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!"