How to share unpublished posts (drafts) with the Public!

As bloggers, there are moments we need to some share unpublished posts with someone who doesn’t have access to our backoffice.

If you are writing for a client or reviewing a product, the client may demand to read through the post before you make it public.

You may be writing a post with the help of someone who doesn’t have access to your blog’s admin and you absolutely need to give that person a way to read through your post before publication.

I know you are thinking to;

  1. Create a demo account for that person on your blog or
  2. Send a text version of the written post or
  3. Use Google Docs.

Creating a demo account on your blog may lead to a lot of other problems. You may not know your partner too well so giving access to your blog is tantamount to allowing a total stranger in your sitting room while you away. You see what I mean?

Well, maybe you think the second option is better but my experience tells me it is inefficient. I sent a text version of a review post to a client but that let to more waste of time.

First, the text file (.txt) does not support any form of formatting. Secondly, the graphics in the post could not be previewed. My client requested for an MSWORD version.

Here again, there was an issue. While I sent a .docx version, my client requested for a .doc compatible version. The difference here is simply with the version of MSOFFICE we both are using.

We wasted a lot of time on something that would have been sorted out the very first minute.

What about Google Docs?

This seems to be the most widely used solution. However, there is still a productivity issue with this. Copying and pasting text from Google Docs to WordPress will still require some re-formatting. Adding to this, any associated images will have to be imported and uploaded.

You see that?

More time wasted.

So what’s the better way to share your unpublished blog posts (draft) with someone who doesn’t have access to your blog?

post draft preview

Allow Public Post Preview of Unpublished Posts – share unpublished posts

Now, I have found 2 WordPress plugins that make it safely possible to allow the public preview your unpublished posts. These plugins provide a preview link for posts with a status of draft, pending or future.

1 -> Share unpublished posts with Drafts for friends

As simple as it sounds, it allows you to share your posts drafts with friends (and business partners) This is what I have been using to allow clients access to what I have written before publication.

Here is how it functions…

First save your post as draft (assuming you have the plugin installed and activated)

share unpublished posts
Go to the plugin page and select the post draft you want to share. Set the time the link should expire (Seconds, Minutes, Hours or Days)

Once this is done, you can grab the draft public link and give out to your partners or friends.

-> Download Drafts for Friends!

2 -> Share unpublished posts with Public Post Preview

Here is the second plugin I found that allows you to share unpublished blog posts or drafts with the public. This is quite simple in that right on your post composition page, you can already get the public link to your draft. However, you have to make sure your draft is saved first.

share unpublished posts draft


While composing a post, under the “Publish” tab, you should see an additional checkbox labeled Enable Public Preview. If you check this box, you will have the URL you can share with anyone else that’s not connected to your blog. If you want to disable public access to the post draft, simply uncheck  the box.

-> Download Public Post Preview!

Drafts for friends Vs Public Post Preview!

Both plugins get the same results. However, I think Public Post Preview is more accessible. You don’t need to close the blog post and open a different page. You are able to grab your public link with a simple click on the check box right in front of you.

While Drafts For Friends on the other hand makes it a bit more difficult to generate the link, I like the fact that you can set a link to expire at a given time. Once the link expires, it automatically goes off. What the visitor see is the 404 not found error.

NB: Here is how to create your custom 404 page not found – no plugin required please!

Here is my take…

I use Drafts for friends because it allows me more control on the public links I create. However, if you want something more simple to get at, try Public Post Preview.

These may not be the only plugins that allow public viewing of unpublished posts. If there is something else you are using, kindly share it with us in the comment box.

If you like this post, please share it on social media and don’t forget to drop your comment.

47 thoughts on “How to share unpublished posts (drafts) with the Public!”

  1. Hi Enstine
    What a timely post! Earlier I used to take screen shots and send to my clients and contacts. But now with this plugin lot of my time is saved. 🙂 How easy it is to share with public.
    Thanks Enstine for the shout out.
    Keep sharing.
    Have a great weekend.
    ~ Philip

  2. Hi Enstine Sir,
    These plugin are great for this purpose.
    When I read this post, I opened my site and Published my post as shedule post and open it on an other browser but it said page not found then I understand, these two plugin are really very helpful for preview before publish.

    People just say, very helpful sir, really great but they don’t check other method, so that we could tell another method for this purpose.

    Any way thanks for sharing,

    Areesha Noor!

  3. Hey Sir,
    I saw the link to this article on your blog somewhere and i was
    amazed thinking that is it possible to share the draft with public??
    If yes then How??
    But now i got it how sir it is just amazing!

  4. Ohh, thats great Enstine sir,
    This will be very helpful to us, now we can preview the posts before publishing and make corrections if there is any problem.

    Thank you very much sir.

  5. This is something different and useful.Now i can show my posts to my friend for a review before publishing.It will reduce mistakes in my posts.

    Thanks Enstine Sir

  6. Enstine,

    This is great information. Having this functionality is really useful. As you say letting people into your blog can be dangerous.



