A number of my clients have multiple WordPress websites. They write their own content. Sometimes they want a play area (AKA sandbox) where they can try things out without messing up the site content. For quite a few of them, implementing a WordPress Multisite solution would appear to be the way to go. They would have their main sites visible to the general public and the play area(s) would be protected from view.
But it’s not just a simple matter of creating a site which is not checked as Public. Although it would not be listed by a shortcode such as [bw_blogs] it would still be accessible if you type in the site’s home URL.
So we need a plugin to protect the site. There appears to be a choice.
|Plugin name and description||Plugin links||Version, total downloads, last update, tested|
Adds more privacy options to both single Wordpress sites and WordPress networks.
|More Privacy Options
Add more privacy(visibility) options to a WordPress 3.8.1 Multisite Network. Settings->Reading->Visibility:Network Users, Blog Members, or Admin
For my wife’s site I have chosen the network-privacy plugin simply because it was the first one listed and I found it first on a Google search. It seems to be doing the job.
More Privacy Options
I have also tried the more-privacy-options, but it didn’t seem to work; I could not visit the site, just access wp-admin. That could have been my error – with an invalid configuration combination with MU domain mapping. I’ll have to investigate.
The more-privacy-options plugin didn’t work on a standard WordPress install either.
Neither of these plugins is suitable for allowing visitor’s access to only parts of a site. In order to do this you will either need a membership plugin or, if you have a few pages to which you want to control access you can use the [bw_login] shortcode to protect content.