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How to display a draft using Public Post Preview Plugin

If you are like me, you like to look at WordPress plugins that can really help you out. Such is the case this week when I was introduced to a plugin by Kyle Van Deusen.

Kyle was doing an article and needed my feedback for the post. He sent me over a Google Document where I could fill out my answers.

A day later he showed me what the article looked like on his site. I thought for a minute and wondered how I was looking at a live preview of the not-yet-published article on WordPress without me being logged in. So I asked him, Kyle, how he was able to do that, and he showed me this plugin, the Public Post Preview.

I checked it out and it looked really nice. I decided to load it on my demo site and take a look. There’s no doubt it could be beneficial when I need to get an extra set of eyes on the article or verify that information is correct.

In the past, one of the things I did was take a screenshot. That, however, can be a little annoying. You have to send the image to the person and they have to open it up and it can be cumbersome. A live link is a much more viable option.

Enter Public Post Preview. It is an extremely simple plugin that allows the user to create a temporary URL anyone can view the article without being logged in to the WordPress website.

The Problem

So, do you ever write content that you need someone to look over? Maybe it is an interview like I mentioned above, or maybe you just want someone to give you feedback. I know there are times that I wanted an extra set of eyes. We need someone who is not ourselves to find our mistakes because, often, we can’t see them.

Sometimes that person does not have a WordPress user account on our install. Why should they go through the trouble of logging in to preview an article or piece of content?

Public Post Preview

Dominik Schilling is the German developer behind this plugin. There have been over 144,000 downloads and, currently, there are 40,000+ active installs. The plugin has been translated into 13 languages. In addition to Public Post Preview, Schilling has eleven other plugins in the WordPress repository.

First, install the plugin. You can get it straight from the WordPress repository. There are no settings for the plugin. Once the plugin is installed, you are done.

Screenshot: Public Post Preview WordPress.org
Screenshot: Public Post Preview WordPress.org

Next, navigate to a post in draft stage. At the bottom of the publish widget, you should see a checkmark box that says “Enable public preview.” Click the box.

Public Post Preview
Public Post Preview

Once you click the box, a field appears below with a URL. Copy the URL and put it in the address bar of a browser in which you are not logged into your WordPress install.

Here, you should see a public preview of the post. You can also share it with your colleague who is previewing the content for you by sending the URL.

Things to remember

The link lasts 48 hours. If you wish for that link to last longer, the plugin gives a filter you can use to change the duration. The other option is a simple plugin that allows you to configure the duration. This plugin is called Public Post Preview Configurator.

If the post has already been published, obviously, the Public Post Preview will not show the box. If you want to try this on a previously published post, you will need to set it to a draft.

You can disable the public preview by unchecking the box. The plugin is only used when it is needed.

Wrapping it up

To me, this is an example of a small plugin with a huge benefit. As someone who produces content regularly, this can save a lot of time and make things so much easier to share a draft with others.

Thanks, Kyle for the share!

What plugin makes life easy for you? Drop your plugin in the comments below!

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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