Building Your Website, Step-By-Step

RYO ‘Category Visibility’ WordPress Plugin

I needed a plugin that would display Posts only from certain categories. I found an earlier version of this plugin and modified it for my needs; then I supercharged it. Now I'm sharing it with you.

A good example of Category Visibility is this very website. It's original purpose (in 2005) was to serve my web customers, most of whom wouldn't have any idea how to install a plugin. I didn't want plugin Posts to show to my regular users, but wanted to make the plugins available to other WordPress users who would want them.

See all of our WordPress Plugins

I created a WP Plugins category and unchecked "Front" and "List." This kept these Posts off the home page, and the listing off the sidebar. (That's all changed now. Users have a much greater understanding of plugins!)

The "WordPress Plugins" link above illustrates the point. It's a link to the category page, which lists the plugins. You can see the category page and the associated Posts just fine. But that category did not show up in the sidebar, or on the home page. (It does now.)

This way, you could get access, in fact, anyone can search for them and find them. But they were not "out there" on the home page or in category links in the sidebar bothering my regular users.


RYO Category Visibility Options Page


I was using a WordPress plugin called Category Visibility (Keith McDuffee) which was written for WordPress 1.5.

It had a few odd points like when it filtered posts off the Home Page that was okay but it didn't replace them; that is, if your front page was supposed to show 10 posts and two were filtered out, you'd only get eight posts. I fixed that and a few other tricky things.

It was wonderful, and lots of users agreed. Then WordPress 2.1 came out and broke everything. So I stuck with WP 2.0 for a long time.

No more! I woke in the middle of the night with an idea on how to re-think the logic and rewrite the whole thing from scratch. The new approach is more concise and takes fewer resources.

The result is faster, leaner, and, I hope, more likely to work with newer versions of WP. The same, familiar interface. Far more efficient.

Multiple categories on a post? Fine. The plugin tells WP which categories to exclude. This might not always be what you want. But it's how it works.

There's no upgrade path. If you're using an older Category Visibility from one of the folks who tried to upgrade the old code, uninstall that first.


  1. Simply download the zip file.
  2. At your website dashboard, go to Plugins, Add New, then find and install the plugin.
  3. Activate it.
  4. Go to RYO Plugins, RYO Category Visibility to see the visibility settings for all categories. the options are:
  • Front: Posts show up on the main (home) page.
  • List: Categories that will show up in the List of categories in the sidebar. (Or, probably in any list based widget.)
  • Search: Posts show up in search results.
  • Feed: Posts show up in the main RSS/Atom feed.
  • Archive: Posts show up in archive pages (i.e., clicking on the calendar links).
  • User Level: Numeric user level required to see these Posts. (Yes, I know this is deprecated, but I've left it in for folks who want it.)

Everything is checked to show up by default.

When you have a category to exclude from the front page, or the sidebar, etc., go to "Manage," "Category Visibility," and deselect the areas where you want the category to disappear.

This method is not designed as a security device, only as a display method. A guest can still access a post by post number.


Download for WP: The latest version.


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