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

  • Steven,

    Thanks, and yes… the plugin works by managing which categories should be in the exclude list. Then it’s up to WordPress to exclude. And that’s the WordPress method.

    So unchecking excludes. (If WordPress changes that algorithm, then the behavior will change.)

  • I just wanted to say thank you!!! You just saved me so much time and headache, I really appreciate the plugin, great work!

  • Thanks a lot.Worked just fine!

  • thanks a lot!!! i am looking for this plugin for days

  • Finally my search is over!
    Thank You

  • Thanks , Thank you very much for this plugin: Very quite , simple and need fullfilling Plugin . Hatts off !

    take Care

  • This is brilliant!!!!! I have been looking for such a plugin for MONTHS. I tried so many other plugins, they either didn’t work or weren’t really doing what I wanted (which is: restrict subscribers to a given category and allow all other registered users to see all categories). THANK YOU!!!!!!!
    For info, I have downloaded the version 3.0beta-9 and am using it with WP 3.1.2, works well so far.

  • One question if I may…
    What I intend: my subscribers can only see posts if the category named “Public” figures amongst all the categories the post is associated with (a post is never only in “Public”). All other registered users can see everything. I use this to allow my authors to share some posts with a wider (registered) audience if they want to.
    With this plugin: I specified User Level = 1 for all categories but “Public”. I didn’t change anything else. Now, when a subscriber logs in, the (dynamic) home page lists nothing, the sidebar (widget/list of recent posts) lists nothing, the menu bar does list “Public”. When clicking on the later, all “Public” posts show up in the page, but still nothing in the sidebar. Is that normal? For all other users, everything works as expected.

  • I installed this plugin as I wish to hide several categories from casual browsers but for some reason it will only work on one category at a time. Anyone else have this issue? I like the plug in but I cannot get it to hide multiple categories and there doesn’t appear to be any configuration ability.

  • Hey there! I have returned to using RYO and I love it so much!
    I was wondering if there is a way to exclude (uncheck) categories from the main RSS feed but still make a category feed for those excluded categories? My category feed disappeared when I installed RYO and excluded that cat from the RSS… I would love to have that cat RSS again! Thank you!
    Jessica Mullen

  • u just Rock man… this is a awsome plugin.. thanks a lot!!!
    i am using and i am so happy ..

  • You saved me lots of hours.
    Thank you very much for this wonderful plugin, works like a charme!

  • If a post is in 2 categories and one of them is excluded using this pluging the post is not being shown. I’d expect it to be visible, though; as this was also the default behavior of the plugin’s predecessor ‘ipeat’. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

  • Actually, this plugin is NOT based on ipeat, but on a plugin by gudlyf for wp 1.5. The logic is entirely new, not necessarily compatible, and is based on managing the category exclude list passed to a wordpress query.

    So the behavior is based on wp exclude logic. However the wp team chooses to manage that is how the plugin works.

    If a post is in cat a and a is in the exclude list, it will be excluded.

    Note that even if you choose the “include only” option for the list, the plugin generates an exclude list and uses that for the query. So an include only may exclude something in another category.

  • omg disregard my rss request – i just had to check the box… it still kept everything organized! nice when problems work themselves out :D

  • Works on my WordPress 2.9.2.


  • This worked on WP 3.2 and solved a huge requirement for me! Great job.

  • I use WordPress 3.2 with my blog …. and your plugin has been worked. Thanks a Lot.
    See this page :
    Content of that page is from Deals Guide category …. and you can see in list of category in sidebar, there is no Deals Guide category showing.
    Thanks ….

  • How to go about hiding such categories under the ADMIN?

    For example having 10,023 categories.. I’d like to hide 10,000 of them from being displayed in various administration menus…. I think I almost don’t want them to be displayed even in the Categories menu, theres just too much clutter with them all..

  • Egads! That’s a lot of categories. And a lot of unchecking to do. And a huge page to do it with. That many categories and you have many admin issues, I’d think. Good luck.

  • Hi there,

    Awesome plugin, it does exactly what I wanted t do BUT I am having a bit of a problem. If I untick the “Front Page” option for a particular category and than click the category name in the front end it shows no more posts i.e its hidden once catgory view is on. Any help?

  • I have a question,

    Whenever their is a incident I categorize it “incidents” so it shows up only in the recent incident page. but if it’s a new incident i also want it to show on the front page for a couple of days so i categorize it under “Updates” so it shows up on the front page.

    But if i assign both of the “Incidents” and Updates” categories to the post the plugin thinks i don’t want it to show on the front page and shows it only in the Incidents page.

    Is their a way to make it work so that it will show on two different pages until i turn off that certain category?

    thank you

  • perry, the plugin works by telling what categories not to show on a particular page. (What it does not do is tell it what categories to show.)

    Multiple category selection complicates that but follows WordPress as to selecting what not to show.

  • Really this is a good one. Being able to have available invisible posts is just great

  • Wow dude, thanks for making this plugin. I have been trying to hide a category for my sidebars for a few days now and even excluded it from the sidebar.php code and it still was showing. Your plugin definitely did the job. Wish I could have contributed to some donational option, but don’t see none. Good job and thanks for producing this plugin! =)

  • Yes, Thank you for the plugin! Saved me lots of time! Exactly what I was looking for.

  • Works great thanks running on my install with no issues :)

  • Thank you very much for the plug-in from the Ukraine! Could not solve the problem with the categories on the home, and now everything works great!
    By the way WordPress can not find the plugin through the admin panel to search.

  • Just installed this plug-in on WP version 3.3 and it works! Thanks for a great plug-in.

  • Thanks much. Will be using the plug-in real soon.

  • ohhh!!! god finally i am done its really cool plugin

  • Hey. Cool plugin! I seems that the pagination on the blog ignores that some of the categories are not shown, and still says that there are fx 4 pages, even though there arent posts to fill those pages, because they have been disabled in the plugin..

  • I searched everywhere and found this at last. Thanks so much for this wonderful and ‘just what I need’ plug-in. I think it’s high time WordPress hard codes this feature in to the core. Thanks again.


  • Oh my god, I spent 4 days at least 5-6 hours each working on my new version of my old website, basically, I was tired of trying to figure out new ways to post and keep visibility on the main page for “new” and “featured” content only. I tried 3 plug ins and when I found this I was like “Eh ill try” and holy awesomeness this worked perfectly on the latest version to date! Thank you so much for this!

    This plugin does need to be coded into the core of the official wordpress download just like Logon said :) THANK YOU!!!!

  • Hello, I tried your RYO Category Visibility plugin, but not getting anywhere. I couldn’t even see the table in your screenshot here. Did I missed something? Or, do we have to be a membership here before we can use the plugin? Thanks.

  • No membership required for Category Visibility. Did you look for the RYO Plugins button near the bottom of the admin panel?

  • Thank you 1000 times for your plugin, I got your plugin when i was changing the theme. this is heaven for me, hope this will not crash

    Thanks again

  • Considering setting this up on our website, but I have a question first: What happens if you tick more than one category, and one is excluded from the frontpage, but not the others? Also, will categories that are excluded still work with the Category Posts Widget plugin and show up in the sidebar?

    The idea is to post daily quick updates to a category, and not have them show in the main wire on the frontpage, but only display the latest one in the sidebar using the Category Posts Widget. But to also be able to tick a post for the excluded category and a frontpage category and have them displayed on the frontpage as well as in the excluded category.

    Hope this makes sense. A quick response would be great, as this is a last minute idea and we need to have it working by the end of the weekend.


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