Silent Publish

Author:Scott Reilly
First released:2010-09-09
Last update:2015-02-22
Compatibility:WP 3.6 – 4.1.8
Download:[ zip ]

Adds the ability to publish a post without triggering pingbacks, trackbacks, or notifying update services.

Extended Description

This plugin gives you the ability to publish a post without triggering pingbacks, trackbacks, or notifying update services.

A «Publish silently?» checkbox is added to the «Write Post» admin page. If checked when the post is published, that post will not trigger the pingbacks, trackbacks, and update service notifications that might typically occur.

In every other manner, the post is published as usual: it’ll appear on the front page, archives, and feeds as expected, and no other aspect of the post is affected.

While trackbacks and pingsbacks can already be disabled from the Add New Post/Page page, this plugin makes things easier by allowing a single checkbox to disable those things, in addition to disabling notification of update services which otherwise could only be disabled by clearing the value of the global setting, which would then affect all authors and any subsequently published posts.

If a post is silently published, a custom field ‘_silent_publish’ for the post is set to a value of 1 as a means of recording the action. However, this value is not then used for any purpose as of yet. Nor is the custom field unset or changed if the post is later re-published.

Also see my Stealth Publish plugin if you want make a new post but prevent it from appearing on the front page of your blog and in feeds. (That plugin incorporates this plugin’s functionality, so you won’t need both.)

Links: Plugin Homepage | Plugin Directory Page | Author Homepage

Find out more at the plugin’s WordPress Plugin Repository page.


Click to see full-size image.

  1. silent-publish screenshot 1

    A screenshot of the ‘Publish’ sidebar box on the Add New Post admin page. The ‘Publish silently?’ checkbox is integrated alongside the existing fields.

  2. silent-publish screenshot 2

    A screenshot of the ‘Silent publish?’ checkbox displaying help text when hovering over the checkbox.


  1. Whether installing or updating, whether this plugin or any other, it is always advisable to back-up your data before starting
  2. Unzip inside the /wp-content/plugins/ directory for your site (or install via the built-in WordPress plugin installer)
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ admin menu in WordPress
  4. Click the ‘Publish silently?’ checkbox when publishing a post to prevent triggering of pingbacks, trackbacks, or notifications to update services.


The plugin is further customizable via two filters. Typically, these customizations would be put into your active theme’s functions.php file, or used by another plugin.

c2c_silent_publish_meta_key (filter)

The ‘c2c_silent_publish_meta_key’ filter allows you to override the name of the custom field key used by the plugin to store a post’s silent publish status. This isn’t a common need.


  • $custom_field_key (string): The custom field key to be used by the plugin. By default this is ‘_silent-publish’.


function override_silent_publish_key( $custom_field_key ) {
    return '_my_custom_silent-publish';
add_filter( 'c2c_silent_publish_meta_key', 'override_silent_publish_key' );

c2c_silent_publish_default (filter)

The ‘c2c_silent_publish_default’ filter allows you to override the default state of the ‘Silent Publish?’ checkbox.


  • $state (boolean): The default state of the checkbox. By default this is false.
  • $post (WP_Post): The post currently being created/edited.


// Have the Silent Publish? checkbox checked by default.
add_filter( 'c2c_silent_publish_default', '__return_true' );

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why would I want to silent publish a post?
A. Perhaps for a particular post you don’t want any external notifications sent out. If checked when the post is published, that post will not trigger the pingbacks, trackbacks, and update service notifications that might typically occur.

Q. Can I have the checkbox checked by default?
A. Yes. See the Filters section (under Other Notes) and look for the example using the ‘c2c_silent_publish_default’ filter. You’ll have to put that code into your active theme’s functions.php file or a mu-plugin file.

