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.


598 Responses to RYO ‘Category Visibility’ WordPress Plugin

  • I would like to use this plugin but I have one question. If I have too many posts for one page on my homepage, will the plugin still just show the categories I choose on the pages shown when clicked on the ‘Next page’ links? Or will it then show posts form every category, even the ones I excluded form the homepage?

  • Hi,

    How do I submit feedback for possible bug or enhancements?

    So far I like it but I have found one problem.


  • Gary, what problem?

  • just what i was looking for, killed myself looking for such plugin in , thanks again for this valuable plugin, ill give a look to yr other plugins maybe they are interesting too. big thanks

  • I just installed your plug-in and love it! This is the only plug-in that has simple functionality and covers all aspects of what I am looking for! Believe me, I have tried all other excluders and your’s is simply the best.

    Keep up the great work!

    Thank you!!!

  • This plug-in rocks! Thanks so much for posting. I’m no longer in back pain from searching for the perfect plugin since I found this one!

  • Love the plugin.

    I am using WMPL and on my posts I have one for my front page slider. I want to exclude this category from my Archives. When I select the category to not show it works for the English version, but the rest of the languages it still shows.

    Any idea why?

  • Any ideas on how to expand the user levels to make this work per user. I need to be able to edit a user and add them to categories as needed. For example user a can access cat1 but not cat2 or cat3. User b can access cat1 and cat2 but not cat3… etc.

    I really just want to implement this on the user editor page.

    Any ideas?

  • BTW – love the plugin – would be perfect in a different situation.

  • thats just solved my problem, really thank you for this useful plugin, you saved me hours of search. ;)

  • Thanks very much for creating this plugin. Incredibly useful. This should be put in the main build it is that good.

    Have just used it on my site to stop certain categories from appearing on the front page.

    It seems to work perfectly with the latest version 3.01.

    If I find any conflicts I will let you know.

    Can you create a page for this on’s Plugins Page? I am sure others would like this.

  • Hi Rich,

    I love your RYO Plugin for category visibility!

    I have a problem though. When you click on the comments at the end of a post in the category which I excluded, the comment box doesn’t appear. The retweet, share button and recent posts also disappear when you click into a post. So if you go to the archived ones that appear under the most recent post all that info, i.e. comment box, retweet, share, disappears from the bottom.

    Any way to get it back in there?

    Also, I excluded a bunch of categories, certain parts but NOT Archives and these categories are not displaying on my Archives page under, “By Category.”

    Not sure what I am doing wrong here.

  • Stacey, comments work for me. So I am unable to duplicate. Not sure what you’re doing.

    As to the Archive page, it doesn’t apply to a Category page. The test is is_archive AND not is_category. If you pick a category page, you get it.

  • Hi Rich,

    I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. I am using the Atahualpa theme. I installed a custom menu widget, with the idea of using the menu for static pages. When I click on a menu item (albeit no content within those posts yet), the new page shows links to other post and/or categories. How can I get to only show the post which is clicked on?

    Thank you.

  • Tony, seems to me like it’s the custom menu widget.


  • Rich,

    The menu functions OK, the issue is with the pages for the posts showing links to other posts. If you could check the website, perhaps this is something i can fix in the settings. I’m trying to get the foundation in order before I start building content.

    Thank you.

  • Rich,

    I figured it out. I created pages for the menu, rather than post.

  • Tony, probably a theme thing, then. Maybe the widgets, maybe something else. CatVis doesn’t place those links there. It only filters what is shown under certain conditions.

  • Will this plugin work for static pages in WP? I have a static WP page and want some categories to disappear from the menu, but still have access to them to make posts.

    I understand posts wouldn’t be visible and that’s what I want.

    I don’t use any custom menu plugins/widgets like Tony above.

  • The plugin does not affect the wp 3.0x menu system. Only lists, which would be the standard categories or pages widget.

  • Awesome! This was exactly what I was looking for.

    Simple, easy and effective.


  • Great plugin! just what I was looking for,

    Thanks a lot!

  • Great Plugin. Simple and easy to use.


