Decentralized Social Networking with WordPress

  • Connect WordPresses through friendship requests
  • Read each other’s (private) posts in a feed reader UI
  • Subscribe to any RSS feed
  • Compatible with the WordPress mobile apps

On your WordPress site you can post anything you wish to share with the world. Sometimes the open nature of WordPress might be a little too open. What if you only want to share some posts with friends but not the whole world?

With the Friends plugin, you can establish a connection with your friends’ WordPress sites by making and accepting friend requests.

Let’s look at an example:

You want to connect with your friend Matt and send a friend request to his WordPress. He accepts the friend request–the connection is established.

Actually you’re now subscribed to his posts and he’s now subscribed to your posts, so on your /friends/ pages you’ll both now see each others posts.

No big deal, this is just like subscribing to an RSS feed, right? It actually is, and that’s also what’s happening behind the scenes.

Things start to get more interesting if you bring private posts to the game.

When you post something with the post status sent to “Private,” while not visible to the random (logged-out) visitor of your site, it is shared with your friends.

The logo was created by Ramon Dodd, @ramonopoly. Thank you!


  • On /friends/ your friends posts appear together with yours.
  • You can send friend requests to other WordPresses or subscribe to them.
  • Your friends and subscriptions show on the users page.
  • Friends settings


This plugin provides 2 blocks.

  • Friends list
  • Friend Posts


  1. Upload the friends directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress


Why is the friendship established between WordPress sites and not WordPress users?

For one, this allows to stick with established WordPress configurations and terminologies. For example, you can use the WordPress mobile apps to post privately to your site.

Secondly, a lot of WordPresses are like cell phones. Some are used by more than one person but mostly there is a 1:1 relationship between a WordPress blog and a person.

If someone has multiple WordPresses this actually allows to segment your friendships. Close friends might want to follow all your blogs but you’d only add your photographer friends to your photoblog.

What if the friend request is deleted or not accepted?

You’ll still see the public posts from the other WordPress, you’ve subscribed to its public RSS feed.

What’s the point? If I want to post something privately I can use Facebook.

Well, that’s actually exactly the point. Facebook owns your data, with WordPress you can decide where you want to host it and have all the benefits of running open source software.

What happens if I modify or delete a post?

There is a cache of your friends post in form of a Custom Post Type friend_post that is updated when you change a post. When you delete a post your friends’ WordPresses are notified and they delete the cached post.


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Contributors & Developers

“Friends” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Friends” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Friends” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Revamp the friendship protocol, allow specifying a codeword and sending a message


  • Bugfixes: Friend Request error handling, feed rules for author
  • Add some help texts
  • Bring back shortcodes


  • Removed Saved Articles, this will go into the Thinkery plugin
  • Subscriptions will use the site’s favicon as user avatar
  • Removed short codes and replaced them with Gutenberg blocks “Friend Posts” and “Friends List” Gutenberg, added a “Friends Visibility” global Gutenberg option


  • Add Saved Articles that can be used to recommend articles to friends
  • Extract article contents using Readability


  • No longer use hardcoded WP REST API URLs
  • Add bookmarklets


  • Bugfix: don’t notify about posts that are trashed via rules


  • Add Restricted Friend functionality
  • Add feed rules


  • Disable listing users via REST
  • Allow just subscribing to a site
  • Add Gutenberg blocks


  • Post recommendations
  • Includes the most recent version of SimplePie


  • Reactions
  • Shortcodes
  • Customizable Profile page


  • Download OPML
  • Suggest Friends plugin via different media


  • Add friends settings


  • Use in/out tokens.


  • Send notifications for friend request, accepted request and new posts.
  • Improve friend request security.
  • Initial release on to the plugin directory.


  • Delete your cached posts on friends blogs when you delete them.
  • Widgets: Friend Requests, Friend List.
  • Initial submission to the plugin directory.


  • Subscribe to WordPresses without Friends plugin.


  • All basic functionality:
  • Request and accept friendships
  • Subscribe to private feed
  • /friends/ page