I've been trying to find the solution for this for a while but I can't seem to find anyone with the same issues.

I have a local server running Ubuntu 16.04 with LAMP stack. Wordpress installed on 2 different "domains". One works, the other doesn't.

The problem:

I make a post or a page and then "publish" but it stays as draft. Now, there is NO option in the dropdown for the status for "publish". The only options available are "draft" and "pending review".

I thought I was pretty familiar with Wordpress but this one is stumping me. Any ideas? Should I re-install (I hope not)?

  • 1
    Looks like a duplicate of wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/68112/…
    – Steve
    Jan 8, 2017 at 11:09
  • Nope, not the same. I can't even view any of the plugins or themes or anything else for that matter. The only thing visible is the wordpress sidebar. I can't disable plugins or change themes. I'm going to manually delete all plugins and themes except for one and see what happens as based on what I read on that link you sent, it could be a plugin or theme issue but I have no there way to tell except for to manually delete them off the server and reinstall, one by one IF that even works for getting the wordpress script back up and running. Jan 8, 2017 at 16:32
  • I've deleted all plugins and all themes except for twentyfourteen. I can finally see the wordpress dashboard but the "publish" option is not there. Yes there is a "publish" but, the status choices are "draft" or "pending review" and NO "publish". I click the "publish" button and it goes back to "all posts" page, even if I'm publishing a page. I can get the posts and pages to publish if I select them all and edit them all to show published, but that's it. I'm going to just re-install and start over. Thanks. Jan 8, 2017 at 16:44
  • Dump your mySQL, copy your wp-content directory. Reinstall wordpress from scratch. Likely quicker and easier than what you are doing now... :P
    – Steve
    Jan 8, 2017 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


Issues with the publish button normally occur when there is an issue with a plugin or theme you are using.

You will need to:

  • Disable all plugins and see if the publish button appears. If so, reactive one by one until you have found the one causing the issue.
  • Disable any custom theme and choose one that comes with WordPress. If so, you need to find out why the theme is causing you headaches.

More possible solutions:

  • Add a new administrator and login to that account then change ownership of the article and see if the publish button appears. If so then there is a problem with the user profile being damaged within the SQL.
  • Try a different browser and clear the session and cookies.

WordPress Stack:

If the problem is related to theme development, plugin development or anything else to do with WP programming codex then you will need to use the WordPress stack as programming is considered off-topic on Pro Webmasters. For example: Posts stuck as Drafts.

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