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I'm using Bluehost staging options to upload a wp site that I have made locally to a test server and was wondering if there is a solution to password protect the staging/test site so only the people who employ me can see it.

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WordPress has an option to protect each page's content using a password. That is done using the right panel just below/under the publish button.

However if you want to hide the entire site and make it visible only to users who are logged-in, then you should consider using a "maintenance plugin" or a "construction plugin", you can look up for those terms in your Plugins section and try one of those plugins.

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  • Is there a de-facto industry standard among them?
    – Neil Meyer
    Sep 27, 2019 at 16:07
  • There is no standard for such plugins. However you can choose the plugin that has the most downloads if you prefer to know that more users use that plugin.
    – MistaPrime
    Sep 27, 2019 at 16:09
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One way I have done this for an existing (not new) site is to place all of the new files in a subfolder of the main site.

Then I use an htaccess/htpassword file to protect that folder. I might even only allow certain IP addresses to access that folder.

The site URL settings are something like https://www.example.com/newsite . I can test it using that URL.

Once ready to go live, I go into the database (I use the "Better Search and Replace" plugin) to replace all instances of https://www.example.com/newsite with https://www.example.com . Then I change the URL in the wp-options table (two places).

Finally, I set up the hosting for that domain to point the domain root to the new folder. After a bit of propagation delay, all is well.

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