Default WordPress Statuses

In this guide, I'm going to introduce you to the 8 statuses that are normally 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.

What are the default statuses in WordPress? #

Out-of-the-box, WordPress has 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.
  8. Inherit: This allows a child post (such as Attachments and Revisions) to automatically adopt the same status as its parent post.

Note: technically there four more statuses that deal with privacy. However, these shouldn't be used by plugin or theme developers, only in other core functions.

Where to see the default statuses in WordPress #

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).

Hidden statuses #

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?

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