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Private Messaging

Let your users chat one-on-one and share files safely on your site with Private Messaging. Offer direct messaging as a premium service upgrade or create a more connected community users can access from both the front and backend of your site.

Downloads 14,411
Ultra Compatible

Changelog / Translations

  • Fix: Javascript error "TypeError: Cannot read property 'length' of undefined"
  • Fix: Error when enabling the plugin on local site on Windows OS
  • Fix: Search pagination
  • Fix: Javascript error "TypeError: Cannot read property 'length' of undefined"
  • Fix: Error when enabling the plugin on local site on Windows OS
  • Fix: Search pagination

  • Fix: Inbox styling issues seen within Twenty Seventeen

  • Fix: Stop messages being disclosed in WordPress search results

  • Fixed: Capabilities add-on not saving when no checkboxes are checked
  • Fixed: Bug broadcast checkbox not showing up in admin bar
  • Fixed: Warning when activating bbpress add-on
  • Fixed: Delete message button

  • New add-on: Words Filter
  • Backend improvement
  • Some minor bugs fixed

  • Fix bug: email notification link always go to last conversation
  • Fix bug: wrong message attachment file name
  • Fix bug: Capability add-on not sending message same role
  • New add-on: group conversation

Version 1.0.1
  • Bug fixes
  • Add: Broadcast add-on
  • Improve: User suggestion

Version 1
  • Initial Release
Private user communication with front end interface and attachment file sharing.
  • User-to-user private communication
  • Admin communication monitoring
  • Notification badges and popup notifications
  • Restrict messaging and feature by user role
  • Attachments for file sharing
  • Front end user interface

Whether you run a busy forum with hundreds of users or simply want to connect site owners in your Multisite network, Private Messaging will help you build a more engaged and friendly community.

Improve response times with bold pop-up notifications.
Improve response times with bold pop-up notifications.

Front-end Messaging

The inbox is accessible to you and your users from anywhere on your site, just click on the mail icon in the admin toolbar.

Sending a new message takes no time at all and you can do it from anywhere on your site.

Whether you’re working on a new blog post or tweaking your theme, you can compose a new message without interrupting your workflow.

The “Send To” field draws in usernames from across your site and autocompletes so you’ll never have to remember email addresses.

Private Messaging attachments makes it easy to share files.
Private Messaging attachments makes it easy to share files.

Private File Sharing

Share photos and screenshots with other users privately, or restrict which users are able to share images depending on their user role. With Pro Sites enabled, you can even provide file sharing as an exclusive feature for paying members.

Simple to Set Up

When it comes to setting up Private Messaging, there’s really nothing to it. Just install and activate the plugin.

Private Messaging comes pre-configured for immediate use so you don’t have to mess around with settings. There’s even an option to automatically create an inbox pages for your users.

Monitor all messages that are sent and received to ensure users are following your guidelines.
Monitor all messages that are sent and received to ensure users are following your guidelines.

A Safe Place to Communicate

Users can communicate safely without having to exchange contact details.

As an admin, you can monitor all messages sent and received to ensure discussions are above board and meet your user guidelines. Users will only be able to access messages they are involved in, ensuring messages between users are private.

Start by reading the Installing Plugins section in our comprehensive WordPress and WordPress Multisite Manual if you are new to WordPress.

  • On regular WordPress installs – visit Plugins and Activate the plugin.
  • For WordPress Multisite installs – Activate it blog-by-blog (say if you wanted to make it a Pro Sites premium plugin), or visit Network Admin -> Plugins and Network Activate the plugin. Note that there are no network settings for this plugin.
  • Also, on Multisite, users from two different sites in the network can’t message each other, they have to be members on the same site.

Getting Started

Once installed and activated, you’ll see a new menu item in your dashboard: Messaging.

Messaging Menu Item

We’ll need to assign a page for Private Messaging to use as the Inbox page, so let’s head over to:

Messaging -> Settings

Once there, you’ll see the “Inbox Page” section on the page:

Create Inbox Page

You can assign an existing page to use by clicking on the drop-down menu and selecting a page, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll just create a new page. Click on “Create Page”, and that’ll create a page for Private Messaging to use as the Inbox page.

