What Are the Default Post Statuses in WordPress?

In this guide, I'm going to introduce you to the 8 statuses available for WordPress posts.

These statuses control whether WordPress posts are visible to the entire world, waiting for moderation, or sent to the trash to await deletion.

Out-of-the-box, every blog post in WordPress has only 8 default statuses available:

  1. Publish: Viewable by any site visitor.
  2. Future: Scheduled to be published in a future date.
  3. Draft: This is an incomplete post that's not ready for publication.
  4. Pending: Awaiting a user with higher permissions to publish.
  5. Private: Viewable only to WordPress users at the Administrator level.
  6. Trash: These posts are waiting for deletion.
  7. Auto-Draft: Revisions that WordPress saves automatically while you are editing. Click here for details on the Auto-Draft status.
  8. Inherit: This allows a child post (such as Attachments and Revisions) to automatically adopt the same status as its parent post. Click here for details on the Inherit status.

When you're creating a post, you'll be able to see 6 post statuses on the page:

WordPress statuses displayed in Gutenberg sidebar

One of the things you may have noticed already is that the names of these statuses are not show consistently. For example, “Pending” is often shown as “Pending Review” (here's how to see your Pending Review posts).

Some of the statuses are also a little bit hidden. For example, if you click on the “Edit” button next to “Public”, you'll be able to see the “Private” status.

WordPress statuses on Gutenberg sidebar screen

These are the 6 statuses that you'll see throughout the WordPress dashboard. You'll see them in many different areas of your site, including as filters on top of the Posts screen:

WordPress statuses on Posts screen

In your database, you can find these statuses by looking in the wp_posts table and checking the post_status column.

If it is definitely true that the meaning of these statuses is not always clear. Even the name “post statuses” is a little confusing because these statuses can apply to any post type – not just posts. One common question we get asked is Pending Review or Draft? What's the difference in WordPress?

How to Create Custom Statuses

Many WordPress plugins will create their own custom statuses. For example, WooCommerce will create statuses to allow eCommerce product orders to be in statuses such as “Refunded” or “Completed”.

PublishPress allows you to create custom post statuses such as “In Progress” or “Assigned”. You can define statuses to match the stages of your team’s publishing workflow.

When you first install PublishPress, you’ll see these extra statuses: Pitch, Assigned, and In Progress.

Custom WordPress statuses

You have the freedom to completely customize these statuses.

  • Go to “PublishPress” in the admin menu, and click “Settings”.
  • Click the “Statuses” tab. You’ll see the screen below.
  • On the left side of the screen, you are able to add your own new statuses.
  • On the right side of the screen, you’ll see the current statuses. You can drag-and-drop statuses to set the best order for your workflow. By default, “Pitch” comes first, followed by “Assigned”, then “In Progress”, then “Draft” and finally “Pending Review”. Each image has it's own icon and color.

Click here to find out more about creating custom statuses with PublishPress.

WordPress statuses inside the PublishPress plugin

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