Preview a Post in WordPress Before Publishing

How to Preview Post in WordPress

Tools to Preview a Post in WordPress

Think before you press “publish.” That’s because WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr — any site builder with a feed — sends out a stream of data that’s filled with content the instant you press “publish.”

Servers listening to feeds — like Facebook, LinkedIn, your subscriber’s services — detect updates almost instantly.

New Posts Get Detected Fast

A feed is what comes out of Really Simple Syndication (RSS). This is a special format designed to make news stories easy to spread and follow quickly.

RSS is a family of formats created to help people deal with information overload. Once you find a good source of information, you can tune into it like a news channel. To find out automatically when there’s a new update, your reader or email service ‘listens’ to the feed. Now you don’t have to go searching again. The next time the source publishes, the news comes to you.

Near real-time updates.  Feeds can be that fast.

That’s the beauty of a feed. You have your choice of tools to alert you to new posts. You can use a feed reader. You can use an email delivery tool like Feedburner or MailChimp, among many others. These readers and email services send you an update when a new post is published.

That’s also the danger of a feed. The instant you use the “publish” feature of your feed-enabled tool — WordPress, Blogger, Facebook, many others — the update can be picked up almost instantly. Many web servers use a protocol to get near-instant notifications when a known feed is updated. You can’t “un-feed” it. You can delete a post published by mistake. But the part that went in the feed — which may include title, summary, and content — is already sent.

That’s why it’s important NOT to click “Publish” in WordPress until your post is ready for the public.

How to Prevent People from Seeing Unfinished Posts

While you’re writing, you have 2 options to look at a post in progress before publishing it:

  1. Save as Draft, then click “preview” – a button directly above the “publish” button
  2. Save as Pending Review, then click “preview”

It’s a good habit NOT to click “Publish” until ready. This is most important when your site is live.

While you CAN’T pull a post back out of the feed, you CAN edit and post an updated version.

You can ALWAYS edit what’s on your site. However, it’s the first version that will update your list and trigger readers and publishing tools to have a look.

You can also set up your feed to send out just a title and summary. This gives you a way to keep most of your content out of the feed until you’re ready for readers.

This quick video demonstrates the tools you can use in WordPress to preview a draft post just like your readers will, but keep it safely out of public view.

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