings dictate who can access the content on your DartWrite Digital Portfolio. With options to restrict access on the whole site and on individual pages or posts, you can customize your site to reach your intended audiences and maintain your privacy.

Once you are logged into and viewing your portfolio site, you can find the site visibility settings by going to your dashboard, finding the “Settings” option and choosing “Reading.”

Six Visibility Options

In this menu, you have six options to set visibility for the entire portfolio site.

Visitors must have a login (default)

If you haven’t changed the settings, you should see this option selected: “Visitors must have a login.” That option means that only users who have a Journeys account (which can be anyone with a Dartmouth ID and password) can see the published parts of your site.

If you plan to share your site only with faculty, staff, or fellow Dartmouth students, the default setting might be the right choice for you. That setting makes it easy to share within the Dartmouth community, as Dartmouth users only need to know the site URL to access your site content.

Allow or discourage indexing by search engines

Above the default option are two more permissive options. “Allow” or “discourage” indexing by search engines. If you want to share parts of your site beyond Dartmouth, one of these choices might be right for you. Choosing either option makes the published site content visible to anyone who knows your site URL. Choosing to “allow” indexing encourages services like google to put your site in their database and permit people to find it in a web search.

Only registered users

If you plan to share only with a small group of Dartmouth community members, the next option down might be right for you: “Only registered users of this site can have access.” With this option, you will need to add individual users to your site via the Users interface found in the Dashboard. Adding “readers” will allow those individuals to access only the published parts of your site.

Only administrators

Back in the site visibility menu, the second-to-last option might be a good choice if you want to keep your site content fully private. With that setting, only administrators can view the site. By default, you are the only administrative user of your site (but you could add administrative users through the Users menu).

Add a site password

The final setting listed is “ Anyone must first provide this password:” followed by a text entry box. This option might be right for you if you want to share your site beyond the Dartmouth community, but you want to restrict access to specific people. If you choose this option, visitors will need to know or guess whatever password you’ve entered in the text box.

Changing page or post visibility

You might want to make parts of your site visible to anyone, but further restrict access on specific pages or posts. You can do this in the page and post editing view. Look for the publishing panel when editing a page or post and find the “visibility” setting. There, you can create a password for this specific page or post or make the page or post private, thereby restricting access to site administrators.

Get started

Give some thought to how you want your site content to circulate. Using these tools creatively, you should be able to reach the audiences you care about and keep out unwanted visitors.

To update your site visibility, visit and log in.