  7. Hey Enstine,
    This was a most awesome tutorial. It provides ease and comfortable in getting blog posts previewed before publication. This novelty could only found by someone like you. Keep up the good job of keeping us informed. Will share.

  8. Hi Enstine,
    This is a superB post for today. Am happy that I can now share my post to anyone even when unpublished.

    But for the second plugin, I think it gonna be of a great help than the other. I like its features bro.

    Have a nice day bro!

  9. Good day Enstine, never tought there is a way to share draft post before until now. Its my first interesting post to have read todat.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Greetings Enstine,
    I’m not suggesting you have a bad idea. However, as you add more plugins to your site it gets a bit slower. Perhaps one is insignificant. They add up quickly though.

    Isn’t it just as easy to password protect the post and share the password?
    Be well.

    • Hey Morris,
      Good to see you here and thanks for the point you raised. I have written on that before but if we have to consider that always, then one is never going to talk on any plugin.

      In any case, these plugins I mentioned here don’t have frontend effect on your blog.They only grant access to drafts with no js, css or database calls on normal post load.

      Password won’t be a solution as this requires you publish the article first. We are looking at a situation where the article is in draft mode.

      Once published, password protection won’t hide it on home page or category listings. It will only hide the content on the single display page. However, can you tell us more on how you implement the solution?

      Glad to have you around mate

  11. Hi Enstine,

    Well – that was exactly what I needed, and will certainly be using it, so thanks very much for finding it for me.

    In the past I have created special accounts for guest writers, but that didn’t quite fit my needs this time, so I’m really grateful for your help with these two plug-ins.

    Have a great weekend. Joy

    • Hey Joy,
      I have been using this for about a year now and I like the fact that I can generate links to expire after a given time.

      Thanks for coming over and sharing your past experience dear friend.

      Do have a wonderful Sunday

  12. Hey Enstine,

    This is a very good article, I have always wondered how to do this.

    Generally, what I do is, make the user an account and attach the draft on his id. But then a lot of clients don’t want to bother with the login and they want a direct and easy access URL.

    Lately, I have taken screenshots of the draft page and sent the screenshot as preview of the post.

    Good to know about these plugins, will surely give them a try soon,

    Uttoran Sen,

    • Hi Uttoran,
      Thanks for sharing with us how you used to try to go about this. I think these plugins are great ways to get someone to your drafts without worrying about logins.

      I hope you are having a wonderful weekend buddy

  13. Hi Enstine,
    Wow! Really i was not aware about that before. Definitely going to check it out.
    Most thanks for sharing Drafts for Friends!
    Great useful article, dear Enstine! Keep it up.
    Have a nice day!

  14. I personally never want my drafts open to all because, there are too many content thieves who might steal my idea before publishing. And, here is no wonder that my original content might be caught as duplicate content, once somebody is posted it before me.

    • Hi Majharul,
      Well it’s not about you opening your drafts to all. If you work with clients, you may have need to show them your work before publication.

      How do you intend to work with clients in this case?

  15. Hey Enstine! I always wondered if there was a way to do this. And now I know… I should have figured there was a plugin for it! Great post topic. Sharing!

  16. Hi Enstine,

    While I was reading through this tutorial, I already have a reason to install public post review plugin.

    I’m publishing an Infographic next week which need to be view first before publishing by a good friend who helped in creation of it, so this make your tutorial a very handy one for me.

    Thanks for sharing, on my way to install the plugin and sharing this post with my friends.

  17. Thanks for the tutorial Enstine.

    These WordPress plugins are very useful specially for those who publish sponsored posts and reviews for mega bucks. With this, clients can make more suggestions before the post/review goes live. Also, it may provoke addition payment on the part of the client 😉

  18. Enstine,

    A worth hot shot plugin. This will surely help me , and freelance writers like me a lot.

    I’ll surely download and use it on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing

  19. Hi Enstine,

    The plugins you just listed should find themselves installed by any serious blogger who publishes entries that need to be shared with the public before they go live. Personally, I do not publish such posts at the moment but would certainly be doing so in the nearest future. Accordingly, I have bookedmarked the tutorial for future reference.

    Great tutorial I must say.

    Do enjoy the day!

    Akaahan Terungwa

    • Hey bro,
      First, congrats on releasing your course. Hope it’s going well

      Well, for bloggers like us who do paid content, like you mentioned, this is a most. Clients would always want to read through any post before publication.

      I’m sure bloggers will jump on this 😉

      thanks man for adding value

  20. You will never stop to amuse me with your great discovery everyday
    This is another key point you just exposed today
    No wonder you created BlogExpose
    Nice one

  21. Hey Enstine,

    This was a really awesome tutorial. I was also thinking for some kind of option like this and u published 🙂

    Thank you

  22. Hi Enstine , This is the best way to fetch a post for proof read fro,m others before you hit the publish button. This is amazing and I think this is going to help a lot of other bloggers who are using wordpress for blogging.

    But is there any way to do same for Blogspot platform?

    Mohinder Paul Verma
    BloggingFunda – A Community of Bloggers

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