Support » Fixing WordPress » Drafts are live!

  • Resolved CouponCodePlugin


    Hello, I have found a very unusual issue with one of our sites where a draft post is actually live.
    I have a lot of wordpress sites (over 60) and have never seen this issue before.
    I first noticed this when I was working on a new post and saw some traffic heading to the post. I assumed that I had made a mistake and published the post. I checked it and it was still in draft. I then checked all other posts that were still in draft and every single one of them was live.
    We use WordPress SEO plugin, so I checked the sitemap that it creates and found that none of the draft posts were listed in the sitemap. I assume this means that WordPress SEO is detecting that the posts have not been published.

    I deactivated all plugins, but the draft posts were still accessible as if they were published.
    I checked another site I have which uses the same theme, but it does not exhibit the same issue.

    Example post:
    Note the published date, it is whatever date it is when you view it and not the date is was published. I assume this is part of the error as it has not been published and was never published.

    Ideally, if someone could provide possible troubleshooting items that I have missed and/or explain the process that WordPress uses to prevent draft posts to be accessible like published posts are.

    As I have removed all plugins and tested the theme on another site, I assume that the issue is one of two things:
    1) The theme is having an odd effect on this site only which for some reason is not effecting other live sites or test sites.
    2) There is an issue within the database or files of WordPress which only effect this site.

    Once we can identify the issue, I can then progress with a plan to extract the data and import it into a clean install where I can check to ensure the same issue has not been carried over before moving the website back to the correct location and making it live.

    Thank you in advance for any information or tips you can offer. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any suggestions you can think of.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • catacaustic


    very awesome

    When I go to that link, I get a 404 Page Not Found error.

    Are you looking at the pages when you are logged in? Admin and I think authors have the ability to view draft pages on the live site so they can make changes and edits, where “normal” visitors don’t have that permission and can’t see the pages. Log out before you look at the pages and I’ll bet that they become hidden like they are suppsoed to be.

    Doh! What an idiot! I had wondered if that was the case, but I did not know that this was a feature as that is what the preview feature is for.
    When I tested the same with my other sites, it didnt happen with any of my other sites, they all correctly showed a 404 when I was logged in as admin and was the author of the draft post.

    Why would this only happen with one website? Surely this is not a feature of WordPress as all my sites use the same version and this is the only site that this happens on.

    Thanks for your help 🙂




    very awesome

    To the best of my knowledge that’s how it works. I’ve had that work like that on some of my sites, which is useful for when I’ve needed other people to do copy writing on pages/posts that aren’t ready for the public yet.

    I have not been able to see this happening on any of our other websites. The only one effected is this one. As it only effects one website, I would assume that it is not a default wordpress feature.
    I searched everywhere, but could not find any information on any other sites (or wordpress features) where drafts can be viewed using the direct link and not the preview link.



    very awesome

    Are you using a menu that you have set up or is it the default menu that WordPress sets up itself? That’s all that I can think of that might be the difference.

    The menu is created within the menu section. I do this for all my websites. However, the menu should not make a draft live, even if that is only for admins.

    I am starting to think that something inside WordPress (or something a plugin has added) has caused something to fail, resulting in drafts being live for admins (which should not be the case).

    I am not too bothered that it is doing this, but my concern is that as none of my other sites are doing this, something must have gone wrong in this site and it makes me worried what else may have gone wrong.

    The only thing I can do is import the content into a clean install and test that.

    Thank you for your support. I had hoped others had seen this issue so that we knew what the issue could be.

    Best wishes

    We’re having a very similar issue with a site at work. We’re using the same SEO plugin as @couponcodeplugin. We’re also using WPML for multilingual support. The issue we’re seeing is, whether logged in or not, when we create a new post in the English side and save it as a draft it appears on the live site. If that post is deleted, it will be removed but then a post titled “Auto Draft” appears. If you click the title of the post it takes you to a 404, the URL structure is something similar to what the preview URL structure is, “/?p=3088” just without the “preview=true” part. We’re struggling. Have deactivated all plugins as well.

    Oh, we seem to have found our issue which could be useful for anyone else. At least for us, using the WPML plugin, pages/posts aren’t allowed to have the same slug. For example, “” & “”. When we change the English version’s slug the draft posts disappear.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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