Ever been halfway through sculpting your digital masterpiece on WordPress and wished to get a second pair of eyes on it—without hitting “Publish”? You’re not alone.

Crafting words that resonate and designs that captivate, we constantly seek feedback before unveiling our creations. WordPress, being the robust Content Management System it is, understands your dilemma.

Here’s the deal: Draft sharing in WordPress doesn’t have to be a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It’s a straight path to collaborative refinement.

Through this read, you’ll navigate the labyrinth of preview WordPress draft links, unpublished post sharing, and harnessing user role permissions for controlled sneak peeks.

By the article’s end, expect to wield the savvy to seamlessly share those yet-to-be-revealed pages.

You’ll traverse topics from the handy WordPress preview post plugin to privacy settings mastery. Buckle up; we’re about to spill secrets that even seasoned WordPress pros guard closely.

Understanding WordPress Drafts

What is a WordPress Draft?

Before we take a leap into the “how,” let’s understand the “what.”

You’ve spent countless hours on WordPress, shaping your thoughts into words, tinkering with formats, adding multimedia, and before you know it, you’ve created a draft.

A WordPress draft is like a simmering pot on the stove, a work in progress, hidden from the public eye but available to you for endless edits until you’re ready to serve it to your audience.

Why Would You Need to Share a Draft?

Now that we’re familiar with drafts, let’s delve into the “why” of sharing. Your draft is your brainchild, and sometimes, you want to show it to the world before it’s completely ready.

Maybe you want feedback from your team, or you’re working with a client who wants a sneak peek into the work in progress.

Or you’re in the mood for some crowd-sourcing and want your friends’ ideas. All of this boils down to sharing your draft. But how to share a draft page in WordPress? We’ll get there, hold on.

Default WordPress Draft Sharing Limitations

Requirement of Login for Viewing Drafts

So, you’ve created a draft and you want to share it. You quickly realize that WordPress has built-in sharing restrictions.

It demands that the viewer logs in to see your draft. While this might work if you’re sharing with a fellow WordPress user, it becomes a roadblock when you want to share your draft with someone who doesn’t have a WordPress account.

Inability to Share Drafts with Non-Users

The default settings of WordPress make it a tad bit challenging to share drafts with people who are not users on your site.

They need to have a WordPress account and need to be added to your site as users. Quite a hassle, isn’t it? But fret not!

We’re here to find solutions, to explore ways on how to share a draft page in WordPress.

Solutions for Sharing WordPress Drafts

Using Plugins

WordPress, like a considerate friend, offers a wide variety of plugins to extend its functionality.

These plugins can swoop in to save the day when you’re grappling with how to share a draft page in WordPress. Let’s explore a couple of these heroes.

Public Post Preview

Imagine having a magical key that you can share with anyone, and they can peek into your draft, no logins required. Sounds wonderful? Public Post Preview does just that.

Installation and Activation

Getting started with Public Post Preview is as easy as saying “one, two, three.”

Navigate to your WordPress dashboard, head to plugins, hit “add new,” search for Public Post Preview, install, and activate. Easy peasy!

Enabling Public Preview

Once you’ve activated the plugin, open up the draft you want to share. You’ll see an option to “Enable public preview” in the publish module. Hit it!

Sharing the Public Preview Link

Enabling the public preview will conjure up a unique URL. This is your golden ticket. Share it with anyone you want, and voila! They can now see your draft without logging in.

Disabling Public Preview

Done sharing? Head back to your draft, uncheck the “Enable public preview” box, and your draft is back to being private.


Another ally in our quest is the WP-DraftsForFriends plugin. It does what its name suggests, lets you share your drafts with your friends.

Installation and Activation

Just like Public Post Preview, installing and activating WP-DraftsForFriends is a walk in the park.

Sharing Drafts with Friends

With WP-DraftsForFriends, you can generate a unique URL for your draft.

What’s cool is, you get to decide how long this link stays active. Whether it’s for minutes, hours, or days, it’s your call!

Managing Share Duration

Remember that control I mentioned? You can extend or shorten the duration of the link directly from your dashboard. Now, that’s what I call convenience.

Using Code Snippets

Feeling adventurous? Fancy a bit of coding? Here’s another method on how to share a draft page in WordPress.

A bit of warning though, you’re about to dive into the deep end. So, if you’re new to coding, you might want to stick with plugins. But if you’re up for the challenge, let’s get started!

Adding Code to Functions.php

First off, we’ll be adding a piece of code to your theme’s functions.php file. This code will create a new query variable and a rewrite rule.

function custom_preview_link() {
add_filter('query_vars', function($vars) {
$vars[] = 'custom_preview';
return $vars;

add_action('template_redirect', function() {
$is_preview = intval(get_query_var('custom_preview'));
if ($is_preview) {
$post_id = $is_preview;
$post = get_post($post_id);
if ($post && $post->post_status == 'draft') {
wp_set_current_user(0); // Set to no user.
auth_redirect(); // If you want to require users to be logged in to view the draft.
// Display the post template.

add_action('init', 'custom_preview_link');

This code snippet does the following:

  • Adds a query variable custom_preview that can be used to trigger the draft preview.
  • Hooks into template_redirect to check if the custom_preview query var is set. If it is, and the corresponding post ID is for a draft, it sets the current user to 0 (no user) and optionally calls auth_redirect() if you want to force viewers to log in.
  • Finally, it includes the single post template to display the post, exiting the script to prevent the default WordPress behavior.

