wordpress publish button is like a gun with the safety off

FOR THOSE READERS who have their own WordPress sites, I assume you occasionally do what I (alas) consistently do: mistakenly click the Publish button on the right side of your Edit Post work page when you meant to click the Save Draft button. To overstate the situation: leaving the Publish button exposed is like leaving a gun lying around with the safety off. I consider it a fundamental flaw in the WordPress design.

The placing of this exposed Publish button is like leaving a gun lying around with the safety off!

Why not make the Status option just below the Save Draft button a drop-down menu with the Publish button safely tucked away there? That way, the only button easily accessed during the writer’s actual flow of writing is the Save Draft button.

To actually publish a piece would require that the author think that he wants to publish, It would be a conscious decision to click on the Status menu, open it, and then click on Publish.

Makes sense to me, but then I am only one of tens of millions of WordPress.

As I am now a Senior Citizen WordPress user, I don’t sleep a lot and work at all hours on any given day. Today I woke up to find that, once again, I had accidentally published the piece I had thought I was merely saving at 2:30 AM when I finally crashed and went to bed.


Publish Button: screenshot of the Edit Post page on a WordPress site.

This is what the WordPress Edit Post work-page looks like as I type this article. Note the blue, lozenge-shaped Publish button on the right, oh so easily accessed by an errant mouse moving rightward across my desktop, intending to click the Save Draft button a couple of inches above it but unconsciously clicking the wrong one.

Hide publish button on WordPress

For some reason, today I went looking for an alternative: I typed “hide publish button on wordpress” into Google. I was surprised and delighted to find that the first page listed on Google was for a plugin that I had never heard of, DC Hide Publish Button by Doni Susanto.

The plugin’s description was in the fractured English that indicates that it is not the plugin developer’s go-to language (unedited):

“This plugin will come handy for author who often accidentally click publish button when what they really want is save only. This plugin hide publish button for Post and Page which status is Draft.
Publish button will shows when status change to Pending Review, or if you change Visibility state which will automatically change Post / Page status.”

My first impulse was to contact the developer and offer to rewrite those two paragraphs with corrected language and grammar. But then I thought it would be better to try out the plugin first.

I know very little about the technical aspects of WordPress. Friends point out that I have been using WordPress for five years, ergo I should know something. I respond that I have been driving cars for fifty years and I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on underneath the hood of a modern car.

Downloading the plugin to one of my sites was easy but my initial response was trepidatious: the plugin had less than ten active installs. This is the kind of number one expects from a plugin that was just added to the WordPress plugin repository a few minutes ago—not one that had been available for more than a year!

It had a 5-star rating but based on only one review, which found the DC Hide Publish Button plugin to be “simply brilliant.”

And then there was the warning: “This plugin has not been tested with your current version of WordPress.”

As I had just spent several hours over several days on the phone with my host’s support people undoing the damage that an aging plugin had done to my sites, I was reluctant to add another archaic piece of software to my blogs.


Publish Button: screenshot of the homepage of the WordPress Plugins repository.

This is the WordPress Plugins repository homepage, where more than 50,000 applications that have received the seal of approval for construction and safety can be found. The first two plugins on the page are Akismet and Jetpack, two excellent plugins from Automattic (the incorrect spelling is an in-joke), the people who brought the world WordPress.

Are you still with us?

I checked the Internet for articles that might tell me why the DC Hide Publish Button plugin wasn’t on thousands of WordPress sites but found nothing. So I decided to see what was up with the DC Hide Publish Button plugin. So I posted the first (and still only) question on the plugin’s Support page:


This plugin apparently does EXACTLY what I need, as I constantly press the Publish button instead of the Save Draft button. So, thanks for developing the DC Hide Publish Button plugin.

That said, I noticed a few things:

  This plugin has very few downloads.
•  It’s been a year since you updated it.
•  The plugin homepage under your name is no longer active.

So, why aren’t you updating and promoting this groovy little plugin

Are you still with us?

Hoping to hear from you . . . 


Now I have to sit back and hope that Doni is alive and well and concerned enough with his brilliant application that he will respond to my query and I will indeed find out what’s up with the DC Hide Publish Button plugin.

Of course, I will keep my readers informed of any progress . . .

I consider the exposed Publish button on the Edit Post page a fundamental flaw in the WordPress design. Click To Tweet


Publish Button: photo of an antique Iver Johnson revolver with automatic safety.

FEATURED IMAGE: I found the fantastic image at the top of this page on the Northwest Iowa Outdoors website accompanying the article “Iver Johnson Safety Automatic Revolver.” Writer John Hackett explains (edited for use here): 

“Iver Johnson was a Norwegian immigrant that left a century-long imprint on the American gun-making landscape. Johnson’s innovative designs lasted the test of time. One in particular was the use of a ‘safety’ on numerous Johnson revolvers.

Johnson’s greatest innovation to the gun-making world was the aforementioned ‘safety’ he pioneered for use on his revolvers. The safety blocks the hammer from making contact with the firing pin unless the trigger is actually pulled.

This feature set the stage for Iver Johnson to become one of America’s most prolific revolver manufactures. Sales were boosted by Johnson’s ‘Hammer the Hammer’ ad campaign boasting his revolvers ability to prevent accidental discharge. The early ads show a gun owner taking a carpenters hammer and actually beating on the gun’s hammer to prove their point!”