Once you’ve done that, click on Save Changes at the bottom of this page, and we’ll head off to the new Inbox page. :)

Using your Inbox

You might have noticed a mail icon on the admin bar above. Hover over that, and click on “View Inbox”:

Visit Inbox Page

You’ll then be taken to the Inbox page, which has an interface similar to a basic email client:

Inbox Page

You can start composing a message to another user by clicking on the “Compose” button on the page:

Compose Message

You can also do this by hovering over the mail icon on the admin bar, and clicking on “Send New Message”.

For any messages that you wish to move out of the Inbox, and be saved for later, you can click on the archive button:

Archive Message Option

They’ll be stored in the Archives tab, from which you can also choose to either move the message back into the Inbox, or delete forever:

Inbox - Archive Tab

We’ll touch on the Settings tab inside the Inbox in a moment, but first, let’s head back over to the General Settings page.

Configuring the Settings

General Settings

Above the “Create Page” section (which we’ve already touched on), you’ll notice two options there:

General Options - Receipts

The Enable Message Receipt option allows a user to be notified when his message has been seen by another user.

The companion feature, Allow the user to disable read message receipts?, allows a user to choose whether or not his reading of a message from another user sends a notification to the sender.

Both of these boxes are checked by default inside Private Messaging, and can be configured by the user inside the Settings tab for the Inbox:

Inbox - Settings Tab

Moving down the General Settings page here brings us to the Add-ons section:

Add-ons List

The BBPress integration grants the ability to message a user from within a bbPress thread, by means of a “Message Me” button:

bbPress Add-on Message Button

The Block List add-on allows users to block messages from one or more users, a field is added to the Settings tab inside the Inbox page:

Block List Add-on Option Field

The Capability add-on allows you to restrict the sending of messages on your site to specific user roles. Once this add-on is activated, you can configure it further from:

Messaging -> Settings -> Capability Settings

Capability Add-on Settings Page

The Notification add-on allows users to be notified of new messages sent to them:

Notfication Add-on Popup

Note: This add-on (as noted on the settings page) is in BETA, so there may be certain aspects that aren’t quite right yet.

The WYISWYG add-on converts the default text editor into a more feature filled text editor, allow more styling to be added to your messsages:

WYSIWYG Editor Add-on
Email Settings

Here, you can adjust the subject lines & message content for email notifications, for when messages are received (as well as notifications that a user has read your message).

Email Settings

You can also adjust the amount of emails to be displayed per page on the Inbox page by adjusting the value for “Per Page”.


Here, you can see the available shortcodes for Private Messaging, as well as the parameters available:

Shortcodes List

Here, you can configure which user roles can add attachments to messages being sent:

Attachments Permissions

Need Help?

If you have trouble with any aspect of configuration, code or general usage, or if you have a cool feature suggestion to make, please head on over to the community forums where support staff and other helpful members are waiting to lend a hand.

Private Messaging is covered by the WPMU DEV Guarantee

WPMU DEV Guarantee

We guarantee that...

  • Private Messaging will work as advertised
  • You will receive 24/7 365 expert support for any problem
  • If you cancel your FREE trial, you can keep Private Messaging
  • Private Messaging is secure, always updated and well coded

Money back guarantee!

While you have 30 days, no obligations risk-free trial of WPMU DEV if you become a paid member and are dissatisfied with any of the above we'll refund you, no questions asked.

Private Messaging Features

Simple configuration, fully extensible.

  • Limit sending capabilities to specific WordPress roles
  • bbPress Integration
  • Built-in inbox shortcodes
  • Block lists for safe working environments
  • WYSIWYG editor add-on
  • Complete front-end integration
  • Simple compose overlay
  • Fully responsive
  • Know when your message is received with read receipts
  • Receive a notification when you get a new message
  • Optional pop-up notifications
  • Site specific messaging in Multisite
  • Admins can broadcast messages to all users
  • Create group conversations
Private Messaging in your language
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Icelandic
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