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Private Messaging

INACTIVE NOTICE: This plugin is unsupported by WPMUDEV, we've published it here for those technical types who might want to fork and maintain it for their needs.


Translation files can be found at

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.


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


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