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How to Add a Private Messaging System in WordPress

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Ever wanted to add a private messaging system for your users in WordPress? Whether its a multi-author blog, forum, or a question / answer site, the ability to send private messages is important for online communities. In this article, we will show you how to add a private messaging system in WordPress.

Private messages between users on a WordPress site

Video Tutorial

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If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then continue reading.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Front End PM plugin. Upon activation, you need to visit Front End PM » Instructions page to setup the plugin.

Setting up Front End PM plugin

The setup instructions are quite simple.

You can either copy and paste the shortcode in any WordPress page that you would like to use for private messaging.

Alternatively, you can create a new page using the fields below. After creating the page, you can preview it and it will look like this:

Private messages preview

Configuring Direct Message Settings

This plugin comes with a comprehensive set of configuration options. You can change these by visiting Front End PM » Settings page.

Front End PM settings page

You can set the number of messages a user can store. You can also block users by adding their usernames into block user setting.

Most importantly, you can set a minimum capability level required for users to send or receive messages.

The default capability is read, which means all registered users can send and receive direct messages. However you can change it to write or edit, so that only authors or editors can use private messaging features.

User Settings for Private Messages

Your WordPress users can control the direct messaging features directly from the front-end of your website. In other words, they don’t need to login to the WordPress admin area.

They need to simply click on the settings tab to control it.

User settings for private messages in WordPress

Users can opt-out of receiving messages from others and disable email notifications and announcements.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you add a private messaging system to your WordPress site. You may also want to check out our guide on how to add a login form in your WordPress sidebar.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

13 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. Nathan says

    Hi. I’m wondering.. I did read the comments but just wondered if I activate this plugin. I have a realestate site. So can a buyer contact the seller say by a link “contact seller” and once clicked it will automatically populates the sellers username in the”to” section of the message? Sorry if this question has already been asked!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For that kind of customization, you would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for if it is an option.


  3. Célia reubrecht says

    Hello !
    Thanks for this plugin, that’s exactly what I was looking for !
    But can you tell me how I can change the infos buttons such as the background color of “Message successfully sent” etc

    Thanks !

  4. Ahmed Deduice says

    Is there a way to make member/subscriber have a kind of dashboard to receive the messages sent to them. Currently, it’s showing a long bar at the top of a page and is inaccessible.


  5. Delwar Jahan says

    Thanks a lot for the review. I am going to try this one in one of my project. Independent plugin without the issue of adding buddypress.

  6. Curt says

    I downloaded Front End PM and it looks great, but how do people get their name in the director so you can message them?

    • Deepak says

      Hi, Just add Add <a href=" USER ) ); ?>”>Send Message Where you want to show Link

      User name pre-populate new message “To”

  7. Curt Stowell says

    I think the plugin is great and I appreciate the quick info, but how do my members add to the Directory?

  8. Jay Clayton says

    WordPress techniques and a Dr. Who reference in the same article? I knew you people were brilliant! Thanks for the PM tip – I might be able to use this in one of my upcoming projects.

  9. Biplob says

    This is the best plugin i am using in my website. All are done in front end. So i can keep out my users from dashboard. All needed functions for private messaging are there. A Pro plugin but free of cost.A perfect plugin for private message in wordpress. Thanks to plugin author as well as wpbeginner for showing me this plugin. I was not aware that this plugin exists.

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