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Private Content

Display a portion of a post content only to users of a specific role or to a single user.

This plugin provides a shortcode to display a portion of a post content only to users of a specific role. For example, you can show the hidden text to Editors or to Authors or to any other WordPress role.

Please, note that an Administrator can read an Editor private content or a Subscriber private content, and so on. Same thing for Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber: a higher role can read a lower role content.

Also you can show the hidden text only to a certain role. For example, you can mark a text as visible only to Contributors and hide it to higher roles, such as Administrators or Editors and so on.

As of version 3.0 you can mark a text as visible only to a certain user, using his login name.

As of version 4.0 you can mark a text as visible to multiple users, using their login names comma separated.


Display this text only to Administrators:

[private role="administrator"]Text for Administrators[/private]

Display this text only to Administrators and Editors:

[private role="editor"]Text for Editors[/private]

Display this text only to Administrators, Editors, and Authors:

[private role="author"]Text for Authors[/private]

Display this text only to Administrators, Editors, Authors, and Contributors:

[private role="contributor"]Text for Contributor[/private]

Display this text only to Administrators, Editors, Authors, Contributors, and Subscribers:

[private role="subscriber"]Text for Subscribers[/private]

Text only for specific roles

If you want to show a note only to a certain role, you have to use a <role>-only option. In this way, for example, an Administrator or an Editor (roles higher than Author) cannot read a note only for Authors.

These are all the cases:

[private role="editor-only"]Text for Editors only[/private]
[private role="author-only"]Text for Authors only[/private]
[private role="contributor-only"]Text for Contributors only[/private]
[private role="subscriber-only"]Text for Subscribers only[/private]
[private role="visitor-only"]Text for Visitors only[/private]

Text only for a specific user

In the case you want to show a text only to a specific user, assign none to role and a login name to recipient:

[private role="none" recipient="login-name"]Text for a specific user only[/private]

Change login-name with the correct login name of the target user.

You can use a comma separated list of usernames to target certain users:

[private role="none" recipient="login-name1, login-name2, login-name3"]Text for specific users only[/private]

Change login-name1, login-name2, and login-name3 with the correct login names of the target users.

Alternate text for non-targeted users

If you want to show an alternate text in case the reader can't read, you can use:

[private role="author" alt="You have not rights to read this."]Text for authors only[/private]

Please, take note that the alternate text, if defined, is always publicly displayed.

The alternate text can contain some HTML tags. The list is:

  • b or strong for bold text;
  • em or i for italic text;
  • a for links, with href and title included. For href and title do not use double quote, but single quote.

Container for the text

Starting from version 2.4, the user can choose the container element for the text:

  • p is the default value;
  • div is another option. This element allows you use HTML elements like lists, headings, and more.
  • span is the final option. This element allows you to add private content inline.


[private container="div"]This is the text[/private]
I met with a friend[private container="span"] (Jenny, from ninth grade)[/private] for lunch.

Standard WordPress user roles

WordPress roles in descending order:

  • Administrator
  • Editor
  • Author
  • Contributor
  • Subscriber
Author Aldo Latino
Contributors aldolat, specialk, thewanderingbrit
Tags content, private
  1. private-content screenshot 1

    At the center of the screen, the shortcode is used in the WordPress editor. The text inside the shortcode will be displayed only to Authors and above roles.

  2. private-content screenshot 2

    The shortcode in action. On the left, the text revealed to Administrators only; on the right, the page as seen by lower roles (Editors, Authors, etc., or simply readers).

This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

  1. Upload the private-content directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress
  3. Now the shortcode is available and ready to use.


  • Improved security.
  • Changed text domain declaration.
  • Added translation files.


  • NEW: added support for links in alternate text.


  • NEW: Added support for multiple recipents.


  • NEW: Added option for a single user.
  • FIX: now, if the role is not correctly entered, the shortcode does not display anything.
  • Removed CSS class in the alternate text, in order to hide which type of users was the recipent of the text.


  • NEW: Added ability to use "span" as a container.
  • FIX: Removed shortcode execution in feed.


  • NEW: now it's possible to use a div container instead of p, thanks to a pull request of Matt.


  • FIX: Added styling option for the alternate text.
  • Added style to role-only alternate text.


  • NEW: now the plugin can show an alternate text if the reader hasn't the capability to read the text.


  • NEW: added the possibility to show a note only to Visitors (thanks to Jacki for the tip).


  • NEW: now you can show a note only to user of a specific role, hiding that note to higher roles.
  • Added uninstall.php to delete the new custom capabilities.


  • Now the inline style appears only if necessary.


  • Upon request, added the possibility to align the text left, right, centered and justified.


  • First release of the plugin.

Is there a way to display an alternate text to readers that haven't the rights to read the hidden text?

This plugin is not intended to be used in such way, but only in order to display a portion of a post to certain readers. Also, the hidden text must remain hidden, without the presence of an alternate text that could reveal the presence of the hidden text. Anyway, as of version 2.2, the plugin can display an alternate text, if it's necessary: you can use the alt option to do that.

Also, this plugin was created only to show a small piece of text (i.e. a couple of lines) as a note to the post for particular readers.

If you need to show the entire post only to certain readers (i.e. readers who pay to read a post), you can use a plugin like Members.

The hidden text is similar to the public text. Is it possible to stylize it in a different look?

Yes, you have to edit the CSS file of your current theme. The shortcode generates a <p> HTML tag with at most three classes in this order:

  • private to stylize all private contents
  • [role]-content to stylize the content for that specific [role].
  • [role]-content-only to stylize the content for that specific [role] only.

Does this plugin work with custom roles?

Yes. To map the capabilities to the custom role, use a plugin like Members or Capability Manager Enhanced.


Many thanks to:

Version 4.2

Requires WordPress version: 3.0 or higher

Compatible up to: 4.7.2

Last Updated 12 Dec 2016

Date Added: 24 Nov 2012

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