New Plugin: Build Your Community with Private Messaging

New Plugin: Build Your Community with Private Messaging

If building an engaged community where users can exchange ideas and share information is at the heart of your site, then you’ll love our latest plugin release.

Note: WPMU DEV no longer maintains or supports this plugin (see this post for more info: You can, however, still download the plugin here:

Private Messaging makes it easy for your users to communicate with each other through direct private messages you can monitor.

For sites that run forums, Private Messaging is especially ideal as it offers users a secondary means of communication, with added privacy and without having to exchange email addresses.

Simple to Set Up

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

There’s only one setting you need to worry about: Creating an Inbox page. Since users will access their inboxes on the front-end of your site, you will need to allocate an Inbox page for them to use. If you don’t already have a page you want to use, you can choose to create one automatically.

Private Messaging settings

Sending and Receiving Messages

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

Mail icon
Access private messages in the admin toolbar

To send a new message, hover over the mail icon and click on “Send New Message.” A modal will pop up where you can compose your message.

The “Send To” field draws in usernames from across your site and autocompletes.

You will never have to remember the email addresses of the users on your site, just the nickname of the person – or people – you want to reach out to.

The great thing about the Compose Message modal is that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing on your site, or whether you’re on the front-end or the backend, you can drop what you’re doing and quickly write a new message without leaving the page you’re working on.

Compose a new message

Need to share a screenshot with someone? Private Messaging lets you share screenshots with any user. If you’re an admin, you can restrict which users are able to share images depending on their user role.

Users can choose to receive email notifications whenever they receive a message through your site so they’ll never miss an important communication from another of your users.

The front-end inbox provides a clean interface where users can access their messages.


Long-time users can search through their inbox for old messages, or quickly switch to reading only unread ones.

There are also tabs for reading read and sent messages, or archived messages.

In the “Settings” tab users can turn on email notifications and also prevent others from tracking messages.

A Safe Place to Communicate

With Private Messaging your users can ditch email and communicate safely within your site.

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

Private Messaging messages

Add-Ons for Even More Features

There are a bunch of add-ons you can activate in the Settings menu to add even more functionality to your site:

  • bbPress Integration: Integrate with bbPress for seamless use with your forums
  • Block List: Allow users block users they don’t want to communicate with
  • Capability: Limit the sending capabilities to specific WordPress roles
  • Broadcast: Send a message to all users at the same time
  • Notification (Beta): Display a visual notification for users when a new message is received
  • WYISWYG: Add a WYSIWYG editor to the message composer

Multisite Compatible

As with all our plugins, Private Messaging is Multisite compatible. This means you can enable site-specific messaging for even greater engagement across network sites.

More features are planned for the next version of Private Messaging, including network-wide messaging between Multisite users and even better group messaging.

Check out Private Messaging and let us know what you think.