How to password protect a WP site

If you have a development or test site, or maybe a private site that you only want friends or family to have access to, then you might want to password protect your entire WordPress site.

Note: As well as stopping human traffic, this will also stop search engines from crawling your site as they can not view protected pages or access your sitemap.

There are two ways to password protect the entire site, either with a WP plugin or by using HTTP Authentication. We recommend using a plugin because it is easier for you to enable, disable and change the password anytime you like, so that is the method that we will talk through here.

If for some reason you really want to use HTTP Authentication then get in touch with us and we can set that up for you.

The plugin that we recommend is Password Protected, it’s light, easy, frequently updated and secure.

  • In your WordPress admin page, go to Plugins – Add New
  • Search for “password protected”, the plugin you are looking for is by Ben Huson and will be in the top few results.
  • Install and activate the plugin.
  • Go to SettingsPassword Protected in the left side menu and change password protected status to Enabled, set a password for users to view the site, and then Save.

There a couple of other options on the settings page but they are all pretty simple and self explanatory.