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Private posts in custom post types

UPDATE 15.5.2018: Relevanssi doesn’t have the relevanssi_private_cap filter hook anymore. Relevanssi should be able to get the correct capability automatically, if it has been registered within WordPress. If something doesn’t work as expected, then creating a relevanssi_post_ok filter function is the way to go.

Relevanssi has some problems when it comes to checking if it can show private posts to a user, if the post is in a custom post type.

Relevanssi doesn’t actually check the what the capability to read private posts is called, but instead assumes it’s read_private_slugs, where slug is the name of the post type.

That’s a problem, if the custom post type uses a different name for the capability. Sermon manager for WordPress, for example, uses a custom post type wpcf_sermon, but the capability is read_private_posts, not read_private_wpcf_sermons.

From Premium 1.13 and Relevanssi 3.3.6 onwards, you can do this to fix this:

add_filter('relevanssi_private_cap', 'private_sermon_cap');
function private_sermon_cap($cap) {
    if ($cap == 'read_private_wpfc_sermons') $cap = 'read_private_posts';
    return $cap;

In earlier versions, the fix is more complicated:

add_filter('relevanssi_post_ok', 'private_sermon_post_ok', 11, 2);
function private_sermon_post_ok($post_ok, $doc) {
	$status = relevanssi_get_post_status($doc);
	if ('private' == $status) {
		$type = relevanssi_get_post_type($doc);
		if ($type == 'wpfc_sermon') $type = "post";
		$cap = 'read_private_' . $type . 's';
		if (current_user_can($cap)) {
			$post_ok = true;
	return $post_ok;

This function will run after the default check, and if the post type is wpfc_sermon and the post is private, the function will check if the user is allowed to see the post.

10 comments Private posts in custom post types

  1. I have tried this code, but when I search I still see private posts in the search results. I have added the code via the Code Snippet plugin

    Is there an update to the above code?

    I have tried uninstalling/reinstalling the relevanssi plugin.

    I am using the Tooltypes plugins to create custom fields.

    1. Can you show me the code you’re using (put it in a Pastebin, for example)? What is the correct capability for reading your private post type? Without any code, Relevanssi tries to guess ’read_private_SLUGs’ where SLUG is the slug of your post type. If that doesn’t work, you need code that tells Relevanssi the correct capability.

      1. This is the code I am using.

        add_filter( ‘relevanssi_private_cap’, ‘tssupp_relevanssi_private_cap’ );
        function tssupp_relevanssi_private_cap( $cap ) {

        $cpt_slug = ‘job-application’; // Edit as required

        if ( $cap == ‘read_private_’ . $cpt_slug ) {
        $cap = ‘read_private_posts’;

        return $cap;

        1. The capability Relevanssi uses is ’read_private_’ . $cpt_slug . ’s’, the plural s must be in the end. That way your code should work, if read_private_posts is the correct capability.

  2. I’m also struggling to get this to work with Avada Portfolios custom post type. My code is:

    add_filter(‘relevanssi_private_cap’, ‘private_portfolio_cap’);
    function private_portfolio_cap($cap) {
    if ($cap == ‘read_private_avada_portfolios’) $cap = ‘read_private_posts’;
    return $cap;

    Can you spot anything obvious?

    1. Luke, yeah, just one little thing: there’s no such thing as relevanssi_private_cap. That filter does not exist anymore. Not really sure when it was removed; it hasn’t been a part of Relevanssi in a while. Looks like I’ve forgotten that as well…

      Relevanssi gets the capability from $GLOBALS[‘wp_post_types’][‘avada_portfolio’]->cap->read_private_posts. If that returns the correct value, Relevanssi should handle the posts correctly.

      So what is your problem? Are you seeing private posts you shouldn’t, or the not seeing the ones you should? If things don’t work, the best solution is probably to write a relevanssi_post_ok filter that handles the private posts correctly.

    1. Something’s a bit messed up somewhere, then, as Relevanssi shouldn’t even consider showing private posts to people who aren’t logged in – Relevanssi checks the capability and checks if current_user_can() returns true. That function always returns false if the user is not logged in.

      Do you have any membership plugins that might be involved in this?

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