  • Hi,

    first of all, thanks for this great plugin! I use it to hide older postings in my blog, which are not meant to be public anymore. It works fine, the posts are hidden and the categorys not displayed, but if you go to you can still see the posts. This is very annoying, because this way the posts are still visible for google.

    Thanks and best wishes,

  • Julian, CatVis is not meant to be a security plugin, only to control what normally shows up in lists, on the home page, etc. A direct link will still work.

    If you’re wanting to block with security some membership plugins, like WishList Member, can do that.

  • There is a bug with this plugin which prevents the tag archives from working correctly, at least on my theme.

    Try this one:

  • Thanks a lot for the Pluginm, but somehow the tag archives are not working correctly after installing the plugin.

  • Is this not working with the new WordPress 3.1? Seems to have stopped working on one of my sites.

  • Hey there! Looks like the plugin breaks with WP3.1, any plans for an upgrade soon? Thank you so much!

  • Looks like WP 3.1 totally kills it :( It’s installed and activated but having no effect at all.

  • It would appear with the newest version of WordPress that the posts aren’t hidden any longer.

  • Got it working in WordPress 3.1 … I just uploaded Ver. 3.0beta-9.

  • thanks working in 3.1…

  • It’s working great, aside from the categories that are defined with a role, the posts still show when logged out. Not sure if this was something that was related to this plugin or not.

  • Not working with WP 3.1 for me. :( But it worked till now.

  • Oh, ok, now it works with the beta update :D

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I really needed to exclude categories going out to RSS (which is linked to Twitter and Facebook, too). I just wanted “News” and “Sports” going out, not “Obituaries” and whatnot! Latest version definitely works with WordPress 3.1. This site is now bookmarked and going to be tweeted and shared!

  • Hello there,
    Really nice plugin! But… I do have a problem.
    1. I created a “hidden” category, posted a couple of things there. Cool. Seemed hidden.
    2. I opened one of the hidden pages, and… I saw that the other one is also visible. Darn.
    3. OK. The obvious solution was to create a second hidden category.
    4. When I go back to my first hidden page, I expect no longer to see the other page which is now assigned to a different hidden category… Sadly – it’s still there.
    Now, the problem is… I created over 50 hidden items, not two, LOL.
    And now I wonder what else to do. Probably separate HTML pages. But that would totally defeat the usefullness of this plugin.
    Any ideas?
    Oh and btw, when you “hide” 50 categories, you wish there was a “hide all” per line! ;)
    Any insights would be most appreciated. Could this be Theme-related?

  • I was using a previous version of this plugin with WordPress 3.0.5 and it worked perfectly with my theme (EcoPro by Pagelines). However, when I upgraded to WordPress 3.1 the plugin no longer works. I’ve tried the beta and it doesn’t help. Any ideas?

  • Sorry, I should have been more specific as to the problem – regardless of settings, all categories show up and are accessible. That includes unchecking all the boxes and setting the User Level to 10.

  • I’m having a issue i wanted do a rss feed that only showed one category. i used you plug in but when i start posting, the rss feed will only show one post.

    what could be the problem?

    thank you.

  • Hi there,
    I use the Zinmag Redux layout and needed to make it so the video of the day wasn’t also showing in the regular posts because I can’t use an icon or title with it to show properly. I looked for a long time and found your site in the forums.

    This is EXACTLY what I need. Thank you SOOOO much! I hope you keep it up and continue to update it.

  • Excellent plugin! Thank you so very much!

    Initially, I had some issues with this and thought I would share here in case it helps someone else. In my case, I use categories extensively to control what people see and to accomplish this have a category hierarchy that makes this happen (ie: Many of my categories have a parent category so I can show everything in the bigger group or just things within the subcategory).

    My discovery was that to get stuff to show on the front (home) page, I couldn’t just activate the category that I had identified for that purpose; I had to activate ALL of the categories that those posts belonged to – both the parent category and all of its subcategories.

    So, now I have several parent and sub categories that are NOT flagged to show on the front (home) page as well as a parent and all of its subcategories that ARE flagged to show on the front (home) page. And with that, everything works!


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