It is possible that you have a large number of registered users looking to check your valuable web content. But one day, you may want to publish some private posts that can only be viewed by your working teams, project partners, family members, friends or peer bloggers. In this case, some of you may choose to password protect your content and tell your target readers the right passwords. This time, we’d like to tell you a relatively effortless method – create WordPress reading groups. Check the below steps to learn how to do this easily.
Step 1 – Install and Set Up the Groups Plugin
The Groups plugin is a powerful solution for you to set up the WordPress reading groups easily. With the group-based membership management and content access control, you can decide who can check what content totally based on your preferences. In addition, this plugin is a light-weight tool and ensures a simple user interface, integrating with all the standard WordPress capabilities which can be assigned to different users and groups.
Now, you can install this plugin via the administrative panel of your WordPress site. After activating it, you can find a newly added Groups tab in the admin menu. Simply click it and press the Options button for finish some plugin settings.
First of all, you can enable the access override for an administrator, after which the site administrator can be granted with all the access permissions derived from the capabilities set up by this plugin. Personally, we recommend you to turn this on only for the debugging purposes or getting the administrator familiarized with the WordPress system.
Next, you should decide which post types can be offered with the access restriction settings. Surely, you’d better choose all the listed options. In addition, you need to determine the capability to be enforced. As you are creating the reading groups, the reading capability should be your only option.
In addition, you’d better tick the checkboxes of User Profiles and Tree View. The former one allows you to manage the group membership for each user via the profile page easily while the latter one allows you to check your created groups in a vivid manner.
Lastly, you can decide which user roles have the permission to manage your Group plugin. Personally, you’d better grant the permission to you – the website owner only.
Step 2 – Create the Groups
If you are not creating the reading groups but some other groups for the management of your website, you also need to check the Capabilities section to delete, add and update the allowed permissions for each group. But in this situation, you can pass this step and create your groups directly.
Here, you only need to click the Groups button from the drop-down menu of the new tab, and then, press the Add Group button from the top left section of the screen.
In the next page, you can decide the group name, make it as a parent group or a sub-group, enter the group description and choose the capabilities. Here, you can roll down to the “read” related capabilities from the drop-down list and pick up your preferred options. Then, you need to click the Save button.
Note that you can create as many groups as you want by repeating these steps. Even, you can edit them in the later time or remove them totally.
Step 3 – Add Users to Your Reading Groups
Now, you can start adding some users into the target groups. For this, you should click the Users tab in the WordPress admin. Here, you can check all your registered users.
Now, you can edit each user. After entering the profile editing page, you should scroll down to find the Groups section, and then, choose the target groups from the drop-down. Note that you can add a single user into multiple groups if you want.
Step 4 – Publish Private Posts and Pages for Specific Groups
Now, you can enter the editing screen of your private posts and pages. In the right hand of the whole page, there is a newly added meta box that is named as Access Restrictions. Here, you can type or choose your previously created groups and only allow the group users to access the web content.
Besides, this meta box has a “quick creation” function. With it, you can create a new group and add your wanted capabilities directly via the quick-create field.
In addition to the meta box, you can also leverage the shortcode offered by this plugin. For instance, the shortcode of [groups_member group=”xx”] is used to limit the visibility of a blog post to those who are the members of a specific group. Also, if you want to showcase the content to users who are not the members of a group, you can use the shortcode of [groups_non_member group=”xx”].