How to share unpublished posts (drafts) with the Public!

As bloggers, there are moments we need to some share unpublished posts with someone who doesn’t have access to our backoffice.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So what’s the better way to share your unpublished blog posts (draft) with someone who doesn’t have access to your blog?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Allow Public Post Preview of Unpublished Posts – share unpublished posts

Now, I have found 2 WordPress plugins that make it safely possible to allow the public preview your unpublished posts.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 Share unpublished posts with Drafts for friends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.

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