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How to Avoid Accidental Publishing in WordPress

Do you want to avoid accidental publishing in WordPress?

Even the most experienced bloggers and multi author websites have accidentally hit the publish button before an article was ready.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily avoid accidental publishing in WordPress.

How to avoid accidental publishing in WordPress

Why Stop Accidental Publishing on Your WordPress Blog?

Many site owners and bloggers set up automatic processes to share blog posts with readers, post to Facebook, and send articles to their email list.

Accidental publishing can be a big problem because your posts can get shared and sent to email subscribers and readers before you get the chance to unpublish them.

If there are some minor errors, then you can just edit a post without unpublishing it.

However, if an incomplete article goes live, then it is a bit embarrassing. Unpublishing the article means your users will see a 404 page when they click on the link from email, social media, push notifications, and more.

If you have a multi-author WordPress blog, then you’ll also want to ensure your other authors don’t accidentally make a post live before its ready.

With that said, let’s take a look at how you can easily avoid accidental publishing in WordPress.

How to Easily Avoid Accidental Publishing in WordPress

The WordPress Gutenberg block editor automatically includes an additional confirmation message before you publish a post or page in WordPress.

In the past, this feature had to be added to WordPress by using a plugin, or adding custom code snippets, but now it’s included automatically.

Now, if you open a post or page and click the ‘Publish’ button it won’t publish the article right away.

Publish new blog post

Instead, it gives you an additional confirmation box that asks ‘Are you ready to publish?’.

Then, you will need to click the ‘Publish’ button again to actually make the post or page live. You can also click the ‘Cancel’ button if you clicked publish by mistake.

Confirm blog post publishing

This additional confirmation message makes it much harder to accidentally publish a post, since you’ll need to click the ‘Publish’ button two times.

To make sure your posts always get published at the right time, you can also use the built-in scheduling feature so your posts will be published in the future. To learn more, see our step by step guide on how to schedule your posts in WordPress.

Alternatively, you may also want to control user role capabilities so only certain users can publish articles. For more details, see our guide on how to add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to avoid accidental publishing in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to choose the best blogging platform and our expert picks of the best live chat software for small businesses.

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Reader Interactions

10 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Unfortunately I cannot download plugins as I am on wordpress.com. That being the case I hardly see how this is of any help to a “beginner”.

    Try giving real assistance to those of us on the .com version of wordpress.

  2. For me the biggest risk is via the WordPress App. When you create a new post in the app, the default state is “publish” so if you save it, you’re publishing it. I always have to remember to manually switch it to draft, then save. I wish they’d make them draft by default!

  3. Hi, I’ve accidentally published a post and changed the status to draft. Should I noindex & nofollow it and what about permalink?

  4. Thank you so much for this! I have only done this once… accidentally published an article that was not ready to go out. Luckily, the WordPress had scheduled it for some time in the far past, instead of “immediate”, so it never got published for anyone to see on the home page. However, my automatic social media feeds that are connected to my site did publish it to the feed. I only discovered this because I get an email when people share their articles on social media, but I had to spend about an hour tracking all the feeds it got published too and deleting the article off the feed. So this will definitely come in handy.

  5. I’ve actually never had this problem myself and just recently discovered the Editorial Calendar which I think will help organize content for the future so I can plan things out, too.

    I like this tip though. You never know, just in case, it’s good to have it there.

  6. I often just create a scheduled date a long time in the future, then remove it when I want to publish

  7. Thanks for the article.

    If I do add the code to functions.php, won’t that be overwritten when a new version of WordPress is released?

  8. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fix the issue for those of us using xmlrpc tools, like Windows Live Writer. I really wish there was a way to build UIs using xmlrpc responses.

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