Q. Does this plugin include unit tests?
A. Yes.

Release Log

2.4.2 (2015-02-21)

  • Revert to using dirname(__FILE__); DIR is only supported in PHP 5.3+

2.4.1 (2015-02-17)

  • Add more unit tests
  • Reformat plugin header
  • Use DIR instead of dirname(__FILE__)
  • Note compatibility through WP 4.1+
  • Change documentation links to to be https
  • Minor documentation spacing changes throughout
  • Update copyright date (2015)
  • Add plugin icon
  • Regenerate .pot

2.4 (2014-01-23)

  • Fix to preserve silent publishing status when post gets re-edited after being published
  • Delete meta data if saving a post that doesn’t have the checkbox checked
  • Add unit tests
  • Minor documentation improvements
  • Minor code reformatting (spacing, bracing)
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.8+
  • Drop compatibility with version of WP older than 3.6
  • Update copyright date (2014)
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Change donate link
  • Update screenshots
  • Add banner


  • Deprecate ‘silent_publish_meta_key’ filter in favor of ‘c2c_silent_publish_meta_key’ (but keep it temporarily for backwards compatibility)
  • Don’t store the fact that a post was silently published in post meta if the meta key value is blank or false
    (effectively allows filter to disable custom field usage)
  • Remove private static $textdomain and its use; include textdomain name as string in translation calls
  • Remove function load_textdomain()
  • Add check to prevent execution of code if file is directly accessed
  • Re-license as GPLv2 or later (from X11)
  • Add ‘License’ and ‘License URI’ header tags to readme.txt and plugin file
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Minor improvements to inline and readme documentation
  • Minor code reformatting
  • Remove ending PHP close tag
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.5+
  • Tweak installation instructions in readme.txt
  • Update copyright date (2013)
  • Move screenshots into repo’s assets directory


  • Add version() to return plugin’s version
  • Update readme with example and documentation for new filter
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.3+
  • Update screenshots for WP 3.3
  • Use DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR instead of hardcoded ‘/’
  • Create ‘lang’ subdirectory and move .pot file into it
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Add ‘Domain Path’ directive to top of main plugin file
  • Add link to plugin directory page to readme.txt
  • Update copyright date (2012)


  • Fix bug where using Quick Edit on post caused Silent Publish status to be cleared
  • Add filter ‘c2c_silent_publish_default’ to allow configuring checkbox to be checked by default
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.2+
  • Minor code formatting changes (spacing)
  • Fix plugin homepage and author links in description in readme.txt


  • Switch from object instantiation to direct class invocation
  • Explicitly declare all functions public static and class variables private static
  • Remove setting unnecessary variable
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.1+
  • Update copyright date (2011)


  • Bugfix for auto-save losing value of silent publish status


  • Re-implemented entire approach
  • Allow overriding of custom field used via ‘silent_publish_meta_key’ filter
  • Add class of ‘c2c-silent-publish’ to admin UI div containing checkbox
  • Add filter ‘silent_publish_meta_key’ to allow overriding custom field key name
  • Remove function add_js(), admin_menu(), add_meta_box()
  • Add functions init(), add_ui(), save_silent_publish_status(), load_textdomain()
  • Add true localization support
  • Move definition of strings into init() and properly support localization
  • Full support for localization
  • Store plugin instance in global variable, $c2c_silent_publish, to allow for external manipulation
  • Remove docs from top of plugin file (all that and more are in readme.txt)
  • Minor code reformatting (spacing)
  • Add PHPDoc documentation
  • Note compatibility with WP 2.9+, 3.0+
  • Drop compatibility with versions of WP older than 2.9
  • Update screenshots
  • Update copyright date
  • Add package info to top of plugin file
  • Add Changelog, Frequently Asked Questions, Filters, and Upgrade Notice sections to readme.txt
  • Add .pot file
  • Add to plugin repository


  • Initial release

Copyright & Disclaimer

Copyright © 2010-2015 by Scott Reilly (aka coffee2code)

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Discussion / Support

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Please provide them via the plugin’s support forum. I’ll do my best to reply in a timely fashion and help as best I can.

Unfortunately, I cannot provide guaranteed support, nor do I provide support via any other means.

Was this plugin useful useful to you? Consider giving it a rating. If you’re inclined to give it a poor rating, please first post to the support forum to give me a chance to address or explain the situation.