Both of my children known my wife and I have blogs, and they’ve wanted their own sites to post their artwork and pictures and write about the things that are important to them. So I went ahead and created a couple subdomains and installed WordPress. But since they’re still young, I wanted to password protect the entire site so only logged in users can view their blogs — that way I can give a guest username/password to family members who might be interested, while locking everyone else out.
The bizarre thing is that WordPress does not support this out of the box. If you want to do this with WordPress, you’re going to have to install a plugin. And — lucky me — all of the plugins that do this are broken because WordPress changed how it handles authentication cookies in 2.5. I ended up downloading Angusman’s Authenticated WordPress Plugin, then modified the code to take into account WP’s new preferred authenticaton method, but it was a pain.
What makes this particular feature a bit odd by its absence is that Automattic does offer folks who sign up for a blog at WordPress.Com the option to hide their blog, so its not like this is a feature (like caching) where the devs are just idiots and think nobody wants that.
Given how simple the code to make a site private is, it is silly that this capability isn’t already integrated into WordPress.