Please note:

  • Modify the auth_redirect(); line according to whether you want the draft to be public (comment it out) or still behind a login (leave it as is).
  • This is a basic implementation. Depending on your specific requirements, you might need to adjust the access control logic.
  • Always back up your functions.php file before making changes.
  • Test this on a development site first to ensure it doesn’t introduce security issues or conflicts with other plugins.

Modifying the Preview URL

Post this, you will need to modify the URL structure for your previews. You’ll see the change in your draft preview link which now becomes shareable with anyone, regardless of whether they are logged in or not.

Tips and Tricks for Sharing Drafts

Sharing Drafts with Multiple People

You have your draft and a bunch of people you want to share it with.

Good news – there’s no limit to how many people you can share your draft with! Both Public Post Preview and WP-DraftsForFriends allow you to share your draft with as many people as you want, all they need is the magical link.

Managing Expiry of Shared Links

Shared links don’t have to be forever. In fact, it’s often a good idea to set an expiry for your shared drafts.

That’s right, you can set a timer on those links. WP-DraftsForFriends lets you decide the lifespan of your links right from your dashboard. Time-bound sharing, anyone?

Ensuring Privacy and Security

Even as you share your drafts, privacy and security are paramount. Here’s where link expiration comes into play again.

Setting a time limit ensures your draft doesn’t float around in cyberspace forever. Once you’re done with feedback and improvements, simply disable the sharing. Your draft is back to being your little secret.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Draft Link Shows 404 Error

Stumbling upon a 404 error page while trying to share your draft? The most common cause could be a misconfigured permalink setting.

A simple resave of your permalink structure could solve the issue.

Draft Link Does Not Expire

Your draft link turning into an immortal being and refusing to expire? Make sure you’ve set the expiration correctly.

If it persists, it might be a conflict with another plugin. Don’t sweat, disabling plugins one by one can help you find the culprit.

Draft Link Does Not Show Latest Changes

Made some edits but your shared draft link is stuck in the past? Make sure you’ve hit “save draft” after your edits.

If the issue persists, try clearing your cache. Sometimes, the old version of your draft is stored in your cache, clearing it might just do the trick.

FAQ On How To Share A Draft Page In WordPress

Can I Share a WordPress Draft Without Publishing?

Totally. You use a feature called Public Post Preview. A simple checkbox in the editor lets you share a link to the draft.

It gives anyone with the link a sneak peek—no login needed. Handy, huh?

Is There a Way to Share a Draft with a Non-Registered User?

Oh yes, you’ve got it. Plugins like Public Post Preview or Drafts for Friends work wonders. Install, activate, and share a preview link.

Non-users will view the content while it’s still a draft—no WordPress account necessary.

How Do I Enable Preview Options for Drafts?

Check your screen options in the WordPress editor. Look for ‘Public Post Preview’ after activating the respective plugin. Click it, and boom—the stage is set for sharing your draft with the world… or just your team.

Does Sharing a Draft Page Compromise My Site’s Security?

Not at all. Those preview links are temporary. Plus, you’re in control; you can disable them anytime.

Your full site stays locked down while your draft gets the views it deserves.

Will the Draft Page Be Indexed by Search Engines?

No need to sweat it. These shared drafts are usually noindex pages. Meaning search engines won’t touch them. They are ghosts to the likes of Google until you decide they’re ready for the spotlight.

How Can I Share a Draft If I Don’t Want to Use a Plugin?

Keeping it simple? Use the Publish box. Change the visibility to ‘Private’. You can then manually share it with specific users on your site. They’ll need at least an ‘Editor’ role to view it, though.

What Happens When the Public Post Preview Link Expires?

It’s like it never happened. The link goes poof, and the only way to access the draft is through the dashboard.

You can always generate a new link if the expiration caught you off guard.

Can I Share a WordPress Draft on Social Media?

A bold move, but definitely. Just bear in mind that anyone with the link can access the draft. Ensure your content is ready for such a wide audience before you shoot for the stars.

How Do I Control Who Can Preview My Draft?

User role permissions are your friends here. Assign roles carefully—subscribers shouldn’t stumble into your drafts.

With the right plugins, you could send those preview links only to your trusted circle. Tight-knit and secure.

What’s the Best Way to Collect Feedback on a Shared Draft?

Comments, baby. Enable them for the draft, and your team can leave their thoughts right there.

Alternatively, use a collaboration tool outside of WordPress. Collect the thoughts, then refine that gem of a draft.


So, you’ve made it through the maze. Figured out how to share a draft page in WordPress. It’s like unlocking a secret passage that lets you sneak people a glance at your work—while it’s still under wraps. Quite the magic trick, right?

Let’s recap what’s now in your toolkit:

  • Plugins? Check. Public Post Preview or Drafts for Friends can do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Direct sharing? Absolutely. Tweak those visibility settings or hand over a temporary link like you’re passing a secret note in class.
  • Security concerns? Squashed. Preview links are as temporary as a shooting star, and your draft stays hidden from search engines’ prying eyes.

The stage is set, your audience awaits. Share drafts confidently, gather feedback, and polish your work until it shines like a diamond. This is your show, your script—direct it wisely, and break a leg!

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