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Private family blog: how to do it?

  1. Here's the goal: I want a blog whose readership I can restrict to immediate family members. Others cannot even sign in, but family members can read and post comments.

    I'm not sure how to do this. I created the blog and made it "private." I don't quite understand how to add people to the list. There's a place for "names." Does this presume that the people have a WordPress blog? (I'm the only family member with a WordPress blog.) And what is the difference in the types of participation? In particular, what is the difference between "author" and "contributor"?

    I somehow had the idea that people could sign in to the blog with a username and password, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

    The blog I need help with is leisureguy2.wordpress.com.

  2. Your readers will need a wp.com account and username, but they do not need to create a blog when registering. Those usernames are the ones you enter in your dashboard:

    http://support.wordpress.com/settings/privacy-settings/

    They are regular readers unless you assign them a role:

    http://support.wordpress.com/user-roles/

    If all you want is to give them the ability to read your posts and leave comments, there's no reason to assign roles.

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