Currently, WordPress offers no default options to password protect the entire site all at once.
The only way to make it happen is by integrating your website with a 3rd party plugin that comes with this feature.
Although WordPress offers a number of options for you to choose from, the best plugin for this purpose is the SeedProd Coming Soon Pro Plugin.
SeedProd – Overview
SeedProd is one of the most powerful and beautifully coded WordPress plugins that lets you create stunning coming soon, maintenance mode and under-construction pages for your website.
The plugin comes with a library of fully-customizable pre-built layouts that are ready to be used right away.
You can take full control of your page design with its intuitive drag and drop page builder. It also lets you add various elements to your page, which also includes a count down timer and a progress bar.
With this plugin, you can easily password protect a part of your website or the entire one without coding a single line.
Let’s check out how to use this plugin to password protect your website while it’s under development.
Step 1: Download and Install the Plugin
The first step to get started is to download the plugin. Next, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugin.
Now browse through your computer and upload the zipped folder that you’ve just downloaded. Finally, click on the Activate button to make it start working.
You’ll now be redirected to the license key page, where you need to verify your key. This key will be sent to your registered email address upon purchasing the plugin.
Once the key is verified you are ready to use the plugin to password protect your website while it’s still under development.
Step 2: Enable Password Protection to Your Entire Website While Under Development
To protect your entire website, go to Settings » Coming Soon Pro in your WordPress dashboard. You’ll now be on your SeedProd dashboard.
Upon scrolling down the page you’ll see an option called the Advanced Settings. You’ll have several options here.
If you select the 1st option, anyone visiting your website will see the Coming soon page appear on the screen. You can learn how to create a coming soon page here.
However, you can keep working on it from the back-end like you normally would in any other WordPress website.
If you have certain published posts and pages on your site that you don’t want your visitors to see you can use the Include URLs option. We’ll show you that option here. (Want to password-protect your whole site? Click here to skip to step 3.)
Just click on Include URLs and you’ll have a blank field. Here you need to add the URL of your password-protected posts.
For that, you’ll first have to password protect your pages and posts individually. You can do that by going to the post or page that you want to hide from your visitors. Now click on the Edit option.
On your right, you’ll see the Publish option. Under this option click on Visibility » Password-Protected.
You’ll now have a blank field where you can enter your password. Add your password and hit the publish button.
Anyone who tries to view this post or page will now be prompted to provide a password to access it. To unlock this page, your visitors will need the password that you just used to protect it.
You can do this to all the posts and pages that you want to keep private. Each of these posts will be marked Private against its title in the dashboard. You can see this by going to All Post in your WordPress dashboard.
Only those who are logged into your website with admin rights or the creator can access these password-protected posts and pages.
Note: You need to add a single URL in each line when you use the Include URL option in the SeedProd dashboard. So make sure you hit the enter button after every URL. Using a comma or backslash to separate your URLs may not offer the desired result.
Once the URLs are added click on the save button. That’s it.
None of the posts or pages that you added in the Include URLs section will now be visible to your users, even though all of them are published posts and pages.
Step 3: Password Protect the Whole WordPress Site
SeedProd also gives you the option to let your visitors bypass your coming soon page and view your whole website while under development with a simple password.
This is a great option to give clients, friends, and family a sneak peek of your site before launch.
On your SeedProd dashboard, you’ll see an option called Access Control. This is available right below the advanced settings option.
On the blank field next to bypass URL, you can enter a secret phrase. You’ll also see a bypass URL right below your secret phrase.
Anyone who has this URL can access the password-protected content.
That’s it! You can use the above method to password protect any WordPress site while under development. This can be done either to a part of your website or to the entire site depending on your requirements.