How to Add a Custom Post Status to WordPress


Do you want to know how to add a custom post status to WordPress so you can streamline your workflow?

By changing the status of your site’s blog posts according to where they are in the editorial workflow, you’ll find that maintaining a regularly updated blog is a whole lot easier.

After all, being able to see which stage in the editing process each blog post is will keep you organized and your content publishing on a consistent basis. Not to mention, if you have an editorial team, everyone will always be on the same page, no matter what their job is in the process.

Today we’re going to show you how to change the custom post status in WordPress using a simple plugin called PublishPress.

So, let’s get started!

What is Post Status in WordPress?

Post status in WordPress is an editorial tool that helps you establish what stage in the editing process a blog post is at any given time.

For instance, blog posts that you’re still working on that will be published later are labeled ‘Draft.’ When you publish a blog post, the post status changes to ‘Published.’


And if you’re using the new Gutenberg editor, it will look like this:


By default, WordPress allows you to use the following post statuses:

  • Draft: a saved post that is incomplete and not yet published.
  • Auto Draft: an auto-saved version of a post you’re working on.
  • Pending Review: a post that is ready for review and is not published.
  • Scheduled (or Future): a post scheduled to be published later.
  • Private: a post that is marked as private and can only be seen by WordPress users at Administrator level.
  • Trash: deleted posts that are sitting in your trash (you can empty the trash and delete them permanently).
  • Inherit: child pages (such as attachments or revisions) that automatically inherit the status of parent pages.

That said, there are ways to create custom post statuses for your WordPress blog that will make the editorial process much more efficient.

Why Add a Custom Post Status in WordPress?

Creating a WordPress website and publishing blog content is a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of work and involves many steps.

In fact, most of the time, blog posts go through many phases before becoming finalized and published on a website.

For example, you might research, outline, write, edit, format, and even add multimedia to your blogs. And oftentimes, there is more than one person working on these different stages, despite it being only one post.

But what happens when the default post statuses available in WordPress aren’t quite what you and your team need?

Being able to change a custom post status in WordPress can help organize your site’s content and ensure all content is being reviewed properly before going live.

For example, you might want to add a custom WordPress post status such as:

  • Pitch: post ideas that are being pitched to you by a writer that need approval before moving forward.
  • Waiting for Images: posts that are already written, but still need images created or added to them.
  • Waiting for Edit: posts that need to be seen by the editor and receive a final stamp of approval before being scheduled for publication.
  • Needs Work: posts that need more editing.

By creating custom post statuses, you can improve your overall content marketing efforts and build a more successful WordPress blog. So, let’s see how a simple, free WordPress plugin can help you add a custom post status to WordPress.

How to Create a Custom WordPress Post Status with PublishPress

PublishPress is a free WordPress plugin that doubles as both an editorial calendar (which is always helpful!) and a tool for adding custom post statuses to WordPress.

Before we jump in and start using it, here are some of PublishPress’ most notable features:

  • Create an editorial calendar to view planned and published blog content
  • Keep yourself and your team up-to-date with notifications
  • Leave feedback for your writers with editorial comments
  • Add a custom post status to WordPress and organize the publishing workflow
  • Analyze your site’s content with the content overview feature
  • Add metadata to each post so everyone understands the post’s requirements

Step 1: Install and Activate PublishPress

To start, install and activate the PublishPress WordPress plugin on your site. Go to Plugins > Add New and search for ‘PublishPress.’


Then, click Install Now and Activate.

Step 2: Create a Custom Post Status

When PublishPress is installed and activated on your website, you’ll see a new menu item in your WordPress dashboard labeled ‘PublishPress.’

To create a custom post status, go to PublishPress > Settings > Statuses.


When you do, you’ll see two tabs: Options and Add New. Click on the ‘Add New’ tab to create a new custom post status.


Give your custom post status a name and add a short description for context. If you plan to use a lot of custom post statuses, or just want to stay a little more organized, you can even choose a custom color and icon.


You can also determine which post types to include these post statuses on (e.g., posts, pages, etc.) and enable or disable the post status dropdown on the editing screen.

Click Add New Status when you’ve made all your changes.

Notice that your new custom post status now appears on the right hand side in the list of current post statuses.


It’s here that you’ll also see the post status description, icon, and number of posts or pages currently set to that specific status.

Step 3: Assign Metadata to Your Custom Post Status

PublishPress lets you include metadata alongside your post statuses. This way you can easily keep track of the requirements for your content.

The default metadata types include:

  • First Draft Due: a box showing when the first draft of the post is due.
  • Assignment: a box to leave a short description of the post topic.
  • Needs Photo: a checkbox to make it clear whether a photo is required or not.
  • Word Count: a number field to show the post length requirement.

To add a new metadata to your custom post statuses, click the ‘Metadata’ tab. Then click Add New.

Next, add a name, custom slug, and description. In addition, choose from the types checkbox, date, location, number, paragraph, text, or user. Lastly, decide whether to make this metadata viewable in locations other than the editing screen.


When you’ve made all your changes, click Add New Metadata Team. Again, your changes will be seen on the right hand side under the other types of metadata that already exist.


Step 4: Use Your New Custom Post Status

Now that you’ve added a new custom post status to WordPress using PublishPress, it’s time to check it out in the editor (whether that be the Classic Editor or Gutenberg).


From now on, you or your team members will be able to update posts statuses with ease, right on the editor screen.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it! You now know how to add a custom post status to WordPress using the free WordPress plugin PublishPress.

Streamlining your editorial process will ensure that your WordPress blog is always updated with valuable and consistently published blog content. And just think, the more content you publish thanks to your efficient use of custom posts statuses, the more traffic you’ll attract, conversions you’ll get, and sales you’ll secure.

Are you ready to take your marketing efforts beyond your WordPress blog? If so, be sure to check out our list of the top 9 mailing list plugins for your WordPress site, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to building a bigger email list.

Have you ever used custom post statuses in WordPress to make blog publishing easier? If so, we’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

WPHacks Editorial
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