How to Use the New Pre-Publish Checks in WordPress

Use the New Pre-Publish Checks in Gutenberg

It’s amazing how much has been written about the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress.

But many people haven’t really started to the use Gutenberg in the daily publishing workflow. As a result, Gutenberg is still full of semi-secret features.

One such feature is the “Pre-Publish Checks” screen in Gutenberg. When you click “Publish” on a post, you’ll now see the sidebar shown below. WordPress asks “Are you ready to publish?” and encourages you to double-check your settings:

pre publish checks

The first pre-publish check is “Visibility”. WordPress reminds you that your post will be available to the “Public”. You can then choose from three options:

  • Public: Visible to everyone.
  • Private: Only visible to site admins and editors.
  • Password protected: Protected with a password you choose. Only those with the password can view this post.

pre publish checks visibilty

The “Publish” check reminds you that your are publishing this post “Immediately”, but also offers the option to schedule the post in the future.

pre publish checks calendar

The third pre-publish check is “Tags”. WordPress reminds you to consider adding tags, “Tags help users and search engines navigate your site and find your content. Add a few keywords to describe your post.”

pre publish checks tags

If you don’t like these pre-publish checks, you can disable them. Gutenberg has a checkbox called “Always show pre-publish checks.”

However, I think these checks are a great idea. WordPress sites often have a ton of settings. This panel narrows down the options to a small group of the most meaningful choices.

Plugins Expanding the Pre-Publish Checks

I can see plugins wanting to add their own checks too. Over at PublishPress, we’ve integrated the PublishPress Checklists plugin with the pre-publish checks.

If you haven’t used it before, the PublishPress Checklists plugin allows you to specify that WordPress content meets certain requirements before it’s published.

checklist choices

These requirements fit perfectly into the pre-publish checks. They appear as a fourth option, underneath the three default checks:

checklist pre publish

Click here to read all the details about this new PublishPress feature.

There are more semi-secret features in Gutenberg, but the pre-publish checks are one of the most useful. I can imagine other plugins taking advantage of this:

  • SEO plugins should place SEO checks here.
  • Newsletter plugins can make it clear that hitting “Publish” will send out a newsletter.
  • Any plugin that wants users to be careful before they click “Publish” can benefit from this feature.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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4 years ago

Can we get a “All links work” check please?

Lancer Kind
Lancer Kind
4 years ago

Thanks for the pointer to a plugin to add on to the existing checklist. 

3 years ago

How do you enable the option again?

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