Private page problem in WordPress.

I’ve been asked to look at how WordPress could serve as an e-portfolio for researchers, which I think it could do quite well, but for one annoying little bug.  Now, as a researcher, you would want a lot of public pages and posts, so other people who are researching into your topic can read what you’re doing, and hopefully share what they’re doing with you.

You would also want some of your pages to be confidential so that only you, and perhaps your supervisors could see. You might want to include case study notes, interview transcripts or other personal data for example. I would have thought that the option of making pages private would cope with that, and so it does. But the problem is that the links to private pages don’t appear in the navigation menus. Even if you’re logged in, which rather defeats the object. (Yes, you could still access the data from the dashboard, but that might be tricky if you have a lot of data, as case study researchers are apt to do!)  This doesn’t seem to be a theme issue because I’ve tried it with about 5 themes and it seems to be the same across the board.

Admittedly privacy works fine with posts, in that you can see your private posts if you’re logged in (and not if you just point your browser at the blog)  But if you’re creating a research portfolio, then the inability to see your own  private pages is, to put it mildly, irritating. And even more so, if you’re trying to teach new researchers with no experience of WordPress how to organise their material.

I guess you could play around with PHP and CSS of a theme to sort this out, but I’m really no coder. So if anyone knows of a theme which will display links to private pages in the navigation, please do let me know. (A colleague has just suggested the latest “twenty ten” theme. So, I’ll try that and let you know.)

Nope, that didn’t work either! So I’m guessing this might be a bit deeper than the theme.

4 thoughts on “Private page problem in WordPress.

  1. Another issue with the pages is that updates don’t show up on ‘’ home page. A user can get an update on recent posts but there’s no indication if a page has been updated – e.g. I’ve been working on the Lincoln and Turf Labyrinths pages at this morning but no one would know! I’ve found that trying to use WordPress for anything other than a blog is quite a challenge so I will be following your eportfolio inquiries with interest. 🙂

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