Prevent Publishing Mishaps In WordPress With The Publisher Confirmation Plugin

As I was writing a post the other night, I mistakenly clicked the publish button thinking it would update the post. This sent me into panic mode. I watched the animated circle spinning endlessly as if it were laughing at me. Not knowing what to do, I clicked a few buttons, including the Trash link but the damage had been done. The post was published and all it contained was a text link.

This is the second time I’ve been burned by the Publish button. Thanks to the Publisher Confirmation plugin, it will be the last.

Publish Confirmation Box

Publisher Confirmation was created by TristanH and is simple to use. There are no configuration options. After the plugin is activated, when you click the Publish button, a dialogue box will open confirming if you’d like the post to be published or not. The plugin hasn’t been updated in 2 years so you’ll see a warning box on the plugin directory when searching for it. However, it works just fine with WordPress 3.8.

One update I’d like to see is a change in the wording from OK and Cancel to YES or NO. Ok and Cancel do not convert very well to Yes and No. Other than that, the plugin works exactly as intended and it’s already saved me once since activating it.

How many of you have accidentally published a post by mistake by clicking the Publish button instead of Update?

12 Comments


  1. “How many of you have accidentally published a post by mistake by clicking the Publish button instead of Update?”

    I have and… it sends you in to panic mode.
    Problem is even if you cancel the publish, all your subscribers are notified that a new post has been published.

    OOPS!

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  2. I had several oops moment back in time with unwanted clicking of the Publish button and I was going to start looking for a plugin or to build single and useful plugin. This is a nice catch!

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  3. Excellent post. I’ve been looking for an oops preventer like this for awhile.

    I forked the plugin and added alerts for no featured image or excerpt set, which are my most common oopses. When I get a chance I will add the ability to add checks on other fields and change the “ok” and “cancel” to “yes” and “no” as you’ve suggested.

    https://github.com/Shelob9/publish-confirmation

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  4. Oh come on, is this really such a big deal? It’s so easy to fix without another piece of overhead code. If you have JetPack installed and Spelling turned on you already have a publish confirmation. The fact is we have all accidentally published something, but it’s so easy to fix – just resave it as a draft again and it’s turn off – easy! (unless you use social media connectors with pick up every published post, then you are screwed!). I personally prefer the JetPack approach since it confirms and spell checks at the same time!

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    1. You’re right, with AtD enabled via Jetpack more often then not, there is a confirmation box asking if I’d like to publish the post as is or don’t publish and fix the mistakes. In this case however, that box was not triggered and the post was published. The only content it contained was a link.

      The headache is that I use Jetpack Publicize so when a post is published, it’s automatically sent to Facebook, Twitter, and Google +. So when I quickly changed the status from published to draft, a lot more people than normal had the chance to see our 404 page. In a time where receiving content is instantaneous, premature publishing is a bigger deal than it used to be. The more subscribers and the larger the audience you have, the more impact the problem has.

      As you said, I was pretty much screwed. This confirmation plugin prevents me from screwing myself in the future.

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  5. We have a molly-guard like this on WordPress.org’s news blog after a, um, mishap one night a few years ago. A simple “Are you sure?” checkbox must be ticked before the Publish button will appear.

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    1. Hah! and the Tavern was the first to publish news of 3.8 thanks to that mishap. Oh man, now I feel like my screw up was karma. Out of curiosity, do you ever see something like this being a core feature or would it annoy too many people? Sounds like fodder for a poll question.

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      1. Jeff, why not have the “are you sure you want to publish?” feature with an option to turn it on and off.

        Just like the option to require people to register to comment, on / off.

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  6. This plugin comes exactly at the right time. I’ve been burned again yesterday while editing and drafting many posts in advance. And every once in a while I accidently hit publish. :(

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