How to Password Protect Your WordPress Site While Under Development

Posted by Kaveri Bharali on September 2, 2019

Last updated on: September 18, 2020

Launch time is always exciting. And what better way to generate a buzz than to add a great coming soon page to let people know that something exciting is on the way?

But what if you want to grant access to a few select people to view the site while under development?

Password protecting your site is an excellent way to keep your design clients updated on your progress, or show off a new site in development to clients before you officially launch. You can use it for your blog, a single post or page, or even your entire website.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to password protect your WordPress site while under development in the simplest and quickest way, so only select people can view your site in progress.

Here are the steps for password protecting WordPress when under development:

  1. Download and install SeedProd
  2. Configure the SeedProd plugin settings
  3. Password protect specific WordPress pages
  4. Password protect the whole WordPress site

How to Password Protect WordPress Site While Under Development

Currently, WordPress doesn’t offer a default option to password protect your entire site all at once.

The only way to make that happen is by integrating your website with a 3rd party plugin that comes with that feature.

Although WordPress offers a number of options for you to choose from, the best plugin for this purpose is the SeedProd Coming Soon Pro Plugin

Using this plugin, let’s check out how to hide your WordPress site during development.

Step 1: Download and Install SeedProd

SeedProd coming soon plugin to password protect wordpress site while under development

The first step in learning how to hide your WordPress site during development is to download the SeedProd plugin.

SeedProd is one of the most powerful and beautifully coded WordPress plugins that lets you create stunning coming soon, maintenance mode and under-construction pages for your website.

The plugin comes with a library of fully-customizable pre-built layouts that you can use right away. It also works with all major WordPress themes.

You can take full control of your coming soon page design with its intuitive drag and drop page builder. It also lets you add various elements to your page, including a count down timer and a progress bar.

With SeedProd, you can easily password protect a part of your website or the entire site without needing any technical knowledge. And even though your site will be password-protected search engines will still be able to crawl it. This means you can continue to maintain your search rankings.

Once you’ve downloaded SeedProd, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugin.

SeedProd plugin

Now browse through your computer and upload the zipped SeedProd folder you just downloaded. Finally, click on the Activate button to make it start working.

Once you install and activate the plugin, you’ll be redirected to the license key page, where you need to verify your key. This key will be sent to your registered email address upon purchasing the plugin.

Once the key is verified you are ready to use the plugin to password protect your website while it’s still under development.

Step 2: Configure Your Settings

To protect your website, go to Settings Page » Coming Soon Pro from the WordPress dashboard. You’ll now be on the SeedProd Settings screen.

Upon scrolling down the page you’ll see an option called Advanced Settings. You’ll have several options here including:

  1. Show on Coming Soon/Maintenance Page on the Entire Site
  2. Show on the Home Page Only
  3. Include URLs
  4. Exclude URLs
password protect WordPress site

If you select the 1st option, anyone visiting your website will see the Coming soon page appear on the screen. You can learn how to create a coming soon page here.

However, you can keep working on it from the back-end like you normally would on any other WordPress website.

The second option lets you password protect only your homepage while under development. Yet, the rest of your site’s pages will still be accessible to site visitors.

For the third option, you can choose specific URLs to display your coming soon page on, which we’ll explore next.

Step 3: Enable Password Protection for Specific Pages Under Development

If you have certain individual WordPress posts, pages, and even WooCommerce products on your site that you don’t want your visitors to see you can use the Include URLs option.

Just click on Include URLs and you’ll have a blank field. Here you need to add the URL of your password-protected posts.

password protect pages while under development

For that, you’ll first have to password protect your pages and posts individually. You can do that by going to the post or page that you want to hide from your visitors. Now click on the Edit option.

Edit a WordPress post

On your right in the WordPress editor, you’ll see the Publish option. Under this option click on Visibility » Password-Protected.

Choose the password protected visibility option to password protect a post in WordPress

You’ll now have a blank field where you can enter your password. Add your password and hit the publish button.

Now your content will have the password protected status.

Anyone who tries to view this post or page will now be prompted to access your WordPress site with a single password via a login page. To unlock this page, your visitors will need the new password that you just used to protect it.

password protected page

You can do this to all the posts and pages that you want to keep private. Each of these posts will be marked Password protected against its title in the dashboard. You can see this by going to All Posts in your WordPress dashboard.

Password protected WordPress posts

Only those who are logged into your website with admin user roles or the creator can access these password-protected posts and pages.

Now that you’ve protected your posts and pages with a password, you can add them to the Include URLs section of SeedProd.

Note: You need to add a single URL in each line when you use the Include URL option in the SeedProd dashboard.

Password protect specific pages in WordPress

So make sure you hit the enter button after every URL. Using a comma or backslash to separate your URLs may not offer the desired result.

Once the URLs are added click on the Save Changes button. That’s it.

None of the posts or pages you added in the Include URLs section will now be visible to your users, even though they’re all published posts and pages. So your password-protected areas are safe! Instead, anyone visiting those URLs will see you coming soon or under construction page.

Step 4: Password Protect the Whole WordPress Site

SeedProd also gives you the option to let your visitors bypass your coming soon page and view your entire WordPress site with a single password while under development.

This is a great option to give clients, friends, and family a sneak peek of your design on the development site before launch.

First, enable Coming Soon Mode on your website by clicking the Enable Coming Soon radio button next to the Status heading.

enable coming soon mode

Then if you scroll down, you’ll see an option called Access Control. This is available right below the advanced settings option.

password protect wordpress site while under development

On the blank field next to bypass URL, you can enter a secret phrase. You’ll also see a bypass URL right below your secret phrase.

Logged in users and anyone who has this URL can access the password-protected content.

You an also enter individual IP addresses, so that anyone visiting from a specific IP address can bypass your coming soon page.

Adding a Password Input Field to Your Coming Soon Page

If you’d like to display a box for users to enter the correct password to access your site, you can do that within the Coming Soon Page editor.

First, click the Edit Coming Soon Page / Maintenance Page button.

edit your password protected page

Then, scroll to the Content section and enter the shortcode: seed_bypass_form.

Add a password input field on protected pages in WordPress

This will add a password form so users with your password can access your protected pages.

Now click Save, and that’s it!

You can use the above method to add password protection to any WordPress site while under development. This can be done either to a part of your website or to the entire site depending on your requirements.

Wasn’t that easy and quick? We hope this article was helpful to you.

And because you’re coming up with a new website we thought you might also be interested in knowing how to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website to track your visitor’s activities.

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