One of my friends asked me, can you set up a private blog? Charities and non-profit websites have staff, donors and volunteers working with them all the time. Managing volunteers, sharing training videos, or disseminating updates through a bulletin board helps charities to be better organized and function smoothly.
You can streamline all these tasks (and many more!) by adding a private blog to your charity website. This lets you share information within your workplace team, ensuring the right people have access to it.
With this in mind, today we’ll show how can you set up a private blog on your website. You’ll learn how to allow certain users to access the restricted content either by entering a password or logging in with their user account.
But before we begin, let’s look at some use cases. These will show you some different situations where a WordPress private blog can streamline a charity’s internal processes.
What is a Private Blog & Can you set up a private blog?
A WordPress private blog plugin lets you protect some (or all) of your blog categories and the posts within them. It lets you decide how to grant access to the restricted content. You can do this either by using password protection or requiring users to log in using their account.
The rest of your charity website (pages, public posts, etc.) remain available to everyone. The difference is that the site will also have a hidden blog that only specific people can see.
In this tutorial, we’re going to talk about how to create private areas within the blog section of your WordPress charity website. However, the instructions work equally for protecting other content types in WordPress. For example, you can protect custom post type categories in exactly the same way as blog post categories.
Why You Should Use a Private Blog on Your Charity Website
There are lots of reasons why a charity website can benefit from a private blog:
- Bulletin board. A private blog allows you to create a digital bulletin board on your WordPress website. Use it to post upcoming events, news, documents, memos, and updates exclusively for employees and volunteers.
- Donor updates. Once your supporters become donors, you’ll need a platform for sharing content and resources with them. Private blogs make this super easy to implement. You can even set up special areas for individual donors.
- Internal blog for volunteers. With a private blog, you can create a hidden area on your website. Use this to provide volunteers with training videos, getting started guides, and other helpful resources.
Regardless of how you choose to use a private blog, the process of setting it up on your WordPress charity site is the same.
How to Create a Private WordPress Blog on Your Charity Site
The ‘Password Protected Categories’ plugin offers an easy way to hide some or all of your charity blog content while leaving the rest of the site public and visible to everyone. It lets you change the visibility of some or all of your blog categories between public, private, and password protected.
When a user unlocks an area of the private blog, they can access all the posts within. This way, they don’t have to re-enter a password for each blog post they want to read.
To get started, buy the Password Protected Categories plugin and log in to your WordPress admin panel. Next, head over to Plugins > Add New and click the Upload Plugin button.
Once the plugin is uploaded, installed, and activated to your website, head over to Settings > Protected Categories and enter your license key.
Now that you have the plugin installed, you can choose to password protect your charity blog’s categories or set their visibility to Private. Let’s explore both methods next.
Method 1: Password Protect Your Blog’s Categories
You should password protect your charity blog’s categories if you want an easy way to give people access. This option is great for setting up resource hubs for individual donors, creating an area for contributors, or granting exclusive access to some employees.
It works by password protecting one or more categories of blog posts. When someone enters a correct password for the protected category, they will be able to view and read the posts within. You can choose whether to hide protected posts from public view completely, or display them to everyone and simply require a password to read them.
Creating New Password Protected Categories
If you’re just starting out then you probably don’t have categories added to your WordPress charity website. Here’s how you can create new categories and password protect them from the get-go:
- Head over to Posts > Categories from the WordPress admin panel and give your category a name and a slug.
- Next, scroll down to the Visibility section and select the Password protected option. Choose one or more passwords, then click the Add New Category button.
Select this category whenever you add a new post to this private charity blog. Following our example, we’d set the category to Charity Volunteers.
Password Protecting Existing Blog Categories
If you already have blog posts published and categorized on your charity website then you can simply change their visibility settings. Head over to Posts > Categories, hover over the category you’d like to add to your private blog, and click Edit.
From the Edit Category screen, scroll down to the Visibility section and select the Password protected option. Enter one or more passwords to protect the category, then click the Update button.
Accessing Password-Protected Blog Categories
Here’s what your private blog should look like from the front-end:
And once a user enters the password, they’ll be able to view the private blog posts within the category.
Method 2: Set Your Blog’s Categories to Private
You can make blog categories and their posts visible to users with a specific role, and hidden from everyone else, by setting their visibility to Private. This option is great for setting up a bulletin board or resource hub for volunteers and facilitators.
By default, private blog categories are only visible to logged in Administrators and Editors. You can easily make them available to other user roles, such as Subscribers, by following these instructions.
Creating New Private Categories
- To create a new private category, navigate to Posts > Categories from the WordPress admin panel and give your category a name and a slug.
- Scroll down to the Visibility section, select the Private option, and click the Add New Category button to continue.
Now, simply select this category whenever you create a new post for the private blog. Following our example, we’d set the category to Bulletin Board.
Making Existing Categories Private
- To change the visibility of an existing category, navigate to Posts > Categories, hover over the category you’d like to add to your private blog, and click Edit.
- From the Edit Category screen, scroll down to the Visibility section and select the Private option. Next, click the Update button.
Logged in users with the correct role will be able to view categories with Private visibility and the blog posts inside them. The private blog content will remain hidden from guests and other user roles.
A WordPress private blog can help you supercharge your charity website. It makes it easier to manage volunteers, share news and updates with donors, create resources for facilitators, and more.
We’ve shown you how to add a private blog to any WordPress charity website using two methods – by password protecting categories, and by setting their visibility to Private. You’ve also learned which option to choose for different use cases.
Can you set up a private blog on your charity website now? We’d love to hear from you, so let us know by commenting below!